This will be my last update to BDI as I approach the end of my PhD in the next few months. Since this is my last update, I thought I would summarise the work I have done over the past three years.
The primary focus of my PhD was on the emerging bee disease chronic bee paralysis. During my PhD, one of my most significant achievements was getting a paper published on how historical weather patterns impacted the risk of six honey bee diseases (EFB, AFB, CBP, Varroa, chalkbrood and sacbrood) across England and Wales. Rain, wind and temperature all affected the diseases differently; some increased colonies' risk of the disease while others decreased it. If you are interested in knowing more, the paper is free to access and can be found here.
The practical component of PhD consisted of lab experiments designed to explore the epidemiology of CBP. Despite significant delays from restrictions and shortages due to COVID-19, the work was completed and helped to expand our knowledge of CBP. A good portion of the money BDI provided went towards buying the reagents and consumables needed for the molecular analysis of CBP.
The final component of my PhD was computer-based. First, I have examined the impacts of climate change on honey bees. Second, I also have determined how well different management techniques might slow the spread of CBP once a colony is infected. These analyses remain ongoing, and I hope to publish the results in a digestible format for beekeepers in the next few months.
Lastly, in July, I will be attending the International Congress of Entomology and hopefully running a workshop on analysing insect data. I will also be presenting my work from my PhD at the National Honey Show in October.
I want to take this moment to thank BDI for their support over the past three years. The funding they provided opened several doors that would otherwise have remained closed. My time at Newcastle has been spectacular, surrounded by exceptional people. I have enjoyed my studies very much and look forward to defending my thesis and then setting out into the world of postdoctoral research!