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Bees, Apiculture and Pollination

The course "Bees, beekeeping and pollination" examines the most important insect pollinators and gives an insight into their taxonomy, biology and ecological role. Practical work and excursions with focus on bumble bees, solitary bees and honey bees give both an understanding of the variations in biology and knowledge of specific pollinator species and how human activities may improve or impair survival of pollinating insects. Emphasis is put on the domesticated honey bee because of their importance both as honey producers and as pollinators of cultivated crops. Beekeeping is described in some detail with practical demonstrations of management, queen rearing and honey extraction.

Additional course evaluations for BI1320

Academic year 2020/2021

Bees, Apiculture and Pollination (BI1320-40135) 2021-05-03 - 2021-06-06

Academic year 2020/2021

Bees, Apiculture and Pollination (BI1320-M4135) 2021-05-03 - 2021-06-06

Academic year 2019/2020

Bees, Apiculture and Pollination (BI1320-40049) 2020-05-01 - 2020-06-07

Academic year 2018/2019

Bees, Apiculture and Pollination (BI1320-40063) 2019-05-03 - 2019-06-09

BI1320 Bees, Apiculture and Pollination, 7.5 Credits

Bin, biodling och pollinering

Syllabus approved




Education cycle

Bachelor’s level

Advanced study in the main field

First cycle, less than 60 credits from first-cycle courses as entry requirements(G1F)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Knowledge corresponding to Biologi, 30 credits.


The course aims to provide basic knowledge about solitary bees and bumble bees taxonomy, biology and ecological role and basic knowledge of honeybees and beekeeping.

After completing the course the student is expected to
- master the use of keys for species determination of insects
- be able to determine solitary bees to family and common bumble bees to species
- understand the importance of insect mediated pollination
- be able to describe the ecological importance of social insects and the organisation of honey bee colonies
- be able to describe the genetic relationship between individuals in honey bee colonies and the sex determination system
- be able to perform common measures related to beekeeping practices


The course contains lectures, excursions, project work and exercises in practical beekeeping.

The course deals with the evolution, biology and the ecological significance of pollinating Hymenopterans. Regarding solitary bees, the focus is on species determination and biology, regarding honey bees, the focus is on biology, economic significance and practical beekeeping. Discussions on pollination biology provide a link between solitary and social bees.

Topics that are covered during the course are:
- Evolutionary history, biology and taxonomy of pollinating Hymenoptera
- Evolution of sociality and the superorganism concept
- Pollination biology
- The organisation of honey bee colonies including sex determination and reproduction
- Threats to pollinating insects
- Diseases and parasites of honey bees
- The importance of beekeeping and beekeeping practices

Compulsary parts include excursions, exercises and project work.

Formats and requirements for examination

Passed written exam, approved reports of exercises and projects and participation in compulsory parts.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Responsible department

Department of Ecology

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)
Biology field: Entomologi
Replaces: BI1203
There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 19027 SEK Cycle: Bachelor’s level
Subject: Biology
Course code: BI1320 Application code: SLU-40149 Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Ecology Pace: 100%