BeeConSel Perspectives


The year is running out and so is the project. Only close to the end one realizes that the great team we built has an expiration date, too. It is true, the bonds we built in those three years are there to last. We are already looking forward to the future perspective of the mechanism that allowed us this productive international collabora on. 

Each partner has its own collection of stories some of which are shared with other partners or the whole consortium. Should we have to point out those that we like the best, we would be in trouble as there is of course more than one such story. Pressed, we would probably tell the story about how we enhanced skills of young beekeepers and queen breeders through workshops and expanded it in the direction of gender equality in a predominantly male trade. 

On the other hand, one of the hot sub-topics we would like to expand on is the somewhat surprising discovery of the existence of feral colonies – a conclusion which we came to as a side result at several loca ons we worked on in BeeConSel. For a long me it was held that feral honey bee colonies are largely gone due to the arrival of invasive and aggressive ectoparasites. Lately, it was shown that feral colonies do exist and are successful in combating this ectoparasites. And, going forward, we want to know why this is happening and how to use this extraordinary gene potential in routine beekeeping. 

Publishing such stories is mandatory for scientists but motivated communication officers on the project team can take a huge burden from our shoulders. Identifying opportunities, suggesting the materials and pushing the informa on is not an easy job, certainly not of the desk type. It also requires knowledge of the subject and there must be some chemistry between the communication officer and the coordinator. We rely on our communication colleagues to inform the public of the importance of our work – and even more crucial – of the importance of our skills to be er convince the funding organisations that i) we have good ideas and ii) that we can realize them with appropriate funding. 

Scientists are so o en caught up into our own minds and are thus limited in our reach. As a natural scientists myself, I am mainly concerned with natural phenomenona related to life. This is a very achievable and satisfying eld. However, reading the Mag (and a ending the events), I was amazed at how many interesting goals there are in the humanities and social sciences, and how much fascinating work is done there. I also probably never thought of incorporating approaches or skills from these two fields into my work. The stories in RC Magazine gave me some ideas how to interweave these very different approaches into new worthwhile stories. 

What to say at the end, now that the project is coming to the end? I am convinced that our work has not been in vain and that we have changed certain perspectives on beekeeping and breeding. We hope that the new Perspective* will be as inclusive as the previous one. 


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