World Bee day: a global challenge requiring global networking

May 20, 2021 10:49 am

As the 2021 World Bee Day theme flies under the slogan “Bee engaged: Build Back Better for Bees”, the attention is brought all over the world on the threats that human activities can have on pollinators like bees, and on the importance of bee-keeping awareness. But identifying these threats  requires assembling knowledges and expertise from various areas. The research network COLOSS, initially built as a COST Action, has been and still is instrumental in advancing research on honeybee colony loss.

In short: bees are vital for the preservation of ecological balance and biodiversity in nature! They provide one of the most recognisable ecosystem services, i.e. pollination, which is what makes food production possible.[1] But bees are in danger and are dying at a rate never seen before due to a threat called Colony Collapse Disorder (CDD). In many places over the world, beekeepers are being regularly confronted with severe inexplicable and sudden colony losses and with colonies exhibiting diverse symptoms. Addressing this issue requires global efforts to efficiently implement mitigation measures and set internationally accepted standards for both monitoring and research on bee health. The first international research network on this topic was established in 2008  through COST and was the COST Action COLOSS.

The network has indeed adopted this integrated approach to mitigate the detrimental impact of honeybee colony losses for beekeepers, agriculture, and natural biodiversity. It brought together leading scientists, beekeepers and industry from COST countries and some non-COST countries, to collaborate with complementary approaches, thereby providing the crucial R&D link for the success of this Action.

2021 Video by COLOSS network

Since its establishment in 2008, COLOSS network kept growing and remains active in 2021, continuing to work towards establishing a set of standards for scientific methods in bee research: the ‘Bee Book’.

“The priceless experience gained during our COST Action was essential for the incredible success of our global and sustainable COLOSS Association. Global challenges such as bee health require in general global solutions, which can only be achieved via international networking.” Former Cost Action COLOSS Chair, Prof Peter NEUMANN

[1] The importance of bees – Celebrate (World) Bee Day (

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