Working in partnership with UK beekeepers, the National Honey Monitoring Scheme aims to use honeybees to monitor long-term changes in the condition and health of the UK countryside. However, we need the help of beekeepers if this scheme is to work.
Initially set up in 2018, the Honey Monitoring Scheme is a long-term programme that uses advanced analytical techniques to identify the species of plant pollen present in honey samples. This will tell us what bees are feeding on in different parts of the country and at different times of year. This information will help us identify possible threats to bees linked with floral resources.
What the scheme will do:
State-of-the-art analysis: DNA metabarcoding and high precision mass spectrometry of honey samples
Sample archive: for future research developing new analytics, such as disease detection
Provide feedback to participating beekeepers
- Generate robust scientific data to inform future policy decisions
See a news story of how a pilot study of the scheme also identified widespread residues of neonicotinoid pesticides in honey samples collected from across the UK (CEH News 4 January 2018)
- Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council
- Natural Environment Research Council