Meet the Queens of INSIGNIA-EU from Poland

Poland joined the INSIGNIA-EU project with 20 citizen-scientist beekeepers, of which as many as five were ladies, which, project-wise, was a rarity.

Each of them is of course a beekeeper, but other than that they also have other cool jobs and interests.

The national coordinator for Poland, as well as a citizen scientist, was Dr Anna Gajda. On a daily basis she is a head of the Laboratory of Bee Diseases at the Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Warsaw. She runs a diagnostic lab, both for beekeepers and their sick colonies, and for science, researching long standing and emerging pathogens in both managed and wild bees. She does a lot of extension work for beekeepers and veterinarians, giving talks and practical courses on bee disease control and prevention. In her free time she enjoys photography, travel and birdwatching.

DVM Ewa Mazur is a young scientist. She works as an assistant in the Laboratory of Bee Diseases at Warsaw University of Life Sciences. Her main research topic is the problem of winter bee colony losses in Poland. She also works as an advisor for beekeepers, as she has veterinary specialization in bee diseases. Bees are her great passion – she takes care of a small apiary and loves to observe wild bees. In her free time, Ewa practices yoga and cooks vegetarian dishes. Continue reading “Meet the Queens of INSIGNIA-EU from Poland”

Environmental assessment of PAHs through honey bee colonies – A matrix selection study

Our new article about the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), in honey bee matrices is out! Honey bees and theri products have been used for monitoring the quality of the enviroment in whivch we all live! Bees are the best #BIOINDICATORS !
An Insignia-Eu project collaborative work. Soon more results will be published! In this link you can dowload your copy!
For your information: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of over 100 different chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil and gas, garbage, or other organic substances like tobacco or charbroiled meat. Animal studies have also shown that PAHs can cause harmful effects on the skin, body fluids, and ability to fight disease after both short- and long-term exposure. But these effects have not been seen in people. Some people who have breathed or touched mixtures of PAHs and other chemicals for long periods of time have developed cancer. Some PAHs have caused cancer in laboratory animals when they breathed air containing them (lung cancer), ingested them in food (stomach cancer), or had them applied to their skin (skin cancer).
Fani Hatjina

Alice Pinto, happy birthday

When we spot somebody having birthday in our consortium, we celebrate for sure.
We all congratulate Alice Pinto with her birthday today (16-12-2023).
Why not ask Bing’s AI. “Who is Alice Pinto”, and here it comes.

“M. Alice Pinto is a professor and a researcher from Portugal who specializes in honeybee genetics and conservation. She works at the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança and the Mountain Research Centre. She has published many papers and books on topics such as honeybee diversity, evolution, molecular research, and environmental monitoring. She is also involved in several national and international projects related to honeybee health and sustainability.”

As Alice did reply, “no reason to worry about AI, since I have done far more work in my life!”. Conclusion: AI still not an intellectual threat!

Alice with her team is an important and hardworking partner of INSIGNIA, doing the metabarcoding on all our pollen samples. A new way for pollen recognition and will become the way for pollen analysis in the future. It is still a long journey and big workload doing this and the databases are still not perfect, but after INSIGNIA a major step up is done.

Flemming Vejsnæs

Pictures are from the BeeConSel meeting in Ljubljana recently, where Alice was in the advisory board of the project.

PESTICIDES RESIDUES IN HONEY – CORRECTED VERSION OF NEWSLETTER OF THE 31TH SEPTEMEMBER

Pesticides residues in honey

Josef van der Steen

September 2023

Summary
Pesticides can be detected in honey. There is nothing that a beekeeper can do about it, because pesticides are in the environment and bees collect these pesticide residues along with their food. Based on the recent EFSA report on pesticides in food, the most detected pesticides in honey are the agricultural pesticides thiacloprid, acetamiprid, bimoxystrobin, glyphosate, chlorpyriphos, fosetyl, flonicamid, boscalid, and chlorfluazuron. The varroa control substances amitraz and coumaphos were also detected. In about 4 out of 5 honey samples no pesticides were found in quantifiable amounts, and in 1 out of 5 honeys pesticides could be detected. Only in a few cases did the amount of pesticides exceed the MRL (Maximum Residue Level) threshold, but in all cases, the honey samples analysed met the food safety / trade threshold. How pesticides enter the hive, how the honey bee colony cleans the honey, and how pesticides in honey may relate to honey consumption and toxic effects, is described in this newsletter. Continue reading “PESTICIDES RESIDUES IN HONEY – CORRECTED VERSION OF NEWSLETTER OF THE 31TH SEPTEMEMBER”

Worlds northernmost beekeeper

Sissel Goodgame is the worlds northernmost beekeeper. More then 2000 km north of Oslo, Norway. We found it so exciting to have her on the team, since she is so far away for everything – read “pollution”. On the annual Vossa møtet 2 hours from Bergen, Sissel made a great talk about her participation in the INSIGNIA project. INSIGNIA would not survive without our beekeepers or Citizens Scientist as we call them. They are all volunteers. We handed over our honor certificate for being an important part of INSIGNIA. “Sissel thanks a lot”. Hope there will be a next time and hope to have you on the team.

The diversity of the pollen image of a bee colony

Within the INSIGNIA project we did sample pollen samples from our test colonies every second week from the 20.-23. April to the end of the project 24.-27. august. Every second week the Citizens Scientist went out an activated the pollen trap on the evening before and then did empty the trap next days evening. There was always an eye on the weather forecast. Should we move the collection with one or 2 days. The main part of the samplings were done over one day, few times 2 days.

Continue reading “The diversity of the pollen image of a bee colony”

How are we doing?

Podcast on where we are after samplinground 7, we are so close to the final sampling round and there are samples all over europe on the way to the laboratories. We are so excited. So how are we doing. Listen to the sum up.

Portugal is started, even in rain!

The national coordinators of Portugal Alice Pinto and Andreia Quaresma from Instituto Politécnico de Bragança made the big tour, visiting all Citizens Scientist to support the start up of INSIGNIA sampling in Portugal. Have look on the nice video and see how and what they did. Even Portugal has “not so nice weather”. Really good investment of the coordinators. Secures a safe startup and getting closely connected to the Citizens Scientist.

National Coordinators Cafe and the start of sampling

Today’s regular National Coordinators’ Cafe was the first since the start of the 2023 sampling in all 27 EU Member States. This was an opportunity for National Coordinators to meet informally online with members of the consortium to sort out any problems that might occur. There were some questions about different hive designs needing slight modifications to what is being done, but overall it seems that all is running smoothly with much enthusiasm from the citizen scientist beekeepers involved.

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