Special Issue "Honeybees and Wild Bees Health"

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450). This special issue belongs to the section "Insect Behavior and Pathology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Alberto Satta
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Science, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Interests: honeybee health; honeybee pathogens and parasites; social immunity; pollinators
Dr. Panagiotis Theodorou
Guest Editor
Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Institute of Biology, General Zoology, Hoher Weg 8, D-06120, Halle (Saale), Germany
Interests: insect evolutionary ecology; plant–pollinator interactions; insect biodiversity; host–parasite interactions; pollination

Special Issue Information

Dear colleague,

The pollination services provided by bees are vitally important for ecosystem functioning and crop production. However, in recent decades, numerous reports have shown extensive losses of honeybee colonies and a decline in numbers of wild bees, with negative consequences for terrestrial ecosystems, the economy, and food security.

These losses have been attributed to many stress factors, including pesticide exposure, habitat loss or degradation, invasive species, predators, parasites, diseases, and climate change. These factors do not act alone and often show synergistic interactions that are difficult to predict.

In this Special Issue, we would like to publish original, theoretical or empirical research, reviews, quantitative meta-analyses or perspective articles focusing on how stress factors affect the health of managed and wild bees and on the defense mechanisms adopted at the individual level and, in the case of social species, also at the colony level. The topics can be related to molecular, physiological, behavioral, and other aspects of honeybees’ and wild bees’ health and extend to bee declines and pollination services.

Prof. Alberto Satta
Dr. Panagiotis Theodorou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Insects is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • pollinators
  • stress factors
  • immune defense
  • social immunity
  • bee nutritional health
  • colony performance
  • pesticides
  • fitness
  • population declines

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Chronic High Glyphosate Exposure Delays Individual Worker Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Development under Field Conditions
Insects 2020, 11(10), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11100664 - 27 Sep 2020
The ongoing debate about glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) and their implications for beneficial arthropods gives rise to controversy. This research was carried out to cover possible sublethal GBH effects on the brood and colony development, adult survival, and overwintering success of honey bees ( [...] Read more.
The ongoing debate about glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) and their implications for beneficial arthropods gives rise to controversy. This research was carried out to cover possible sublethal GBH effects on the brood and colony development, adult survival, and overwintering success of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) under field conditions. Residues in bee relevant matrices, such as nectar, pollen, and plants, were additionally measured. To address these questions, we adopted four independent study approaches. For brood effects and survival, we orally exposed mini-hives housed in the “Kieler mating-nuc” system to sublethal concentrations of 4.8 mg glyphosate/kg (T1, low) and 137.6 mg glyphosate/kg (T2, high) over a period of one brood cycle (21 days). Brood development and colony conditions were assessed after a modified OECD method (No. 75). For adult survival, we weighed and labeled freshly emerged workers from control and exposed colonies and introduced them into non-contaminated mini-hives to monitor their life span for 25 consecutive days. The results from these experiments showed a trivial effect of GBH on colony conditions and the survival of individual workers, even though the hatching weight was reduced in T2. The brood termination rate (BTR) in the T2 treatment, however, was more than doubled (49.84%) when compared to the control (22.11%) or T1 (20.69%). This was surprising as T2 colonies gained similar weight and similar numbers of bees per colony compared to the control, indicating an equal performance. Obviously, the brood development in T2 was not “terminated” as expected by the OECD method terminology, but rather “slowed down” for an unknown period of time. In light of these findings, we suggest that chronic high GBH exposure is capable of significantly delaying worker brood development, while no further detrimental effects seem to appear at the colony level. Against this background, we discuss additional results and possible consequences of GBH for honey bee health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honeybees and Wild Bees Health)
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