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Veterinaria (Montevideo)

Print version ISSN 0376-4362On-line version ISSN 1688-4809

Abstract

NOGUEIRA, Enrique; JURI, Pablo  and  INVERNIZZI, Ciro. Effect of sugar syrup on larval survival in honey bee colonies affected by River disease. Veterinaria (Montev.) [online]. 2021, vol.57, n.215, e505.  Epub June 01, 2021. ISSN 0376-4362.  http://dx.doi.org/10.29155/vet.57.215.2.

The massive larvae death of the honey bee Apis mellifera that occurs when the bees collect the excretions of the flatidae Epormensis cestri is known in Uruguay as River disease. The beekeepers that find their colonies affected during spring-summer must move them to a safe place to prevent significant losses due to depopulation. Some beekeepers have tried to reduce the loss of larvae by adding sugar syrup, reporting different results. In order to evaluate in what measure, if any, the sugar syrup reduced the larvae mortality, 3 groups of 10 colonies each were installed in an apiary infected by River disease. Two of these groups were given two liters of sugar syrup 1:1 (weight:volume) in 6 opportunities throughout 19 days, one of them through an internal feeder and the other through an external feeder. The third group of colonies did not receive sugar syrup. In this period, the viability of the brood was estimated four times through photographic analysis. The sugar syrup, regardless of the type of feeder used, allowed 53-64 % of the larvae to survive the first week, but these values quickly decreased, reaching after 7 days a maximum survival of 24 %. In the control colonies the brood mortality was below 2 %. These results show that the effect that sugar syrup has on larvae mortality is narrow and of short duration, so it is not advised that beekeepers resort to this practice in colonies affected by River disease.

Keywords : Apis mellifera; intoxication; mortality; honeydew; Uruguay.

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