Liapunov, Ia E; Kuziaev, R Z; Khismatullin, R G; Bezgodova, O A
Dynamics of enterobacteria of normal intestinal microflora was studied in Apis mellifera mellifera L. bees hibernating under snow in the Western Urals. The cell numbers (N) of the predominant species Klebsiella oxytoca increased from 10-10(6) CFU/bee in November 2004 to 10(4)-10(7) CFU/bee in March 2005; its frequency of occurrence (P) increased from 92 to 100%. Increase of Providencia rettgeri (11.2004: N up to 10(6), P 25%; 03.2005: N 10(2)-10(6), P 80%) was accompanied by the substitution of Morganella morganii (11.2004: N up to 10(6), P 25%) with Proteus vulgaris (03.2005: N up to 10(5), P 8%). By spring, Hafnia alvei and Citrobacter sp., which are pathogenic to bees, disappeared (11.2004: N up to 10(5), P 13 and 10%, respectively). Endophytic species Pantoea agglomerans, Leclecria sp., and other representatives of the "Enterobacter agglomerans" group were present in November and after the first emergence in spring (N up to 10(5); November: P 15%; April: P 23%). In April, the number of enterobacteria decreased to 10(5), and P. rettgeri became the predominant species (P 54%) instead of K. oxytoca (P 43%). PMID:18683661
Haddad, Nizar Jamal; Loucif-Ayad, Wahida; Adjlane, Noureddine; Saini, Deepti; Manchiganti, Rushiraj; Krishnamurthy, Venkatesh; AlShagoor, Banan; Batainh, Ahmed Mahmud; Mugasimangalam, Raja
Apis mellifera intermissa is the native honeybee subspecies of Algeria. A. m. intermissa occurs in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, between the Atlas and the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. This bee is very important due to its high ability to adapt to great variations in climatic conditions and due to its preferable cleaning behavior. Here we report the draft genome sequence of this honey bee, its Whole Genome Shotgun project has been deposited at DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank under the accession JSUV00000000. The 240-Mb genome is being annotated and analyzed. Comparison with the genome of other Apis mellifera sub-species promises to yield insights into the evolution of adaptations to high temperature and resistance to Varroa parasite infestation. PMID:26484171
Nizar Jamal Haddad
Full Text Available Apis mellifera intermissa is the native honeybee subspecies of Algeria. A. m. intermissa occurs in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, between the Atlas and the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. This bee is very important due to its high ability to adapt to great variations in climatic conditions and due to its preferable cleaning behavior. Here we report the draft genome sequence of this honey bee, its Whole Genome Shotgun project has been deposited at DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank under the accession JSUV00000000. The 240-Mb genome is being annotated and analyzed. Comparison with the genome of other Apis mellifera sub-species promises to yield insights into the evolution of adaptations to high temperature and resistance to Varroa parasite infestation.
Lorena A. Nunes
Full Text Available The morphometrics of the honey bee Apis mellifera L., 1758 has been widely studied mainly because this species has great ecological importance, high adaptation capacity, wide distribution and capacity to effectively adapt to different regions. The current study aimed to investigate the morphometric variations of wings and pollen baskets of honey bees Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier, 1836 from the five regions in Brazil. We used geometric morphometrics to identify the existence of patterns of variations of shape and size in Africanized honey bees in Brazil 16 years after the classic study with this species, allowing a temporal and spatial comparative analysis using new technological resources to assess morphometrical data. Samples were collected in 14 locations in Brazil, covering the five geographical regions of the country. The shape analysis and multivariate analyses of the wing allowed to observe that there is a geographical pattern among the population of Apis mellifera in Brazil. The geographical variations may be attributed to the large territorial extension of the country in addition to the differences between the bioregions.
Odette Beiro Castro
Full Text Available Introduction. Bioenraiz is a phytohormone which active ingredient is indolacetic acid (AIA, an auxina that promotes vegetable vegetable growth. The most important feature is that it regulates growth by inducing the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA or specific enzymes, which in turn are linked into a central genetic as biological modulators.Objective. To evaluate the potential toxicity of Bioenraiz when is administered to honey bees. Method. The product was applied in single and topic doses of 0.650 mg/ bee; equivalent to a concentration of 130 mg/ L. Two hundred honey bees of the Apis mellifera specie were used and distributed in two experimental groups: a control one (non treated and a group treated with Bioenraiz. The mortality of the bee and the appearance of toxicity signs at the 4, 24 and 48 hours of the test, were the variables analyzed. Results and Discussion. Bioenraiz caused a 2 percent of mortality, a non biological and statistical significant value according to the validation criteria of the test. Concerning clinical observations, the animals did not show toxic signs nor alterations in their behavor attribute to the administration of the test substance. Conclusions. According to the results obtained in this highly sensitive specie for ecotoxicological tests, this product did not provoke neither mortality, nor toxicity for the Apis mellifera bee.
MONICA PÂRVU; CORINA AURELIA ZUGRAVU; IOANA CRISTINA ANDRONIE; CARMEN BERGHEŞ; IUDITH IPATE
The study was conducted on bee families of Apis mellifera carpatica and Apis mellifera ligustica breeds. The bees were housed in multi-storey hives. The experimental period was of 6 months. The resistance to wintering was evaluated on the basis of several apicultural indicators: mortality, feed intake during the winter, general state of the family. Mortality was 35% during wintering for the Carpathian bee and 52% for the Italian bee. The differences were very significant (p≤0.001). When winte...
Milbrath, Meghan O; van Tran, Toan; Huang, Wei-Fong; Solter, Leellen F; Tarpy, David R; Lawrence, Frank; Huang, Zachary Y
Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are infected by two species of microsporidia: Nosema apis and Nosemaceranae. Epidemiological evidence indicates that N. ceranae may be replacing N. apis globally in A. mellifera populations, suggesting a potential competitive advantage of N. ceranae. Mixed infections of the two species occur, and little is known about the interactions among the host and the two pathogens that have allowed N. ceranae to become dominant in most geographical areas. We demonstrated that mixed Nosema species infections negatively affected honey bee survival (median survival=15-17days) more than single species infections (median survival=21days and 20days for N. apis and N. ceranae, respectively), with median survival of control bees of 27days. We found similar rates of infection (percentage of bees with active infections after inoculation) for both species in mixed infections, with N. apis having a slightly higher rate (91% compared to 86% for N. ceranae). We observed slightly higher spore counts in bees infected with N. ceranae than in bees infected with N. apis in single microsporidia infections, especially at the midpoint of infection (day 10). Bees with mixed infections of both species had higher spore counts than bees with single infections, but spore counts in mixed infections were highly variable. We did not see a competitive advantage for N. ceranae in mixed infections; N. apis spore counts were either higher or counts were similar for both species and more N. apis spores were produced in 62% of bees inoculated with equal dosages of the two microsporidian species. N. ceranae does not, therefore, appear to have a strong within-host advantage for either infectivity or spore growth, suggesting that direct competition in these worker bee mid-guts is not responsible for its apparent replacement of N. apis. PMID:25527406
Evans JD; Robinson GE; Martin-Magniette ML; Alaux C; Migeon A; Navajas M; Cros-Arteil S; Crauser D; Le Conte Y
Abstract Background The parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is the most serious pest of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, and has caused the death of millions of colonies worldwide. This mite reproduces in brood cells and parasitizes immature and adult bees. We investigated whether Varroa infestation induces changes in Apis mellifera gene expression, and whether there are genotypic differences that affect gene expression relevant to the bee's tolerance, as first steps toward unravelling m...
Beekman, Madeleine; Good, Gregory; Allsopp, Mike; Radloff, Sarah; Pirk, Chris; Ratnieks, Francis
In the Cape honey bee Apis mellifera capensis, workers lay female eggs without mating by thelytokous parthenogenesis. As a result, workers are as related to worker-laid eggs as they are to queen-laid eggs and therefore worker policing is expected to be lower, or even absent. This was tested by transferring worker- and queen-laid eggs into three queenright A. m. capensis discriminator colonies and monitoring their removal. Our results show that worker policing is variable in A. m. capensis and that in one colony worker-laid eggs were not removed. This is the first report of a non-policing queenright honey bee colony. DNA microsatellite and morphometric analysis suggests that the racial composition of the three discriminator colonies was different. The variation in policing rates could be explained by differences in degrees of hybridisation between A. m. capensis and A. m. scutellata, although a larger survey is needed to confirm this.
A bee cell culture system was developed. A medium, WH2, for the production of cell cultures from hymenopteran species such as honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) was developed. Multiple bee cell cultures were produced when using bee larvae and pupae as starting material and the modif...
The parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is the most serious pest of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, and has caused the death of millions of colonies worldwide. We investigated whether Varroa infestation induces changes in Apis mellifera gene expression, and whether there are genotypic differen...
Sarto, Mário; Oliveira, Eugênio; Guedes,Raul; Campos, Lúcio
International audience The toxicity of three insecticides frequently used in Neotropical tomato cultivation (abamectin, deltamethrin, and methamidophos) was estimated on foragers of the Neotropical stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata (Lep.) and the honey bee Apis mellifera (L.). Our results showed that the susceptibility varied significantly with the type of exposure (ingestion, topical, or contact), and there were significant differences between species. While M. quadrifasciata was usua...
Shi Yuan Yuan
Full Text Available The Western honey bee (Apis mellifera is a social insect characterized by caste differentiation in which the queen bee and worker bees display marked differences in morphology, behavior, reproduction, and longevity despite their identical genomes. The main causative factor in caste differentiation is the food fed to queen larvae, termed royal jelly (RJ. Alternative splicing (AS is an important RNA-mediated post-transcriptional process in eukaryotes. Here we report AS changes in A. mellifera after being fed either A. mellifera RJ or A. cerana RJ. The results demonstrated that the RJ type affected 4 types of AS in adult A. mellifera: exon skipping, intron retention, alternative 5’ splice sites, and alternative 3’splice sites. After feeding with A. cerana RJ, AS occurred in many genes in adult A. mellifera that encode proteins involved in development, growth, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and substance metabolism. This study provides the first evidence that heterospecific RJ can influence the AS of many genes related to honey bee development and growth.
Hossein Zolfagharian; Mohammad Mohajeri; Mahdi Babaie
Objectives: Bee venom (BV) is a complex mixture of proteins and contains proteins such as phospholipase and melittin, which have an effect on blood clotting and blood clots. The mechanism of action of honey bee venom (HBV, Apis mellifera) on human plasma proteins and its anti-thrombotic effect were studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-coagulation effect of BV and its effects on blood coagulation and purification. Methods: Crude venom obtained from Apis mellifera was ...
Reed M Johnson
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chemical analysis shows that honey bees (Apis mellifera and hive products contain many pesticides derived from various sources. The most abundant pesticides are acaricides applied by beekeepers to control Varroa destructor. Beekeepers also apply antimicrobial drugs to control bacterial and microsporidial diseases. Fungicides may enter the hive when applied to nearby flowering crops. Acaricides, antimicrobial drugs and fungicides are not highly toxic to bees alone, but in combination there is potential for heightened toxicity due to interactive effects. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Laboratory bioassays based on mortality rates in adult worker bees demonstrated interactive effects among acaricides, as well as between acaricides and antimicrobial drugs and between acaricides and fungicides. Toxicity of the acaricide tau-fluvalinate increased in combination with other acaricides and most other compounds tested (15 of 17 while amitraz toxicity was mostly unchanged (1 of 15. The sterol biosynthesis inhibiting (SBI fungicide prochloraz elevated the toxicity of the acaricides tau-fluvalinate, coumaphos and fenpyroximate, likely through inhibition of detoxicative cytochrome P450 monooxygenase activity. Four other SBI fungicides increased the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate in a dose-dependent manner, although possible evidence of P450 induction was observed at the lowest fungicide doses. Non-transitive interactions between some acaricides were observed. Sublethal amitraz pre-treatment increased the toxicity of the three P450-detoxified acaricides, but amitraz toxicity was not changed by sublethal treatment with the same three acaricides. A two-fold change in the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate was observed between years, suggesting a possible change in the genetic composition of the bees tested. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Interactions with acaricides in honey bees are similar to drug interactions in other animals in that P450-mediated detoxication
Charbonneau, Lise R; Hillier, Neil Kirk; Rogers, Richard E L; Williams, Geoffrey R; Shutler, Dave
Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) face an increasing number of challenges that in recent years have led to significant economic effects on apiculture, with attendant consequences for agriculture. Nosemosis is a fungal infection of honey bees caused by either Nosema apis or N. ceranae. The putative greater virulence of N. ceranae has spurred interest in understanding how it differs from N. apis. Little is known of effects of N. apis or N. ceranae on honey bee learning and memory. Following a Pavlovian model that relies on the proboscis extension reflex, we compared acquisition learning and long-term memory recall of uninfected (control) honey bees versus those inoculated with N. apis, N. ceranae, or both. We also tested whether spore intensity was associated with variation in learning and memory. Neither learning nor memory differed among treatments. There was no evidence of a relationship between spore intensity and learning, and only limited evidence of a negative effect on memory; this occurred only in the co-inoculation treatment. Our results suggest that if Nosema spp. are contributing to unusually high colony losses in recent years, the mechanism by which they may affect honey bees is probably not related to effects on learning or memory, at least as assessed by the proboscis extension reflex. PMID:26961062
Katherine A. Aronstein; Eduardo Saldivar; Rodrigo Vega; Stephanie Westmiller; Douglas, Angela E.
We investigated the effect of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor on the immunological and nutritional condition of honey bees, Apis mellifera, from the perspective of the individual bee and the colony. Pupae, newly-emerged adults and foraging adults were sampled from honey bee colonies at one site in S. Texas, USA. Varroa‑infested bees displayed elevated titer of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), suggestive of depressed capacity to lim...
We investigated the effect of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor on the immunological and nutritional condition of honey bees, Apis mellifera, from the perspective of the individual bee and the colony. Pupae, newly-emerged adults and foraging adults were sampled from up to 10 colonies at one site ...
Inexpensive and non-intrusive marking methods are essential to track natural behavior of insects for biological experiments. An inexpensive, easy to construct, and easy to install bee marking device is described. The device is mounted at the entrance of a standard honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymen...
Nosema ceranae is a microsporidium parasite infecting adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) and is known to have affects at both the individual and colony level. In this study, the expression levels were measured for four antimicrobial peptide encoding genes that are associated with bee humoral immunity...
Tropilaelaps mites are the major health threat to Apis mellifera colonies in Asia because of their widespread occurrence, rapid population growth and potential ability to transfer bee viruses. Honey bee immune responses in the presence of feeding mites may occur in response to mite feeding, to the ...
Claudia Dussaubat; Jean-Luc Brunet; Mariano Higes; Colbourne, John K.; Jacqueline Lopez; Jeong-Hyeon Choi; Raquel Martín-Hernández; Cristina Botías; Marianne Cousin; Cynthia McDonnell; Marc Bonnet; Luc P Belzunces; Moritz, Robin F.A.; Yves Le Conte; Cédric Alaux
The microsporidium Nosema ceranae is a newly prevalent parasite of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). Although this parasite is presently spreading across the world into its novel host, the mechanisms by it which affects the bees and how bees respond are not well understood. We therefore performed an extensive characterization of the parasite effects at the molecular level by using genetic and biochemical tools. The transcriptome modifications at the midgut level were characterized seve...
Zhiguo Li; Yanping Chen; Shaowu Zhang; Shenglu Chen; Wenfeng Li; Limin Yan; Liangen Shi; Lyman Wu; Alex Sohr; Songkun Su
Honey bee health is mainly affected by Varroa destructor, viruses, Nosema spp., pesticide residues and poor nutrition. Interactions between these proposed factors may be responsible for the colony losses reported worldwide in recent years. In the present study, the effects of a honey bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), on the foraging behaviors and homing ability of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were investigated based on proboscis extension response (PER) assays and ra...
De Souza, Daiana A.; Ying Wang; Osman Kaftanoglu; David De Jong; Amdam, Gro V.; Lionel S. Gonçalves; Francoy, Tiago M.
In vitro rearing is an important and useful tool for honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) studies. However, it often results in intercastes between queens and workers, which are normally are not seen in hive-reared bees, except when larvae older than three days are grafted for queen rearing. Morphological classification (queen versus worker or intercastes) of bees produced by this method can be subjective and generally depends on size differences. Here, we propose an alternative method for caste cla...
In dieser Arbeit wird bei der Honigbiene (Apis mellifera L.) analysiert, wie sich die individuelle Empfindlichkeit für Zuckerwasserreize auf verschiedene Formen der Verhaltensplastizität auswirkt. Die Versuche klären insbesondere die Rolle des Belohnungsreizes Zuckerwasser beim assoziativen und nicht-assoziativen Lernen auf. In den Untersuchungen werden Bienen verschiedenen Genotyps, verschiedenen Alters und mit verschiedener Sammelrolle verwendet. Die Funktion von potentiellen endogenen Modu...
Gerami Sadeghian, A; S Nabian; Ahmadi, K; MH Nazem Shirazi
Background: Nosemosis of European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is present in bee colonies worldwide. Until recently, Nosema apis had been regarded as the causative agent of the disease, that causes heavy economic losses in apicultures. Nosema ceranae is an emerging microsporidian parasite of European honeybees, A. mellifera, but its distribution is not well known. Previously, nosemosis in honeybees in Iran was attributed exclusively to N. apis.Methods: Six Nosema positive samples (determined ...
A study was conducted in 2006 and 2007 designed to examine the foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in a 15.2 km2 area dominated by a 128.9 ha glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready® alfalfa seed production field and several non-Roundup Ready seed production fields (totalin...
Kapheim, Karen M.; Rao, Vikyath D.; Yeoman, Carl J.; Wilson, Brenda A.; White, Bryan A.; Goldenfeld, Nigel; Robinson, Gene E
Host-symbiont dynamics are known to influence host phenotype, but their role in social behavior has yet to be investigated. Variation in life history across honey bee (Apis mellifera) castes may influence community composition of gut symbionts, which may in turn influence caste phenotypes. We investigated the relationship between host-symbiont dynamics and social behavior by characterizing the hindgut microbiome among distinct honey bee castes: queens, males and two types of workers, nurses a...
Li, Zhiyong; Huang, Zachary Y.; Sharma, Dhruv B.; Xue, Yunbo; Wang, Zhi; Ren, Bingzhong
Background Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones and workers show differences in morphology, physiology, and behavior. Because the functions of drones are more related to colony reproduction, and those of workers relate to both survival and reproduction, we hypothesize that the microclimate for worker brood is more precisely regulated than that of drone brood. Methodology/Principal Findings We assessed temperature and relative humidity (RH) inside honey bee colonies for both drone and worker broo...
Ardestani, Masoud M.; Ebadi, Rahim; Tahmasbi, Gholamhossein
The frequency of damaged Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) found on the bottom board of hives of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) has been used as an indicator of the degree of tolerance or resistance of honey bee colonies against mites. However, it is not clear that this measure is adequate. These injuries should be separated from regular dorsal dimples that have a developmental origin. To investigate damage to Varroa mites and regular dor...
Abramson, Charles I; Aquino, Italo S
Experiments on basic classical conditioning phenomena in adult and young Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are described. Phenomena include conditioning to various stimuli, extinction (both unpaired and CS only), conditioned inhibition, color and odor discrimination. In addition to work on basic phenomena, experiments on practical applications of conditioning methodology are illustrated with studies demonstrating the effects of insecticides on learning and the reaction of bees to consumer products. Electron microscope photos are presented of Africanized workers, drones, and queen bees. Possible sub-species differences between Africanized and European bees are discussed. PMID:12097861
Williams, Geoffrey R; Dave Shutler; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L.; Rogers, Richard E. L.
Nosema spp. fungal gut parasites are among myriad possible explanations for contemporary increased mortality of western honey bees (Apis mellifera, hereafter honey bee) in many regions of the world. Invasive Nosema ceranae is particularly worrisome because some evidence suggests it has greater virulence than its congener N. apis. N. ceranae appears to have recently switched hosts from Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) and now has a nearly global distribution in honey bees, apparently displacing ...
Tan, K.; Radloff, S. E.; Li, J. J.; Hepburn, H. R.; Yang, M. X.; Zhang, L. J.; Neumann, P.
The vespine wasps, Vespa velutina, specialise in hawking honeybee foragers returning to their nests. We studied their behaviour in China using native Apis cerana and introduced A. mellifera colonies. When the wasps are hawking, A. cerana recruits threefold more guard bees to stave off predation than A. mellifera. The former also utilises wing shimmering as a visual pattern disruption mechanism, which is not shown by A. mellifera. A. cerana foragers halve the time of normal flight needed to dart into the nest entrance, while A. mellifera actually slows down in sashaying flight manoeuvres. V. velutina preferentially hawks A. mellifera foragers when both A. mellifera and A. cerana occur in the same apiary. The pace of wasp-hawking was highest in mid-summer but the frequency of hawking wasps was three times higher at A. mellifera colonies than at the A. cerana colonies. The wasps were taking A. mellifera foragers at a frequency eightfold greater than A. cerana foragers. The final hawking success rates of the wasps were about three times higher for A. mellifera foragers than for A. cerana. The relative success of native A. cerana over European A. mellifera in thwarting predation by the wasp V. velutina is interpreted as the result of co-evolution between the Asian wasp and honeybee, respectively.
Full Text Available The study was conducted on bee families of Apis mellifera carpatica and Apis mellifera ligustica breeds. The bees were housed in multi-storey hives. The experimental period was of 6 months. The resistance to wintering was evaluated on the basis of several apicultural indicators: mortality, feed intake during the winter, general state of the family. Mortality was 35% during wintering for the Carpathian bee and 52% for the Italian bee. The differences were very significant (p≤0.001. When wintering finished all bee families were in good strength. The general state of the bee family was as follows: the Carpathian bee had a strong family when wintering started and ended with a median power; it had a large number of young bees and sufficient reserves; no diarrhoea or mould were noticed; relative humidity was 74%. The Italian bee had a strong family when wintering started and ended with half of the power because of the high mortality during the winter; no diarrhoea or mould were noticed; relative humidity was 69%.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is the most serious pest of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, and has caused the death of millions of colonies worldwide. This mite reproduces in brood cells and parasitizes immature and adult bees. We investigated whether Varroa infestation induces changes in Apis mellifera gene expression, and whether there are genotypic differences that affect gene expression relevant to the bee's tolerance, as first steps toward unravelling mechanisms of host response and differences in susceptibility to Varroa parasitism. Results We explored the transcriptional response to mite parasitism in two genetic stocks of A. mellifera which differ in susceptibility to Varroa, comparing parasitized and non-parasitized full-sister pupae from both stocks. Bee expression profiles were analyzed using microarrays derived from honey bee ESTs whose annotation has recently been enhanced by results from the honey bee genome sequence. We measured differences in gene expression in two colonies of Varroa-susceptible and two colonies of Varroa-tolerant bees. We identified a set of 148 genes with significantly different patterns of expression: 32 varied with the presence of Varroa, 116 varied with bee genotype, and 2 with both. Varroa parasitism caused changes in the expression of genes related to embryonic development, cell metabolism and immunity. Bees tolerant to Varroa were mainly characterized by differences in the expression of genes regulating neuronal development, neuronal sensitivity and olfaction. Differences in olfaction and sensitivity to stimuli are two parameters that could, at least in part, account for bee tolerance to Varroa; differences in olfaction may be related to increased grooming and hygienic behavior, important behaviors known to be involved in Varroa tolerance. Conclusion These results suggest that differences in behavior, rather than in the immune system, underlie Varroa tolerance in honey
Williams, Geoffrey,; Shutler, Dave; Little, Catherine; Burgher-Maclellan, Karen; Rogers, Richard
International audience Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) are under threat from a number of emerging pathogens, including the microsporidian Nosema ceranae historically of Asian honey bees (Apis cerana). Because of its recent detection, very little is known about the biology, pathology, and control of N. ceranae in western honey bees. Here we investigated effects of the antibiotic Fumagilin-B®, which is commonly used to control the historical Nosema parasite of western honey bees Nosema a...
Rueppell, Olav; Bachelier, Cédric; Fondrk, M. Kim; Page, Robert E.
Life expectancy of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) is of general interest to gerontological research because its variability among different groups of bees is one of the most striking cases of natural plasticity of aging. Worker honey bees spend their first days of adult life working in the nest, then transition to foraging and die between 4 and 8 weeks of age. Foraging is believed to be primarily responsible for the early death of workers. Three large-scale experiments were performed to quant...
Hauser, Frank; Cazzamali, Giuseppe; Williamson, Michael;
the recently sequenced genome from the honey bee Apis mellifera. We found 35 neuropeptide receptor genes in the honey bee (44 in Drosophila) and two genes, coding for leucine-rich repeats-containing protein hormone GPCRs (4 in Drosophila). In addition, the honey bee has 19 biogenic amine receptor...
Moretto Geraldo; Mello Jr. Leonidas João de
Different levels of infestation with the mite Varroa jacobsoni have been observed in the various Apis mellifera races. In general, bees of European races are more susceptible to the mite than African honey bees and their hybrids. In Brazil honey bee colonies are not treated against the mite, though apparently both climate and bee race influence the mite infestation. Six mixed colonies were made with Italian and Africanized honey bees. The percentage infestation by this parasite was found to b...
Chaline, N.; F.L.W. Ratnieks; Raine, N. E.; Badcock, N.S.; Burke, T
DNA sampling of insects frequently relies upon lethal or invasive methods. Because insect colonies contain numerous workers it is often possible to destructively sample workers for genetic analysis. However, this is not possible if queens or workers must remain alive after sampling. Neither is it possible to remove an entire leg, wing or other appendage as this will often hinder normal behaviour. This study investigates the possibility of genotyping queen honey bees Apis mellifera using DNA e...
Locke, Barbara; Fries, Ingemar
International audience A population of European honey bees (Apis mellifera) surviving Varroa destructor mite infestation in Sweden for over 10 years without treatment, demonstrate that a balanced host-parasite relationship may evolve over time. Colony-level adaptive traits linked to Varroa tolerance were investigated in this population to identify possible characteristics that may be responsible for colony survival in spite of mite infestations. Brood removal rate, adult grooming rate, and...
Antonio Mauricio Moreno
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Learning of arbitrary relations is the capacity to acquire knowledge about associations between events or stimuli that do not share any similarities, and use this knowledge to make behavioural choices. This capacity is well documented in humans and vertebrates, and there is some evidence it exists in the honeybee (Apis mellifera. However, little is known about whether the ability for relational learning extends to other invertebrates, although many insects have been shown to possess excellent learning capacities in spite of their small brains. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a symbolic matching-to-sample procedure, we show that the honeybee Apis mellifera rapidly learns arbitrary relations between colours and patterns, reaching 68.2% correct choice for pattern-colour relations and 73.3% for colour-pattern relations. However, Apis mellifera does not transfer this knowledge to the symmetrical relations when the stimulus order is reversed. A second bee species, the stingless bee Melipona rufiventris from Brazil, seems unable to learn the same arbitrary relations between colours and patterns, although it exhibits excellent discrimination learning. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results confirm that the capacity for learning arbitrary relations is not limited to vertebrates, but even insects with small brains can perform this learning task. Interestingly, it seems to be a species-specific ability. The disparity in relational learning performance between the two bee species we tested may be linked to their specific foraging and recruitment strategies, which evolved in adaptation to different environments.
Alattal, Yehya; Rosenkranz, Peter; Zebitz, Claus Paul Walter
The reproduction of the honey bee mite, Varroa destructor in sealed worker bee brood cells represents an important factor for the population development of this parasite in honey bee colonies. In this study, the relative infestation levels of worker brood cells, mite fertility (mites that lay at least one egg) and reproductive rate (number of viable adult daughters per mother mite) of Varroa mite in worker brood cells of Apis m. carnica and Apis m. syriaca were compared in fall 2003 and summe...
Pinto, M Alice; Henriques, Dora; Chávez-Galarza, Julio;
The recognition that the Dark European honey bee, Apis mellifera mellifera, is increasingly threatened in its native range has led to the establishment of conservation programmes and protected areas throughout western Europe. Previous molecular surveys showed that, despite management strategies to...
Behrens, Dieter; Huang, Qiang; Geßner, Cornelia; Rosenkranz, Peter; Frey, Eva; Locke, Barbara; Moritz, Robin F.A.; Kraus, F B
Varroa destructor is a highly virulent ectoparasitic mite of the honey bee Apis mellifera and a major cause of colony losses for global apiculture. Typically, chemical treatment is essential to control the parasite population in the honey bee colony. Nevertheless a few honey bee populations survive mite infestation without any treatment. We used one such Varroa mite tolerant honey bee lineage from the island of Gotland, Sweden, to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling reduced mit...
