A PhD student from our team, Sarah El Khoury, won the first price of the 2019 Student Merit Award of the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists. The awards committee felt that Sarah was the most deserving candidate for her work to understand the relationships between pesticides and probiotics in bees.
More about Sarah's work:
Sarah studies the impact of clothianidin on the intestinal flora of bees. It is now well documented that functions associated with immune response and behavior are controlled by the intestinal flora in insects.
Given that clothianidin is persistent in the environment, there is an urgent need to develop alternative and sustainable strategies to mitigate its toxic effects on bee health. Her results showed that we must not underestimate low doses of pesticides introduced inside our environment.
Moreover, her results highlighted promising endogenous bacterial probiotic candidates to develop a probiotic formulation mitigating the negative impact of neonicotinoid exposure on bee colonies.