The NRL network


The European Commission has designated the European Union Reference Laboratory for Honeybee Health (Commission Implementing Decision, 2011).


By law, the EU RL has to coordinate, in consultation with the Commission, the methods employed in the Member States (MSs) for diagnosing the relevant honeybee diseases, in particular by:

-  typing, storing and, when appropriate, supplying strains of the pathogenic agents to facilitate the diagnostic service in the Union

- supplying standard material to the national reference laboratories (NRLs) in order to standardise the tests used in each Member State

- organising periodic comparative tests of diagnosis procedures at Union level with the NRLs

- retaining expertise on the Tropilaelaps mites and the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida)

- proposing standardised tests and procedures or reference reagents for internal quality control

- advising the Commission on scientific aspects related to honeybee health.


To date, the European network for Honeybee Health gathers 27 European national reference laboratories (NRLs). In addition to the European NRLs, other NRLs from Third Countries are involved in this network.

The coordination of the NRL network for Honeybee Health is an important task for the EU RL. The EU RL animates the network by organising an annual workshop to inform the NRLs on the achievement of the work program for the different activities and on the news related to honeybee health. This annual workshop is the opportunity to exchange information with the NRLs, to receive news from the partners (e.g.: needs of new pathogen leaflets, technical support, protocols, and/or reference material). To harmonise the methods ring tests /ILPTs (InterLaboratory Proficiency Tests) and trainings are organised. The EU RL submits regularly a questionnaire to the network to record updated data on NRL activities.


The EU RL feeds the sections of the present page with documents and information useful for the NRL network:


- Reference materials and methods

- Information on “Proficiency tests” and “Trainings for the NRLs"

- Leaflets.

In addition to this website, the animation of the network is continued through the dedicated email address. Please see “Contact us”.