Fleming, James C.; Schmehl, Daniel R.; Ellis, James D.
Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations face declines commonly attributed to pesticide, pathogen, and parasite stress. One way beekeepers combat these stressors is by providing supplemental protein diets to honey bee colonies to ensure adequate colony nutrition. However Nosema spp., a microsporidian parasite of the honey bee, is thought to be associated closely with a colony’s nutritional intake, thus possibly negating any benefit the bees otherwise would have received from a nutrit...
Jay D. Evans
Full Text Available The dynamics of viruses are critical to our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Using honey bee Deformed wing virus (DWV as a model, we conducted field and laboratory studies to investigate the roles of abiotic and biotic stress factors as well as host health conditions in dynamics of virus replication in honey bees. The results showed that temperature decline could lead to not only significant decrease in the rate for pupae to emerge as adult bees, but also an increased severity of the virus infection in emerged bees, partly explaining the high levels of winter losses of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, around the world. By experimentally exposing adult bees with variable levels of parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we showed that the severity of DWV infection was positively correlated with the density and time period of Varroa mite infestation, confirming the role of Varroa mites in virus transmission and activation in honey bees. Further, we showed that host conditions have a significant impact on the outcome of DWV infection as bees that originate from strong colonies resist DWV infection and replication significantly better than bee originating from weak colonies. The information obtained from this study has important implications for enhancing our understanding of host‑pathogen interactions and can be used to develop effective disease control strategies for honey bees.
Full Text Available Honey bee health is mainly affected by Varroa destructor, viruses, Nosema spp., pesticide residues and poor nutrition. Interactions between these proposed factors may be responsible for the colony losses reported worldwide in recent years. In the present study, the effects of a honey bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV, on the foraging behaviors and homing ability of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L. were investigated based on proboscis extension response (PER assays and radio frequency identification (RFID systems. The pollen forager honey bees originated from colonies that had no detectable level of honey bee viruses and were manually inoculated with IAPV to induce the viral infection. The results showed that IAPV-inoculated honey bees were more responsive to low sucrose solutions compared to that of non-infected foragers. After two days of infection, around 10⁷ copies of IAPV were detected in the heads of these honey bees. The homing ability of IAPV-infected foragers was depressed significantly in comparison to the homing ability of uninfected foragers. The data provided evidence that IAPV infection in the heads may enable the virus to disorder foraging roles of honey bees and to interfere with brain functions that are responsible for learning, navigation, and orientation in the honey bees, thus, making honey bees have a lower response threshold to sucrose and lose their way back to the hive.
Elsik Chris; Bourgeois Lanie; Hunt Greg; Pettis Jeff; Chen Yan-Ping; Johnston Spencer J; Schatz Michael C; Cornman Scott R; Anderson Denis; Grozinger Christina M; Evans Jay D
Background: The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor has emerged as the primary pest of domestic honey bees (Apis mellifera). Here we present an initial survey of the V. destructor genome carried out to advance our understanding of Varroa biology and to identify new avenues for mite control. This sequence survey provides immediate resources for molecular and population-genetic analyses of Varroa-Apis interactions ...
Jiang, S; Robertson, T; Mostajeran, M; Robertson, A J; Qiu, X
Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite of honey bees (Apis mellifera), is the most serious pest threatening the apiculture industry. In our honey bee breeding programme, two honey bee colonies showing extreme phenotypes for varroa tolerance/resistance (S88) and susceptibility (G4) were identified by natural selection from a large gene pool over a 6-year period. To investigate potential defence mechanisms for honey bee tolerance to varroa infestation, we employed DNA microarray and real time quantitative (PCR) analyses to identify differentially expressed genes in the tolerant and susceptible colonies at pupa and adult stages. Our results showed that more differentially expressed genes were identified in the tolerant bees than in bees from the susceptible colony, indicating that the tolerant colony showed an increased genetic capacity to respond to varroa mite infestation. In both colonies, there were more differentially expressed genes identified at the pupa stage than at the adult stage, indicating that pupa bees are more responsive to varroa infestation than adult bees. Genes showing differential expression in the colony phenotypes were categorized into several groups based on their molecular functions, such as olfactory signalling, detoxification processes, exoskeleton formation, protein degradation and long-chain fatty acid metabolism, suggesting that these biological processes play roles in conferring varroa tolerance to naturally selected colonies. Identification of differentially expressed genes between the two colony phenotypes provides potential molecular markers for selecting and breeding varroa-tolerant honey bees. PMID:26919127
Hagler, James; Mueller, Shannon; Teuber, Larry R; Van Deynze, Allen; Martin, Joe
Inexpensive and non-intrusive marking methods are essential to track natural behavior of insects for biological experiments. An inexpensive, easy to construct, and easy to install bee marking device is described in this paper. The device is mounted at the entrance of a standard honey bee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) hive and is fitted with a removable tube that dispenses a powdered marker. Marking devices were installed on 80 honey bee colonies distributed in nine separate apiaries. Each device held a tube containing one of five colored fluorescent powders, or a combination of a fluorescent powder (either green or magenta) plus one of two protein powders, resulting in nine unique marks. The powdered protein markers included egg albumin from dry chicken egg whites and casein from dry powdered milk. The efficacy of the marking procedure for each of the unique markers was assessed on honey bees exiting each apiary. Each bee was examined, first by visual inspection for the presence of colored fluorescent powder and then by egg albumin and milk casein specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Data indicated that all five of the colored fluorescent powders and both of the protein powders were effective honey bee markers. However, the fluorescent powders consistently yielded more reliable marks than the protein powders. In general, there was less than a 1% chance of obtaining a false positive colored or protein-marked bee, but the chance of obtaining a false negative marked bee was higher for "protein-marked" bees. PMID:22236037
Nazzi, Francesco; Le Conte, Yves
Varroa destructor is the most important ectoparasite of Apis mellifera. This review addresses the interactions between the varroa mite, its environment, and the honey bee host, mediated by an impressive number of cues and signals, including semiochemicals regulating crucial steps of the mite's life cycle. Although mechanical stimuli, temperature, and humidity play an important role, chemical communication is the most important channel. Kairomones are used at all stages of the mite's life cycle, and the exploitation of bees' brood pheromones is particularly significant given these compounds function as primer and releaser signals that regulate the social organization of the honey bee colony. V. destructor is a major problem for apiculture, and the search for novel control methods is an essential task for researchers. A detailed study of the ecological interactions of V. destructor is a prerequisite for creating strategies to sustainably manage the parasite. PMID:26667378
Pinto, M. Alice; Muñoz, Irene; Brandão, Andreia; Neto, Margarida; Guedes, Helena; Souza, Larissa; Baptista, Paula; Pires, Sância; De La Rúa, Pilar
Over 24 honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) subspecies occur naturally in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Morphological and molecular markers have grouped this wide-ranging diversity into four lineages (A, M, C, O). The Iberian Peninsula harbours two of such lineages (A and M) and the greatest honey bee maternal diversity and complexity across Europe. While the Spanish honey bee populations have been extensively surveyed for mtDNA variation, the genetic composition of the populations inhabiting...
The dramatic depopulation of honey bee colonies has not yet been associated to a single culprit, although many potential contributing factors have been identified. In an attempt to address the impact of an association of two factors on the honey bee, Apis mellifera, we studied the effects of a joint exposure to the microsporidian Nosema and the systemic insecticide imidacloprid, in the context of parasitisation by the mite Varroa destructor. Young adult bees ...
Suazo, Alonso; Torto, Baldwyn; Teal, Peter; Tumlinson, James
International audience The response of male and female Small Hive Beetle (SHB), Aethina tumida, to air-borne volatiles from adult worker bees, (Apis mellifera), pollen, unripe honey, beeswax, wax by-products ("slumgum"), and bee brood, was investigated in olfactometric and flight-tunnel choice bioassays. In both bioassay systems, males and females responded strongly to the volatiles from worker bees, freshly collected pollen and slumgum but not to those from commercially available pollen, ...
Han, Sang Mi; Lee, Gwang Gill; Park, Kyun Kyu
Bee venom (Apis mellifera L., BV) has been used as a cosmetic ingredient for antiaging, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial functions. The aim of this study was to access the skin sensitization of BV, a Buehler test was conducted fifty healthy male Hartley guinea pigs with three groups; Group G1 (BVsensitization group, 20 animals), group G2 (the positive control-sensitization group, 20 animals), and group G3 (the ethyl alcohol-sensitization group, 10 animals). The exposure on the left flank f...
de Almeida Rossi, Caroline; Roat, Thaisa Cristina; Tavares, Daiana Antonia; Cintra-Socolowski, Priscila; Malaspina, Osmar
Several synthetic substances are used in agricultural areas to combat insect pests; however, the indiscriminate use of these products may affect nontarget insects, such as bees. In Brazil, one of the most widely used insecticides is imidacloprid, which targets the nervous system of insects. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of chronic exposure to sublethal doses of imidacloprid on the brain of the Africanized Apis mellifera. The organs of both control bees and bees exposed to insecticide were subjected to morphological, histochemical and immunocytochemical analysis after exposure to imidacloprid, respectively, for 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 days. In mushroom bodies of bees exposed to imidacloprid concentrations of LD50/10 and in optic lobes of bees exposed to imidacloprid concentrations of LD50/10, LD50/100, and LD50/50, we observed the presence of condensed cells. The Feulgen reaction revealed the presence of some cells with pyknotic nuclei, whereas Xylidine Ponceau stain revealed strongly stained cells. These characteristics can indicate the occurrence of cell death. Furthermore, cells in mushroom bodies of bees exposed to imidacloprid concentrations of LD50/10 appeared to be swollen. Cell death was confirmed by immunocytochemical technique. Therefore, it was concluded that sublethal doses of imidacloprid have cytotoxic effects on exposed bee brains and that optic lobes are more sensitive to the insecticide than other regions of the brain. PMID:23563487
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Honey bees are complex eusocial insects that provide a critical contribution to human agricultural food production. Their natural migration has selected for traits that increase fitness within geographical areas, but in parallel their domestication has selected for traits that enhance productivity and survival under local conditions. Elucidating the biochemical mechanisms of these local adaptive processes is a key goal of evolutionary biology. Proteomics provides tools unique among the major 'omics disciplines for identifying the mechanisms employed by an organism in adapting to environmental challenges. RESULTS: Through proteome profiling of adult honey bee midgut from geographically dispersed, domesticated populations combined with multiple parallel statistical treatments, the data presented here suggest some of the major cellular processes involved in adapting to different climates. These findings provide insight into the molecular underpinnings that may confer an advantage to honey bee populations. Significantly, the major energy-producing pathways of the mitochondria, the organelle most closely involved in heat production, were consistently higher in bees that had adapted to colder climates. In opposition, up-regulation of protein metabolism capacity, from biosynthesis to degradation, had been selected for in bees from warmer climates. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our results present a proteomic interpretation of expression polymorphisms between honey bee ecotypes and provide insight into molecular aspects of local adaptation or selection with consequences for honey bee management and breeding. The implications of our findings extend beyond apiculture as they underscore the need to consider the interdependence of animal populations and their agro-ecological context.
Catherine E Thompson
Full Text Available Feral honey bee populations have been reported to be in decline due to the spread of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite that when left uncontrolled leads to virus build-up and colony death. While pests and diseases are known causes of large-scale managed honey bee colony losses, no studies to date have considered the wider pathogen burden in feral colonies, primarily due to the difficulty in locating and sampling colonies, which often nest in inaccessible locations such as church spires and tree tops. In addition, little is known about the provenance of feral colonies and whether they represent a reservoir of Varroa tolerant material that could be used in apiculture. Samples of forager bees were collected from paired feral and managed honey bee colonies and screened for the presence of ten honey bee pathogens and pests using qPCR. Prevalence and quantity was similar between the two groups for the majority of pathogens, however feral honey bees contained a significantly higher level of deformed wing virus than managed honey bee colonies. An assessment of the honey bee race was completed for each colony using three measures of wing venation. There were no apparent differences in wing morphometry between feral and managed colonies, suggesting feral colonies could simply be escapees from the managed population. Interestingly, managed honey bee colonies not treated for Varroa showed similar, potentially lethal levels of deformed wing virus to that of feral colonies. The potential for such findings to explain the large fall in the feral population and the wider context of the importance of feral colonies as potential pathogen reservoirs is discussed.
Thompson, Catherine E; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Allnutt, Theodore R; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Budge, Giles E
Feral honey bee populations have been reported to be in decline due to the spread of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite that when left uncontrolled leads to virus build-up and colony death. While pests and diseases are known causes of large-scale managed honey bee colony losses, no studies to date have considered the wider pathogen burden in feral colonies, primarily due to the difficulty in locating and sampling colonies, which often nest in inaccessible locations such as church spires and tree tops. In addition, little is known about the provenance of feral colonies and whether they represent a reservoir of Varroa tolerant material that could be used in apiculture. Samples of forager bees were collected from paired feral and managed honey bee colonies and screened for the presence of ten honey bee pathogens and pests using qPCR. Prevalence and quantity was similar between the two groups for the majority of pathogens, however feral honey bees contained a significantly higher level of deformed wing virus than managed honey bee colonies. An assessment of the honey bee race was completed for each colony using three measures of wing venation. There were no apparent differences in wing morphometry between feral and managed colonies, suggesting feral colonies could simply be escapees from the managed population. Interestingly, managed honey bee colonies not treated for Varroa showed similar, potentially lethal levels of deformed wing virus to that of feral colonies. The potential for such findings to explain the large fall in the feral population and the wider context of the importance of feral colonies as potential pathogen reservoirs is discussed. PMID:25126840
Antonioni, Alberto; Bellom, Fabio Enrici; Montabone, Andrea; Venturino, Ezio
In this work we introduce and discuss a model for the bee hive, in which only adult bees and drones are modeled. The role that the latter have in the system is interesting, their population can retrieve even if they are totally absent from the bee hive. The feasibility and stability of the equilibria is studied numerically. A simplified version of the model shows the importance of the drones' role, in spite of the fact that it allows only a trivial equilibrium. For this simplified system, no Hopf bifurcations are shown to arise.
Hagler, James R; Mueller, Shannon; Teuber, Larry R; Machtley, Scott A; Van Deynze, Allen
A study was conducted in 2006 and 2007 designed to examine the foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae), in a 15.2 km(2) area dominated by a 128.9 ha glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready® alfalfa seed production field and several non-Roundup Ready alfalfa seed production fields (totaling 120.2 ha). Each year, honey bee self-marking devices were placed on 112 selected honey bee colonies originating from nine different apiary locations. The foraging bees exiting each apiary location were uniquely marked so that the apiary of origin and the distance traveled by the marked (field-collected) bees into each of the alfalfa fields could be pinpointed. Honey bee self-marking devices were installed on 14.4 and 11.2% of the total hives located within the research area in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The frequency of field-collected bees possessing a distinct mark was similar, averaging 14.0% in 2006 and 12.6% in 2007. A grand total of 12,266 bees were collected from the various alfalfa fields on seven sampling dates over the course of the study. The distances traveled by marked bees ranged from a minimum of 45 m to a maximum of 5983 m. On average, marked bees were recovered ~ 800 m from their apiary of origin and the recovery rate of marked bees decreased exponentially as the distance from the apiary of origin increased. Ultimately, these data will be used to identify the extent of pollen-mediated gene flow from Roundup Ready to conventional alfalfa. PMID:22224495
Vélez, Ana María; Jurzenski, Jessica; Matz, Natalie; Zhou, Xuguo; Wang, Haichuan; Ellis, Marion; Siegfried, Blair D
Maize plants expressing dsRNA for the management of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera are likely to be commercially available by the end of this decade. Honey bees, Apis mellifera, can potentially be exposed to pollen from transformed maize expressing dsRNA. Consequently, evaluation of the biological impacts of RNAi in honey bees is a fundamental component for ecological risk assessment. The insecticidal activity of a known lethal dsRNA target for D. v. virgifera, the vATPase subunit A, was evaluated in larval and adult honey bees. Activity of both D. v. virgifera (Dvv)- and A. mellifera (Am)-specific dsRNA was tested by dietary exposure to dsRNA. Larval development, survival, adult eclosion, adult life span and relative gene expression were evaluated. The results of these tests indicated that Dvv vATPase-A dsRNA has limited effects on larval and adult honey bee survival. Importantly, no effects were observed upon exposure of Am vATPase-A dsRNA suggesting that the lack of response involves factors other than sequence specificity. The results from this study provide guidance for future RNAi risk analyses and for the development of a risk assessment framework that incorporates similar hazard assessments. PMID:26454117
Catherine E Thompson; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C.; Allnutt, Theodore R.; Stéphane Pietravalle; Budge, Giles E.
Feral honey bee populations have been reported to be in decline due to the spread of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite that when left uncontrolled leads to virus build-up and colony death. While pests and diseases are known causes of large-scale managed honey bee colony losses, no studies to date have considered the wider pathogen burden in feral colonies, primarily due to the difficulty in locating and sampling colonies, which often nest in inaccessible locations such as church spires...
Park, Doori; Jung, Je Won; Lee, Mi Ok; Lee, Si Young; Kim, Boyun; Jin, Hye Jun; Kim, Jiyoung; Ahn, Young-Joon; Lee, Ki Won; Song, Yong Sang; Hong, Seunghun; Womack, James E; Kwon, Hyung Wook
Insect-derived antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have diverse effects on antimicrobial properties and pharmacological activities such as anti-inflammation and anticancer properties. Naturally occurring genetic polymorphism have a direct and/or indirect influence on pharmacological effect of AMPs, therefore information on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) occurring in natural AMPs provides an important clue to therapeutic applications. Here we identified nucleotide polymorphisms in melittin gene of honey bee populations, which is one of the potent AMP in bee venoms. We found that the novel SNP of melittin gene exists in these two honey bee species, Apis mellifera and Apis cerana. Nine polymorphisms were identified within the coding region of the melittin gene, of which one polymorphism that resulted in serine (Ser) to asparagine (Asp) substitution that can potentially effect on biological activities of melittin peptide. Serine-substituted melittin (Mel-S) showed more cytotoxic effect than asparagine-substituted melittin (Mel-N) against E. coli. Also, Mel-N and Mel-S had different inhibitory effects on the production of inflammatory factors such as IL-6 and TNF-α in BV-2 cells. Moreover, Mel-S showed stronger cytotoxic activities than Mel-N peptide against two human ovarian cancer cell lines. Using carbon nanotube-based transistor, we here characterized that Mel-S interacted with small unilamellar liposomes more strongly than Mel-N. Taken together, our present study demonstrates that there exist different characteristics of the gene frequency and the biological activities of the melittin peptide in two honey bee species, Apis mellifera and A. cerana. PMID:24512991
Goblirsch, Michael J.; Spivak, Marla S.; Kurtti, Timothy J.
A major hindrance to the study of honey bee pathogens or the effects of pesticides and nutritional deficiencies is the lack of controlled in vitro culture systems comprised of honey bee cells. Such systems are important to determine the impact of these stress factors on the developmental and cell biology of honey bees. We have developed a method incorporating established insect cell culture techniques that supports sustained growth of honey bee cells in vitro. We used honey bee eggs mid to late in their embryogenesis to establish primary cultures, as these eggs contain cells that are progressively dividing. Primary cultures were initiated in modified Leibovitz’s L15 medium and incubated at 32°C. Serial transfer of material from several primary cultures was maintained and has led to the isolation of young cell lines. A cell line (AmE-711) has been established that is composed mainly of fibroblast-type cells that form an adherent monolayer. Most cells in the line are diploid (2n = 32) and have the Apis mellifera karyotype as revealed by Giemsa stain. The partial sequence for the mitochondrial-encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (Cox 1) gene in the cell line is identical to those from honey bee tissues and a consensus sequence for A. mellifera. The population doubling time is approximately 4 days. Importantly, the cell line is continuously subcultured every 10–14 days when split at a 1:3 ratio and is cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. The cell culture system we have developed has potential application for studies aimed at honey bee development, genetics, pathogenesis, transgenesis, and toxicology. PMID:23894551
With increased globalisation and homogenisation the maintenance of genetic integrity of local populations of agriculturally important species is of increasing concern. The honey bee provides an interesting perspective as it is both domesticated and wild, with a large native range and much larger int...
Full Text Available The honey bee is a key pollinator species in decline worldwide. As part of a commercial operation, bee colonies are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of individuals and the hive. While many recent studies support the idea of a core microbiota in guts of younger in-hive bees, it is unknown whether this core is present in forager bees or the pollen they carry back to the hive. Additionally, several studies hypothesize that the foregut (crop, a key interface between the pollination environment and hive food stores, contains a set of 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB that inoculate collected pollen and act in synergy to preserve pollen stores. Here, we used a combination of 454 based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial communities of forager guts, crops, and corbicular pollen and crop plate counts to show that (1 despite a very different diet, forager guts contain a core microbiota similar to that found in younger bees, (2 corbicular pollen contains a diverse community dominated by hive-specific, environmental or phyllosphere bacteria that are not prevalent in the gut or crop, and (3 the 13 LAB found in culture-based studies are not specific to the crop but are a small subset of midgut or hindgut specific bacteria identified in many recent 454 amplicon-based studies. The crop is dominated by Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae, highly osmotolerant and acid resistant bacteria found in stored pollen and honey. Crop taxa at low abundance include core hindgut bacteria in transit to their primary niche, and potential pathogens or food spoilage organisms seemingly vectored from the pollination environment. We conclude that the crop microbial environment is influenced by worker task, and may function in both decontamination and inoculation.
Parker, Robert; Melathopoulos, Andony P; White, Rick; Pernal, Stephen F; Guarna, M. Marta; Leonard J Foster
Background Honey bees are complex eusocial insects that provide a critical contribution to human agricultural food production. Their natural migration has selected for traits that increase fitness within geographical areas, but in parallel their domestication has selected for traits that enhance productivity and survival under local conditions. Elucidating the biochemical mechanisms of these local adaptive processes is a key goal of evolutionary biology. Proteomics provides tools unique among...
Christen, Verena; Mittner, Fabian; Fent, Karl
Neonicotinoids are implicated in the decline of bee populations. As agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, they disturb acetylcholine receptor signaling leading to neurotoxicity. Several behavioral studies showed the link between neonicotinoid exposure and adverse effects on foraging activity and reproduction. However, molecular effects underlying these effects are poorly understood. Here we elucidated molecular effects at environmental realistic levels of three neonicotinoids and nicotine, and compared laboratory studies to field exposures with acetamiprid. We assessed transcriptional alterations of eight selected genes in caged honey bees exposed to different concentrations of the neonicotinoids acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloporid, and thiamethoxam, as well as nicotine. We determined transcripts of several targets, including nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α 1 and α 2 subunit, the multifunctional gene vitellogenin, immune system genes apidaecin and defensin-1, stress-related gene catalase and two genes linked to memory formation, pka and creb. Vitellogenin showed a strong increase upon neonicotinoid exposures in the laboratory and field, while creb and pka transcripts were down-regulated. The induction of vitellogenin suggests adverse effects on foraging activity, whereas creb and pka down-regulation may be implicated in decreased long-term memory formation. Transcriptional alterations occurred at environmental concentrations and provide an explanation for the molecular basis of observed adverse effects of neonicotinoids to bees. PMID:26990785
Dussaubat, Claudia; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Higes, Mariano; Colbourne, John K; Lopez, Jacqueline; Choi, Jeong-Hyeon; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Botías, Cristina; Cousin, Marianne; McDonnell, Cynthia; Bonnet, Marc; Belzunces, Luc P; Moritz, Robin F A; Le Conte, Yves; Alaux, Cédric
The microsporidium Nosema ceranae is a newly prevalent parasite of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). Although this parasite is presently spreading across the world into its novel host, the mechanisms by it which affects the bees and how bees respond are not well understood. We therefore performed an extensive characterization of the parasite effects at the molecular level by using genetic and biochemical tools. The transcriptome modifications at the midgut level were characterized seven days post-infection with tiling microarrays. Then we tested the bee midgut response to infection by measuring activity of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes (superoxide dismutases, glutathione peroxidases, glutathione reductase, and glutathione-S-transferase). At the gene-expression level, the bee midgut responded to N. ceranae infection by an increase in oxidative stress concurrent with the generation of antioxidant enzymes, defense and protective response specifically observed in the gut of mammals and insects. However, at the enzymatic level, the protective response was not confirmed, with only glutathione-S-transferase exhibiting a higher activity in infected bees. The oxidative stress was associated with a higher transcription of sugar transporter in the gut. Finally, a dramatic effect of the microsporidia infection was the inhibition of genes involved in the homeostasis and renewal of intestinal tissues (Wnt signaling pathway), a phenomenon that was confirmed at the histological level. This tissue degeneration and prevention of gut epithelium renewal may explain early bee death. In conclusion, our integrated approach not only gives new insights into the pathological effects of N. ceranae and the bee gut response, but also demonstrate that the honey bee gut is an interesting model system for studying host defense responses. PMID:22623972
Full Text Available The microsporidium Nosema ceranae is a newly prevalent parasite of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera. Although this parasite is presently spreading across the world into its novel host, the mechanisms by it which affects the bees and how bees respond are not well understood. We therefore performed an extensive characterization of the parasite effects at the molecular level by using genetic and biochemical tools. The transcriptome modifications at the midgut level were characterized seven days post-infection with tiling microarrays. Then we tested the bee midgut response to infection by measuring activity of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes (superoxide dismutases, glutathione peroxidases, glutathione reductase, and glutathione-S-transferase. At the gene-expression level, the bee midgut responded to N. ceranae infection by an increase in oxidative stress concurrent with the generation of antioxidant enzymes, defense and protective response specifically observed in the gut of mammals and insects. However, at the enzymatic level, the protective response was not confirmed, with only glutathione-S-transferase exhibiting a higher activity in infected bees. The oxidative stress was associated with a higher transcription of sugar transporter in the gut. Finally, a dramatic effect of the microsporidia infection was the inhibition of genes involved in the homeostasis and renewal of intestinal tissues (Wnt signaling pathway, a phenomenon that was confirmed at the histological level. This tissue degeneration and prevention of gut epithelium renewal may explain early bee death. In conclusion, our integrated approach not only gives new insights into the pathological effects of N. ceranae and the bee gut response, but also demonstrate that the honey bee gut is an interesting model system for studying host defense responses.
Twidle, Andrew M; Mas, Flore; Harper, Aimee R; Horner, Rachael M; Welsh, Taylor J; Suckling, David M
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from male and female kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa 'Hayward') flowers were collected by dynamic headspace sampling. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) perception of the flower VOCs was tested using gas chromatography coupled to electroantennogram detection. Honey bees consistently responded to six compounds present in the headspace of female kiwifruit flowers and five compounds in the headspace of male flowers. Analysis of the floral volatiles by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and microscale chemical derivatization showed the compounds to be nonanal, 2-phenylethanol, 4-oxoisophorone, (3E,6E)-α-farnesene, (6Z,9Z)-heptadecadiene, and (8Z)-heptadecene. Bees were then trained via olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) to synthetic mixtures of these compounds using the ratios present in each flower type. Honey bees trained to the synthetic mixtures showed a high response to the natural floral extracts, indicating that these may be the key compounds for honey bee perception of kiwifruit flower odor. PMID:26027748
Peso, Marianne; Even, Naïla; Søvik, Eirik; Naeger, Nicholas L; Robinson, Gene E; Barron, Andrew B
Reproductive and behavioural specialisations characterise advanced social insect societies. Typically, the honey bee (Apis mellifera) shows a pronounced reproductive division of labour between worker and queen castes, and a clear division of colony roles among workers. In a queenless condition, however, both of these aspects of social organisation break down. Queenless workers reproduce, forage and maintain their colony operating in a manner similar to communal bees, rather than as an advanced eusocial group. This plasticity in social organisation provides a natural experiment for exploring physiological mechanisms of division of labour. We measured brain biogenic amine (BA) levels and abdominal fat body vitellogenin gene expression levels of workers in queenright and queenless colonies. Age, ovary activation and social environment influenced brain BA levels in honey bees. BA levels were most influenced by ovary activation state in queenless bees. Vitellogenin expression levels were higher in queenless workers than queenright workers, but in both colony environments vitellogenin expression was lower in foragers than non-foragers. We propose this plasticity in the interacting signalling systems that influence both reproductive and behavioural development allows queenless workers to deviate significantly from the typical worker bee reaction norm and develop as reproductively active behavioural generalists. PMID:26715114
Full Text Available Honey bee (Apis mellifera drones and workers show differences in morphology, physiology, and behavior. Because the functions of drones are more related to colony reproduction, and those of workers relate to both survival and reproduction, we hypothesize that the microclimate for worker brood is more precisely regulated than that of drone brood.We assessed temperature and relative humidity (RH inside honey bee colonies for both drone and worker brood throughout the three-stage development period, using digital HOBO® Data Loggers. The major findings of this study are that 1 both drone and worker castes show the highest temperature for eggs, followed by larvae and then pupae; 2 temperature in drones are maintained at higher precision (smaller variance in drone eggs and larvae, but at a lower precision in pupae than the corresponding stages of workers; 3 RH regulation showed higher variance in drone than workers across all brood stages; and 4 RH regulation seems largely due to regulation by workers, as the contribution from empty honey combs are much smaller compared to that from adult workers.We conclude that honey bee colonies maintain both temperature and humidity actively; that the microclimate for sealed drone brood is less precisely regulated than worker brood; and that combs with honey contribute very little to the increase of RH in honey bee colonies. These findings increase our understanding of microclimate regulation in honey bees and may have implications for beekeeping practices.
