University of Pisa, Italy, was host to an annual meeting of Coloss Vespid Task Force. COLOSS (Prevention of honeybee COlony LOSSes) is an international, non-profit association headquartered in Bern, Switzerland, that is focussed on improving the well-being of bees at a global level. Researchers, veterinarians and extension agents form Europe, US and Asia participated in this hybrid conference to present and exchange their latest findings on how populations of honeybees are affected by the presence of increasingly emerging invasive Vespid species. Predatory invasive wasp species are yet another addition to an army of biotic and abiotic stressors that honeybees and other pollinators are faced with.

iPollinate has advanced technologies that provide real time monitoring of foraging activities of honeybees used for pollination of commercial crops. Primary use of these technologies is optimisation of pollination efficiency and ultimately increase of crop yields. However, predatory wasps not only negatively affect the activity of honeybee colonies and thus decrease their pollination capacity, optoelectronic and acoustic sensors can be used as monitoring tools for detection of these invasive species. iPollinate technology was presented at this conference as part of the solution addressing two of the four scientific objectives of the Vespid Task Force: Monitoring the spread of alien vespids, Assessing the impacts of Vespids on honeybees, including their pollination activity.

Other methods of monitoring currently deployed are manual/visual observations and radio tracking do not offer the economic and practical benefits of iPollinate technologies.

Partner CANETIS was invited to present IPOLLINATE in this event.