The effects of urbanization on disease prevalence in managed honey bee hives in Hamilton County, TN
Aborn, David A.; Chatzimanolis, Stylianos
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Rapid urban development may increase stress and disease exposure on economically essential organisms, including honey bees. We surveyed 18 apiaries containing 53 hives for diseases and productivity from 2021-2022 in Hamilton County, Tennessee at varying levels of urbanization. Disease levels were analyzed at 1.0km intervals from 0.5-9.5 km radii from each hive. Varroa levels significantly decreased with increased urbanization. There was a weak negative correlation between Varroa load and the likelihood of surviving the study. There was a positive relationship between urbanization and small hive beetle count. A positive relationship existed between small hive beetle counts and increased urbanization. This is significant as it indicates a changing disease ecology based on the degree of urbanization. As both urbanization and the demand for pollination services increase, it is vital to understand how honey bees will adapt to changing environments and pressures.
I would like to thank the following people and agencies. The UTC Graduate School provided funding through an assistantship from 2021 to 2022, the College of Arts and Sciences awarded the Graduate Engagement Award in 2023. The continued advice of Dr. DeAnna Beasley was instrumental in making it through this process. Dr. Francesca Leasi assisted me with statistical analysis. Joshua Crow and Megan Ferrel assisted in field collection. The NoogaQueenBee Club and Tennessee Valley Beekeepers spread the word of this project to members and provided useful information. Alex Wild gave me permission to use his excellent photographs online. The beekeepers in my surveys were willing to allow me to inspect their hives. Finally, family members were nice enough to let me keep a beehive in the backyard and gave me support and feedback throughout the study.
M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.
Honeybee--Effect of human beings on--Tennessee--Hamilton County; Honeybee--Diseases--Tennessee--Hamilton County
ix, 76 leaves
Jarvis, Caitlin, "The effects of urbanization on disease prevalence in managed honey bee hives in Hamilton County, TN" (2023). Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.
Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences