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

Dr. Jens Pistorius

Messeweg 11/12
38104 Braunschweig, Germany

Melanie Lipsky
Tel: +49 (0)3946 47-7201

Kerstin Geißler
Tel.: +49 (0)3946 47-7202

Fax: +49 (0)3946 47-7208
bs@  julius-kuehn.  de

Königin-Luise-Straße 19
14195 Berlin, Germany

Institute booklet


The research on the protection of bees includes two main fields of research: ecotoxicology and agroecology. The institute investigates potential risks for bees and develops relevant measures to protect and promote bees.

The ecotoxicology research is independent and works on cross-product and generic topics. The focus is on potential risks, e.g. posed by systemic pesticides and flower applications of different pesticides. Further main research areas include the development and improvement of assessment and evaluation methodology, in particular with regard to the implementation of internationally accepted guidelines/guidance documents for bee risk assessments.

The focus of the ecotoxicological research is on organism-specific questions derived from the risk assessment and the investigation of supposed bee poisoning incidents, such as:

  • Comparative analyses of the effects of residues of synthetic and biologically active substances in various matrices (e.g. nectar and pollen) and contact exposure on honey bees, bumblebees, and other wild bees
  • Studying combinatory effects of pesticides on bees in combination with other stressors (e.g. pesticides, nutritional resources, diseases)
  • Residues of active substances in nectar, pollen, royal jelly, and in bees poisoned with pesticides, including residue fate
  • Pilot studies and model experiments addressing issues of residue analysis, e.g. stability of selected active substances in pesticides

The agroecology research addresses interactions between bees (honey bees, bumblebees, and other wild bees) and their environment on a population level. The main objectives are the general protection, conservation, and promotion of bees through the creation of suitable habitats in agricultural landscapes, including horticulture, viticulture, and forestry, as well as in urban settings.

The agroecology research focus is on questions concerning the creation and management of bee-friendly habitats and the evaluation of facilitation effects of bee promoting measures, including:

  • Temporal and spatial distribution of resources and requisites for bees in agricultural and urban landscapes
  • Influence of the design as well as temporally- and spatially-dynamic effects of (partial) habitats, including ecotoxicological parameters, on vitality, performance, genetic exchange, and reproduction of bee populations
  • Improvement of bee protection by means of specific measures in agri-, horti- and silvicultural cultivation and adaptive habitat management in urban areas
  • Further development and standardization of methods for qualitative and quantitative assessments of bee populations

For further details about current research projects, please refer to the information provided in “Projects”.