Assess the health of your bees in your environment !

Bee vulnerability is sadly common knowledge. Currently, on average 30% of colonies die each winter in France and worldwide.

The main causes of this over mortality are therefore of multiple environmental origins: urbanization, intensive agricultural practices, environmental pollution, increase of diseases, presence of new predators, etc.
In order to assess the impact of the environment on bee health, APILAB has developed two innovative tools:

- an assessment of the environmental stress on the bees by using biomarker analysis

- a daily activity monitoring of the colonies by digitalized bee counting

Environmental stress assessment - Biomarker analysis

When facing adverse environmental conditions, biological organisms (animals, plants and humans of course) undergo imperceptible alterations, at the molecular, cellular and physiological level. If the exposure is prolonged, these can ultimately have a greater or lesser impact on their overall health.
These modifications can be measured with biological markers, or "biomarkers".
In case of environmental pollution for instance, biomarker analysis can detect and quantify the damage generated by oxidative stress to proteins in the honey bees.

Studying the level of protein oxidation in bees can therefore provide a reliable and sensitive account of the impact of your environment on biological organisms, even before the appearance of any visible symptoms. The implementation protocol follows the same scheme as the APIDIAG® method presented for the environmental pollution study.
This service is carried out in partnership with the OxiProteomics laboratory, which comes from the Paris Seine Biological Institute and which uses OxiDIGE technology.

Why study biomarkers ?

If an environmental stress is detected, analyses of additional pollutants can be proposed to identify or rule out a potential cause (cf. APIDIAG® method - Environmental pollution study).

Daily activity monitoring of the colonies - APIALERTE® bee counter (project in progress)

Bee colony collapse is a major problem, not only for the beekeeping industry, but also from an ecological and economic perspective because of their key role in the pollination of flowering plants.

Therefore, APILAB actively seeks to improve our understanding of the causes underlyning bee mortality and to find solutions to reduce this phenomenon. A new project has thus been launched with the : INRAE from Avignon and BEEGUARD to develop a bee counter, called APIALERTE®.
This device continuously measures hive activity and informs the user in the event
of excess bee mortality or abnormal activity in the colony. For this, the hive is equipped with a bee entry / exit counter, a weight sensor and a weather station. Counting the bees’ coming in and out of the hive each day makes it possible to assess the vitality of the colony and to calculate, by subtraction, the daily bee mortality. When this data does not correspond to average seasonal meteorological data measured, the system automatically generates an alert.

Thanks to this real-time information, investigations can be quickly launched in the field to determine the causes of the anomalies, such as in-depth : health examination of the colonies, a floral inventory of the colony surroundings, a search for potential predators, or even the determination of possible pollutants affecting the colonies. (cf. APIDIAG® method - Environmental pollution study).
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