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Diseases of bees

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Factors, characteristics and medications available

Bees can suffer from diseases caused by the same environment, by the presence of pathogens and by the same genetics of bees.

When we refer to the environment, we will consider fators such as what kind of plants are in the environment, what temperature is in the area, the level of relative humidity ... The set of environmental conditions and their specific combination can cause the appearance of some type of diseases in particular.

To this, we must add the presence of possible pathogens, which will have specific and specific characteristics that will define their ability to spread, the infectious load they have and how they manifest themselves (they can be viruses, bacteria, fungi ...).

Finally, the same genetics of bees will have a lot to do with regard to diseases, since they will not be affected by the same diseases (or at least not with so much virulence) a type of bee with a more hygienic behavior than another type of bee that does not have such a marked hygienic behavior. In addition, resistance to some diseases are inheritable through the genetic lineage of queen bees, made to take into account when choosing queen for the hive (or buy the queen in a hatchery of trusted queens).

The diseases can affect both bee breeding and adult bees, and can occur due to fungal infection, parasite infection, bacterial infections or viral infections.

Parasitic diseases are varroasis (produced by Varroa destructor), aethinosis (produced by the so-called "hive beetle" Aethina tumida), acariasis (Acarapis woodi) and tropilaelapsosis.

Bacterial diseases are European foulbrood (Melissococcus pluton) and American foulbrood (Paenibacillus larvae).

The diseases caused by fungi are Nosemiasis (Aspergillus flavus), and calcified breeding (Ascosphera apis).

As for the different viruses that can affect bees, we find the kakugo virus, the Kashmir bee virus, the iridescent invertebrate virus type 6, the queen's black cell virus, the wing virus deformed, the sacciform breeding virus, the chronic bee paralysis virus, the bee needle paralysis virus and the macular tobacco virus.

Of the diseases described above that we will find that mainly affect bee breeding, are varroasis, European foulbrood and American foulbrood, tropilaelapsosis, the sacciform breeding virus, the queen's black cell virus, and Petrified breeding virus. Fortunately, in Spain even today there is no presence of Aethinosis (disease caused by the beetle of the hive Aethina tumida).

In the case of varroosis (produced by the parasite Varroa destructor) there are different active ingredients such as oxalic acid, thymol, flumethrin, tau fluvalitano, coumaphos, amitraz and formic acid. The names of the drugs against varroa are Apivar, Checkmite, Thymovar, Ecoxal, Bayvarol, Apitraz, Apiguard and Maqs.

Mundoabejas.com team


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