In December, I have joined one of the sessions at the Regional Funds Week 2021 (Inclusive solutions to common challenges, Fund for Regional Cooperation roundtable). Though topic-wise far from my expertise or expertise of my colleagues within the BeeConSel consortium, I was deeply impressed by the diversity of thematic covered by the Fund mechanism. The keywords that stayed recorded in my brain were cooperation, displacement, and diversity. The latter two have perhaps different meanings (or let’s say dimension) in biology, but word cooperation doesn’t.
The year 2021 was first serious test for our project. The project itself focus on bees and is thus heavily dependent on weather conditions and on personal contacts between beekeepers and experts. Faced with the changing and unpredictable epidemic situation we realized that we might be in trouble – the planned transfer of knowledge by the donor country partner, the Norwegian Beekeepers’ Association (NBA), was seriously endangered. Yet the praise goes to our colleague Bjørn Dahle of NBA who worked diligently to transfer the planned events to another country and the mode of communication to hybrid and thus made sure that we were ready for the season. The cooperation runs smoothly also between other partners in the consortium allowing us to do what we planned: addressing the needs to upkeep diversity of honey bee populations and prevent their displacement by imported or commercial breeds.
The winter is analysis season: we are checking our results, talking to our target groups, and evaluating the progress. At the same time, our teams are getting ready for a new season which will start in about three months.
Dr Janez Prešern