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East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now
Date:4/17/2014

e some innate genetic tolerance to these pests," Patch said. "We suspect the seemingly greater tolerance of African bees to these pests over the western bees is a combination of genes and environment."

Given their findings that African honeybees currently appear to be resilient to the effects of parasites and viruses, the researchers recommend that beekeepers in East Africa maintain healthy bee populations by protecting vital nesting habitat and the native flowering plant diversity that the bees depend on for food. In addition, the researchers suggest that beekeepers use pesticides sparingly.

"This research is important because it confirms the resilience of African bees despite the heavy presence of recently introduced Varroa mites, and it suggests that the approach to manage these pests should not follow the application of pesticides as has been done in the western world," said Muli. These newly introduced pests to Africa might have long-term implications for the honeybee populations.

"As these new parasites and pathogens become more widespread, as pesticide use increases and as landscape degradation increases due to increased urbanization, farming and climate change, we expect to see the combination of all these factors negatively impact the bees in the future," Grozinger said.


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Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert  

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