Transmission routes of parasite Nosema ceranae in the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera
Swartzendruber, Mauricio R.
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Honey bees serve as important pollinators that improve both production and quality of crops in the agricultural industry. Nosema ceranae, a parasite to the honey bee, is threatening bee populations around the world. As a relatively new disease, the pathway that N. ceranae is spread is still unknown. It has been suggested that it spreads through an oral-to-oral pathway through food sharing. Cages containing one infected be and two young uninfected bees were used with an experimental group using a restrained bee to eliminate the chance of the fecal-to-oral pathway. In the restrained bee group, the restrained bee was the only bee in the cage to receive food, increasing the likelihood that it would share food with the young uninfected bees. After running two trials for 18 days, exchanging young bees for new bees every 2 days, there was insufficient data to attribute to any conclusions. The lack of data likely due to limited interaction between the infected be and the uninfected young bees. Modification to the study with sufficient interaction between infected and uninfected bees is suggested.