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Sample records for adult honey bees

  1. The distribution of Paenibacillus larvae spores in adult bees and honey and larval mortality, following the addition of American foulbrood diseased brood or spore-contaminated honey in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindström, Anders; Korpela, Seppo; Fries, Ingemar

    2008-09-01

    Within colony transmission of Paenibacillus larvae spores was studied by giving spore-contaminated honey comb or comb containing 100 larvae killed by American foulbrood to five experimental colonies respectively. We registered the impact of the two treatments on P. larvae spore loads in adult bees and honey and on larval mortality by culturing for spores in samples of adult bees and honey, respectively, and by measuring larval survival. The results demonstrate a direct effect of treatment on spore levels in adult bees and honey as well as on larval mortality. Colonies treated with dead larvae showed immediate high spore levels in adult bee samples, while the colonies treated with contaminated honey showed a comparable spore load but the effect was delayed until the bees started to utilize the honey at the end of the flight season. During the winter there was a build up of spores in the adult bees, which may increase the risk for infection in spring. The results confirm that contaminated honey can act as an environmental reservoir of P. larvae spores and suggest that less spores may be needed in honey, compared to in diseased brood, to produce clinically diseased colonies. The spore load in adult bee samples was significantly related to larval mortality but the spore load of honey samples was not.

  2. Safety of methionine, a novel biopesticide, to adult and larval honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, Emma N I; Schmehl, Daniel R; Baniszewski, Julie; Tomé, Hudson V V; Cuda, James P; Ellis, James D; Stevens, Bruce R

    2018-03-01

    Methionine is an essential/indispensible amino acid nutrient required by adult and larval honey bees (Apis mellifera L. [Hymenoptera: Apidae]). Bees are unable to rear broods on pollen deficient in methionine, and reportedly behaviorally avoid collecting pollen or nectar from florets deficient in methioinine. In contrast, it has been demonstrated that methionine is toxic to certain pest insects; thus it has been proposed as an effective biopesticide. As an ecofriendly integrated pest management agent, methionine boasts a novel mode of action differentiating it from conventional pesticides, while providing non-target safety. Pesticides that minimize collateral effects on bees are desirable, given the economic and ecological concerns about honey bee health. The aim of the present study was to assess the potential impact of the biopesticide methionine on non-target adult and larval honey bees. Acute contact adult toxicology bioassays, oral adult assessments and chronic larval toxicity assessments were performed as per U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements. Our results demonstrated that methionine fits the U.S. EPA category of practically nontoxic (i.e. lethal dose to 50% mortality or LD 50 > 11µg/bee) to adult honey bees. The contact LD 50 was > 25µg/bee and the oral LD 50 was > 100µg/bee. Mortality was observed in larval bees that ingested DL-methionine (effective concentration to 50% mortality or EC 50 560µg/bee). Therefore, we conclude that methionine poses little threat to the health of the honey bee, due to unlikely exposure at concentrations shown to elicit toxic effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Larval starvation improves metabolic response to adult starvation in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

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    Wang, Ying; Campbell, Jacob B; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V; Harrison, Jon F

    2016-04-01

    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. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Honey bee pathology: current threats to honey bees and beekeeping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genersch, Elke

    2010-06-01

    Managed honey bees are the most important commercial pollinators of those crops which depend on animal pollination for reproduction and which account for 35% of the global food production. Hence, they are vital for an economic, sustainable agriculture and for food security. In addition, honey bees also pollinate a variety of wild flowers and, therefore, contribute to the biodiversity of many ecosystems. Honey and other hive products are, at least economically and ecologically rather, by-products of beekeeping. Due to this outstanding role of honey bees, severe and inexplicable honey bee colony losses, which have been reported recently to be steadily increasing, have attracted much attention and stimulated many research activities. Although the phenomenon "decline of honey bees" is far from being finally solved, consensus exists that pests and pathogens are the single most important cause of otherwise inexplicable colony losses. This review will focus on selected bee pathogens and parasites which have been demonstrated to be involved in colony losses in different regions of the world and which, therefore, are considered current threats to honey bees and beekeeping.

  5. Xenobiotic effects on intestinal stem cell proliferation in adult honey bee (Apis mellifera L) workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forkpah, Cordelia; Dixon, Luke R; Fahrbach, Susan E; Rueppell, Olav

    2014-01-01

    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.

  6. Bee Alert: Africanized Honey Bee Facts

    OpenAIRE

    Lazaneo, Vincent

    2002-01-01

    Information on how to “bee prepared” for the movement of the Africanized honey bee into California. Includes tips on how to identify Africanized honey bees, bee-proofing your home, and what to do if stung.

  7. Honey Bee Viruses in Wild Bees: Viral Prevalence, Loads, and Experimental Inoculation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolezal, Adam G.; Hendrix, Stephen D.; Scavo, Nicole A.; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Harris, Mary A.; Wheelock, M. Joseph; O’Neal, Matthew E.; Toth, Amy L.

    2016-01-01

    Evidence of inter-species pathogen transmission from managed to wild bees has sparked concern that emerging diseases could be causing or exacerbating wild bee declines. While some pathogens, like RNA viruses, have been found in pollen and wild bees, the threat these viruses pose to wild bees is largely unknown. Here, we tested 169 bees, representing 4 families and 8 genera, for five common honey bee (Apis mellifera) viruses, finding that more than 80% of wild bees harbored at least one virus. We also quantified virus titers in these bees, providing, for the first time, an assessment of viral load in a broad spectrum of wild bees. Although virus detection was very common, virus levels in the wild bees were minimal—similar to or lower than foraging honey bees and substantially lower than honey bees collected from hives. Furthermore, when we experimentally inoculated adults of two different bee species (Megachile rotundata and Colletes inaequalis) with a mixture of common viruses that is lethal to honey bees, we saw no effect on short term survival. Overall, we found that honey bee RNA viruses can be commonly detected at low levels in many wild bee species, but we found no evidence that these pathogens cause elevated short-term mortality effects. However, more work on these viruses is greatly needed to assess effects on additional bee species and life stages. PMID:27832169

  8. Honey Bee Viruses in Wild Bees: Viral Prevalence, Loads, and Experimental Inoculation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolezal, Adam G; Hendrix, Stephen D; Scavo, Nicole A; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Harris, Mary A; Wheelock, M Joseph; O'Neal, Matthew E; Toth, Amy L

    2016-01-01

    Evidence of inter-species pathogen transmission from managed to wild bees has sparked concern that emerging diseases could be causing or exacerbating wild bee declines. While some pathogens, like RNA viruses, have been found in pollen and wild bees, the threat these viruses pose to wild bees is largely unknown. Here, we tested 169 bees, representing 4 families and 8 genera, for five common honey bee (Apis mellifera) viruses, finding that more than 80% of wild bees harbored at least one virus. We also quantified virus titers in these bees, providing, for the first time, an assessment of viral load in a broad spectrum of wild bees. Although virus detection was very common, virus levels in the wild bees were minimal-similar to or lower than foraging honey bees and substantially lower than honey bees collected from hives. Furthermore, when we experimentally inoculated adults of two different bee species (Megachile rotundata and Colletes inaequalis) with a mixture of common viruses that is lethal to honey bees, we saw no effect on short term survival. Overall, we found that honey bee RNA viruses can be commonly detected at low levels in many wild bee species, but we found no evidence that these pathogens cause elevated short-term mortality effects. However, more work on these viruses is greatly needed to assess effects on additional bee species and life stages.

  9. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brutscher, Laura M.; Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees play an important agricultural and ecological role as pollinators of numerous agricultural crops and other plant species. Therefore, investigating the factors associated with high annual losses of honey bee colonies in the US is an important and active area of research. Pathogen incidence and abundance correlate with Colony Collapse Disorder- (CCD-) affected colonies in the US and colony losses in the US and in some European countries. Honey bees are readily infected by single-stranded positive sense RNA viruses. Largely dependent on the host immune response, virus infections can either remain asymptomatic or result in deformities, paralysis, or death of adults or larvae. RNA interference (RNAi) is an important antiviral defense mechanism in insects, including honey bees. Herein, we review the role of RNAi in honey bee antiviral defense and highlight some parallels between insect and mammalian immune systems. A more thorough understanding of the role of pathogens on honey bee health and the immune mechanisms bees utilize to combat infectious agents may lead to the development of strategies that enhance honey bee health and result in the discovery of additional mechanisms of immunity in metazoans. PMID:26798663

  10. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura M. Brutscher

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees play an important agricultural and ecological role as pollinators of numerous agricultural crops and other plant species. Therefore, investigating the factors associated with high annual losses of honey bee colonies in the US is an important and active area of research. Pathogen incidence and abundance correlate with Colony Collapse Disorder- (CCD- affected colonies in the US and colony losses in the US and in some European countries. Honey bees are readily infected by single-stranded positive sense RNA viruses. Largely dependent on the host immune response, virus infections can either remain asymptomatic or result in deformities, paralysis, or death of adults or larvae. RNA interference (RNAi is an important antiviral defense mechanism in insects, including honey bees. Herein, we review the role of RNAi in honey bee antiviral defense and highlight some parallels between insect and mammalian immune systems. A more thorough understanding of the role of pathogens on honey bee health and the immune mechanisms bees utilize to combat infectious agents may lead to the development of strategies that enhance honey bee health and result in the discovery of additional mechanisms of immunity in metazoans.

  11. Invasion of Varroa mites into honey bee brood cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boot, W.J.

    1995-01-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa-jacobsoni is one of the most serious pests of Western honey bees, Apis mellifera. The mites parasitize adult bees, but reproduction only occurs while parasitizing on honey bee brood. Invasion into a

  12. Starvation stress during larval development facilitates an adaptive response in adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ying; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Brent, Colin S; Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V

    2016-04-01

    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. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  13. Viral diseases in honey bee queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Francis, Roy Mathew

    Honey bees are important insects for human welfare, due to pollination as well as honey production. Viral diseases strongly impact honey bee health, especially since the spread of varroa mites. This dissertation deals with the interactions between honey bees, viruses and varroa mites. A new tool...... was developed to diagnose three viruses in honey bees. Quantitative PCR was used to investigate the distribution of two popular viruses in five different tissues of 86 honey bee queens. Seasonal variation of viral infection in honey bee workers and varroa mites were determined by sampling 23 colonies under...

  14. Wild bees enhance honey bees' pollination of hybrid sunflower.

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    Greenleaf, Sarah S; Kremen, Claire

    2006-09-12

    Pollinators are required for producing 15-30% of the human food supply, and farmers rely on managed honey bees throughout the world to provide these services. Yet honey bees are not always the most efficient pollinators of all crops and are declining in various parts of the world. Crop pollination shortages are becoming increasingly common. We found that behavioral interactions between wild and honey bees increase the pollination efficiency of honey bees on hybrid sunflower up to 5-fold, effectively doubling honey bee pollination services on the average field. These indirect contributions caused by interspecific interactions between wild and honey bees were more than five times more important than the contributions wild bees make to sunflower pollination directly. Both proximity to natural habitat and crop planting practices were significantly correlated with pollination services provided directly and indirectly by wild bees. Our results suggest that conserving wild habitat at the landscape scale and altering selected farm management techniques could increase hybrid sunflower production. These findings also demonstrate the economic importance of interspecific interactions for ecosystem services and suggest that protecting wild bee populations can help buffer the human food supply from honey bee shortages.

  15. Honey bee surveillance: a tool for understanding and improving honey bee health.

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    Lee, Kathleen; Steinhauer, Nathalie; Travis, Dominic A; Meixner, Marina D; Deen, John; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2015-08-01

    Honey bee surveillance systems are increasingly used to characterize honey bee health and disease burdens of bees in different regions and/or over time. In addition to quantifying disease prevalence, surveillance systems can identify risk factors associated with colony morbidity and mortality. Surveillance systems are often observational, and prove particularly useful when searching for risk factors in real world complex systems. We review recent examples of surveillance systems with particular emphasis on how these efforts have helped increase our understanding of honey bee health. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Sudden deaths and colony population decline in Greek honey bee colonies.

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    Bacandritsos, N; Granato, A; Budge, G; Papanastasiou, I; Roinioti, E; Caldon, M; Falcaro, C; Gallina, A; Mutinelli, F

    2010-11-01

    During June and July of 2009, sudden deaths, tremulous movements and population declines of adult honey bees were reported by the beekeepers in the region of Peloponnesus (Mt. Mainalo), Greece. A preliminary study was carried out to investigate these unexplained phenomena in this region. In total, 37 bee samples, two brood frames containing honey bee brood of various ages, eight sugar samples and four sugar patties were collected from the affected colonies. The samples were tested for a range of pests, pathogens and pesticides. Symptomatic adult honey bees tested positive for Varroa destructor, Nosema ceranae, Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), Acute paralysis virus (ABPV), Deformed wing virus (DWV), Sacbrood virus (SBV) and Black queen cell virus (BQCV), but negative for Acarapis woodi. American Foulbrood was absent from the brood samples. Chemical analysis revealed that amitraz, thiametoxan, clothianidin and acetamiprid were all absent from symptomatic adult bees, sugar and sugar patty samples. However, some bee samples, were contaminated with imidacloprid in concentrations between 14 ng/g and 39 ng/g tissue. We present: the infection of Greek honey bees by multiple viruses; the presence of N. ceranae in Greek honey bees and the first record of imidacloprid (neonicotonoid) residues in Greek honey bee tissues. The presence of multiple pathogens and pesticides made it difficult to associate a single specific cause to the depopulation phenomena observed in Greece, although we believe that viruses and N. ceranae synergistically played the most important role. A follow-up in-depth survey across all Greek regions is required to provide context to these preliminary findings. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Vanishing honey bees: Is the dying of adult worker bees a consequence of short telomeres and premature aging?

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    Stindl, Reinhard; Stindl, Wolfgang

    2010-10-01

    Einstein is often quoted to have said that without the bee, mankind would have but 4years to live. It is highly unlikely that he made this comment, which was even mentioned in a Lancet article on honey bees. However, the current vanishing of the bees can have serious consequences for human health, because 35% of the human diet is thought to benefit from pollination. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) in honey bees is characterized by the rapid decline of the adult bee population, leaving the brood and the queen poorly or completely unattended, with no dead bodies in or around the hive. A large study found no evidence that the presence or amount of any individual pesticide or infectious agent occurred more frequently or abundantly in CCD-affected colonies. The growing consensus is that honey bees are suffering from comprised immune systems, which allow various infectious pathogens to invade. The question remains, what causes immunosuppression in many colonies of Apis mellifera in North America and Europe? Telomeres are protective DNA structures located at eukaryotic chromosome tips that shorten in the somatic tissues of animals with age. Lifelong tissue regeneration takes place in Apis mellifera, and worker bees have been shown to senesce. In humans, a vast amount of literature has accumulated on exhausted telomere reserves causing impaired tissue regeneration and age-associated diseases, specifically cancer and immunosuppression. Therefore, we propose a new causative mechanism for the vanishing of the bees: critically short telomeres in long-lived winter bees. We term this the telomere premature aging syndrome. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Polychlorinated biphenyls in honey bees

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morse, R.A.; Culliney, T.W.; Gutenmann, W.H.; Littman, C.B.; Lisk, D.J.

    1987-02-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) may traverse a radius of several miles from their hives and contact innumerable surfaces during their collection of nectar, pollen, propolis and water. In the process, they may become contaminated with surface constituents which are indicative of the type of environmental pollution in their particular foraging area. Honey has also been analyzed as a possible indicator of heavy metal pollution. Insecticides used in the vicinity of bee hives have been found in bees and honey. It has been recently reported that appreciable concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been found in honey bees sampled throughout Connecticut. In the work reported here, an analytical survey was conducted on PCBs in honey bees, honey, propolis and related samples in several states to learn the extent of contamination and possible sources.

  19. Biological and therapeutic effects of honey produced by honey bees and stingless bees: a comparative review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pasupuleti Visweswara Rao

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Honey is a natural product produced by both honey bees and stingless bees. Both types of honey contain unique and distinct types of phenolic and flavonoid compounds of variable biological and clinical importance. Honey is one of the most effective natural products used for wound healing. In this review, the traditional uses and clinical applications of both honey bee and stingless bee honey – such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antihyperlipidemic, and cardioprotective properties; the treatment of eye disorders, gastrointestinal tract diseases, neurological disorders, and fertility disorders and wound healing activity are described.

  20. Widespread occurrence of honey bee pathogens in solitary bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravoet, Jorgen; De Smet, Lina; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; Wenseleers, Tom; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2014-10-01

    Solitary bees and honey bees from a neighbouring apiary were screened for a broad set of putative pathogens including protists, fungi, spiroplasmas and viruses. Most sampled bees appeared to be infected with multiple parasites. Interestingly, viruses exclusively known from honey bees such as Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus were also discovered in solitary bees. A microsporidium found in Andrena vaga showed most resemblance to Nosema thomsoni. Our results suggest that bee hives represent a putative source of pathogens for other pollinators. Similarly, solitary bees may act as a reservoir of honey bee pathogens. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Low-Temperature Stress during Capped Brood Stage Increases Pupal Mortality, Misorientation and Adult Mortality in Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qing; Xu, Xinjian; Zhu, Xiangjie; Chen, Lin; Zhou, Shujing; Huang, Zachary Y.; Zhou, Bingfeng

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are key pollinators, playing a vital role in ecosystem maintenance and stability of crop yields. Recently, reduced honey bee survival has attracted intensive attention. Among all other honey bee stresses, temperature is a fundamental ecological factor that has been shown to affect honey bee survival. Yet, the impact of low temperature stress during capped brood on brood mortality has not been systematically investigated. In addition, little was known about how low temperature exposure during capped brood affects subsequent adult longevity. In this study, capped worker broods at 12 different developmental stages were exposed to 20°C for 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84 and 96 hours, followed by incubation at 35°C until emergence. We found that longer durations of low temperature during capped brood led to higher mortality, higher incidences of misorientation inside cells and shorter worker longevity. Capped brood as prepupae and near emergence were more sensitive to low-temperature exposure, while capped larvae and mid-pupal stages showed the highest resistance to low-temperature stress. Our results suggest that prepupae and pupae prior to eclosion are the most sensitive stages to low temperature stress, as they are to other stresses, presumably due to many physiological changes related to metamorphosis happening during these two stages. Understanding how low-temperature stress affects honey bee physiology and longevity can improve honey bee management strategies. PMID:27149383

  2. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tozkar, Cansu Ö; Kence, Meral; Kence, Aykut; Huang, Qiang; Evans, Jay D

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World's most important centers of apiculture, harboring five subspecies of Apis mellifera L., approximately 20% of the honey bee subspecies in the world. We use deep ILLUMINA-based RNA sequencing to capture RNA species for the honey bee and a sampling of all non-endogenous species carried by bees. After trimming and mapping these reads to the honey bee genome, approximately 10% of the sequences (9-10 million reads per library) remained. These were then mapped to a curated set of public sequences containing ca. Sixty megabase-pairs of sequence representing known microbial species associated with honey bees. Levels of key honey bee pathogens were confirmed using quantitative PCR screens. We contrast microbial matches across different sites in Turkey, showing new country recordings of Lake Sinai virus, two Spiroplasma bacterium species, symbionts Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi, Frischella perrara, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, Lactobacillus spp.), neogregarines, and a trypanosome species. By using metagenomic analysis, this study also reveals deep molecular evidence for the presence of bacterial pathogens (Melissococcus plutonius, Paenibacillus larvae), Varroa destructor-1 virus, Sacbrood virus, and fungi. Despite this effort we did not detect KBV, SBPV, Tobacco ringspot virus, VdMLV (Varroa Macula like virus), Acarapis spp., Tropilaeleps spp. and Apocephalus (phorid fly). We discuss possible impacts of management practices and honey bee subspecies on microbial retinues. The described workflow and curated microbial database will be generally useful for microbial surveys of healthy and declining honey bees.

