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Bees are an essential contributor to environmental equilibrium by providing the ecosystem service of pollination to crop and wild plants. icipe’s bee research strategy (2018–2023) aims to improve focus on four research topics: 1) Bee Health; 2) Symbionts; 3) Bee Nutrition; and 4) Pollination. These topics were prioritised in consultation with a wide range of icipe partners. icipe’s research and development (R&D) efforts on bee research contribute to: (i) protecting and maintaining the abundance and diversity of bees and other insect pollinators; (ii) ensuring the ecosystem service of pollination for improving food security and conserving wild plant diversity; (iii) investigating, understanding, monitoring, and improving the overall bee health status of managed and wild insect pollinators on the African continent; and (iv) improving the livelihoods of rural communities through dissemination of research results and developed technologies. As part of this effort, icipe is seeking to recruit a Scientist to conduct innovative research on the nutritional biology of bees, including the aspects on feedback to physiology and health of bees that are relevant and strategic to icipe R&D.
(a) the basic needs of bee pollinators with respect to their nutritional input for relevant macroand micronutrients;
(b) the spatial and temporal distribution of available dietary sources for bee pollinators;
(c) the effects of climate change and other changes of environmental conditions on the spatial and temporal availability of nutritional sources for bees;
(d) how bees locate specific food sources within the environment by studying the cognitive abilities of bees and defining the role of colour and scent of flowers;
(e) the effect of nutritional sources of varying quality on bee health at the individual and colony level; and
(f) the interaction between bee nutrition and the efficient delivery of ecosystem service of pollination.
2. Develop collaborative research networks for pollinator health and advocacy for pollinators;
3. Advise policy on thematic issues relating to conservation of pollinators and their habitats;
4. Mobilise resources (such as funding, human) to support research activities highlighted above and participate in fundraising opportunities with other scientists in the Bee Health team and the Environmental Health Theme;
5. Maintain a high level of scientific excellence through peer-reviewed publications commensurate with the position;
6. Manage, supervise and motivate programme staff and students to ensure innovation and the practice of good science that results in high-quality publications.