A researcher looking at the diseases affecting bumblebees has been made a finalist in NERC's Impact Awards.
PhD research by Dr Peter Graystock at the University of Leeds, now based at the University of Bristol, in partnership with The Bumblebee Conservation Trust found that commercially-reared bumblebees were infected with a number of different parasites upon arrival in the UK. These parasites can be passed on to native populations of bumblebee and even other bee species. In response to Graystock’s findings, Natural England has tightened its regulations and now requires breeders and suppliers to carry out improved screening procedures, covering a greater number of parasites, before bumblebees can be imported into the UK. They are currently consulting on a proposed ban on imports of all non-native species. Meanwhile, Norway has banned bumblebee imports outright, until suppliers can prove their bees are no longer infected.
The awards intend to recognise and reward the contribution of NERC science to the UK’s economy, society, wellbeing and international reputation. The winners will be announced at a prize-giving ceremony in London on 27 January 2015. The applications show the excellence of UK science and its impact, as well as demonstrating the breadth of the contribution environmental science – and scientists – make to the UK’s prosperity
Well done to Peter!