PP-ICON / Plant-Pollinator Integrated CONservation approach: a demonstrative proposal – LIFE09/NAT/IT000212


The CRA-Honeybee and silkworm Research Unit (CRA-API), formerly “National Institute of Apiculture”, has been working since 1931 to promote and implement initiatives aimed at increasing, optimising and disseminating beekeeping practices and beehive products.


It is active on two main fronts, research and services for apiculture, and its activity covers different fields:

  • protection and genetic improvement of the Italian honeybee
  • optimisation of beehive products
  • health control in beekeeping
  • relationship between bees and environment


The past experience of CRA-API in the field of “bees and environment” are the following:

  • study of biodiversity among pollinating insects (pollinators) in agricultural and protected areas
  • research on the biology of megachilids aimed at defining guidelines for breeding and using them as alternative pollinators
  • development of experimental protocols for environmental monitoring with honeybees in rural, urban and specific environments
  • field application of biomonitoring techniques with bees
  • studies on the toxicity of pesticides for honeybees and other pollinators
  • study of the relationships between bees and genetically modified plants


The laboratory OF CRA-API has been accredited by ACCREDIA and provides the following analytical services:

  • physicochemical and sensory analysis of hive products
  • microbiological analysis of honey
  • palynological analysis
  • residue testing
  • diagnosis of bee diseases
  • biometric analyses on bees
  • genetic analyses


Furthermore CRA-API organises the following courses:

  • bee pathology courses
  • bee expert courses
  • honey sensorial analysis courses
  • queen instrumental insemination courses
  • melissopalinology courses


CRA – Unità di Ricerca di Apicoltura e Bachicoltura (CRA-API)
Via di Saliceto 80,
Bologna (Italy)
Tel. 051-353103
Fax. 051-356361