PoshBee coordinator Prof. Mark Brown talks about bee health in an episode of the Know Show podcast
PoshBee coordinator Prof. Mark Brown of Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL) participated in an issue of the academic podcast Know Show. The issue, called "How important are bees to society?", offers a rich discussion with Mark on a variety of topics related to PoshBee bee health research, as well as on pollinator policies across Europe. Throughout the episode, he tells the story of PoshBee and the project's place in the overall pollinator protection narrative.
Mark elaborates on the research objectives of PoshBee and emphasises on the importance of studying the effects of agrochemicals - both pesticides and insecticides - on bees, and how some agrochemicals interact with other factors such as bee malnutrition or diseases.
When thinking about bees, it is important to remember that honey bees, whilst being of great economic importance, are merely one of the ecologically important species of bees. Mark outlines that PoshBee aims to find out more about the effects that managing the landscape has not only on honey bees, but also on bumble bees and solitary bees.
The research process in PoshBee involves a number of stages. "We start at the lab where we can control absolutely everything, and we move on to large-scale field and semi-field studies. We are looking at three bee species - honey bees, one particular species of bumble bees, and a species of solitary bees", says Mark.
Besides the insightful bee talk, Mark also shares the story of his personal experience with deciding to become a scientist, and how he chose his career as a researcher. He also tells about the challenges that researchers had during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the implications that the lockdown caused on conducting experiments.
Listen to the full episode of the podcast here.