Aim of the work
The honey bees are the most important commercial pollinators of those crops which depend on animal pollination for reproduction. Beekeeping is an eco-compatible activity that offers more than one type of production: honey, wax, royal jelly, pollen and propolis.
Beekeepers in Western countries have been reporting slow declines of bee stocks for many years, that seem unprecedented in recent history. This phenomena has been named "Colony collapse disorder" (CCD). It seems to be caused by a combination of various contributing factors rather than a single pathogen or poison.
The beekeeping of Apis mellifera L. in different types of beehive and the import of honeybees from other countries due to globalization, have caused the presence of new pathogens. Beekeepers use treatments against these pathogens, in particular against the Varroa destructor, a mite that can in some cases cause the weakening of the colony. For these reasons we have decided to investigate on the effects that some treatments and prevailing pathologies cause on the honey bees immune system. The aim of this work is to research new potential healthy indicators for the honey bees because the old indicators are not now sufficient. We have tried to create an instrument for veterinary doctors and for beekeepers to understand if an apiary is healthy. So we have investigated the possible ranges of two immune system enzymes, the glucose oxidase and the phenoloxidase, whose activity changes in case of stress conditions, such as the presence of a disease or the administering of a treatment by beekepers. We have also tried to inhibit P. larvae, the agent responsible for AFB, using the immune system instruments which the honey bees have.