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Author Notes:

CORRESPONDING AUTHORS: Please direct correspondence to both BJB (bbrosi@emory.edu) and JCdR (jderood@emory.edu)

BJB, KSD, MB, and JCdR wrote the manuscript.

The authors declare no competing financial interests.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01GM109501.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


  • Agriculture
  • Ecological epidemiology
  • Evolution

Ecological and evolutionary approaches to managing honeybee disease


Journal Title:

Nature Ecology and Evolution


Volume 1, Number 9


, Pages 1250-1262

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Honey bee declines are a serious threat to global agricultural security and productivity. While multiple factors contribute to these declines, parasites are a key driver. Disease problems in honey bees have intensified in recent years, despite increasing attention to addressing them. Here we argue that we must focus on the principles of disease ecology and evolution to understand disease dynamics, assess the severity of disease threats, and manage these threats via honey bee management. We cover the ecological context of honey bee disease, including both host and parasite factors driving current transmission dynamics, and then discuss evolutionary dynamics including how beekeeping management practices may drive selection for more virulent parasites. We then outline how ecological and evolutionary principles can guide disease mitigation in honey bees, including several practical management suggestions for addressing short- and long-term disease dynamics and consequences.

Copyright information:

© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.

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