EFFECTS OF SYNTHETIC AND ORGANIC ACARICIDES ON HONEY BEE HEALTH: A REVIEW

Erik Tihelka

Abstract


The honey bee is a crucial pollinator of agricultural crops and also an economically important producer of commodities such as honey and beeswax that find diverse uses in the food industry, cosmetics and medicine. At present, the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is viewed as the most damaging pest of the honey bee worldwide. Without treatment, colonies generally collapse within a few years. To keep the population of the Varroa mites low, beekeepers relay on the use of synthetic and organic acaricides, the most popular commercially available ones include amitraz, coumaphos, flumethrin, fluvalinate, formic acid, oxalic acid and thymol. These conventional acaricides are cheap and easy to apply, but prolonged use causes Varroa mites to rapidly develop resistance and bee products can become contaminated. Residues of acaricides are present in high concentrations throughout the hive and bees are exposed to them all year around. The present review summarises the current knowledge of the deleterious effects of conventional acaricides on honey bee health. Numerous commercially available acaricides and their active substances have been shown to have negative effects on honey bee brood development, queen and drone reproductive health, learning, longevity and colony strength. Acaricides do not only act alone, but also in synergic combinations to affect bee health. Since some drugs cause substantial weakening of bee colonies, they can make them more susceptible to other diseases such as nosematosis or to extreme climatic events. As wax combs are contaminated with high concentrations of acaricide residues and Varroa mites are chronically exposed to them, the parasite may develop resistance faster. In combination with other stressors, acaricides could be a contributing factor to colony collapses.

Key words: synthetic acaricides; varroacides; honey bee; Apis mellifera; synergy; organic beekeeping

 

VPLIV UMETNIH IN NARAVNIH AKARICIDOV NA ZDRAVJE MEDONOSNIH ÄŒEBEL

Povzetek: ÄŒebele so pomemben opraÅ¡evalec kmetijskih pridelkov in gospodarsko pomemben proizvajalec izdelkov, kot sta med in vosek, ki se uporabljajo v živilski industriji, kozmetiki in medicini. Trenutno je zunanji zajedavec prÅ¡ica varoja (Varroa destructor) eden najveÄjih Å¡kodljivcev za Äebele v svetu. Brez zdravljenja Äebelje družine napadene z varojo veÄinoma propadejo v nekaj letih. Za ohranjanje nizke populacije prÅ¡ic varoj Äebelarji uporabljajo umetne in naravne akaricide. Najbolj priljubljeni, komercialno dostopni, so amitraz, kumafos, flumetrin, fluvalinat, mravljinÄna kislina, oksalna kislina in timol. Ti akaricidi so dokaj poceni in enostavni za uporabo, vendar podaljÅ¡ana uporaba povzroÄa hitro razvijanje odpornosti pri prÅ¡icah varoja in veÄjo možnost onesnaženja Äebeljih pridelkov. Ostanki akaricidov so po zdravljenju lahko prisotni v visokih koncentracijah v celotnem panju in so jim Äebele izpostavljene celo leto. Po uporabi je tudi satje pogosto onesnaženo z visokimi koncentracijami ostankov akaricidov, ki so jim prÅ¡ice varoja kroniÄno izpostavljene in lahko zaradi tega hitreje razvijejo odpornost. Pregledni Älanek povzema trenutno znanje o Å¡kodljivih uÄinkih konvencionalnih akaricidov na zdravje Äebel. Dokazano je, da imajo Å¡tevilni komercialno dostopni akaricidi in njihove aktivne snovi negativne uÄinke na razvoj Äebel, vplivajo na razmnoževalno sposobnost Äebelje matice in zmanjÅ¡ujejo sposobnost uÄenja Äebel ter dolgoživost in moÄ kolonije. Akaricidi ne delujejo samo kot posamezne uÄinkovine, ampak tudi sinergistiÄno, kar lahko dodatno slabo vpliva na zdravje Äebelje družine. Nekatera zdravila lahko povzroÄijo znatno oslabitev Äebeljih družin, lahko pa jih tudi naredijo bolj dovzetne za druge bolezni, kot je nozemavost, ali bolj obÄutljive na slabe vremenske razmere. V kombinaciji z drugimi stresorji lahko akaricidi prispevajo k propadu Äebelje družine.

KljuÄne besede: umetni akaricidi; varoicidi; Äebela; Apis mellifera; sinergija; ekoloÅ¡ko Äebelarjenje


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26873/SVR-422-2017

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