Muñoz, Irene; Henriques, Dora; Johnston, J. Spencer;
Beekeeping activities, especially queen trading, have shaped the distribution of honey bee (Apis mellifera) subspecies in Europe, and have resulted in extensive introductions of two eastern European C-lineage subspecies (A. m. ligustica and A. m. carnica) into the native range of the M-lineage A. m...
Silvia Pătruică; Gabi Dumitrescu; Adrian Stancu; Marian Bura; Ioan Bănăţean Dunea
This paper presents the effects of acidifying substances (lactic acid or acetic acid), Enterobiotics products(Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-14 and Bifidobacterium lactis BI-04) and Enterolactis Plus (Lactobacillus casei) onthe wax glands of worker bees. The research was conducted in Timis County, Romania, between March 25 and April20, 2011, on 110 colonies of bees (Apis mellifera carpatica), allocated to 11 experimental treatment groups. Coloniesin the experimental groups were given three week...
Miles, Mark J.; Alix, Anne; Bourgouin, Chloe; Schmitzer, Stephan
Background: Spinosad is widely used as an insecticide in crop protection against thysanopteran, lepidopteran and dipteran species. As such it is intrinsically toxic to insects and among them to the honey bee (Apis mellifera). An updated risk assessment is presented in the context of the regulatory evaluation of spinosad products and is in accordance with the latest recommendation of regulatory guidance documents. Results: The intrinsic toxicity to the honey bee as observed in laboratory condi...
Full Text Available Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, which is an n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA, influences honey bee feed intake and longevity. The objective of this study was to research the effect of six dietary ALA levels on the growth and development of Apis mellifera ligustica colonies. In the early spring, a total of 36 honey bee colonies of equal size and queen quality were randomly allocated into 6 groups. The six groups of honey bees were fed a basal diet with supplementation of ALA levels at 0 (group A, 2 (group B, 4 (group C, 6 (group D, 8 (group E, and 10% (group F. In this study, there were significant effects of pollen substitute ALA levels on the feeding amounts of the bee colony, colony population, sealed brood amount, and weight of newly emerged workers (P<0.05. The workers’ midgut Lipase (LPS activity of group C was significantly lower than that of the other groups (P<0.01. The worker bees in groups B, C, and D had significantly longer lifespans than those in the other groups (P<0.05. However, when the diets had ALA concentrations of more than 6%, the mortality of the honey bees increased (P<0.01. These results indicate that ALA levels of 2 ~ 4% of the pollen substitute were optimal for maintaining the highest reproductive performance and the digestion and absorption of fatty acids in honey bees during the period of spring multiplication. Additionally, ALA levels of 2 ~ 6% of the pollen substitute, improved worker bee longevity.
Retschnig, Gina; Williams, Geoffrey R; Mehmann, Marion M; Yañez, Orlando; de Miranda, Joachim R; Neumann, Peter
Sex-related differences in susceptibility to pathogens are a common phenomenon in animals. In the eusocial Hymenoptera the two female castes, workers and queens, are diploid and males are haploid. The haploid susceptibility hypothesis predicts that haploid males are more susceptible to pathogen infections compared to females. Here we test this hypothesis using adult male (drone) and female (worker) honey bees (Apis mellifera), inoculated with the gut endoparasite Nosema ceranae and/or black queen cell virus (BQCV). These pathogens were chosen due to previously reported synergistic interactions between Nosema apis and BQCV. Our data do not support synergistic interactions between N. ceranae and BQCV and also suggest that BQCV has limited effect on both drone and worker health, regardless of the infection level. However, the data clearly show that, despite lower levels of N. ceranae spores in drones than in workers, Nosema-infected drones had both a higher mortality and a lower body mass than non-infected drones, across all treatment groups, while the mortality and body mass of worker bees were largely unaffected by N. ceranae infection, suggesting that drones are more susceptible to this pathogen than workers. In conclusion, the data reveal considerable sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees and highlight the importance of ultimate measures for determining susceptibility, such as mortality and body quality, rather than mere infection levels. PMID:24465518
Full Text Available Sex-related differences in susceptibility to pathogens are a common phenomenon in animals. In the eusocial Hymenoptera the two female castes, workers and queens, are diploid and males are haploid. The haploid susceptibility hypothesis predicts that haploid males are more susceptible to pathogen infections compared to females. Here we test this hypothesis using adult male (drone and female (worker honey bees (Apis mellifera, inoculated with the gut endoparasite Nosema ceranae and/or black queen cell virus (BQCV. These pathogens were chosen due to previously reported synergistic interactions between Nosema apis and BQCV. Our data do not support synergistic interactions between N. ceranae and BQCV and also suggest that BQCV has limited effect on both drone and worker health, regardless of the infection level. However, the data clearly show that, despite lower levels of N. ceranae spores in drones than in workers, Nosema-infected drones had both a higher mortality and a lower body mass than non-infected drones, across all treatment groups, while the mortality and body mass of worker bees were largely unaffected by N. ceranae infection, suggesting that drones are more susceptible to this pathogen than workers. In conclusion, the data reveal considerable sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees and highlight the importance of ultimate measures for determining susceptibility, such as mortality and body quality, rather than mere infection levels.
Shutler, Dave; Head, Krista; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L; Colwell, Megan J; Levitt, Abby L; Ostiguy, Nancy; Williams, Geoffrey R
Few areas of the world have western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies that are free of invasive parasites Nosema ceranae (fungi) and Varroa destructor (mites). Particularly detrimental is V. destructor; in addition to feeding on host haemolymph, these mites are important vectors of several viruses that are further implicated as contributors to honey bee mortality around the world. Thus, the biogeography and attendant consequences of viral communities in the absence of V. destructor are of significant interest. The island of Newfoundland, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is free of V. destructor; the absence of N. ceranae has not been confirmed. Of 55 Newfoundland colonies inspected visually for their strength and six signs of disease, only K-wing had prevalence above 5% (40/55 colonies = 72.7%). Similar to an earlier study, screenings again confirmed the absence of V. destructor, small hive beetles Aethina tumida (Murray), tracheal mites Acarapis woodi (Rennie), and Tropilaelaps spp. ectoparasitic mites. Of a subset of 23 colonies screened molecularly for viruses, none had Israeli acute paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, or sacbrood virus. Sixteen of 23 colonies (70.0%) were positive for black queen cell virus, and 21 (91.3%) had some evidence for deformed wing virus. No N. ceranae was detected in molecular screens of 55 colonies, although it is possible extremely low intensity infections exist; the more familiar N. apis was found in 53 colonies (96.4%). Under these conditions, K-wing was associated (positively) with colony strength; however, viruses and N. apis were not. Furthermore, black queen cell virus was positively and negatively associated with K-wing and deformed wing virus, respectively. Newfoundland honey bee colonies are thus free of several invasive parasites that plague operations in other parts of the world, and they provide a unique research arena to study independent pathology of the parasites that are present. PMID:24955834
Full Text Available Few areas of the world have western honey bee (Apis mellifera colonies that are free of invasive parasites Nosema ceranae (fungi and Varroa destructor (mites. Particularly detrimental is V. destructor; in addition to feeding on host haemolymph, these mites are important vectors of several viruses that are further implicated as contributors to honey bee mortality around the world. Thus, the biogeography and attendant consequences of viral communities in the absence of V. destructor are of significant interest. The island of Newfoundland, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is free of V. destructor; the absence of N. ceranae has not been confirmed. Of 55 Newfoundland colonies inspected visually for their strength and six signs of disease, only K-wing had prevalence above 5% (40/55 colonies = 72.7%. Similar to an earlier study, screenings again confirmed the absence of V. destructor, small hive beetles Aethina tumida (Murray, tracheal mites Acarapis woodi (Rennie, and Tropilaelaps spp. ectoparasitic mites. Of a subset of 23 colonies screened molecularly for viruses, none had Israeli acute paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, or sacbrood virus. Sixteen of 23 colonies (70.0% were positive for black queen cell virus, and 21 (91.3% had some evidence for deformed wing virus. No N. ceranae was detected in molecular screens of 55 colonies, although it is possible extremely low intensity infections exist; the more familiar N. apis was found in 53 colonies (96.4%. Under these conditions, K-wing was associated (positively with colony strength; however, viruses and N. apis were not. Furthermore, black queen cell virus was positively and negatively associated with K-wing and deformed wing virus, respectively. Newfoundland honey bee colonies are thus free of several invasive parasites that plague operations in other parts of the world, and they provide a unique research arena to study independent pathology of the parasites that are present.
Full Text Available Objectives: Bee venom (BV is a complex mixture of proteins and contains proteins such as phospholipase and melittin, which have an effect on blood clotting and blood clots. The mechanism of action of honey bee venom (HBV, Apis mellifera on human plasma proteins and its anti-thrombotic effect were studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-coagulation effect of BV and its effects on blood coagulation and purification. Methods: Crude venom obtained from Apis mellifera was selected. The anti-coagulation factor of the crude venom from this species was purified by using gel filtration chromatography (sephadex G-50, and the molecular weights of the anti-coagulants in this venom estimated by using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE. Blood samples were obtained from 10 rabbits, and the prothrombin time (PT and the partial thromboplastin time (PTT tests were conducted. The approximate lethal dose (LD values of BV were determined. Results: Crude BV increased the blood clotting time. For BV concentrations from 1 to 4 mg/mL, clotting was not observed even at more than 300 seconds, standard deviations (SDs = ± 0.71; however, clotting was observed in the control group 13.8 s, SDs = ± 0.52. Thus, BV can be considered as containing anti-coagulation factors. Crude BV is composed 4 protein bands with molecular weights of 3, 15, 20 and 41 kilodalton (kDa, respectively. The LD50 of the crude BV was found to be 177.8 μg/mouse. Conclusion: BV contains anti-coagulation factors. The fraction extracted from the Iranian bees contains proteins that are similar to anti-coagulation proteins, such as phospholipase A2 (PLA2 and melittin, and that can increase the blood clotting times in vitro.
Rasolofoarivao, H; Delatte, H; Raveloson Ravaomanarivo, L H; Reynaud, B; Clémencet, J
Hygienic behavior (HB) is one of the natural mechanisms of honey bee for limiting the spread of brood diseases and Varroa destructor parasitic mite. Objective of our study was to measure HB of Apis mellifera unicolor colonies (N = 403) from three geographic regions (one infested and two free of V. destructor) in Madagascar. The pin-killing method was used for evaluation of the HB. Responses were measured from 3 h 30 min to 7 h after perforation of the cells. Colonies were very effective in detecting perforated cells. In the first 4 h, on average, they detected at least 50% of the pin-killed brood. Six hours after cell perforation, colonies tested (N = 91) showed a wide range of uncapped (0 to 100%) and cleaned cells (0 to 82%). Global distribution of the rate of cleaned cells at 6 h was multimodal and hygienic responses could be split in three classes. Colonies from the three regions showed a significant difference in HB responses. Three hypotheses (geographic, genetic traits, presence of V. destructor) are further discussed to explain variability of HB responses among the regions. Levels of HB efficiency of A. mellifera unicolor colonies are among the greatest levels reported for A. mellifera subspecies. Presence of highly hygienic colonies is a great opportunity for future breeding program in selection for HB. PMID:26125787
Geoffrey R Williams
Full Text Available Nosema spp. fungal gut parasites are among myriad possible explanations for contemporary increased mortality of western honey bees (Apis mellifera, hereafter honey bee in many regions of the world. Invasive Nosema ceranae is particularly worrisome because some evidence suggests it has greater virulence than its congener N. apis. N. ceranae appears to have recently switched hosts from Asian honey bees (Apis cerana and now has a nearly global distribution in honey bees, apparently displacing N. apis. We examined parasite reproduction and effects of N. apis, N. ceranae, and mixed Nosema infections on honey bee hosts in laboratory experiments. Both infection intensity and honey bee mortality were significantly greater for N. ceranae than for N. apis or mixed infections; mixed infection resulted in mortality similar to N. apis parasitism and reduced spore intensity, possibly due to inter-specific competition. This is the first long-term laboratory study to demonstrate lethal consequences of N. apis and N. ceranae and mixed Nosema parasitism in honey bees, and suggests that differences in reproduction and intra-host competition may explain apparent heterogeneous exclusion of the historic parasite by the invasive species.
Kristen R Hladun
Full Text Available We know very little about how soil-borne pollutants such as selenium (Se can impact pollinators, even though Se has contaminated soils and plants in areas where insect pollination can be critical to the functioning of both agricultural and natural ecosystems. Se can be biotransferred throughout the food web, but few studies have examined its effects on the insects that feed on Se-accumulating plants, particularly pollinators. In laboratory bioassays, we used proboscis extension reflex (PER and taste perception to determine if the presence of Se affected the gustatory response of honey bee (Apis mellifera L., Hymenoptera: Apidae foragers. Antennae and proboscises were stimulated with both organic (selenomethionine and inorganic (selenate forms of Se that commonly occur in Se-accumulating plants. Methionine was also tested. Each compound was dissolved in 1 M sucrose at 5 concentrations, with sucrose alone as a control. Antennal stimulation with selenomethionine and methionine reduced PER at higher concentrations. Selenate did not reduce gustatory behaviors. Two hours after being fed the treatments, bees were tested for sucrose response threshold. Bees fed selenate responded less to sucrose stimulation. Mortality was higher in bees chronically dosed with selenate compared with a single dose. Selenomethionine did not increase mortality except at the highest concentration. Methionine did not significantly impact survival. Our study has shown that bees fed selenate were less responsive to sucrose, which may lead to a reduction in incoming floral resources needed to support coworkers and larvae in the field. If honey bees forage on nectar containing Se (particularly selenate, reductions in population numbers may occur due to direct toxicity. Given that honey bees are willing to consume food resources containing Se and may not avoid Se compounds in the plant tissues on which they are foraging, they may suffer similar adverse effects as seen in other
Staveley, Jane P; Law, Sheryl A; Fairbrother, Anne; Menzie, Charles A
The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a highly valuable, semi-free-ranging managed agricultural species. While the number of managed hives has been increasing, declines in overwinter survival, and the onset of colony collapse disorder in 2006, precipitated a large amount of research on bees' health in an effort to isolate the causative factors. A workshop was convened during which bee experts were introduced to a formal causal analysis approach to compare 39 candidate causes against specified criteria to evaluate their relationship to the reduced overwinter survivability observed since 2006 of commercial bees used in the California almond industry. Candidate causes were categorized as probable, possible, or unlikely; several candidate causes were categorized as indeterminate due to lack of information. Due to time limitations, a full causal analysis was not completed at the workshop. In this article, examples are provided to illustrate the process and provide preliminary findings, using three candidate causes. Varroa mites plus viruses were judged to be a "probable cause" of the reduced survival, while nutrient deficiency was judged to be a "possible cause." Neonicotinoid pesticides were judged to be "unlikely" as the sole cause of this reduced survival, although they could possibly be a contributing factor. PMID:24363549
Bonoan, Rachael E.; Goldman, Rhyan R.; Wong, Peter Y.; Starks, Philip T.
Eusocial insects are distinguished by their elaborate cooperative behavior and are sometimes defined as superorganisms. As a nest-bound superorganism, individuals work together to maintain favorable nest conditions. Residing in temperate environments, honey bees ( Apis mellifera) work especially hard to maintain brood comb temperature between 32 and 36 °C. Heat shielding is a social homeostatic mechanism employed to combat local heat stress. Workers press the ventral side of their bodies against heated surfaces, absorb heat, and thus protect developing brood. While the absorption of heat has been characterized, the dissipation of absorbed heat has not. Our study characterized both how effectively worker bees absorb heat during heat shielding, and where worker bees dissipate absorbed heat. Hives were experimentally heated for 15 min during which internal temperatures and heat shielder counts were taken. Once the heat source was removed, hives were photographed with a thermal imaging camera for 15 min. Thermal images allowed for spatial tracking of heat flow as cooling occurred. Data indicate that honey bee workers collectively minimize heat gain during heating and accelerate heat loss during cooling. Thermal images show that heated areas temporarily increase in size in all directions and then rapidly decrease to safe levels (<37 °C). As such, heat shielding is reminiscent of bioheat removal via the cardiovascular system of mammals.
Full Text Available Nectar sources for the African honeybee Apis mellifera adansonii were investigated. The work involved analysis of three honey samples bought from open markets in Lagos, Nigeria. The pollen sediment of the honeys was acetolysed, mounted on slides and pollen types were identified and counted to determine the relative frequency of the different pollen types in the honey samples. The proportion of pollen from each of the honey samples varied from 196 in sample A, 280 in sample B to 238 in sample C. The most abundant taxa identified from the honey samples were Tridax procumbens and Elaeis guineensis belonging to the families Asteraceae and Palmae. The highest proportion of Palm pollen grain was recorded in sample B with one hundred and ten (110 pollen grains per slide. The pollen grains in the families Palmae and Asteraceae are of great importance to the bees for honey production, this can be seen in the abundance displayed in sample B and C. Other pollen taxa recovered belong to the families Mimosaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Sapotaceae and Anacardiaceae providing a clue on the ecological origin of the pollen grains in the honey sample. Pollen analysis of honey proved to be useful in deciphering nectar sources of Apis mellifera adansonii.
Jayakodi, Murukarthick; Jung, Je Won; Park, Doori; Ahn, Young-Joon; Lee, Sang-Choon; Shin, Sang-Yoon; Shin, Chanseok; Yang, Tae-Jin; Kwon, Hyung Wook
Background Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a class of RNAs that do not encode proteins. Recently, lncRNAs have gained special attention for their roles in various biological process and diseases. Results In an attempt to identify long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) and their possible involvement in honey bee development and diseases, we analyzed RNA-seq datasets generated from Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) and western honey bee (Apis mellifera). We identified 2470 lincRNAs with an a...
A Gerami Sadeghian
Full Text Available Background: Nosemosis of European honey bee (Apis mellifera is present in bee colonies worldwide. Until recently, Nosema apis had been regarded as the causative agent of the disease, that causes heavy economic losses in apicultures. Nosema ceranae is an emerging microsporidian parasite of European honeybees, A. mellifera, but its distribution is not well known. Previously, nosemosis in honeybees in Iran was attributed exclusively to N. apis.Methods: Six Nosema positive samples (determined from light microscopy of spores of adult worker bees from one province of Iran (Savadkouh- Mazandaran, northern Iran were tested to determine Nosema species using previously- developed PCR primers of the 16 S rRNA gene. As it is difficult to distinguish N. ceranae and N. apis morphologically, a PCR assay based on 16 S ribosomal RNA has been used to differentiate N. apis and N. ceranae.Results: Only N. ceranae was found in all samples, indicating that this species present in Iran apiaries.Conclusion: This is the first report of N. ceranae in colonies of A. mellifera in Iran. It seems that intensive surveys are needed to determine the distribution and prevalence of N. ceranae in different regions of Iran.
de Miranda, Joachim R; Dainat, Benjamin; Locke, Barbara; Cordoni, Guido; Berthoud, Helène; Gauthier, Laurent; Neumann, Peter; Budge, Giles E; Ball, Brenda V; Stoltz, Don B
Complete genome sequences were determined for two distinct strains of slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV) of honeybees (Apis mellifera). The SBPV genome is approximately 9.5 kb long and contains a single ORF flanked by 5'- and 3'-UTRs and a naturally polyadenylated 3' tail, with a genome organization typical of members of the family Iflaviridae. The two strains, labelled 'Rothamsted' and 'Harpenden', are 83% identical at the nucleotide level (94% identical at the amino acid level), although this variation is distributed unevenly over the genome. The two strains were found to co-exist at different proportions in two independently propagated SBPV preparations. The natural prevalence of SBPV for 847 colonies in 162 apiaries across five European countries was <2%, with positive samples found only in England and Switzerland, in colonies with variable degrees of Varroa infestation. PMID:20519455
Lin, Zheguang; Page, Paul; Li, Li; Qin, Yao; Zhang, Yingying; Hu, Fuliang; Neumann, Peter; Zheng, Huoqing; Dietemann, Vincent
The poor health status of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, compared to its Eastern counterpart, Apis cerana, is remarkable. This has been attributed to lower pathogen prevalence in A. cerana colonies and to their ability to survive infestations with the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor. These properties have been linked to an enhanced removal of dead or unhealthy immature bees by adult workers in this species. Although such hygienic behavior is known to contribute to honey bee colony health, comparative data of A. mellifera and A. cerana in performing this task are scarce. Here, we compare for the first time the removal of freeze-killed brood in one population of each species and over two seasons in China. Our results show that A. cerana was significantly faster than A. mellifera at both opening cell caps and removing freeze-killed brood. The fast detection and removal of diseased brood is likely to limit the proliferation of pathogenic agents. Given our results can be generalized to the species level, a rapid hygienic response could contribute to the better health of A. cerana. Promoting the fast detection and removal of worker brood through adapted breeding programs could further improve the social immunity of A. mellifera colonies and contribute to a better health status of the Western honey bee worldwide. PMID:27606819
Powell, J Elijah; Martinson, Vincent G; Urban-Mead, Katherine; Moran, Nancy A
Studies of newly emerged Apis mellifera worker bees have demonstrated that their guts are colonized by a consistent core microbiota within several days of eclosure. We conducted experiments aimed at illuminating the transmission routes and spatiotemporal colonization dynamics of this microbiota. Experimental groups of newly emerged workers were maintained in cup cages and exposed to different potential transmission sources. Colonization patterns were evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) to assess community sizes and using deep sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons to assess community composition. In addition, we monitored the establishment of the ileum and rectum communities within workers sampled over time from natural hive conditions. The study verified that workers initially lack gut bacteria and gain large characteristic communities in the ileum and rectum within 4 to 6 days within hives. Typical communities, resembling those of workers within hives, were established in the presence of nurse workers or nurse worker fecal material, and atypical communities of noncore or highly skewed compositions were established when workers were exposed only to oral trophallaxis or hive components (comb, honey, bee bread). The core species of Gram-negative bacteria, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, and Frischella perrara, were dependent on the presence of nurses or hindgut material, whereas some Gram-positive species were more often transferred through exposure to hive components. These results indicate aspects of the colony life cycle and behavior that are key to the propagation of the characteristic honey bee gut microbiota. PMID:25239900
Kapheim, Karen M; Rao, Vikyath D; Yeoman, Carl J; Wilson, Brenda A; White, Bryan A; Goldenfeld, Nigel; Robinson, Gene E
Host-symbiont dynamics are known to influence host phenotype, but their role in social behavior has yet to be investigated. Variation in life history across honey bee (Apis mellifera) castes may influence community composition of gut symbionts, which may in turn influence caste phenotypes. We investigated the relationship between host-symbiont dynamics and social behavior by characterizing the hindgut microbiome among distinct honey bee castes: queens, males and two types of workers, nurses and foragers. Despite a shared hive environment and mouth-to-mouth food transfer among nestmates, we detected separation among gut microbiomes of queens, workers, and males. Gut microbiomes of nurses and foragers were similar to previously characterized honey bee worker microbiomes and to each other, despite differences in diet, activity, and exposure to the external environment. Queen microbiomes were enriched for bacteria that may enhance metabolic conversion of energy from food to egg production. We propose that the two types of workers, which have the highest diversity of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of bacteria, are central to the maintenance of the colony microbiome. Foragers may introduce new strains of bacteria to the colony from the environment and transfer them to nurses, who filter and distribute them to the rest of the colony. Our results support the idea that host-symbiont dynamics influence microbiome composition and, reciprocally, host social behavior. PMID:25874551
Santos, Douglas Elias; Alberici, Luciane Carla; Hartfelder, Klaus
The relationship between nutrition and phenotype is an especially challenging question in cases of facultative polyphenism, like the castes of social insects. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, unexpected modifications in conserved signaling pathways revealed the hypoxia response as a possible mechanism underlying the regulation of body size and organ growth. Hence, the current study was designed to investigate possible causes of why the three hypoxia core genes are overexpressed in worker larvae. Parting from the hypothesis that this has an endogenous cause and is not due to differences in external oxygen levels we investigated mitochondrial numbers and distribution, as well as mitochondrial oxygen consumption rates in fat body cells of queen and worker larvae during the caste fate-critical larval stages. By immunofluorescence and electron microscopy we found higher densities of mitochondria in queen larval fat body, a finding further confirmed by a citrate synthase assay quantifying mitochondrial functional units. Oxygen consumption measurements by high-resolution respirometry revealed that queen larvae have higher maximum capacities of ATP production at lower physiological demand. Finally, the expression analysis of mitogenesis-related factors showed that the honey bee TFB1 and TFB2 homologs, and a nutritional regulator, ERR, are overexpressed in queen larvae. These results are strong evidence that the differential nutrition of queen and worker larvae by nurse bees affects mitochondrial dynamics and functionality in the fat body of these larvae, hence explaining their differential hypoxia response. PMID:27058771
McAfee, Alison; Harpur, Brock A; Michaud, Sarah; Beavis, Ronald C; Kent, Clement F; Zayed, Amro; Foster, Leonard J
The honey bee is a key pollinator in agricultural operations as well as a model organism for studying the genetics and evolution of social behavior. The Apis mellifera genome has been sequenced and annotated twice over, enabling proteomics and functional genomics methods for probing relevant aspects of their biology. One troubling trend that emerged from proteomic analyses is that honey bee peptide samples consistently result in lower peptide identification rates compared with other organisms. This suggests that the genome annotation can be improved, or atypical biological processes are interfering with the mass spectrometry workflow. First, we tested whether high levels of polymorphisms could explain some of the missed identifications by searching spectra against the reference proteome (OGSv3.2) versus a customized proteome of a single honey bee, but our results indicate that this contribution was minor. Likewise, error-tolerant peptide searches lead us to eliminate unexpected post-translational modifications as a major factor in missed identifications. We then used a proteogenomic approach with ∼1500 raw files to search for missing genes and new exons, to revive discarded annotations and to identify over 2000 new coding regions. These results will contribute to a more comprehensive genome annotation and facilitate continued research on this important insect. PMID:26718741
Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis mellifera L. are bioindicators of environmental pollution levels. During their wide-ranging foraging activity, these hymenopterans are exposed to pollutants, thus becoming a useful tool to trace the environmental contaminants as heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides and volatile organic compounds. In the present work we demonstrate that bees can also be used as active samplers of airborne particulate matter. Worker bees were collected from hives located in a polluted postmining area in South West Sardinia (Italy that is also exposed to dust emissions from industrial plants. The area is included in an official list of sites of national interest for environmental remediation, and has been characterized for the effects of pollutants on the health of the resident population. The head, wings, hind legs and alimentary canal of the bees were investigated with Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX. The analyses pointed to specific morphological and chemical features of the particulate, and resulted into the identification of three categories of particles: industry-, postmining-, and soil-derived. With the exception of the gut, all the analyzed body districts displayed inorganic particles, mostly concentrated in specific areas of the body (i.e. along the costal margin of the fore wings, the medial plane of the head, and the inner surface of the hind legs. The role of both past mining activities and the industrial activity close to the study area as sources of the particulate matter is also discussed. We conclude that honey bees are able to collect samples of the main airborne particles emitted from different sources, therefore could be an ideal tool for monitoring such a kind of pollutants.
