INSIGNIA-EU Preparatory Action for monitoring of environmental polution using honey bees
The CIMO/IPB researchers M. Alice Pinto, Joana Amaral, José Rufino Amaro, Andreia Quaresma, and Dora Henriques are part of the project consortium INSIGNIA-EU, funded by the European Union under the grant N° 09.200200/2021/864096/SER/ ENV.D.2. This is an exciting international collaborative project led by scientists from 11 organisations in 10 countries, which aims to design and test an innovative, non-invasive, scientifically proven citizen science environmental monitoring protocol using honey bee colonies for the detection of pesticides, microplastics, heavy metals, and air pollutants.
The role of CIMO in INSIGNIA-EU is related with identification of the botanical origin of honey bee-collected pollen by a molecular approach called ITS2 metabarcoding. In 2023, over 315 beekeepers from across the 27 EU member states will act as citizen scientists by collecting environmental samples, twice a month between April and September, using their colonies as the sampling tool. The samples will be analysed in the laboratories of CIMO, University of Almeria, Spain, Pesticides Control and Phytopharmacy Kifisia, Greece, and Stichting Wageningen Research, Netherlands.
Read more about the project here: https://www.insignia-bee.eu/