Oxford science grads win prize with plan to save the bees

A team of Oxford graduates have scooped a prestigious environmental award with a plan to rescue threatened bee colonies.

The Oxford team, Rebecca Ross, Bartu Ahiska, Xiaoqi Feng, Christina Vinson and Gillian Petrokofsky, impressed the judges with their solution to the problem of colony collapse disorder in honey bees. The team developed a unique feed supplement, utilising bacteria from bees to boost their immune systems.

The competition, developed by the Environment Young Entrepreneurs Scheme, encourages young scientists to develop skills needed to turn research into commercially viable products. The teams then pitch the idea to a panel of potential investors.

Rebecca Ross said, “the power of this programme is how quickly we all came to feel that we really were entrepreneurs, just starting our own company. It has shown us the excitement of turning a research idea into a business which brings value to others.”