HUMAN ACTIVITY IS A KEY DRIVER IN THE SPREAD OF PATHOGENS AFFLICTING THE EUROPEAN HONEY BEE

Robert Owen is author of The Australian Beekeeping Handbook, owner of a beekeeping supply company, and a Ph.D. candidate at the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis at the University of Melbourne. In a research essay published last month in the Journal of Economic Entomology, Owen argues that human activity is a key driver in the spread of pathogens afflicting the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) and recommends a series of collective actions necessary to stem their spread. While some research seeks a “magic bullet” solution to honey bee maladies such as Colony Collapse Disorder, “many of the problems are caused by human action and can only be mitigated by changes in human behaviour,” Owen says.

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Photo credit: Stephen Ausmus, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

Photo credit: Stephen Ausmus, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org