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Impact of Stressors on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera; Hymenoptera: Apidae): Some Guidance for Research Emerge from a Meta-Analysis

1
Regulated Product Assessment Department, ANSES, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France
2
Unit of Honey Bee Pathology, ANSES, European Union and National Reference Laboratory for Honey Bee Health, Sophia Antipolis, 06560 Alpes-Maritimes, France
3
Strategy and Programs Department, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12010007
Received: 14 November 2019 / Revised: 17 December 2019 / Accepted: 19 December 2019 / Published: 20 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring of Honey Bee Colony Losses)
Bees play an essential role in plant pollination and their decline is a threat to crop yields and biodiversity sustainability. The causes of their decline have not yet been fully identified, despite the numerous studies that have been carried out, especially on Apis mellifera. This meta-analysis was conducted to identify gaps in the current research and new potential directions for research. The aim of this analysis of 293 international scientific papers was to achieve an inventory of the studied populations, the stressors and the methods used to study their impact on Apis mellifera. It also aimed to investigate the stressors with the greatest impact on bees and explore whether the evidence for an impact varies according to the type of study or the scale of study. According to this analysis, it is important to identify the populations and the critical developmental stages most at risk, and to determine the differences in stress sensibility between subspecies. This meta-analysis also showed that studies on climate change or habitat fragmentation were lacking. Moreover, it highlighted that technical difficulties in the field and the buffer effect of the colony represent methodological and biological barriers that are still difficult to overcome. Mathematical modeling or radio frequency identification (RFID) chips represent promising ways to overcome current methodological difficulties. View Full-Text
Keywords: populations under study; biological effects; stress; experimental methods; techniques; honey bees populations under study; biological effects; stress; experimental methods; techniques; honey bees
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Havard, T.; Laurent, M.; Chauzat, M.-P. Impact of Stressors on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera; Hymenoptera: Apidae): Some Guidance for Research Emerge from a Meta-Analysis. Diversity 2020, 12, 7.

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