Special Issue "Honey Bee Health"

A special issue of Veterinary Sciences (ISSN 2306-7381).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Giovanni Cilia
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, Italy
Interests: pathogens; microbiology; molecular biology; antimicrobials; bacterial infectious disease; zoonosis; antimicrobial resistance; wildlife; honey bee
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Antonio Nanetti
Website
Guest Editor
CREA Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment, Bologna, Italy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past decade, the worldwide decline of honeybee populations has been important because of its implications for beekeeping and honey production. Honeybee pathologies are continuously studied by researchers to investigate the host–parasite relationship and its effect on honeybee colonies. For these reasons, the interest of the veterinary community has increased recently, and honeybee health has also become a subject of public interest.

Bacteria, such as Melissococcus plutonius and Paenibacillus larvae, microsporidia, such as Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, fungi, such as Ascosphaera apis, mites, such as Varroa destructor, predatory wasps, including Vespa velutina, and invasive beetles, such as Aethina tumida, are “old” and “new” subjects of important veterinary interest. Recently, the role of host–pathogen interactions in bee health has been included in a multifactorial approach to the study of these insects’ health, which involves a dynamic balance among a range of threats and resources interacting at multiple levels.

The aim of this Special Issue is to explore honeybee health through a series of research articles focused on different aspects of honeybee health at different levels, including molecular health, microbial health, population genetic health, and the interaction with invasive species that live in strict contact with honeybee populations.

Dr. Giovanni Cilia
Dr. Antonio Nanetti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (17 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
On the Importance of the Sound Emitted by Honey Bee Hives
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(4), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7040168 - 31 Oct 2020
Abstract
Recent years have seen a worsening in the decline of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) colonies. This phenomenon has sparked a great amount of attention regarding the need for intense bee hive monitoring, in order to identify possible causes, and design corresponding [...] Read more.
Recent years have seen a worsening in the decline of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) colonies. This phenomenon has sparked a great amount of attention regarding the need for intense bee hive monitoring, in order to identify possible causes, and design corresponding countermeasures. Honey bees have a key role in pollination services of both cultivated and spontaneous flora, and the increase in bee mortality could lead to an ecological and economical damage. Despite many smart monitoring systems for honey bees and bee hives, relying on different sensors and measured quantities, have been proposed over the years, the most promising ones are based on sound analysis. Sounds are used by the bees to communicate within the hive, and their analysis can reveal useful information to understand the colony health status and to detect sudden variations, just by using a simple microphone and an acquisition system. The work here presented aims to provide a review of the most interesting approaches proposed over the years for honey bees sound analysis and the type of knowledge about bees that can be extracted from sounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling the Influence of Mites on Honey Bee Populations
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030139 - 21 Sep 2020
Abstract
The Varroa destructor mite has been associated with the recent decline in honey bee populations. While experimental data are crucial in understanding declines, insights can be gained from models of honey bee populations. We add the influence of the V. destructor mite to [...] Read more.
The Varroa destructor mite has been associated with the recent decline in honey bee populations. While experimental data are crucial in understanding declines, insights can be gained from models of honey bee populations. We add the influence of the V. destructor mite to our existing honey bee model in order to better understand the impact of mites on honey bee colonies. Our model is based on differential equations which track the number of bees in each day in the life of the bee and accounts for differences in the survival rates of different bee castes. The model shows that colony survival is sensitive to the hive grooming rate and reproductive rate of mites, which is enhanced in drone capped cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Open AccessArticle
How the Infestation Level of Varroa destructor Affects the Distribution Pattern of Multi-Infested Cells in Worker Brood of Apis mellifera
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030136 - 17 Sep 2020
Abstract
The mite Varroa destructor, the main ectoparasite of honey bees, is a threat to apiculture worldwide. Understanding the ecological interactions between Varroa and honeybees is fundamental for reducing mite impact in apiaries. This work assesses bee colonies with various Varroa infestation levels [...] Read more.
