Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Efficient use of sentinel sites: detection of invasive honeybee pests and diseases in the UK.

Abstract

Sentinel sites, where problems can be identified early or investigated in detail, form an important part of planning for exotic disease outbreaks in humans, livestock and plants. Key questions are: how many sentinels are required, where should they be positioned and how effective are they at rapidly identifying new invasions? The sentinel apiary system for invasive honeybee pests and diseases illustrates the costs and benefits of such approaches. Here, we address these issues with two mathematical modelling approaches. The first approach is generic and uses probabilistic arguments to calculate the average number of affected sites when an outbreak is first detected, providing rapid and general insights that we have applied to a range of infectious diseases. The second approach uses a computationally intensive, stochastic, spatial model to simulate multiple outbreaks and to determine appropriate sentinel locations for UK apiaries. Both models quantify the anticipated increase in success of sentinel sites as their number increases and as non-sentinel sites become worse at detection; however, unexpectedly sentinels perform relatively better for faster growing outbreaks. Additionally, the spatial model allows us to quantify the substantial role that carefully positioned sentinels can play in the rapid detection of exotic invasions.