Communications in agricultural and applied biological sciences

A novel approach for the management of the chalkbrood disease infesting honeybee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies in Egypt.

PMID 16628894


Except for, very few articles regarding the influence of some organic acids on the causative pathogen, Ascosphaera apis Maassen, no other studies pertaining to the management of the chalkbrood disease were performed, so far in Egypt. Laboratory investigations indicated that the fungicides, i.e (Galben C 46%, Radomil gold pluse WP 42.5% and Daconil 2787) at their recommended rates did not exert any effect on the mycelical growth of the fungus. Therefore, these fungicides were completely excluded from the subsequent apiary trials. As to the Mycostatin, it was found clearly that this mycostatic compound was effective at the rates of 50.000 and 100.000 IU. Regarding the essential oils (ceder, clove, peppermint, parsley, black cumin, garden rocket, and ricin), ceder oil surpassed the other oils and materials in controlling the subject disease. It is peculiar that no studies on the efficacy of ceder are available in the literature, so the present work using ceder oil is recorded for the first time worldwide. Thymol substance at the rate of 2% showed also a great success in managing the CHB disease. Baised on the obtained results, the promising materials in controlling the disease could be arranged according to their efficacy in a descending order as follows: ceder oil>thymol>mycostatin and oxalic acid, so these highly effective materials were again tested under the apiary conditions. Outdoors (apiary) studies revealed that ceder oil 4% gave 100% reduction in mummies numbers. Reductions in number of fallen mummies ranged from 63.22 to 96.94, 18.93 to 81.74, and 10.11 to 68.16%, on average, for thymol, mycostatin, and oxalic acid, respectively. From the practical point of view, thymol could be recommended for controlling the CHB disease, as it is the cheapest material and proved to increase the brood nest as well. In addition, thymol has other uses in the field of apiculture.

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