  3. Spore load and immune response of honey bees naturally infected by Nosema ceranae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wenfeng; Evans, Jay D; Li, Jianghong; Su, Songkun; Hamilton, Michele; Chen, Yanping

    2017-12-01

    Nosema ceranae causes widespread infection in adult workers of European honey bees, Apis mellifera, and has often been linked to honey bee colony losses worldwide. Previous investigations of honey bee immune response to N. ceranae infection were largely based on laboratory experiment, however, little is known about the immune response of honey bees that are naturally infected by N. ceranae. Here, we compared the infection levels of N. ceranae in three different categories of adult bees (emergent bees, nurses, and foragers) and detected the host immune response to the N. ceranae infection under natural conditions. Our studies showed that the Nosema spore load and infection prevalence varied among the different types of adult workers, and both of them increased as honey bees aged: No infection was detected in emergent bees, nurses had a medium spore load and prevalence, while foragers were with the highest Nosema infection level and prevalence. Quantification of the mRNA levels of antimicrobial peptides (abaecin, apidaecin, defensin-1, defensin-2, and hymenoptaecin) and microbial recognition proteins (PGRP-S1, PGRP-S2, PGRP-S3, PGRP-LC, GNBP1-1, and GNBP1-2) confirmed the involvement of the Toll and/or Imd immune pathways in the host response to N. ceranae infection, and revealed an activation of host immune response by N. ceranae infection under natural conditions. Additionally, the levels of immune response were positively correlated with the Nosema spore loads in the infected bees. The information gained from this study will be relevant to the predictive modeling of honey bee disease dynamics for Nosema disease prevention and management.

  4. A new threat to honey bees, the parasitic phorid fly Apocephalus borealis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Core

    Full Text Available Honey bee colonies are subject to numerous pathogens and parasites. Interaction among multiple pathogens and parasites is the proposed cause for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD, a syndrome characterized by worker bees abandoning their hive. Here we provide the first documentation that the phorid fly Apocephalus borealis, previously known to parasitize bumble bees, also infects and eventually kills honey bees and may pose an emerging threat to North American apiculture. Parasitized honey bees show hive abandonment behavior, leaving their hives at night and dying shortly thereafter. On average, seven days later up to 13 phorid larvae emerge from each dead bee and pupate away from the bee. Using DNA barcoding, we confirmed that phorids that emerged from honey bees and bumble bees were the same species. Microarray analyses of honey bees from infected hives revealed that these bees are often infected with deformed wing virus and Nosema ceranae. Larvae and adult phorids also tested positive for these pathogens, implicating the fly as a potential vector or reservoir of these honey bee pathogens. Phorid parasitism may affect hive viability since 77% of sites sampled in the San Francisco Bay Area were infected by the fly and microarray analyses detected phorids in commercial hives in South Dakota and California's Central Valley. Understanding details of phorid infection may shed light on similar hive abandonment behaviors seen in CCD.

  5. A New Threat to Honey Bees, the Parasitic Phorid Fly Apocephalus borealis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Core, Andrew; Runckel, Charles; Ivers, Jonathan; Quock, Christopher; Siapno, Travis; DeNault, Seraphina; Brown, Brian; DeRisi, Joseph; Smith, Christopher D.; Hafernik, John

    2012-01-01

    Honey bee colonies are subject to numerous pathogens and parasites. Interaction among multiple pathogens and parasites is the proposed cause for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a syndrome characterized by worker bees abandoning their hive. Here we provide the first documentation that the phorid fly Apocephalus borealis, previously known to parasitize bumble bees, also infects and eventually kills honey bees and may pose an emerging threat to North American apiculture. Parasitized honey bees show hive abandonment behavior, leaving their hives at night and dying shortly thereafter. On average, seven days later up to 13 phorid larvae emerge from each dead bee and pupate away from the bee. Using DNA barcoding, we confirmed that phorids that emerged from honey bees and bumble bees were the same species. Microarray analyses of honey bees from infected hives revealed that these bees are often infected with deformed wing virus and Nosema ceranae. Larvae and adult phorids also tested positive for these pathogens, implicating the fly as a potential vector or reservoir of these honey bee pathogens. Phorid parasitism may affect hive viability since 77% of sites sampled in the San Francisco Bay Area were infected by the fly and microarray analyses detected phorids in commercial hives in South Dakota and California's Central Valley. Understanding details of phorid infection may shed light on similar hive abandonment behaviors seen in CCD. PMID:22235317

  6. Does Cry1Ab protein affect learning performances of the honey bee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez-Romero, R; Desneux, N; Decourtye, A; Chaffiol, A; Pham-Delègue, M H

    2008-06-01

    Genetically modified Bt crops are increasingly used worldwide but side effects and especially sublethal effects on beneficial insects remain poorly studied. Honey bees are beneficial insects for natural and cultivated ecosystems through pollination. The goal of the present study was to assess potential effects of two concentrations of Cry1Ab protein (3 and 5000 ppb) on young adult honey bees. Following a complementary bioassay, our experiments evaluated effects of the Cry1Ab on three major life traits of young adult honey bees: (a) survival of honey bees during sub-chronic exposure to Cry1Ab, (b) feeding behaviour, and (c) learning performance at the time that honey bees become foragers. The latter effect was tested using the proboscis extension reflex (PER) procedure. The same effects were also tested using a chemical pesticide, imidacloprid, as positive reference. The tested concentrations of Cry1Ab protein did not cause lethal effects on honey bees. However, honey bee feeding behaviour was affected when exposed to the highest concentration of Cry1Ab protein, with honey bees taking longer to imbibe the contaminated syrup. Moreover, honey bees exposed to 5000 ppb of Cry1Ab had disturbed learning performances. Honey bees continued to respond to a conditioned odour even in the absence of a food reward. Our results show that transgenic crops expressing Cry1Ab protein at 5000 ppb may affect food consumption or learning processes and thereby may impact honey bee foraging efficiency. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of risks of transgenic Bt crops for honey bees.

  7. Antiviral Defense Mechanisms in Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brutscher, Laura M.; Daughenbaugh, Katie F.; Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees are significant pollinators of agricultural crops and other important plant species. High annual losses of honey bee colonies in North America and in some parts of Europe have profound ecological and economic implications. Colony losses have been attributed to multiple factors including RNA viruses, thus understanding bee antiviral defense mechanisms may result in the development of strategies that mitigate colony losses. Honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms include RNA-interference, pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) triggered signal transduction cascades, and reactive oxygen species generation. However, the relative importance of these and other pathways is largely uncharacterized. Herein we review the current understanding of honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms and suggest important avenues for future investigation. PMID:26273564

  8. Ecological adaptation of diverse honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Robert; Melathopoulos, Andony P; White, Rick; Pernal, Stephen F; Guarna, M Marta; Foster, Leonard J

    2010-06-15

    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. 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. 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.

  9. Dynamics of Persistent and Acute Deformed Wing Virus Infections in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay D. Evans

    2011-12-01

    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.

  10. Ecological adaptation of diverse honey bee (Apis mellifera populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Parker

    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.

  11. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lecocq, Antoine; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Kryger, Per

    2016-01-01

    micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data showing that N. ceranae infection significantly accelerated the age polyethism of young bees, causing......Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab...... manipulation to increase colony infection. However, reduction in queen contacts could help bees limit the spread of infection. Such accelerated age polyethism may provide a form of behavioural immunity, particularly if it is elicited by a wide variety of pathogens....

  12. Red mason bees cannot compete with honey bees for floral resources in a cage experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudewenz, Anika; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2015-11-01

    Intensive beekeeping to mitigate crop pollination deficits and habitat loss may cause interspecific competition between bees. Studies show negative correlations between flower visitation of honey bees (Apis mellifera) and wild bees, but effects on the reproduction of wild bees were not proven. Likely reasons are that honey bees can hardly be excluded from controls and wild bee nests are generally difficult to detect in field experiments. The goal of this study was to investigate whether red mason bees (Osmia bicornis) compete with honey bees in cages in order to compare the reproduction of red mason bees under different honey bee densities. Three treatments were applied, each replicated in four cages of 18 m³ with 38 red mason bees in all treatments and 0, 100, and 300 honey bees per treatment with 10-20% being foragers. Within the cages, the flower visitation and interspecific displacements from flowers were observed. Niche breadths and resource overlaps of both bee species were calculated, and the reproduction of red mason bees was measured. Red mason bees visited fewer flowers when honey bees were present. Niche breadth of red mason bees decreased with increasing honey bee density while resource overlaps remained constant. The reproduction of red mason bees decreased in cages with honey bees. In conclusion, our experimental results show that in small and isolated flower patches, wild bees can temporarily suffer from competition with honey bees. Further research should aim to test for competition on small and isolated flower patches in real landscapes.

  13. Toxicity of Selected Acaricides to Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) and Varroa (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) and Their Use in Controlling Varroa within Honey Bee Colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregorc, Aleš; Alburaki, Mohamed; Sampson, Blair; Knight, Patricia R; Adamczyk, John

    2018-05-10

    The efficacies of various acaricides in order to control a parasitic mite, the Varroa mite, Varroa destructor , of honey bees, were measured in two different settings, namely, in laboratory caged honey bees and in queen-right honey bee colonies. The Varroa infestation levels before, during, and after the acaricide treatments were determined in two ways, namely: (1) using the sugar shake protocol to count mites on bees and (2) directly counting the dead mites on the hive bottom inserts. The acaricides that were evaluated were coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, amitraz, thymol, and natural plant compounds (hop acids), which were the active ingredients. The acaricide efficacies in the colonies were evaluated in conjunction with the final coumaphos applications. All of the tested acaricides significantly increased the overall Varroa mortality in the laboratory experiment. Their highest efficiencies were recorded at 6 h post-treatment, except for coumaphos and thymol, which exhibited longer and more consistent activity. In the honey bee colonies, a higher Varroa mortality was recorded in all of the treatments, compared with the natural Varroa mortality during the pretreatment period. The acaricide toxicity to the Varroa mites was consistent in both the caged adult honey bees and workers in the queen-right colonies, although, two of these acaricides, coumaphos at the highest doses and hop acids, were comparatively more toxic to the worker bees.

  14. Effects of honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and bumble bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) presence on cranberry (Ericales: Ericaceae) pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, E C; Spivak, M

    2006-06-01

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera L., are frequently used to pollinate commercial cranberries, Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait., but information is lacking on the relative contribution of honey bees and native bees, the effects of surrounding vegetation on bee visitation, and on optimal timing for honey bee introduction. We begin with a descriptive study of numbers of honey bees, bumble bees, and other bees visiting cranberry blossoms, and their subsequent effect on cranberry yield, on three cranberry properties in 1999. The property surrounded by agricultural land, as opposed to wetlands and woodlands, had fewer numbers of all bee types. In 2000, one property did not introduce honey bee colonies, providing an opportunity to document the effect of lack of honey bees on yield. With no honey bees, plants along the edge of the bed had significantly higher berry weights compared with nonedge plants, suggesting that wild pollinators were only effective along the edge. Comparing the same bed between 1999, with three honey bee colonies per acre, and 2000, with no honey bees, we found a significant reduction in average berry size. In 2000, we compared stigma loading on properties with and without honey bees. Significantly more stigmas received the minimum number of tetrads required for fruit set on the property with honey bees. Significantly more tetrads were deposited during mid-bloom compared with early bloom, indicating that mid-bloom was the best time to have honey bees present. This study emphasizes the importance and effectiveness of honey bees as pollinators of commercial size cranberry plantings.

  15. Differential gene expression of two extreme honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies showing varroa tolerance and susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, S; Robertson, T; Mostajeran, M; Robertson, A J; Qiu, X

    2016-06-01

    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. © 2016 The Royal Entomological Society.

  16. Medicinal and cosmetic uses of Bee's Honey - A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ediriweera, E R H S S; Premarathna, N Y S

    2012-04-01

    Bee's honey is one of the most valued and appreciated natural substances known to mankind since ancient times. There are many types of bee's honey mentioned in Ayurveda. Their effects differ and 'Makshika' is considered medicinally the best. According to modern scientific view, the best bee's honey is made by Apis mellifera (Family: Apidae). In Sri Lanka, the predominant honey-maker bee is Apis cerana. The aim of this survey is to emphasize the importance of bee's honey and its multitude of medicinal, cosmetic and general values. Synonyms, details of formation, constitution, properties, and method of extraction and the usages of bee's honey are gathered from text books, traditional and Ayurvedic physicians of Western and Southern provinces, villagers of 'Kalahe' in Galle district of Sri Lanka and from few search engines. Fresh bee's honey is used in treatment of eye diseases, throat infections, bronchial asthma, tuberculosis, hiccups, thirst, dizziness, fatigue, hepatitis, worm infestation, constipation, piles, eczema, healing of wounds, ulcers and used as a nutritious, easily digestible food for weak people. It promotes semen, mental health and used in cosmetic purposes. Old bee's honey is used to treat vomiting, diarrhea, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, diabetes mellitus and in preserving meat and fruits. Highly popular in cosmetic treatment, bee's honey is used in preparing facial washes, skin moisturizers, hair conditioners and in treatment of pimples. Bee's honey could be considered as one of the finest products of nature that has a wide range of beneficial uses.

  17. No apparent correlation between honey bee forager gut microbiota and honey production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, Melissa A; Oliver, Randy; Newton, Irene L

    2015-01-01

    One of the best indicators of colony health for the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is its performance in the production of honey. Recent research into the microbial communities naturally populating the bee gut raise the question as to whether there is a correlation between microbial community structure and colony productivity. In this work, we used 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to explore the microbial composition associated with forager bees from honey bee colonies producing large amounts of surplus honey (productive) and compared them to colonies producing less (unproductive). As supported by previous work, the honey bee microbiome was found to be dominated by three major phyla: the Proteobacteria, Bacilli and Actinobacteria, within which we found a total of 23 different bacterial genera, including known "core" honey bee microbiome members. Using discriminant function analysis and correlation-based network analysis, we identified highly abundant members (such as Frischella and Gilliamella) as important in shaping the bacterial community; libraries from colonies with high quantities of these Orbaceae members were also likely to contain fewer Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species (such as Firm-4). However, co-culture assays, using isolates from these major clades, were unable to confirm any antagonistic interaction between Gilliamella and honey bee gut bacteria. Our results suggest that honey bee colony productivity is associated with increased bacterial diversity, although this mechanism behind this correlation has yet to be determined. Our results also suggest researchers should not base inferences of bacterial interactions solely on correlations found using sequencing. Instead, we suggest that depth of sequencing and library size can dramatically influence statistically significant results from sequence analysis of amplicons and should be cautiously interpreted.

  18. Wild bees enhance honey bees’ pollination of hybrid sunflower

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenleaf, Sarah S.; Kremen, Claire

    2006-01-01

    Pollinators are required for producing 15–30% of the human food supply, and farmers rely on managed honey bees throughout the world to provide these services. Yet honey bees are not always the most efficient pollinators of all crops and are declining in various parts of the world. Crop pollination shortages are becoming increasingly common. We found that behavioral interactions between wild and honey bees increase the pollination efficiency of honey bees on hybrid sunflower up to 5-fold, effectively doubling honey bee pollination services on the average field. These indirect contributions caused by interspecific interactions between wild and honey bees were more than five times more important than the contributions wild bees make to sunflower pollination directly. Both proximity to natural habitat and crop planting practices were significantly correlated with pollination services provided directly and indirectly by wild bees. Our results suggest that conserving wild habitat at the landscape scale and altering selected farm management techniques could increase hybrid sunflower production. These findings also demonstrate the economic importance of interspecific interactions for ecosystem services and suggest that protecting wild bee populations can help buffer the human food supply from honey bee shortages. PMID:16940358

  19. Evaluation of cage designs and feeding regimes for honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) laboratory experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Shao Kang; Csaki, Tamas; Doublet, Vincent; Dussaubat, Claudia; Evans, Jay D; Gajda, Anna M; Gregorc, Alex; Hamilton, Michele C; Kamler, Martin; Lecocq, Antoine; Muz, Mustafa N; Neumann, Peter; Ozkirim, Asli; Schiesser, Aygün; Sohr, Alex R; Tanner, Gina; Tozkar, Cansu Ozge; Williams, Geoffrey R; Wu, Lyman; Zheng, Huoqing; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study was to improve cage systems for maintaining adult honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) workers under in vitro laboratory conditions. To achieve this goal, we experimentally evaluated the impact of different cages, developed by scientists of the international research network COLOSS (Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes), on the physiology and survival of honey bees. We identified three cages that promoted good survival of honey bees. The bees from cages that exhibited greater survival had relatively lower titers of deformed wing virus, suggesting that deformed wing virus is a significant marker reflecting stress level and health status of the host. We also determined that a leak- and drip-proof feeder was an integral part of a cage system and a feeder modified from a 20-ml plastic syringe displayed the best result in providing steady food supply to bees. Finally, we also demonstrated that the addition of protein to the bees' diet could significantly increase the level ofvitellogenin gene expression and improve bees' survival. This international collaborative study represents a critical step toward improvement of cage designs and feeding regimes for honey bee laboratory experiments.

  20. Microbial gut diversity of Africanized and European honey bee larval instars.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svjetlana Vojvodic

    Full Text Available The first step in understanding gut microbial ecology is determining the presence and potential niche breadth of associated microbes. While the core gut bacteria of adult honey bees is becoming increasingly apparent, there is very little and inconsistent information concerning symbiotic bacterial communities in honey bee larvae. The larval gut is the target of highly pathogenic bacteria and fungi, highlighting the need to understand interactions between typical larval gut flora, nutrition and disease progression. Here we show that the larval gut is colonized by a handful of bacterial groups previously described from guts of adult honey bees or other pollinators. First and second larval instars contained almost exclusively Alpha 2.2, a core Acetobacteraceae, while later instars were dominated by one of two very different Lactobacillus spp., depending on the sampled site. Royal jelly inhibition assays revealed that of seven bacteria occurring in larvae, only one Neisseriaceae and one Lactobacillus sp. were inhibited. We found both core and environmentally vectored bacteria with putatively beneficial functions. Our results suggest that early inoculation by Acetobacteraceae may be important for microbial succession in larvae. This assay is a starting point for more sophisticated in vitro models of nutrition and disease resistance in honey bee larvae.

  1. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecocq, Antoine; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Kryger, Per; Nieh, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data showing that N. ceranae infection significantly accelerated the age polyethism of young bees, causing them to exhibit behaviours typical of older bees. Bees with high N. ceranae spore counts had significantly increased walking rates and decreased attraction to queen mandibular pheromone. Infected bees also exhibited higher rates of trophallaxis (food exchange), potentially reflecting parasite manipulation to increase colony infection. However, reduction in queen contacts could help bees limit the spread of infection. Such accelerated age polyethism may provide a form of behavioural immunity, particularly if it is elicited by a wide variety of pathogens. PMID:26912310

  2. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecocq, Antoine; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Kryger, Per; Nieh, James C

    2016-02-25

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data showing that N. ceranae infection significantly accelerated the age polyethism of young bees, causing them to exhibit behaviours typical of older bees. Bees with high N. ceranae spore counts had significantly increased walking rates and decreased attraction to queen mandibular pheromone. Infected bees also exhibited higher rates of trophallaxis (food exchange), potentially reflecting parasite manipulation to increase colony infection. However, reduction in queen contacts could help bees limit the spread of infection. Such accelerated age polyethism may provide a form of behavioural immunity, particularly if it is elicited by a wide variety of pathogens.

