Do managed bees drive parasite spread and emergence in wild bees?

Peter Graystock*, Edward J. Blane, Quinn S. McFrederick, Dave Goulson, William O H Hughes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue (Academic Journal)peer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)
311 Downloads (Pure)


Bees have been managed and utilised for honey production for centuries and, more recently, pollination services. Since the mid 20th Century, the use and production of managed bees has intensified with hundreds of thousands of hives being moved across countries and around the globe on an annual basis. However, the introduction of unnaturally high densities of bees to areas could have adverse effects. Importation and deployment of managed honey bee and bumblebees may be responsible for parasite introductions or a change in the dynamics of native parasites that ultimately increases disease prevalence in wild bees. Here we review the domestication and deployment of managed bees and explain the evidence for the role of managed bees in causing adverse effects on the health of wild bees. Correlations with the use of managed bees and decreases in wild bee health from territories across the globe are discussed along with suggestions to mitigate further health reductions in wild bees.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-75
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife
Issue number1
Early online date28 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Apis
  • Bombus
  • Bumble bee
  • Commercial
  • Disease
  • Domesticated
  • Farming
  • Honey bee
  • Intensification
  • Pollination service

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