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Department Head: 

Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein
phone:+49 (0)761 203-67770



Mrs. Ilona Winkler
phone:+49 (0)761 203-3635
fax:+49 (0)761 203-3638


Chair of Nature Conservation
& Landscape Ecology
University of Freiburg
Tennenbacher Str. 4
D-79106 Freiburg




PoshBee - Effects of chemicals and their interactions on bees


Pan-European assessment, monitoring,
and mitigation of stressors on the health of bees
WP 7 lead: Effects of chemicals and their interactions with other
stressors on bees tested in semi-field and field experiments


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Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein

Dr. Giovanni Tamburini (2019)

Dr. Dimitry Wintermantel (2020-2023)

Dr. Maria-Helena Pereira-Peixoto (2019/2020)

Dr. Julia Ostermann (2021)

Dipl. Biol. Anna-Maria Bleile (2022/2023)

Dr. Alison O’Reilly (2023)



Duration: 2018 -  2023

Funding: EU




Bees – honey bees, bumble bees, and solitary bees – pollinate our crops and wildflowers, and thus are essential for human well-being. However, in Europe, and around the globe, bees face many threats and are often in decline as a result. One potential driver of reduced bee health is agrochemicals. While laboratory and semi-field studies suggest that such chemicals negatively impact bee health, their importance and relevance in the real world remains unclear. PoshBee is a consortium of academics, governmental organisations, industry, and NGOs that will address the issue of agrochemicals to ensure the sustainable health of bees and their pollination services in Europe. Integrating the knowledge and experience of local beekeeping and farming organisations and academic researchers (including the EU RefLab for bee health), we will provide the first comprehensive pan-European assessment of the exposure hazard of chemicals, their mixtures, and co-occurrence with pathogens and nutritional stress for solitary, bumble, and honey bees across two major cropping systems. Integrated studies across the lab-to-field axis will determine the effect of chemicals, their mixtures, and interactions with pathogens and nutrition on bee health.




We will combine the skills of commercial bumble bee and solitary bee producers, ecotoxicological industry, and academics to develop new model species and innovative protocols for testing chemicals in bees. With MUSTB, we will integrate this information to develop dynamic landscape environmental risk assessment models for bees. Using proteomics, we will produce new molecular markers for assessing bee health and enabling long-term monitoring schemes. Finally, combining across our partners and stakeholder board, we will deliver practice- and policy-relevant research outputs to local, national, European, and global stakeholders. Together, our work will support healthy bee populations, sustainable beekeeping, and sustainable pollination across Europe. 

Video on the media portal of the Freiburg University of Freiburg on 16.09. 2019

Prof. Alexandra-Maria Klein "Effects of pesticides on insects"

"Annual Meeting of PoshBee's full project assembly, Marseille, France", 14.01. - 16.01. 2020

Press release PoshBee, 16.01.2020

EU-funded Horizon 2020 project PoshBee gathers in Marseille to discuss all things bee health

13.01.2021 Video: PoshBee field and semi-field experiments: University of Freiburg

 "Annual Meeting of PoshBee's full project assembly, online", 11.01. - 13.01. 2022

Press release: University of Freiburg, 20.04.2022

Dr. Dimitry Wintermantel & Prof. Alexandra Maria Klein

Results from the PoshBee project:

Effects of a common fungicide differ depending on the plant to which it is applied.

PoshBeeStakeholderSummary - Nutrition_Azoxystrobin_Bumblebee_final.jpg




Joint meeting

International Conference on Ecological Sciences

21-25 Nov 2022 Metz (France)

"Ecology and Evolution: New perspectives and societal challenges"

Dr. Dimitry Wintermantel

Poster presentation

"No impacts of azoxystrobin-based fungicide on bumblebee colonies in dose-response experiment mimicking fungicide decline"
Poster - Wintermantel et al. - Inconsistent impacts of azoxystrobin - Final1.jpg





PoshBee's legacy Brochure:

A summary of the EU project
on the effects
of pesticides, pathogens & nutrition
on bee health.


The final PoshBee policy brief is here exploring the impacts of multiple stressors on managed bees

