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Health outcomes of beekeeping: a systematic review


Stanhope, J and Carver, S and Weinstein, P, Health outcomes of beekeeping: a systematic review, Journal of Apicultural Research, 56, (2) pp. 100-111. ISSN 0021-8839 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 International Bee Research Association

DOI: doi:10.1080/00218839.2017.1291208


Honey bees and the business of beekeeping have profound economic importance for global agricultural production. Bee populations and the beekeeping industry are experiencing threats to sustainability. The beekeeping industry brings with it health risks for beekeepers and those living in proximity to hives. While there are a wide range of potential adverse health outcomes there has been no systematic review of these. We address this gap, examining the symptomatic adverse health outcomes among beekeepers and those living in proximity to hives. We demonstrate a dearth of published studies (nine unique studies) on the health impacts. Adverse outcomes included bee venom and propolis allergies (including anaphylaxis) and Lyme borreliosis associated with tick bites while beekeeping. Systemic reactions to bee venom allergies were associated with a range of risk factors. However, the probability of allergic reactions decreased as years of beekeeping increased. There is a clear need for greater research into the adverse health outcomes for this population. Nevertheless, our systematic review demonstrates important health consequences, and suggests an appreciation of the range of consequences is relevant. This is appropriate for reducing the disease burden of beekeeping in order to facilitate greater participation and aid in maintaining global pollination services and food security.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:systematic review, health, bees, beekeeping, allergy, anaphylaxis
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Ecology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Disease distribution and transmission (incl. surveillance and response)
UTAS Author:Stanhope, J (Miss Jessica Stanhope)
UTAS Author:Carver, S (Associate Professor Scott Carver)
ID Code:118243
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2017-07-07
Last Modified:2018-08-02

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