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Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI)
Federal Research Centre
for Cultivated Plants

Head
Dr. Jens Pistorius

Address
Messeweg 11/12
38104 Braunschweig, Germany

Office
Kerstin Geißler
Tel: +49(0)531 299-4201
Fax: +49(0)531 299-3028
bs@  julius-kuehn.  de

Address
Königin-Luise-Straße 19
14195 Berlin, Germany

On April 1st, 2016 the Institute for Bee Protection in the Julius Kühn Institute was officially founded. With the foundation of this institute, the former works of the JKI related to bee protection are expanded further and thematically extended. The core work of the Institute comprises risk assessment of pesticides to bees, investigation of bee poisoning incidents and research activities related to bee protection. Honey bees and wild bees are essential pollinators for both wild plants as well as crops. Protection of honey bees therefore is of utmost relevance to society and mankind.

It is essential to protect bees, their vitality and the important ecosystem service pollination. The Institute performs research, assesses and evaluates how and to which extent pesticides and other factors harm bees and how such risks can be mitigated. In addition, further aspects will come in focus; which factors contribute to well being and resilience of honey bees and wild bees? Which structural measures that mankind can do result in improved living conditions in conventional and organic cropping systems, but also in urban areas and cities?

The Institute develops and optimizes biological, technical, bio-molecular and chemical-analytical methods. Thereby risks and hazard of pesticides and biocides for honey bees and wild bees can be better detected and be better assessed. The Institute investigates and verifies the suitability, applicability and acceptability, but also the practical relevance of tests and models that investigate single or combined positive or negative factors in the environment that have impact colony development and the productive efficiency of bees on the landscape level. The results obtained from experimental works serve to investigate the contribution of different factors that may result in or cause bee damages or bee incidents.

The methods used for investigation and assessment of risks and hazard on the risk need a constant refinement, improvement and further development, while new methods are published. The regulations in the area of plant protection and bee protection have been used for years to decades and are harmonized within the EU. The Institute contributes to the work on the harmonization of assessment methods and criteria for bee protection in the EU but also contributes to the creation and establishment of internationally harmonized new test methods.

With this expertise the Institute advises the Federal German government, national and international authorities and gremia. Within the Institute there is a close collaboration within many different topics. Next to the close cooperation with other JKI-institutes, the Institute closely interacts with national and international research organizations and authorities and engages in relevant committees, such as the working group of German bee institutes (AG Bieneninstitute), beekeeping advisors (Bienenzuchtberater), the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA); consortia for the advancements of test methods (ICPPR) and the embodiment of guidelines (e.g. EPPO, OECD).