Welcome to CIBER: The Centre for Integrative Bee Research
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Honeybees have a worldwide distribution and are major pollinators of native flowering plants on all inhabited continents. Their domestication and breeding over thousands of years by humans has heavily impacted and manipulated honeybee populations and their distribution. Their agricultural importance as pollinators for major crops is now very significant and they are major sources for commercial honey, pollen, and wax production. Honeybees have been a model species for a broad range of scientific studies for many years and the full sequencing of the genome has now opened the way to new opportunities for functional genomics research.
The global importance of honeybees for ecosystem stability and human food production is overshadowed by continous devastating declines in both feral and managed populations, especially in Europe and in Northern America, mostly caused by spreading parasites and pathogens resulting in increasing problems to secure pollination services and raising food prices. More than 80 crops of agricultural interest or about a third of our food requires pollination services from honeybees.
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Located at the University of Western Australia, CIBER is dedicated to facilitate interdisciplinary research on honeybees. CIBER offers a working platform for scientists to perform collaborative research on honeybees alongside industry partners. The ultimate goal is to better understand honeybees and counter the dramatic losses currently occurring. To achieve this CIBER combines expertise from beekeepers with decades of experience, sociobiologists and their insights into the functioning of bee societies, evolutionary ecologists and their understanding of evolutionary processes and molecular biologists that provide expertise to harness the honeybee genome and proteome.