Diet Supplementation Helps Honey Bee Colonies in Combat Infections by Enhancing their Hygienic Behaviour

Zoran Stanimirović, Uroš Glavinić, Marko Ristanić, Stefan Jelisić, Branislav Vejnović, Mia Niketić, Jevrosima Stevanović
2022 Acta Veterinaria  
The hygienic behavior in honey bees is a complex polygenic trait that serves as a natural defense mechanism against bacterial and fungal brood diseases and Varroa destructor mites infesting brood cells. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a dietary amino acids and vitamins supplement "BEEWELL AminoPlus" on hygienic behavior of Apis mellifera colonies combating microsporidial and viral infections. The experiment was performed during a one-year period on 40 colonies alloted to
more » ... groups: one supplemented and infected with Nosema ceranae and four viruses (Deformed wing virus - DWV, Acute bee paralysis virus - ABPV, Chronic bee paralysis virus - CBPV and Sacbrood virus – SBV), three not supplemented, but infected with N. ceranae and/ or viruses, and one negative control group. Beside the l isted pathogens, honey bee trypanosomatids were also monitored in all groups. The supplement "BEEWELL AminoPlus" induced a significant and consistent increase of the hygienic behavior in spite of the negative effects of N. ceranae and viral infections. N. ceranae and viruses significantly and consistently decreased hygienic behavior, but also threatened the survival of bee colonies. The tested supplement showed anti-Nosema effect, since the N. ceranae infection level significantly and consistently declined only in the supplemented group. Among infected groups, only the supplemented one remained Lotmaria passim-free throughout the study. In conclusion, diet supplementation enhances hygienic behavior of honey bee colonies and helps them fight the most common infections of honey bees.
doi:10.2478/acve-2022-0013 fatcat:q2w2or4wl5avxaa4fnmlj5latm