The mite Varroa destructor, the main ectoparasite of honey bees, is a threat to apiculture worldwide. Understanding the ecological interactions between Varroa and honeybees is fundamental for reducing mite impact in apiaries. This work assesses bee colonies with various Varroa infestation levels in apiaries to determine: (1) the relationship between multi-infested brood cells and brood infestation level, (2) the damage caused by Varroa to parasitized honey bee pupae, and (3) mite reproduction rate at various infestation levels. Data were collected from 19 worker brood combs, each from a different colony, ranging from 160 to 1725 (mean = 706) sealed cells per comb. Mite distribution was aggregated, ranging from about 2% to 74% infested cells per comb. The percentage of cells invaded by one, two, three, four, or more than four foundress mites, as a function of infestation level, was estimated by five highly significant (p < 0.0001) second-degree polynomial regression equations. The correction factors found could increase the precision of prediction models. Varroa fertility and adult bee longevity decreased as multi-infestation levels increased, and the implications of this relationship are discussed. Finally, these findings could improve sampling methods and the timing of mite treatments in apiaries, thus favoring sustainable management strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Seasonality of Nosema ceranae Infections and Their Relationship with Honey Bee Populations, Food Stores, and Survivorship in a North American Region
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030131 - 08 Sep 2020
Abstract
Nosema ceranae is an emerging pathogen of the western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), and thus its seasonality and impact on bee colonies is not sufficiently documented for North America. This study was conducted to determine the infection intensity, prevalence, and viability [...] Read more.
Nosema ceranae is an emerging pathogen of the western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), and thus its seasonality and impact on bee colonies is not sufficiently documented for North America. This study was conducted to determine the infection intensity, prevalence, and viability of N. ceranae in >200 honey bee colonies during spring, summer, and fall, in a North American region. We also determined the relationship of N. ceranae infections with colony populations, food stores, bee survivorship, and overwinter colony mortality. The highest rates of N. ceranae infection, prevalence, and spore viability were found in the spring and summer, while the lowest were recorded in the fall. N. ceranae spore viability was significantly correlated with its prevalence and infection intensity in bees. Threshold to high levels of N. ceranae infections (>1,000,000 spores/bee) were significantly associated with reduced bee populations and food stores in colonies. Furthermore, worker bee survivorship was significantly reduced by N. ceranae infections, although no association between N. ceranae and winter colony mortality was found. It is concluded that N. ceranae infections are highest in spring and summer and may be detrimental to honey bee populations and colony productivity. Our results support the notion that treatment is justified when infections of N. ceranae exceed 1,000,000 spores/bee. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Api-Bioxal® and ApiHerb® Treatments against Nosema ceranae Infection in Apis mellifera Investigated by Two qPCR Methods
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030125 - 04 Sep 2020
Abstract
Nosema ceranae is a worldwide distributed midgut parasite of western honey bees, leading to dwindling colonies and their collapse. As a treatment, only fumagillin is available, causing issues like resistance and hampered bee physiology. This study aimed to evaluate ApiHerb® and Api-Bioxal [...] Read more.
Nosema ceranae is a worldwide distributed midgut parasite of western honey bees, leading to dwindling colonies and their collapse. As a treatment, only fumagillin is available, causing issues like resistance and hampered bee physiology. This study aimed to evaluate ApiHerb® and Api-Bioxal® as treatments against N. ceranae. The efficacy was tested using two qPCR methods based on the 16S rRNA and Hsp70 genes. In addition, these methods were compared for their aptitude for the quantification of the infection. For this, 19 colonies were selected based on the presence of N. ceranae infections. The colonies were divided into three groups: treated with ApiHerb, Api-Bioxal with previous queen caging and an untreated control. All colonies were sampled pre- and post-treatment. The bees were analyzed individually and in duplicate with both qPCR methods. All bees in the pre-treatment tested positive for N. ceranae. Both treatments reduced the abundance of N. ceranae, but ApiHerb also decreased the prevalence of infected bees. Analysis with the 16S rRNA method resulted in several orders of magnitude more copies than analysis with the Hsp70 method. We conclude that both products are suitable candidates for N. ceranae treatment. From our analysis, the qPCR method based on the Hsp70 gene results as more apt for the exact quantification of N. ceranae as is needed for the development of veterinary medicinal products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Open AccessCommunication
Histopathological Findings in Testes from Apparently Healthy Drones of Apis mellifera ligustica
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030124 - 02 Sep 2020
Abstract
It is well known that factors acting on the decrease of population of honeybees, can act on the male and female reproductive system, compromising the fertility of queens and drones. While there are many studies on female fertility, only a few studies have [...] Read more.