  3. Tropilaelaps mite: an emerging threat to European honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Ramsey, Samuel; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Khongphinitbunjong, Kitiphong; Phokasem, Patcharin

    2018-04-01

    The risk of transmission of honey bee parasites has increased substantially as a result of trade globalization and technical developments in transportation efficacy. Great concern over honey bee decline has accelerated research on newly emerging bee pests and parasites. These organisms are likely to emerge from Asia as it is the only region where all 10 honey bee species co-occur. Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite, is a classic example of a pest that has shifted from A. cerana, a cavity nesting Asian honey bee to A. mellifera, the European honey bee. In this review, we will describe the potential risks to global apiculture of the global expansion of Tropilaelaps mercedesae, originally a parasite of the open-air nesting Asian giant honey bee, compared to the impact of V. destructor. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Protein levels and colony development of Africanized and European honey bees fed natural and artificial diets

    OpenAIRE

    Morais, Michelle Manfrini [UNIFESP; Turcatto, Aline Patricia; Pereira, Rogerio Aparecido; Francoy, Tiago Mauricio; Guidugli-Lazzarini, Karina Rosa; Goncalves, Lionel Segui; Almeida, Joyce Mayra Volpini de; Ellis, J. D.; De Jong, David

    2013-01-01

    Pollen substitute diets are a valuable resource for maintaining strong and health honey bee colonies. Specific diets may be useful in one region or country and inadequate or economically unviable in others. We compared two artificial protein diets that had been formulated from locally-available ingredients in Brazil with bee bread and a non-protein sucrose diet. Groups of 100 newly-emerged, adult workers of Africanized honey bees in Brazil and European honey bees in the USA were confined in s...

  5. Prochloraz and coumaphos induce different gene expression patterns in three developmental stages of the Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica Pollmann).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cizelj, Ivanka; Glavan, Gordana; Božič, Janko; Oven, Irena; Mrak, Vesna; Narat, Mojca

    2016-03-01

    The Carniolan honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica, is a Slovenian autochthonous subspecies of honey bee. In recent years, the country has recorded an annual loss of bee colonies through mortality of up to 35%. One possible reason for such high mortality could be the exposure of honey bees to xenobiotic residues that have been found in honey bee and beehive products. Acaricides are applied by beekeepers to control varroosis, while the most abundant common agricultural chemicals found in honey bee and beehive products are fungicides, which may enter the system when applied to nearby flowering crops and fruit plants. Acaricides and fungicides are not intrinsically highly toxic to bees but their action in combination might lead to higher honey bee sensitivity or mortality. In the present study we investigated the molecular immune response of honey bee workers at different developmental stages (prepupa, white-eyed pupa, adult) exposed to the acaricide coumaphos and the fungicide prochloraz individually and in combination. Expression of 17 immune-related genes was examined by quantitative RT-PCR. In treated prepupae downregulation of most immune-related genes was observed in all treatments, while in adults upregulation of most of the genes was recorded. Our study shows for the first time that negative impacts of prochloraz and a combination of coumaphos and prochloraz differ among the different developmental stages of honey bees. The main effect of the xenobiotic combination was found to be upregulation of the antimicrobial peptide genes abaecin and defensin-1 in adult honey bees. Changes in immune-related gene expression could result in depressed immunity of honey bees and their increased susceptibility to various pathogens. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Norwegian honey bees surviving Varroa destructor mite infestations by means of natural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oddie, Melissa A Y; Dahle, Bjørn; Neumann, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Managed, feral and wild populations of European honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera , are currently facing severe colony losses globally. There is consensus that the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor , that switched hosts from the Eastern honey bee Apis cerana to the Western honey bee A. mellifera , is a key factor driving these losses. For >20 years, breeding efforts have not produced European honey bee colonies that can survive infestations without the need for mite control. However, at least three populations of European honey bees have developed this ability by means of natural selection and have been surviving for >10 years without mite treatments. Reduced mite reproductive success has been suggested as a key factor explaining this natural survival. Here, we report a managed A. mellifera population in Norway, that has been naturally surviving consistent V. destructor infestations for >17 years. Surviving colonies and local susceptible controls were evaluated for mite infestation levels, mite reproductive success and two potential mechanisms explaining colony survival: grooming of adult worker bees and Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH): adult workers specifically detecting and removing mite-infested brood. Mite infestation levels were significantly lower in surviving colonies and mite reproductive success was reduced by 30% when compared to the controls. No significant differences were found between surviving and control colonies for either grooming or VSH. Our data confirm that reduced mite reproductive success seems to be a key factor for natural survival of infested A. mellifera colonies. However, neither grooming nor VSH seem to explain colony survival. Instead, other behaviors of the adult bees seem to be sufficient to hinder mite reproductive success, because brood for this experiment was taken from susceptible donor colonies only. To mitigate the global impact of V. destructor , we suggest learning more from nature, i.e., identifying the obviously

  7. Norwegian honey bees surviving Varroa destructor mite infestations by means of natural selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa A.Y. Oddie

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Background Managed, feral and wild populations of European honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera, are currently facing severe colony losses globally. There is consensus that the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, that switched hosts from the Eastern honey bee Apis cerana to the Western honey bee A. mellifera, is a key factor driving these losses. For >20 years, breeding efforts have not produced European honey bee colonies that can survive infestations without the need for mite control. However, at least three populations of European honey bees have developed this ability by means of natural selection and have been surviving for >10 years without mite treatments. Reduced mite reproductive success has been suggested as a key factor explaining this natural survival. Here, we report a managed A. mellifera population in Norway, that has been naturally surviving consistent V. destructor infestations for >17 years. Methods Surviving colonies and local susceptible controls were evaluated for mite infestation levels, mite reproductive success and two potential mechanisms explaining colony survival: grooming of adult worker bees and Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH: adult workers specifically detecting and removing mite-infested brood. Results Mite infestation levels were significantly lower in surviving colonies and mite reproductive success was reduced by 30% when compared to the controls. No significant differences were found between surviving and control colonies for either grooming or VSH. Discussion Our data confirm that reduced mite reproductive success seems to be a key factor for natural survival of infested A. mellifera colonies. However, neither grooming nor VSH seem to explain colony survival. Instead, other behaviors of the adult bees seem to be sufficient to hinder mite reproductive success, because brood for this experiment was taken from susceptible donor colonies only. To mitigate the global impact of V. destructor, we suggest learning

  8. Video Tracking Protocol to Screen Deterrent Chemistries for Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Nicholas R; Anderson, Troy D

    2017-06-12

    The European honey bee, Apis mellifera L., is an economically and agriculturally important pollinator that generates billions of dollars annually. Honey bee colony numbers have been declining in the United States and many European countries since 1947. A number of factors play a role in this decline, including the unintentional exposure of honey bees to pesticides. The development of new methods and regulations are warranted to reduce pesticide exposures to these pollinators. One approach is the use of repellent chemistries that deter honey bees from a recently pesticide-treated crop. Here, we describe a protocol to discern the deterrence of honey bees exposed to select repellent chemistries. Honey bee foragers are collected and starved overnight in an incubator 15 h prior to testing. Individual honey bees are placed into Petri dishes that have either a sugar-agarose cube (control treatment) or sugar-agarose-compound cube (repellent treatment) placed into the middle of the dish. The Petri dish serves as the arena that is placed under a camera in a light box to record the honey bee locomotor activities using video tracking software. A total of 8 control and 8 repellent treatments were analyzed for a 10 min period with each treatment was duplicated with new honey bees. Here, we demonstrate that honey bees are deterred from the sugar-agarose cubes with a compound treatment whereas honey bees are attracted to the sugar-agarose cubes without an added compound.

  9. Honey bee hemocyte profiling by flow cytometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marringa, William J; Krueger, Michael J; Burritt, Nancy L; Burritt, James B

    2014-01-01

    Multiple stress factors in honey bees are causing loss of bee colonies worldwide. Several infectious agents of bees are believed to contribute to this problem. The mechanisms of honey bee immunity are not completely understood, in part due to limited information about the types and abundances of hemocytes that help bees resist disease. Our study utilized flow cytometry and microscopy to examine populations of hemolymph particulates in honey bees. We found bee hemolymph includes permeabilized cells, plasmatocytes, and acellular objects that resemble microparticles, listed in order of increasing abundance. The permeabilized cells and plasmatocytes showed unexpected differences with respect to properties of the plasma membrane and labeling with annexin V. Both permeabilized cells and plasmatocytes failed to show measurable mitochondrial membrane potential by flow cytometry using the JC-1 probe. Our results suggest hemolymph particulate populations are dynamic, revealing significant differences when comparing individual hive members, and when comparing colonies exposed to diverse conditions. Shifts in hemocyte populations in bees likely represent changing conditions or metabolic differences of colony members. A better understanding of hemocyte profiles may provide insight into physiological responses of honey bees to stress factors, some of which may be related to colony failure.

  10. BEE VENOM TRAP DESIGN FOR PRODUCE BEE VENOM OF APIS MELLIFERA L. HONEY BEES

    OpenAIRE

    Budiaman

    2015-01-01

    Bee venom is one honey bee products are very expensive and are required in the pharmaceutical industry and as an anti-cancer known as nanobee, but the production technique is still done in the traditional way. The purpose of this study was to design a bee venom trap to produce bee venom of Apis mellifera L honey bees. The method used is to design several models of bee venom apparatus equipped weak current (DC current) with 3 variations of voltage, ie 12 volts, 15 volts and 18 volts coupled...

  11. Swimming of the Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roh, Chris; Gharib, Morteza

    2016-11-01

    When the weather gets hot, nursing honey bees nudge foragers to collect water for thermoregulation of their hive. While on their mission to collect water, foragers sometimes get trapped on the water surface, forced to interact with a different fluid environment. In this study, we present the survival strategy of the honey bees at the air-water interface. A high-speed videography and shadowgraph were used to record the honey bees swimming. A unique thrust mechanism through rapid vibration of their wings at 60 to 150 Hz was observed. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CBET-1511414; additional support by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE-1144469.

  12. Physiology and biochemistry of honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Despite their tremendous economic importance, honey bees are not a typical model system for studying general questions of insect physiology. This is primarily due to the fact that honey bees live in complex social settings which impact their physiological and biochemical characteristics. Not surpris...

  13. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daughenbaugh, Katie F; Martin, Madison; Brutscher, Laura M; Cavigli, Ian; Garcia, Emma; Lavin, Matt; Flenniken, Michelle L

    2015-06-23

    Honey bees are critical pollinators of important agricultural crops. Recently, high annual losses of honey bee colonies have prompted further investigation of honey bee infecting viruses. To better characterize the recently discovered and very prevalent Lake Sinai virus (LSV) group, we sequenced currently circulating LSVs, performed phylogenetic analysis, and obtained images of LSV2. Sequence analysis resulted in extension of the LSV1 and LSV2 genomes, the first detection of LSV4 in the US, and the discovery of LSV6 and LSV7. We detected LSV1 and LSV2 in the Varroa destructor mite, and determined that a large proportion of LSV2 is found in the honey bee gut, suggesting that vector-mediated, food-associated, and/or fecal-oral routes may be important for LSV dissemination. Pathogen-specific quantitative PCR data, obtained from samples collected during a small-scale monitoring project, revealed that LSV2, LSV1, Black queen cell virus (BQCV), and Nosema ceranae were more abundant in weak colonies than strong colonies within this sample cohort. Together, these results enhance our current understanding of LSVs and illustrate the importance of future studies aimed at investigating the role of LSVs and other pathogens on honey bee health at both the individual and colony levels.

  14. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie F. Daughenbaugh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees are critical pollinators of important agricultural crops. Recently, high annual losses of honey bee colonies have prompted further investigation of honey bee infecting viruses. To better characterize the recently discovered and very prevalent Lake Sinai virus (LSV group, we sequenced currently circulating LSVs, performed phylogenetic analysis, and obtained images of LSV2. Sequence analysis resulted in extension of the LSV1 and LSV2 genomes, the first detection of LSV4 in the US, and the discovery of LSV6 and LSV7. We detected LSV1 and LSV2 in the Varroa destructor mite, and determined that a large proportion of LSV2 is found in the honey bee gut, suggesting that vector-mediated, food-associated, and/or fecal-oral routes may be important for LSV dissemination. Pathogen-specific quantitative PCR data, obtained from samples collected during a small-scale monitoring project, revealed that LSV2, LSV1, Black queen cell virus (BQCV, and Nosema ceranae were more abundant in weak colonies than strong colonies within this sample cohort. Together, these results enhance our current understanding of LSVs and illustrate the importance of future studies aimed at investigating the role of LSVs and other pathogens on honey bee health at both the individual and colony levels.

  15. Is the Salivary Gland Associated with Honey Bee Recognition Compounds in Worker Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Stephen J; Correia-Oliveira, Maria E; Shemilt, Sue; Drijfhout, Falko P

    2018-06-07

    Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) function as recognition compounds with the best evidence coming from social insects such as ants and honey bees. The major exocrine gland involved in hydrocarbon storage in ants is the post-pharyngeal gland (PPG) in the head. It is still not clearly understood where CHCs are stored in the honey bee. The aim of this study was to investigate the hydrocarbons and esters found in five major worker honey bee (Apis mellifera) exocrine glands, at three different developmental stages (newly emerged, nurse, and forager) using a high temperature GC analysis. We found the hypopharyngeal gland contained no hydrocarbons nor esters, and the thoracic salivary and mandibular glands only contained trace amounts of n-alkanes. However, the cephalic salivary gland (CSG) contained the greatest number and highest quantity of hydrocarbons relative to the five other glands with many of the hydrocarbons also found in the Dufour's gland, but at much lower levels. We discovered a series of oleic acid wax esters that lay beyond the detection of standard GC columns. As a bee's activities changed, as it ages, the types of compounds detected in the CSG also changed. For example, newly emerged bees have predominately C 19 -C 23 n-alkanes, alkenes and methyl-branched compounds, whereas the nurses' CSG had predominately C 31:1 and C 33:1 alkene isomers, which are replaced by a series of oleic acid wax esters in foragers. These changes in the CSG were mirrored by corresponding changes in the adults' CHCs profile. This indicates that the CSG may have a parallel function to the PPG found in ants acting as a major storage gland of CHCs. As the CSG duct opens into the buccal cavity the hydrocarbons can be worked into the comb wax and could help explain the role of comb wax in nestmate recognition experiments.

  16. Genetic stock identification of Russian honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeois, Lelania; Sheppard, Walter S; Sylvester, H Allen; Rinderer, Thomas E

    2010-06-01

    A genetic stock certification assay was developed to distinguish Russian honey bees from other European (Apis mellifera L.) stocks that are commercially produced in the United States. In total, 11 microsatellite and five single-nucleotide polymorphism loci were used. Loci were selected for relatively high levels of homogeneity within each group and for differences in allele frequencies between groups. A baseline sample consisted of the 18 lines of Russian honey bees released to the Russian Bee Breeders Association and bees from 34 queen breeders representing commercially produced European honey bee stocks. Suitability tests of the baseline sample pool showed high levels of accuracy. The probability of correct assignment was 94.2% for non-Russian bees and 93.3% for Russian bees. A neighbor-joining phenogram representing genetic distance data showed clear distinction of Russian and non-Russian honey bee stocks. Furthermore, a test of appropriate sample size showed a sample of eight bees per colony maximizes accuracy and consistency of the results. An additional 34 samples were tested as blind samples (origin unknown to those collecting data) to determine accuracy of individual assignment tests. Only one of these samples was incorrectly assigned. The 18 current breeding lines were represented among the 2009 blind sampling, demonstrating temporal stability of the genetic stock identification assay. The certification assay will be used through services provided by a service laboratory, by the Russian Bee Breeders Association to genetically certify their stock. The genetic certification will be used in conjunction with continued selection for favorable traits, such as honey production and varroa and tracheal mite resistance.

  17. The habitat disruption induces immune-suppression and oxidative stress in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morimoto, Tomomi; Kojima, Yuriko; Toki, Taku; Komeda, Yayoi; Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Nirasawa, Keijiro; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    The honey bee is a major insect used for pollination of many commercial crops worldwide. Although the use of honey bees for pollination can disrupt the habitat, the effects on their physiology have never been determined. Recently, honey bee colonies have often collapsed when introduced in greenhouses for pollination in Japan. Thus, suppressing colony collapses and maintaining the number of worker bees in the colonies is essential for successful long-term pollination in greenhouses and recycling of honey bee colonies. To understand the physiological states of honey bees used for long-term pollination in greenhouses, we characterized their gene expression profiles by microarray. We found that the greenhouse environment changes the gene expression profiles and induces immune-suppression and oxidative stress in honey bees. In fact, the increase of the number of Nosema microsporidia and protein carbonyl content was observed in honey bees during pollination in greenhouses. Thus, honey bee colonies are likely to collapse during pollination in greenhouses when heavily infested with pathogens. Degradation of honey bee habitat by changing the outside environment of the colony, during pollination services for example, imposes negative impacts on honey bees. Thus, worldwide use of honey bees for crop pollination in general could be one of reasons for the decline of managed honey bee colonies. PMID:22393496

  18. Climate change: impact on honey bee populations and diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Conte, Y; Navajas, M

    2008-08-01

    The European honey bee, Apis mellifera, is the most economically valuable pollinator of agricultural crops worldwide. Bees are also crucial in maintaining biodiversity by pollinating numerous plant species whose fertilisation requires an obligatory pollinator. Apis mellifera is a species that has shown great adaptive potential, as it is found almost everywhere in the world and in highly diverse climates. In a context of climate change, the variability of the honey bee's life-history traits as regards temperature and the environment shows that the species possesses such plasticity and genetic variability that this could give rise to the selection of development cycles suited to new environmental conditions. Although we do not know the precise impact of potential environmental changes on honey bees as a result of climate change, there is a large body of data at our disposal indicating that environmental changes have a direct influence on honey bee development. In this article, the authors examine the potential impact of climate change on honey bee behaviour, physiology and distribution, as well as on the evolution of the honey bee's interaction with diseases. Conservation measures will be needed to prevent the loss of this rich genetic diversity of honey bees and to preserve ecotypes that are so valuable for world biodiversity.

  19. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and bee age impact honey bee pathophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Traynor, Kirsten S; Andree, Michael; Lichtenberg, Elinor M; Chen, Yanping; Saegerman, Claude; Cox-Foster, Diana L

    2017-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies continue to experience high annual losses that remain poorly explained. Numerous interacting factors have been linked to colony declines. Understanding the pathways linking pathophysiology with symptoms is an important step in understanding the mechanisms of disease. In this study we examined the specific pathologies associated with honey bees collected from colonies suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and compared these with bees collected from apparently healthy colonies. We identified a set of pathological physical characteristics that occurred at different rates in CCD diagnosed colonies prior to their collapse: rectum distension, Malpighian tubule iridescence, fecal matter consistency, rectal enteroliths (hard concretions), and venom sac color. The multiple differences in rectum symptomology in bees from CCD apiaries and colonies suggest effected bees had trouble regulating water. To ensure that pathologies we found associated with CCD were indeed pathologies and not due to normal changes in physical appearances that occur as an adult bee ages (CCD colonies are assumed to be composed mostly of young bees), we documented the changes in bees of different ages taken from healthy colonies. We found that young bees had much greater incidences of white nodules than older cohorts. Prevalent in newly-emerged bees, these white nodules or cellular encapsulations indicate an active immune response. Comparing the two sets of characteristics, we determined a subset of pathologies that reliably predict CCD status rather than bee age (fecal matter consistency, rectal distension size, rectal enteroliths and Malpighian tubule iridescence) and that may serve as biomarkers for colony health. In addition, these pathologies suggest that CCD bees are experiencing disrupted excretory physiology. Our identification of these symptoms is an important first step in understanding the physiological pathways that underlie CCD and factors

  20. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD and bee age impact honey bee pathophysiology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis vanEngelsdorp

    Full Text Available Honey bee (Apis mellifera colonies continue to experience high annual losses that remain poorly explained. Numerous interacting factors have been linked to colony declines. Understanding the pathways linking pathophysiology with symptoms is an important step in understanding the mechanisms of disease. In this study we examined the specific pathologies associated with honey bees collected from colonies suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD and compared these with bees collected from apparently healthy colonies. We identified a set of pathological physical characteristics that occurred at different rates in CCD diagnosed colonies prior to their collapse: rectum distension, Malpighian tubule iridescence, fecal matter consistency, rectal enteroliths (hard concretions, and venom sac color. The multiple differences in rectum symptomology in bees from CCD apiaries and colonies suggest effected bees had trouble regulating water. To ensure that pathologies we found associated with CCD were indeed pathologies and not due to normal changes in physical appearances that occur as an adult bee ages (CCD colonies are assumed to be composed mostly of young bees, we documented the changes in bees of different ages taken from healthy colonies. We found that young bees had much greater incidences of white nodules than older cohorts. Prevalent in newly-emerged bees, these white nodules or cellular encapsulations indicate an active immune response. Comparing the two sets of characteristics, we determined a subset of pathologies that reliably predict CCD status rather than bee age (fecal matter consistency, rectal distension size, rectal enteroliths and Malpighian tubule iridescence and that may serve as biomarkers for colony health. In addition, these pathologies suggest that CCD bees are experiencing disrupted excretory physiology. Our identification of these symptoms is an important first step in understanding the physiological pathways that underlie CCD and

  1. Impacts of Austrian Climate Variability on Honey Bee Mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switanek, Matt; Brodschneider, Robert; Crailsheim, Karl; Truhetz, Heimo

    2015-04-01

    Global food production, as it is today, is not possible without pollinators such as the honey bee. It is therefore alarming that honey bee populations across the world have seen increased mortality rates in the last few decades. The challenges facing the honey bee calls into question the future of our food supply. Beside various infectious diseases, Varroa destructor is one of the main culprits leading to increased rates of honey bee mortality. Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite which strongly depends on honey bee brood for reproduction and can wipe out entire colonies. However, climate variability may also importantly influence honey bee breeding cycles and bee mortality rates. Persistent weather events affects vegetation and hence foraging possibilities for honey bees. This study first defines critical statistical relationships between key climate indicators (e.g., precipitation and temperature) and bee mortality rates across Austria, using 6 consecutive years of data. Next, these leading indicators, as they vary in space and time, are used to build a statistical model to predict bee mortality rates and the respective number of colonies affected. Using leave-one-out cross validation, the model reduces the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) by 21% with respect to predictions made with the mean mortality rate and the number of colonies. Furthermore, a Monte Carlo test is used to establish that the model's predictions are statistically significant at the 99.9% confidence level. These results highlight the influence of climate variables on honey bee populations, although variability in climate, by itself, cannot fully explain colony losses. This study was funded by the Austrian project 'Zukunft Biene'.

