Apiculture and Bee Health in Central Sweden
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Pollination necessary for the agricultural crop production affects the functions of the ecosystems on earth. In landscapes where wild pollinators are decreasing, honey bees promote the maintenance of plant species, therefore honey bee losses are of great concern. Current honey bee colony losses (Apis mellifera) worldwide are caused by Colony collapse disorder, the mite Varroa destructor and pesticides. This results in the honey bees weakened immune defenses making them susceptible to different diseases. Studies show that long-term natural selection for coexistence, or resistance to Varroa mites by honey bees is possible, but further developments are needed for this application in managed beekeeping. Furthermore, lactic acid bacteria found in honey bees can play a crucial role by improving its immune response. At places where apicultural practices have led to decreased amounts of lactic acid bacteria in the bees, supplementary feeding is a possible treatment solution. The beekeepers' observations of mite reproduction dynamics and the overwintering of strong and healthy honey bees are needed to decrease Varroa treatment with synthetic chemicals. Based on this knowledge, a small survey of beekeepers in Örebro County, Sweden, was conducted in an attempt to determine the status of their bees during the last 5 years. The largest colony loss over the past 5 winters was predominantly in 2012-2013. Varroa mite infestations with disease symptoms were primarily found in the central region. Since the survey was small and time was limited it was only possible to make general conclusions. Deeper understanding of lactic acid bacteria in honey bee societies and their inhibition of different diseases are important for future research.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 35 p.
honey bee, immune defense, lactic acid bacteria, Varroa mite
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35420OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-35420DiVA: diva2:726465
Subject / course
Ekblad, Alf, Professor