Parasite resistance and tolerance in honeybees at the individual and social level

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 11
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Organisms living in large groups, such as social insects, are particularly vulnerable to parasite transmission. However, they have evolved diverse defence mechanisms which are not only restricted to the individual’s immune response, but also include social defences. Here, we review cases of adaptations at the individual and social level in the honeybee Apis mellifera against the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor and the endoparasitic microsporidians Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis. They are considered important threats to honeybee health worldwide. We highlight how individual resistance may result in tolerance at the colony level and vice versa.