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Beekeeping citizen science

Roslin scientists ran a beekeeping citizen science workshop at Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre.

Whiteboard with bee-related writing on it.

Roslin scientists Dr Mark Barnett and Dr Tim Regan ran a beekeeping citizen science workshop on 1st and 2nd December 2018 at Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre (EBSOC). 

The aim of the project was to engage with a team of Citizen Scientist Beekeepers, some of whom had previously worked on a project mapping three honey bee diseases throughout Scotland in 2013/14 using PCR.

The objectives of the workshop were to train/re-train beekeepers in genomic DNA extraction and PCR, perform research into bee disease, assist a veterinary undergraduate student with a survey of anti-Varroa treatments used in Scotland and their efficacy, and to find out how beekeepers would like science to help honey bee health and research in Scotland.

I have previously worked on a Citizen Science beekeeper project and I particularly enjoy the interaction in the laboratory. I feel that people really start to get to grips with how science works.

Dr Mark BarnettThe Roslin Institute

Feedback from attendees was very positive:

I really enjoyed the weekend. Real science for real beekeepers. I would love to join in again.

An excellent day. Great, confident and enthusiastic mentors.

Participants at the citizen science beekeeping workshop.
Participants at the citizen science beekeeping workshop.

EBSOC is a purpose-built teaching laboratory where visiting groups, either schools or communities, can experience real-life, hands-on science. There will be more beekeeping workshops in the coming months, stay tuned!

Related links

Students get stuck into workshops at Science Outreach Centre

Gene study boosts bid to keep British bees safe from disease

Dr Mark Barnett on the genetics of bees

Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre