Threats for introduction of new pests

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Throughout history, with all the exploration trips and globalization, diseases affecting honey bee health have been spread worldwide. That led to host-shifts of pests/pathogens between introduced and native honey bee species and subspecies. Varroa destructor and Nosema ceranae are known to have swapped over from A. cerana to A. mellifera, when the Western honey bee was introduced to Asia. On the opposite, Thai Sac Brood Virus, Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus and several tracheal mites were originally observed in A. mellifera before spreading to A. cerana. [1] [2]

Ethiopia: The exchange of diseases or parasites is always possible through neighbouring countries (i.e. Eritrea, Uganda, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, South-Sudan, or Djibouti). Foulbrood is so far no officially observed disease in Ethiopia, but was detected in Eritrea and therefore may spread through the international border to Ethiopia and other neighbouring countries. [3] Tropilaelaps spp. was discovered in Kenya. [3] While in Uganda only the Black queen cell virus (BQCV) was detected, [4] in Kenya, three viruses affecting the health of honey bees were observed: Deformed Wing Virus, BQCV and Acute bee paralysis virus. [5] Another notable factor is the international trade and transport of honey bee colonies.

Indonesia: The country consists mainly of islands but also shares borders with Malaysia and Australia. Despite Australia is known to have strict border regulations, the rate of disease exchange is high at over-land boundaries. [6] There is almost no information on honey bee disease distribution in Indonesia, but it is considered, that the transport of goods over sea is also a major risk for the distribution of pests and pathogens. One example for a possible future threat for Indonesians' apisector is the small hive beetle (SHB). While there is no data on the presence/absence in Indonesia, SHB occurs in the neighbouring Australia. [3] As mentioned above, international trade and transport of honey bee colonies is also considered to be a risk regarding the introduction of new pests.


  1. Botías, C., Anderson, D. L., Meana, A., Garrido-Bailón, E., Martín-Hernández, R., & Higes, M. (2012). Further evidence of an oriental origin for Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia: Nosematidae). Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 110(1), 108–113.
  2. Theisen-Jones, H., & Bienefeld, K. (2016). The Asian Honey Bee (Apis cerana) is Significantly in Decline. Bee World, 93(4), 90–97.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ellis, J. D., & Munn, P. A. (2005). The worldwide health status of honey bees. Bee World, 86(4), 88–101.
  4. Kajobe, R., Marris, G., Budge, G., Laurenson, L., Cordoni, G., Jones, B., …, & Brown, M. A. (2010). First molecular detection of a viral pathogen in Ugandan honey bees. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 104(2), 153–156.
  5. Muli, E., Patch, H., Frazier, M., Frazier, J., Torto, B., Baumgarten, T., …, & Grozinger, C. (2014). Evaluation of the distribution and impacts of parasites, pathogens, and pesticides on honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations in East Africa. PloS One, 9(4), e94459.
  6. Thompson, R. C. A., Owen, I. L., Puana, I., Banks, D., Davis, T. M. E., & Reid, S. A. (2003). Parasites and biosecurity – the example of Australia. Trends in Parasitology, 19(9), 410–416.