Responsibilities and tasks of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Bee Health

The responsibilities and tasks of EU reference laboratories in the animal health sector are listed in the Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of 15th. March 2017. Within the context of its reference activities, and in accordance with the Commission, the EU RL is in charge of:


  • Contributing to the improvement and harmonisation of methods of analysis, test or diagnosis to be used by official laboratories in the European Union;
  • Providing National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) with details and guidance on the methods of laboratory analysis, testing or diagnosis, including reference methods and providing them with reference materials;
  • Coordinating the application of the methods by the NRLs, in particular by organising regular inter-laboratory comparative testing or proficiency tests and by ensuring appropriate follow-up of such comparative testing or proficiency tests;
  • Coordinating practical arrangements necessary to apply new methods of laboratory analysis, testing or diagnosis, and informing national reference laboratories of advances in this field;
  • Conducting training courses for staff from NRLs, official laboratories or experts from third countries;
  • Providing technical and scientific assistance to the NRLs and the European Commission;
  • Providing information on relevant national, Union and international research activities to the NRLs;
  • Collaborating within the scope of the EU RL mission with laboratories in Third Countries and with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC);
  • Assisting actively in the diagnosis of outbreaks in Member States of bee diseases or pests, by carrying out confirmatory diagnosis, characterisation and taxonomic or epizootic studies on pathogen isolates or pest specimens;
  • Coordinating or performing tests for the verification of the quality of reagents and lots of reagents used for the diagnosis of bee diseases;
  • Cooperating with the Commission to develop methods of analysis, testing or diagnosis of high standards


The Commission Regulation (EU) No 415/2013 of 6th May 2013 lays down additional responsibilities and tasks for the European Union Reference Laboratory (EU RL) for Bee Health.


Diseases on which the EU RL works are listed in the EU Regulation 2018/1882 and in accordance with the Animal Health Law (EU Regulation 2016/429):

  • Infestation with Varroa spp. (Varroosis)
  • Infestation with Aethina tumida (Small hive beetle)
  • American foulbrood
  • Infestation with Tropilaelaps spp.


Reference mandates assigned to Anses

European reference mandates assigned to Anses
national, European and international reference mandates assigned to Anses
This European reference mandate was the 9th mandate assigned to ANSES (the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety) out of the thirteen that the European Commission has entrusted to Anses. The Sophia Antipolis laboratory also holds several other reference mandates, including those of National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for Bee Health, laboratory associated to the NRL for the chemical contaminants in hive matrices and to the NRL of veterinary drug residues, reference laboratory of World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAh) for six bee diseases and NRL and WOAH reference laboratory for Q fever.

Related documents

2011_A 9th European reference mandate in bee health for ANSES Feb 2011 General documents General documents