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Aim: To determine the species composition, relative abundance and status of honey bee pests and diseases in South Ari district of South Omo Zone of Southern Western Ethiopia.
Study Design: Four major honey producing peasant associations (PAs) representing diverse ecological zones were selected purposively, while the sub-localities, villages and beekeepers were selected randomly using a nested design.
Place and Duration of Study: Survey was conducted between 1, August – 30, December 2019 with the interval of one month in major honey producing peasant associations representing diverse ecological zones of Ari district of South Western Ethiopia.
Methodology: The assessment on abundance and status was made from of half kilogram of fresh and dry honey comb samples that were taken from 720 farmer’s hives of four peasant associations using taxonomic key of books related to arthropod pests and diseases of honey bee.
Results: Five species of predators and parasitoids belonging to four orders were recorded. Of these 76.63% accounts for small hive beetles, followed ants (38.31%) and wasps (19.92%). Besides, six type’s diseases of honey bee caused by different pathogens were recorded. Of which, Chalk brood, other virosis, European foulbrood and American foulbrood, respectively were the most frequently occurring. In terms of the status, the diseases of honey bee were in the following orders, i.e., Chalk brood > other virosis > European foulbrood > American foulbrood > Sac Brood Virus, while their pests were in the following orders, i.e., Small hive beetles > Ants > Wasps > Wax moths > Spiders.
Conclusion: Arthropod pests and diseases were the most important constraints of honey colony and honey production in the study areas. Thus, it is important to design and implement effective management strategies to reduce loss of honey colony and honey production in the study area.
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