Infestation Levels of Some Pests, Predators and Enemies of Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) in Two Agro-Ecological Zones of Uganda
De Graaf, Dirk C.
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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.