Chen, Chao; Liu, Zhiguang; Pan, Qi; Chen, Xiao; Wang, Huihua; Guo, Haikun; Liu, Shidong; Lu, Hongfeng; Tian, Shilin; Li, Ruiqiang; Shi, Wei
Studying the genetic signatures of climate-driven selection can produce insights into local adaptation and the potential impacts of climate change on populations. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is an interesting species to study local adaptation because it originated in tropical/subtropical climatic regions and subsequently spread into temperate regions. However, little is known about the genetic basis of its adaptation to temperate climates. Here, we resequenced the whole genomes of ten individual bees from a newly discovered population in temperate China and downloaded resequenced data from 35 individuals from other populations. We found that the new population is an undescribed subspecies in the M-lineage of A. mellifera (Apis mellifera sinisxinyuan). Analyses of population history show that long-term global temperature has strongly influenced the demographic history of A. m. sinisxinyuan and its divergence from other subspecies. Further analyses comparing temperate and tropical populations identified several candidate genes related to fat body and the Hippo signaling pathway that are potentially involved in adaptation to temperate climates. Our results provide insights into the demographic history of the newly discovered A. m. sinisxinyuan, as well as the genetic basis of adaptation of A. mellifera to temperate climates at the genomic level. These findings will facilitate the selective breeding of A. mellifera to improve the survival of overwintering colonies. PMID:26823447
Costa, Ewerton; Araujo, Elton; Maia, André; Silva, Francisco; Bezerra, Carlos; Silva,Janisete
International audience This study aimed at evaluating the toxicity of insecticides used in melon crop (Cucumis melo L.) on adults of Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) under laboratory conditions. Three ways of exposure were used: direct spraying, feeding with insecticide contaminated diet, and contact with sprayed leaves. Bees were exposed to the insecticides abamectin, acetamiprid, cartap chloride, chlorfenapyr, cyromazin, deltamethrin, thiamethoxam, flufenoxuron, and pyriproxyfen a...
Loncaric, Igor; Ruppitsch, Werner; Licek, Elisabeth; Moosbeckhofer, Rudolf; Busse, Hans-Jürgen; Rosengarten, Renate
International audience This study was conducted to improve the knowledge about bacteria associated with honey bees, Apis mellifera carnica. In this survey, the diversity of Gram-negative non-fermenting bacteria isolated and cultivated from pollen loads, honey sac, freshly stored nectar, and honey was investigated. Bacteria were characterized by a polyphasic approach. Based on morphological and physiological characteristics and comparison of isolates protein patterns after sodium dodecyl su...
Tavares, Daiana Antonia; Roat, Thaisa Cristina; Carvalho, Stephan Malfitano; Silva-Zacarin, Elaine Cristina Mathias; Malaspina, Osmar
Several investigations have revealed the toxic effects that neonicotinoids can have on Apis mellifera, while few studies have evaluated the impact of these insecticides can have on the larval stage of the honeybee. From the lethal concentration (LC50) of thiamethoxam for the larvae of the Africanized honeybee, we evaluated the sublethal effects of this insecticide on morphology of the brain. After determine the LC50 (14.34 ng/μL of diet) of thiamethoxam, larvae were exposed to a sublethal concentration of thiamethoxam equivalent to 1.43 ng/μL by acute and subchronic exposure. Morphological and immunocytochemistry analysis of the brains of the exposed bees, showed condensed cells and early cell death in the optic lobes. Additional dose-related effects were observed on larval development. Our results show that the sublethal concentrations of thiamethoxam tested are toxic to Africanized honeybees larvae and can modulate the development and consequently could affect the maintenance and survival of the colony. These results represent the first assessment of the effects of thiamethoxam in Africanized honeybee larvae and should contribute to studies on honey bee colony decline. PMID:25985214
Apis mellifera (honey bee) is ecologically and economically important hymenopterous insect. They are important pollinators in agricultural, urban and natural landscapes. Hundreds of millions of dollars are generated through the sale of hive products such as honey, wax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and venom. Radiation leakage can cause harmful effect on human and non human biota. Honey bee can be very sensitive to such hazards. FASSET (Framework for Assessment of Environmental impacT) recommended A. melliferra as a model organism for the studies of effects of radiation. In order to study the effects of radiation, 1-2 month old mated queens were exposed to various doses of gamma radiation including 1Gy, 2Gy, 3Gy, 10Gy, 20Gy, 30Gy, 40Gy and 50Gy and its effects on reproductive traits such as fecundity, hatchability, sealed brood formation, adult emergence and fertility were studied. The data generated from such experiments were compared with non irradiated samples of the same age for two weeks before and after irradiation. Results showed that fecundity, hatchability and fertility were significantly reduced 3Gy dose onwards when compared to control. An inverse relation between reproductive traits and radiation doses were observed. Dose response curve were constructed with respect to reduction in hatchability and fertility. (author)
Dinges, Christopher W; Avalos, Arian; Abramson, Charles I; Craig, David Philip Arthur; Austin, Zoe M; Varnon, Christopher A; Dal, Fatima Nur; Giray, Tugrul; Wells, Harrington
Honey bees provide a model system to elucidate the relationship between sociality and complex behaviors within the same species, as females (workers) are highly social and males (drones) are more solitary. We report on aversive learning studies in drone and worker honey bees (Apis mellifera anatolica) in escape, punishment and discriminative punishment situations. In all three experiments, a newly developed electric shock avoidance assay was used. The comparisons of expected and observed responses were performed with conventional statistical methods and a systematic randomization modeling approach called object oriented modeling. The escape experiment consisted of two measurements recorded in a master-yoked paradigm: frequency of response and latency to respond following administration of shock. Master individuals could terminate an unavoidable shock triggered by a decrementing 30 s timer by crossing the shuttlebox centerline following shock activation. Across all groups, there was large individual response variation. When assessing group response frequency and latency, master subjects performed better than yoked subjects for both workers and drones. In the punishment experiment, individuals were shocked upon entering the shock portion of a bilaterally wired shuttlebox. The shock portion was spatially static and unsignalled. Only workers effectively avoided the shock. The discriminative punishment experiment repeated the punishment experiment but included a counterbalanced blue and yellow background signal and the side of shock was manipulated. Drones correctly responded less than workers when shock was paired with blue. However, when shock was paired with yellow there was no observable difference between drones and workers. PMID:24133154
Drewell, Robert A; Bush, Eliot C; Remnant, Emily J; Wong, Garrett T; Beeler, Suzannah M; Stringham, Jessica L; Lim, Julianne; Oldroyd, Benjamin P
In honey bees (Apis mellifera), the epigenetic mark of DNA methylation is central to the developmental regulation of caste differentiation, but may also be involved in additional biological functions. In this study, we examine the whole genome methylation profiles of three stages of the haploid honey bee genome: unfertilised eggs, the adult drones that develop from these eggs and the sperm produced by these drones. These methylomes reveal distinct patterns of methylation. Eggs and sperm show 381 genes with significantly different CpG methylation patterns, with the vast majority being more methylated in eggs. Adult drones show greatly reduced levels of methylation across the genome when compared with both gamete samples. This suggests a dynamic cycle of methylation loss and gain through the development of the drone and during spermatogenesis. Although fluxes in methylation during embryogenesis may account for some of the differentially methylated sites, the distinct methylation patterns at some genes suggest parent-specific epigenetic marking in the gametes. Extensive germ line methylation of some genes possibly explains the lower-than-expected frequency of CpG sites in these genes. We discuss the potential developmental and evolutionary implications of methylation in eggs and sperm in this eusocial insect species. PMID:24924193
Gregorc, Ales; Silva-Zacarin, Elaine C M; Carvalho, Stephan Malfitano; Kramberger, Doris; Teixeira, Erica W; Malaspina, Osmar
Multiple stressors, such as chemicals and pathogens, are likely to be detrimental for the health and lifespan of Apis mellifera, a bee species frequently exposed to both factors in the field and inside hives. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate comparatively the health of Carniolan and Africanized honey bees (AHB) co-exposed to thiamethoxam and Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae) spores. Newly-emerged worker honey bees were exposed solely with different sublethal doses of thiamethoxam (2% and 0.2% of LD50 for AHB), which could be consumed by bees under field conditions. Toxicity tests for the Carniolan bees were performed, and the LD50 of thiamethoxam for Carniolan honey bees was 7.86 ng bee(-1). Immunohistological analyses were also performed to detect cell death in the midgut of thiamethoxam and/or N. ceranae treated bees. Thiamethoxam exposure had no negative impact on Nosema development in experimental conditions, but it clearly inhibited cell death in the midgut of thiamethoxam and Nosema-exposed bees, as demonstrated by immunohistochemical data. Indeed, thiamethoxam exposure only had a minor synergistic toxic effect on midgut tissue when applied as a low dose simultaneously with N. ceranae to AHB and Carniolan honey bees, in comparison with the effect caused by both stressors separately. Our data provides insights into the effects of the neonicotenoid thiamethoxam on the AHB and Carniolan honey bee life span, as well as the effects of simultaneous application of thiamethoxam and N. ceranae spores to honey bees. PMID:26774296
James C Fleming
Full Text Available Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L. populations face declines commonly attributed to pesticide, pathogen, and parasite stress. One way beekeepers combat these stressors is by providing supplemental protein diets to honey bee colonies to ensure adequate colony nutrition. However Nosema spp., a microsporidian parasite of the honey bee, is thought to be associated closely with a colony's nutritional intake, thus possibly negating any benefit the bees otherwise would have received from a nutritional supplement. Through three objectives, we examined how adult bees' consumption of wildflower pollen or commercial pollen substitute diets affected Nosema levels in the bees' midguts. For our first objective, we investigated how method of inoculation with Nosema affects infection levels in inoculated bees. Bees were infected with spores of Nosema four days after emergence. On day 15, bees were collected from the cages and Nosema spores were quantified. We found that inoculation through the pollen diet resulted in the highest Nosema levels in inoculated bees. In our second and third objectives, we provided the test diets to caged, newly emerged bees for a period of 15 days. Bees consuming pollen and a sucrose solution had more Nosema in their midguts than did bees consuming the sucrose solution alone (control. The overall volume of diet consumed by the bees did not correlate with the level of Nosema in their midguts. The level of Nosema was higher in bees fed certain commercial pollen substitute diets than in bees fed wildflower pollen. Our study illustrates how providing nutritional supplements to adult honey bees can impact the intensity of Nosema in their midguts.
Retschnig, Gina; Williams, Geoffrey Rhys; Odemer, R; Boltin, J; Di Poto, C; Mehmann, MM; Retschnig, P; Winiger, P; Rosenkranz, P.; Neumann, Peter
Interactions between pesticides and parasites are believed to be responsible for increased mortality of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in the northern hemisphere. Previous efforts have employed experimental approaches using small groups under laboratory conditions to investigate influence of these stressors on honey bee physiology and behaviour, although both the colony level and field conditions play a key role for eusocial honey bees. Here, we challenged honey bee workers under in vivo...
Full Text Available Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV infection causes chronic paralysis and loss of workers in honey bee colonies around the world. Although CBPV shows a worldwide distribution, it had not been molecularly detected in Japan. Our investigation of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana japonica colonies with RT-PCR has revealed CBPV infection in A. mellifera but not A. c. japonica colonies in Japan. The prevalence of CBPV is low compared with that of other viruses: deformed wing virus (DWV, black queen cell virus (BQCV, Israel acute paralysis virus (IAPV, and sac brood virus (SBV, previously reported in Japan. Because of its low prevalence (5.6% in A. mellifera colonies, the incidence of colony losses by CBPV infection must be sporadic in Japan. The presence of the (− strand RNA in dying workers suggests that CBPV infection and replication may contribute to their symptoms. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates a geographic separation of Japanese isolates from European, Uruguayan, and mainland US isolates. The lack of major exchange of honey bees between Europe/mainland US and Japan for the recent 26 years (1985–2010 may have resulted in the geographic separation of Japanese CBPV isolates.
Steen, van der J.J.M.; Dinter, A.
To evaluate the effect of the indoxacarb 300 g kg-1 WG, Steward 30WDGTM, on the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) in apple orchards, a monitoring study was conducted in Dutch apple orchards in April/May 2004. Before apple flowering began, two honey bee colonies were placed in each orchard to investigate
Full Text Available Thirty six honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica colonies were tested for gentleness, swarming behaviour, colony strength, racial characteristics, Cubital index (Ci, honey production, extension of capped brood, hygienic behaviour and the presence of Nosema spp. spores. The average value of Ci of all measures was 2.7 (±0.40. The average honey production was 9.5 kg (±6.6 and the area of capped brood was 7061 cm2 (±2813. Colonies expressed hygienic behaviour observed 24 hours after killing pupae twice in May and July at the level of 83.4% (±11.2. Each of twelve colonies uncapped and removed more than 90% of killed pupae, and of these, eight colonies cleaned more than 96% of killed pupae. The highest Nosema spp. spore load was found during September. We conclude that establishing the colony performance factors, with maximal level of 34 points, is a suitable tool for ranking and selection of colonies in each queen rearing apiary.
Full Text Available In this three-year-trial study, we examined the quality of mated queens based on morphological and physiology traits. At each location, sister queen bees were reared each year from one Apis mellifera carnica breeder queen. Queens were also reared and mated in different locations. Altogether, we sampled and analysed 324 queens from 27 apiaries in 2006, 288 queens from 24 apiaries in 2008, and 276 queens from 23 apiaries in 2010. Nine queens from each apiary were sampled and dissected for morphological analyses and Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae spores, if present, were quantified. Three queens from each apiary were prepared and tested for four viruses: acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV, black queen cell virus (BQCV, deformed wing virus (DWV, and sacbrood virus (SBV. The highest average queen weight of 209.49 ± 9.82 mg was detected in 2008. The highest average ovary weight of 78.67 ± 11.86 mg was detected in 2010, and the highest number of ovarioles was 161.59 ± 8.70 in 2006. The average number of spermatozoa in queens ranged from 3.30 x 106 in 2006 to 5.23 x 106 in 2010. Nosema ceranae spores were found in queens sampled in 2008 and 2010. Viruses were discovered sporadically during the queen testing periods from 2006 - 2010. This study importantly demonstrates that queens from rearing stations require regular evaluation for morphological and physiological changes as well as for infection from harmful pathogens. These results could also be used in establishing relevant commercial standards for rearing quality queens.
A. FERNANDES JR.
Full Text Available This study investigated the antibacterial activity of propolis produced by A. mellifera and Brazilian stingless bees, called "meliponíneos". Susceptibility tests to ethanolic extracts of propolis (EEP were performed using bacterial strains (Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus sp, and Escherichia coli isolated from human infections. Dilution of EEP in agar (%v/v was used for determination of minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC. The stingless bee species (and common names were: Nannotrigona testaceicornis ("Iraí", Tetragonisca angustula ("Jataí", Trigona spinipes ("Arapuá", Scaptotrigona sp ("Tiúba", Partamona sp ("Cupira", Melipona scutellaris ("Uruçu", Melipona sp ("Manduri", and Melipona mandaçaia ("Mandaçaia". EEP inhibitory efficiencies according to bacterial strains were: S. aureus - "Cupira" > "Manduri" = A. mellifera > "Uruçu" > "Mandaçaia" > "Iraí" > "Tiúba" > "Jataí" > "Arapuá" = Ethanol; Enterococcus sp - "Cupira" > "Manduri" > A. mellifera > "Mandaçaia" > "Uruçu" > "Tiúba" > "Jataí" > "Arapuá" = Ethanol; E. coli - "Manduri" > "Jataí" > Ethanol > A. mellifera > "Uruçu" > "Cupira" > "Iraí". Propolis produced by "Cupira" and "Manduri" bees showed higher antibacterial activity than A. mellifera.
Full Text Available The aim of this study was the selection and testing of suitable microsatellite markers for evaluation of the Slovak carniolan honey bee, particularly the population structure, genetic diversity, breed assignment and paternity testing of honey bee queens in Slovakia. Fourteen microsatellite markers running in two multiplex PCR reactions have been tested on 40 randomly selected workers and queens and further verified by PIC index, expected heterozygosity (HE and observed heterozygosity (HO. Chi-squared test of goodness of fit (α = 0,05 was used to check the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE of genotype for each marker. For the comparison tests the workers of A. mellifera mellifera x ligurica, A. mellifera macedonica and A. mellifera iberica were analyzed, using the same set of markers. We identified a total of 123 alleles in the Slovak carniolan honey bee samples, with the mean value of 8,78 allele per locus. Eleven markers showed the PIC value greater than 0,5 and thus were highly informative. The mean value of expected heterozygosity HE for all loci was 0,705 ± 0,15, the mean value of observed heterozygosity HO was 0,704 ± 0,18. The frequencies of genotypes for most tested markers were in The aim of this study was the selection and testing of suitable microsatellite markers for evaluation of the Slovak carniolan honey bee, particularly the population structure, genetic diversity, breed assignment and paternity testing of honey bee queens in Slovakia. Fourteen microsatellite markers running in two multiplex PCR reactions have been tested on 40 randomly selected workers and queens and further verified by PIC index, expected heterozygosity (HE and observed heterozygosity (HO. Chi-squared test of goodness of fit (α = 0,05 was used to check the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE of genotype for each marker. For the comparison tests the workers of A. mellifera mellifera x ligurica, A. mellifera macedonica and A. mellifera iberica were analyzed, using
Shahera Zaitoun; Abd AI-Majeed AI-Ghzawi
Experimental work was conducted at two apiaries located in Irbid district and in Shuna North, Jordan, during the years 2004-2006. The aims of these investigations were to estimate the seasonal changes in the infestation rates of the bee louse (Braula sp.) and to develop an easy and rapid method of estimating the infestation rate on workers with bee Braula. Two major honey bee subspecies are reared in Jordan; Apis mellifera carnica and Apis mellifera syriaca were used in this study. The results showed that the infestation rate began to increase rapidly in May, reaching the season's maximum rate of 16.2%, 15.8% and 17.4% forA. ra. carnica and 22.6%, 23.9% and 22.9% forA. m. syr/aca in December of 2004,2005 and 2006, respectively. The maximum adult numbers of bees were found in April and June, whereas the minimum for the year was in January in both honey bee subspecies colonies during the study period. The actual population of the bee louse could be estimated by counting the daily dropped lice and multiplying by a factor of 158. This factor is valid for the experimental colonies of both subspecies kept for 3 years under semi-arid Mediterranean conditions.
Full Text Available Different levels of infestation with the mite Varroa jacobsoni have been observed in the various Apis mellifera races. In general, bees of European races are more susceptible to the mite than African honey bees and their hybrids. In Brazil honey bee colonies are not treated against the mite, though apparently both climate and bee race influence the mite infestation. Six mixed colonies were made with Italian and Africanized honey bees. The percentage infestation by this parasite was found to be significantly lower in adult Africanized (1.69 ± 0.44 than Italian bees (2.79 ± 0.65. This ratio was similar to that found in Mexico, even though the Africanized bees tested there had not been in contact with varroa, compared to more than 20 years of the coexistence in Brazil. However, mean mite infestation in Brazil on both kinds of bees was only about a third of that found in Mexico.Desde o contato inicial entre o ácaro Varroa jacobsoni e a abelha Apis mellifera, diferentes níveis de infestação foram verificados entre as diversas raças dessa espécie de abelhas. O presente trabalho teve como objetivo verificar o grau de infestação determinado pelo acaro Varroa jacobsoni em abelhas Apis mellifera, africanizadas e italianas puras, quando criadas numa mesma colméia. Para isso, o grau de infestação foi obtido em seis colônias de abelhas constituídas de operárias de ambas as raças. O resultado de dezesseis repetições mostrou que as abelhas africanizadas foram menos infestadas que as abelhas italianas. Esse resultado sugere que, nas condições naturais de infestação, as abelhas africanizadas são mais defensivas ao parasita Varroa jacobsoni, garantindo a essa raça de abelhas a resistência à praga varroosis.
Muli, Elliud; Patch, Harland; Frazier, Maryann; Frazier, James; Torto, Baldwyn; Baumgarten, Tracey; Kilonzo, Joseph; Kimani, James Ng'ang'a; Mumoki, Fiona; Masiga, Daniel; Tumlinson, James; Grozinger, Christina
In East Africa, honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide critical pollination services and income for small-holder farmers and rural families. While honey bee populations in North America and Europe are in decline, little is known about the status of honey bee populations in Africa. We initiated a nationwide survey encompassing 24 locations across Kenya in 2010 to evaluate the numbers and sizes of honey bee colonies, assess the presence of parasites (Varroa mites and Nosema microsporidia) and viruses, identify and quantify pesticide contaminants in hives, and assay for levels of hygienic behavior. Varroa mites were present throughout Kenya, except in the remote north. Levels of Varroa were positively correlated with elevation, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in honey bee host-parasite interactions. Levels of Varroa were negatively correlated with levels of hygienic behavior: however, while Varroa infestation dramatically reduces honey bee colony survival in the US and Europe, in Kenya Varroa presence alone does not appear to impact colony size. Nosema apis was found at three sites along the coast and one interior site. Only a small number of pesticides at low concentrations were found. Of the seven common US/European honey bee viruses, only three were identified but, like Varroa, were absent from northern Kenya. The number of viruses present was positively correlated with Varroa levels, but was not correlated with colony size or hygienic behavior. Our results suggest that Varroa, the three viruses, and Nosema have been relatively recently introduced into Kenya, but these factors do not yet appear to be impacting Kenyan bee populations. Thus chemical control for Varroa and Nosema are not necessary for Kenyan bees at this time. This study provides baseline data for future analyses of the possible mechanisms underlying resistance to and the long-term impacts of these factors on African bee populations. PMID:24740399
Full Text Available In East Africa, honey bees (Apis mellifera provide critical pollination services and income for small-holder farmers and rural families. While honey bee populations in North America and Europe are in decline, little is known about the status of honey bee populations in Africa. We initiated a nationwide survey encompassing 24 locations across Kenya in 2010 to evaluate the numbers and sizes of honey bee colonies, assess the presence of parasites (Varroa mites and Nosema microsporidia and viruses, identify and quantify pesticide contaminants in hives, and assay for levels of hygienic behavior. Varroa mites were present throughout Kenya, except in the remote north. Levels of Varroa were positively correlated with elevation, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in honey bee host-parasite interactions. Levels of Varroa were negatively correlated with levels of hygienic behavior: however, while Varroa infestation dramatically reduces honey bee colony survival in the US and Europe, in Kenya Varroa presence alone does not appear to impact colony size. Nosema apis was found at three sites along the coast and one interior site. Only a small number of pesticides at low concentrations were found. Of the seven common US/European honey bee viruses, only three were identified but, like Varroa, were absent from northern Kenya. The number of viruses present was positively correlated with Varroa levels, but was not correlated with colony size or hygienic behavior. Our results suggest that Varroa, the three viruses, and Nosema have been relatively recently introduced into Kenya, but these factors do not yet appear to be impacting Kenyan bee populations. Thus chemical control for Varroa and Nosema are not necessary for Kenyan bees at this time. This study provides baseline data for future analyses of the possible mechanisms underlying resistance to and the long-term impacts of these factors on African bee populations.
Full Text Available Heritabilities and correlations between Brood Area (BA, Colony Population (CP, Honey Production (HP, Productivity (PR and some morphological characteristics were estimated on the Iranian honey bees (Apis mellifera meda. Heritability estimates were 0.69±0.09, 0.50±0.08, 0.46±0.08, 0.34±0.06, 0.51±0.08, 0.42±0.07, 0.90±0.10, 0.94±0.10 and 0.72±0.09, respectively, for Proboscis Length (PL, Femur Length (FL, Tibia Length (TL, Metatarsus Width (MW, Leg Length (LL, Fore Wing Length (FWL, Fore Wing Width (FWW, Hind Wing Length (HWL and Hind Wing Width (HWW. Phenotypic correlation between PR to BA and CP were significantly negative (-0.38 and -0.35, respectively and positive to HP (0.65. Colony traits were related to PL, FL, TL, LL, MW, FWL, FWW and HWL. Brood area was correlated to proboscis length significantly positive (r = 0.20. Brood area and colony population were correlated significantly positive to tibia length, metatarsus length and width, fore wing length and width and hind wing length. Between proboscis length and productivity there was a negative and high significant correlation (r = -0.29. Correlation between tibia length and productivity was significantly negative. Between harvested honey with femur length, tibia length, leg length and fore wing width there were positive and high significant correlations. From these results it is concluded that productivity is correlated directly to honey production and indirectly to brood area and colony population.
Steeve H. Thany
Full Text Available In the present study, the effects of low (10 ng/bee and high (100 ng/bee doses of acetamiprid and deltamethrin insecticides on multi-trial learning and retrieval were evaluated in the honey bee Apis mellifera. After oral application, acetamiprid and deltamethrin at the concentrations used were not able to impair learning sessions. When the retention tests were performed 1 h, 6 h, and 24 h after learning, we found a significant difference between bees after learning sessions when drugs were applied 24 h before learning. Deltamethrin-treated bees were found to be more sensitive at 10 ng/bee and 100 ng/bee doses compared to acetamiprid-treated bees, only with amounts of 100 ng/bee and at 6 h and 24 h delays. When insecticides were applied during learning sessions, none of the tested insecticides was able to impair learning performance at 10 ng/bee or 100 ng/bee but retention performance was altered 24 h after learning sessions. Acetamiprid was the only one to impair retrieval at 10 ng/bee, whereas at 100 ng/bee an impairment of retrieval was found with both insecticides. The present results therefore suggest that acetamiprid and deltamethrin are able to impair retrieval performance in the honey bee Apis mellifera.
Codling, Garry; Al Naggar, Yahya; Giesy, John P; Robertson, Albert J
Neonicotinoid insecticides (NIs) and their transformation products were detected in honey, pollen and honey bees, (Apis mellifera) from hives located within 30 km of the City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam were the most frequently detected NIs, found in 68 and 75% of honey samples at mean concentrations of 8.2 and 17.2 ng g(-1) wet mass, (wm), respectively. Clothianidin was also found in >50% of samples of bees and pollen. Concentrations of clothianidin in bees exceed the LD50 in 2 of 28 samples, while for other NIs concentrations were typically 10-100-fold less than the oral LD50. Imidaclorpid was detected in ∼30% of samples of honey, but only 5% of pollen and concentrations were
Berry, Jennifer A.; Hood, W. Michael; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Delaplane, Keith S.
In a study replicated across two states and two years, we tested the sublethal effects on honey bees of the miticides Apistan (tau fluvalinate) and Check Mite+ (coumaphos) and the wood preservative copper naphthenate applied at label rates in field conditions. A continuous covariate, a colony Varroa mite index, helped us disambiguate the effects of the chemicals on bees while adjusting for a presumed benefit of controlling mites. Mite levels in colonies treated with Apistan or Check Mite+ were not different from levels in non-treated controls. Experimental chemicals significantly decreased 3-day brood survivorship and increased construction of queen supercedure cells compared to non-treated controls. Bees exposed to Check Mite+ as immatures had higher legacy mortality as adults relative to non-treated controls, whereas bees exposed to Apistan had improved legacy mortality relative to non-treated controls. Relative to non-treated controls, Check Mite+ increased adult emergence weight. Although there was a treatment effect on a test of associative learning, it was not possible to statistically separate the treatment means, but bees treated with Apistan performed comparatively well. And finally, there were no detected effects of bee hive chemical on colony bee population, amount of brood, amount of honey, foraging rate, time required for marked released bees to return to their nest, percentage of released bees that return to the nest, and colony Nosema spore loads. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine sublethal effects of bee hive chemicals applied at label rates under field conditions while disambiguating the results from mite control benefits realized from the chemicals. Given the poor performance of the miticides at reducing mites and their inconsistent effects on the host, these results defend the use of bee health management practices that minimize use of exotic hive chemicals. PMID:24204638
Jennifer A Berry
Full Text Available In a study replicated across two states and two years, we tested the sublethal effects on honey bees of the miticides Apistan (tau fluvalinate and Check Mite+ (coumaphos and the wood preservative copper naphthenate applied at label rates in field conditions. A continuous covariate, a colony Varroa mite index, helped us disambiguate the effects of the chemicals on bees while adjusting for a presumed benefit of controlling mites. Mite levels in colonies treated with Apistan or Check Mite+ were not different from levels in non-treated controls. Experimental chemicals significantly decreased 3-day brood survivorship and increased construction of queen supercedure cells compared to non-treated controls. Bees exposed to Check Mite+ as immatures had higher legacy mortality as adults relative to non-treated controls, whereas bees exposed to Apistan had improved legacy mortality relative to non-treated controls. Relative to non-treated controls, Check Mite+ increased adult emergence weight. Although there was a treatment effect on a test of associative learning, it was not possible to statistically separate the treatment means, but bees treated with Apistan performed comparatively well. And finally, there were no detected effects of bee hive chemical on colony bee population, amount of brood, amount of honey, foraging rate, time required for marked released bees to return to their nest, percentage of released bees that return to the nest, and colony Nosema spore loads. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine sublethal effects of bee hive chemicals applied at label rates under field conditions while disambiguating the results from mite control benefits realized from the chemicals. Given the poor performance of the miticides at reducing mites and their inconsistent effects on the host, these results defend the use of bee health management practices that minimize use of exotic hive chemicals.
