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Pesticide–Virus Interactions in Honey Bees: Challenges and Opportunities for Understanding Drivers of Bee Declines

Department of Entomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
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Viruses 2020, 12(5), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12050566
Received: 29 April 2020 / Revised: 19 May 2020 / Accepted: 20 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Honey Bee Virus Research)
Honey bees are key agricultural pollinators, but beekeepers continually suffer high annual colony losses owing to a number of environmental stressors, including inadequate nutrition, pressures from parasites and pathogens, and exposure to a wide variety of pesticides. In this review, we examine how two such stressors, pesticides and viruses, may interact in additive or synergistic ways to affect honey bee health. Despite what appears to be a straightforward comparison, there is a dearth of studies examining this issue likely owing to the complexity of such interactions. Such complexities include the wide array of pesticide chemical classes with different modes of actions, the coupling of many bee viruses with ectoparasitic Varroa mites, and the intricate social structure of honey bee colonies. Together, these issues pose a challenge to researchers examining the effects pesticide-virus interactions at both the individual and colony level. View Full-Text
Keywords: honey bee virus; virus tolerance/resistance; pesticide resistance; toxicology; insecticide–virus synergism honey bee virus; virus tolerance/resistance; pesticide resistance; toxicology; insecticide–virus synergism
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Harwood, G.P.; Dolezal, A.G. Pesticide–Virus Interactions in Honey Bees: Challenges and Opportunities for Understanding Drivers of Bee Declines. Viruses 2020, 12, 566.

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