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Supporting Healthy Honey Bees Against Varroa and Viruses: a Scientific Understanding for Practical Solutions

  • Full or part time
    Dr A Bowman
    Dr J Sternberg
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

There is an increasing need for insect pollination for crop production worldwide. At the same time, there is a global crisis in honey bee health resulting in a shortage of managed bee colonies to satisfy the growing needs of food production. The reasons for the decline in honey bee numbers are numerous and differ slightly in different regions of the world, but generally include poor nutrition due to lack of forage, pesticide misuse, parasites, pests and diseases. Of particular note has been the spread of the external parasitic mite Varroa destructor from the Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) to a near global presence on the Western honey bee (A. mellifera) over the past 50 years. More recently, it has been recognized that the high lethality of Varroa infestation in a honey bee colony is not due to Varroa in isolation but due to its interaction with the deformed wing virus (DWV).
The project investigates the underlying reasons for poor honey bee health and what steps can be taken to sustain strong vigour in the bees at different scales (cellular, individual bee and/or colony level) to prevent colony demise and also maintain effective and efficient pollination services to a given crop system. The lab has extensive experience in honey bees, varroa and bee viruses. The student would be trained in apiculture, in vitro studies, biochemical assays, molecular biology and diagnostics, acarology, virology and statistics.

Interested students are encouraged to contact Dr Bowman to discuss their particular interests and develop the project.

Funding Notes

This PhD studentship is only open to sponsored students and those who have their own funding. Supervisors will not be able to respond to requests to source funding.

To submit an application please visit View Website
-State the name of the lead supervisor on your application
-State the name of the project when asked for a studentship title

Please note that we will not proceed with applications that have not stated their funding source.

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