Department of Apiculture-Ellinikos Georgikos Organismos “DIMITRA”

The Department of Apiculture is one of the research units belonging to the Ellinikos Georgikos Organismos ‘DIMITRA’ (Hellenic Agricultural Organization ‘DEMETER’). It has been established in Chalkidiki region, as this is the area with the most professional beekeepers in Greece as well as the area with the greatest honey production (almost 60% of total production in the country). Nevertheless it has a jurisdiction across the country.
Its mission has been the basic and applied research that touches topics such as: Biology and Physiology of all species of bees, quality control of hive products and the queens produced, fight diseases with new environmental and biotechnological products, breeding and improvement of genetic material, queen quality assessments, and finally the effects of pollutants on honey bee biology and physiology.
The aim of the Institute is to produce of knowledge in the above subjects, to offer information and scientific support to the beekeeping world of our country and to find solutions that respect the environment, the honeybee and its products.


Fani Hatjina is senior researcher (PhD, Univ. of Cardiff-UK) in bee science and Director of the Institute of Animal Science. Her research interests focus on honeybee breeding and mating behaviour, conservation of the local honey bee populations, resistance to varroa, and Environmental risk assessment. She serves as an expert in EFSA and OECD and she is coordinator of an APIMONDIA working group. Recently she has been elected as President of the APIMONDIA’s Scientific Commission on Bee Health. The health of the bees, the interaction with the environment and the sustainability of the beekeeping are the areas Fani is also promoting through Apitourism. More information here.


Leonidas Charistos,
Agnonomist, (PhD in morphological, genetical and productive characteristics of honey bee populations in Greece). Researcher in ELGO DIMITRA with interests in honeybee breeding and improvement of genetic material, mating behaviour, disease resistance, fight diseases with new environmental and biotechnological products.





Philippos Vardakas is an expert in Media Communication and Creative Documentary by training, he is a film expert, and shares a great curiosity for new technologies in the field of censoring, programming and machine learning.  He is a scientific collaborator in ELGO DIMITRA, Department of Apiculture , specialised in audiovisual sensors, focusing on bioacoustics and motion magnification. For the purpose of this project he will study how different sound spectrums emitted by bee colonies during winter periods would contribute to the better understanding of winter collapses and enhance the identification of early-warning indicators in this field.



Maria Bouga received her PhD in Biology, specializing in Genetics on honey bees. Her research and teaching activities cover aspects of Molecular Taxonomy, Genetics and Apiculture focused on genetics of honey bees, honey dew insects and Varroa destructor. She is collaborating with the Laboratory of Agricultural Zoology & Entomology of Agricultural University of Athens in Greece where she is responsible for the Molecular Unit. She is member of the Executive Committee of the COLOSS honey bee research association (Prevention of honey bee Colony LOSSes) (http://www.coloss.org/) that is currently comprised of 1809 members from 105 countries and she is the Senior Editor of the Journal of Apicultural Research, IBRA, UK.