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Latest news on BEEHAVE and the BEEHAVE suite of models

BEEHAVERS Profile- Dr Fabrice Requier Post-doc in Argentina

Dr Fabrice Requier

Dr Fabrice Requier

Fabrice studies the many stressors that bees face in human-dominated landscapes. These include pesticide exposures, lack of flower resources, parasites, pathogens and climate changes. He is particularly interested in the adaptive responses of bees to those stressors. Currently focusing on honeybees, he uses BEEHAVE to predict colony traits such as colony survival rate and honey harvests in a variety of environmental conditions. Through this work his aim is to understand how different stressors act in combination and together to lead to colony failure.

 

Fabrice is involved in many projects that cover the practical applications of BEEHAVE to the technical calibration of BEEHAVE, right through from hive management to landscape management;

 

Calibrate BEEHAVE with empirical data.

What: Fabrice worked for two-years as Postdoctoral researcher in France. Here he developed a method to calibrate the BEEHAVE model. He compared model predictions and empirical observations (the ECOBEE monitoring in central-western France) and utilised these data on landscape, weather and beekeeping practices to apply the predictions of BEEHAVE.

Where: Pollination and Bee Ecology lab (INRA, of Avignon, France) in collaboration with the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) at University of Exeter.

 

Simulate multiple stressors in BEEHAVE.

What: He also simulated multiple stresses with BEEHAVE in order to identify the combination “at risk” that lead to colony failure. In BEEHAVE, he implement, all the stresses that occur in the bee colony environment (using the example of the ECOBEE monitoring in France), and assessed which combination of stressors threaten the colonies and at which thresholds. A particular application was intended for the risk assessment of a new predator of bees in France, the yellow-legged hornet Vespa velutina.

Where: Pollination and Bee Ecology lab (INRA of Avignon, France) in collaboration with the ESI at the University of Exeter.

ECOBEE project in practice

ECOBEE project in practice

Conduct landscape-scale simulations of BEEHAVE.

What: Currently in his new Postdoctoral position in he is managing a volunteer-based survey of honeybee colonies, to enable large-scale recording of bee colony traits, environmental conditions and the occurrence of parasites and pathogens to provide large-scale predictions. Starting this approach in Argentina, he is particularly interested in the national climate gradient to assess the climate dependency of combined stresses effects on bee colony failure.

Where: Argentina at IRNAD-UNRN (2016-2018), the “Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Naturales, Agroecología y Desarrollo Rural” and the “Universidad Nacional de Río Negro” (UNRN)

 

Use BEEHAVE to predict crop pollination service.

What: Fabrice is also developing a new BEEHAVE application assessing the number of bee colonies to place in crop to insure pollination service.

Where: Argentina at IRNAD-UNRN, in collaboration with INRA (France).

 

Running BEEHAVE with R.

What: To facilitate the used of BEEHAVE, he is working on a R-package “Beehave” to run BEEHAVE (created with NetLogo) with R, i.e. the more common statistical free open-source software. This R-package “Beehave” will aim to simulate a large number of BEEHAVE simulations, with different functions enable to calibrate the model (input of virtual or real landscape maps, weathers, and beekeeping practices) and to simulate multiple stresses.

Dr. Fabrice Requier is an ecologist and works currently in a postdoctoral  position in Argentina at IRNAD and UNRN. Using both experimental data and BEEHAVE, his research focuses on the effects of global environmental change on bees. Fabrice has a PhD in Ecology from the Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé – and INRA Le Magneraud (France) and an MSc in Biodiversity, Ecotoxicology and Ecosystems and a BSc in Biology from the University of Metz (France).

 

Bees with RFID tags

Bees with RFID tags

The Bee group Exhibit BEEHAVE at the ESI showcase

By Tim Penny

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In the last week of May 2016, the BEEHAVE group had a great opportunity to display our models during the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) showcase. This was a two-day review of representative projects conducted by ESI staff encompassing the range of high impact and locally relevant research engaging Cornish stakeholders. The event was both an important evaluation of ESI and a chance for everyone working at the institute to learn more about the projects of other research groups.

Juliet, Matthias, and Grace presented the models to the independent external reviewer, Professor Dame Georgina Mace of University College London, with a live demonstration of BEEHAVE and BEESCOUT and an impact video containing messages from the various stakeholders .

Additionally, a room was set aside for the group to demonstrate BEEHAVE, BEESCOUT, and BEEMAPP to other researchers in ESI. The models were displayed on large screens with the whole group on hand to run BEEHAVE through different scenarios of Varroa infestation (a disease carrying mite) and beekeeping interventions and to discuss the project and its applications to science and agriculture.

The showcase was a huge success and very enjoyable. The models are perfect for these occasions; they are easy to use and understand, as anyone can run their own scenarios through the options on the interface tab. Everybody had a lot of fun and asked some very interesting questions. It was an excellent opportunity for everyone to mingle and discuss their research with each other and for us to introduce the models to so many new people.

 

Photo of ESI Showcase © Matt Jessop

Tim Penny is a Research Assistant on the BBSRC funded project “An integrated model for Predicting bumblebee population success and pollination services in agro-Ecosystems”. He has an MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation from Imperial College London and a BSc in Animal Behaviour from the University of Sheffield.

 Header photo © Pete Kenedy