It is well known that factors acting on the decrease of population of honeybees, can act on the male and female reproductive system, compromising the fertility of queens and drones. While there are many studies on female fertility, only a few studies have focused on male fertility and the possible alterations of the reproductive system. The testes of 25 samples of adult drones of Apis mellifera ligustica were analyzed by histopathology using an innovative histological processing technique and the alterations that were found are here described. Most of the samples showed unaltered testes but, in some cases, samples showed degenerated seminiferous tubules, while others appeared immature. Although a limited number of samples were analyzed, the results obtained displayed that histopathological alterations of the testes exist also in honeybees and that more interest should be put to the matter, as honeybees could be considered as bioindicators for endocrine disruptors. Future studies on a larger number of samples are necessary to analyze how different environmental factors can act and induce alterations in the honeybee reproductive system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Unraveling Honey Bee–Varroa destructor Interaction: Multiple Factors Involved in Differential Resistance between Two Uruguayan Populations
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030116 - 20 Aug 2020
Abstract
The ectoparasite Varroa destructor is the greatest biotic threat of honey bees Apis mellifera in vast regions of the world. Recently, the study of natural mite-resistant populations has gained much interest to understand the action of natural selection on the mechanisms that limit [...] Read more.
The ectoparasite Varroa destructor is the greatest biotic threat of honey bees Apis mellifera in vast regions of the world. Recently, the study of natural mite-resistant populations has gained much interest to understand the action of natural selection on the mechanisms that limit the mite population. In this study, the components of the A. melliferaV. destructor relationship were thoroughly examined and compared in resistant and susceptible honey bee populations from two regions of Uruguay. Mite-resistant honey bees have greater behavioral resistance (hygienic and grooming behaviors) than susceptible honey bees. At the end of the summer, resistant honey bees had fewer mites and a lower deformed wing virus (DWV) viral load than susceptible honey bees. DWV variant A was the only detected variant in honey bees and mites. Molecular analysis by Short Tandem Repeat showed that resistant honey bees were Africanized (A. m. scutellata hybrids), whereas susceptible honey bees were closer to European subspecies. Furthermore, significant genetic differentiation was also found between the mite populations. The obtained results show that the natural resistance of honey bees to V. destructor in Uruguay depends on several factors and that the genetic variants of both organisms can play a relevant role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Honey as a Source of Environmental DNA for the Detection and Monitoring of Honey Bee Pathogens and Parasites
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030113 - 15 Aug 2020
Abstract
Environmental DNA (eDNA) has been proposed as a powerful tool to detect and monitor cryptic, elusive, or invasive organisms. We recently demonstrated that honey constitutes an easily accessible source of eDNA. In this study, we extracted DNA from 102 honey samples (74 from [...] Read more.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) has been proposed as a powerful tool to detect and monitor cryptic, elusive, or invasive organisms. We recently demonstrated that honey constitutes an easily accessible source of eDNA. In this study, we extracted DNA from 102 honey samples (74 from Italy and 28 from 17 other countries of all continents) and tested the presence of DNA of nine honey bee pathogens and parasites (Paenibacillus larvae, Melissococcus plutonius, Nosema apis, Nosema ceranae, Ascosphaera apis,Lotmaria passim, Acarapis woodi, Varroa destructor, and Tropilaelaps spp.) using qualitative PCR assays. All honey samples contained DNA from V. destructor, confirming the widespread diffusion of this mite. None of the samples gave positive amplifications for N. apis, A. woodi, and Tropilaelaps spp. M. plutonius was detected in 87% of the samples, whereas the other pathogens were detected in 43% to 57% of all samples. The frequency of Italian samples positive for P. larvae was significantly lower (49%) than in all other countries (79%). The co-occurrence of positive samples for L. passim and A. apis with N. ceranae was significant. This study demonstrated that honey eDNA can be useful to establish monitoring tools to evaluate the sanitary status of honey bee populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Prevalence of the Microsporidian Nosema spp. in Honey Bee Populations (Apis mellifera) in Some Ecological Regions of North Asia
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030111 - 13 Aug 2020
Abstract
Two species of microsporidia, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, are obligate intracellular parasites that are widespread in the world and cause the infectious disease (Nosemosis) of the Western honey bee Apis mellifera. Information on the prevalence and distribution of Nosema species [...] Read more.
