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B-THENET a new multi-actor project launched to modernise the beekeeping sector in the EU

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Bee health can only be understood if its multiple factors are holistically considered. It is the perfect example of implementing the One Health approach [1], needing the integration of information and knowledge of beekeepers, land managers (farmers, land owners, public institutions, etc.), veterinarians and policymakers. It is why a newly created Thematic Network [2] B-THENET [3] will aim to collect good practices through a multi-actor approach to improve bee health, modernise the EU beekeeping sector and improve bee environmental conditions.

B-THENET is a 4 year project funded by the European Union, that aims to modernise and promote innovation in the beekeeping sector, while fostering the development of economically viable and sustainable beekeeping through knowledge sharing and training on the best practical and simple beekeeping and land management practices.

The Thematic Network builds on the foundation of previous field experiences and projects’ findings and establishes its bottom-up method collection involving widespread participation of stakeholders related to bee health. The approach enables us to consider local factors such as climate, land use and environmental quality, socio-economic constraints, in-use beekeeping equipment, language, regional bee genetics, and the suite of in-country pathogens and diseases.

The multi-actor project partners, ranging from beekeeping associations at national and international levels, research organisations and universities, and NGOs, together with Collaborating Partners (beekeeping organisations and research institutions), will collect, organise, share, and disseminate practices through interactive tiered platforms. They will be coordinated by the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Lazio e Toscana (IZSLT) and structured into 13 national and three international centres (see map). These centres will organise several events to promote networking and exchange (312 national and six international), and produce a manual on best practices and a set of guidelines for beekeeping advisors, thus contributing to a rapid cross-fertilisation process and a greater acceptance of the final outputs.

B-THENET will supply the practices meeting field practitioners’ needs, effective and ready to use, will be selected, shared and customised to the specific regions, languages, equipment, bee genetics, and operational scale of beekeeping.

In conjunction with B-THENET, a sociological study will map out the channels most consulted by beekeepers to maximise dissemination in a specific long-term platform set up to share best practices in an appealing, easy-to-understand way with audio-visual materials translated into 15 EU languages.

BeeLife is a B-THENET partner dealing with the relationship with stakeholders outside the beekeeping industry. As we have continuously done since our foundation, we will work for the bees’ environmental needs in terms of quantity and quality to be known and understood by stakeholders. BeeLife will also make the link with the EU Pollinator Hub the open-access interactive platform for pollinator-related data.

[1] Mahefarisoa, K. L., N. Simon Delso, V. Zaninotto, M. E. Colin, and J. M. Bonmatin. 2021

The Threat of Veterinary Medicinal Products and Biocides on Pollinators: A One Health Perspective. One Health. Elsevier: 100237.

[2] Thematic networks are multi-actor projects which collect existing knowledge and best practices on a given theme to make it available in easily understandable formats for end users such as farmers, foresters, advisers and others.

[3] Full title: Best Practices and Innovations for a Sustainable Beekeeping


Expected impacts of the B-THENET Thematic Network


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