  2. The Impact of Pesticides on Honey Bees and Hence on Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonina Jivan

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Bee crisis is threatening global food security, given the fact that one third of global agricultural production relies on pollination, especially that of honey bees. Despite their importance for human being, honey bees die with alarming speed. In recent years, in Europe and America, due to pollution, pesticides and neglect there was registered an unprecedented rate of disappearance of honey bees. Einstein's theory, the fact that once the bees cease to exist, humanity has only four years to extinction, seems now truer than ever. Thus, the issue has gained a tone of maximum urgency; the bee crisis can entirely shatter the world food security, already affected by the economic crisis. There are plenty of factors that could cause honey bee population decline: disease, parasites, climatic factors (high temperature, drought or decrease in the diversity of honey flora. It may sometimes happen that the beekeeper himself causes the poisoning of his honey bees, use inappropriate products which should protect the honey bees. It is therefore possible to imagine a multi-factorial explanation of problems encountered by honey bees and to underestimate the key role of pesticides. Considering these, a review of the impact of pesticides on honey bees should not be superfluous.

  3. Species differences in brain gene expression profiles associated with adult behavioral maturation in honey bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robinson Gene E

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Honey bees are known for several striking social behaviors, including a complex pattern of behavioral maturation that gives rise to an age-related colony division of labor and a symbolic dance language, by which successful foragers communicate the location of attractive food sources to their nestmates. Our understanding of honey bees is mostly based on studies of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, even though there are 9–10 other members of genus Apis, showing interesting variations in social behavior relative to A. mellifera. To facilitate future in-depth genomic and molecular level comparisons of behavior across the genus, we performed a microarray analysis of brain gene expression for A. mellifera and three key species found in Asia, A. cerana, A. florea and A. dorsata. Results For each species we compared brain gene expression patterns between foragers and adult one-day-old bees on an A. mellifera cDNA microarray and calculated within-species gene expression ratios to facilitate cross-species analysis. The number of cDNA spots showing hybridization fluorescence intensities above the experimental threshold was reduced by an average of 16% in the Asian species compared to A. mellifera, but an average of 71% of genes on the microarray were available for analysis. Brain gene expression profiles between foragers and one-day-olds showed differences that are consistent with a previous study on A. mellifera and were comparable across species. Although 1772 genes showed significant differences in expression between foragers and one-day-olds, only 218 genes showed differences in forager/one-day-old expression between species (p Conclusion We conclude that the A. mellifera cDNA microarray can be used effectively for cross-species comparisons within the genus. Our results indicate that there is a widespread conservation of the molecular processes in the honey bee brain underlying behavioral maturation. Species differences in

  4. Honey bee: a consumer’s point of view

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zavodna Lucie Sara

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This article concerns the way bee products are perceived by customers. It is mainly focused on honey, which is considered the main output product of beekeeping. Beekeeping is a very popular activity in the Czech Republic. Based on current data there are over 48 thousand people engaged in beekeeping in the Czech Republic. Hand in hand with the increasing number of beekeepers the popularity of bee products - especially honey - among Czech consumers is also growing. Recently, the consumption of honey in the Czech Republic has been slightly increasing. A big problem today is that honey sold in Czech supermarkets is frequently falsified. At the same time, it is increasingly popular to buy honey directly from beekeepers. The aim of this research was to describe the situation about the honey market in the Czech Republic, and also to examine the relationship between consumers on the one hand, and honey/beekeepers on the other. We have also considered customer's trust in organic honey and honey sold in supermarket chains. Results show that consumers view bee products as generally healthy and prefer to buy bee products from a beekeeper because of greater convenience as locally sourced honey is perceived to be of higher quality. The majority of consumers agree with paying a higher price for a product of higher quality. The article confirmed the hypothesis that most people think that bee products sold by a beekeeper are healthier than those bought at ordinary shops.

  5. Nutrigenomics in honey bees: digital gene expression analysis of pollen's nutritive effects on healthy and varroa-parasitized bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parrinello Hughes

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malnutrition is a major factor affecting animal health, resistance to disease and survival. In honey bees (Apis mellifera, pollen, which is the main dietary source of proteins, amino acids and lipids, is essential to adult bee physiological development while reducing their susceptibility to parasites and pathogens. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying pollen's nutritive impact on honey bee health remained to be determined. For that purpose, we investigated the influence of pollen nutrients on the transcriptome of worker bees parasitized by the mite Varroa destructor, known for suppressing immunity and decreasing lifespan. The 4 experimental groups (control bees without a pollen diet, control bees fed with pollen, varroa-parasitized bees without a pollen diet and varroa-parasitized bees fed with pollen were analyzed by performing a digital gene expression (DGE analysis on bee abdomens. Results Around 36, 000 unique tags were generated per DGE-tag library, which matched about 8, 000 genes (60% of the genes in the honey bee genome. Comparing the transcriptome of bees fed with pollen and sugar and bees restricted to a sugar diet, we found that pollen activates nutrient-sensing and metabolic pathways. In addition, those nutrients had a positive influence on genes affecting longevity and the production of some antimicrobial peptides. However, varroa parasitism caused the development of viral populations and a decrease in metabolism, specifically by inhibiting protein metabolism essential to bee health. This harmful effect was not reversed by pollen intake. Conclusions The DGE-tag profiling methods used in this study proved to be a powerful means for analyzing transcriptome variation related to nutrient intake in honey bees. Ultimately, with such an approach, applying genomics tools to nutrition research, nutrigenomics promises to offer a better understanding of how nutrition influences body homeostasis and may help reduce

  6. Viruses of managed alfalfa leafcutting bees (Megachille rotundata Fabricus) and honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in Western Canada: Incidence, impacts, and prospects of cross-species viral transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melathopoulos, Andony; Ovinge, Lynae; Veiga, Patricia Wolf; Castillo, Carlos; Ostermann, David; Hoover, Shelley

    2017-06-01

    We examined whether alfalfa leafcutting bees (ALCB, Megachille rotundata) experienced a higher incidence of seven viruses commonly found honey bees (Apis mellifera) when placed alongside honey bees for hybrid canola seed pollination. Although two viruses - sacbrood virus (SBV) and deformed wing virus (DWV) - were detected in ALCB adults, their presence appeared independent of whether honey bees were present in the same field or not. A further survey of viruses among ALCB adults in three different alfalfa seed growing regions in Western Canada confirmed the ubiquity of sacbrood virus (SBV) as well as the infrequent presence of acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), both of which had not been previously reported on ALCB. Moreover, SBV and ABPV were detected in the cocoon stage and only in one region. Co-infection among pools of ALCB adults with both of these viruses was more closely correlated with decreasing levels of cocoon viability than infection levels in cocoons themselves. This research suggests ongoing viral transmission between honey bees and ALCB in the same fields is likely low but that co-infection with these viruses may lower ALCB productivity. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Monitoring colony-level effects of sublethal pesticide exposure on honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of sublethal pesticide exposure to honey bee colonies may be significant but difficult to detect in the field using standard visual assessment methods. Here we describe methods to measure the quantities of adult bees, brood and food resources by weighing hives and hive parts, by photogra...

  8. Pathogens as Predictors of Honey Bee Colony Strength in England and Wales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budge, Giles E; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Brown, Mike; Laurenson, Lynn; Jones, Ben; Tomkies, Victoria; Delaplane, Keith S

    2015-01-01

    Inspectors with the UK National Bee Unit were asked for 2007-2008 to target problem apiaries in England and Wales for pathogen screening and colony strength measures. Healthy colonies were included in the sampling to provide a continuum of health conditions. A total of 406 adult bee samples was screened and yielded 7 viral, 1 bacterial, and 2 microsporidial pathogens and 1 ectoparasite (Acarapis woodi). In addition, 108 samples of brood were screened and yielded 4 honey bee viruses. Virus prevalence varied from common (deformed wing virus, black queen cell virus) to complete absence (Israeli acute paralysis virus). When colonies were forced into one of two classes, strong or weak, the weak colonies contained more pathogens in adult bees. Among observed pathogens, only deformed wing virus was able to predict colony strength. The effect was negative such that colonies testing positive for deformed wing virus were likely to have fewer combs of bees or brood. This study constitutes the first record for Nosema ceranae in Great Britain. These results contribute to the growing body of evidence linking pathogens to poor honey bee health.

  9. The endangered Iris atropurpurea (Iridaceae) in Israel: honey-bees, night-sheltering male bees and female solitary bees as pollinators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Stella; Sapir, Yuval; Segal, Bosmat; Dafni, Amots

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims The coastal plain of Israel hosts the last few remaining populations of the endemic Iris atropurpurea (Iridaceae), a Red List species of high conservation priority. The flowers offer no nectar reward. Here the role of night-sheltering male solitary bees, honey-bees and female solitary bees as pollinators of I. atropurpurea is documented. Methods Breeding system, floral longevity, stigma receptivity, visitation rates, pollen loads, pollen deposition and removal and fruit- and seed-set were investigated. Key Results The main wild pollinators of this plant are male eucerine bees, and to a lesser extent, but with the potential to transfer pollen, female solitary bees. Honey-bees were found to be frequent diurnal visitors; they removed large quantities of pollen and were as effective as male sheltering bees at pollinating this species. The low density of pollen carried by male solitary bees was attributed to grooming activities, pollen displacement when bees aggregated together in flowers and pollen depletion by honey-bees. In the population free of honey-bee hives, male bees carried significantly more pollen grains on their bodies. Results from pollen analysis and pollen deposited on stigmas suggest that inadequate pollination may be an important factor limiting fruit-set. In the presence of honey-bees, eucerine bees were low removal–low deposition pollinators, whereas honey-bees were high removal–low deposition pollinators, because they removed large amounts into corbiculae and deposited relatively little onto receptive stigmas. Conclusions Even though overall, both bee taxa were equally effective pollinators, we suggest that honey-bees have the potential to reduce the amount of pollen available for plant reproduction, and to reduce the amount of resources available to solitary bee communities. The results of this study have potential implications for the conservation of this highly endangered plant species if hives are permitted inside

  10. Detection of Spiroplasma melliferum in honey bee colonies in the US.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Huo-Qing; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-06-01

    Spiroplasma infections in honey bees have been reported in Europe and Asia quite recently, due to intensive studies on the epidemiology of honey bee diseases. The situation in the US is less well analyzed. Here, we examined the honey bee colonies in Beltsville, MD, where Spiroplasmamelliferum was originally reported and found S. melliferum infection in honey bees. Our data showed high variation of S. melliferum infection in honey bees with a peak prevalence in May during the course of one-year study period. The colony prevalence increased from 5% in February to 68% in May and then decreased to 25% in June and 22% in July. Despite that pathogenicity of spiroplasmas in honey bee colonies remains to be determined, our results indicated that spiroplasma infections need to be included for the consideration of the impacts on honey bee health. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Gisder

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Pollination of flowering plants is an important ecosystem service provided by wild insect pollinators and managed honey bees. Hence, losses and declines of pollinating insect species threaten human food security and are of major concern not only for apiculture or agriculture but for human society in general. Honey bee colony losses and bumblebee declines have attracted intensive research interest over the last decade and although the problem is far from being solved we now know that viruses are among the key players of many of these bee losses and bumblebee declines. With this special issue on bee viruses we, therefore, aimed to collect high quality original papers reflecting the current state of bee virus research. To this end, we focused on newly discovered viruses (Lake Sinai viruses, bee macula-like virus, or a so far neglected virus species (Apis mellifera filamentous virus, and cutting edge technologies (mass spectrometry, RNAi approach applied in the field.

  12. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

    Pollination of flowering plants is an important ecosystem service provided by wild insect pollinators and managed honey bees. Hence, losses and declines of pollinating insect species threaten human food security and are of major concern not only for apiculture or agriculture but for human society in general. Honey bee colony losses and bumblebee declines have attracted intensive research interest over the last decade and although the problem is far from being solved we now know that viruses are among the key players of many of these bee losses and bumblebee declines. With this special issue on bee viruses we, therefore, aimed to collect high quality original papers reflecting the current state of bee virus research. To this end, we focused on newly discovered viruses (Lake Sinai viruses, bee macula-like virus), or a so far neglected virus species (Apis mellifera filamentous virus), and cutting edge technologies (mass spectrometry, RNAi approach) applied in the field. PMID:26702462

  13. Parasite pressures on feral honey bees (Apis mellifera sp..

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Parasite pressures on feral honey bees (Apis mellifera sp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Catherine E; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Allnutt, Theodore R; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Budge, Giles E

    2014-01-01

    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.

  15. Stingless bee honey and its potential value: a systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaacob, M.,

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Modern science has found that most traditional practice of using stingless bee honey has great potential as an added value in modern medicine and considered to have a higher medicinal value than other bee species. However, due to the relatively low output of honey compared to other honey so, focus on this honey is limited. Hence, this systematic review provides the updated result on the potential value of stingless bee honey as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxicity and antimicrobial. The search strategy was developed in four databases (Scopus, Medline and Ovid, EMBASE and PubMed with the search terms "("honey" and "Kelulut", "honey" and "stingless bee", "honey" and "Trigona", "honey" and "pot honey", and "honey" and "Melipon"". The merged data was assessed using PRISMA guidelines and after the duplicates were removed, 1271 articles were segregated. Afterwards, 1232 articles were eliminated because they do not meet the inclusion criteria and 39 articles were reevaluated again for eligibility. Finally, after the evaluation process, only 26 of the articles were chosen for this review. The data of 26 articles of stingless bee honey were deliberated based on antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxicity and analysis of antimicrobial activity. Three articles reported on antioxidant properties, one article on anti-inflammatory analysis, two articles on cytotoxicity analysis, and twenty articles on analysis of antimicrobial activity. Based on the feasible affirmation from the literature, stingless bee honey has an antioxidant capacity that able to decrease the ROS. ROS able to lead a variety of health problems thus stingless bee honey can be a dietary supplement to overcome this problem.

  16. Myosins and DYNLL1/LC8 in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calábria, Luciana Karen; Peixoto, Pablo Marco Veras; Passos Lima, Andreia Barcelos; Peixoto, Leonardo Gomes; de Moraes, Viviane Rodrigues Alves; Teixeira, Renata Roland; Dos Santos, Claudia Tavares; E Silva, Letícia Oliveira; da Silva, Maria de Fátima Rodrigues; dos Santos, Ana Alice Diniz; Garcia-Cairasco, Norberto; Martins, Antônio Roberto; Espreafico, Enilza Maria; Espindola, Foued Salmen

    2011-09-01

    Honey bees have brain structures with specialized and developed systems of communication that account for memory, learning capacity and behavioral organization with a set of genes homologous to vertebrate genes. Many microtubule- and actin-based molecular motors are involved in axonal/dendritic transport. Myosin-Va is present in the honey bee Apis mellifera nervous system of the larvae and adult castes and subcastes. DYNLL1/LC8 and myosin-IIb, -VI and -IXb have also been detected in the adult brain. SNARE proteins, such as CaMKII, clathrin, syntaxin, SNAP25, munc18, synaptophysin and synaptotagmin, are also expressed in the honey bee brain. Honey bee myosin-Va displayed ATP-dependent solubility and was associated with DYNLL1/LC8 and SNARE proteins in the membrane vesicle-enriched fraction. Myosin-Va expression was also decreased after the intracerebral injection of melittin and NMDA. The immunolocalization of myosin-Va and -IV, DYNLL1/LC8, and synaptophysin in mushroom bodies, and optical and antennal lobes was compared with the brain morphology based on Neo-Timm histochemistry and revealed a distinct and punctate distribution. This result suggested that the pattern of localization is associated with neuron function. Therefore, our data indicated that the roles of myosins, DYNLL1/LC8, and SNARE proteins in the nervous and visual systems of honey bees should be further studied under different developmental, caste and behavioral conditions. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Drone and Worker Brood Microclimates Are Regulated Differentially in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhiyong; Huang, Zachary Y; Sharma, Dhruv B; Xue, Yunbo; Wang, Zhi; Ren, Bingzhong

    2016-01-01

    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.

  18. Developing an in vivo toxicity assay for RNAi risk assessment in honey bees, Apis mellifera L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vélez, Ana María; Jurzenski, Jessica; Matz, Natalie; Zhou, Xuguo; Wang, Haichuan; Ellis, Marion; Siegfried, Blair D

    2016-02-01

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Assessing Patterns of Admixture and Ancestry in Canadian Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canada has a large beekeeping industry comprised of 8483 beekeepers managing 672094 23 colonies. Canadian honey bees, like all honey bees in the New World, originate from centuries of importation of predominately European honey bees, but their precise ancestry remains unknown. There have been no i...

  20. Cell culture techniques in honey bee research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cell culture techniques are indispensable in most if not all life science disciplines to date. Wherever cell culture models are lacking scientific development is hampered. Unfortunately this has been and still is the case in honey bee research because permanent honey bee cell lines have not yet been...

  1. Current knowledge of detoxification mechanisms of xenobiotic in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Youhui; Diao, Qingyun

    2017-01-01

    The western honey bee Apis mellifera is the most important managed pollinator species in the world. Multiple factors have been implicated as potential causes or factors contributing to colony collapse disorder, including honey bee pathogens and nutritional deficiencies as well as exposure to pesticides. Honey bees' genome is characterized by a paucity of genes associated with detoxification, which makes them vulnerable to specific pesticides, especially to combinations of pesticides in real field environments. Many studies have investigated the mechanisms involved in detoxification of xenobiotics/pesticides in honey bees, from primal enzyme assays or toxicity bioassays to characterization of transcript gene expression and protein expression in response to xenobiotics/insecticides by using a global transcriptomic or proteomic approach, and even to functional characterizations. The global transcriptomic and proteomic approach allowed us to learn that detoxification mechanisms in honey bees involve multiple genes and pathways along with changes in energy metabolism and cellular stress response. P450 genes, is highly implicated in the direct detoxification of xenobiotics/insecticides in honey bees and their expression can be regulated by honey/pollen constitutes, resulting in the tolerance of honey bees to other xenobiotics or insecticides. P450s is also a key detoxification enzyme that mediate synergism interaction between acaricides/insecticides and fungicides through inhibition P450 activity by fungicides or competition for detoxification enzymes between acaricides. With the wide use of insecticides in agriculture, understanding the detoxification mechanism of insecticides in honey bees and how honeybees fight with the xenobiotis or insecticides to survive in the changing environment will finally benefit honeybees' management.

