The loss of Apis mellifera L. colonies in recent years has, in many regions of the world, been alarmingly
high. No single cause has been identified for these losses, but the interactions between several factors
(mostly pathogens and parasites) have been held responsible. Work in the Americas on honeybees originating
mainly from South Africa indicates that Africanised honeybees are less affected by the interplay of
pathogens and parasites. However, little is known about the health status of South African honeybees (A.
m. scutellata and A. m. capensis) in relation to pathogens and parasites. We therefore compared the seasonal
prevalence of honeybee pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi) and parasites (mites, bee lice, wax
moth, small hive beetles, A. m. capensis social parasites) between sedentary and migratory A. m. scutellata
apiaries situated in the Gauteng region of South Africa. No significant differences were found in the prevalence
of pathogens and parasites between sedentary and migratory apiaries. Three (Black queen cell
virus, Varroa destructor virus 1 and Israeli acute paralysis virus) of the eight viruses screened were
detected, a remarkable difference compared to European honeybees. Even though no bacterial pathogens
were detected, Nosema apis and Chalkbrood were confirmed. All of the honeybee parasites were found in
the majority of the apiaries with the most common parasite being the Varroa mite. In spite of hosting few
pathogens, yet most parasites, A. m. scutellata colonies appeared to be healthy.