For immediate release – 27 September 2019
Eva Crane, who founded the Trust in 2002, travelled to over sixty countries in her pursuit of knowledge relating to the development of the science of beekeeping worldwide. Her many publications, especially the magnificent World History of Beekeeping and Bee Hunting (1999), reflect this international outlook. The Trust, that aims to continue her work of advancing the understanding of bees and beekeeping, continues to uphold this international outlook reflected in its worldwide distribution of grants. That Trust is now pleased to announce a further dimension to its own evolution with the appointment of Professor Dr. Dirk de Graaf to its Board.
Since 2014 Dr. de Graaf has been Professor of insect physiology and pathology and Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Entomology and Bee Pathology at Ghent University, Belgium. He is also founder and current director of the collaboration/service platform Honeybee Valley. This is a bridge between fundamental bee research and the more applied beekeeping. As a biotechnologist he was one of the first to introduce PCR technology in honey bee disease diagnosis with a confirmational test for American Foulbrood (2001). A test that soon became a standardized tool for veterinary diagnosis.
Bee pathology was, for many years, his primary focus with the development of several other tools for disease diagnosis, genotyping and the discovery of several new bee pathogens using traditional and Next Generation Sequencing approaches. Prof. de Graaf headed the Diagnostics department in the EU-funded 7th Framework Program BEE-DOC. He was also involved in several genome sequencing consortia resulting in papers in Nature, Science, BMC Genomics and Genome Biology. Additionally, Prof. de Graaf leads the Flemish Beekeeping Program that coordinates – among other things – the regional selection programme.
In 2018 Prof. de Graaf was president and organizer of the 8th European Congress of Apidology (EurBee) successfully held in Ghent in September 2018. Today he is coordinator of the European Commission funded Research and Innovation Action called B-GOOD (Giving Beekeeping Guidance by cOmputatiOnal-assisted Decision making) devoted to honey bee health and sustainable beekeeping. The consortiums consists of 17 partner institutions coming from 13 European countries.
The Trust is truly delighted that Prof. de Graaf has been able to join the Board and that he shares the commitment of all of its members to continue our Founder’s aims of supporting and promoting research and the dissemination of information relevant to the development of beekeeping worldwide.
Chairman, Eva Crane Trust
Eva Crane Trust Trustees:
Research and Innovation Action called B-GOOD:
Honey Bee Valley :
Laboratory of Molecular Entomology and Bee Pathology at Ghent University, Belgium: