Beekeeping: Research

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 21st May 2008.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department has commissioned into beekeeping and bee health in each year since 2001; what research he plans to commission in each of the next five years; what the cost of that research (a) was and (b) is expected to be in each year; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs) and Minister for the South East), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The following projects have been funded by DEFRA since 2001. The costs of the projects are included:

Project From To Cost of project (£)
HH0813SHB: Screening pathogens for the biocontrol of Varroa jacobsoni. 1998 2002 410,231
HH0814SHB: The epidemiology of honey bee viruses transmitted by Varroa destructor. 2000 2001 120,000
HH0815SHB: Effects of chlortetracycline on honeybee brood (Apis mellifera) development and residues in honey following treatment. 2000 2001 17,557
HH0816SHB: Establishing the appropriate treatment method and an MRL for oxytetracycline for honey 2001 2002 21,142
HH0817THB: The control of exotic bee diseases and their likely interactions with UK conditions. 2001 2004 330,000
HH0819SHB: Fungal control of Varroa jacobsoni (destructor) 2002 2006 383,802
HH3126SHB: Evaluation of TaqMan real-time PCR for detection of Aethina tumida (Small Hive Beetle) 2005 2005 14,348
HH3223SHB: Minimisation of oxytetracycline levels in honey after antibiotic treatment 2003 2004 25,000
HH3224SHB: Developing Real-Time PCR TaqMan(TM) instrumentation for Bee Health Diagnostics. 2002 2003 10,000
HH3225SHB: Detection and control techniques for the Small Hive Beetle Aethina tumida (Murray); (Coleoptera, Nitiduluidae) 2002 2003 8,000
HH3234SHB: Optimisation of detection methods for Melissococcus plutonius (European foulbrood, EFB) 2005 2005 10,101
HH3235SHB: Honey bee virus detection and discrimination 2005 2005 25,233
HH3815SHB: A promotional publication summarising the Defra Bee Health Research and Development activity over 10 years 2004 2005 9,920
HL0161LHB: Development of a method of biological control of European foulbrood in honeybees to supersede antibiotic treatments. 2000 2003 103,579
PH0410: The taxonomy of UK and exotic honey bee viruses: a molecular approach (PhD Fellowship). 2007 2010 81,248
PH0502: Assessing the effectiveness of the shook swarm method for controlling European Foul Brood. 2006 2008 185,393
PH0503: Development of a monitoring system for the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida (Murray). 2006 2008 225,772
PN0936: The effects of endocrine disrupters on honeybee populations. 2001 2004 86,148
PN0944: Use of sub-lethal effects in honeybees in pesticide risk assessment. 2001 2002 31,785
PN0945: Assessing the impact of mixtures of pyrethroids and fungicides on honeybees. 2001 2004 55,718.
PS2322: Assessment of the risk posed to honeybees by systemic pesticides. 2005 2007 46,104
VM02140: Investigation of the fate of veterinary drugs used in apiculture. 2004 2007 180,589
VM02156: Investigation into the experimental protocols required to determine Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) in honey: Preliminary study using organic acids as model compounds to propose ways in which withdrawal times might be calculated. 2007 2010 287,083

For the current year, detailed allocations for all of DEFRA's programmes have still to be finalised, including those for research. Commissioned research for honey bee health in 2008-09 is expected to be c. £190,000. Research priorities are addressed in the draft Bee Health strategy which has recently been published for public consultation. Commissioned research in later years will be considered in the light of priorities identified in the agreed strategy and the resources available.

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