By Evans et al.
queen Bombus appositus extends her
she approaches an inflorescence of Corydalis caseana
brandegeei in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Photo by David W. Inouye.
Bumble bees (genus Bombus) are important pollinators of many wild and cultivated plants. Across the globe, many bumble bee species have been found to be in decline, with declines often linked to parasites. Here, we provide information about risks to wild and domesticated bumble bee colonies from external parasites (mites), internal parasites (parasitic nematodes, flies and wasps), and other insects that sometimes live in bumble bee nests (beetles and moths). We discuss methods for their detection, quantification, and control. In addition, we assess honey bee hive products such as pollen and wax that are used in commercial bumble bee production, and may pose risks to bumble bees as routes that can introduce parasites and pathogens into commercial rearing facilities. These potential threats need to be managed in the context of national and international commercial trade in bumble bees to prevent pest introduction and pathogen spillover that can threaten wild native bees.