A systematic review of honey bee (Apis mellifera, Linnaeus, 1758) infections and available treatment options

Nekoei, Shahin and Rezvan, Mahsa and Khamesipour, Faham and Mayack, Christopher and Molento, Marcelo Beltrão and Revainera, Pablo Damián (2023) A systematic review of honey bee (Apis mellifera, Linnaeus, 1758) infections and available treatment options. Veterinary Medicine and Science, 9 (4). pp. 1848-1860. ISSN 2053-1095

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Background: Honey bees and honeycomb bees are very valuable for wild flowering plants and economically important crops due to their role as pollinators. However, these insects confront many disease threats (viruses, parasites, bacteria and fungi) and large pesticide concentrations in the environment. Varroa destructor is the most prevalent disease that has had the most negative effects on the fitness and survival of different honey bees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana). Moreover, honey bees are social insects and this ectoparasite can be easily transmitted within and across bee colonies. Objective: This review aims to provide a survey of the diversity and distribution of important bee infections and possible management and treatment options, so that honey bee colony health can be maintained. Methods: We used PRISMA guidelines throughout article selection, published between January 1960 and December 2020. PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, Cochrane Library, Web of Science and Ovid databases were searched. Results: We have collected 132 articles and retained 106 articles for this study. The data obtained revealed that V. destructor and Nosema spp. were found to be the major pathogens of honey bees worldwide. The impact of these infections can result in the incapacity of forager bees to fly, disorientation, paralysis, and death of many individuals in the colony. We find that both hygienic and chemical pest management strategies must be implemented to prevent, reduce the parasite loads and transmission of pathogens. The use of an effective miticide (fluvalinate-tau, coumaphos and amitraz) now seems to be an essential and common practice required to minimise the impact of Varroa mites and other pathogens on bee colonies. New, alternative biofriendly control methods, are on the rise, and could be critical for maintaining honey bee hive health and improving honey productivity. Conclusions: We suggest that critical health control methods be adopted globally and that an international monitoring system be implemented to determine honey bee colony safety, regularly identify parasite prevalence, as well as potential risk factors, so that the impact of pathogens on bee health can be recognised and quantified on a global scale.
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: bee health; clinical symptoms; insects; parasites; treatment
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences > Academic programs > Biological Sciences & Bio Eng.
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Depositing User: Christopher Mayack
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2023 12:28
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2023 12:28
URI: https://research.sabanciuniv.edu/id/eprint/47403

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