Modeling Honey Bee-Plant Symbiosis in the Presence of Environmental Toxins

Saturday, February 18, 2017: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 312 (Hynes Convention Center)
Matthew Betti, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
We develop a model to describe the complex interactions of honey bees and local plants that require pollination to simulate and predict the long term effects of pesticide use on honey bee populations, as well as the resulting effects of honey bee decline on crop yield. This model is synthesized into an open-source, freely available software package , Bee++ studying the effects of disease, toxins, weather and landscape have on honey bee colonies. This model agrees with experimental observations, predicts key times of year when honey bees are naturally under undue stress, as well as predicts key parameters in predicting colony collapse. The model can be used to simulate a variety of scenarios which may help optimize honey bee population control efforts, crop yield, and direct policy.