The overall aim of this 4-year Better-B project is to improve the resilience of beekeeping to abiotic stresses such as climate change, habitat loss and hazardous chemicals. Honey bee colonies are often poorly adapted to cope with these stresses, in no small part due to modern beekeeping practices.
The key to resilient beekeeping is to harness the power of nature to restore harmony and balance inside the honey bee colony and between the colony and the environment, both of which have been disturbed by human activities.
We believe that the path to harmony and balance is shown by Darwinian colonies: abandoned colonies and feral colonies that have survived in the wild. However, such colonies usually lack many favorable characteristics that are important in modern beekeeping. The solution here is to understand the processes and mechanisms that apply in nature and to adapt modern beekeeping practices and decision making accordingly, and when appropriate using the benefits of advanced technologies.
This is what Better-B stands for. The implementation of this new approach in apicultural management will be done in close collaboration with the actors involved. The restoration of harmony and balance must take place on three levels: the environment, the honey bee and beekeeping practices.