Dr. Paul Siefert

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

Institut für Bienenkunde,
Polytechnische Gesellschaft
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main,
FB Biowissenschaften
Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2
61440 Oberursel


+49-(0)6171-212 78
+49-(0)6171-257 69


Risk evaluations for agricultural chemicals are necessary to preserve healthy populations of honey bee colonies. Field studies on whole colonies cannot detect behavioural impacts, while lab studies don’t allow conclusions on potential colony impacts.  The solution, non-disturbing long-term recordings of within-hive behaviour, were hitherto missing. I developed a video registration method that enables within-cell analysis in honey bee (Apis mellifera) observation hives to conduct impact analyses of chemicals, pests and other stressors on worker behaviour and development using our machine learning algorithm.

The cholinergic system is a popular target of insecticides, because the pharmacology of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) differs substantially from their vertebrate counterparts. Besides its effects on behavior, it becomes increasingly evident that neonicotinoids affect developmental processes in bees that appear to be independent of neuronal AChRs. Brood food (royal jelly, worker jelly or drone jelly) produced in the hypopharyngeal glands of nurse bees contains millimolar concentrations of ACh, which is required for proper larval development. I investigate the underlying modes of actions of acetylcholine in honeybee development.


Grünewald, B. & Siefert, P. Acetylcholine and its receptors in honeybees: Involvement in development and impairments by neonicotinoids. Insects 10, 420 (2019). https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/10/12/420

Siefert, P., Hota, R., Ramesh, V. & Grünewald, B. Chronic within-hive video recordings detect altered nursing behaviour and retarded larval development of neonicotinoid treated honey bees. Sci. Rep. 10, 8727 (2020). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-65425-y

Siefert P, Buling N, Grünewald B. Honey bee behaviours within the hive: Insights from long-term video analysis. PLoS ONE 16(3): e0247323 (2021). https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247323


Auswahl an Vorträgen


Tagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Bienenforschung e.V. (Celle)Impacts of clothianidin and thiacloprid on brood care and larval development of Apis mellifera 


Arthropod Neuroscience Network Spring Meeting (Altleiningen)Neonicotinoid effects at field realistic concentrations on brood development and worker behavior


EurBee 8 (Ghent)Neonicotinoid effects at field realistic concentrations on brood development and worker behavior


Deutscher Berufs- und Erwerbsimkerbund (Donaueschingen)Die Bienenentwicklung unter der Lupe: Videos und Verhaltensanalysen aus dem Bienenvolk

Wissenschaftlicher Werdegang

seit 2018

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Institut für Bienenkunde der Polytechnischen Gesellschaft, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main


Promotion , Dr. rer. nat., Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

2014 - 2018

Doktorand am Institut für Bienenkunde

2012 / 2013

Auslandsaufenthalt Work & Travel in Neuseeland


Diplomarbeit in Neurobiologie: „Cholinerge Beeinflussung auditorischer Aufmerksamkeit bei der Ratte“, Bernhard Gaese / AK Kössl

2007 / 2008

Auslandsaufenthalt & Praktika in Australien, AK Prinzinger

2005 - 2011

Studium der Biologie an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. Abschluss: Diplom-Biologe