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Home » Archive » 2019

TDK conference 2019

Health, production biology, and environmental analysis on honeybee colonies in South Hungary
Városi Dominika - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Parasitology and Zoology
Supervisor: Dr. László Békési

Abstract:

Honeybees are important pollinators thus take a great part in feed and food industry; their protection should be a number one priority. Monoculture, changing weather, insecticides, and pathogen microorganisms are a few examples to environmental factors that could alter the bees’ viability, production, and shorten their lifespan.

I first selected three sites, then two honeybee colonies in each site to examine. In my study I compared the Nosema and RNS honeybee virus infection as well as the environmental factors (temperature, relative humidity, and dew point) in the chosen colonies for a year. Moreover, the bees of Pogány site have been selected to perform a metagenetic examination on their gut.

The colonies of the examined sites differ from each other in production levels. According to my hypothesis this is caused by an external factor as the same technology is being applied on every site.

The main point in choosing the sites was to have one with generally weak, one with middle-stength, and one with strong colonies. A weather-station was placed in each site, and I collected living bees into a jar to transport them to the National Food Chain Safety Office Veterinary Diagnostics Directorate, to determine their Nosema- and virus infections. Placing the bees in dry ice, then removing their gut was needed for the metagenetic examination, which was performed by SeqOmics Kft. to determine what kind of microorganisms can be found in the bowels of the honeybees.

Nosema infection was detected in both lower and higher rates in every colony throughout the year. From the five examined honeybee RNS viruses (acute bee paralysis virus, black queen cell virus, chronic bee paralysis virus, deformed wing virus, sackbrood virus) only chronic bee paralysis virus was never detected in any of the colonies. Apis mellifera filamentous virus, several lactic acid bacteria, and some bacteria occurring in mammals’ bowels could be seen within the microorganisms that have been found with the metagenetic test.

This thesis aims to highlight that the death of the bees and the smaller rates of production are most likely caused by not one but several factors, including weather activity, aggressive insecticides and pathogen microorganisms that add up in weakening the bees. This is a complex problem that needs urgent solution, therefore requires further research.



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