The University of Montpellier and 17 other European partners join forces to restore harmony and balance to bees (Better-B) 

The key to resilient beekeeping lies in harnessing the power of nature to restore harmony and balance within the bee colony and between the colony and its environment. This is what the University of Montpellier and its partners are doing with the Better-B project.

Official launch meeting on July 3 and 4, 2023 in Ghent (Belgium)

Honeybee colonies are often poorly adapted to cope with external aggressors, such as climate change, pesticides and parasitic attacks, amplified by modern beekeeping practices. The key to resilient beekeeping is to harness the power of nature, restoring harmony and balance, both within the honeybee colony and between the colony and its environment. The Better-B consortium believes that the path to harmony and balance is paved by Darwinian colonies: abandoned or wild colonies that have survived in the wild or have been selected on the basis of suitability criteria. However, these colonies generally lack the favorable characteristics that are important in modern beekeeping. Our solution is to understand the selection processes and mechanisms that apply in nature, and to adapt modern beekeeping practices accordingly, using the advantages of advanced technologies where appropriate. This is what Better-B is all about. Our new approach to beekeeping management will be implemented in close collaboration with the beekeepers concerned. Restoring harmony and balance must take place on three levels: the environment, the honeybee and beekeeping practices.

Our consortium of 18 partners from 14 countries, coordinated by Ghent University professor Dirk de Graaf, has been awarded €6.3 million by the European Union, the UK and Switzerland to improve the resilience of beekeeping to abiotic stresses such as climate change, habitat loss and hazardous chemicals.

The Better-B project has received funding from the European Union, the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the UK Government's Horizon Europe funding guarantee (grant number 10068544).

Practical information:

  • LinkedIn: here
  • Find out more about projects and partners: here
  • The Better-B media kit contains ready-to-use elements for print and digital use as part of the project's media coverage.