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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Research strategies to improve honeybee health in Europe

Moritz, Robin F. A.; de Miranda, Joachim; Fries, Ingemar; Le Conte, Yves; Neumann, Peter; Paxton, Robert J.


Understanding the fundaments of colony losses and improving the status of colony health will require cross-cutting research initiatives including honeybee pathology, chemistry, genetics and apicultural extension. The 7th framework of the European Union requested research to empirically and experimentally fill knowledge gaps on honeybee pests and diseases, including 'Colony Collapse Disorder' and the impact of parasites, pathogens and pesticides on honeybee mortality. The interactions among these drivers of colony loss will be studied in different European regions, using experimental model systems including selected parasites (e. g. Nosema and Varroa mites), viruses (Deformed Wing Virus, Black Queen Cell Virus, Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus) and model pesticides (thiacloprid, tau-fluvalinate). Transcriptome analyses will be used to explore host-pathogen-pesticide interactions and identify novel genes for disease resistance. Special attention will be given to sublethal and chronic exposure to pesticides and will screen how apicultural practices affect colony health. Novel diagnostic screening methods and sustainable concepts for disease prevention will be developed resulting in new treatments and selection tools for resistant stock. Research initiatives will be linked to various national and international ongoing European, North-and South-American colony health monitoring and research programs, to ensure a global transfer of results to apicultural practice in the world community of beekeepers.


Apis mellifera; pathology; diagnosis; disease resistance

Published in

2010, volume: 41, number: 3, pages: 227-242

Authors' information

Moritz, Robin F.A.
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Fries, Ingemar
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Le Conte, Yves
Neumann, Peter
Paxton, Robert J.

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science

Publication Identifiers


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