1. bookVolume 72 (2022): Issue 2 (June 2022)
Journal Details
First Published
25 Mar 2014
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

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

Published Online: 04 Jul 2022
Volume & Issue: Volume 72 (2022) - Issue 2 (June 2022)
Page range: 145 - 166
Accepted: 20 May 2022
Journal Details
First Published
25 Mar 2014
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

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 five 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.


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