Declines in honey bee health have been attributed to multiple interacting environmental stressors; among the most important are forage/nutrition deficits and parasites and pathogens. Recent studies suggest poor honey bee nutrition can exacerbate the negative impacts of infectious viral and fungal diseases, and conversely, that common honey bee parasites and pathogens can adversely affect bee nutritional physiology. This sets up the potential for harmful feedbacks between poor nutrition and infectious disease that may contribute to spiraling declines in bee health. We suggest that improving bees’ nutritional resilience should be a major goal in combating challenges to bee health; this approach can buffer bees from other environmental stressors such as pathogen infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science