EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 04 - 2002 Num. article: 2002/066

Honey bees as bioindicators to detect Erwinia amylovora in the environment

In Italy, studies have showed that honey bees could usefully be used as bioindicators to monitor the presence of Erwinia amylovora (EPPO A2 quarantine pest) in the environment. The bacterium can be detected by PCR-ELISA in pollen, in bee hives, before any symptoms are found in the surrounding orchards. With this method, larger surfaces can be monitored (mean radius of area covered by bees is about 1.5 km). It facilitates early detection of the disease, as trees located in the area monitored can be placed under strict surveillance if the bacterium is found.


Ghini, S.; Zeri, L.; Alessandrini, A.; Porrini, C.; Calzolari, A.; Sabatini, A.G.;; Firotti, S. (2002) [Environmental monitoring of the phytopathogen Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of fireblight, with the use of honeybee.]
Informatore Fitopatologico, no. 4, 68-72.