Journal of Biology and Nature
 

Journal of Biology and Nature, ISSN No. : 2395-5376 (Print), 2395-5384 (Online), Vol.: 9, Issue.: 1

Original Research Article

INFESTATION LEVELS OF SOME PESTS, PREDATORS AND ENEMIES OF HONEYBEE (Apis mellifera L.) IN TWO AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES OF UGANDA

 

MOSES CHEMUROT1*, HUDSON ONEN1, PATRICE KASANGAKI2, ROBERT KITYO1, ERIC SANDE1 AND DIRK C. DE GRAAF3

1Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, P.O.Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda.

2National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLiRRI) P.O. Box 96, Tororo, Uganda.

3Laboratory of Molecular Entomology and Bee Pathology, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.

Abstracts

Globally, honeybees are threatened by human-mediated factors like pests, diseases and pesticides. In this study, 370 honeybee colonies were surveyed for selected invertebrate and vertebrate pests in wet and dry seasons (December 2014 to September 2015). Observations were made on human activities, apiary characteristics, landscape and land use type. Counts of selected pests were made by carefully opening, smoking hives before physically searching for the target pests. The pests recorded included; rats (Graphiurus sp.), lizards (Agama sp.), small hive beetle (Aethina tumida), wax moth (Galleria mellonella) and ants (Dorylus sp.). Infestation levels of wax moths were significantly higher in wet season (0.6±2.9) than in the dry season (0.0±0.0) (P < 0.01). In addition, there was a significant negative correlation between wax moth infestation level and elevation (rho = -0.194, n = 161, P = 0.014). Furthermore, wax moths infestation levels varied significantly across apiaries of different dominant vegetation types (P = 0.001). Old farmlands had significantly higher infestation level of pests wax moths, ant and lizard compared to new farmlands and protected areas (P<0.05). The results support locating apiaries in less disturbed habitats to reduce pest infestation.

Keywords :

Beekeeping; bee pests; East Africa; Mount Elgon; Rwenzori.