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Journal of Applied Sciences
  Year: 2019 | Volume: 19 | Issue: 5 | Page No.: 376-383
DOI: 10.3923/jas.2019.376.383
How Serious Is the Threat of Diseases and Pests to the Red Dwarf Honey Bee (Apis florea F.)?
Ram Chander Sihag

Abstract:
Background and Objective: The red dwarf honey bee (Apis florea F.) is one of the important pollinators of the semi-arid to tropical environments of several parts of Asia and some parts of Africa. This honey bee is facing severe decline in its colony numbers and foraging population in the semi-arid environment of northwest India. The probable causes of such losses are needed to be investigated. This article examines whether the diseases and pests are the causative agents for such a situation in this honey bee. Materials and Methods: This study was made from 1984-2012 at the main campus of CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar (India). Year round survey of 58 managed colonies (two colonies in each year) and 145 wild colonies (five colonies in each year) of the red dwarf honey bee (Apis florea F.) was done and their diseases, pests, predators and enemies were studied in the live and deserted combs, on the colony sites as well as in the laboratory following standard methods. Results: No viral, bacterial, fungal and protozoan diseases were found to annihilate the colonies of the red dwarf honey bee. Likewise, the predators, nest destroyers and other vertebrate enemies too were not causing any damage to the colonies or foraging bees of this honey bee. However, an ectoparasitic mite (Euvarroa sinhai Delfinado and Baker) and a wax moth (Galleria mellonella L.) were the two pests of this honey bee causing serious damages to the colonies of this honey bee. More than 30% of the over wintered colonies of this honey bee were infested with an ectoparasitic mite (Euvarroa sinhai ) and 100% of the over wintered colonies with the wax moth pest (Galleria mellonella). However, none of these pests were found to kill the infested colonies. Therefore, diseases, pests, predators and enemies were not the causes of colony declines in the red dwarf honey bee; some other factor (s) should be responsible for the colony losses of the red dwarf honey bee. Conclusion: In a pursuit to investigate the causative agents for the colony losses and declines of red dwarf honey bee in the semi-arid environment of northwest India, this study was made. Diseases and pests are not the real causes of colony declines/losses of the red dwarf honey bee. Other reasons of colony losses are needed to be investigated.
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How to cite this article:

Ram Chander Sihag , 2019. How Serious Is the Threat of Diseases and Pests to the Red Dwarf Honey Bee (Apis florea F.)?. Journal of Applied Sciences, 19: 376-383.

DOI: 10.3923/jas.2019.376.383

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=jas.2019.376.383

 
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