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BeeCSI: ‘omic tools for assessing bee health

Status: 
Active
Competition: 
2018 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition: Genomics Solutions for Agriculture, Agri-food, Fisheries and Aquaculture
Sector: 
Agriculture and Agri Food
Genome Centre(s):
Ontario Genomics, Genome British Columbia
Project Leader(s):
Amro Zayed (York University), Leonard Foster (University of British Columbia)
Project Description: 

Honey bees are crucial to Canada’s agriculture and contribute up to $5.5 billion a year to our economy by pollinating valuable Canadian crops. However, the health of honey bees has been declining over the past decade, with Canadian beekeepers losing more than a quarter of their colonies each winter since 2006-07. The causes of bee declines are complex, variable over space and time, and often difficult to identify. This project aims to use genomic tools to develop BeeCSI – a new health assessment and diagnosis platform powered by stressor-specific markers. Working with beekeepers, industry technology-transfer teams, and diagnostic labs, in consultation with federal and provincial regulatory entities to ensure that the tools are implemented and accessible to the beekeeping industry by the end of the project.