"Competence hub and quality assured knowledge platform for beekeeping and pollination – research-based advice in Sweden" is the full name for this research project.
The project "Development of advice in beekeeping" has been ongoing during the years 2018-2021. The aim of this project was to establish a collaboration platform and develop an action plan for a structured, nationwide, competent and more professional advice in Swedish beekeeping. During the project, there have been requests for an external competence hub, including a quality-assured knowledge platform, which is industry-wide. Such discussions have been held, among other things, within the beekeeping cooperation council.
With the support of the additional project funding awarded in spring 2021, a pilot project was carried out with the aim of establishing and testing a new competence hub. As part of this development work, we will propose new ways of working, especially in the field of advice for beekeeping and pollination. We and other actors believe that a national competence hub and associated knowledge platform enable us to link the national advice in beekeeping and pollination with regional nodes.
The pilot being tested is based on the documentation already available through existing projects (led by different parties) as well as the discussions held within the beekeeping collaboration council for which SLU RådNu is hosted. The regional advice will be carried out in close cooperation with the national bee health advisor employed by the Swedish Board of Agriculture. Basically, it is about finding an effective and coordinated way to support skills development, where the country's combined resources can be utilised and that makes it easier for target groups to find and absorb relevant information of high quality.
We are now leading a new further developed project - "Competence hub and quality assured knowledge platform for beekeeping and pollination – research-based advice in Sweden". The project is expected to run from 2021 to 2024.
The objectives of the current project period are to:
- Further develop the knowledge platform for bee health
- Based on the developed evaluation report, further develop bitillsyn with advice
- Develop the concept of regional bihealth advisors
- Develop communication strategy for bee health
- Beekeeping companies at the centre (business models, business development, knowledge needs, etc.)
- Support strengthening coordination of education efforts
All in all, these efforts result in an opportunity to develop a well-established, thorough and long-term action plan for the future supply of skills and advice in beekeeping and pollination. The long-term goal of the entire initiative is to increase bee health, reduce winter losses, increase profitability and strengthen the sustainability of Swedish beekeeping through professionalized advice.