  2. Field-level sublethal effects of approved bee hive chemicals on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Jennifer A; Hood, W Michael; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Delaplane, Keith S

    2013-01-01

    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.

  3. Field-level sublethal effects of approved bee hive chemicals on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Pathogens as Predictors of Honey Bee Colony Strength in England and Wales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giles E Budge

    Full Text Available Inspectors with the UK National Bee Unit were asked for 2007-2008 to target problem apiaries in England and Wales for pathogen screening and colony strength measures. Healthy colonies were included in the sampling to provide a continuum of health conditions. A total of 406 adult bee samples was screened and yielded 7 viral, 1 bacterial, and 2 microsporidial pathogens and 1 ectoparasite (Acarapis woodi. In addition, 108 samples of brood were screened and yielded 4 honey bee viruses. Virus prevalence varied from common (deformed wing virus, black queen cell virus to complete absence (Israeli acute paralysis virus. When colonies were forced into one of two classes, strong or weak, the weak colonies contained more pathogens in adult bees. Among observed pathogens, only deformed wing virus was able to predict colony strength. The effect was negative such that colonies testing positive for deformed wing virus were likely to have fewer combs of bees or brood. This study constitutes the first record for Nosema ceranae in Great Britain. These results contribute to the growing body of evidence linking pathogens to poor honey bee health.

  5. Pollution monitoring of puget sound with honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromenshenk, J J; Carlson, S R; Simpson, J C; Thomas, J M

    1985-02-08

    To show that honey bees are effective biological monitors of environmental contaminants over large geographic areas, beekeepers of Puget Sound, Washington, collected pollen and bees for chemical analysis. From these data, kriging maps of arsenic, cadmium, and fluoride were generated. Results, based on actual concentrations of contaminants in bee tissues, show that the greatest concentrations of contaminants occur close to Commencement Bay and that honey bees are effective as large-scale monitors.

  6. Nosema ceranae escapes fumagillin control in honey bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Fone Huang

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Fumagillin is the only antibiotic approved for control of nosema disease in honey bees and has been extensively used in United States apiculture for more than 50 years for control of Nosema apis. It is toxic to mammals and must be applied seasonally and with caution to avoid residues in honey. Fumagillin degrades or is diluted in hives over the foraging season, exposing bees and the microsporidia to declining concentrations of the drug. We showed that spore production by Nosema ceranae, an emerging microsporidian pathogen in honey bees, increased in response to declining fumagillin concentrations, up to 100% higher than that of infected bees that have not been exposed to fumagillin. N. apis spore production was also higher, although not significantly so. Fumagillin inhibits the enzyme methionine aminopeptidase2 (MetAP2 in eukaryotic cells and interferes with protein modifications necessary for normal cell function. We sequenced the MetAP2 gene for apid Nosema species and determined that, although susceptibility to fumagillin differs among species, there are no apparent differences in fumagillin binding sites. Protein assays of uninfected bees showed that fumagillin altered structural and metabolic proteins in honey bee midgut tissues at concentrations that do not suppress microsporidia reproduction. The microsporidia, particularly N. ceranae, are apparently released from the suppressive effects of fumagillin at concentrations that continue to impact honey bee physiology. The current application protocol for fumagillin may exacerbate N. ceranae infection rather than suppress it.

  7. Diet-dependent gene expression in honey bees: honey vs. sucrose or high fructose corn syrup.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Marsha M; Robinson, Gene E

    2014-07-17

    Severe declines in honey bee populations have made it imperative to understand key factors impacting honey bee health. Of major concern is nutrition, as malnutrition in honey bees is associated with immune system impairment and increased pesticide susceptibility. Beekeepers often feed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucrose after harvesting honey or during periods of nectar dearth. We report that, relative to honey, chronic feeding of either of these two alternative carbohydrate sources elicited hundreds of differences in gene expression in the fat body, a peripheral nutrient-sensing tissue analogous to vertebrate liver and adipose tissues. These expression differences included genes involved in protein metabolism and oxidation-reduction, including some involved in tyrosine and phenylalanine metabolism. Differences between HFCS and sucrose diets were much more subtle and included a few genes involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Our results suggest that bees receive nutritional components from honey that are not provided by alternative food sources widely used in apiculture.

  8. Epigenetic modification of gene expression in honey bees by heterospecific gland secretions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Yuan Shi

    Full Text Available In the honey bee (Apis mellifera, queen and workers have different behavior and reproductive capacity despite possessing the same genome. The primary substance that leads to this differentiation is royal jelly (RJ, which contains a range of proteins, amino acids, vitamins and nucleic acids. MicroRNA (miRNA has been found to play an important role in regulating the expression of protein-coding genes and cell biology. In this study, we characterized the miRNAs in RJ from two honey bee sister species and determined their possible effect on transcriptome in one species.We sequenced the miRNAs in RJ either from A. mellifera (RJM or A. cerana (RJC. We then determined the global transcriptomes of adult A. mellifera developed from larvae fed either with RJM (mRJM or RJC (mRJC. Finally we analyzed the target genes of those miRNA that are species specific or differentially expressed in the two honey bee species. We show that there were differences in miRNA between RJM and RJC, and that transcriptomes of adult A. mellifera were affected by the two types of RJ. A high proportion (23.3% of the affected genes were target genes of differential miRNAs.We show for the first time that there are differences in miRNAs in RJ between A. mellifera and A. cerana. Further, the differences in transcriptomes of bees reared from these two RJs might be related to miRNA differences of the two species. This study provides the first evidence that heterospecific royal jelly can modify gene expression in honey bees through an epigenetic mechanism.

  9. Iridovirus and microsporidian linked to honey bee colony decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromenshenk, Jerry J; Henderson, Colin B; Wick, Charles H; Stanford, Michael F; Zulich, Alan W; Jabbour, Rabih E; Deshpande, Samir V; McCubbin, Patrick E; Seccomb, Robert A; Welch, Phillip M; Williams, Trevor; Firth, David R; Skowronski, Evan; Lehmann, Margaret M; Bilimoria, Shan L; Gress, Joanna; Wanner, Kevin W; Cramer, Robert A

    2010-10-06

    In 2010 Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), again devastated honey bee colonies in the USA, indicating that the problem is neither diminishing nor has it been resolved. Many CCD investigations, using sensitive genome-based methods, have found small RNA bee viruses and the microsporidia, Nosema apis and N. ceranae in healthy and collapsing colonies alike with no single pathogen firmly linked to honey bee losses. We used Mass spectrometry-based proteomics (MSP) to identify and quantify thousands of proteins from healthy and collapsing bee colonies. MSP revealed two unreported RNA viruses in North American honey bees, Varroa destructor-1 virus and Kakugo virus, and identified an invertebrate iridescent virus (IIV) (Iridoviridae) associated with CCD colonies. Prevalence of IIV significantly discriminated among strong, failing, and collapsed colonies. In addition, bees in failing colonies contained not only IIV, but also Nosema. Co-occurrence of these microbes consistently marked CCD in (1) bees from commercial apiaries sampled across the U.S. in 2006-2007, (2) bees sequentially sampled as the disorder progressed in an observation hive colony in 2008, and (3) bees from a recurrence of CCD in Florida in 2009. The pathogen pairing was not observed in samples from colonies with no history of CCD, namely bees from Australia and a large, non-migratory beekeeping business in Montana. Laboratory cage trials with a strain of IIV type 6 and Nosema ceranae confirmed that co-infection with these two pathogens was more lethal to bees than either pathogen alone. These findings implicate co-infection by IIV and Nosema with honey bee colony decline, giving credence to older research pointing to IIV, interacting with Nosema and mites, as probable cause of bee losses in the USA, Europe, and Asia. We next need to characterize the IIV and Nosema that we detected and develop management practices to reduce honey bee losses.

  10. Saccharide breakdown and fermentation by the honey bee gut microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Fredrick J; Rusch, Douglas B; Stewart, Frank J; Mattila, Heather R; Newton, Irene L G

    2015-03-01

    The honey bee, the world's most important agricultural pollinator, relies exclusively on plant-derived foods for nutrition. Nectar and pollen collected by honey bees are processed and matured within the nest through the activities of honey bee-derived microbes and enzymes. In order to better understand the contribution of the microbial community to food processing in the honey bee, we generated a metatranscriptome of the honey bee gut microbiome. The function of the microbial community in the honey bee, as revealed by metatranscriptome sequencing, resembles that of other animal guts and food-processing environments. We identified three major bacterial classes that are active in the gut (γ-Proteobacteria, Bacilli and Actinobacteria), all of which are predicted to participate in the breakdown of complex macromolecules (e.g. polysaccharides and polypeptides), the fermentation of component parts of these macromolecules, and the generation of various fermentation products, such as short-chain fatty acids and alcohol. The ability of the microbial community to metabolize these carbon-rich food sources was confirmed through the use of community-level physiological profiling. Collectively, these findings suggest that the gut microflora of the honey bee harbours bacterial members with unique roles, which ultimately can contribute to the processing of plant-derived food for colonies. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Imidacloprid decreases honey bee survival but does not affect the gut microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymann, Kasie; Motta, Erick V S; Girard, Catherine; Riddington, Ian M; Dinser, Jordan A; Moran, Nancy A

    2018-04-20

    Accumulating evidence suggests that pesticides have played a role in the increased rate of honeybee colony loss. One of the most commonly used pesticides in the US is the neonicotinoid imidacloprid. Although the primary mode of action of imidacloprid is the insect nervous system, it has also been shown to cause changes insects' digestive physiology, and alter the microbiota of Drosophila melanogaster larvae. The honey bee gut microbiome plays a major role in bee health. Although many studies have shown that imidacloprid affects honey bee behavior, its impact on the microbiome has not been fully elucidated. Here we investigated the impact of imidacloprid on the gut microbiome composition, survivorship of honey bees, and susceptibility to pathogens. Consistent with other studies, we show that imidacloprid exposure results in elevated mortality of honey bees in the hive and increases susceptibility to infection by pathogens. However, we did not find evidence that imidacloprid affects the gut bacterial community of honey bees. Our in vitro experiments demonstrated that honey bee gut bacteria can grow in the presence of imidacloprid, and we found some evidence that imidacloprid can be metabolized in the bee gut environment. However, none of the individual bee gut bacterial species tested could metabolize imidacloprid, suggesting that the observed metabolism of imidacloprid in vitro bee gut cultures is not caused by the gut bacteria. Overall, our results indicate that imidacloprid causes increased mortality in honey bees, but this mortality does not appear to be linked to the microbiome. Importance Growing evidence suggests that the extensive use of pesticides has played a large role in the increased rate of honey bee colony loss. Despite extensive research on the effects of imidacloprid on honey bees, it is still unknown whether it impacts the community structure of the gut microbiome. Here we investigated the impact of imidacloprid on the gut microbiome composition

  12. Winter Survival of Individual Honey Bees and Honey Bee Colonies Depends on Level of Varroa destructor Infestation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dooremalen, van C.; Gerritsen, L.J.M.; Cornelissen, B.; Steen, van der J.J.M.; Langevelde, van F.; Blacquiere, T.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Recent elevated winter loss of honey bee colonies is a major concern. The presence of the mite Varroa destructor in colonies places an important pressure on bee health. V. destructor shortens the lifespan of individual bees, while long lifespan during winter is a primary requirement to

  13. Differential diagnosis of the honey bee trypanosomatids Crithidia mellificae and Lotmaria passim.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravoet, Jorgen; Schwarz, Ryan S; Descamps, Tine; Yañez, Orlando; Tozkar, Cansu Ozge; Martin-Hernandez, Raquel; Bartolomé, Carolina; De Smet, Lina; Higes, Mariano; Wenseleers, Tom; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Neumann, Peter; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko; Evans, Jay D; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-09-01

    Trypanosomatids infecting honey bees have been poorly studied with molecular methods until recently. After the description of Crithidia mellificae (Langridge and McGhee, 1967) it took about forty years until molecular data for honey bee trypanosomatids became available and were used to identify and describe a new trypanosomatid species from honey bees, Lotmaria passim (Evans and Schwarz, 2014). However, an easy method to distinguish them without sequencing is not yet available. Research on the related bumble bee parasites Crithidia bombi and Crithidia expoeki revealed a fragment length polymorphism in the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1), which enabled species discrimination. In search of fragment length polymorphisms for differential diagnostics in honey bee trypanosomatids, we studied honey bee trypanosomatid cell cultures of C. mellificae and L. passim. This research resulted in the identification of fragment length polymorphisms in ITS1 and ITS1-2 markers, which enabled us to develop a diagnostic method to differentiate both honey bee trypanosomatid species without the need for sequencing. However, the amplification success of the ITS1 marker depends probably on the trypanosomatid infection level. Further investigation confirmed that L. passim is the dominant species in Belgium, Japan and Switzerland. We found C. mellificae only rarely in Belgian honey bee samples, but not in honey bee samples from other countries. C. mellificae was also detected in mason bees (Osmia bicornis and Osmia cornuta) besides in honey bees. Further, the characterization and comparison of additional markers from L. passim strain SF (published as C. mellificae strain SF) and a Belgian honey bee sample revealed very low divergence in the 18S rRNA, ITS1-2, 28S rRNA and cytochrome b sequences. Nevertheless, a variable stretch was observed in the gp63 virulence factor. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Protein nutrition governs within-host race of honey bee pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tritschler, Manuel; Vollmann, Jutta J; Yañez, Orlando; Chejanovsky, Nor; Crailsheim, Karl; Neumann, Peter

    2017-11-08

    Multiple infections are common in honey bees, Apis mellifera, but the possible role of nutrition in this regard is poorly understood. Microsporidian infections, which are promoted by protein-fed, can negatively correlate with virus infections, but the role of protein nutrition for the microsporidian-virus interface is unknown. Here, we challenged naturally deformed wing virus - B (DWV-B) infected adult honey bee workers fed with or without pollen ( = protein) in hoarding cages, with the microsporidian Nosema ceranae. Bee mortality was recorded for 14 days and N. ceranae spore loads and DWV-B titers were quantified. Amongst the groups inoculated with N. ceranae, more spores were counted in protein-fed bees. However, N. ceranae infected bees without protein-diet had reduced longevity compared to all other groups. N. ceranae infection had no effect on protein-fed bee's longevity, whereas bees supplied only with sugar-water showed reduced survival. Our data also support that protein-feeding can have a significant negative impact on virus infections in insects. The negative correlation between N. ceranae spore loads and DWV-B titers was stronger expressed in protein-fed hosts. Proteins not only enhance survival of infected hosts, but also significantly shape the microsporidian-virus interface, probably due to increased spore production and enhanced host immunity.

  15. Quality parameters of Bulgarian’s kinds of bee honey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dinko Hristov Dinkov

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available In Bulgaria were found more than 3600 kinds of higher plants, which predispose to production of different kinds of bee honey. In the country were registered 11 natural and 3 national parks, in which could found all kinds of plants, some of them unique in the world. Up to now there were harvested and investigated more than 11 kinds of bee honey. The aim of the present work was on the basis of available literature data to sum up the scientific information related to the main kinds of Bulgarian’s bee honeys from 2000 to present. In the study were presented quality parameters from organically produced and commercially processed bee honeys: pollen analysis, proline content, invertase activity, specific optical rotation, electrical conductivity, antioxidant and antibacterial activities.

  16. Sepsis and Hemocyte Loss in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Infected with Serratia marcescens Strain Sicaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burritt, Nancy L; Foss, Nicole J; Neeno-Eckwall, Eric C; Church, James O; Hilger, Anna M; Hildebrand, Jacob A; Warshauer, David M; Perna, Nicole T; Burritt, James B

    2016-01-01

    Global loss of honey bee colonies is threatening the human food supply. Diverse pathogens reduce honey bee hardiness needed to sustain colonies, especially in winter. We isolated a free-living Gram negative bacillus from hemolymph of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) found separated from winter clusters. In some hives, greater than 90% of the dying bees detached from the winter cluster were found to contain this bacterium in their hemolymph. Throughout the year, the same organism was rarely found in bees engaged in normal hive activities, but was detected in about half of Varroa destructor mites obtained from colonies that housed the septic bees. Flow cytometry of hemolymph from septic bees showed a significant reduction of plasmatocytes and other types of hemocytes. Interpretation of the16S rRNA sequence of the bacterium indicated that it belongs to the Serratia genus of Gram-negative Gammaproteobacteria, which has not previously been implicated as a pathogen of adult honey bees. Complete genome sequence analysis of the bacterium supported its classification as a novel strain of Serratia marcescens, which was designated as S. marcescens strain sicaria (Ss1). When compared with other strains of S. marcescens, Ss1 demonstrated several phenotypic and genetic differences, including 65 genes not previously found in other Serratia genomes. Some of the unique genes we identified in Ss1 were related to those from bacterial insect pathogens and commensals. Recovery of this organism extends a complex pathosphere of agents which may contribute to failure of honey bee colonies.

  17. Sepsis and Hemocyte Loss in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Infected with Serratia marcescens Strain Sicaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burritt, Nancy L.; Foss, Nicole J.; Neeno-Eckwall, Eric C.; Church, James O.; Hildebrand, Jacob A.; Warshauer, David M.; Perna, Nicole T.; Burritt, James B.

    2016-01-01

    Global loss of honey bee colonies is threatening the human food supply. Diverse pathogens reduce honey bee hardiness needed to sustain colonies, especially in winter. We isolated a free-living Gram negative bacillus from hemolymph of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) found separated from winter clusters. In some hives, greater than 90% of the dying bees detached from the winter cluster were found to contain this bacterium in their hemolymph. Throughout the year, the same organism was rarely found in bees engaged in normal hive activities, but was detected in about half of Varroa destructor mites obtained from colonies that housed the septic bees. Flow cytometry of hemolymph from septic bees showed a significant reduction of plasmatocytes and other types of hemocytes. Interpretation of the16S rRNA sequence of the bacterium indicated that it belongs to the Serratia genus of Gram-negative Gammaproteobacteria, which has not previously been implicated as a pathogen of adult honey bees. Complete genome sequence analysis of the bacterium supported its classification as a novel strain of Serratia marcescens, which was designated as S. marcescens strain sicaria (Ss1). When compared with other strains of S. marcescens, Ss1 demonstrated several phenotypic and genetic differences, including 65 genes not previously found in other Serratia genomes. Some of the unique genes we identified in Ss1 were related to those from bacterial insect pathogens and commensals. Recovery of this organism extends a complex pathosphere of agents which may contribute to failure of honey bee colonies. PMID:28002470

  18. Organophosphorus insecticides in honey, pollen and bees (Apis mellifera L.) and their potential hazard to bee colonies in Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Naggar, Yahya; Codling, Garry; Vogt, Anja; Naiem, Elsaied; Mona, Mohamed; Seif, Amal; Giesy, John P

    2015-04-01

    There is no clear single factor to date that explains colony loss in bees, but one factor proposed is the wide-spread application of agrochemicals. Concentrations of 14 organophosphorous insecticides (OPs) in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and hive matrices (honey and pollen) were measured to assess their hazard to honey bees. Samples were collected during spring and summer of 2013, from 5 provinces in the middle delta of Egypt. LC/MS-MS was used to identify and quantify individual OPs by use of a modified Quick Easy Cheap Effective Rugged Safe (QuEChERS) method. Pesticides were detected more frequently in samples collected during summer. Pollen contained the greatest concentrations of OPs. Profenofos, chlorpyrifos, malation and diazinon were the most frequently detected OPs. In contrast, ethoprop, phorate, coumaphos and chlorpyrifos-oxon were not detected. A toxic units approach, with lethality as the endpoint was used in an additive model to assess the cumulative potential for adverse effects posed by OPs. Hazard quotients (HQs) in honey and pollen ranged from 0.01-0.05 during spring and from 0.02-0.08 during summer, respectively. HQs based on lethality due to direct exposure of adult worker bees to OPs during spring and summer ranged from 0.04 to 0.1 for best and worst case respectively. It is concluded that direct exposure and/or dietary exposure to OPs in honey and pollen pose little threat due to lethality of bees in Egypt. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Urbanization Increases Pathogen Pressure on Feral and Managed Honey Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Youngsteadt

    Full Text Available Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus, the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens. We also measured worker survival in a laboratory bioassay. We found that pathogen pressure on honey bees increased with urbanization and management, and the probability of worker survival declined 3-fold along our urbanization gradient. The effect of management on pathogens appears to be mediated by immunity, with feral bees expressing immune genes at nearly twice the levels of managed bees following an immune challenge. The effect of urbanization, however, was not linked with immunity; instead, urbanization may favor viability and transmission of some disease agents. Feral colonies, with lower disease burdens and stronger immune responses, may illuminate ways to improve honey bee management. The previously unexamined effects of urbanization on honey-bee disease are concerning, suggesting that urban areas may favor problematic diseases of pollinators.

