Get involved

Honey bees are extremely valuable insects. They have been called 'the gateway to biology' and are key subjects of study for a range of issues from agriculture to genetics.

Apart from making honey they also pollinate many of the foods we eat, contributing about £200 million a year to UK agriculture ('DEFRA: The Health of Livestock and Honey bees in England', National Audit Office, 4 March 2009, p5). But they are threatened by a wide variety of problems and in recent years numbers of British honey bees have been declining fast.

Researchers at LASI are investigating these problems in order to help British honey bees flourish. Professor Ratnieks and his team are currently working on two research projects in the Sussex Plan designed to offer much-needed solutions to what is killing British bee hives.

Funding for the Sussex Plan

LASI research is centred on the ‘Sussex Plan for Honey Bee Health and Well-Being’ which investigates practical questions that address the challenges currently facing honey bees, such as parasites and diseases, and lack of forage. Whilst many scientists around the world are studying these issues, most of the research is more focused on quantifying the problems. By contrast, LASI research directly addresses solutions, such as how to control varroa mites and deformed wing virus, and how to improve the forage (flowers) available for bees. This approach makes LASI’s research uniquely applied, providing an opportunity to make a real difference to bees and beekeepers worldwide.

If you have any queries or would like any more information about supporting the Sussex Plan, please contact the Development and Alumni Relations Office on 01273 872657.

Please support the Sussex Plan - your gift is vital to save the honey bee.