Honeydew honey production in honey bees colonies affected by the River disease in Uruguay





Apis mellifera, disease, honeydew honey, larvae mortality


In Uruguay, the excretions of the flatidae Epormenis cestri when located in sarandí colorado trees (Sebastiania schottiana) are the cause of the massive death of young honeybee larvae, a phenomenon that beekeepers call River disease. A strong income of honeydew is frequently observed in these affected colonies despite the continuous loss of bees due to lack of replacement. The aim of this study was to determine a handling of the colonies that allows obtaining honeydew honey. Forty-eight colonies were transported to an apiary affected by River disease and were divided into 5 groups according to the following treatments: Group 1: regular honeydew harvest, adding of brood and sugar syrup supply (N=10); Group 2: regular honeydew harvest and sugar syrup supply (N=10); Group 3: regular honeydew harvest and adding of brood (N=10); Group 4: regular honeydew harvest (N=10); Group 5: only one harvest of honeydew once the study had finished (N=8). The colonies from groups 1 and 3 produced the biggest amount of honeydew honey, averaging 32.0 and 28.6kg, respectively. The physicochemical analysis of honeydew honey showed characteristics of this product such as high electrical conductivity (0.98-1.14 mS/cm), diastase activity (>50%) and color (71-83 mm Pfund). This study provides the basis of a colony handling that allows beekeepers to obtain important harvests of a honeydew honey not yet known in the international market.


Download data is not yet available.


Amdam GV, Rueppell O, Fondrk MK, Page RE, Nelson CM. The nurse’s load: early-life exposure to brood-rearing affects behavior and lifespan in honey bees (Apis mellifera). Exp Gerontol. 2009;44:467-71. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2009.02.013

Bergamo G, Seraglio S, Gonzaga L, Fett R, Costa A. Physicochemical characteristics of bracatinga honeydew honey and blossom honey produced in the state of Santa Catarina: an approach to honey differentiation. Food Res Int. 2019;116:745-54. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2018.09.007

Chomnunti P, Hongsanan S, Hudson BA, Tian Q, Peršoh D, Dhami MK, Alias AS, Xu J, Liu X, Stadler M, Hyde KD. The sooty moulds. Fungal Divers. 2014;66:1-36. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13225-014-0278-5

Delaplane KS, Van Der Steen J, Guzman-Novoa E. Standard methods for estimating strength parameters of Apis mellifera colonies. J Apic Res. 2013;52:1-12. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3896/IBRA/

Douglas AE. Honeydew. In: Resch V, Cardé R, editors. Encyclopedia of Insects. Burlington: Academic Press; 2009. p. 641-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-374144-8.00131-4

Dreller C, Robert E, Page Jr RE, Fondrk MK. Regulation of pollen foraging in honeybee colonies: effects of young brood, stored pollen, and empty space. Behav Ecol Sociobiol. 1999;45:227-33. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s002650050557

Invernizzi C, Nogueira E, Juri P, Santos E, Arredondo D, Branchiccela B, Mendoza Y, Antúnez K. Epormenis cestri secretions in Sebastiania schottiana trees cause mass death of honeybees larvae in Uruguay. PLoS One [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2021 Jan 12];13(1):e0190697. Available from: https://bit.ly/3qikxAx. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190697

Katia S, Seraglio T, Silva B, Bergamo G, Brugnerotto P, Luciano Gonzaga V, Fett R, Oliveira Costa AC. An overview of physicochemical characteristics and health-promoting properties of honeydew honey. Food Res Int. 2019;118:44-66. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2019.01.028

Manzanares AB, García ZH, Galdón BR, Rodríguez ER, Romero CD. Differentiation of blossom and honeydew honeys using multivariate analysis on the physicochemical parameters and sugar composition. Food Chem. 2011;126:664-72. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.11.003

Özkök A, Yüksel D, Sorkun K. Chemometric evaluation of the geographical origin of Turkish Pine Honey. Food Health. 2018;4:274-82. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3153/FH18027

SAS Institute. Statistical Analysis Software [Internet]. Version 9.2. Cary (NC): SAS Institute Inc; 2010 [cited 2021 Mar 11]. Available from: http://bit.ly/2PV1Dmk.

Seijo MC, Escuredo O, Rodríguez-Flores MS. Physicochemical properties and pollen profile of Oak honeydew and Evergreen Oak honeydew honeys from Spain: a comparative study. Foods [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2021 Jan 12];8:126. Available from: http://bit.ly/2LnD1R6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8040126

Vargas N, Cárdenas M, Jiménez P, Noyd RK, Restrepo S. Mycology guide: key terms and concepts. St. Paul (MN): American Phytopathological Society; 2015. 29p.



How to Cite

Nogueira E, Juri P, Santos E, Invernizzi C. Honeydew honey production in honey bees colonies affected by the River disease in Uruguay. Agrocienc Urug [Internet]. 2021 Apr. 22 [cited 2024 Jul. 13];25(1):e410. Available from: https://agrocienciauruguay.uy/index.php/agrociencia/article/view/410



Plant protection
QR Code


Article metrics
Abstract views
Galley vies
PDF Views
HTML views
Other views

Most read articles by the same author(s)