A big ‘Thank You’ to Dr Jennifer Shelton (molecular ecologist at the UK Centre of Ecology and Hydrology), who gave Fife Beekeepers Association an excellent Zoom lecture in January 2024 on how the National Honey Monitoring Scheme operates. Dr Sheltons interests in citizen science, pollinator diversity and beekeeping have culminated perfectly in running the scheme.
The National Honey Monitoring Scheme (NHMS) was set up to monitor the health of the UK countryside, by working with beekeepers to determine the forage patterns of honey bees and to measure their exposure to agricultural pesticides whilst foraging. In the lecture Dr Shelton took us behind-the-scenes at the NHMS – from sample collection, through laboratory processing, to DNA sequencing – to help us understand how honey is used to find out what plant species honeybees have been visiting. She presented results from pollen analysis of 2019 honey samples, and give an overview of Dr Ben Woodcock’s research on pesticide residues in honey.
For those who were unable to attend, the lecture can be found on YouTube using the link below…very well worth watching.
It is also worth considering providing the NHMS with a sample of your own honey, to ensure Scottish honey is represented in the samples being studied. More information about the scheme can be found by following the link below.