Honeybee Sangyo Research Center

Established in 2012, the Honeybee Sangyo Research Center carries out practical research.

Building a research system to contribute to the beekeeping industry and agriculture

The honeybee is a practically important insect not only for honey production but also for pollination of vegetables and fruit in greenhouses. In Japan, however, little practical research on the honeybee has been carried out in collaboration with commercial enterprises. In recent years, the beekeeping industry in our country has been faced with many issues, such as a shortage of honeybees due to colony collapse from unknown causes, the safety problem of imported honey, and the reduction of flowering plants that are nectar sources due to environmental development, all of which cannot be solved by individual beekeepers and enterprises.

With the aim of contributing to the beekeeping industry by developing solutions to these issues, KSU established the Honeybee Sangyo Research Center in 2012, putting to work its knowledge and techniques in the fields of animal and plant breeding and biotechnology that have been accumulated over the course of research activity at the university. The research center conducts basic research on the genetics and ecology of the honeybee, and other scientific areas related to the honeybee, as well as practical research in collaboration with beekeeping enterprises and agricultural associations.

Development of new honeybee strains and the functional analysis of honey

Development of a honeybee strain is a difficult task, owing to the complexity of honeybee mating system. To the present day there has been no success in establishing a useful strain. At this research center, molecular genetic analysis and selective breeding techniques are applied to develop new strains with various useful characteristics, such as high resistance to disease and high honey production.

Research is also carried out to scientifically document the basis for the healthy components of honey. Through the functional analysis of domestically produced honey, the immunological effects, and the effectiveness against diabetes mellitus are investigated.

Future research will focus on the stable production of honey, the realization of apiculture for environmental conservation, educational events for the local community, apiculture to revitalize underpopulated areas, and other topics to contribute to the betterment of society.