Honey Bee Health

Last changed: 23 January 2018
Honey bee in a big white flower.

We study the transmission of bee diseases within and between honeybee colonies, how bee health is affected by different biotic and abiotic factors and how bees defend themselves against bee diseases. Healthy bees are important not only for professional and hobby beekeepers but also for you and me. About one third of the human diet is directly or indirectly dependent on insect pollination and the honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most important insect pollinator.


On-going projects

Social immunity in honeybees: The role of virus infections in hygienic behaviour against varroa-infested pupae

Contact: Joachim de Miranda

Lactic acid bacterial symbionts and honeybee health

Contact: Eva Forsgren

Epidemiology of American foulbrood

Contact: Eva Forsgren

A baseline study of honeybee diseases in Sweden

Contact: Eva Forsgren

Threats against pollinators

Together with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency

Contact: Eva Forsgren

FORMAS pollinator health

Contact: Joachim de Miranda

Evaluating Varroa mite-surviving honeybee populations for their potential in mite-resistant breeding

Contact: Barbara Locke Grandér

The Bond (live and let die) Project: maintaining a population of naturally adapted Varroa mite resistant honeybees on the island of Gotland 

Contact: Barbara Locke Grandér

Transcriptomic, metabolomic and genetic analyses of Varroa mite reproduction in naturally selected Varroa-resistant honeybee populations 

Contact: Barbara Locke Grandér

Sustainable beekeeping for a sustainable future: Europe-wide initiatives towards Varroa mite-resistant honeybees

Contact: Barbara Locke Grandér

Prediction of the risk of honeybee colony disease and mortality in relation to alternative treatment and management options

Contact: Jörg Stephan


Notifiable honey bee diseases in Sweden

The Swedish legislation includes five notifiable honey bee diseases:

  • American foulbrood caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae
  • Varroa mite infestation (Varroa destructor)
  • Tracheal mite infestation (Acarapis woodi)
  • Tropilaelaps spp. mite infestation
  • Small hive beetle infestation (Aethina tumida)


Eva Forsgren, Senior Lecturer and External Collaboration Specialist
Department of Ecology, SLU
eva.forsgren@slu.se+46 18-67 20 83