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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00722

The wisdom of honeybee defenses against environmental stresses

  • 1Shandong Agricultural University, China

As one of the predominant pollinator, honeybees provide important ecosystem service to crops and wild plants, and generate great economic benefit for humans. Unfortunately, there is clear evidence of recent catastrophic honeybee colony failure in some areas, resulting in markedly negative environmental and economic effects. It has been demonstrated that various environmental stresses, including both abiotic and biotic stresses, functioning singly or synergistically, are the potential drivers of colony collapse. Honeybees can use many defense mechanisms to decrease the damage from environmental stress to some extent. Here, we synthesize and summarize recent advances regarding the effects of environmental stress on honeybees and the wisdom of honeybees to respond to external environmental stress. Furthermore, we provide possible future research directions about the response of honeybees to various form of stressors.

Keywords: Honeybee, Environmental stress, abiotic stress, biotic stress, Defense mechanism

Received: 27 Nov 2017; Accepted: 27 Mar 2018.

Edited by:

Thomas Dandekar, Universität Würzburg, Germany

Reviewed by:

Jürgen Tautz, Universität Würzburg, Germany
Ranran Zhang, University of Wisconsin Health, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Li, Zhao, Liu, Wang, Xu and Guo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Xingqi Guo, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, China, xqguo@sdau.edu.cn