Two species of microsporidia, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, are obligate intracellular parasites that are widespread in the world and cause the infectious disease (Nosemosis) of the Western honey bee Apis mellifera. Information on the prevalence and distribution of Nosema species in North Asia conditions is scarce. The main aim of the present study is to determine the prevalence of Nosema spp. (Nosemosis) in honey bees inhabiting some inland regions of North Asia (Western and Eastern Siberia, Altai Territory, Russia, and northeastern part of Kazakhstan). The objective of the paper is also to assess the influence of climatic factors on the spread of N. ceranae. Eighty apiaries in four ecological regions of North Asia (southern taiga, sub-taiga zone, forest steppe, and mountain taiga forests) were investigated with regard to distribution, prevalence, and diversity of Nosema infection in honey bees using duplex-PCR. Nosema infected bees were found in 65% apiaries of ecoregions studied, and coinfection was predominant (36.3% of Nosema-positive apiaries). Both N. apis and N. ceranae occur across subarctic and warm summer continental climates, but while N. apis predominates in the former, N. ceranae is more predominant in the latter. No statistically significant differences in Nosema distribution were identified in various climatic zones. In the sub-taiga zone (subarctic climate), low presence of colonies with pure N. ceranae and a significantly higher proportion of coinfection apiaries were revealed. Long-term epidemiological study of Nosema spp. prevalence in the sub-taiga zone showed a surprising percentage increase of Nosema-positive apiaries from 46.2% to 74.1% during 2012–2017. From 2012 to 2015, N. apis became a predominant species, but in 2016–2017, the coinfection was mainly detected. In conclusion, the results of this investigation showed that N. ceranae is widespread in all study ecoregions of North Asia where it exists in combination with the N. apis, but there is no replacement of N. apis by N. ceranae in the studied bee populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Honey Bee Virus Transmission via Hive Products
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030096 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The global trade of honey bee hive products has raised concern about pathogen transmission. However, the efficacy of hive products as virus vehicles is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the transmission capacity of hive products for Deformed wing virus genotype A (DWV-A) in [...] Read more.
The global trade of honey bee hive products has raised concern about pathogen transmission. However, the efficacy of hive products as virus vehicles is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the transmission capacity of hive products for Deformed wing virus genotype A (DWV-A) in a fully-crossed hoarding cage experiment and estimated the transmission risk by screening commercial products. Western honey bee workers were provided with honey, pollen and wax either contaminated with high (~2 × 109), medium (~1.7 × 108), low (~8 × 106) or zero (control) DWV-A genome copies. For 10 days, mortality was monitored. Then, virus titers were quantified in bee heads and 38 commercial products using RT-qPCR. For honey and pollen, a positive association between DWV-A concentration and mortality was observed. High concentrations always resulted in infections, medium ones in 47% of cases and low ones in 20% of cases. No significant difference was observed between the tested products. In commercial honey and pollen, 7.7 × 102–1.8 × 105 and 1.4 × 103–1.3 × 104 DWV-A copies per gram were found, respectively. The results show that DWV-A transmission via hive products is feasible. The risk of introducing novel viruses and/or strains should be considered in trade regulations by including virus analyses for health certificates of hive products Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Silicone Wristbands as Passive Samplers in Honey Bee Hives
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030086 - 06 Jul 2020
Abstract
The recent decline of European honey bees (Apis mellifera) has prompted a surge in research into their chemical environment, including chemicals produced by bees, as well as chemicals produced by plants and derived from human activity that bees also interact with. [...] Read more.
