Prevention of Honey Bee COlony LOSSes
COLOSS (prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes) is an international, non-profit association dedicated to improving the well-being of honey bees at a global level. The managed honey bees, Apis mellifera and Apis cerana, act as flagship species for invertebrates providing ecosystem service. Honey bee health is tightly interwoven with the health of other wild and managed pollinators, since they share many common stressors. Healthy bee communities are fundamental to our society, because healthy humans require healthy food (fruits, vegetables), which in turn requires healthy pollinators, with managed honey bees playing a key role. We work towards the integration of bee health in the ‘One Health’ concept to ensure global future sustainability, food security and ultimately human health. Indeed, honey bee health is a critical sentinel linking human, animal and environmental health. This is not only due to the key role of bees in the pollination that a majority of our food and wild plants require for reproduction, but also via providing high quality and healthy hive products (bees, bee larvae as food, bee venom, honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and wax), hive-derived products (mead, liqueurs, honey vinegar, goodies, balsamic syrup, jam, cosmetics, etc.) as well as providing opportunities for rural development via beekeeping.
COLOSS builds and expands on global One Health principles, with the main themes of hive health affected by pest and pathogens, environmental stressors (pesticides and aberrant nutrition), and genetic factors (inbreeding, local adaptation). The goals of COLOSS are congruent with larger issues of food security and health at the intersection of humans, animals, and the environment.