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Insects 2017, 8(2), 48; doi:10.3390/insects8020048

Queen Quality and the Impact of Honey Bee Diseases on Queen Health: Potential for Interactions between Two Major Threats to Colony Health

1
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27402, USA
2
Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
3
Life Science Division, U.S. Army Research Office, Research Triangle Park, Durham, NC 27709, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Steven Cook and Jay Daniel Evans
Received: 8 January 2017 / Revised: 15 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions Among Threats to Honeybee Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [286 KB, uploaded 8 May 2017]   |  

Abstract

Western honey bees, Apis mellifera, live in highly eusocial colonies that are each typically headed by a single queen. The queen is the sole reproductive female in a healthy colony, and because long-term colony survival depends on her ability to produce a large number of offspring, queen health is essential for colony success. Honey bees have recently been experiencing considerable declines in colony health. Among a number of biotic and abiotic factors known to impact colony health, disease and queen failure are repeatedly reported as important factors underlying colony losses. Surprisingly, there are relatively few studies on the relationship and interaction between honey bee diseases and queen quality. It is critical to understand the negative impacts of pests and pathogens on queen health, how queen problems might enable disease, and how both factors influence colony health. Here, we review the current literature on queen reproductive potential and the impacts of honey bee parasites and pathogens on queens. We conclude by highlighting gaps in our knowledge on the combination of disease and queen failure to provide a perspective and prioritize further research to mitigate disease, improve queen quality, and ensure colony health. View Full-Text
Keywords: honey bee queen; queen quality; honey bee disease; colony health; colony fitness; queen fitness; pollinators honey bee queen; queen quality; honey bee disease; colony health; colony fitness; queen fitness; pollinators
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Amiri, E.; Strand, M.K.; Rueppell, O.; Tarpy, D.R. Queen Quality and the Impact of Honey Bee Diseases on Queen Health: Potential for Interactions between Two Major Threats to Colony Health. Insects 2017, 8, 48.

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