Badiou-Bénéteau, Alexandra; Carvalho, Stephan M; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Carvalho, Geraldo A; Buleté, Audrey; Giroud, Barbara; Belzunces, Luc P
This study describes the development of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), carboxylesterases (CaE1, CaE2, CaE3), glutathion-S-transferase (GST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and catalase (CAT) as enzyme biomarkers of exposure to xenobiotics such as thiamethoxam in the honey bee Apis mellifera. Extraction efficiency, stability under freezing and biological variability were studied. The extraction procedure achieved good recovery rates in one extraction step and ranged from 65 percent (AChE) to 97.3 percent (GST). Most of the enzymes were stable at -20°C, except ALP that displayed a slight but progressive decrease in its activity. Modifications of enzyme activities were considered after exposure to thiamethoxam at the lethal dose 50 percent (LD(50), 51.16 ng bee(-1)) and two sublethal doses, LD(50)/10 (5.12 ng bee(-1)) and LD(50)/20 (2.56 ng bee(-1)). The biomarker responses revealed that, even at the lowest dose used, exposure to thiamethoxam elicited sublethal effects and modified the activity of CaEs, GST, CAT and ALP. Different patterns of biomarker responses were observed: no response for AChE, an increase for GST and CAT, and differential effects for CaEs isoforms with a decrease in CaE1 and CaE3 and an increase in CaE2. ALP and CaE3 displayed contrasting variations but only at 2.56 ng bee(-1). We consider that this profile of biomarker variation could represent a useful fingerprint to characterise exposure to thiamethoxam in the honey bee A. mellifera. This battery of honey bee biomarkers might be a promising option to biomonitor the health of aerial and terrestrial ecosystems and to generate valuable information on the modes of action of pesticides. PMID:22683234
Full Text Available Apis mellifera filamentous virus (AmFV is a large double stranded DNA virus of honey bees, but its relationship with other parasites and prevalence are poorly known. We analyzed individual honey bees from three colonies at different times post emergence in order to monitor the dynamics of the AmFV gut colonization under natural conditions. Prevalence and loads of microsporidia and trypanosomes were also recorded, as well as five common honey bee RNA viruses. The results show that a high proportion of bees get infected with AmFV during the first week post-emergence (75% and that AmFV DNA levels remained constant. A similar pattern was observed for microsporidia while trypanosomes seem to require more time to colonize the gut. No significant associations between these three infections were found, but significant positive correlations were observed between AmFV and RNA viruses. In parallel, the prevalence of AmFV in France and Sweden was assessed from pooled honey bee workers. The data indicate that AmFV is almost ubiquitous, and does not seem to follow seasonal patterns, although higher viral loads were significantly detected in spring. A high prevalence of AmFV was also found in winter bees, without obvious impact on overwintering of the colonies.
Full Text Available Up until a few years ago, the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae was considered to be a pathogen of Apis cerana exclusively; however, only recently it has shown to be very virulent to Apis mellifera. Therefore, it has been named as apathogenic agent active in the disappearance of honey bee colonies globally, infecting all members of the colony. Honey bees are widely used for pollination and honey production, hence their importance in agriculture. They also play an important ecological role in plant pollination: a third of human food crops are pollinated by bees as well as many plants consumed by other animals. In this context, the object of this review is to summarise the information published by different authors on the geographical distribution and the morphological and genetic characteristics of this parasite, the symptomatology of the disease and the control methods used in those countries where N. ceranae is present, in order to identify better tools to confront this new bee disease.
Full Text Available O objetivo do presente ensaio foi testar diversas substâncias e verificar sua atratividade e repelência para abelhas, Apis mellifera, L. Para isso, foram realizados testes em discos próximos às colméias e em cana picada oferecida como alimentação para gado bovino confinado. Nos discos próximos à colméia, o produto mais atrativo foi Bee-Here e o mais repelente foi o óleo de citronela. No cocho para bovinos, o repelente mais efetivo foi n-octyl-acetato.The experiment aimed to study honey bee (Apis mellifera attractants and repellents in vitro and on chopped sugar cane for bovine feeding. Tests were performed on plates located near to the hives and on bovine-hods. On plates, Bee-Here® was the most attractive and citronela oil the most repellent. On bovine-hods the most effective was n-octyl-acetate.
We introduced mated European honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queens into Africanized and European colonies during three different seasons to determine if there were differences in queen acceptance rates. We also sampled volatile compounds emitted by the queens prior to their introduction to determine...
He, Xu Jiang; Zhang, Xue Chuan; Jiang, Wu Jun; Barron, Andrew B.; Zhang, Jian Hui; Zeng, Zhi Jiang
Cooperative brood care is diagnostic of animal societies. This is particularly true for the advanced social insects, and the honey bee is the best understood of the insect societies. A brood pheromone signaling the presence of larvae in a bee colony has been characterised and well studied, but here we explored whether honey bee larvae actively signal their food needs pheromonally to workers. We show that starving honey bee larvae signal to workers via increased production of the volatile pheromone E-β-ocimene. Analysis of volatile pheromones produced by food-deprived and fed larvae with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry showed that starving larvae produced more E-β-ocimene. Behavioural analyses showed that adding E-β-ocimene to empty cells increased the number of worker visits to those cells, and similarly adding E-β-ocimene to larvae increased worker visitation rate to the larvae. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analysis identified 3 genes in the E-β-ocimene biosynthetic pathway that were upregulated in larvae following 30 minutes of starvation, and these genes also upregulated in 2-day old larvae compared to 4-day old larvae (2-day old larvae produce the most E-β-ocimene). This identifies a pheromonal mechanism by which brood can beg for food from workers to influence the allocation of resources within the colony. PMID:26924295
He, Xu Jiang; Zhang, Xue Chuan; Jiang, Wu Jun; Barron, Andrew B; Zhang, Jian Hui; Zeng, Zhi Jiang
Cooperative brood care is diagnostic of animal societies. This is particularly true for the advanced social insects, and the honey bee is the best understood of the insect societies. A brood pheromone signaling the presence of larvae in a bee colony has been characterised and well studied, but here we explored whether honey bee larvae actively signal their food needs pheromonally to workers. We show that starving honey bee larvae signal to workers via increased production of the volatile pheromone E-β-ocimene. Analysis of volatile pheromones produced by food-deprived and fed larvae with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry showed that starving larvae produced more E-β-ocimene. Behavioural analyses showed that adding E-β-ocimene to empty cells increased the number of worker visits to those cells, and similarly adding E-β-ocimene to larvae increased worker visitation rate to the larvae. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analysis identified 3 genes in the E-β-ocimene biosynthetic pathway that were upregulated in larvae following 30 minutes of starvation, and these genes also upregulated in 2-day old larvae compared to 4-day old larvae (2-day old larvae produce the most E-β-ocimene). This identifies a pheromonal mechanism by which brood can beg for food from workers to influence the allocation of resources within the colony. PMID:26924295
Wu Yan Y.
Full Text Available China has the largest number of managed honey bee colonies globally, but there is currently no data on viral infection in diseased A. mellifera L. colonies in China. In particular, there is a lack of data on chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV in Chinese honey bee colonies. Consequently, the present study investigated the occurrence and frequency of several widespread honey bee viruses in diseased Chinese apiaries, and we used the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR assay. Described was the relationship between the presence of CBPV and diseased colonies (with at least one of the following symptoms: depopulation, paralysis, dark body colorings and hairless, or a mass of dead bees on the ground surrounding the beehives. Phylogenetic analyses of CBPV were employed. The prevalence of multiple infections of honey bee viruses in diseased Chinese apiaries was 100%, and the prevalence of infections with even five and six viruses were higher than expected. The incidence of CBPV in diseased colonies was significantly higher than that in apparently healthy colonies in Chinese A. mellifera aparies, and CBPV isolates from China can be separated into Chinese-Japanese clade 1 and 2. The results indicate that beekeeping in China may be threatened by colony decline due to the high prevalence of multiple viruses with CBPV.
Full Text Available This paper presents the effects of acidifying substances (lactic acid or acetic acid, Enterobiotics products(Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-14 and Bifidobacterium lactis BI-04 and Enterolactis Plus (Lactobacillus casei onthe wax glands of worker bees. The research was conducted in Timis County, Romania, between March 25 and April20, 2011, on 110 colonies of bees (Apis mellifera carpatica, allocated to 11 experimental treatment groups. Coloniesin the experimental groups were given three weekly feeds of sugar syrup supplemented with acidifying substances(lactic acid or cider vinegar and/or probiotic products (Enterobiotics or Enterolactis Plus. Three weeks after theadministration of the experimental diets, 10 worker bees from each treatment group were sampled for histologicalexamination of their wax glands. Gland development was shown to be influenced by administration of prebioticand/or probiotic supplements. Wax gland cell sizes ranged from 25.1 microns for the control group to between 27.8and 31.8 microns in the group fed with acidifying substances and between 26.9 and 29.2 microns in bees fed withprobiotic products. Bees supplemented with both lactic acid and probiotic product (group LE9 and LE10 showedmean wax cell sizes of 31.8 microns.
Medina-Flores, C A; Guzmán-Novoa, E; Hamiduzzaman, M M; Aréchiga-Flores, C F; López-Carlos, M A
Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies of African and European descent were compared for levels of Varroa destructor infestation in 3 different ecological regions in Mexico. The 300 colonies that were studied were located in subtropical, temperate sub-humid, and temperate dry climates. The morphotype and mitotype of adult bees as well as their rates of infestation by varroa mites were determined. Additionally, the number of combs with brood and covered with bees was recorded for each colony. The highest frequency of colonies that were classified as African-derived was found in the subtropical environment, whereas the lowest occurred in the temperate dry region. Overall, the colonies of African genotype had significantly lower mite infestation rates (3.5±0.34%) than the colonies of European genotype (4.7±0.49%) regardless of the region sampled. Significant effects of genotype and region on Varroa infestation rates were evident, and there were no differences in bee population or capped brood between genotypes. Mite infestation levels were significantly lower in the colonies of the temperate dry region than in the colonies of the other 2 regions. These results are discussed within the context of results from studies that were previously conducted in Brazil. This is the first study that demonstrates the effects of Africanization and ecological environment on V. destructor infestation rates in honey bee colonies in North America. PMID:24634296
Hamiduzzaman, Mollah Md; Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto; Goodwin, Paul H; Reyes-Quintana, Mariana; Koleoglu, Gun; Correa-Benítez, Adriana; Petukhova, Tatiana
For the first time, adults and brood of Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) were compared for relative virus levels over 48 h following Varroa destructor parasitism or injection of V. destructor homogenate. Rates of increase of deformed wing virus (DWV) for Africanized versus European bees were temporarily lowered for 12h with parasitism and sustainably lowered over the entire experiment (48 h) with homogenate injection in adults. The rates were also temporarily lowered for 24h with parasitism but were not affected by homogenate injection in brood. Rates of increase of black queen cell virus (BQCV) for Africanized versus European bees were similar with parasitism but sustainably lowered over the entire experiment with homogenate injection in adults and were similar for parasitism and homogenate injection in brood. Analyses of sac brood bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus were limited as detection did not occur after both homogenate injection and parasitism treatment, or levels were not significantly higher than those following control buffer injection. Lower rates of replication of DWV and BQCV in Africanized bees shows that they may have greater viral resistance, at least early after treatment. PMID:25527405
Wang, Ying; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Brent, Colin S; Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V
Most organisms are constantly faced with environmental changes and stressors. In diverse organisms, there is an anticipatory mechanism during development that can program adult phenotypes. The adult phenotype would be adapted to the predicted environment that occurred during organism maturation. However, whether this anticipatory mechanism is present in eusocial species is questionable because eusocial organisms are largely shielded from exogenous conditions by their stable nest environment. In this study, we tested whether food deprivation during development of the honey bee (Apis mellifera), a eusocial insect model, can shift adult phenotypes to better cope with nutritional stress. After subjecting fifth instar worker larvae to short-term starvation, we measured nutrition-related morphology, starvation resistance, physiology, endocrinology and behavior in the adults. We found that the larval starvation caused adult honey bees to become more resilient toward starvation. Moreover, the adult bees were characterized by reduced ovary size, elevated glycogen stores and juvenile hormone (JH) titers, and decreased sugar sensitivity. These changes, in general, can help adult insects survive and reproduce in food-poor environments. Overall, we found for the first time support for an anticipatory mechanism in a eusocial species, the honey bee. Our results suggest that this mechanism may play a role in honey bee queen-worker differentiation and worker division of labor, both of which are related to the responses to nutritional stress. PMID:27030775
Charles I. Abramson
Full Text Available Seven experiments were conducted. First, the influence of the consumption of different concentrations of the organic pesticide Bioganic® on mortality was assessed at 11 different time intervals in Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L. as was direct application of the pesticide to the abdomen. Results indicated that the pesticide was not lethal to bees regardless of concentration at any intervals tested whether consumed directly or applied to the abdomen. Second, the effects of different concentrations of the pesticide on Pavlovian conditioning and complex learning were examined in harnessed foragers. Results suggest that the pesticide affected learning; however, this conclusion may be erroneous because the bees would not feed on the pesticide, thus making it impossible to properly assess Pavlovian conditioning and complex learning. Consequently, the effect of the agrochemical on complex learning was examined in free flying bees trained to land on targets. The results of free flying experiments indicated that bees did not avoid a target associated with the smell of the pesticide but did avoid the target if they had to drink the pesticide.
Burden, Christina M; Elmore, Christopher; Hladun, Kristen R; Trumble, John T; Smith, Brian H
A plethora of toxic compounds - including pesticides, heavy metals, and metalloids - have been detected in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and their colonies. One such compound is selenium, which bees are exposed to by consuming nectar and pollen from flowers grown in contaminated areas. Though selenium is lethal at high concentrations, sublethal exposure may also impair honey bees' ability to function normally. Examining the effect of selenium exposure on learning and memory provides a sensitive assay with which to identify sublethal effects on honey bee health and behavior. To determine whether sublethal selenium exposure causes learning and memory deficits, we used proboscis extension reflex conditioning coupled with recall tests 30min and 24h post-conditioning. We exposed forager honey bees to a single sublethal dose of selenium, and 3h later we used an olfactory conditioning assay to train the bees to discriminate between one odor associated with sucrose-reinforcement and a second unreinforced odor. Following conditioning we tested short- and long-term recall of the task. Acute exposure to as little as 1.8ng of an inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenate) before conditioning caused a reduction in behavioral performance during conditioning. And, exposure to 18ng of either an inorganic form (sodium selenate) or an organic form (methylseleno-l-cysteine) of selenium caused a reduction in the bees' performance during the long-term recall test. These concentrations of selenium are lower than those found in the nectar of plants grown in selenium-contaminated soil, indicating that even low-grade selenium toxicity produces significant learning and memory impairments. This may reduce foragers' ability to effectively gather resources for the colony or nurse bees' ability to care for and maintain a healthy colony. PMID:26802564
Aljedani, Dalal Musleh; Almehmadi, Roqaya Mohammed
Introduction Honeybees are constantly exposed to a wide range of vital and non-vital pressures that may interact with each other and affect the health or survival of the insects. Pesticides are the main danger for the insects, and they subsequently have impacts on human and environmental health. Methods Field research was conducted in the apiary of Hada Al Sham Research Station, where the worker honeybees forager Apis mellifera jemenatica were selected to examine the effect of pesticides on w...
Goblirsch, Mike; Huang, Zachary Y.; Spivak, Marla
Persistent exposure to mite pests, poor nutrition, pesticides, and pathogens threaten honey bee survival. In healthy colonies, the interaction of the yolk precursor protein, vitellogenin (Vg), and endocrine factor, juvenile hormone (JH), functions as a pacemaker driving the sequence of behaviors that workers perform throughout their lives. Young bees perform nursing duties within the hive and have high Vg and low JH; as older bees transition to foraging, this trend reverses. Pathogens and parasites can alter this regulatory network. For example, infection with the microsporidian, Nosema apis, has been shown to advance behavioral maturation in workers. We investigated the effects of infection with a recent honey bee pathogen on physiological factors underlying the division of labor in workers. Bees infected with N. ceranae were nearly twice as likely to engage in precocious foraging and lived 9 days less, on average, compared to controls. We also show that Vg transcript was low, while JH titer spiked, in infected nurse-aged bees in cages. This pattern of expression is atypical and the reverse of what would be expected for healthy, non-infected bees. Disruption of the basic underpinnings of temporal polyethism due to infection may be a contributing factor to recent high colony mortality, as workers may lose flexibility in their response to colony demands. PMID:23483987
Full Text Available Persistent exposure to mite pests, poor nutrition, pesticides, and pathogens threaten honey bee survival. In healthy colonies, the interaction of the yolk precursor protein, vitellogenin (Vg, and endocrine factor, juvenile hormone (JH, functions as a pacemaker driving the sequence of behaviors that workers perform throughout their lives. Young bees perform nursing duties within the hive and have high Vg and low JH; as older bees transition to foraging, this trend reverses. Pathogens and parasites can alter this regulatory network. For example, infection with the microsporidian, Nosema apis, has been shown to advance behavioral maturation in workers. We investigated the effects of infection with a recent honey bee pathogen on physiological factors underlying the division of labor in workers. Bees infected with N. ceranae were nearly twice as likely to engage in precocious foraging and lived 9 days less, on average, compared to controls. We also show that Vg transcript was low, while JH titer spiked, in infected nurse-aged bees in cages. This pattern of expression is atypical and the reverse of what would be expected for healthy, non-infected bees. Disruption of the basic underpinnings of temporal polyethism due to infection may be a contributing factor to recent high colony mortality, as workers may lose flexibility in their response to colony demands.
Ribière, Magali; Faucon, Jean-Paul; Pépin, Michel
Détection des infections par le virus de la paralysie chronique de l'abeille domestique (Apis mellifera L.) : application lors d'une enquête de terrain. Le virus de la paralysie chronique (CPV) a été l'un des premiers virus isolés chez l'abeille domestique . Le CPV est responsable d'une maladie infectieuse et contagieuse des abeilles adultes, la paralysie chronique de l'abeille connue par les apiculteurs français sous le nom de "Maladie noire ". à l'origine de mortalités, cette patholo...
Farris, Sarah M; Abrams, Andrew I; Strausfeld, Nicholas J
Class II Kenyon cells, defined by their early birthdate and unique dendritic arborizations, have been observed in the mushroom bodies of evolutionarily divergent insects. In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, Class II (also called clawed) Kenyon cells are well known for their extensive reorganization that occurs during metamorphosis. The present account reports for the first time the occurrence of mushroom body reorganization during metamorphosis in holometabolous insect species outside of the Diptera. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, Class II Kenyon cells show signs of degeneration and undergo a subtle reshaping of their axons during metamorphosis. Unlike in Drosophila, reorganization of Class II Kenyon cells in the honey bee does not involve the loss of axon branches. In contrast, the mushroom bodies of closely related hymenopteran species, the polistine wasps, undergo a much more dramatic restructuring near the end of metamorphosis. Immunohistochemistry, dextran fills, and Golgi impregnations illuminate the heterogeneous nature of Class II Kenyon cells in the developing and adult honey bee brain, with subpopulations differing in the location of dendritic arbors within the calyx, and branching pattern in the lobes. Furthermore, polyclonal antibodies against the catalytic subunit of Drosophila protein kinase A (anti-DC0) label an unusual and previously undescribed trajectory for these neurons. The observed variations in morphology indicate that subpopulations of Class II Kenyon cells in the honey bee can likely be further defined by significant differences in their specific connections and functions within the mushroom bodies. PMID:15174077
Coffey, Mary F.; Breen, John; Brown, Mark J.F.; Mcmullan, John B.
The varroa mite (Varroa destructor) is an ectoparasite of the western honeybee Apis mellifera that reproduces in the brood cells. The mite will generally kill colonies unless treatment is given, and this almost universally involves the use of chemicals. This study was undertaken to examine the effect of small cell size on the reproductive success of the mite, as a method of non-chemical control in the Northern European honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera. Test colonies with alternating small an...
Boncristiani, Humberto; Underwood, Robyn; Schwarz, Ryan; Evans, Jay D; Pettis, Jeffery; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis
The effect of using acaricides to control varroa mites has long been a concern to the beekeeping industry due to unintended negative impacts on honey bee health. Irregular ontogenesis, suppression of immune defenses, and impairment of normal behavior have been linked to pesticide use. External stressors, including parasites and the pathogens they vector, can confound studies on the effects of pesticides on the metabolism of honey bees. This is the case of Varroa destructor, a mite that negatively affects honey bee health on many levels, from direct parasitism, which diminishes honey bee productivity, to vectoring and/or activating other pathogens, including many viruses. Here we present a gene expression profile comprising genes acting on diverse metabolic levels (detoxification, immunity, and development) in a honey bee population that lacks the influence of varroa mites. We present data for hives treated with five different acaricides; Apiguard (thymol), Apistan (tau-fluvalinate), Checkmite (coumaphos), Miteaway (formic acid) and ApiVar (amitraz). The results indicate that thymol, coumaphos and formic acid are able to alter some metabolic responses. These include detoxification gene expression pathways, components of the immune system responsible for cellular response and the c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, and developmental genes. These could potentially interfere with the health of individual honey bees and entire colonies. PMID:22212860
Full Text Available Apis mellifera jemenitica Ruttner (= yemenitica auctorum: vide Engel 1999 has been used in apiculture throughout the Arabian Peninsula since at least 2000 BC. Existing literature demonstrates that these populations are well adapted for the harsh extremes of the region. Populations of A. m. jemenitica native to Saudi Arabia are far more heat tolerant than the standard races often imported from Europe. Central Saudi Arabia has the highest summer temperatures for the Arabian Peninsula, and it is in this region where only A. m. jemenitica survives, while other subspecies fail to persist. The indigenous race of Saudi Arabia differs from other subspecies in the region in some morphological, biological, and behavioral characteristics. Further taxonomic investigation, as well as molecular studies, is needed in order to confirm whether the Saudi indigenous bee populations represent a race distinct from A. m. jemenitica, or merely an ecotype of this subspecies.
Haddad, Nizar; Mahmud Batainh, Ahmed; Suleiman Migdadi, Osama; Saini, Deepti; Krishnamurthy, Venkatesh; Parameswaran, Sriram; Alhamuri, Zaid
Apis mellifera syriaca exhibits a high degree of tolerance to pests and pathogens including varroa mites. This native honey bee subspecies of Jordan expresses behavioral adaptations to high temperature and dry seasons typical of the region. However, persistent honey bee imports of commercial breeder lines are endangering local honey bee population. This study reports the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to study the A. m. syriaca genome and to identify genetic factors possibly contributing toward mite resistance and other favorable traits. We obtained a total of 46.2 million raw reads by applying the NGS to sequence A. m. syriaca and used extensive bioinformatics approach to identify several candidate genes for Varroa mite resistance, behavioral and immune responses characteristic for these bees. As a part of characterizing the functional regulation of molecular genetic pathway, we have mapped the pathway genes potentially involved using information from Drosophila melanogaster and present possible functional changes implicated in responses to Varroa destructor mite infestation toward this. We performed in-depth functional annotation methods to identify ∼600 candidates that are relevant, genes involved in pathways such as microbial recognition and phagocytosis, peptidoglycan recognition protein family, Gram negative binding protein family, phagocytosis receptors, serpins, Toll signaling pathway, Imd pathway, Tnf, JAK-STAT and MAPK pathway, heamatopioesis and cellular response pathways, antiviral, RNAi pathway, stress factors, etc. were selected. Finally, we have cataloged function-specific polymorphisms between A. mellifera and A. m. syriaca that could give better understanding of varroa mite resistance mechanisms and assist in breeding. We have identified immune related embryonic development (Cactus, Relish, dorsal, Ank2, baz), Varroa hygiene (NorpA2, Zasp, LanA, gasp, impl3) and Varroa resistance (Pug, pcmt, elk, elf3-s10, Dscam2, Dhc64C, gro
Harmen P Hendriksma
Full Text Available Honey bee pollination is a key ecosystem service to nature and agriculture. However, biosafety research on genetically modified crops rarely considers effects on nurse bees from intact colonies, even though they receive and primarily process the largest amount of pollen. The objective of this study was to analyze the response of nurse bees and their gut bacteria to pollen from Bt maize expressing three different insecticidal Cry proteins (Cry1A.105, Cry2Ab2, and Cry3Bb1. Naturally Cry proteins are produced by bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis. Colonies of Apis mellifera carnica were kept during anthesis in flight cages on field plots with the Bt maize, two different conventionally bred maize varieties, and without cages, 1-km outside of the experimental maize field to allow ad libitum foraging to mixed pollen sources. During their 10-days life span, the consumption of Bt maize pollen had no effect on their survival rate, body weight and rates of pollen digestion compared to the conventional maize varieties. As indicated by ELISA-quantification of Cry1A.105 and Cry3Bb1, more than 98% of the recombinant proteins were degraded. Bacterial population sizes in the gut were not affected by the genetic modification. Bt-maize, conventional varieties and mixed pollen sources selected for significantly different bacterial communities which were, however, composed of the same dominant members, including Proteobacteria in the midgut and Lactobacillus sp. and Bifidobacterium sp. in the hindgut. Surprisingly, Cry proteins from natural sources, most likely B. thuringiensis, were detected in bees with no exposure to Bt maize. The natural occurrence of Cry proteins and the lack of detectable effects on nurse bees and their gut bacteria give no indication for harmful effects of this Bt maize on nurse honey bees.
The protein composition of the egg development in the high royal jelly producing bees (Apis mellifera L.) was investigated. This pioneer study was to separate and quantify the proteins in the egg of the high royal jelly producing worker bees (Apis mellifera L.) by using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis along with their three-day development. The results showed that 160, 195, and 176 proteins, with a wide range of molecular weight (17-80 KDa) and relatively narrow scope of pI (4.00-8.40) could be detected on day 1, day 2, and day 3, respectively, during the developmental process of the egg. Meanwhile 44 protein spots were constantly detected along with the egg development. Among them 36% were in the uptrend along with the egg development, 14% were in the downtrend, and 39% were of the largest expressed volume on day 2. In addition, the specific proteins were expressed on day 1, day 2, and day 3 (89, 77, and 80, respectively). Besides the coexistent and specific proteins, 24 proteins were expressed on day 1 and day 2, but silenced on day 3, 49 proteins were expressed on day 2 and day 3, but silenced on day 1, only 3 proteins were expressed on day 1 and day 3, but silenced on day 2. The result indicates that egg development is a sequential and complex gene controlled process, where the eggs of day 2 express the most active proteins. The coexistent proteins suggest that it is conservative and indispensable for this event. These specific proteins suggest that the different developmental stage needs specific proteins to regulate it.
David R Tarpy
Full Text Available Across their introduced range in North America, populations of feral honey bee (Apis mellifera L. colonies have supposedly declined in recent decades as a result of exotic parasites, most notably the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. Nonetheless, recent studies have documented several wild populations of colonies that have persisted. The extreme polyandry of honey bee queens-and the increased intracolony genetic diversity it confers-has been attributed, in part, to improved disease resistance and may be a factor in the survival of these populations of feral colonies. We estimated the mating frequencies of queens in feral colonies in the Arnot Forest in New York State to determine if the level of polyandry of these queens is especially high and so might contribute to their survival success. We genotyped the worker offspring from 10 feral colonies in the Arnot Forest of upstate New York, as well as those from 20 managed colonies closest to this forest. We found no significant differences in mean mating frequency between the feral and managed queens, suggesting that queens in the remote, low-density population of colonies in the Arnot Forest are neither mate-limited nor adapted to mate at an especially high frequency. These findings support the hypothesis that the hyperpolyandry of honey bees has been shaped on an evolutionary timescale rather than on an ecological one.
