Diagnostics Department

Bee Health

We will develop diagnostic tools for simultaneous detection of pathogens and key bee health indicators. The novelty of this approach is that also the effects of the interactions between pathogens and pesticides on bee health can be detected, with a single tool..


The pathogens screened include all major bee viruses, and microsporidian parasites Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae.


The effect of exposure to two major pesticides - thiacloprid and t-fluvalinate - will be diagnosed through molecular bee health indicators. Thiacloprid is an insecticide of the neonicotinoid group with low acute bee toxicity. t-fluvalinate is an insecticide from the pyrethroid family. These represent the two most common pesticide groups with different mode of action in the target organisms. Both are widely applied to field crops intensively used by honey bees. T-fluvalinate is also used by beekeepers to control Varroa destructor-mites in the bee hive..

Research grade:

Development of a DNA chip for rapid screening of gene expression related to honeybee detoxification, nutritional and immune status and to a broad range of pathogens. The chip will include a selected suite of genes from the genomic analyses (WP3) and the mapping studies (WP4)..

Extension grade:

Development of suitable molecular DNA based techniques to detect the most important pathogens and molecular bee health indicators to be used for monitoring bee populations (WP6)..

Field grade

Development of a lateral flow device for detecting the most important honey bee viruses, to be used by beekeepers as exists already for bacterial diseases.