Plight of the honeybee

A world-renowned University of Aberdeen researcher will share his insights into the global honeybee crisis, how this impacts on our lives and what we can all do to help curb the decline.

In the latest instalment of the Café Scientifique series, Dr Alan Bowman, Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences at The University of Aberdeen will describe how the crisis facing honeybees is threatening global food security and will suggest easy ways that everyone can help.

Dr Bowman said: “Bees are not just lovable insects buzzing about in our gardens reminding us of idyllic summer days, but are critical to our food production and, hence, the very survival of humans.

“Every third forkful of food we put in our mouths is dependent on insect pollinators and honey bees are the most important.  But, there is a global honeybee crisis right now. 

“About 30% of our bee hives die each year in Europe and the USA – this is simply not sustainable.  Yet the demand for honeybees’ pollination services is ever growing as global diets change – the perfect storm.  

“This talk will cover the likely causes of the honeybee health crisis, including the role of pesticides, parasites and diseases, modern farming practices and climate change.  Then, possible solutions to this crisis will be presented from the national and international research programmes involving the University of Aberdeen and also what the general public can do to help..” 

The event is part of the University of Aberdeen’s popular Cafe Scientifique series which is hosted by the University’s Public Engagement with Research Unit. The Café Scientifique series, invites leading experts to share the latest in scientific research with the public in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. This is set to be an informal and inspiring night aimed at the general public with plenty of time for questions. The event will be held at 7pm in Waterstones on Wednesday 27 April and is free to attend.

Full details of the series and other events in the University’s wider programme can be found at

For those who would like to see honey bees in action, there is an opportunity to observe bees  working inside the hive and try on a beekeeper's suit at the 'Meet the Bees' event  - part of the University's May Festival programme.  Full details of, this and all other May Festival events can be found at