Tarpy, David R; Delaney, Deborah A; Seeley, Thomas D
Across their introduced range in North America, populations of feral honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies have supposedly declined in recent decades as a result of exotic parasites, most notably the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. Nonetheless, recent studies have documented several wild populations of colonies that have persisted. The extreme polyandry of honey bee queens-and the increased intracolony genetic diversity it confers-has been attributed, in part, to improved disease resistance and may be a factor in the survival of these populations of feral colonies. We estimated the mating frequencies of queens in feral colonies in the Arnot Forest in New York State to determine if the level of polyandry of these queens is especially high and so might contribute to their survival success. We genotyped the worker offspring from 10 feral colonies in the Arnot Forest of upstate New York, as well as those from 20 managed colonies closest to this forest. We found no significant differences in mean mating frequency between the feral and managed queens, suggesting that queens in the remote, low-density population of colonies in the Arnot Forest are neither mate-limited nor adapted to mate at an especially high frequency. These findings support the hypothesis that the hyperpolyandry of honey bees has been shaped on an evolutionary timescale rather than on an ecological one. PMID:25775410
Full Text Available Abstract Background In social insects, the queen is essential to the functioning and homeostasis of the colony. This influence has been demonstrated to be mediated through pheromone communication. However, the only social insect for which any queen pheromone has been identified is the honey bee (Apis mellifera with its well-known queen mandibular pheromone (QMP. Although pleiotropic effects on colony regulation are accredited to the QMP, this pheromone does not trigger the full behavioral and physiological response observed in the presence of the queen, suggesting the presence of additional compounds. We tested the hypothesis of a pheromone redundancy in honey bee queens by comparing the influence of queens with and without mandibular glands on worker behavior and physiology. Results Demandibulated queens had no detectable (E-9-oxodec-2-enoic acid (9-ODA, the major compound in QMP, yet they controlled worker behavior (cell construction and queen retinue and physiology (ovary inhibition as efficiently as intact queens. Conclusions We demonstrated that the queen uses other pheromones as powerful as QMP to control the colony. It follows that queens appear to have multiple active compounds with similar functions in the colony (pheromone redundancy. Our findings support two hypotheses in the biology of social insects: (1 that multiple semiochemicals with synonymous meaning exist in the honey bee, (2 that this extensive semiochemical vocabulary exists because it confers an evolutionary advantage to the colony.
Full Text Available In order to study the effects of different protein feeds on honey bees (Apis mellifera L, experiments were conducted in a completely randomized block design with 15 treatments and 4 replicates. The nutritional effects of different treatments on caged bees were studied through recording half-life time (50% mortality. Pollen substitutes were soybean flour, soybean meal, bread yeast, wheat gluten, soybean flour + soybean meal, soybean flour + bread yeast, soybean flour + wheat gluten, soybean meal + wheat gluten, and wheat gluten + bread yeast. Pollen supplements were wheat gluten + pollen , soybean flour + pollen, soybean meal + pollen, bread yeast + pollen and two controls as pollen and honey. The nutritional effects of different protein sources provided by pollen substitutes and supplements were recorded on the amount of carcass protein and fatbody of honey bee workers in experimental colonies. The wheat gluten supplement and the soybean substitute showed the longest (60.58 days and the shortest (10.53 days half-life time of worker bees, respectively. The amount of food consumption in different treatments was not significantly different (P>0.05. The greatest DM of worker bees (dry matter of carcass was related to soybean (34% and the least related to yeast supplement (31.54%, which were significantly different (P<0.05. The highest carcass protein belonged to wheat gluten supplement (22.57% and the lowest was related to yeast supplement (20.01%. The greatest carcass fat was related to soybean supplement (4.75% and the lowest to wheat gluten supplement (3.84%. Results of the present experiments showed that soybean flour, soybean meal, wheat gluten and bread yeast can be used in pollen supplement and substitute cakes.
Bloch, Guy; Cohen, Mira
Small cysteine-rich peptides have diverse functions in insects including antimicrobial defense, phenoloxidase activity regulation, and toxic inhibition of ion channels of prey or predator. We combined bioinformatics and measurements of transcript abundance to start characterizing AmOCLP1, a recently discovered Inhibitor Cysteine Knot peptide in the honey bee Apis mellifera. We found that the genomes of ants, bees, and the wasp Nasonia vitripennis encode orthologous sequences indicating that OCLP1 is a conserved peptide and not unique to the honey bee. Search of available EST libraries and quantitative real time PCR analyses indicate that the transcript of AmOCLP1 is ubiquitous with expression in life stages ranging from embryos to adults and in all tested tissues. In worker honey bees AmOCLP1 expression was not associated with age or task and did not show clear enrichment in any of the tested tissues. There was however a consistent trend toward higher transcript levels in the abdomen of foragers relative to levels in the head or thorax, and compared to levels in the abdomen of younger worker bees. By contrast, in drones AmOCLP1 transcript levels appeared higher in the head relative to the abdomen. Finer analyses of the head and abdomen indicated that the AmOCLP1 transcript is not enriched in the stinger and the associated venom sac or in cephalic exocrine glands. The evolutionary conservation in the Hymenoptera, the ubiquitous expression, and the lack of enrichment in the venom gland, stinger, exocrine glands, and the brain are not consistent with the hypotheses that OCLP1 is a secreted honeybee toxin or an endotoxin acting in the central nervous system. Rather we hypothesize that OCLP1 is a conserved antimicrobial or phenoloxidase inhibitor peptide. PMID:24721445
Moniruzzaman, Mohammed; Khalil, Md. Ibrahim; Sulaiman, Siti Amrah; Gan, Siew Hua
Background The aim of the present study was to evaluate the physicochemical and antioxidant properties of Malaysian monofloral honey samples—acacia, pineapple and borneo honey—and compare them with tualang honey. Acacia and pineapple honey are produced by Apis mellifera bees while borneo and tualang honey are produced by Apis cerana and Apis dorsata bees, respectively. Methods The physical parameters of honey, such as pH, moisture content, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids ...
Lechner, Sarah; Ferretti, Luca; Schöning, Caspar; Kinuthia, Wanja; Willemsen, David; Hasselmann, Martin
Deciphering the evolutionary processes driving nucleotide variation in multiallelic genes is limited by the number of genetic systems in which such genes occur. The complementary sex determiner (csd) gene in the honey bee Apis mellifera is an informative example for studying allelic diversity and the underlying evolutionary forces in a well-described model of balancing selection. Acting as the primary signal of sex determination, diploid individuals heterozygous for csd develop into females, ...
R. Scott Cornman; Otto, Clint R. V.; Deborah Iwanowicz; Pettis, Jeffery S.
Identifying plant taxa that honey bees (Apis mellifera) forage upon is of great apicultural interest, but traditional methods are labor intensive and may lack resolution. Here we evaluate a high-throughput genetic barcoding approach to characterize trap-collected pollen from multiple North Dakota apiaries across multiple years. We used the Illumina MiSeq platform to generate sequence scaffolds from non-overlapping 300-bp paired-end sequencing reads of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer...
''In vivo'' and ''in vitro'' experiments are performed to determine the radioprotective action of the poison of Apis mellifera bees. The frequency of chromosome aberrations, induced by gamma radiation, is studied in two assays: ''in vivo'' in bone marrow cells from Wistar rats and ''in vitro'' in human peripheral blood lymphocyte cultures. The sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) are studied in the ''in vitro'' assays. (M.A.C.)
VIDA H. GEORGIEVA
Full Text Available The genetic polymorphism in selectively reared in Bulgaria, local honey bee populations of Apis mellifera macedonica subspecies (type rodopica, has been studied, using analysis of six enzyme systems (MDH-1, ME, EST-3, ALP, PGM and HK corresponding to 6 loci. Totally 458 worker bees from 12 bee breeding bases for artificially inseminated queens were used for this study. All these stations are part of the National Bee Breeding Association which officially implements a National Program for sustainable beekeeping in Bulgaria. All of the six loci were found to be polymorphic. Only EST-3 locus was established as fixed in one of the investigated populations. Polymorphism with three alleles was ascertained for MDH, ME, ALP, PGM and HK loci and with five alleles for EST-3 locus. The most common alleles in almost all of the populations were MDH-1 100, ME 100, EST-3 100, PGM 100 and HK 100. Two private alleles (frequency < 0.05 were found for two of the populations. The calculated level of polymorphism was 88.33% in only one of the populations and 100% - in all others. The observed and expected heterozygosities (Ho and He ranged from 0.157 to 0.250 and from 0.206 to 0.272, respectively. The estimated mean FST value from allozyme data was 0.035. On the bases of the allele frequencies of the studied allozyme loci the Nei's (1972 genetic distance was estimated. It ranged between 0.002 and 0.060 among the populations studied.
Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Huang, Ming Hua; Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Strand, Micheline K; Tarpy, David R; Rueppell, Olav
Oxidative stress can lead to premature aging symptoms and cause acute mortality at higher doses in a range of organisms. Oxidative stress resistance and longevity are mechanistically and phenotypically linked; considerable variation in oxidative stress resistance exists among and within species and typically covaries with life expectancy. However, it is unclear whether stress-resistant, long-lived individuals avoid, repair, or tolerate molecular damage to survive longer than others. The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) is an emerging model system that is well-suited to address this question. Furthermore, this species is the most economically important pollinator, whose health may be compromised by pesticide exposure, including oxidative stressors. Here, we develop a protocol for inducing oxidative stress in honey bee males (drones) via Paraquat injection. After injection, individuals from different colony sources were kept in common social conditions to monitor their survival compared to saline-injected controls. Oxidative stress was measured in susceptible and resistant individuals. Paraquat drastically reduced survival but individuals varied in their resistance to treatment within and among colony sources. Longer-lived individuals exhibited higher levels of lipid peroxidation than individuals dying early. In contrast, the level of protein carbonylation was not significantly different between the two groups. This first study of oxidative stress in male honey bees suggests that survival of an acute oxidative stressor is due to tolerance, not prevention or repair, of oxidative damage to lipids. It also demonstrates colony differences in oxidative stress resistance that might be useful for breeding stress-resistant honey bees. PMID:27422326
Mortensen, Ashley N; Ellis, James D
African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) dramatically changed the South American beekeeping industry as they rapidly spread through the Americas following their introduction into Brazil. In the present study, we aimed to determine if the management of European-derived honey bees (A. mellifera sspp.) could reduce the relative abundance of African-matriline drones at regional mating sites known as drone congregation areas (DCAs). We collected 2,400 drones at six DCAs either 0.25 km or >2.8 km from managed European-derived honey bee apiaries. The maternal ancestry of each drone was determined by Bgl II enzyme digestion of an amplified portion of the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene. Furthermore, sibship reconstruction via nuclear microsatellites was conducted for a subset of 1,200 drones to estimate the number of colonies contributing drones to each DCA. Results indicate that DCAs distant to managed European apiaries (>2.8 km) had significantly more African-matriline drones (34.33% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA) than did DCAs close (0.25 km) to managed European apiaries (1.83% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA). Furthermore, nuclear sibship reconstruction demonstrated that the reduction in the proportion of African matriline drones at DCAs near apiaries was not simply an increase in the number of European matriline drones at the DCAs but also the result of fewer African matriline colonies contributing drones to the DCAs. Our data demonstrate that the management of European honey bee colonies can dramatically influence the proportion of drones with African matrilines at nearby drone congregation areas, and would likely decreasing the probability that virgin European queens will mate with African drones at those drone congregation areas. PMID:27518068
Full Text Available Brood development of different carniolan honeybee ecotypes (Apis mellifera carnica Pollmann, 1879 was carried out in condition of pannonian and alpine climate. The colonies on both experimental apiaries were divided in the three groups, each 12 queens, of alpine (Austria, subalpine (Slovenia and pannonian (Croatia ecotype. The experiment was designed to monitor development of brood, the total number of laid cells and colony strength. In particular part of the year, experimental ecotypes shown significant differences in area of unsealed and sealed brood in both climate. In the whole season there was not established significant difference between ecotypes regarding to development of drone brood. In pannonian climate, in comparison to alpine climate, the number of laid eggs was higher for all ecotypes. Pannonian ecotype did not recognize all food sources in the new environment, which could be seen in the lack of pollen in the colonies at the alpine climate during last two measuriments. The lack of pollen affected the weakening of the colonies laiter in the season.
Rangel, Juliana; Giresi, Melissa; Pinto, Maria Alice; Baum, Kristen A; Rubink, William L; Coulson, Robert N; Johnston, John Spencer
The arrival to the United States of the Africanized honey bee, a hybrid between European subspecies and the African subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata, is a remarkable model for the study of biological invasions. This immigration has created an opportunity to study the dynamics of secondary contact of honey bee subspecies from African and European lineages in a feral population in South Texas. An 11-year survey of this population (1991-2001) showed that mitochondrial haplotype frequencies changed drastically over time from a resident population of eastern and western European maternal ancestry, to a population dominated by the African haplotype. A subsequent study of the nuclear genome showed that the Africanization process included bidirectional gene flow between European and Africanized honey bees, giving rise to a new panmictic mixture of A. m. scutellata- and European-derived genes. In this study, we examined gene flow patterns in the same population 23 years after the first hybridization event occurred. We found 28 active colonies inhabiting 92 tree cavities surveyed in a 5.14 km(2) area, resulting in a colony density of 5.4 colonies/km(2). Of these 28 colonies, 25 were of A. m. scutellata maternal ancestry, and three were of western European maternal ancestry. No colonies of eastern European maternal ancestry were detected, although they were present in the earlier samples. Nuclear DNA revealed little change in the introgression of A. m. scutellata-derived genes into the population compared to previous surveys. Our results suggest this feral population remains an admixed swarm with continued low levels of European ancestry and a greater presence of African-derived mitochondrial genetic composition. PMID:27069571
Wegener, Jakob; Zschörnig, Kristin; Onischke, Kristin; Fuchs, Beate; Schiller, Jürgen; Müller, Karin
The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is characterized by a high degree of phenotypic plasticity of senescence-related processes, and has therefore become a model organism of gerontological research. Sperm of honey bee drones can remain fertile for several years within the storage organ of queens. The reason for this longevity is unknown, but the suppression of lipid peroxidation seems to play a decisive role. Here, we examined the questions of whether spermatheca- and in vitro-stored honey bee sperm are indeed resistant to lipid peroxidation, and whether the nature of sperm lipids could explain this resistance. The lipid composition of bee sperm was determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) combined with thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The positive ion mass spectra of drone sperm lipids are dominated by two glycerophosphocholine (GPC) species, although small amounts of sphingomyelins (SM) and glycerophosphoethanolamines (GPE) are also detectable after TLC. Alkyl/acyl and alkenyl/acyl compounds of GPC, and alkyl/acyl as well as diacyl compounds of GPE were detected containing oleyl, oleoyl, palmityl and palmitoyl as the most abundant residues. Assignments of all compounds have been additionally verified by enzymatic digestion and exposition to HCl. During incubation of sperm in the presence of air, characteristic lipid oxidation products such as lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) appear. Inside the spermatheca, however, sperm lipids are obviously protected from oxidation and their composition does not change, even if they are stored over years. Our data support the view that the membrane composition of honey bee sperm could help to explain the extraordinary longevity of these cells. PMID:23279974
Leandro, Luís F; Mendes, Carlos A; Casemiro, Luciana A; Vinholis, Adriana H C; Cunha, Wilson R; de Almeida, Rosana; Martins, Carlos H G
In this work, we used the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) technique to evaluate the antibacterial potential of the apitoxin produced by Apis mellifera bees against the causative agents of tooth decay. Apitoxin was assayed in natura and in the commercially available form. The antibacterial actions of the main components of this apitoxin, phospholipase A2, and melittin were also assessed, alone and in combination. The following bacteria were tested: Streptococcus salivarius, S. sobrinus, S. mutans, S. mitis, S. sanguinis, Lactobacillus casei, and Enterococcus faecalis. The MIC results obtained for the commercially available apitoxin and for the apitoxin in natura were close and lay between 20 and 40 µg / mL, which indicated good antibacterial activity. Melittin was the most active component in apitoxin; it displayed very promising MIC values, from 4 to 40 µg / mL. Phospholipase A2 presented MIC values higher than 400 µg / mL. Association of mellitin with phospholipase A2 yielded MIC values ranging between 6 and 80 µg / mL. Considering that tooth decay affects people's health, apitoxin and its component melittin have potential application against oral pathogens. PMID:25806982
Ammar, Khalaf Nour Abd El-Wahed
The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is the most dangerous pest of honeybee Egyptian race Apis mellifera L., as it causes many losses in apiculture worldwide. Adult female mites are flattened with a dome-shaped dorsal shield. The present SEM study revealed that the flat ventral surface is composed of series of plates. There are 5 rows of small, chemoreceptor papillae posterior to the genito-ventro anal shield, and a unique respiratory structure (peritreme) is located laterally above Coxa III. Peritreme is a chitinized elongated area surrounding stigma opening, provided by a lid that looks like a rose with a curly thick inner membrane which has numerous teeth-like projections. Mite' legs appeared to be modified for parasitism and each is tipped by one distal empodium. The pretarsus of the first pair of legs becomes a concave sucker and the pretarsus of the 3 pairs of the posterior legs consists of membranous amblacral pad (the caruncle). The mouthparts appeared well modified for its diet on bee hernolymph with its' powerful pedipalp for host attachment. High magnification revealed different types of setae distributed on the body, the mechano-receptor pedipalp short. and long anal setae and dorsal shield sensory simple setae. PMID:26485856
Villar, Gabriel; Baker, Thomas C; Patch, Harland M; Grozinger, Christina M
In the honey bee (Apis mellifera), social organization is primarily mediated by pheromones. Queen-produced 9-oxo-2-decenoic acid (9-ODA) functions as both a social and sex pheromone, eliciting attraction in both female workers and male drones, but also affecting other critical aspects of worker physiology and behavior. These effects are also maturation related, as younger workers and sexually mature drones are most receptive to 9-ODA. While changes in the peripheral nervous system drive sex-related differences in sensitivity to 9-ODA, the mechanisms driving maturation-related shifts in receptivity to 9-ODA remain unknown. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that changes at the peripheral nervous system may be mediating plastic responses to 9-ODA by characterizing expression levels of AmOR11 (the olfactory receptor tuned to 9-ODA) and electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA. We find that receptor expression correlates significantly with behavioral receptivity to 9-ODA, with nurses and sexually mature drones exhibiting higher levels of expression than foragers and immature drones, respectively. Electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA were not found to correlate with behavioral receptivity or receptor expression, however. Thus, while receptor expression at the periphery exhibits a level of plasticity that correlates with behavior, the mechanisms driving maturation-dependent responsiveness to 9-ODA appear to function primarily in the central nervous system. PMID:25840687
Abramson, Charles I; Craig, David Philip Arthur; Varnon, Christopher A; Wells, Harrington
We investigated the effects of ethanol on reversal learning in honey bees (Apis mellifera anatolica). The rationale behind the present experiment was to determine the species generality of the effect of ethanol on response inhibition. Subjects were originally trained to associate either a cinnamon or lavender odor with a sucrose feeding before a reversal of the conditioned stimuli. We administered 15 μL of ethanol at varying doses (0%, 2.5%, 5%, 10%, or 20%) according to group assignment. Ethanol was either administered 5 min before original discrimination training or 5 min before the stimuli reversal. We analyzed the effects of these three manipulations via a recently developed individual analysis that eschews aggregate assessments in favor of a model that conceptualizes learning as occurring in individual organisms. We measured responding in the presence of conditioned stimuli associated with a sucrose feeding, responding in the presence of conditioned stimuli associated with distilled water, and responding in the presence of the unconditioned stimulus (sucrose). Our analyses revealed the ethanol dose manipulation lowered responding for all three measures at increasingly higher doses, which suggests ethanol served as a general behavioral suppressor. Consistent with previous ethanol reversal literature, we found administering ethanol before the original discrimination phase or before the reversal produced inconsistent patterns of responding at varying ethanol doses. PMID:25837483
Katherine A. Aronstein
Full Text Available We investigated the effect of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor on the immunological and nutritional condition of honey bees, Apis mellifera, from the perspective of the individual bee and the colony. Pupae, newly-emerged adults and foraging adults were sampled from honey bee colonies at one site in S. Texas, USA. Varroa‑infested bees displayed elevated titer of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV, suggestive of depressed capacity to limit viral replication. Expression of genes coding three anti-microbial peptides (defensin1, abaecin, hymenoptaecin was either not significantly different between Varroa-infested and uninfested bees or was significantly elevated in Varroa-infested bees, varying with sampling date and bee developmental age. The effect of Varroa on nutritional indices of the bees was complex, with protein, triglyceride, glycogen and sugar levels strongly influenced by life-stage of the bee and individual colony. Protein content was depressed and free amino acid content elevated in Varroa-infested pupae, suggesting that protein synthesis, and consequently growth, may be limited in these insects. No simple relationship between the values of nutritional and immune-related indices was observed, and colony-scale effects were indicated by the reduced weight of pupae in colonies with high Varroa abundance, irrespective of whether the individual pupa bore Varroa.
There has been increasing concern over declines in honey bee colony health that is negatively affected by multiple factors with parasitic mites Varroa destructor, which remains the single most detrimental one. The identification and selective breeding of resistant stock, especially bees resistant...
Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is an important viral disease of adult bees which induces significant losses in honey bee colonies. In this study winter worker bees were experimentally infected using three different experiments. Bees were inoculated orally or topically with CBPV to evaluate the l...
Issa, M R C; Figueiredo, V L C; De Jong, D; Sakamoto, C H; Simões, Z L P
We developed a rapid method for extraction of DNA from honey bees, Apis mellifera, and from the parasitic bee mite, Varroa destructor. The advantages include fast processing and low toxicity of the substances that are utilized. We used lysis buffer with nonionic detergents to lyse cell walls and proteinase K to digest proteins. We tested whole thorax, thoracic muscle mass, legs, and antennae from individual bees; the mites were processed whole (1 mite/sample). Each thorax was incubated whole, without cutting, because exocuticle color pigment darkened the extraction solution, interfering with PCR results. The procedure was performed with autoclaved equipment and laboratory gloves. For each sample, we used 100 µL lysis buffer (2 mL stock solution of 0.5 M Tris/HCl, pH 8.5, 10 mL stock solution of 2 M KCl, 500 µL solution of 1 M MgCl2, 2 mL NP40, and 27.6 g sucrose, completed to 200 mL with bidistilled water and autoclaved) and 2 µL proteinase K (10 mg/mL in bidistilled water previously autoclaved, as proteinase K cannot be autoclaved). Tissues were incubated in the solutions for 1-2 h in a water bath (62°-68 °C) or overnight at 37 °C. After incubation, the tissues were removed from the extraction solution (lysis buffer + proteinase K) and the solution heated to 92 °C for 10 min, for proteinase K inactivation. Then, the solution with the extracted DNA was stored in a refrigerator (4°-8 °C) or a freezer (-20 °C). This method does not require centrifugation or phenol/chloroform extraction. The reduced number of steps allowed us to sample many individuals/day. Whole mites and bee antennae were the most rapidly processed. All bee tissues gave the same quality DNA. This method, even using a single bee antenna or a single mite, was adequate for extraction and analysis of bee genomic and mitochondrial DNA and mite genomic DNA. PMID:24301746
Full Text Available Honey bees are globally regarded as important crop pollinators and are also valued for their honey production. They have been introduced on an almost worldwide scale. During recent years, however, several studies argue their possible competition with unmanaged pollinators. Here we examine the possible effects of honey bees on the foraging behaviour of wild bees on Cistus creticus flowers in Northern Greece. We gradually introduced one, five, and eight honey-bee hives per site, each containing ca. 20,000 workers. The visitation frequency and visit duration of wild bees before and after the beehive introductions were measured by flower observation. While the visitation frequencies of wild bees were unaffected, the average time wild bees spent on C. creticus increased with the introduction of the honey-bee hives. Although competition between honey bees and wild bees is often expected, we did not find any clear evidence for significant effects even in honey-bee densities much higher than the European-wide average of 3.1 colonies/km2.
Full Text Available Winter honey bee losses were evaluated during the two overwintering periods of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011. The research included dead bee workers that fell on the hive bottom board (debris and the ones that flew out of the hive. Differences were observed in the number of bees fallen as debris between the two periods, whereas the number of bees flying out was similar in both years. No differences were found between the numbers of dead bees in strong and weak colonies. The percentage of bees flying out of the colony increased in the presence of Nosema spores, Varroa infestation, increased average air temperature, and insolation during the day. In addition, both the presence of Nosema and insolation during the day had an impact on the number of bees that died and fell on the hive board.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor has emerged as the primary pest of domestic honey bees (Apis mellifera. Here we present an initial survey of the V. destructor genome carried out to advance our understanding of Varroa biology and to identify new avenues for mite control. This sequence survey provides immediate resources for molecular and population-genetic analyses of Varroa-Apis interactions and defines the challenges ahead for a comprehensive Varroa genome project. Results The genome size was estimated by flow cytometry to be 565 Mbp, larger than most sequenced insects but modest relative to some other Acari. Genomic DNA pooled from ~1,000 mites was sequenced to 4.3× coverage with 454 pyrosequencing. The 2.4 Gbp of sequencing reads were assembled into 184,094 contigs with an N50 of 2,262 bp, totaling 294 Mbp of sequence after filtering. Genic sequences with homology to other eukaryotic genomes were identified on 13,031 of these contigs, totaling 31.3 Mbp. Alignment of protein sequence blocks conserved among V. destructor and four other arthropod genomes indicated a higher level of sequence divergence within this mite lineage relative to the tick Ixodes scapularis. A number of microbes potentially associated with V. destructor were identified in the sequence survey, including ~300 Kbp of sequence deriving from one or more bacterial species of the Actinomycetales. The presence of this bacterium was confirmed in individual mites by PCR assay, but varied significantly by age and sex of mites. Fragments of a novel virus related to the Baculoviridae were also identified in the survey. The rate of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in the pooled mites was estimated to be 6.2 × 10-5per bp, a low rate consistent with the historical demography and life history of the species. Conclusions This survey has provided general tools for the research community and novel directions for investigating the biology and control of
Full Text Available An experiment was conducted to determine the foraging behavior of Apis mellifera L. and Apis cerana F. in rapeseed under cage condition in Chitwan, Nepal during 2012-2013. This experiment showed that Apis cerana F. foraged extra 42 minute per day as compared to Apis mellifera L. Apis cerana F. were more attracted to nectar, whereas Apis mellifera L. were more attracted to pollen collection throughout the day. The activities, in into hives and out from hives, for both species were recorded more at 2:00 pm and least at 8:00 am. The highest in-out were observed at 2:00 pm on both species as Apis mellifera L. 44.33 bees entered into hives and 49.66 bees went out of hives, whereas lower number of Apis cerana F. 43.66 bees entered into hives and 48.16 bees were out of hives. Apis mellifera L. collect 1.22:1 and 0.41:1 pollen nectar ratio at 10:00 am and 4:00 am whereas at same hours Apis cerana collect 1.16:1 and 0.30:1 pollen nectar ratio. Apis cerana F. foraged significantly higher number of rapeseed flowers and plants as compared to Apis mellifera L. under caged condition. It shows that Apis cerana F. was more efficient pollinator as compared to Apis mellifera L. under caged condition.
Taylor-mccabe, Kirsten J [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Wingo, Robert M [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Haarmann, Timothy K [Los Alamos National Laboratory
We examined honey bee's associative learning response to conditioning with trinitrotolulene (TNT) vapor concentrations generated at three temperatures and their ability to be reconditioned after a 24 h period. We used classical conditioning of the proboscis extension (PER) in honey bees using TNT vapors as the conditioned stimulus and sucrose as the unconditioned stimulus. We conducted fifteen experimental trials with an explosives vapor generator set at 43 C, 25 C and 5 C, producing three concentrations of explosives (1070 ppt, 57 ppt, and 11 ppt). Our objective was to test the honey bee's ability to exhibit a conditioned response to TNT vapors at all three concentrations by comparing the mean percentage of honey bees successfully exhibiting a conditioned response within each temperature group. Furthermore, we conducted eight experimental trials to test the honey bee's ability to retain their ability to exhibit a conditioned response to TNT after 24h period by comparing the mean percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response TNT on the first day compared to the percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response to TNT on the second day. Results indicate that there was no significant difference between the mean percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response to TNT vapors between three temperature groups. There was a significant difference between the percentage of honey bees exhibiting conditioned response on the first day of training compared to the percentage of honey bees exhibiting conditioned response 24 h after training. Our experimental results indicate that honey bees can be trained to exhibit a conditioned response to a range of TNT concentrations via PER However, it appears that the honey bee's ability to retain the conditioned response to TNT vapors after 24h significantly decreases.
