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Veterinarians, key players in preserving bee health

A new OIE thematic publication

Preserving bee health is now a key concern for the agricultural sector and environmentalists. Veterinarians in both the public and private sector have a crucial role to play in tackling this issue. The OIE offers them its full support in the form a new publication, entitled Bee health and veterinarians.

Paris, 20 November 2014 – Preserving the health of bees, both in the wild and in apiaries, is now a crucial health issue and one that the OIE includes among its priorities. Any loss of these key pollinators, which help to ensure plentiful crops throughout the world, would be a biological, agricultural, environmental and economic disaster.

Increasing bee mortality is a growing concern worldwide. It has multiple causes, including factors such as environmental influences, irresponsible use of pesticides, emergence of new pathogens and harmful practices in world trade in bees and bee products.

Public and private sector veterinarians have a growing role to play in protecting the health of bees, whatever the reasons for their deteriorating health status. Veterinarians, along with the other stakeholders in the beekeeping sector, are responsible for supporting and helping to implement measures and activities aimed at improving bee health. This new OIE publication provides the key to understanding the distribution of responsibilities within the beekeeping sector, and gives veterinarians and all the other stakeholders in the sector an update on essential information for the prevention and control of bee diseases.

Bee health and veterinarians is edited by Dr Wolfgang Ritter, Chair of the OIE expert Group on bees, and consists of a compilation of articles by internationally recognised scientists in the field. The work is richly illustrated with charts, diagrams, graphs and numerous photographs, making it attractive, clear and accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

Bee health and veterinarians is in three main sections. It begins with background information on honey bees (including ‘wild’ species), and beekeeping, including brief reminders of their morphology, and physiology, and the specificities of their social organisation. The next section describes the central role of the veterinarian in managing bee health, including disease surveillance, diagnosis and treatment. The last section gives an overview of the standards and regulations in various countries.


Bee health and veterinarians
Coordinator and editor: Wolfgang Ritter

  • 316 pages
  • In English
  • Price: € 50

Preserving bee health: a priority for the OIE

The OIE, with the support of a specific Group of experts, has for several decades been working to provide Veterinary Services throughout the world with intergovernmental sanitary standards and scientifically based guidelines relating to bee diseases, precautions to avoid their transboundary transmission and biosecurity measures applicable to global and regional trade in bees and bee products. The OIE also works to strengthen the capacity of the national Veterinary Services in its 180 Member Countries, which includes improving the quality of apiary surveillance and observations in the field.

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