STUDIES ON PESTS AND DISEASES OF BUMBLE BEE (BOMBUS HAEMORRHOIDALIS SMITH) IN INDIA
Bumble bees are wild pollinators and in many countries being reared commercially. In India, attempts are being made for the domestication of bumble bee, B. haemorrhoidalis. But targeted rearing success has not been accomplished till now. During the month of June-July, developing colonies start declining leading to the cent per cent loss of the bumble bee population. Keeping in view the immense importance of various pests and diseases of bumble bees in the successful rearing, studies during 2010-2012 were conducted to know the different pests and diseases for better domiciliation and commercialization of the bombiculture in our country. Fecundated queens of bumble bee, B. haemorrhoidalis were collected during spring season and were kept in wooden domiciles in the incubator at a temperature 26±1ºC and 65-70% relative humidity by feeding with fresh corbicular pollen and sucrose solution. Incidence of pests and diseases was observed with the development of colonies. Dead workers and queens were dissected and slides were prepared to study the causal organism of their death. The pests were found to be nematodes, conopid flies, mites and moths. Similarly, the colonies were also found to be affected with nosema and bacterial diseases. Percent infestation/infection of bumble bee colonies was calculated for each pest and disease. 8.83% colonies were found unaffected and survived till mid August. Bumble bee queens (17.65%) were infected by large number of juveniles and eggs of nematode, Sphareularia spp. (Sphaerulariidae). Conopid flies were present in the abdomen of 20.58% queens. Small oval reddish brown mites were located in 11.76% queens. While the brownish grey coloured moths were found to feed on the wax and pollen also caused losses to the 8.83% developing colonies of bumble bees. In 14.70% of queens, numerous nosema spores were found in the mid gut causing infection and finally leading their death. Rod like bacterial cells belonging to family Streptococcacae were found in gut of 17.65% colonies. Such incidences destroyed the colonies before the end of July every year.
AVINASH CHAUHAN, SAPNA KATNA AND B.S. RANA
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