Schneider, Stanley; Lewis, Lee
Cooperative activities in honey bee colonies involve the coordinated interactions of multiple workers that perform different, but interrelated tasks. A central objective in the study of honey bee sociality therefore is to understand the communication signals used to integrate behavior within and among worker groups. This paper focuses on the role of the "vibration signal" in organizing labor in honey bee colonies. The vibration signal functions as a type of "modulatory communication signal". ...
Cordelia Forkpah; Dixon, Luke R.; Fahrbach, Susan E.; Olav Rueppell
The causes of the current global decline in honey bee health are unknown. One major group of hypotheses invokes the pesticides and other xenobiotics to which this important pollinator species is often exposed. Most studies have focused on mortality or behavioral deficiencies in exposed honey bees while neglecting other biological functions and target organs. The midgut epithelium of honey bees presents an important interface between the insect and its environment. It is maintained by prolifer...
P. Belzunces, Luc; Blot, Nicolas; Biron, David Georges; Vidau, Cyril; El Alaoui, Hicham; Diogon, Marie; Alaux, Cédric; Le Conte, Yves; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Delbac, Frédéric
International audience Pesticides and pathogens are two categories of environmental stressors that may contribute to the decline of honey bee populations (vanEngelsdorp and Meixner, 2010). However, if their separate impacts on the honey bee are relatively well studied, knowledge on their interactions are somewhat lacking. Pioneer studies on toxico-pathological interactions have been conducted on the association of Nosema and chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) with organophosphate, organoch...
Evans, Jay D.; Yan Ping Chen; Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman; Francesco Pennacchio; Michele Hamilton; Emilio Caprio; Gennaro Di Prisco; Xuan Zhang; Jilian Li
The dynamics of viruses are critical to our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Using honey bee Deformed wing virus (DWV) as a model, we conducted field and laboratory studies to investigate the roles of abiotic and biotic stress factors as well as host health conditions in dynamics of virus replication in honey bees. The results showed that temperature decline could lead to not only significant decrease in the rate for pupae to emerge as adult bees, but also an increased severity of the v...
In this thesis, I examined honey bee nectar foraging with emphasis on the communication system. To document how a honey bee colony adjusts its daily nectar foraging effort, I observed a random sample of individually marked workers during the entire day, and then estimated the number and activity of all nectar foragers in the colony. The total number of active nectar foragers in a colony changed frequently between days. Foraging activity did not usually change between days. A honey bee colony ...
Rahimi, A; Mirmoayedi, A; Kahrizi, D; Zarei, L; Jamali, S
Honey bee is one of the most important insects considering its role in agriculture,ecology and economy as a whole. In this study, the genetic diversity of different Iranian honey bee populations was evaluated using inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. During May to September 2014, 108 young worker honey bees were collected from six different populations in 30 different geoclimatic locations from Golestan, Mazendaran, Guilan, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardebil provinces of Iran. DNA was extracted from the worker honey bees. The quality and quantity of extracted DNA were measured. A set of ten primers were screened with the laboratory populations of honey bees. The number of fragments produced in the different honey bee populations varied from 3 to 10, varying within 150 to 1500 bp. The used ten ISSR primers generated 40 polymorphic fragments, and the average heterozygosity for each primer was 0.266. Maximum numbers of bands were recorded for primer A1. A dendrogram based on the Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean (UPGMA) method generated two sub-clusters. Honey bee populations of Golestan, Mazendaran, Guilan provinces were located in the first group. The second group included honey bee populations of Ardebil, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan provinces, but this group showed a close relationship with other populations. The results showed obviously the ability of the ISSR marker technique to detect the genetic diversity among the honey bee populations. PMID:27188735
Wegener, J; Ruhnke, H; Scheller, K; Mispagel, S; Knollmann, U; Kamp, G; Bienefeld, K
The parasitic mite Varroa destructor, in interaction with different viruses, is the main cause of honey bee colony mortality in most parts of the world. Here we studied how effects of individual-level parasitization are reflected by the bee colony as a whole. We measured disease progression in an apiary of 24 hives with differing degree of mite infestation, and investigated its relationship to 28 biometrical, physiological and biochemical indicators. In early summer, when the most heavily infested colonies already showed reduced growth, an elevated ratio of brood to bees, as well as a strong presence of phenoloxidase/prophenoloxidase in hive bees were found to be predictors of the time of colony collapse. One month later, the learning performance of worker bees as well as the activity of glucose oxidase measured from head extracts were significantly linked to the timing of colony collapse. Colonies at the brink of collapse were characterized by reduced weight of winter bees and a strong increase in their relative body water content. Our data confirm the importance of the immune system, known from studies of individually-infested bees, for the pathogenesis of varroosis at colony level. However, they also show that single-bee effects cannot always be extrapolated to the colony as a whole. This fact, together with the prominent role of colony-level factors like the ratio between brood and bees for disease progression, stress the importance of the superorganismal dimension of Varroa research. PMID:27296894
Fischer, Patrick; Grozinger, Christina M.
Most animals can modulate nutrient storage pathways according to changing environmental conditions, but in honey bees nutrient storage is also modulated according to changing behavioral tasks within a colony. Specifically, bees involved in brood care (nurses) have higher lipid stores in their abdominal fat bodies than forager bees. Pheromone communication plays an important role in regulating honey bee behavior and physiology. In particular, queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) slows the transition from nursing to foraging. We tested the effects of QMP exposure on starvation resistance, lipid storage, and gene expression in the fat bodies of worker bees. We found that indeed QMP-treated bees survived much longer compared to control bees when starved and also had higher lipid levels. Expression of vitellogenin RNA, which encodes a yolk protein that is found at higher levels in nurses than foragers, was also higher in the fat bodies of QMP-treated bees. No differences were observed in expression of genes involved in insulin signaling pathways, which are associated with nutrient storage and metabolism in a variety of species; thus, other mechanisms may be involved in increasing the lipid stores. These studies demonstrate that pheromone exposure can modify nutrient storage pathways and fat body gene expression in honey bees and suggest that chemical communication and social interactions play an important role in altering metabolic pathways.
Fries, Ingemar; Perez-Escala, Silvia
The change in infestation levels of the mite Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman on adult bees during periods with little or no brood rearing (late October/early November to early February) was investigated in 10 colonies for two consecutive years in a Swedish climate (N57°06'E18°16'). The results do not support the hypothesis that mites become concentrated on the remaining bees as bees die off from the winter cluster. When the number of all mites recovered from dead bees or from debris wa...
Venom of the honey bee Apis mellifera induced a protective effect against the induction of dicentric chromosomes by gamma radiation (2.0 Gy) in human peripheral blood lymphocytes when the cultures were treated with 0.00015 μl venom/1 ml medium 6 h before irradiation. In cultures to which the venom was added immediately before irradiation with 0.25, 1.0 and 2.0 Gy, no significant differences in number of dicentric chromosomes induced was observed when compared to cultures submitted to irradiation only. The venom did not induce clastogenic effects nor did it increase the frequency of sister chromatid exchanges. (author)
Honey bee colonies are vulnerable to parasites and pathogens ranging from viruses to vertebrates. An increasingly prevalent disease of managed honey bees is caused by the microsporidian, Nosema ceranae. Microsporidia are basal fungi and obligate parasites with much reduced genomic and cellular compo...
Full Text Available The causes of the current global decline in honey bee health are unknown. One major group of hypotheses invokes the pesticides and other xenobiotics to which this important pollinator species is often exposed. Most studies have focused on mortality or behavioral deficiencies in exposed honey bees while neglecting other biological functions and target organs. The midgut epithelium of honey bees presents an important interface between the insect and its environment. It is maintained by proliferation of intestinal stem cells throughout the adult life of honey bees. We used caged honey bees to test multiple xenobiotics for effects on the replicative activity of the intestinal stem cells under laboratory conditions. Most of the tested compounds did not alter the replicative activity of intestinal stem cells. However, colchicine, methoxyfenozide, tetracycline, and a combination of coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate significantly affected proliferation rate. All substances except methoxyfenozide decreased proliferation rate. Thus, the results indicate that some xenobiotics frequently used in apiculture and known to accumulate in honey bee hives may have hitherto unknown physiological effects. The nutritional status and the susceptibility to pathogens of honey bees could be compromised by the impacts of xenobiotics on the maintenance of the midgut epithelium. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence that more comprehensive testing of xenobiotics may be required before novel or existing compounds can be considered safe for honey bees and other non-target species.
Honey bee colonies are commonly fed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a nectar substitute. Many agrochemicals are applied to corn during cultivation including systemic neonicotinoids. Whether agrochemicals are present in HFCS fed to bees is unknown. Samples from the major manufacturers and distri...
Multiple mating by honey bee queens results in colonies of genotypically diverse workers. Recent studies have demonstrated that increased genetic diversity within a honey bee colony increases the variation in the frequency of tasks performed by workers. We show that genotypically diverse colonies, ...
Feazel-Orr, Haley K.; Catalfamo, Katelyn M.; Brewster, Carlyle C.; Fell, Richard D.; Anderson, Troy D.; Traver, Brenna E.
Honey bee colony loss continues to be an issue and no factor has been singled out as to the cause. In this study, we sought to determine whether two beekeeper-applied pesticide products, tau-fluvalinate and Fumagilin-B®, and one agrochemical, chlorothalonil, impact the nutrient levels in honey bee workers in a natural colony environment. Treatments were performed in-hive and at three different periods (fall, spring, and summer) over the course of one year. Bees were sampled both at pre-treatment and two and four weeks post-treatment, weighed, and their protein and carbohydrate levels were determined using BCA and anthrone based biochemical assays, respectively. We report that, based on the pesticide concentrations tested, no significant negative impact of the pesticide products was observed on wet weight, protein levels, or carbohydrate levels of bees from treated colonies compared with bees from untreated control colonies. PMID:26938563
Feazel-Orr, Haley K; Catalfamo, Katelyn M; Brewster, Carlyle C; Fell, Richard D; Anderson, Troy D; Traver, Brenna E
Honey bee colony loss continues to be an issue and no factor has been singled out as to the cause. In this study, we sought to determine whether two beekeeper-applied pesticide products, tau-fluvalinate and Fumagilin-B(®), and one agrochemical, chlorothalonil, impact the nutrient levels in honey bee workers in a natural colony environment. Treatments were performed in-hive and at three different periods (fall, spring, and summer) over the course of one year. Bees were sampled both at pre-treatment and two and four weeks post-treatment, weighed, and their protein and carbohydrate levels were determined using BCA and anthrone based biochemical assays, respectively. We report that, based on the pesticide concentrations tested, no significant negative impact of the pesticide products was observed on wet weight, protein levels, or carbohydrate levels of bees from treated colonies compared with bees from untreated control colonies. PMID:26938563
Haley K. Feazel-Orr
Full Text Available Honey bee colony loss continues to be an issue and no factor has been singled out as to the cause. In this study, we sought to determine whether two beekeeper-applied pesticide products, tau-fluvalinate and Fumagilin-B®, and one agrochemical, chlorothalonil, impact the nutrient levels in honey bee workers in a natural colony environment. Treatments were performed in-hive and at three different periods (fall, spring, and summer over the course of one year. Bees were sampled both at pre-treatment and two and four weeks post-treatment, weighed, and their protein and carbohydrate levels were determined using BCA and anthrone based biochemical assays, respectively. We report that, based on the pesticide concentrations tested, no significant negative impact of the pesticide products was observed on wet weight, protein levels, or carbohydrate levels of bees from treated colonies compared with bees from untreated control colonies.
Frank D Rinkevich
Full Text Available The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While much research has been conducted on insecticides and bees, there have been very limited studies to elucidate the role that bee genotype and age has on the toxicity of these insecticides. The goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in insecticide sensitivity between honey bees of different genetic backgrounds (Carniolan, Italian, and Russian stocks and assess if insecticide sensitivity varies with age. We found that Italian bees were the most sensitive of these stocks to insecticides, but variation was largely dependent on the class of insecticide tested. There were almost no differences in organophosphate bioassays between honey bee stocks (<1-fold, moderate differences in pyrethroid bioassays (1.5 to 3-fold, and dramatic differences in neonicotinoid bioassays (3.4 to 33.3-fold. Synergism bioassays with piperonyl butoxide, amitraz, and coumaphos showed increased phenothrin sensitivity in all stocks and also demonstrated further physiological differences between stocks. In addition, as bees aged, the sensitivity to phenothrin significantly decreased, but the sensitivity to naled significantly increased. These results demonstrate the variation arising from the genetic background and physiological transitions in honey bees as they age. This information can be used to determine risk assessment, as well as establishing baseline data for future comparisons to explain the variation in toxicity differences for honey bees reported in the
Rinkevich, Frank D; Margotta, Joseph W; Pittman, Jean M; Danka, Robert G; Tarver, Matthew R; Ottea, James A; Healy, Kristen B
The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While much research has been conducted on insecticides and bees, there have been very limited studies to elucidate the role that bee genotype and age has on the toxicity of these insecticides. The goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in insecticide sensitivity between honey bees of different genetic backgrounds (Carniolan, Italian, and Russian stocks) and assess if insecticide sensitivity varies with age. We found that Italian bees were the most sensitive of these stocks to insecticides, but variation was largely dependent on the class of insecticide tested. There were almost no differences in organophosphate bioassays between honey bee stocks (bees aged, the sensitivity to phenothrin significantly decreased, but the sensitivity to naled significantly increased. These results demonstrate the variation arising from the genetic background and physiological transitions in honey bees as they age. This information can be used to determine risk assessment, as well as establishing baseline data for future comparisons to explain the variation in toxicity differences for honey bees reported in the literature. PMID:26431171
Zhong, H; Latham, M; Hester, P G; Frommer, R L; Brock, C
A study was conducted to evaluate the impact of naled on honey bees as a result of their exposure to aerial ULV applications of this insecticide during three routine mosquito spray missions by Manatee County Mosquito Control District in Florida during the summer of 1999. Naled deposits were collected on filter paper and subsequently analyzed by gas chromatography. Mortality of adult honey bees Apis mellifera L. was estimated based on numbers from dead bee collectors placed in front of the entrance of the beehives. We found that honey bees clustering outside of the beehives were subject to naled exposure. Bee mortality increased when higher naled residues were found around the hives. The highest average naled deposit was 6,227 +/- 696 microg/m2 at the site 1 forest area following the mosquito spray mission on July 15, 1999. The range of naled deposition for this application was 2,818-7,101 microg/m2. The range of dead bees per hive was 0-39 prior to spraying and 9-200 within 24 h following this spray mission. The average yield of honey per hive was significantly lower (p naled-exposed hives compared with unexposed hives. Because reduction of honey yield also may be affected by other factors, such as location of the hives relative to a food source and vigor of the queen bee, the final assessment of honey yield was complicated. PMID:14565579
Alayrangues, Julie; Hotier, Lucie; Massou, Isabelle; Bertrand, Yolaine; Armengaud, Catherine
Honey bees are exposed in their environment to contaminants but also to biological stressors such as Varroa destructor that can weaken the colony. Preparations containing monoterpenoids that are essential oil components, can be introduced into hives to control Varroa. The long-term sublethal effects of monoterpenoids used as miticides have been poorly investigated. Analysis of behavior of free-moving bees in the laboratory is useful to evaluate the impact of chemical stressors on their cognitive functions such as vision function. Here, the walking behavior was quantified under a 200-lux light intensity. Weeks and months after introduction of the miticide (74 % thymol) into the hives, decreases of phototaxis was observed with both summer and winter bees. Curiously, in spring, bees collected in treated hives were less attracted by light in the morning than control bees. The survival of bees collected in spring was increased by treatment. After a 1-year period of observation, the colony losses were identical in treated and non-treated groups. Colony loss started earlier in the non-treated group. In public opinion, natural substances as essential oils are safer and more environmentally friendly. We demonstrated that a monoterpenoid-based treatment affects bee responses to light. The latter results have notable implications regarding the evaluation of miticides in beekeeping. PMID:26965704
We provide genome sequences for two strains of honey bee associated Bifidobacterium. Reflecting an oxygen-rich niche, both strains possessed catalase, peroxidase, superoxide-dismutase and respiratory chain enzymes indicative of oxidative metabolism. The strains show markedly different carbohydrate ...
This review considers how a honey bee colony optimally controls the timing and type of new comb construction. Optimal timing requires bees to balance the energy costs of construction with the opportunity costs of lacking storage space during nectar flows. They do so by conditioning the start of building on (1) the attainment of a fullness threshold, and (2) the availability of nectar. A dynamic optimization model has suggested that this rule is slightly suboptimal, but may compensate for this...
Fang, Yu; Feng, Mao; Han, Bin; Lu, Xiaoshan; Ramadan, Haitham; Li, Jianke
Identifying proteome changes of honey bee embryogenesis is of prime importance for unraveling the molecular mechanisms that they underlie. However, many proteomic changes during the embryonic period are not well characterized. We analyzed the proteomic alterations over the complete time course of honey bee worker embryogenesis at 24, 48, and 72 h of age, using mass spectrometry-based proteomics, label-free quantitation, and bioinformatics. Of the 1460 proteins identified the embryo of all thr...
Page, Robert E.; Fondrk, M. Kim; Rueppell, Olav
The pollen hoarding syndrome consists of a large suite of correlated traits in honey bees that may have played an important role in colony organization and consequently the social evolution of honey bees. The syndrome was first discovered in two strains that have been artificially selected for high and low pollen hoarding. These selected strains are used here to further investigate the phenotypic and genetic links between two central aspects of the pollen hoarding syndrome, sucrose responsive...
Zajdel Barbara; Gąbka Jakub; Jasiński Zygmunt; Beata Madras-Majewska
This research was conducted in 2008 and 2010 in the experimental apiary of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. Worker bees were stored in transport cages in their own colonies and stranger colonies. The number of injuries and the death rate were checked twice, after 3 and 7 days of storage. In total, 6720 bees were examined (3360 workers from their own colonies and the same number from stranger colonies). The number of injured and dead workers had an exponential distribution (skewness>1)....
KOCA, Ayça ÖZKAN; KANDEMİR, İrfan
In this study, we compared 2 different methodologies (traditional morphometrics, TM, and geometric morphometrics, GM) in order to determine their ability to discriminate the honey bee populations distributed throughout Turkey. In TM, 16 morphometric characters were measured from the forewings of different honey bee populations from Turkey. A total of 20 landmarks were utilized for the GM analysis. Multivariate statistical analysis of data obtained from the 2 methodologies showed that GM was m...
Deutsch Eric W
Full Text Available Abstract Background Honey bees are a mainstay of agriculture, contributing billions of dollars through their pollination activities. Bees have been a model system for sociality and group behavior for decades but only recently have molecular techniques been brought to study this fascinating and valuable organism. With the release of the first draft of its genome in 2006, proteomics of bees became feasible and over the past five years we have amassed in excess of 5E+6 MS/MS spectra. The lack of a consolidated platform to organize this massive resource hampers our ability, and that of others, to mine the information to its maximum potential. Results Here we introduce the Honey Bee PeptideAtlas, a web-based resource for visualizing mass spectrometry data across experiments, providing protein descriptions and Gene Ontology annotations where possible. We anticipate that this will be helpful in planning proteomics experiments, especially in the selection of transitions for selected reaction monitoring. Through a proteogenomics effort, we have used MS/MS data to anchor the annotation of previously undescribed genes and to re-annotate previous gene models in order to improve the current genome annotation. Conclusions The Honey Bee PeptideAtlas will contribute to the efficiency of bee proteomics and accelerate our understanding of this species. This publicly accessible and interactive database is an important framework for the current and future analysis of mass spectrometry data.
Li, Beibei; Hou, Chunsheng; Deng, Shuai; Zhang, Xuefeng; Chu, Yanna; Yuan, Chunying; Diao, Qingyun
Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is a serious viral disease affecting adult bees. We report here the complete genome sequence of CBPV, which was isolated from a honey bee colony with the symptom of severe crawling. The genome of CBPV consists of two segments, RNA 1 and RNA 2, containing respective overlapping fragments. PMID:27491983
Full Text Available Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV is an important viral disease of adult bees which induces significant losses in honey bee colonies. Despite comprehensive research, only limited data is available from experimental infection for this virus. In the present study winter worker bees were experimentally infected in three different experiments. Bees were first inoculated per os (p/o or per cuticle (p/c with CBPV field strain M92/2010 in order to evaluate the virus replication in individual bees. In addition, potential synergistic effects of co-infection with CBPV and Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae on bees were investigated. In total 558 individual bees were inoculated in small cages and data were analyzed using quantitative real time RT-PCR (RT-qPCR. Our results revealed successful replication of CBPV after p/o inoculation, while it was less effective when bees were inoculated p/c. Dead bees harbored about 1,000 times higher copy numbers of the virus than live bees. Co-infection of workers with CBPV and N. ceranae using either method of virus inoculation (p/c or p/o showed increased replication ability for CBPV. In the third experiment the effect of inoculation on bee mortality was evaluated. The highest level of bee mortality was observed in a group of bees inoculated with CBPV p/o, followed by a group of workers simultaneously inoculated with CBPV and N. ceranae p/o, followed by the group inoculated with CBPV p/c and the group with only N. ceranae p/o. The experimental infection with CBPV showed important differences after p/o or p/c inoculation in winter bees, while simultaneous infection with CBPV and N. ceranae suggesting a synergistic effect after inoculation.
Wang, Ying; Campbell, Jacob B; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V; Harrison, Jon F
Environmental changes during development have long-term effects on adult phenotypes in diverse organisms. Some of the effects play important roles in helping organisms adapt to different environments, such as insect polymorphism. Others, especially those resulting from an adverse developmental environment, have a negative effect on adult health and fitness. However, recent studies have shown that those phenotypes influenced by early environmental adversity have adaptive value under certain (anticipatory) conditions that are similar to the developmental environment, though evidence is mostly from morphological and behavioral observations and it is still rare at physiological and molecular levels. In the companion study, we applied a short-term starvation treatment to fifth instar honey bee larvae and measured changes in adult morphology, starvation resistance, hormonal and metabolic physiology and gene expression. Our results suggest that honey bees can adaptively respond to the predicted nutritional stress. In the present study, we further hypothesized that developmental starvation specifically improves the metabolic response of adult bees to starvation instead of globally affecting metabolism under well-fed conditions. Here, we produced adult honey bees that had experienced a short-term larval starvation, then we starved them for 12 h and monitored metabolic rate, blood sugar concentrations and metabolic reserves. We found that the bees that experienced larval starvation were able to shift to other fuels faster and better maintain stable blood sugar levels during starvation. However, developmental nutritional stress did not change metabolic rates or blood sugar levels in adult bees under normal conditions. Overall, our study provides further evidence that early larval starvation specifically improves the metabolic responses to adult starvation in honey bees. PMID:27030776
Seyyedeh Mahbubeh Mousavi
Full Text Available Background: Diabetes is an important disease. This disease is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from perturbation in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. Honey bee venom contains a wide range of polypeptide agents. The principle components of bee venom are mellitin and phospholipase A2. These components increase insulin secretion from the β-cells of pancreas. This study was conducted to show the hypoglycemic effect of honey bee venom on alloxan induced diabetic male rats.Methods: Eighteen adult male rats weighting 200±20 g were placed into 3 randomly groups: control, alloxan monohydrate-induced diabetic rat and treated group that received honey bee venom daily before their nutrition for four months. Forty eight hours after the last injection, blood was collected from their heart, serum was dissented and blood glucose, insulin, triglyceride and total cholesterol were determined.Results: Glucose serum, triglyceride and total cholesterol level in treated group in comparison with diabetic group was significantly decreased (P< 0.01. On the other hand, using bee venom causes increase in insulin serum in comparison with diabetic group (P< 0.05.Conclusion: Honeybee venom (apitoxin can be used as therapeutic option to lower blood glucose and lipids in diabetic rats.
Brandt, Annely; Gorenflo, Anna; Siede, Reinhold; Meixner, Marina; Büchler, Ralph
A strong immune defense is vital for honey bee health and colony survival. This defense can be weakened by environmental factors that may render honey bees more vulnerable to parasites and pathogens. Honey bees are frequently exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are being discussed as one of the stress factors that may lead to colony failure. We investigated the sublethal effects of the neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin on individual immunity, by studying three major aspects of immunocompetence in worker bees: total hemocyte number, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity of the hemolymph. In laboratory experiments, we found a strong impact of all three neonicotinoids. Thiacloprid (24h oral exposure, 200 μg/l or 2000 μg/l) and imidacloprid (1 μg/l or 10 μg/l) reduced hemocyte density, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity even at field realistic concentrations. Clothianidin had an effect on these immune parameters only at higher than field realistic concentrations (50-200 μg/l). These results suggest that neonicotinoids affect the individual immunocompetence of honey bees, possibly leading to an impaired disease resistance capacity. PMID:26776096
Duran Özkök; Bilge Karatepe; Mustafa Karatepe; Halil Yeninar; Ethem Akyol
This study was conducted to determine the effects of queen age on varroa population levels in hives and performance of honey bee (A. mellifera caucasica) colonies. Levels of varroa infestation and performances of the colonies which had 0, 1- and 2-year-old queens were compared in mild climate conditions. Varroa numbers on adults and drone brood, number of frames covered with bees and brood areas were determined every month between 10 May and 10 October 2004. Overall average (± S.E.) % ...
Hendriksma, Harmen P.
Neue methodische Entwicklungen zur Untersuchung der Ursachen des weltweit beobachteten Bienensterbens sind nötig, um die lebenswichtige Ökosystemdienstleistung der Bestäubung zu gewährleisten. Die ökologisch und wirtschaftlich bedeutsame Honigbiene (Apis mellifera) ist ein wichtiger Nichtziel-Organismus im Zulassungsverfahren für gentechnisch veränderte Pflanzen. Bisher sind vor allem Methoden zur Testung erwachsener Bienen unter Laborbedingungen verwendet worden, aber für eine Risikobewertun...
Rinkevich, Frank D.; Margotta, Joseph W.; Pittman, Jean M.; Danka, Robert G.; Tarver, Matthew R; James A Ottea; Healy, Kristen B.
The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While ...
Dag, Arnon; Elizabeth Fetscher, A.; Afik, Ohad; Yeselson, Yelena; Schaffer, Arthur; Kamer, Yossi; Waser, Nicholas; Madore, Monica; Arpaia, Mary; Hofshi, Reuben; Shafir, Sharoni
Avocado nectar is unusual because it contains perseitol, a 7-carbon sugar alcohol. We compared avocado-nectar collection by commonly used Italian-based (IT) honey bee colonies and New World Carniolan (NWC) colonies introduced in avocado orchards in Israel (IS) and California (CA). In IS, NWC colonies had greater honey yields (1.2-4.3 fold), with a higher perseitol content (1.1-5.4 fold), than IT colonies. Overall, we calculated that NWC bees collected 1.4 to 18.1 times more avocado nectar tha...
Tiago M. Francoy
Full Text Available Hygienic behavior in honey bees, Apis mellifera, is measured by determining the rate at which the bees uncap and remove dead sealed brood. We analyzed individual behavior of house-cleaning Africanized honey bees in order to focus on some poorly understood aspects of hygienic behavior. Two observation hives, each with approximately 3,000 individually marked bees, were used in this study. The efficiency of hygienic behavior was evaluated in hygienic and non-hygienic strains of bees using two types of combs (new and old, as well as at different periods of the day (night and day. We also recorded the age of workers that performed this task of removing dead brood. In both strains, the workers that performed tasks related to hygienic behavior were within the same age cohort; we found no influence of age on the amount of time dedicated to the task, independent of the type of comb or period of the day. The total time from perforation of the cell capping until the dead brood had been completely removed, and was significantly shorter during daytime than at night. Hygienic behavior directed towards dead brood in new combs was also significantly more efficient (faster than for brood in old combs. The type of comb had significantly more effect than did the time of day. We conclude that the type of comb and time of day should be taken into consideration when evaluating hygienic behavior in honey bees.
