HYGIENIC BEHAVIOURAL MECHANISM OF RESISTANCE TO DISEASES AND PARASITES IN WEST AFRICAN HONEY BEE COLONIES APIS MELLIFERA ADANSONII (HYMENOPTERA: APIDAE)

Akinwande K. Lawrence, Badejo M. Adetola, Ogbogu S. Sunday

Abstract


Diseases, parasites and pests are problems of honey bee colonies in all parts of Nigeria with no protracted effort by beekeepers at improving colony hygiene for their domesticated bee colonies to curb the menace. Hygienic behavior is a genetic trait which has been a key assessment of general resistance of honey bees to diseases and parasites. Worker bees in healthy colonies detect, uncap and remove infected brood to reduce the spread of diseases. Forty two colonies of honey bees were selected in Ogun and Osun States and pathological tests were conducted to ascertain the presence and level of infection of the colonies with some diseases pathogens and Varroa mites that impact on the brood by killing it. Colonies were grouped into two categories: healthy colonies (HC) when they are free of parasites and brood diseases and infected colonies (IC) when they show the presence of parasites and brood diseases.  Hygienic test was carried out using pin to kill some brood in both HC and IC, the numbers of dead broods uncapped and removed within 24 and 48hours were noted. Parasitic mite infestations were detected in 54.9 ± 5.91% (Mean ± S.D) of the colonies, 66.34 ± 6.16% (Mean ± S.D) of the colonies were having chalkbrood infections and there were no records of American and European foulbrood diseases. . Pin-killed brood assay revealed removal of dead brood within 24 and 48 hours, there is no significant difference observed between the rate of uncapping and removal of the dead brood in both IC and HC  (t-critical = 1.782, and t-calc = 0.85, df = 12 and p = 0.05) The mean of dead brood uncapped and removed by the worker honey bees in IC is significantly greater than in the HC  (t-critical = -1.782, and t-calc = 25.75df = 12 and P = 0.05 ). In Apis mellifera adansonii, uncapping and removal of dead brood in hygienic colonies is a mechanism of resistance and in infected colonies in addition to resistance, it reduces the spread of diseases and parasitic infections.

  

Keywords


Colony hygienic behaviour, Economic threshold level, Diseases, Parasites and Pests

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