Free Access
Volume 26, Number 3, 1995
Non-Apis bees
Page(s) 255 - 271
Apidologie 26 (1995) 255-271
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19950307

Parasites and social insects

P. Schmid-Hempel

ETH Zürich, Experimental Ecology, ETH-Zentrum, NW, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract - A short review shows that social insects have many parasites on larvae and adults but few on eggs. Social organisation simultaneously affects parasite transmission within and between colonies. Overall, the biology of social insects may be favourable to an epidemic, but such a process may quickly die out in the host population.

Key words: social insects / parasite / polyandry / social organisation / epidemiology