OnLine Journal of Biological Sciences

Review on Apiary Management and Antimicrobial Compounds as Alternative Prevention or Treatment for Honeybee Diseases

Chanpen Chanchao, Marko Stoić, Mikio Yoshiyama and Kiyoshi Kimura

OnLine Journal of Biological Sciences


Honeybees are important in terms of pollinators and bee products. However, honeybee colonies keep declining due to colony collapse disorder, loss of food sources, environmental deterioration, pesticide exposure and various diseases, as well as the interaction of these causes. Pathogenic infections are high because there is an antagonistic coevolution between host and pathogen/parasite, which leads to a reciprocal adaptation, as well as the weakening of the immune system of the hosts by other (including the above mentioned) compounding factors. Since many antibiotics have been used in apiaries, there is growing public health concern about antibiotic residues in food, while the spread of antibiotic resistant isolates of pathogens is of concern. This review focusses on a management system for apiary hygiene and antimicrobial compounds from natural products. Important traits for apiary management are the habitat quality, landscape heterogeneity, climate, management and health. Successful management can be determined by many criteria, such as the level of honey production/harvesting, the diversity of honey types, disease control and pesticide accumulation. Furthermore, attention to land cover is important because it provides the quality and quantity of nutrients. High elevations and slopes can influence the bee health, as can human actions, including global trade and hobby bee keepers. In order to reduce the use of chemicals and antibiotics in apiaries, the use of alternative compounds from natural products are still required. Compounds inhibiting Paenibacillus larvae larvae, the cause of American foulbrood disease and Varroa mites are very challenging because the bacteria can produce resistant spores and the mites are vectors for many viruses and pathogens. Bee products and plants, both crude and purified forms, can be alternative sources for honeybee disease control. Several substances, like propolis, have already been applied in field experiments. Various crude extracts, volatile compounds and pure compounds appear to have potential in honeybee disease prevention and treatment. It is concluded that the apiary management system and use of suitable alternative compounds from natural products can improve the health and decrease the loss of honeybees.


© 0000 Chanpen Chanchao, Marko Stoić, Mikio Yoshiyama and Kiyoshi Kimura. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.