  20. Urbanization Increases Pathogen Pressure on Feral and Managed Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Appler, R Holden; López-Uribe, Margarita M; Tarpy, David R; Frank, Steven D

    2015-01-01

    Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus), the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens. We also measured worker survival in a laboratory bioassay. We found that pathogen pressure on honey bees increased with urbanization and management, and the probability of worker survival declined 3-fold along our urbanization gradient. The effect of management on pathogens appears to be mediated by immunity, with feral bees expressing immune genes at nearly twice the levels of managed bees following an immune challenge. The effect of urbanization, however, was not linked with immunity; instead, urbanization may favor viability and transmission of some disease agents. Feral colonies, with lower disease burdens and stronger immune responses, may illuminate ways to improve honey bee management. The previously unexamined effects of urbanization on honey-bee disease are concerning, suggesting that urban areas may favor problematic diseases of pollinators.

  1. Pollination of tomatoes by the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata and the honey bee Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, S A Bispo; Roselino, A C; Hrncir, M; Bego, L R

    2009-06-30

    The pollination effectiveness of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata and the honey bee Apis mellifera was tested in tomato plots. The experiment was conducted in four greenhouses as well as in an external open plot in Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. The tomato plants were exposed to visits by M. quadrifasciata in one greenhouse and to A. mellifera in another; two greenhouses were maintained without bees (controls) and an open field plot was exposed to pollinators in an area where both honey bee and stingless bee colonies are abundant. We counted the number of tomatoes produced in each plot. Two hundred tomatoes from each plot were weighed, their vertical and transversal circumferences were measured, and the seeds were counted. We collected 253 Chrysomelidae, 17 Halictidae, one Paratrigona sp, and one honey bee from the flowers of the tomato plants in the open area. The largest number of fruits (1414 tomatoes), the heaviest and largest tomatoes, and the ones with the most seed were collected from the greenhouse with stingless bees. Fruits cultivated in the greenhouse with honey bees had the same weight and size as those produced in one of the control greenhouses. The stingless bee, M. quadrifasciata, was significantly more efficient than honey bees in pollinating greenhouse tomatoes.

  2. Non-Specific dsRNA-Mediated Antiviral Response in the Honey Bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flenniken, Michelle L.; Andino, Raul

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees are essential pollinators of numerous agricultural crops. Since 2006, honey bee populations have suffered considerable annual losses that are partially attributed to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is an unexplained phenomenon that correlates with elevated incidence of pathogens, including RNA viruses. Honey bees are eusocial insects that live in colonies of genetically related individuals that work in concert to gather and store nutrients. Their social organization provides numerous benefits, but also facilitates pathogen transmission between individuals. To investigate honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms, we developed an RNA virus infection model and discovered that administration of dsRNA, regardless of sequence, reduced virus infection. Our results suggest that dsRNA, a viral pathogen associated molecular pattern (PAMP), triggers an antiviral response that controls virus infection in honey bees. PMID:24130869

  3. Interactions between Cooccurring Lactic Acid Bacteria in Honey Bee Hives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rokop, Z P; Horton, M A; Newton, I L G

    2015-10-01

    In contrast to the honey bee gut, which is colonized by a few characteristic bacterial clades, the hive of the honey bee is home to a diverse array of microbes, including many lactic acid bacteria (LAB). In this study, we used culture, combined with sequencing, to sample the LAB communities found across hive environments. Specifically, we sought to use network analysis to identify microbial hubs sharing nearly identical operational taxonomic units, evidence which may indicate cooccurrence of bacteria between environments. In the process, we identified interactions between noncore bacterial members (Fructobacillus and Lactobacillaceae) and honey bee-specific "core" members. Both Fructobacillus and Lactobacillaceae colonize brood cells, bee bread, and nectar and may serve the role of pioneering species, establishing an environment conducive to the inoculation by honey bee core bacteria. Coculture assays showed that these noncore bacterial members promote the growth of honey bee-specific bacterial species. Specifically, Fructobacillus by-products in spent medium supported the growth of the Firm-5 honey bee-specific clade in vitro. Metabolic characterization of Fructobacillus using carbohydrate utilization assays revealed that this strain is capable of utilizing the simple sugars fructose and glucose, as well as the complex plant carbohydrate lignin. We tested Fructobacillus for antibiotic sensitivity and found that this bacterium, which may be important for establishment of the microbiome, is sensitive to the commonly used antibiotic tetracycline. Our results point to the possible significance of "noncore" and environmental microbial community members in the modulation of honey bee microbiome dynamics and suggest that tetracycline use by beekeepers should be limited. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  4. Sublethal Dosage of Imidacloprid Reduces the Microglomerular Density of Honey Bee Mushroom Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yi-Chan; Yang, En-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    The dramatic loss of honey bees is a major concern worldwide. Previous studies have indicated that neonicotinoid insecticides cause behavioural abnormalities and have proven that exposure to sublethal doses of imidacloprid during the larval stage decreases the olfactory learning ability of adults. The present study shows the effect of sublethal doses of imidacloprid on the neural development of the honey bee brain by immunolabelling synaptic units in the calyces of mushroom bodies. We found that the density of the synaptic units in the region of the calyces, which are responsible for olfactory and visual functions, decreased after being exposed to a sublethal dose of imidacloprid. This not only links a decrease in olfactory learning ability to abnormal neural connectivity but also provides evidence that imidacloprid damages the development of the nervous system in regions responsible for both olfaction and vision during the larval stage of the honey bee. PMID:26757950

  5. Characterizing the Impact of Commercial Pollen Substitute Diets on the Level of Nosema spp. in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, James C; Schmehl, Daniel R; Ellis, James D

    2015-01-01

    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.

  6. How honey bees carry pollen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matherne, Marguerite E.; Anyanwu, Gabriel; Leavey, Jennifer K.; Hu, David L.

    2017-11-01

    Honey bees are the tanker of the skies, carrying thirty percent of their weight in pollen per foraging trip using specialized orifices on their body. How do they manage to hang onto those pesky pollen grains? In this experimental study, we investigate the adhesion force of pollen to the honeybee. To affix pollen to themselves, honey bees form a suspension of pollen in nectar, creating a putty-like pollen basket that is skewered by leg hairs. We use tensile tests to show that the viscous force of the pollen basket is more than ten times the honeybee's flight force. This work may provide inspiration for the design of robotic flying pollinators.

  7. Spray Toxicity and Risk Potential of 42 Commonly Used Formulations of Row Crop Pesticides to Adult Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yu Cheng; Adamczyk, John; Rinderer, Thomas; Yao, Jianxiu; Danka, Robert; Luttrell, Randall; Gore, Jeff

    2015-12-01

    To combat an increasing abundance of sucking insect pests, >40 pesticides are currently recommended and frequently used as foliar sprays on row crops, especially cotton. Foraging honey bees may be killed when they are directly exposed to foliar sprays, or they may take contaminated pollen back to hives that maybe toxic to other adult bees and larvae. To assess acute toxicity against the honey bee, we used a modified spray tower to simulate field spray conditions to include direct whole-body exposure, inhalation, and continuing tarsal contact and oral licking after a field spray. A total of 42 formulated pesticides, including one herbicide and one fungicide, were assayed for acute spray toxicity to 4-6-d-old workers. Results showed significantly variable toxicities among pesticides, with LC50s ranging from 25 to thousands of mg/liter. Further risk assessment using the field application concentration to LC1 or LC99 ratios revealed the risk potential of the 42 pesticides. Three pesticides killed less than 1% of the worker bees, including the herbicide, a miticide, and a neonicotinoid. Twenty-six insecticides killed more than 99% of the bees, including commonly used organophosphates and neonicotinoids. The remainder of the 13 chemicals killed from 1-99% of the bees at field application rates. This study reveals a realistic acute toxicity of 42 commonly used foliar pesticides. The information is valuable for guiding insecticide selection to minimize direct killing of foraging honey bees, while maintaining effective control of field crop pests. Published by Oxford University Press [on behalf of Entomological Society of America] 2015. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  8. A Diverse Range of Novel RNA Viruses in Geographically Distinct Honey Bee Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remnant, Emily J; Shi, Mang; Buchmann, Gabriele; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Holmes, Edward C; Beekman, Madeleine; Ashe, Alyson

    2017-08-15

    Understanding the diversity and consequences of viruses present in honey bees is critical for maintaining pollinator health and managing the spread of disease. The viral landscape of honey bees ( Apis mellifera ) has changed dramatically since the emergence of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor , which increased the spread of virulent variants of viruses such as deformed wing virus. Previous genomic studies have focused on colonies suffering from infections by Varroa and virulent viruses, which could mask other viral species present in honey bees, resulting in a distorted view of viral diversity. To capture the viral diversity within colonies that are exposed to mites but do not suffer the ultimate consequences of the infestation, we examined populations of honey bees that have evolved naturally or have been selected for resistance to Varroa This analysis revealed seven novel viruses isolated from honey bees sampled globally, including the first identification of negative-sense RNA viruses in honey bees. Notably, two rhabdoviruses were present in three geographically diverse locations and were also present in Varroa mites parasitizing the bees. To characterize the antiviral response, we performed deep sequencing of small RNA populations in honey bees and mites. This provided evidence of a Dicer-mediated immune response in honey bees, while the viral small RNA profile in Varroa mites was novel and distinct from the response observed in bees. Overall, we show that viral diversity in honey bee colonies is greater than previously thought, which encourages additional studies of the bee virome on a global scale and which may ultimately improve disease management. IMPORTANCE Honey bee populations have become increasingly susceptible to colony losses due to pathogenic viruses spread by parasitic Varroa mites. To date, 24 viruses have been described in honey bees, with most belonging to the order Picornavirales Collapsing Varroa -infected colonies are often overwhelmed

  9. A Diverse Range of Novel RNA Viruses in Geographically Distinct Honey Bee Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Mang; Buchmann, Gabriele; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Beekman, Madeleine; Ashe, Alyson

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Understanding the diversity and consequences of viruses present in honey bees is critical for maintaining pollinator health and managing the spread of disease. The viral landscape of honey bees (Apis mellifera) has changed dramatically since the emergence of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, which increased the spread of virulent variants of viruses such as deformed wing virus. Previous genomic studies have focused on colonies suffering from infections by Varroa and virulent viruses, which could mask other viral species present in honey bees, resulting in a distorted view of viral diversity. To capture the viral diversity within colonies that are exposed to mites but do not suffer the ultimate consequences of the infestation, we examined populations of honey bees that have evolved naturally or have been selected for resistance to Varroa. This analysis revealed seven novel viruses isolated from honey bees sampled globally, including the first identification of negative-sense RNA viruses in honey bees. Notably, two rhabdoviruses were present in three geographically diverse locations and were also present in Varroa mites parasitizing the bees. To characterize the antiviral response, we performed deep sequencing of small RNA populations in honey bees and mites. This provided evidence of a Dicer-mediated immune response in honey bees, while the viral small RNA profile in Varroa mites was novel and distinct from the response observed in bees. Overall, we show that viral diversity in honey bee colonies is greater than previously thought, which encourages additional studies of the bee virome on a global scale and which may ultimately improve disease management. IMPORTANCE Honey bee populations have become increasingly susceptible to colony losses due to pathogenic viruses spread by parasitic Varroa mites. To date, 24 viruses have been described in honey bees, with most belonging to the order Picornavirales. Collapsing Varroa-infected colonies are often

  10. ProtoBee: Hierarchical classification and annotation of the honey bee proteome

    OpenAIRE

    Kaplan, Noam; Linial, Michal

    2006-01-01

    The recently sequenced genome of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) has produced 10,157 predicted protein sequences, calling for a computational effort to extract biological insights from them. We have applied an unsupervised hierarchical protein-clustering method, which was previously used in the ProtoNet system, to nearly 200,000 proteins consisting of the predicted honey bee proteins, the SWISS-PROT protein database, and the complete set of proteins of the mouse (Mus musculus) and the fruit fl...

  11. Use of Bee Honey as Alternative Medicine in Protein Energy Deficiency

    OpenAIRE

    Prasetyo, R. Heru; Sandhika, Willy; Susanto, Djoni

    2013-01-01

    The protein energy deficiency cause intestinal villus atrophy and epithel mucous damage. The effect of bee honey on histostructure of intestine was studied in the experimental mice as model of proteinenergy deficiency. The use bee honey in protein-energy deficiency shown to improve intestinal villus atrophy and epithel damage. In conclusion that bee honey can use as alternative medicine in protein energydeficiency

  12. BEE VENOM TRAP DESIGN OF APIS MELLIFERA L. AND APIS CERANA F. HONEY BEES

    OpenAIRE

    Budiaman

    2015-01-01

    The nectar and pollen of flowers which are abundance have not been taken into account for any purpose in forest, agriculture and plantation area. Honey bees such as Apis mellifera L. and Apis cerana F. had known as biological pollinators which could converted the flower components to be high economy products in the forms of honey, royal jelly, propolis, bee wax and bee venom. Among the products, bee venom has the best selling value, but the method of it???s optimal production has not been ext...

  13. Silencing the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Naked Cuticle Gene (nkd) Improves Host Immune Function and Reduces Nosema ceranae Infections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wenfeng; Evans, Jay D.; Huang, Qiang; Rodríguez-García, Cristina; Liu, Jie; Hamilton, Michele; Grozinger, Christina M.; Webster, Thomas C.; Su, Songkun

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Nosema ceranae is a new and emerging microsporidian parasite of European honey bees, Apis mellifera, that has been implicated in colony losses worldwide. RNA interference (RNAi), a posttranscriptional gene silencing mechanism, has emerged as a potent and specific strategy for controlling infections of parasites and pathogens in honey bees. While previous studies have focused on the silencing of parasite/pathogen virulence factors, we explore here the possibility of silencing a host factor as a mechanism for reducing parasite load. Specifically, we used an RNAi strategy to reduce the expression of a honey bee gene, naked cuticle (nkd), which is a negative regulator of host immune function. Our studies found that nkd mRNA levels in adult bees were upregulated by N. ceranae infection (and thus, the parasite may use this mechanism to suppress host immune function) and that ingestion of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) specific to nkd efficiently silenced its expression. Furthermore, we found that RNAi-mediated knockdown of nkd transcripts in Nosema-infected bees resulted in upregulation of the expression of several immune genes (Abaecin, Apidaecin, Defensin-1, and PGRP-S2), reduction of Nosema spore loads, and extension of honey bee life span. The results of our studies clearly indicate that silencing the host nkd gene can activate honey bee immune responses, suppress the reproduction of N. ceranae, and improve the overall health of honey bees. This study represents a novel host-derived therapeutic for honey bee disease treatment that merits further exploration. IMPORTANCE Given the critical role of honey bees in the pollination of agricultural crops, it is urgent to develop strategies to prevent the colony decline induced by the infection of parasites/pathogens. Targeting parasites and pathogens directly by RNAi has been proven to be useful for controlling infections in honey bees, but little is known about the disease impacts of RNAi silencing of host factors

  14. Silencing the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Naked Cuticle Gene (nkd) Improves Host Immune Function and Reduces Nosema ceranae Infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wenfeng; Evans, Jay D; Huang, Qiang; Rodríguez-García, Cristina; Liu, Jie; Hamilton, Michele; Grozinger, Christina M; Webster, Thomas C; Su, Songkun; Chen, Yan Ping

    2016-11-15

    Nosema ceranae is a new and emerging microsporidian parasite of European honey bees, Apis mellifera, that has been implicated in colony losses worldwide. RNA interference (RNAi), a posttranscriptional gene silencing mechanism, has emerged as a potent and specific strategy for controlling infections of parasites and pathogens in honey bees. While previous studies have focused on the silencing of parasite/pathogen virulence factors, we explore here the possibility of silencing a host factor as a mechanism for reducing parasite load. Specifically, we used an RNAi strategy to reduce the expression of a honey bee gene, naked cuticle (nkd), which is a negative regulator of host immune function. Our studies found that nkd mRNA levels in adult bees were upregulated by N. ceranae infection (and thus, the parasite may use this mechanism to suppress host immune function) and that ingestion of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) specific to nkd efficiently silenced its expression. Furthermore, we found that RNAi-mediated knockdown of nkd transcripts in Nosema-infected bees resulted in upregulation of the expression of several immune genes (Abaecin, Apidaecin, Defensin-1, and PGRP-S2), reduction of Nosema spore loads, and extension of honey bee life span. The results of our studies clearly indicate that silencing the host nkd gene can activate honey bee immune responses, suppress the reproduction of N. ceranae, and improve the overall health of honey bees. This study represents a novel host-derived therapeutic for honey bee disease treatment that merits further exploration. Given the critical role of honey bees in the pollination of agricultural crops, it is urgent to develop strategies to prevent the colony decline induced by the infection of parasites/pathogens. Targeting parasites and pathogens directly by RNAi has been proven to be useful for controlling infections in honey bees, but little is known about the disease impacts of RNAi silencing of host factors. Here, we demonstrate

  15. Concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides in honey, pollen and honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in central Saskatchewan, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codling, Garry; Al Naggar, Yahya; Giesy, John P; Robertson, Albert J

    2016-02-01

    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 bees. Transformation products of Imidaclorpid, imidaclorpid-Olefin and imidacloprid-5-Hydroxy were detected with greater frequency and at greater mean concentrations indicating a need for more focus on potential effects of these transformation products than the untransformed, active ingredient NIs. Results of an assessment of the potential dietary uptake of NIs from honey and pollen by bees over winter, during which worker bees live longer than in summer, suggested that, in some hives, consumption of honey and pollen during over-wintering might have adverse effects on bees. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Reduction in deformed wing virus infection in larval and adult honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) by double-stranded RNA ingestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, S D; Eu, Y-J; Whyard, S; Currie, R W

    2012-08-01

    Deformed wing virus (DWV) is a serious pathogen of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., vectored by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. The virus is associated with wing deformity in symptomatic bees, and premature death and reduced colony performance in asymptomatic bees. In the present study we reduced DWV infection by feeding both first instar larvae and adult A. mellifera with a double-stranded (ds) RNA construct, DWV-dsRNA, which is specific to DWV in DWV-inoculated bees, by mixing it with their food. We showed that feeding DWV to larvae causes wing deformity in adult bees in the absence of varroa mites and decreases survival rates of adult bees relative to bees not fed DWV. Feeding larvae with DWV-dsRNA in advance of inoculation with virus reduced the DWV viral level and reduced wing deformity relative to larvae fed DWV or DWV with green fluorescent protein-dsRNA (probably a result of RNA silencing), but did not affect survival to the adult stage. Feeding DWV-dsRNA did not affect larval survival rates, which suggests that dsRNA is non-toxic to larvae. Feeding adult workers with DWV-dsRNA in advance of inoculation with virus increased their longevity and reduced DWV concentration relative to controls. © 2012 The Authors. Insect Molecular Biology © 2012 The Royal Entomological Society.

