Today Saturday the 23rd of January we congratulate Sjef van der Steen with his 69th birthday.
After his retirement Sjef found that retirement should not be wasted on playing golf. The passion for bees and science was stronger. Sjef discovered a H2020 call on using honeybees for monitoring pollution. Continue reading “Happy birthday Sjef”
By Amadeo Fernandez-Alba (Spain) Flemming Vejsnæs (Denmark) & Sjef van der Steen (The Netherlands) – The international INSIGNIA group
Microplastics are everywhere. The term microplastic is given to all micrometre (thousandth of a millimetre) sized plastic fragments. These small-sized plastic fragments come from cosmetics and industry, called primary microplastics, and also from the degradation of the enormous amounts of plastics all over the world, called secondary microplastics. Furthermore, there are also synthetic fibres, twisted with wool, cotton or cellulose used in clothing. Due to wear and washing, small parts of these fibres also end up in the environment and are also considered microplastics.
Looking on the danish map, Jylland kind of has a nose. On the tip of the nose Martin Lesak is living, since ever. Martin has Czech roots and he brings the beekeeping tradition from there. Martin is involved. Fascinated by the nature of the organism of the beehive. Continue reading “Behind the Citizens Scientist – Martin Lesak”
We had the luck to visit all the danish citizens scientist during the week of collecting all the INSIGNIA samples for Denmark. Was a great opportunity to come behind the scene at the beekeepers. Having a talk on how the season went and hear the direct opinion about the project. Pros and cons!
Corona and INSIGNIA As told earlier, corona did influence the INSIGNIA project. Sjef van der Steen, the leader of the INSIGNIA Project had original the aim to visit as many of our Citizen Scientist in the 9 participating countries. Mission impossibly during corona time. Traveling is/was very difficult this summer. But we found a time-window for a visit in Denmark. Lot of car driving, more than 2.000 km in the small country of Denmark. But that is possibly. To have some exercise we did on our driving tour bring our bikes (read some had electric bikes, others without motor). Continue reading “Visiting Denmark”
In Denmark, actually in the Nordic Baltic countries, there is an electronic online hivescale system. We are using mainly 2 types of electronic hivescales. To far to get into this in this short note. The system is run by the Danish Beekeepers Association.
“Today (Friday) we received the last batch of pollen samples collected by citizen scientists from all over Europe in the first half of the season. Now, time to go to the lab and do the DNA extractions!”
Today was a happy day for the INSIGNIA team at Bragança, Portugal. We received many pollen samples collected across Europe by diligent citizen scientists. We cannot wait to start the metabarcoding analysis of all the samples collected in 2020 to find out which plants bees are visiting.
Why talk about a parasite? Because only bee colonies in balance are good bioindicators.
All the INSIGNIA colonies are taken care of by our Citizens Scientist. They run the colonies as they use to. The aim is to supply a pollination service og create a honey production. The, probably, biggest treat against the honeybee colonies is the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. The mite is from 1-1,5 mm. Rather small. Varroa is living on the honeybees and does multiply in the sealed brood of the honeybees. It only bread on honeybees.