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Nourishing PRObiotics to Bees to Mitigate Stressors

Abstract

In the last decades, bees have been threatened by a number of biotic and abiotic stresses, which strongly affect beehives integrity. Consequently, the beekeeping sector together with ecosystem and agricultural sectors depending on pollinators suffer of missed pollination. Nosema ceranae is a bee gut parasite that has received particular attention in the last years because it causes bee colonies to collapse due to energy and nutrient deficiency. Furthermore, the bee gut microbiota undergoes a dysbiosis process following infection. N. ceranae virulence in infected bees escalates when forager bees uptake sub-lethal doses of insecticides such as Neonicotinoids from the polluted agricultural environment surrounding the hive. The European Union banning of antibiotics for therapeutic use in the beekeeping sector approved in 2001 has deprived beekeepers of Fumagillin-B, the sole antibiotic previously available to control Nosema sp.. The need to find alternative treatments to fight bee diseases has led researchers to the study of ecofriendly practices. Our proposed research aims to develop a strategy for the health of the bee gut based on microbial and plant resources to inhibit N. ceranae proliferation and to mitigate the effect of synergic bee stressors. The project will be developed by a consortium formed by 4 research institutions and 3 SMEs of 3 different European countries and a third country (Argentina). Research institutions will do the experimental work on bees aimed at the definition of a strategy based on the use of beneficial bacteria and plant extracts and at the evaluation of the impact on the bee gut of the developed formulation. SMEs will contribute to the choice of the ingredients of the prototype formulation and at finding a strategy to produce it. ESR and ER will perform secondments in research institutions and SMEs to facilitate transfer of knowledge between the research and production sector.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Diana Di Gioia

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agro-Alimentari

Coordinator:
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna(Italy)

Other Participants:
Nutri Biotech Services Ltd (Malta)
Teagasc (Ireland)
University Of Malta (Malta)
Advance Science Ltd (Ireland)
Probiotical Spa (Italy)
Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche (Italy)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 346.500,00
Project Duration in months: 48
Start Date: 01/01/2018
End Date: 31/12/2021

Cordis webpage

Life on land This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

UE flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 777760