The recent decline of European honey bees (Apis mellifera) has prompted a surge in research into their chemical environment, including chemicals produced by bees, as well as chemicals produced by plants and derived from human activity that bees also interact with. This study sought to develop a novel approach to passively sampling honey bee hives using silicone wristbands. Wristbands placed in hives for 24 h captured various compounds, including long-chain hydrocarbons, fatty acids, fatty alcohols, sugars, and sterols with wide ranging octanol–water partition coefficients (Kow) that varied by up to 19 orders of magnitude. Most of the compounds identified from the wristbands are known to be produced by bees or plants. This study indicates that silicone wristbands provide a simple, affordable, and passive method for sampling the chemical environment of honey bees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Microbial Profile of the Ventriculum of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola, 1806) Fed with Veterinary Drugs, Dietary Supplements and Non-Protein Amino Acids
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7020076 - 06 Jun 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The effects of veterinary drugs, dietary supplements and non-protein amino acids on the European honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola, 1806) ventriculum microbial profile were investigated. Total viable aerobic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, staphylococci, Escherichia coli, lactic acid bacteria, Pseudomonas spp., aerobic bacterial [...] Read more.
The effects of veterinary drugs, dietary supplements and non-protein amino acids on the European honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola, 1806) ventriculum microbial profile were investigated. Total viable aerobic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, staphylococci, Escherichia coli, lactic acid bacteria, Pseudomonas spp., aerobic bacterial endospores and Enterococcus spp. were determined using a culture-based method. Two veterinary drugs (Varromed® and Api-Bioxal®), two commercial dietary supplements (ApiHerb® and ApiGo®) and two non-protein amino acids (GABA and beta-alanine) were administered for one week to honey bee foragers reared in laboratory cages. After one week, E. coli and Staphylococcus spp. were significantly affected by the veterinary drugs (p < 0.001). Furthermore, dietary supplements and non-protein amino acids induced significant changes in Staphylococcus spp., E. coli and Pseudomonas spp. (p < 0.001). In conclusion, the results of this investigation showed that the administration of the veterinary drugs, dietary supplements and non-protein amino acids tested, affected the ventriculum microbiological profile of Apis mellifera ligustica. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
Open AccessArticle
Using Manual and Computer-Based Text-Mining to Uncover Research Trends for Apis mellifera
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7020061 - 06 May 2020
Abstract
Honey bee research is believed to be influenced dramatically by colony collapse disorder (CCD) and the sequenced genome release in 2006, but this assertion has never been tested. By employing text-mining approaches, research trends were tested by analyzing over 14,000 publications during the [...] Read more.
Honey bee research is believed to be influenced dramatically by colony collapse disorder (CCD) and the sequenced genome release in 2006, but this assertion has never been tested. By employing text-mining approaches, research trends were tested by analyzing over 14,000 publications during the period of 1957 to 2017. Quantitatively, the data revealed an exponential growth until 2010 when the number of articles published per year ceased following the trend. Analysis of author-assigned keywords revealed that changes in keywords occurred roughly every decade with the most fundamental change in 1991–1992, instead of 2006. This change might be due to several factors including the research intensification on the Varroa mite. The genome release and CCD had quantitively only minor effects, mainly on honey bee health-related topics post-2006. Further analysis revealed that computational topic modeling can provide potentially hidden information and connections between some topics that might be ignored in author-assigned keywords. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Factors Associated with Honey Bee Colony Losses: A Mini-Review
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(4), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7040166 - 30 Oct 2020
Abstract
The Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L., Hymenoptera: Apidae) is a species of crucial economic, agricultural and environmental importance. In the last ten years, some regions of the world have suffered from a significant reduction of honey bee colonies. In fact, honey [...] Read more.
The Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L., Hymenoptera: Apidae) is a species of crucial economic, agricultural and environmental importance. In the last ten years, some regions of the world have suffered from a significant reduction of honey bee colonies. In fact, honey bee losses are not an unusual phenomenon, but in many countries worldwide there has been a notable decrease in honey bee colonies. The cases in the USA, in many European countries, and in the Middle East have received considerable attention, mostly due to the absence of an easily identifiable cause. It has been difficult to determine the main factors leading to colony losses because of honey bees’ diverse social behavior. Moreover, in their daily routine, they make contact with many agents of the environment and are exposed to a plethora of human activities and their consequences. Nevertheless, various factors have been considered to be contributing to honey bee losses, and recent investigations have established some of the most important ones, in particular, pests and diseases, bee management, including bee keeping practices and breeding, the change in climatic conditions, agricultural practices, and the use of pesticides. The global picture highlights the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor as a major factor in colony loss. Last but not least, microsporidian parasites, mainly Nosema ceranae, also contribute to the problem. Thus, it is obvious that there are many factors affecting honey bee colony losses globally. Increased monitoring and scientific research should throw new light on the factors involved in recent honey bee colony losses. The present review focuses on the main factors which have been found to have an impact on the increase in honey bee colony losses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
Open AccessReview
Veterinary Diagnostic Approach of Common Virus Diseases in Adult Honeybees
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(4), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7040159 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Veterinarians are educated in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases in various vertebrate species. As they are familiar with multifactorial health problems in single animals as well as in herd health management, their knowledge and skills can be beneficial for the beekeepers and [...] Read more.
