Survival and health improvement of Nosema infected Apis florea (Hymenoptera: Apidae) bees after treatment with propolis extract
Suwannapong, Guntima and Samrit, Maksong and Phainchajoen, Mananya and Benbow, Mark and Mayack, Christopher (2018) Survival and health improvement of Nosema infected Apis florea (Hymenoptera: Apidae) bees after treatment with propolis extract. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, 21 (2). pp. 437-444. ISSN 1226-8615
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aspen.2018.02.006
Nosema ceranae is now considered to be an emerging infectious disease of the European honey bee Apis mellifera. Only one antibiotic, Fumagillin, is commercially available to combat Nosema infections. This antibiotic treatment is banned from use in Europe and elsewhere there is a high probability for antibiotic resistance to develop. We are therefore interested in investigating the effects of a natural propolis extract on its ability to reduce N. ceranae infection loads in the dwarf honey bee, Apis florea, a native honey bee with a range that overlaps with Apis cerana and Apis mellifera that is at risk of infection. Experimentally infected caged bees were fed a treatment consisting of 0%, 50%, or 70% propolis extract. All 50% and 70% propolis treated bees had significantly lower infection loads, and the 50% treated bees had higher survival in comparison to untreated bees. In addition, propolis treated bees had significantly higher haemolymph trehalose levels and hypopharyngeal gland protein content similar to levels of uninfected bees. Propolis ethanolic extract treatment could therefore be considered as a possible viable alternative to Fumagillin to improve bee health. This natural treatment deserves further exploration to develop it as a possible alternative to combat N. ceranae infections distributed around the world.
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