  17. Bees' Honey Attenuation of Metanil-Yellow-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Rats

    OpenAIRE

    Al-Malki, Abdulrahman L.; Sayed, Ahmed Amir Radwan

    2013-01-01

    The present study aims to investigate the protective effect of bees' honey against metanil-yellow-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Rats were divided into 7 groups: control group; three groups treated with 50, 100, and 200?mg/kg metanil yellow, and three groups treated with metanil yellow plus 2.5?mg ? kg?1 ? day?1 bees' honey for 8 weeks. The obtained data showed that the antioxidant/anti-inflammatory activity of bees' honey reduced the oxidative stress in the liver tissue and downregulated th...

  18. The paratransgenic potential of Lactobacillus kunkeei in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangberg, A; Mathiesen, G; Amdam, G V; Diep, D B

    2015-01-01

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a domestic insect of high value to human societies, as a crop pollinator in agriculture and a model animal in scientific research. The honey bee, however, has experienced massive mortality worldwide due to the phenomenon Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), resulting in alarming prospects for crop failure in Europe and the USA. The reasons for CCD are complex and much debated, but several honey bee pathogens are believed to be involved. Paratransgenesis is a Trojan horse strategy, where endogenous microorganisms are used to express effector molecules that antagonise pathogen development. For use in honey bees, paratransgenesis must rely on a set of criteria that the candidate paratransgenic microorganism must fulfil in order to obtain a successful outcome: (1) the candidate must be genetically modifiable to express effector molecules; (2) the modified organism should have no adverse effects on honey bee health upon reintroduction; and (3) it must survive together with other non-pathogenic bee-associated microorganisms. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are common gut bacteria in vertebrates and invertebrates, and some have naturally beneficial properties in their host. In the present work we aimed to find a potential paratransgenic candidate within this bacterial group for use in honey bees. Among isolated LAB associated with bee gut microbiota, we found the fructophilic Lactobacillus kunkeei to be the most predominant species during foraging seasons. Four genetically different strains of L. kunkeei were selected for further assessment. We demonstrated (1) that L. kunkeei is transformable; (2) that the transformed cells had no obvious adverse effect on honey bee survival; and (3) that transformed cells survived well in the gut environment of bees upon reintroduction. Our study demonstrates that L. kunkeei fulfils the three criteria for paratransgenesis and can be a suitable candidate for further research on this strategy in honey bees.

  19. Genic control of honey bee dance language dialect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderer, T E; Beaman, L D

    1995-10-01

    Behavioural genetic analysis of honey bee dance language shows simple Mendelian genic control over certain dance dialect differences. Worker honey bees of one parent colony (yellow) changed from round to transition dances for foraging distances of 20 m and from transition to waggle dances at 40 m. Worker bees of the other parent colony (black) made these shifts at 30 m and 90 m, respectively. F1 colonies behaved identically to their yellow parent, suggesting dominance. Progeny of backcrossing between the F1 generation and the putative recessive black parent assorted to four classes, indicating that the dialect differences studied are regulated by genes at two unlinked loci, each having two alleles. Honey bee dance communication is complex and highly integrated behaviour. Nonetheless, analysis of a small element of this behaviour, variation in response to distance, suggests that dance communication is regulated by subsets consisting of simple genic systems.

  20. Characterizing the Impact of Commercial Pollen Substitute Diets on the Level of Nosema spp. in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L..

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Norwegian honey bees surviving Varroa destructor mite infestations by means of natural selection

    OpenAIRE

    Oddie, Melissa AY; Dahle, Bjørn Steinar; Neumann, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Background Managed, feral and wild populations of European honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera, are currently facing severe colony losses globally. There is consensus that the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, that switched hosts from the Eastern honey bee Apis cerana to the Western honey bee A. mellifera, is a key factor driving these losses. For >20 years, breeding efforts have not produced European honey bee colonies that can survive infestations without the need for mite control....

  2. ECOLOGICAL IMPACT ON NATIVE BEES BY THE INVASIVE AFRICANIZED HONEY BEE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DAVID ROUBIK

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Very little effort has been made to investigate bee population dynamics among intact wilderness areas. The presence of newly-arrived feral Africanized honey bee (AHB, Apis mellifera (Apidae, populations was studied for 10-17 years in areas previously with few or no escaped European apiary honey bees. Here I describe and interpret the major results from studies in three neotropical forests: French Guiana, Panama and Yucatan, Mexico (5° to 19° N. latitude. The exotic Africanized honey bees did not produce a negative effect on native bees, including species that were solitary or highly eusocial. Major differences over time were found in honey bee abundance on flowers near habitat experiencing the greatest degree of disturbance, compared to deep forest areas. At the population level, sampled at nest blocks, or at flower patches, or at light traps, there was no sudden decline in bees after AHB arrival, and relatively steady or sinusoidal population dynamics. However, the native bees shifted their foraging time or floral species. A principal conclusion is that such competition is silent, in floristically rich habitats, because bees compensate behaviorally for competition. Other factors limit their populations. Key words: Africanized honey bee, native bees, competition, population dynamics, neotropical forests RESUMEN Pocos estudios han considerado la dinámica de poblaciones de abejas en bosques o hábitats no alterados por el hombre. La presencia de abejas silvestres Africanizadas de Apis mellifera (Apidae fue estudiado por 10-17 años en áreas previamente sin esta especie. Aquí presento e interpreto resultados de tres bosques neotropicales: Guyana Francesa, Panamá y Yucatán, México (5° a 19° N. latitud. La abeja Africanizada exótica no produjo efecto negativo en las abejas nativas, incluyendo especies altamente sociales y solitarias. Diferencias mayores a través del tiempo fueron encontradas en la abundancia de las abejas de miel

  3. Unique honey bee (Apis mellifera hive component-based communities as detected by a hybrid of phospholipid fatty-acid and fatty-acid methyl ester analyses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirk J Grubbs

    Full Text Available Microbial communities (microbiomes are associated with almost all metazoans, including the honey bee Apis mellifera. Honey bees are social insects, maintaining complex hive systems composed of a variety of integral components including bees, comb, propolis, honey, and stored pollen. Given that the different components within hives can be physically separated and are nutritionally variable, we hypothesize that unique microbial communities may occur within the different microenvironments of honey bee colonies. To explore this hypothesis and to provide further insights into the microbiome of honey bees, we use a hybrid of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME and phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA analysis to produce broad, lipid-based microbial community profiles of stored pollen, adults, pupae, honey, empty comb, and propolis for 11 honey bee hives. Averaging component lipid profiles by hive, we show that, in decreasing order, lipid markers representing fungi, Gram-negative bacteria, and Gram-positive bacteria have the highest relative abundances within honey bee colonies. Our lipid profiles reveal the presence of viable microbial communities in each of the six hive components sampled, with overall microbial community richness varying from lowest to highest in honey, comb, pupae, pollen, adults and propolis, respectively. Finally, microbial community lipid profiles were more similar when compared by component than by hive, location, or sampling year. Specifically, we found that individual hive components typically exhibited several dominant lipids and that these dominant lipids differ between components. Principal component and two-way clustering analyses both support significant grouping of lipids by hive component. Our findings indicate that in addition to the microbial communities present in individual workers, honey bee hives have resident microbial communities associated with different colony components.

  4. Unique honey bee (Apis mellifera) hive component-based communities as detected by a hybrid of phospholipid fatty-acid and fatty-acid methyl ester analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grubbs, Kirk J; Scott, Jarrod J; Budsberg, Kevin J; Read, Harry; Balser, Teri C; Currie, Cameron R

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities (microbiomes) are associated with almost all metazoans, including the honey bee Apis mellifera. Honey bees are social insects, maintaining complex hive systems composed of a variety of integral components including bees, comb, propolis, honey, and stored pollen. Given that the different components within hives can be physically separated and are nutritionally variable, we hypothesize that unique microbial communities may occur within the different microenvironments of honey bee colonies. To explore this hypothesis and to provide further insights into the microbiome of honey bees, we use a hybrid of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) and phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) analysis to produce broad, lipid-based microbial community profiles of stored pollen, adults, pupae, honey, empty comb, and propolis for 11 honey bee hives. Averaging component lipid profiles by hive, we show that, in decreasing order, lipid markers representing fungi, Gram-negative bacteria, and Gram-positive bacteria have the highest relative abundances within honey bee colonies. Our lipid profiles reveal the presence of viable microbial communities in each of the six hive components sampled, with overall microbial community richness varying from lowest to highest in honey, comb, pupae, pollen, adults and propolis, respectively. Finally, microbial community lipid profiles were more similar when compared by component than by hive, location, or sampling year. Specifically, we found that individual hive components typically exhibited several dominant lipids and that these dominant lipids differ between components. Principal component and two-way clustering analyses both support significant grouping of lipids by hive component. Our findings indicate that in addition to the microbial communities present in individual workers, honey bee hives have resident microbial communities associated with different colony components.

  5. How Varroa Parasitism Affects the Immunological and Nutritional Status of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronstein, Katherine A.; Saldivar, Eduardo; Vega, Rodrigo; Westmiller, Stephanie; Douglas, Angela E.

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the effect of the parasitic mite Varroadestructor 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. PMID:26466617

  6. How Varroa Parasitism Affects the Immunological and Nutritional Status of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronstein, Katherine A; Saldivar, Eduardo; Vega, Rodrigo; Westmiller, Stephanie; Douglas, Angela E

    2012-06-27

    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.

  7. Honey bee gut dysbiosis: A novel context for disease ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    A biofilm in the ileum of the honey bee has become a hot-spot of recent research. Highly host co-evolved, hindgut biofilm structure consists of six species that alter in relative abundance over the life of the adult worker, showing parallels with age-related senescence in Drosophila. Induced shifts ...

  8. Availability of environmental radioactivity to honey bee colonies at Los Alamos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hakonson, T.E.; Bostick, K.V.

    1976-01-01

    Data are presented on the availability of tritium, cesium 137, and plutonium to honey bee colonies foraging in the environment surrounding the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Sources of these radionuclides in the laboratory environs include liquid and atmospheric effluents and buried solid waste. Honey bee colonies were placed in three canyon liquid waste disposal areas and were sampled frequently, along with honey, surface water, and surrounding vegetation, to qualitatively determine the availability of these radionuclides to bees (Apis mellifera) and to identify potential food chain sources of the elements. Tritium concentrations in bee and honey samples from the canyons increased rapidly from initial values of 137 Cs in the environs. The existence of at least three radionuclide sources in the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) environs complicates the interpretation of the data. However, it is apparent that honey bees can acquire 3 H, 137 Cs, and Pu from multiple sources in the environs

  9. Hemocyte-mediated phagocytosis differs between honey bee (Apis mellifera) worker castes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hystad, Eva Marit; Salmela, Heli; Amdam, Gro Vang; Münch, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees as other insects rely on the innate immune system for protection against diseases. The innate immune system includes the circulating hemocytes (immune cells) that clear pathogens from hemolymph (blood) by phagocytosis, nodulation or encapsulation. Honey bee hemocyte numbers have been linked to hemolymph levels of vitellogenin. Vitellogenin is a multifunctional protein with immune-supportive functions identified in a range of species, including the honey bee. Hemocyte numbers can increase via mitosis, and this recruitment process can be important for immune system function and maintenance. Here, we tested if hemocyte mediated phagocytosis differs among the physiologically different honey bee worker castes (nurses, foragers and winter bees), and study possible interactions with vitellogenin and hemocyte recruitment. To this end, we adapted phagocytosis assays, which-together with confocal microscopy and flow cytometry-allow qualitative and quantitative assessment of hemocyte performance. We found that nurses are more efficient in phagocytic uptake than both foragers and winter bees. We detected vitellogenin within the hemocytes, and found that winter bees have the highest numbers of vitellogenin-positive hemocytes. Connections between phagocytosis, hemocyte-vitellogenin and mitosis were worker caste dependent. Our results demonstrate that the phagocytic performance of immune cells differs significantly between honey bee worker castes, and support increased immune competence in nurses as compared to forager bees. Our data, moreover, provides support for roles of vitellogenin in hemocyte activity.

  10. Hemocyte-mediated phagocytosis differs between honey bee (Apis mellifera worker castes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Marit Hystad

    Full Text Available Honey bees as other insects rely on the innate immune system for protection against diseases. The innate immune system includes the circulating hemocytes (immune cells that clear pathogens from hemolymph (blood by phagocytosis, nodulation or encapsulation. Honey bee hemocyte numbers have been linked to hemolymph levels of vitellogenin. Vitellogenin is a multifunctional protein with immune-supportive functions identified in a range of species, including the honey bee. Hemocyte numbers can increase via mitosis, and this recruitment process can be important for immune system function and maintenance. Here, we tested if hemocyte mediated phagocytosis differs among the physiologically different honey bee worker castes (nurses, foragers and winter bees, and study possible interactions with vitellogenin and hemocyte recruitment. To this end, we adapted phagocytosis assays, which-together with confocal microscopy and flow cytometry-allow qualitative and quantitative assessment of hemocyte performance. We found that nurses are more efficient in phagocytic uptake than both foragers and winter bees. We detected vitellogenin within the hemocytes, and found that winter bees have the highest numbers of vitellogenin-positive hemocytes. Connections between phagocytosis, hemocyte-vitellogenin and mitosis were worker caste dependent. Our results demonstrate that the phagocytic performance of immune cells differs significantly between honey bee worker castes, and support increased immune competence in nurses as compared to forager bees. Our data, moreover, provides support for roles of vitellogenin in hemocyte activity.

  11. Israeli acute paralysis virus: epidemiology, pathogenesis and implications for honey bee health.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Ping Chen

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV is a widespread RNA virus of honey bees that has been linked with colony losses. Here we describe the transmission, prevalence, and genetic traits of this virus, along with host transcriptional responses to infections. Further, we present RNAi-based strategies for limiting an important mechanism used by IAPV to subvert host defenses. Our study shows that IAPV is established as a persistent infection in honey bee populations, likely enabled by both horizontal and vertical transmission pathways. The phenotypic differences in pathology among different strains of IAPV found globally may be due to high levels of standing genetic variation. Microarray profiles of host responses to IAPV infection revealed that mitochondrial function is the most significantly affected biological process, suggesting that viral infection causes significant disturbance in energy-related host processes. The expression of genes involved in immune pathways in adult bees indicates that IAPV infection triggers active immune responses. The evidence that silencing an IAPV-encoded putative suppressor of RNAi reduces IAPV replication suggests a functional assignment for a particular genomic region of IAPV and closely related viruses from the Family Dicistroviridae, and indicates a novel therapeutic strategy for limiting multiple honey bee viruses simultaneously and reducing colony losses due to viral diseases. We believe that the knowledge and insights gained from this study will provide a new platform for continuing studies of the IAPV-host interactions and have positive implications for disease management that will lead to mitigation of escalating honey bee colony losses worldwide.

  12. Social regulation of ageing by young workers in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyer, Michael; Dainat, Benjamin; Neumann, Peter; Dietemann, Vincent

    2017-01-01

    Organisms' lifespans are modulated by both genetic and environmental factors. The lifespan of eusocial insects is determined by features of the division of labor, which itself is influenced by social regulatory mechanisms. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, the presence of brood and of old workers carrying out foraging tasks are important social drivers of ageing, but the influence of young adult workers is unknown, as it has not been experimentally teased apart from that of brood. In this study, we test the role of young workers in the ageing of their nestmates. We measured the impact of different social contexts characterized by the absence of brood and/or young adults on the lifespan of worker nestmates in field colonies. To acquire insight into the physiological processes occurring under these contexts, we analyzed the expression of genes known to affect honey bee ageing. The data showed that young workers significantly reduced the lifespan of nestmate workers, similar to the effect of brood on its own. Differential expression of vitellogenin, major royal jelly protein-1, and methylase transferase, but not methyl farneosate epoxidase genes suggests that young workers and brood influence ageing of adult nestmate workers via different physiological pathways. We identify young workers as an essential part of the social regulation of ageing in honey bee colonies. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Replication of honey bee-associated RNA viruses across multiple bee species in apple orchards of Georgia, Germany and Kyrgyzstan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radzevičiūtė, Rita; Theodorou, Panagiotis; Husemann, Martin; Japoshvili, George; Kirkitadze, Giorgi; Zhusupbaeva, Aigul; Paxton, Robert J

    2017-06-01

    The essential ecosystem service of pollination is provided largely by insects, which are considered threatened by diverse biotic and abiotic global change pressures. RNA viruses are one such pressure, and have risen in prominence as a major threat for honey bees (Apis mellifera) and global apiculture, as well as a risk factor for other bee species through pathogen spill-over between managed honey bees and sympatric wild pollinator communities. Yet despite their potential role in global bee decline, the prevalence of honey bee-associated RNA viruses in wild bees is poorly known from both geographic and taxonomic perspectives. We screened members of pollinator communities (honey bees, bumble bees and other wild bees belonging to four families) collected from apple orchards in Georgia, Germany and Kyrgyzstan for six common honey bee-associated RNA virus complexes encompassing nine virus targets. The Deformed wing virus complex (DWV genotypes A and B) had the highest prevalence across all localities and host species and was the only virus complex found in wild bee species belonging to all four studied families. Based on amplification of negative-strand viral RNA, we found evidence for viral replication in wild bee species of DWV-A/DWV-B (hosts: Andrena haemorrhoa and several Bombus spp.) and Black queen cell virus (hosts: Anthophora plumipes, several Bombus spp., Osmia bicornis and Xylocopa spp.). Viral amplicon sequences revealed that DWV-A and DWV-B are regionally distinct but identical in two or more bee species at any one site, suggesting virus is shared amongst sympatric bee taxa. This study demonstrates that honey bee associated RNA viruses are geographically and taxonomically widespread, likely infective in wild bee species, and shared across bee taxa. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Honey Bee Gut Microbiome Is Altered by In-Hive Pesticide Exposures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kakumanu, Madhavi L; Reeves, Alison M; Anderson, Troy D; Rodrigues, Richard R; Williams, Mark A

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the primary pollinators of major horticultural crops. Over the last few decades, a substantial decline in honey bees and their colonies have been reported. While a plethora of factors could contribute to the putative decline, pathogens, and pesticides are common concerns that draw attention. In addition to potential direct effects on honey bees, indirect pesticide effects could include alteration of essential gut microbial communities and symbionts that are important to honey bee health (e.g., immune system). The primary objective of this study was to determine the microbiome associated with honey bees exposed to commonly used in-hive pesticides: coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, and chlorothalonil. Treatments were replicated at three independent locations near Blacksburg Virginia, and included a no-pesticide amended control at each location. The microbiome was characterized through pyrosequencing of V2-V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS region. Pesticide exposure significantly affected the structure of bacterial but not fungal communities. The bee bacteriome, similar to other studies, was dominated by sequences derived from Bacilli, Actinobacteria, α-, β-, γ-proteobacteria. The fungal community sequences were dominated by Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes. The Multi-response permutation procedures (MRPP) and subsequent Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) analysis indicated that chlorothalonil caused significant change to the structure and functional potential of the honey bee gut bacterial community relative to control. Putative genes for oxidative phosphorylation, for example, increased while sugar metabolism and peptidase potential declined in the microbiome of chlorothalonil exposed bees. The results of this field-based study suggest the potential for pesticide induced changes to the honey bee gut microbiome that warrant further investigation.

