Volume 3, Issue 4, July 2018, Page: 46-52
Apiarists’ Awareness and Responses to Honey Bee Colony Parasite and Pathogen Infections in Kenya
Onyango Irene Awino, Department of Livestock, Directorate of Veterinary Services, Kabete Veterinary Laboratories, Nairobi, Kenya
Shadrack Muya, Zoology Department, School of Biological Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
Samuel Kabochi, Department of Livestock, Directorate of Veterinary Services, Kabete Veterinary Laboratories, Nairobi, Kenya
Hellen Kutima, Zoology Department, School of Biological Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
Muo Kasina, National Sericulture Research Centre, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Thika, Kenya
Received: Jul. 20, 2018;       Accepted: Aug. 9, 2018;       Published: Sep. 6, 2018
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijnrem.20180304.11      View  537      Downloads  60
Globally, honey bee (Apis mellifera L. ) is the most domesticated bee species due to their ability to produce honey of commercial value, wax, pollen, royal jelly and propolis. They also facilitate pollination processes of flowering plants. However, there has been an increase in reported incidences of hive and colony infection by honey bee parasites and pathogens, contributing to colony collapse disorder. This study explored the beekeeper’s approaches to hive infestation by bee parasites and pathogens in Kenya. Using a questionnaire, 78 individual beekeepers and 15 beekeeping groups in eleven different Counties in Kenya were surveyed between 2012 and 2013, and their ability to identify and manage honey bee pathogens and parasites was determined. Majority of the farmers (95%) said they experienced challenges with pests. Ants were the pests mostly mentioned by the apiarists (90%), followed by small hive beetles (32%), wax moths (28%) and pirate wasps (18%). Only one respondent mentioned Varroa mites and no respondent mentioned any of the pathogens transmitted by these parasites. Most (90%) management practices apiarists mentioned targeted controlling ants. Farmers had no idea of how to control other pest and/or parasites, in spite of their presence as was confirmed by this study that all colonies inspected in all sites were infested with Varroa mites. Majority (93%) of the apiarist harvested honey at night when visibility is poor and hence could not see other pests and/or pathogens. Apiarist’ need education on bee husbandry in order to contain honey bee parasites and pathogens to improve their awareness on the same and to manage colony collapse disorders. They need to embrace colony inspection and honey harvesting during the day when sufficient lighting is available for detection of parasites and pathogens.
Apis Mellifera, Bee Parasites, Pathogens, Beekeeping Practices
To cite this article
Onyango Irene Awino, Shadrack Muya, Samuel Kabochi, Hellen Kutima, Muo Kasina, Apiarists’ Awareness and Responses to Honey Bee Colony Parasite and Pathogen Infections in Kenya, International Journal of Natural Resource Ecology and Management. Vol. 3, No. 4, 2018, pp. 46-52. doi: 10.11648/j.ijnrem.20180304.11
Copyright © 2018 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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