Experts discussed the latest findings from the fascinating world of bees at the first international Czech-Slovak apidology conference BeeConnected 2023, organised by the Departments of Biochemistry and Geoinformatics of the Faculty of Science. The conference was held under the auspices of the Dean Martin Kubala at Fort Science. It focused on honey bees, other bee species, bumblebees, bee products, as well as geoinformatic and bioinformatic analyses related to bees.
“In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, various conferences are held for entomologists, physiologists, molecular biologists, and other experts in specific fields. General apidology, however, has not had its own scientific conference yet, so the idea of organising one was born. We wanted to give space especially to doctoral and other students to present the results of their work in short contributions, share information and ideas, or establish new contacts,” said one of the organizers, Jiří Danihlík from the Department of Biochemistry.
Experts at the conference spoke, for example, about stress physiology of bees, key signalling molecules of the bee immune system, applications of oxalic acid against the Varroa destructor, the effect of humic substances on the growth of bee lactic acid bacteria, and the distribution and prevention of three bumblebee pathogens in the Czech Republic.
The plenary lecture, entitled “From Molecules To Behaviour: Taking An Integrative Approach To Improve Honey Bee Health And Colony Productivity”, was presented by Michael Simone-Finstrom from the USDA in Baton Rouge, who deals with the immune system of honey bees, their antioxidant protection, and related topics in basic and applied apidology research.
“An impressive set of research topics were presented at the conference. It was great to learn about the wide range of projects being addressed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Talking to scientists and beekeepers broadened my perspective on beekeeping problems in Central Europe. I am also taking home new research ideas and I hope that I have also brought new information and context to the conference participants in research on the health and resilience of bee colonies,” added Simone-Finstrom.
The BeeConnected 2023 conference was organised with the help of the project BeeClim: Successful Beekeeping in Times of Climate Change, supported through Norway Grants.