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  • Babin, A., Schurr, F., Delannoy, S., […] Wintermantel, D., […] Klein, A.M., […] Pereira-Peixoto, H.M., […] Tamburini, G. et al. & Dubois, E. (2024): Distribution of infectious and parasitic agents among three sentinel bee species across European agricultural landscapes. Scientific Reports 14: 3524. Link
  • Nicholson, C.C., Knapp, J., Kiljanek, T., […] Klein, A.M., […] Pereira-Peixoto, M.H., […] Tamburini, G. et al. & Rundlöf, M. (2023): Pesticide use negatively affects bumble bees across European landscapes. Nature. online first. doi: 1038/s41586-023-06773-3. Link
  • Brown, M., Albrecht, M., De la Rúa, P., Hellström, S., Klein, A.M, Michez, D., Nazzi, F., Paxton, R., Straw, E., Wintermantel, D. & Potts. S. (2023): The impacts of multiple stressors on managed bees: Novel insights from the PoshBee project. ARPHA Preprints. online first. doi: 10.3897/arphapreprints.e115172. Link
  • Willcox, B.K., Potts, S.G., Brown, M.J.F., […] Osterman, J., […] Wintermantel, D. et al. & Senapathi, D. (2023): Emerging threats and opportunities to managed bee species in European agricultural systems: a horizon scan. Scientific Reports 13: 18099. online first. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-45279-w. Link
  • Brown, M., Bulet, P., Chauzat, M.P., Klein, A.M., Knauer, A., Mand, M., Michez, D., Nazzi, F., Paxton, R., Schweiger, O., Stout, J.C., Yanez, O. & Potts, S.G. (2023): PoshBee Toolbox: A portfolio of high quality methodologies, tools, and practice guides for pollinators. ARPHA Preprints. online first. doi: 10.3897/arphapreprints.e112175. Link
  • Bottero, I., Dominik, C., Schweiger, O., Albrecht, M., […] Klein A.M., […] Pereira-Peixoto, H.M. [...] Tamburini, G. et al. & Stout, J.C. (2023): Impact of landscape configuration and composition on pollinator communities across different European biogeographic regions. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. online first. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2023.1128228. Link
  • Allan, M.J., Dean, R., Klein, A.M., Wintermantel, D., Albrecht, M., Schwarz, J. & Knauer, A. (2023): Milestone 15 Protocols for semi-field and field experiments. ARPHA preprints. online first. doi: 10.3897/arphapreprints.e101323. Link
  • Knauer, A., Alaux, C., Matthew, A., Dean, R., Dievart, V., Glauser, G., Kiljanek, T., Michez, D., Schwarz, J., Tamburini, G., Wintermantel, D., Klein, A.M. & Albrecht, M. (2022): Nutritional stress exacerbates impact of a novel insecticide on solitary bees’ behaviour, reproduction and survival. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 289: 20221013. Link
  • Hodge, S., Schweiger, O., Klein, A.M., Potts, S.G., Costa, C., Albrecht, M., de Miranda, J.R., Mand, M., De la Rúa, P., Rundlöf, M., Attridge, E., Dean, R., Bulet, P., Michez, D., Paxton, R.J., Babin, A., Cougoule, N., Laurent, M., Martel, A.C., Paris, L., Rivière, M.P., Dubois, E., Chauzat, M.P., Arafah, K., Askri, D., Voisin, S.N., Kiljanek, T., Bottero, I., Dominik, C., Tamburini, G., Pereira-Peixoto, M.H., Wintermantel, D., Breeze, T.D., Cini, E., Senapathi, D., Di Prisco, G., Medrzycki, P., Hagenbucher, S., Knauer, A., Schwarz, J.M., Raimets, R., Martínez-López, V., Ivarsson, K., Hartfield, C., Hunter, P., Brown, M.J.F. & Stout, J.C. (2022): Design and planning of a transdisciplinary investigation into farmland pollinators: Rationale, co-design, and lessons learned. Sustainability 14: 10549. Link
  • Schwarz, J.M., Knauer, A.C., Allan, M.J., Dean, R.R., Ghazoul, J., Tamburini, G., Wintermantel, D., Klein, A.M. & Albrecht, M. (2022): No evidence for impaired solitary bee fitness following pre-flowering sulfoxaflor application alone or in combination with a common fungicide in a semi-field experiment. Environment International 164: 107252. Link
  • Wintermantel, D., Pereira-Peixoto, M.H., Warth, N., Melcher, K., Faller, M., Feurer, J., Allan, M.J., Dean, R., Tamburini, G., Knauer, A.C., Schwarz, J.M., Albrecht, M. & Klein, A.M. (2022): Flowering resources modulate the sensitivity of bumblebees to a common fungicide. Science of The Total Environment 829: 154450. Link
  • Brown, M., Breeze, T., Bulet, P., Chauzat, M.P., Demirova, I., de Miranda, J., Klein, A.M., Mand, M., Metodiev, T., Michez, D., Nazzi, F., Neumann, P., Paxton, R., Potts, S., Stout, J., Turney, G. & Yañez, O. (2021): PoshBee: Pan-European assessment, monitoring, and mitigation of stressors on the health of bees. ARPHA preprints. online first. doi: 10.3897/arphapreprints.e72231. Link
  • Tamburini, G., Pereira-Peixoto, M.H., Borth, J., Lotz, S., Wintermantel, D., Allan, M.J., Dean, R., Schwarz J.M., Knauer, A., Albrecht, M. & Klein, A.M. (2021): Fungicide and insecticide exposure adversely impacts bumblebees and pollination services under semi-field conditions. Environment International 157: 106813. Link
  • Tamburini, G., Wintermantel, D., Allan, M.J., Dean, R.R., Knauer, A., Albrecht, M. & Klein, A.M. (2021): Sulfoxaflor insecticide and azoxystrobin fungicide have no major impact on honeybees in a realistic-exposure semi-field experiment. Science of the Total Environment 778: 146084. Link
  • Vanderplanck, M., Michez, D., […] Klein, A.M., […] Pereira-Peixoto, M.H. et al. & Gérard, M. (2021): Monitoring bee health in European agro-ecosystems using wing morphology and fat bodies. One Ecosystem 6: e63653. Link


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