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Honey Bee Health

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.


We study the evolution, adaptation and ecology of bee viruses, as well as their effects on their hosts.

Bee and bumblebee sharing a flower.

The varroa mite

The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is inarguably the most significant threat to honey bee health and the sustainability of beekeeping worldwide.

Four bees


A substantial part of our research on bacteria associated with honeybees focus on the devastating bacterial honeybee brood disease American foulbrood (AFB) caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae.


Reference Laboratory for bee health

The department runs the National Reference Laboratory for bee health.

Our popular bee course

The course will give you a lot of new knowledge about the amazing life of bees. You will also learn about the threats against the bees and how we can take care of them in the best way.

Students and a bee hive.
SLU Bee Research
Published: 09 August 2023 - Page editor: anna.lundmark@slu.se