Veterinarians are educated in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases in various vertebrate species. As they are familiar with multifactorial health problems in single animals as well as in herd health management, their knowledge and skills can be beneficial for the beekeepers and honeybee health. However, in education and in practice, honeybees are not a common species for most veterinarians and the typical veterinary diagnostic methods such as blood sampling or auscultation are not applicable to the superorganism honeybee. Honeybee colonies may be affected by various biotic and abiotic factors. Among the infectious agents, RNA-viruses build the largest group, causing covert and overt infections in honeybee colonies which may lead to colony losses. Veterinarians could and should play a more substantial role in managing honeybee health—not limited to cases of notifiable diseases and official hygiene controls. This review discusses the veterinary diagnostic approach to adult bee examination with a special focus on diagnosis and differential diagnosis of the common virus diseases Acute Bee Paralysis Virus (ABPV)-Kashmir Bee Virus (KBV)-Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV)-Complex, Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV) and Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), as well as coinfections like Varroa spp. and Nosema spp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Other

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Open AccessCase Report
Overt Infection with Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV) in Two Honey Bee Colonies
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030142 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV), a widespread honey bee RNA virus, causes massive worker bee losses, mostly in strong colonies. Two different syndromes, with paralysis, ataxia and flight incapacity on one hand and black hairless individuals with shortened abdomens on the other, can [...] Read more.
Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV), a widespread honey bee RNA virus, causes massive worker bee losses, mostly in strong colonies. Two different syndromes, with paralysis, ataxia and flight incapacity on one hand and black hairless individuals with shortened abdomens on the other, can affect a colony simultaneously. This case report presents two Apis mellifera carnica colonies with symptoms of paralysis and hairless black syndrome in 2019. Via RT-PCR, a highly positive result for CBPV was detected in both samples. Further problems, such as a Nosema infection and Varroa infestation, were present in these colonies. Therapy methods were applied to colony 1 comprising queen replacement, shook swarm method and Varroa control, whereas colony 2 was asphyxiated after queen loss and colony weakening. After therapy, colony 1 was wintered without symptoms. Beekeeping and sanitary measures can save a CBPV-infected colony, while further complications result in total colony loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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Open AccessPerspective
A One-Health Model for Reversing Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) Decline
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7030119 - 27 Aug 2020
Abstract
Global insect decline impacts ecosystem resilience; pollinators such as honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) have suffered extensive losses over the last decade, threatening food security. Research has focused discretely on in-hive threats (e.g., Nosema and Varroa destructor) and broader external causes of [...] Read more.
Global insect decline impacts ecosystem resilience; pollinators such as honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) have suffered extensive losses over the last decade, threatening food security. Research has focused discretely on in-hive threats (e.g., Nosema and Varroa destructor) and broader external causes of decline (e.g., agrochemicals, habitat loss). This has notably failed to translate into successful reversal of bee declines. Working at the interdisciplinary nexus of entomological, social and ecological research, we posit that veterinary research needs to adopt a “One-Health” approach to address the scope of crises facing pollinators. We demonstrate that reversing declines will require integration of hive-specific solutions, a reappraisal of engagement with the many stakeholders whose actions affect bee health, and recontextualising both of these within landscape scale efforts. Other publications within this special issue explore novel technologies, emergent diseases and management approaches; our aim is to place these within the “One-Health” context as a pathway to securing honeybee health. Governmental policy reform offers a particularly timely pathway to achieving this goal. Acknowledging that healthy honeybees need an interdisciplinary approach to their management will enhance the contributions of veterinary research in delivering systemic improvements in bee health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Health)
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