Influence of stacked transgenic Bt corn on honeybees

BMBF - 0315215E

From 06/2008 to 06/2011

Principal Investigator: Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter
Staff: Stephan Härtel

The honeybee, Apis mellifera is one of the most valuable pollinators for wild and crop plants in the world. In our project we will test the influence of stacked transgenic Bt corn (Zea mays) on honeybees. The following topics will be investigated in detail:
1) The effect of Bt pollen on the development of honeybee larvae, adults, the colony development as well as the ability of the colony to survive the winter
2) Combined effects of Bt toxins and bee pathogens on honeybees
3) Indirect effects of Bt toxins on parasites of honeybees
4) The utilisation of corn pollen by honeybees in differentially structured landscapes
As methods, we will use feeding experiments with Cry proteins and Bt pollen in the laboratory. Furthermore, we will evaluate the influence of stacked Bt pollen on standardised test colonies in the field using tunnel tents. Lastly, a GIS supported analysis of corn pollen utilization of honeybee colonies is planned.

Further information under these links:

Project description

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