"The Bees' needs": using molecular analysis of bee collected pollen to understand which plants play an important role in honey bee forage

F Highet, G Toteva, M Downie, M Peterson, AJ Gray, A Reid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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Summary: Honey bees and other pollinators provide essential pollination services to agriculture and the environment; however they are under increasing pressure from changes in land management, disease and climate change. Current mitigation places emphasis on establishing flower meadows to improve nutritional diversity, but preserving what is already in place is also of importance. ‘CSI Pollen’ was a recent European citizen science project coordinated by COLOSS, investigating the diversity of pollen collected by honey bees in many countries across Europe. Volunteer beekeepers sampled pollen from colonies every three weeks during the foraging season over a two to three year period, creating a huge collection of data and samples. A selection of samples collected from 14 Scottish sites during the second year of study in 2015 were analysed by DNA fingerprinting to identify pollen gathered by honey bees at critical points of the colony’s life cycle; some results and potential implications for land use are discussed here.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Dundee Conference
Subtitle of host publicationCrop Protection in Northern Britain 2018
Place of PublicationDundee
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2018
EventCPNB 2018: The Dundee Conference "Environmental Management & Crop Production" - Dundee
Duration: 27 Feb 201828 Feb 2018


ConferenceCPNB 2018: The Dundee Conference "Environmental Management & Crop Production"


  • honey bees
  • pollination
  • land management

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