Apidologie

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 353–363 | Cite as

Varroa mites and honey bee health: can Varroa explain part of the colony losses?

Open Access
Review Article

Abstract

Since 2006, disastrous colony losses have been reported in Europe and North America. The causes of the losses were not readily apparent and have been attributed to overwintering mortalities and to a new phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder. Most scientists agree that there is no single explanation for the extensive colony losses but that interactions between different stresses are involved. As the presence of Varroa in each colony places an important pressure on bee health, we here address the question of how Varroa contributes to the recent surge in honey bee colony losses.

Varroa destructor Apis mellifera colony collapse disorder winter losses honey bee stressors 

Varroa et santé des abeilles : la présence de cet acarien peutil expliquer en partie les pertes observées dans les colonies?

Varroa destructor Apis mellifera syndrôme d’effondrement des colonies pertes hivernales facteurs de stress 

Varroa-Milben und Honigbienengesundheit: Kann Varroa einen Teil der Völkerverluste erklären?

Zusammenfassung

Seit 2006 werden in Europa und Nordamerika katastrophale Völkerverluste gemeldet. Die Ursachen dieser Verluste waren nicht leicht zu erklären, sie wurden als überwinterungsbedingte Mortalitäten bewertet und unter dem Begriff Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) zusammengefasst. Die meisten Wisenschaftler stimmen dahingehend überein, dass diesen Völkerverlusten keine Einzelursache zugrunde liegt, sondern, dass vermutlich verschiedene Stressfaktoren zusammenwirken. Da der Varroa-Befall einen wichtigen Druck auf die Gesundheit der Bienen in den Völkern darstellt, gingen wir der Frage nach, inwiefern Varroa an den seit kurzem beobachteten Völkerverlusten beteiligt sein kann.

Verschiedene physikalische und physiologische Faktoren mit negativer Wirkung der Varroa-Milbe auf die Gesundheit der einzelnen Biene und den Volkszusammenhang sind bereits bekannt. So führt das wiederholte Saugen von Hämolymphe zu Verletzungen der Bienen, zu erniedrigten Werten im Proteingehalt, sowie dem Lebend- und Trockengewicht und zur Behinderungen in der Organentwicklung. Die parasitische Milbe und die von ihr übertragenen Viren führen zu morphologischen Fehlentwicklungen, reduzierter Widerstandskraft und Lebenserwartung und zu negativen Effekten auf die Flugdauer und Heimfindungsfähigkeit der Sammlerinnen. Die Milbe schwächt das Immunsystem der Bienen, indem die Expression von Genen der Immunantwort reduziert wird. Zusammen mit erhöhten DWV-Viren-Titern reduziert sie damit die Lebensfähigkeit der Arbeiterinnen und die Koloniefitness. Die Rolle der Varroa-Milbe als Vektor in der horizontalen und vertikalen Übertragung von Viren ist hingehend bekannt, und Ko-Infektionen von V. destructor mit verschiedenen Viren wurden bereits als wichtige Faktoren im Varroa-bedingten Zusammenbruch von Völkern beschrieben. V. destructor muss deshalb weiterhin als eine ernsthafte Bedrohung der Honibiene gelten, und weiterhin werden Honigbienenpopulationen weltweit durch diese parasitische Milbe dezimiert.

Die Hypothese, dass CCD durch eindringende Varroa-Milben und ihre immunsuppressiven Fähigkeiten hervorgerufen wird, ist damit nicht auszuschliessen und wird durch die Befunde von vanEngelsdorp et al. (2009) gestärkt. Die Varroa-Milbe ist seit Jahren in den meisten Ländern vertreten, aus denen auch Völkerverluste gemeldet werden. Obwohl die Milbenpopulationen kontrolliert werden können, kann trotzdem spekulativ postuliert werden, dass die Verluste zumindest teilweise durch einen Varroa-Befall der Völker bedingt sein können. Welche Veränderungen in der Varroa-Biologie können also die jetzigen Verluste im Vergleich zu denen vor 20 Jahren erklären? Wir diskutieren potentielle Ursachen, einschliesslich Veränderungen in der Biologie und Populationsdynamik von Varroa und ihrem Wirt, der Kontrolle von Varroa durch Akarizide, indirekte Effekten der Varroa-Behandlungen, sowie synergistische Effekte multipler Faktoren.

Varroa destructor Apis mellifera Colony Collapse Disorder Winterverluste Honigbienen Stressfaktoren 

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© Springer S+B Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UMR 406 Abeilles et Environnement, Laboratoire de Biologie et Protection de l’abeilleINRAAvignon Cedex 9France
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA
  3. 3.Fachgebiet BienenCVUAFreiburgGermany

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