Funding to support beekeeping, taken over by the UK government at the same level as it was previously provided by the EU, has received a further boost with a new funding initiative for beekeepers.
The CB Dennis British Beekeepers’ Research Trust, Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd and the British Beekeepers Association are joining forces to fully fund a three-year bee health research fellowship.
Beekeeping in the UK was at its peak during the war years when a shortage of sugar prompted many to become beekeepers, according to Martin Smith, former chairman of the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) and chairman of the society. Bee Diseases Insurance. (BDI), two of the organizations funding the new initiative.
He said that after the war ended and the shortage of sugar was no longer a problem, beekeeping as a hobby began to decline. While the BBC series ‘The Good Life’ had been a major boost with many people once again being encouraged to take up beekeeping, when the series ended the numbers started to drop again.
He said the BBKA had by then dwindled to about 8,000 members, but the problems of colony collapse in America and the growing awareness of beekeepers in dying colonies sparked global interest, and this positive publicity for the beekeeping sparked public interest and “one of the things the public could do was to have bees”.
This means that in the meantime the number of beekeepers has tripled to about 25,000, and there was also a lot more funding available to support this.
He said the new initiative is about the BBKA and the BDI, along with the CB Dennis British Beekeepers’ Research Trust, coming together to make a difference.
He said: ‘It’s not just about beekeepers banding together and saying everything is so terrible and my God the government has to do something about us. It’s also about making a difference.
He conceded that the government was in fact spending inspectors and projects to ensure healthy bee populations at the same level as the funding that was previously available from the EU, but that this initiative was intended to go further.
He added: ‘It’s about increasing the level of funding beyond the level the government is obligated to do.’
Under the project, UK universities and research institutes are invited to submit a research proposal that would improve the understanding of bee health and contribute to the long-term benefit of bees.
In a joint statement from the funders, they added: “Funding a student to undertake PhD research also helps to ensure that we have top researchers in the field of bee health for the ‘coming. The grant will fully fund the research and is worth up to £90,000 [$108,800] over the three years. »
Martin added, “The ability to provide greater resources to support bee disease research through this joint agreement must be a good thing. We hope that significant results will be forthcoming.
Application forms are available on the CB Dennis Trust website. The deadline for submitting applications is October 14, 2022.