Parasites, parasitoids, and hive products that are potentially deleterious to wild and commercially raised bumble bees (Bombus spp.) in North America




bombus, bumble bee, symbionts, parasites, pathogens


Bumble bees are important pollinators for a great diversity of wild and cultivated plants, and in many parts of the world certain species have been found to be in decline, gone locally extinct, or even globally extinct. A large number of symbionts live on, in, or with these social bees. We give an overview of what is known about bumble bee ecto-symbionts and parasitoids. We provide information on assessment of risks posed by select bumble bee symbionts and methods for their detection, quantification, and control. In addition, we assess honey bee hive products such as pollen and wax that are used in commercial bumble bee production, and highlight key risks and knowledge gaps. Knowledge of these potential threats to native pollinators is important and they need to be managed in the context of national and international commercial trade in bumble bees to prevent pest introduction and pathogen spillover that can threaten native bees.

Author Biographies

James W. Smith



David W. Inouye, University of Maryland and Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

Principal Investigator, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology, University of Maryland


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How to Cite

Evans, E., Strange, J., Sadd, B., Tripodi, A., Figueroa, L., Adams, L., … Inouye, D. W. (2023). Parasites, parasitoids, and hive products that are potentially deleterious to wild and commercially raised bumble bees (Bombus spp.) in North America. Journal of Pollination Ecology, 33, 37–53.




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