Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Modeling the potential global distribution of honeybee pest, Galleria mellonella under changing climate.

Abstract

Beekeeping is essential for the global food supply, yet honeybee health and hive numbers are increasingly threatened by habitat alteration, climate change, agrochemical overuse, pathogens, diseases, and insect pests. However, pests and diseases that have unknown spatial distribution and influences are blamed for diminishing honeybee colonies over the world. The greater wax moth (GWM), Galleria mellonella, is a pervasive pest of the honeybee, Apis mellifera. It has an international distribution that causes severe loss to the beekeeping industry. The GWM larvae burrow into the edge of unsealed cells that have pollen, bee brood, and honey through to the midrib of the wax comb. Burrowing larvae leave behind masses of webs that cause honey to leak out and entangle emerging bees, resulting in death by starvation, a phenomenon called galleriasis. In this study, the maximum entropy algorithm implemented in (Maxent) model was used to predict the global spatial distribution of GWM throughout the world. Two representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 2.6 and 8.5 of three global climate models (GCMs), were used to forecast the global distribution of GWM in 2050 and 2070. The Maxent models for GWM provided a high value of the Area Under Curve equal to 0.8 ± 0.001, which was a satisfactory result. Furthermore, True Skilled Statistics assured the perfection of the resultant models with a value equal to 0.7. These values indicated a significant correlation between the models and the ecology of the pest species. The models also showed a very high habitat suitability for the GWM in hot-spot honey exporting and importing countries. Furthermore, we extrapolated the economic impact of such pests in both feral and wild honeybee populations and consequently the global market of the honeybee industry.