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Bee Health in Europe – Poland
February 19, 2013
The “Bee Health in Europe” conference, the second event out of the series of eight organised by OPERA Research Centre took place in Warsaw on 19th February 2013. The partner of the event in Poland was the Apiculture Division of University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, a leading science unit regarding apiculture. The key scientists specialising in apiculture and bee health took part in the conference. The event was hosted by TV journalist, Malgorzata Mocheta-Pastuszko, TVP1, Agrobiznes show.
The event has been opened by Alexandru Marchis, who presented the area of the activities of OPERA Research Centre. The initiative concerning bee health aims to draw attention to the ecosystem and the role of pollination in agriculture.
Konstantinos Kasiotis, Benaki Phytopathological Institute in Athens, presented the results of the OPERA report. He described the threats to bee health and the links between them and presented the data regarding the decrease of bee populations in EU countries and in the USA and the “ranking” of the threats to bee health. He drew particular attention to the need for good practice in the use of sprays from the farmers and to the use of proper equipment.
Jerzy Wilde from the Apiculture Division of University of Warmia and Mazury dedicated his speech to the prevention of the losses in bee colonies in the context of COLOSS project run by his Institute. Professor Wilde presented three schemes of actions against parasite with the usage of Biowar, Bayvarol and Apivarol describing the effectiveness of each method on a sample of bees. He recognised Bayvarol as the most effective factor with 95 per cent of efficiency. Summarizing, he pointed out key methods to fight the losses in bee colonies: the use of good practice in beekeeping, accurate and timely preparation of colonies for winter time, proper hygiene of the nests and effective work against Varroa.
Michał Okrasa from the Veterinary Main Inspectorate presented the activities undertaken by VMI in regards to bee health in Poland. He pointed out that the most frequently reported disease in Poland is Varroa. He informed about the rules of monitoring of chemical substances in honey and the results of the research done in 2010 and 2011. Paweł Chorbiński, Wrocław University of Life Science, presented the results of his research on nosema found in slaskie voivodeship. He informed how many bees died due to Varroa during the season 2007-2008 and proved that a year later more bees died due to nosema.
Grażyna Topolska, Warsaw University of Life Science, presented the results of the research based on the COLOSS questionnaire monitoring of the winter losses in bee colonies during the period 2006-2013. Mrs Topolewska showed the range of the winter losses tear by year based on the data from the beekeepers in particular voivodeships. Moreover, she pointed out that if Varroa is treated only during one period of the year (July-August), the disease has a more negative impact than when treated during the longer period of time (multi-seasonal).
Krystyna Pohorecka, National Veterinary Research Institute in Pulawy, devoted her speech to the research held by her Institute on the increased mortality in bees colonies. She pointed out that despite the fact that since 2006 the bee population grew by approx. 300,000 bee colonies, the average losses in the colonies during the period 2010-2012 amounted to 15 per cent (from 10 to 15 per cent each year). In the apiaries with the highest level of losses, the key reason of losses was Varroa Destructor, acute bee paralysis virus and the deformed wing virus (DWV). Dr Pohorecka highlighted that over 60 per cent of the apiaries in Poland is infected with nosema.
Summary of the roundtable
The roundtable has been organised after the individual speeches. Participants: all the speakers mentioned earlier and Jerzy Kasztelewicz, President of the Association of Professional Beekeepers, Tadeusz Sabat, President of the Polish Apiculture Association, Tadeusz Solarski, Vice-President of the Polish Crop Producers Association, and Piotr Skubida who represented the Research Institute of Horticulture in Puławy.
After the roundtable, an open discussion started, in which panellists answered questions from the audience. Questions referred mainly to the results of the researches and various aspects presented during the speeches.
The apiculture associations representatives pointed out that there is a need to organise such conferences on a regular basis, at least once a year.