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Health outcomes of beekeeping: a systematic review

Stanhope, J, Carver, S ORCID: 0000-0002-3579-7588 and Weinstein, P 2017 , 'Health outcomes of beekeeping: a systematic review' , Journal of Apicultural Research, vol. 56, no. 2 , pp. 100-111 , doi: 10.1080/00218839.2017.1291208.

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Abstract

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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Stanhope, J and Carver, S and Weinstein, P
Keywords: systematic review, health, bees, beekeeping, allergy, anaphylaxis
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Apicultural Research
Publisher: Int Bee Research Assoc
ISSN: 0021-8839
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/00218839.2017.1291208
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 International Bee Research Association

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