Schwarz, Ryan S; Bauchan, Gary R; Murphy, Charles A; Ravoet, Jorgen; de Graaf, Dirk C; Evans, Jay D
Trypanosomatids are increasingly recognized as prevalent in European honey bees (Apis mellifera) and by default are attributed to one recognized species, Crithidia mellificae Langridge and McGhee, 1967. We provide reference genetic and ultrastructural data for type isolates of C. mellificae (ATCC 30254 and 30862) in comparison with two recent isolates from A. mellifera (BRL and SF). Phylogenetics unambiguously identify strains BRL/SF as a novel taxonomic unit distinct from C. mellificae strains 30254/30862 and assign all four strains as lineages of a novel clade within the subfamily Leishmaniinae. In vivo analyses show strains BRL/SF preferably colonize the hindgut, lining the lumen as adherent spheroids in a manner identical to previous descriptions from C. mellificae. Microscopy images show motile forms of C. mellificae are distinct from strains BRL/SF. We propose the binomial Lotmaria passim n. gen., n. sp. for this previously undescribed taxon. Analyses of new and previously accessioned genetic data show C. mellificae is still extant in bee populations, however, L. passim n. gen., n. sp. is currently the predominant trypanosomatid in A. mellifera globally. Our findings require that previous reports of C. mellificae be reconsidered and that subsequent trypanosomatid species designations from Hymenoptera provide genetic support. PMID:25712037
The nutritional environment of honey-bee larvae affects the juvenile hormone (JH) titre of larval haemolymph and tissues. In this investigation the mechanism for the regulation of caste differentiation has been studied.Chemo- and mechanoreceptors are found on larval mouthparts. Chemoreceptors on max
The honey bee crop, or honey stomach, is designed with cords of muscles that are numerous enough in both latitudinal and longitudinal directions to fully enclose and confine the underlying, cuticle-lines epithelium. Although appressed against the inner wall of this enclosure by the crop's contents,...
Fang, Yu; Feng, Mao; Han, Bin; Lu, Xiaoshan; Ramadan, Haitham; Li, Jianke
Identifying proteome changes of honey bee embryogenesis is of prime importance for unraveling the molecular mechanisms that they underlie. However, many proteomic changes during the embryonic period are not well characterized. We analyzed the proteomic alterations over the complete time course of honey bee worker embryogenesis at 24, 48, and 72 h of age, using mass spectrometry-based proteomics, label-free quantitation, and bioinformatics. Of the 1460 proteins identified the embryo of all three ages, the core proteome (proteins shared by the embryos of all three ages, accounting for 40%) was mainly involved in protein synthesis, metabolic energy, development, and molecular transporter, which indicates their centrality in driving embryogenesis. However, embryos at different developmental stages have their own specific proteome and pathway signatures to coordinate and modulate developmental events. The young embryos (honey bee embryogenesis, in which the programmed activation of the proteome matches with the physiological transition observed during embryogenesis. The identified biological pathways and key node proteins allow for further functional analysis and genetic manipulation for both the honey bee embryos and other eusocial insects. PMID:24895377
Wang, Ying; Baker, Nicholas; Amdam, Gro V.
This video demonstrates novel techniques of RNA interference (RNAi) which downregulate two genes simultaneously in honey bees using double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) injections. It also presents a protocol of proboscis extension response (PER) assay for measuring gustatory perception.
Honey bee queens mate with multiple males - a reproductive strategy known as polyandry - that results in colonies comprised of high intracolonial genetic diversity among nestmates. Several studies have demonstrated the adaptive significance of polyandry for overall colony performance and colony gro...
Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a mysterious disappearance of honey bees that has beset beekeepers in the United States since late in 2006. Pathogens and other environmental stresses, including pesticides, have been linked to CCD, but a causal relationship has not yet been demonstrated. The gut,...
Cornelissen, B.; Gerritsen, L.J.M.
In 2004 and 2005 experiments were carried out to test the efficacy and efficiency of Varroa control combined with swarm prevention methods in spring. Honey bee colonies were split in an artificial swarm and a brood carrier. Hereafter the swarms were treated with oxalic acid and the brood carriers ei
Honey bees tend to have a reduced number of immune genes compared to solitary insects. They actually developed an alternative collective defence consisting in the cooperation of individuals to decrease disease development. We identified a set of genes involved in this social immunity by comparing br...
Krainer, Sophie; Brodschneider, Robert; Vollmann, Jutta; Crailsheim, Karl; Riessberger-Gallé, Ulrike
Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is a heat-formed, acid-catalyzed contaminant of sugar syrups, which find their way into honey bee feeding. As HMF was noted to be toxic to adult honey bees, we investigated the toxicity of HMF towards larvae. Therefore we exposed artificially reared larvae to a chronic HMF intoxication over 6 days using 6 different concentrations (5, 50, 750, 5000, 7500 and 10,000 ppm) and a control. The mortality was assessed from day 2 to day 7 (d7) and on day 22 (d22). Concentrations ranging from 5 to 750 ppm HMF did not show any influence on larval or pupal mortality compared to controls (p > 0.05; Kaplan-Meier analysis). Concentrations of 7500 ppm or higher caused a larval mortality of 100%. An experimental LC50 of 4280 ppm (d7) and 2424 ppm (d22) was determined. The calculated LD50 was 778 µg HMF per larva on d7 and 441 µg HMF on d22. Additionally, we exposed adult honey bees to high concentrations of HMF to compare the mortality to the results from larvae. On d7 larvae are much more sensitive against HMF than adult honey bees after 6 days of feeding. However, on d22 after emergence adults show a lower LC50, which indicates a higher sensitivity than larvae. As toxicity of HMF against honey bees is a function of time and concentration, our results indicate that HMF in supplemental food will probably not cause great brood losses. Yet sublethal effects might decrease fitness of the colony. PMID:26590927
Ina Monika Margret Heidinger
Full Text Available We used radio-frequency identification (RFID to record the duration and frequency of nuptial flights of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera carnica at two mainland mating apiaries. We investigated the effect of a number of factors on flight duration and frequency: mating apiary, number of drone colonies, queen’s age and temperature. We found significant differences between the two locations concerning the number of flights on the first three days. We also observed an effect of the ambient temperature, with queens flying less often but longer at high temperatures compared to lower temperatures. Increasing the number of drone colonies from 33 to 80 colonies had no effect on the duration or on the frequency of nuptial flights. Since our results agree well with the results of previous studies, we suggest RFID as an appropriate tool to investigate the mating behavior of honey bee queens.
Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assess the nutritional composition and antioxidant activity of bee pollen produced in the North western region of Algeria. The content of total phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and antioxidant activity using the molybdate ion reduction method were determined. The mean contents of phenolic compounds and total flavonoids were 30.46 ± 8.22 mg of GAE.g–1 pollen and 8.92 ± 5.5 mg of RE.g–1 pollen, respectively. High antioxidant activities were found for the molybdate ion reduction method, with values that ranged from 71.95 to 101.5 μg of GAE.g–1 pollen. The bee pollen of Boufarik showed high antioxidant activity probably due to the high content of phenolic compounds present in pollen.
Szymaś, Bozena; Jędruszuk, Andrzej
International audience The influence of different diets on the haemolymph of adult honeybee workers was examined. The laboratory experiments took place in early summer. There were three experimental groups fed with one of the following diets: pollen with sugar, pollen substitute alone, or sugar. A sample of haemolymph was taken from 7-8 day old bees and numbers of haemocytes of each type (plasmatocytes, granular haemocytes, and other types of haemocytes pooled together) were recorded and t...
Châline, Nicolas; Ratnieks, Francis; Raine, Nigel; Badcock, Nichola; Burke, Terry
International audience DNA sampling of insects frequently relies upon lethal or invasive methods. Because insect colonies contain numerous workers it is often possible to destructively sample workers for genetic analysis. However, this is not possible if queens or workers must remain alive after sampling. Neither is it possible to remove an entire leg, wing or other appendage as this will often hinder normal behaviour. This study investigates the possibility of genotyping queen honey bees ...
Galindo-Cardona, Alberto; Monmany, A. Carolina; Moreno-Jackson, Rafiné; Rivera-Rivera, Carlos; Huertas-Dones, Carlos; Caicedo-Quiroga, Laura; Giray, Tugrul
Male honey bees fly and gather at Drone Congregation Areas (DCAs), where drones and queens mate in flight. DCAs occur in places with presumably characteristic features. Using previously described landscape characteristics and observations on flight direction of drones in nearby apiaries, 36 candidate locations were chosen across the main island of Puerto Rico. At these locations, the presence or absence of DCAs was tested by lifting a helium balloon equipped with queen-sex-pheromone-impregnat...
Cornelissen, B.; Gerritsen, L.J.M.
In 2004 and 2005 experiments were carried out to test the efficacy and efficiency of Varroa control combined with swarm prevention methods in spring. Honey bee colonies were split in an artificial swarm and a brood carrier. Hereafter the swarms were treated with oxalic acid and the brood carriers either with formic acid (2004) or Thymovar (2005). Both the oxalic acid and the formic acid were very effective, resulting in an average efficacy of 97% and 96%, respectively. There was some worker b...
Fries, Ingemar; Hansen, Henrik; IMDORF, Anton; Rosenkranz, Peter
In a honey bee population of 150 colonies, the development of an introduced Varroa destructor mite population was monitored in swarming and non-swarming colonies for two years in a Nordic climate. The results demonstrated a reduced mite population as a result of swarming only for the first swarm season studied. In the second swarm season, there were much higher mite levels (based on debris counts of mites) and fewer colonies swarmed, but there was no significant difference in infestation leve...
Aydin, Levent; GÜLEĞEN, Ender; ÇAKMAK, İbrahim; GİRİŞGİN, A. Onur
The mite formerly known as Varroa jacobsoni is one of the major problems in beekeeping worldwide. Recently, it was shown that this pest is not V. jacobsoni, which chiefly infests the nests of Apis cerana in the Malaysia-Indonesia region, and the widespread pest was recognized with the new name, V. destructor. Morphometric analysis was performed on collected Varroa specimens from various regions in Turkey and identified as V. destructor.
Full Text Available Objective: To investigate the haematopoetic effect of methanol extract of Nigerian honey bee propolis in mice. Methods: Fifteen white Albino mice were grouped into 3(A-C of 5 animals each. Group A mice serve as control group, while groups B and C received 300 and 600 mL/kg of honey bee propolis respectively, for 21 days. The haematological parameters were determined using the automated haematologic analyzer Sysmex kx21, (product of Sysmex Corporation, Japan using standard techniques. The data were analyzed using ANOVA and the level of significance was at P 0.05 alteration to the erythrocytic indices like red blood cells, haematocrite, haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume and red cell distribution width, but increase mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration in dose related fashion. Acute oral toxicity showed the extract to be relatively safe at a high dose on acute exposure. However, 21-days of treatment with the extract do neither increase nor decrease the body weight of the mice. Conclusions: Administration of methanol extract of Nigerian honey bee propolis in mice at the doses investigated has brought about leucopoietic and thrombopoietic changes without any significant effect on red blood cells and factors that relate to it, except for the mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration.
Bashir Lawal; Oluwatosin Kudrat Shittu; Asmau NiwoyeAbubakar; Garba Muhammed Haruna; Sani Saidu; Prince Chukwudi Ossai
Objective: To investigate the haematopoetic effect of methanol extract of Nigerian honey bee propolis in mice. Methods: Fifteen white Albino mice were grouped into 3(A-C) of 5 animals each. Group A mice serve as control group, while groups B and C received 300 and 600 mL/kg of honey bee propolis respectively, for 21 days. The haematological parameters were determined using the automated haematologic analyzer Sysmex kx21, (product of Sysmex Corporation, Japan) using standard techniques. The data were analyzed using ANOVA and the level of significance was at P 0.05) alteration to the erythrocytic indices like red blood cells, haematocrite, haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume and red cell distribution width, but increase mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration in dose related fashion. Acute oral toxicity showed the extract to be relatively safe at a high dose on acute exposure. However, 21-days of treatment with the extract do neither increase nor decrease the body weight of the mice. Conclusions: Administration of methanol extract of Nigerian honey bee propolis in mice at the doses investigated has brought about leucopoietic and thrombopoietic changes without any significant effect on red blood cells and factors that relate to it, except for the mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration.
Abdulaziz S Alqarni
Full Text Available Propolis is a gummy material produced by honey bees to protect their hives and currently has drawn the attention of researchers due to its broad clinical use. It has been reported, based only on observations, that honey bees also collect other non-vegetation substances such as paint or asphalt/tar to make propolis. Therefore, propolis samples were collected from bee hives in Riyadh and Al-Bahah, a natural area, Saudi Arabia to determine their compositional characteristics and possible sources of the neutral organic compounds. The samples were extracted with hexane and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The results showed that the major compounds were n-alkanes, n-alkenes, methyl n-alkanoates, long chain wax esters, triterpenoids and hopanes. The n-alkanes (ranging from C17 to C40 were significant with relative concentrations varying from 23.8 to 56.8% (mean = 44.9+9.4% of the total extracts. Their odd carbon preference index (CPI ranged from 3.6 to 7.7, with a maximum concentration at heptacosane indicating inputs from higher plant vegetation wax. The relative concentrations of the n-alkenes varied from 23.8 to 41.19% (mean = 35.6+5.1%, with CPI = 12.4-31.4, range from C25 to C35 and maximum at tritriacontane. Methyl n-alkanoates, ranged from C12 to C26 as acids, with concentrations from 3.11 to 33.2% (mean = 9.6+9.5%. Long chain wax esters and triterpenoids were minor. The main triterpenoids were α- and β-amyrins, amyrones and amyryl acetates. The presence of hopanes in some total extracts (up to 12.5% indicated that the bees also collected petroleum derivatives from vicinal asphalt and used that as an additional ingredient to make propolis. Therefore, caution should be taken when considering the chemical compositions of propolis as potential sources of natural products for biological and pharmacological applications. Moreover, beekeepers should be aware of the proper source of propolis in the flight range of their bee colonies.
Full Text Available Grooming behaviour is considered an important defensive mechanism of honey bees against Varroa mites. The aim of this study was to reveal whether grooming behaviour is a useful criterion in breeding of Varroa-tolerant bees. To obtain a reliable evaluation the environmental influences were excluded. The degree of grooming potential was estimated by the percentage of damaged mites in the total number of fallen mites. The heritability of grooming behaviour throughout the three consecutive generations of queens was assessed by mother-daughter regression method. Among unselected queens, expressed grooming behaviour was recorded only in colonies with F1 queens (36.27%, but not in colonies with P queens and F2 queens (33.69%, 31.66%, respectively. Significant differences in grooming behaviour were found between colonies of P and F1 queens (p<0.001, and between colonies of P and F2 queens (p<0.05. However, all of the three generations of selected queens showed expressed grooming behaviour (37.99%, 39.42% and 38.58% in Ps, F1s and F2s, respectively without significant (p>0.05 difference among them. Nevertheless, the relatively low heritability of grooming behaviour in the three generations of queens examined (h2yx=0.49±0.02; h2zx=0.18±0.01; h2zy=0.16±0.01 indicate that breeding colonies for grooming behaviour only cannot be advised to beekeepers whose aim is to breed bees highly tolerant to Varroa mites.
Galindo-Cardona, Alberto; Monmany, A Carolina; Moreno-Jackson, Rafiné; Rivera-Rivera, Carlos; Huertas-Dones, Carlos; Caicedo-Quiroga, Laura; Giray, Tugrul
Male honey bees fly and gather at Drone Congregation Areas (DCAs), where drones and queens mate in flight. DCAs occur in places with presumably characteristic features. Using previously described landscape characteristics and observations on flight direction of drones in nearby apiaries, 36 candidate locations were chosen across the main island of Puerto Rico. At these locations, the presence or absence of DCAs was tested by lifting a helium balloon equipped with queen-sex-pheromone-impregnated bait, and visually determining the presence of high numbers of drones. Because of the wide distribution of honey bees in Puerto Rico, it was expected that most of the potential DCAs would be used as such by drones and queens from nearby colonies. Eight DCAs were found in the 36 candidate locations. Locations with and without DCAs were compared in a landscape analysis including characteristics that were described to be associated with DCAs and others. Aspect (direction of slope) and density of trails were found to be significantly associated with the presence of DCAs. PMID:23451901
Khamis, Abdullah M.
Honey bee colonies exhibit an age-related division of labor, with worker bees performing discrete sets of behaviors throughout their lifespan. These behavioral states are associated with distinct brain transcriptomic states, yet little is known about the regulatory mechanisms governing them. We used CAGEscan (a variant of the Cap Analysis of Gene Expression technique) for the first time to characterize the promoter regions of differentially expressed brain genes during two behavioral states (brood care (aka “nursing”) and foraging) and identified transcription factors (TFs) that may govern their expression. More than half of the differentially expressed TFs were associated with motifs enriched in the promoter regions of differentially expressed genes (DEGs), suggesting they are regulators of behavioral state. Strikingly, five TFs (nf-kb, egr, pax6, hairy, and clockwork orange) were predicted to co-regulate nearly half of the genes that were upregulated in foragers. Finally, differences in alternative TSS usage between nurses and foragers were detected upstream of 646 genes, whose functional analysis revealed enrichment for Gene Ontology terms associated with neural function and plasticity. This demonstrates for the first time that alternative TSSs are associated with stable differences in behavior, suggesting they may play a role in organizing behavioral state.
Han, Peng; Niu, Chang-ying; Lei, Chao-Liang; Cui, Jin-Jie; Desneux, Nicolas
Transgenic Cry1Ac+CpTI cotton (CCRI41) is a promising cotton cultivar throughout China but side effects and especially sublethal effects of this transgenic cultivar on beneficial insects remain poorly studied. More specifically potential sublethal effects on behavioural traits of the honey bee Apis mellifera L. have not been formally assessed despite the importance of honey bees for pollination. The goal of our study was to assess potential effects of CCRI41 cotton pollen on visual and olfact...
Full Text Available Abstract Background The molecular mechanisms underlying the post-mating behavioral and physiological transitions undergone by females have not been explored in great detail. Honey bees represent an excellent model system in which to address these questions because they exhibit a range of "mating states," with two extremes (virgins and egg-laying, mated queens that differ dramatically in their behavior, pheromone profiles, and physiology. We used an incompletely-mated mating-state to understand the molecular processes that underlie the transition from a virgin to a mated, egg-laying queen. We used same-aged virgins, queens that mated once but did not initiate egg-laying, and queens that mated once and initiated egg-laying. Results Differences in the behavior and physiology among groups correlated with the underlying variance observed in the top 50 predictive genes in the brains and the ovaries. These changes were correlated with either a behaviorally-associated pattern or a physiologically-associated pattern. Overall, these results suggest that the brains and the ovaries of queens are uncoupled or follow different timescales; the initiation of mating triggers immediate changes in the ovaries, while changes in the brain may require additional stimuli or take a longer time to complete. Comparison of our results to previous studies of post-mating changes in Drosophila melanogaster identified common biological processes affected by mating, including stress response and alternative-splicing pathways. Comparison with microarray data sets related to worker behavior revealed no obvious correlation between genes regulated by mating and genes regulated by behavior/physiology in workers. Conclusion Studying the underlying molecular mechanisms of post-mating changes in honey bee queens will not only give us insight into how molecular mechanisms regulate physiological and behavioral changes, but they may also lead to important insights into the evolution of
Chávez-Galarza, Julio; Henriques, Dora; Johnston, J Spencer; Carneiro, Miguel; Rufino, José; Patton, John C; Pinto, M Alice
Dissecting diversity patterns of organisms endemic to Iberia has been truly challenging for a variety of taxa, and the Iberian honey bee is no exception. Surveys of genetic variation in the Iberian honey bee are among the most extensive for any honey bee subspecies. From these, differential and complex patterns of diversity have emerged, which have yet to be fully resolved. Here, we used a genome-wide data set of 309 neutrally tested single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), scattered across the 16 honey bee chromosomes, which were genotyped in 711 haploid males. These SNPs were analysed along with an intergenic locus of the mtDNA, to reveal historical patterns of population structure across the entire range of the Iberian honey bee. Overall, patterns of population structure inferred from nuclear loci by multiple clustering approaches and geographic cline analysis were consistent with two major clusters forming a well-defined cline that bisects Iberia along a northeastern-southwestern axis, a pattern that remarkably parallels that of the mtDNA. While a mechanism of primary intergradation or isolation by distance could explain the observed clinal variation, our results are more consistent with an alternative model of secondary contact between divergent populations previously isolated in glacial refugia, as proposed for a growing list of other Iberian taxa. Despite current intense honey bee management, human-mediated processes have seemingly played a minor role in shaping Iberian honey bee genetic structure. This study highlights the complexity of the Iberian honey bee patterns and reinforces the importance of Iberia as a reservoir of Apis mellifera diversity. PMID:25930679
Galbraith, David A; Kocher, Sarah D; Glenn, Tom; Albert, Istvan; Hunt, Greg J; Strassmann, Joan E; Queller, David C; Grozinger, Christina M
Sexual reproduction brings genes from two parents (matrigenes and patrigenes) together into one individual. These genes, despite being unrelated, should show nearly perfect cooperation because each gains equally through the production of offspring. However, an individual's matrigenes and patrigenes can have different probabilities of being present in other relatives, so kin selection could act on them differently. Such intragenomic conflict could be implemented by partial or complete silencing (imprinting) of an allele by one of the parents. Evidence supporting this theory is seen in offspring-mother interactions, with patrigenes favoring acquisition of more of the mother's resources if some of the costs fall on half-siblings who do not share the patrigene. The kinship theory of intragenomic conflict is little tested in other contexts, but it predicts that matrigene-patrigene conflict may be rife in social insects. We tested the hypothesis that honey bee worker reproduction is promoted more by patrigenes than matrigenes by comparing across nine reciprocal crosses of two distinct genetic stocks. As predicted, hybrid workers show reproductive trait characteristics of their paternal stock, (indicating enhanced activity of the patrigenes on these traits), greater patrigenic than matrigenic expression, and significantly increased patrigenic-biased expression in reproductive workers. These results support both the general prediction that matrigene-patrigene conflict occurs in social insects and the specific prediction that honey bee worker reproduction is driven more by patrigenes. The success of these predictions suggests that intragenomic conflict may occur in many contexts where matrigenes and patrigenes have different relatednesses to affected kin. PMID:26755583
Shi, Yuan Yuan; Yan, Wei Yu; Huang, Zachary Y.; Wang, Zi Long; Wu, Xiao Bo; Zeng, Zhi Jiang
The honey bee is a social insect characterized by caste differentiation, by which a young larva can develop into either a queen or a worker. Despite possessing the same genome, queen and workers display marked differences in reproductive capacity, physiology, and behavior. Recent studies have shown that DNA methylation plays important roles in caste differentiation. To further explore the roles of DNA methylation in this process, we analyzed DNA methylome profiles of both queen larvae (QL) and worker larvae (WL) of different ages (2, 4, and 6 day old), by using methylated DNA immunoprecipitation-sequencing (meDIP-seq) technique. The global DNA methylation levels varied between the larvae of two castes. DNA methylation increased from 2-day- to 4-day-old QL and then decreased in 6-day-old larvae. In WL, methylation levels increased with age. The methylcytosines in both larvae were enriched in introns, followed by coding sequence (CDS) regions, CpG islands, 2 kbp downstream and upstream of genes, and 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs). The number of differentially methylated genes (DMGs) in 2-, 4-, and 6-day-old QL and WL was 725, 3,013, and 5,049, respectively. Compared to 4- and 6-day-old WL, a large number of genes in QL were downmethylated, which were involved in many processes including development, reproduction, and metabolic regulation. In addition, some DMGs were concerned with caste differentiation.
Pankiw, Tanya; Roman, Roman; Sagili, Ramesh R.; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan
The success of a species depends on its ability to assess its environment and to decide accordingly which behaviors are most appropriate. Many animal species, from bacteria to mammals, are able to communicate using interspecies chemicals called pheromones. In addition to exerting physiological effects on individuals, for social species, pheromones communicate group social structure. Communication of social structure is important to social insects for the allocation of its working members into coordinated suites of behaviors. We tested effects of long-term treatment with brood pheromone on suites of honey bee brood rearing and foraging behaviors. Pheromone-treated colonies reared significantly greater brood areas and more adults than controls, while amounts of stored pollen and honey remained statistically similar. Brood pheromone increased the number of pollen foragers and the pollen load weights they returned. It appeared that the pheromone-induced increase in pollen intake was directly canalized into more brood rearing. A two-way pheromone priming effect was observed, such that some workers from the same age cohorts showed an increased and extended capacity to rear larvae, while others were recruited at significantly younger ages into pollen-specific foraging. Brood pheromone affected suites of nursing and foraging behaviors allocating worker and pollen resources associated with an important fitness trait, colony growth.
Loope, Kevin J.; Seeley, Thomas D.; Mattila, Heather R.
Kin selection theory predicts that in colonies of social Hymenoptera with multiply mated queens, workers should mutually inhibit ("police") worker reproduction, but that in colonies with singly mated queens, workers should favor rearing workers' sons instead of queens' sons. In line with these predictions, Mattila et al. (Curr Biol 22:2027-2031, 2012) documented increased ovary development among workers in colonies of honey bees with singly mated queens, suggesting that workers can detect and respond adaptively to queen mating frequency and raising the possibility that they facultative police. In a follow-up experiment, we test and reject the hypothesis that workers in single-patriline colonies prefer worker-derived males and are able to reproduce directly; we show that their eggs are policed as strongly as those of workers in colonies with multiply mated queens. Evidently, workers do not respond facultatively to a kin structure that favors relaxed policing and increased direct reproduction. These workers may instead be responding to a poor queen or preparing for possible queen loss.
Full Text Available The effects of sublethal pesticide exposure on queen emergence and virus titers were examined. Queen rearing colonies were fed pollen with chlorpyrifos (CPF alone (pollen-1 and with CPF and the fungicide Pristine® (pollen-2. Fewer queens emerged when larvae from open foraging (i.e., outside colonies were reared in colonies fed pollen-1 or 2 compared with when those larvae were reared in outside colonies. Larvae grafted from and reared in colonies fed pollen-2 had lower rates of queen emergence than pollen-1 or outside colonies. Deformed wing virus (DWV and black queen cell virus were found in nurse bees from colonies fed pollen-1 or 2 and in outside colonies. The viruses also were detected in queen larvae. However, we did not detect virus in emerged queens grafted from and reared in outside colonies. In contrast, DWV was found in all emerged queens grafted from colonies fed pollen-1 or 2 either reared in outside hives or those fed pollen-1 or 2. The results suggest that sublethal exposure of CPF alone but especially when Pristine® is added reduces queen emergence possibly due to compromised immunity in developing queens.
Łopuch, S; Tofilski, A
Despite the fact that symmetry is common in nature, it is rarely perfect. Because there is a wide range of phenotypes which differs from the average one, the asymmetry should increase along with deviation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the level of asymmetry in normal individuals as well as in phenodeviants categorized as minor or major based on abnormalities in forewing venation in honey bees. Shape fluctuating asymmetry (FA) was lower in normal individuals and minor phenodeviants compared with major phenodeviants, whereas the former two categories were comparable in drones. In workers and queens, there were not significant differences in FA shape between categories. FA size was significantly lower in normal individuals compared with major phenodeviant drones and higher compared with minor phenodeviant workers. In queens, there were no significant differences between categories. The correlation between FA shape and FA size was significantly positive in drones, and insignificant in workers and queens. Moreover, a considerable level of directional asymmetry was found as the right wing was constantly bigger than the left one. Surprisingly, normal individuals were significantly smaller than minor phenodeviants in queens and drones, and they were comparable with major phenodeviants in all castes. The correlation between wing size and wing asymmetry was negative, indicating that smaller individuals were more asymmetrical. The high proportion of phenodeviants in drones compared with workers and queens confirmed their large variability. Thus, the results of the present study showed that minor phenodeviants were not always intermediate as might have been expected. PMID:27241228
To determine whether the venom of Apis mellifera can exert a radioprotective effect, by reducing the frequency of chromosomal aberrations induced by radiation, five different experiments were performed on bone marrow cells of Wistar rats. Animals weighing about 100 g were injected intraperitoneally with different venom concentrations (1.0 or 0.5 μ1) 1 or 24 h before, or 30 min after being submitted to three or four Gy of gamma radiation, and sacrificed 24 h after the last treatment. (author)
Die vorliegende Studie über den Alterseinfluß bei der Honigbiene (Apis mellifera) besteht aus drei Hauptteilen. Der erste Teil befasst sich mit den Charakteristiken des Spermathekeninhalts alter und junger Bienenköniginnen. Im zweiten Teil geht es um die Auswirkungen des maternalen Alters auf die embryonale Mortalität und die juvenile Entwicklung der Brut. Im dritten Studienteil werden die Auswirkungen der Verweildauer in der Spermatheca auf die embryonale Mortalität, Embryonenqualität und L...