Since 2009, in the USA and the EU, government institutions have spent more than EUR 50 million on research into bee decline. These financial resources were intended to find an answer to the question as to what has caused considerably increased bee decline in the space of just a few years.
The research has undoubtedly yielded a wealth of information. In December 2012, a 300 page book entitled Honey Bee Colony Health: with subtitle ‘Challenges and Sustainable Solutions’ was published. This publication can be considered as an overview of all research into bees conducted in the past 30 years. Almost 70 people working on bee research in many countries have made a contribution. The can be regarded as the state of the art in 2012, but it does not contain a single solution.
An important question is why has this research into bee decline not produced anything usable in practice. We can formulate the following answers:
- People have lost track of the primary purpose because they have pursued many side trails and have been overwhelmed by excessive detailing.
- People asked the wrong questions and worked on the wrong issues; research was based on a disease model, not a health model.
- Much ‘me too’ research, following fashionable scientific trends including marketing scientific ideas and institutions.
- The research lacks practical application, blame is passed on to the bee keepers, general lack of common sense.
- Ignoring, denying or no knowledge of developments in other scientific disciplines.
- Funds were spent on general scientific issues, where the honeybee was used simply as a model.