Project: Nutrition as critical link between Biodiversity and Bee health

Acronym NutriB2 (Reference Number: 330)
Duration 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2022
Project Topic Access to a diverse spectrum of food resources ensures appropriate nutrition and is thus crucial for animal health and fitness. Bees obtain nearly all nutrients from flowers. Their population dynamics are therefore largely determined by the availability, composition and diversity of flowering plants. Alarmingly, many bee populations are in decline in contemporary landscapes, likely due to the loss of floral resource diversity and abundance and to a decrease in the nutritional quality of floral resources. However, the actual link between floral diversity and composition, the nutritional composition of floral resources and bee health is still unclear, particularly in wild bees, which are considered even less resilient to environmental changes than honeybees. In NutriB2, eleven scientists from seven different countries will combine their expertise in taxonomy, nutritional & chemical ecology, physiology, behavior, epidemiology, biostatistics and modeling to, in a synergistic effort, clarify the link between floral biodiversity, nutrition and bee health. We will further reveal critical nutrients and/or ratios and thus key plant species and compositions of plant species that cover the nutritional needs and support health of a large fraction of bee species. This knowledge is crucial for our understanding of how floral composition and diversity structure bee communities through nutritionally mediated health effects. It is also essential for designing and/or identifying and restoring habitats that support wild bee populations. Our results will be shared and processed with different stakeholders (i.e. seed companies, beekeeping and farmers’ organizations, regional to international conservation groups, schools with programs to actively promote bee diversity, other business representatives and policymakers) based on already established contacts and networks. Our aim is to determine feasible ways of a) restoring and/or maintaining semi-natural habitats with nutritionally highly valuable plant species and b) designing and implementing nutritionally balanced floral seed mixes. Nutritionally appropriate and diverse floral communities will not only benefit diverse bee species, but also others animals depending on plants as well as higher trophic levels. NutriB2 will therefore not only shed light on the mechanisms underlying the known positive correlation between floral biodiversity and bee health, but also enable us to design better strategies for conserving or restoring floral diversity for bees and thus mitigate the ongoing wild bee and biodiversity decline.
Website visit project website
Network BiodivERsA3
Call 2018-2019 Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Technical University of Munich Coordinator Germany
2 University of Würzburg Partner Germany
3 University of Freiburg Partner Germany
4 Institut National de Recherche en Sciences et Technologies pour l'Environnement et l'Agriculture Partner France
5 Ghent University Partner Belgium
6 Jagiellonian University Partner Poland
7 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/ Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, University of Paris Sud Observer France
8 Zoological Museum of Kiel University Observer Germany
9 1. Royal Botanic Gardens and 2. University of Greenwich Observer United Kingdom
10 Univ California Riverside Observer United States
11 Private freelance Observer Austria