New genomic tools and resources are now being used to both understand honey bee health and develop tools to better manage it. Here, we describe the use of genomic approaches to identify and characterize bee parasites and pathogens, examine interactions among these parasites and pathogens, between them and their bee hosts, and to identify genetic markers for improved breeding of more resilient bee stocks. We also discuss several new genomic techniques that can be used to more efficiently study, monitor and improve bee health. In the case of using RNAi-based technologies to mitigate diseases in bee populations, we highlight advantages, disadvantages and strategies to reduce risk. The increased use of genomic analytical tools and manipulative technologies has already led to significant advances, and holds great promise for improvements in the health of honey bees and other crucial pollinator species.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science