A study was conductedto assess the honey bee pests, predators, and diseases in the selected districts of Sheka and Bench Maji Zone. A cross-sectional study design was used for this study. A total of 420 households were involved in the study (35 households were randomly selected by using stratified random sampling techniques from each purposively selected twelve kebele). The specimen was collected from a hive of 72 households for validation of disease prevalence in the study areas. According to the result of a survey, the most common beehives used in the study areas were traditional beehives (39.05%, 80.95%, 98.10%, and 97.14% in Anderacha, Guraferda, Shey Bench, and Maji districts, respectively). The majority of beekeepers inAnderacha (62.86%) and Shey Bench (49.52%) districts placed their hives both in the backyard and hanging on trees in the forest, whereas the majority of beekeepers in Guraferda (75.24%) and Maji (96.19%) districts were hanging on trees in the forest. The current study revealed the existence of ants, lizards, honey badgers, termites, snakes, death-head hawks’ moth, spider (Latrodectusmactan), wax moth, bee-eater birds, beetles, bees and wasps were a serious challenge to the honeybees and beekeepers. Subsequently, the beekeepers were ranked by the major pests and predators identified in their areas. Accordingly, the ant was ranked 1st in Anderacha (26.67%), Guraferda (23.81%), and Shey Bench (25.71%) districts, which caused a disturbance, death, and absconding of bee colonies. Overall, four different types of honeybee disease were observed in the study areas, namely nosema, chalkbrood, bee paralysis, and stone brood disease. It is concluded that the overall pests, predators, and diseases are seriously challenging the honeybees and beekeepers in the study areas. Thus, extension agents should aware the beekeepers of the features of major pests, predators, and diseases in their areas and educate them on the controlling mechanisms.
Keywords: Bench Maji, Diseases, Pests, Predators, Sheka