  15. Proteomic analyses of male contributions to honey bee sperm storage and mating

    OpenAIRE

    Collins, A M; Caperna, T J; Williams, V; Garrett, W M; Evans, J D

    2006-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queens mate early in life and store sperm for years. Male bees likely contribute significantly to sperm survival. Proteins were extracted from seminal vesicles and semen of mature drones, separated by electrophoresis, and analysed by peptide mass fingerprinting. Computer searches against three databases, general species, honey bees and fruit flies, were performed. Spectra were used to query the recently generated honey bee genome protein list as well as general s...

  16. Proceedings "… Towards Resilient Honey Bees …"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dooremalen, van C.A.; Zweep, A.

    2015-01-01

    The Research Roadmap is a co-creation by Bees@wur and the Dutch government, and the (inter)national researchers participating in the workshop Resilient Honey bees 23-24 November 2015, Castle Hoekelum, Bennekom, The Netherlands

  17. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenghua Xie

    Full Text Available Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L. and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity.

  18. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zhenghua; Pan, Dongdong; Teichroew, Jonathan; An, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity.

  19. Behavioral studies of learning in the Africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramson, Charles I; Aquino, Italo S

    2002-01-01

    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. Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

  20. The habitat disruption induces immune-suppression and oxidative stress in honey bees

    OpenAIRE

    Morimoto, Tomomi; Kojima, Yuriko; Toki, Taku; Komeda, Yayoi; Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Nirasawa, Keijiro; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    The honey bee is a major insect used for pollination of many commercial crops worldwide. Although the use of honey bees for pollination can disrupt the habitat, the effects on their physiology have never been determined. Recently, honey bee colonies have often collapsed when introduced in greenhouses for pollination in Japan. Thus, suppressing colony collapses and maintaining the number of worker bees in the colonies is essential for successful long-term pollination in greenhouses and recycli...

  1. Winter Survival of Individual Honey Bees and Honey Bee Colonies Depends on Level of Varroa destructor Infestation

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dooremalen, Coby; Gerritsen, Lonne; Cornelissen, Bram; van der Steen, Jozef J. M.; van Langevelde, Frank; Blacquière, Tjeerd

    2012-01-01

    Background Recent elevated winter loss of honey bee colonies is a major concern. The presence of the mite Varroa destructor in colonies places an important pressure on bee health. V. destructor shortens the lifespan of individual bees, while long lifespan during winter is a primary requirement to survive until the next spring. We investigated in two subsequent years the effects of different levels of V. destructor infestation during the transition from short-lived summer bees to long-lived winter bees on the lifespan of individual bees and the survival of bee colonies during winter. Colonies treated earlier in the season to reduce V. destructor infestation during the development of winter bees were expected to have longer bee lifespan and higher colony survival after winter. Methodology/Principal Findings Mite infestation was reduced using acaricide treatments during different months (July, August, September, or not treated). We found that the number of capped brood cells decreased drastically between August and November, while at the same time, the lifespan of the bees (marked cohorts) increased indicating the transition to winter bees. Low V. destructor infestation levels before and during the transition to winter bees resulted in an increase in lifespan of bees and higher colony survival compared to colonies that were not treated and that had higher infestation levels. A variety of stress-related factors could have contributed to the variation in longevity and winter survival that we found between years. Conclusions/Significance This study contributes to theory about the multiple causes for the recent elevated colony losses in honey bees. Our study shows the correlation between long lifespan of winter bees and colony loss in spring. Moreover, we show that colonies treated earlier in the season had reduced V. destructor infestation during the development of winter bees resulting in longer bee lifespan and higher colony survival after winter. PMID:22558421

  2. Viral infection affects sucrose responsiveness and homing ability of forager honey bees, Apis mellifera L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhiguo; Chen, Yanping; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Shenglu; Li, Wenfeng; Yan, Limin; Shi, Liangen; Wu, Lyman; Sohr, Alex; Su, Songkun

    2013-01-01

    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.

  3. Viral infection affects sucrose responsiveness and homing ability of forager honey bees, Apis mellifera L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiguo Li

    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.

  4. Viral Infection Affects Sucrose Responsiveness and Homing Ability of Forager Honey Bees, Apis mellifera L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhiguo; Chen, Yanping; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Shenglu; Li, Wenfeng; Yan, Limin; Shi, Liangen; Wu, Lyman; Sohr, Alex; Su, Songkun

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24130876

  5. Screening alternative therapies to control Nosemosis type C in honey bee (Apis mellifera iberiensis) colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botías, Cristina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Meana, Aránzazu; Higes, Mariano

    2013-12-01

    Nosemosis type C caused by the microsporidium Nosema ceranae is one of the most widespread of the adult honey bee diseases, and due to its detrimental effects on both strength and productivity of honey bee colonies, an appropriate control of this disease is advisable. Fumagillin is the only veterinary medicament recommended by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to suppress infections by Nosema, but the use of this antibiotic is prohibited in the European Union and few alternatives are available at present to control the disease. In the present study three therapeutic agents (Nosestat®, Phenyl salicylate and Vitafeed Gold®) have been tested to control N. ceranae infection in honey bee colonies, and have been compared to the use of fumagillin. None of the products tested was effective against Nosema under our experimental conditions. Low consumption of the different doses of treatments may have had a strong influence on the results obtained, highlighting the importance of this issue and emphasizing that this should be evaluated in studies to test therapeutic treatments of honey bee colonies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Division of labor associated with brood rearing in the honey bee: how does it translate to colony fitness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramesh R Sagili

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Division of labor is a striking feature observed in honey bees and many other social insects. Division of labor has been claimed to benefit fitness. In honey bees, the adult work force may be viewed as divided between non-foraging hive bees that rear brood and maintain the nest, and foragers that collect food outside the nest. Honey bee brood pheromone is a larval pheromone that serves as an excellent empirical tool to manipulate foraging behaviors and thus division of labor in the honey bee. Here we use two different doses of brood pheromone to alter the foraging stimulus environment, thus changing demographics of colony division of labor, to demonstrate how division of labor associated with brood rearing affects colony growth rate. We examine the effects of these different doses of brood pheromone on individual foraging ontogeny and specialization, colony level foraging behavior, and individual glandular protein synthesis. Low brood pheromone treatment colonies exhibited significantly higher foraging population, decreased age of first foraging and greater foraging effort, resulting in greater colony growth compared to other treatments. This study demonstrates how division of labor associated with brood rearing affects honey bee colony growth rate, a token of fitness.

  7. Analyses of avocado (Persea americana) nectar properties and their perception by honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afik, O; Dag, A; Kerem, Z; Shafir, S

    2006-09-01

    Honey bees are important avocado pollinators. However, due to the low attractiveness of flowers, pollination is often inadequate. Previous work has revealed that avocado honey is relatively unattractive to honey bees when compared with honey from competing flowers. We characterized avocado honey and nectar with respect to their odor, color, and composition of sugars, phenolic compounds, and minerals. Furthermore, we tested how honey bees perceive these parameters, using the proboscis extension response bioassay and preference experiments with free-flying bees. Naïve bees were indifferent to odors of avocado and citrus flowers and honey. Experienced bees, which were collected in the field during the blooming season, responded preferentially to odor of citrus flowers. The unique sugar composition of avocado nectar, which contains almost exclusively sucrose and a low concentration of the rare carbohydrate perseitol, and the dark brown color of avocado honey, had no negative effects on its attractiveness to the bees. Phenolic compounds extracted from avocado honey were attractive to bees and adding them to a solution of sucrose increased its attractiveness. Compared with citrus nectar and nonavocado honey, avocado nectar and honey were rich in a wide range of minerals, including potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, iron, and copper. Potassium and phosphorus, the two major minerals, both had a repellent effect on the bees. Possible explanations for the presence of repellent components in avocado nectar are discussed.

  8. Honey constituents up-regulate detoxification and immunity genes in the western honey bee Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Wenfu; Schuler, Mary A; Berenbaum, May R

    2013-05-28

    As a managed pollinator, the honey bee Apis mellifera is critical to the American agricultural enterprise. Recent colony losses have thus raised concerns; possible explanations for bee decline include nutritional deficiencies and exposures to pesticides and pathogens. We determined that constituents found in honey, including p-coumaric acid, pinocembrin, and pinobanksin 5-methyl ether, specifically induce detoxification genes. These inducers are primarily found not in nectar but in pollen in the case of p-coumaric acid (a monomer of sporopollenin, the principal constituent of pollen cell walls) and propolis, a resinous material gathered and processed by bees to line wax cells. RNA-seq analysis (massively parallel RNA sequencing) revealed that p-coumaric acid specifically up-regulates all classes of detoxification genes as well as select antimicrobial peptide genes. This up-regulation has functional significance in that that adding p-coumaric acid to a diet of sucrose increases midgut metabolism of coumaphos, a widely used in-hive acaricide, by ∼60%. As a major component of pollen grains, p-coumaric acid is ubiquitous in the natural diet of honey bees and may function as a nutraceutical regulating immune and detoxification processes. The widespread apicultural use of honey substitutes, including high-fructose corn syrup, may thus compromise the ability of honey bees to cope with pesticides and pathogens and contribute to colony losses.

  9. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) nurses do not consume pollens based on their nutritional quality

    OpenAIRE

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Snyder, Lucy; Meador, Charlotte; Ayotte, Trace

    2018-01-01

    Honey bee workers (Apis mellifera) consume a variety of pollens to meet the majority of their requirements for protein and lipids. Recent work indicates that honey bees prefer diets that reflect the proper ratio of nutrients necessary for optimal survival and homeostasis. This idea relies on the precept that honey bees evaluate the nutritional composition of the foods provided to them. While this has been shown in bumble bees, the data for honey bees are mixed. Further, there is controversy a...

  10. The effect of Agaricus brasiliensis extract supplementation on honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevanovic, Jevrosima; Stanimirovic, Zoran; Simeunovic, Predrag; Lakic, Nada; Radovic, Ivica; Sokovic, Marina; Griensven, Leo J L D VAN

    2018-01-01

    This study was done to discover any beneficial effect of a medicinal mushroom Agaricus brasiliensis extract on the honey bee. Firstly, a laboratory experiment was conducted on 640 bees reared in 32 single-use plastic rearing cups. A. brasiliensis extract proved safe in all doses tested (50, 100 and 150 mg/kg/day) irrespective of feeding mode (sugar syrup or candy). Secondly, a three-year field experiment was conducted on 26 colonies treated with a single dose of A. brasiliensis extract (100 mg/kg/day) added to syrup. Each year the colonies were treated once in autumn and twice in spring. The treatments significantly increased colony strength parameters: brood rearing improvement and adult population growth were noticed more often than the increase in honey production and pollen reserves. These positive effects were mainly observed in April. In conclusion, A. brasiliensis extract is safe for the bees and helps maintaining strong colonies, especially in spring.

  11. The effect of Agaricus brasiliensis extract supplementation on honey bee colonies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JEVROSIMA STEVANOVIC

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT This study was done to discover any beneficial effect of a medicinal mushroom Agaricus brasiliensis extract on the honey bee. Firstly, a laboratory experiment was conducted on 640 bees reared in 32 single-use plastic rearing cups. A. brasiliensis extract proved safe in all doses tested (50, 100 and 150 mg/kg/day irrespective of feeding mode (sugar syrup or candy. Secondly, a three-year field experiment was conducted on 26 colonies treated with a single dose of A. brasiliensis extract (100 mg/kg/day added to syrup. Each year the colonies were treated once in autumn and twice in spring. The treatments significantly increased colony strength parameters: brood rearing improvement and adult population growth were noticed more often than the increase in honey production and pollen reserves. These positive effects were mainly observed in April. In conclusion, A. brasiliensis extract is safe for the bees and helps maintaining strong colonies, especially in spring.

  12. The Honey Bee Pathosphere of Mongolia: European Viruses in Central Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsevegmid, Khaliunaa; Neumann, Peter; Yañez, Orlando

    2016-01-01

    Parasites and pathogens are apparent key factors for the detrimental health of managed European honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera. Apicultural trade is arguably the main factor for the almost global distribution of most honey bee diseases, thereby increasing chances for multiple infestations/infections of regions, apiaries, colonies and even individual bees. This imposes difficulties to evaluate the effects of pathogens in isolation, thereby creating demand to survey remote areas. Here, we conducted the first comprehensive survey for 14 honey bee pathogens in Mongolia (N = 3 regions, N = 9 locations, N = 151 colonies), where honey bee colonies depend on humans to overwinter. In Mongolia, honey bees, Apis spp., are not native and colonies of European A. mellifera subspecies have been introduced ~60 years ago. Despite the high detection power and large sample size across Mongolian regions with beekeeping, the mite Acarapis woodi, the bacteria Melissococcus plutonius and Paenibacillus larvae, the microsporidian Nosema apis, Acute bee paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus and Lake Sinai virus strain 2 were not detected, suggesting that they are either very rare or absent. The mite Varroa destructor, Nosema ceranae and four viruses (Sacbrood virus, Black queen cell virus, Deformed wing virus (DWV) and Chronic bee paralysis virus) were found with different prevalence. Despite the positive correlation between the prevalence of V. destructor mites and DWV, some areas had only mites, but not DWV, which is most likely due to the exceptional isolation of apiaries (up to 600 km). Phylogenetic analyses of the detected viruses reveal their clustering and European origin, thereby supporting the role of trade for pathogen spread and the isolation of Mongolia from South-Asian countries. In conclusion, this survey reveals the distinctive honey bee pathosphere of Mongolia, which offers opportunities for exciting future research.

  13. The Honey Bee Pathosphere of Mongolia: European Viruses in Central Asia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaliunaa Tsevegmid

    Full Text Available Parasites and pathogens are apparent key factors for the detrimental health of managed European honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera. Apicultural trade is arguably the main factor for the almost global distribution of most honey bee diseases, thereby increasing chances for multiple infestations/infections of regions, apiaries, colonies and even individual bees. This imposes difficulties to evaluate the effects of pathogens in isolation, thereby creating demand to survey remote areas. Here, we conducted the first comprehensive survey for 14 honey bee pathogens in Mongolia (N = 3 regions, N = 9 locations, N = 151 colonies, where honey bee colonies depend on humans to overwinter. In Mongolia, honey bees, Apis spp., are not native and colonies of European A. mellifera subspecies have been introduced ~60 years ago. Despite the high detection power and large sample size across Mongolian regions with beekeeping, the mite Acarapis woodi, the bacteria Melissococcus plutonius and Paenibacillus larvae, the microsporidian Nosema apis, Acute bee paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus and Lake Sinai virus strain 2 were not detected, suggesting that they are either very rare or absent. The mite Varroa destructor, Nosema ceranae and four viruses (Sacbrood virus, Black queen cell virus, Deformed wing virus (DWV and Chronic bee paralysis virus were found with different prevalence. Despite the positive correlation between the prevalence of V. destructor mites and DWV, some areas had only mites, but not DWV, which is most likely due to the exceptional isolation of apiaries (up to 600 km. Phylogenetic analyses of the detected viruses reveal their clustering and European origin, thereby supporting the role of trade for pathogen spread and the isolation of Mongolia from South-Asian countries. In conclusion, this survey reveals the distinctive honey bee pathosphere of Mongolia, which offers opportunities for exciting future research.

  14. Impact of managed honey bee viruses on wild bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tehel, Anja; Brown, Mark Jf; Paxton, Robert J

    2016-08-01

    Several viruses found in the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) have recently been detected in other bee species, raising the possibility of spill-over from managed to wild bee species. Alternatively, these viruses may be shared generalists across flower-visiting insects. Here we explore the former hypothesis, pointing out weaknesses in the current evidence, particularly in relation to deformed wing virus (DWV), and highlighting research areas that may help test it. Data so far suggest that DWV spills over from managed to wild bee species and has the potential to cause population decline. That DWV and other viruses of A. mellifera are found in other bee species needs to be considered for the sustainable management of bee populations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Transcriptional responses in honey bee larvae infected with chalkbrood fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronstein, Katherine A; Murray, Keith D; Saldivar, Eduardo

    2010-06-21

    Diseases and other stress factors working synergistically weaken honey bee health and may play a major role in the losses of bee populations in recent years. Among a large number of bee diseases, chalkbrood has been on the rise. We present here the experimental identification of honey bee genes that are differentially expressed in response to infection of honey bee larvae with the chalkbrood fungus, Ascosphaera apis. We used cDNA-AFLP Technology to profile transcripts in infected and uninfected bee larvae. From 64 primer combinations, over 7,400 transcriptionally-derived fragments were obtained A total of 98 reproducible polymorphic cDNA-AFLP fragments were excised and sequenced, followed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis of these and additional samples.We have identified a number of differentially-regulated transcripts that are implicated in general mechanisms of stress adaptation, including energy metabolism and protein transport. One of the most interesting differentially-regulated transcripts is for a chitinase-like enzyme that may be linked to anti-fungal activities in the honey bee larvae, similarly to gut and fat-body specific chitinases found in mosquitoes and the red flour beetle. Surprisingly, we did not find many components of the well-characterized NF-kappaB intracellular signaling pathways to be differentially-regulated using the cDNA-AFLP approach. Therefore, utilizing qRT-PCR, we probed some of the immune related genes to determine whether the lack of up-regulation of their transcripts in our analysis can be attributed to lack of immune activation or to limitations of the cDNA-AFLP approach. Using a combination of cDNA-AFLP and qRT-PCR analyses, we were able to determine several key transcriptional events that constitute the overall effort in the honey bee larvae to fight natural fungal infection. Honey bee transcripts identified in this study are involved in critical functions related to transcriptional regulation, apoptotic

  16. Heritabilities and genetic correlations for honey yield, gentleness, calmness and swarming behaviour in Austrian honey bees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brascamp, Evert; Willam, Alfons; Boigenzahn, Christian; Bijma, Piter; Veerkamp, Roel F.

    2016-01-01

    Heritabilities and genetic correlations were estimated for honey yield and behavioural traits in Austrian honey bees using data on nearly 15,000 colonies of the bee breeders association Biene Österreich collected between 1995 and 2014. The statistical models used distinguished between the genetic

  17. The neglected bee trees: European beech forests as a home for feral honey bee colonies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Laurenz Kohl

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available It is a common belief that feral honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera L. were eradicated in Europe through the loss of habitats, domestication by man and spread of pathogens and parasites. Interestingly, no scientific data are available, neither about the past nor the present status of naturally nesting honeybee colonies. We expected near-natural beech (Fagus sylvatica L. forests to provide enough suitable nest sites to be a home for feral honey bee colonies in Europe. Here, we made a first assessment of their occurrence and density in two German woodland areas based on two methods, the tracing of nest sites based on forager flight routes (beelining technique, and the direct inspection of potential cavity trees. Further, we established experimental swarms at forest edges and decoded dances for nest sites performed by scout bees in order to study how far swarms from beekeeper-managed hives would potentially move into a forest. We found that feral honey bee colonies regularly inhabit tree cavities in near-natural beech forests at densities of at least 0.11–0.14 colonies/km2. Colonies were not confined to the forest edges; they were also living deep inside the forests. We estimated a median distance of 2,600 m from the bee trees to the next apiaries, while scout bees in experimental swarms communicated nest sites in close distances (median: 470 m. We extrapolate that there are several thousand feral honey bee colonies in German woodlands. These have to be taken in account when assessing the role of forest areas in providing pollination services to the surrounding land, and their occurrence has implications for the species’ perception among researchers, beekeepers and conservationists. This study provides a starting point for investigating the life-histories and the ecological interactions of honey bees in temperate European forest environments.

  18. The neglected bee trees: European beech forests as a home for feral honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Patrick Laurenz; Rutschmann, Benjamin

    2018-01-01

    It is a common belief that feral honey bee colonies ( Apis mellifera L.) were eradicated in Europe through the loss of habitats, domestication by man and spread of pathogens and parasites. Interestingly, no scientific data are available, neither about the past nor the present status of naturally nesting honeybee colonies. We expected near-natural beech ( Fagus sylvatica L.) forests to provide enough suitable nest sites to be a home for feral honey bee colonies in Europe. Here, we made a first assessment of their occurrence and density in two German woodland areas based on two methods, the tracing of nest sites based on forager flight routes (beelining technique), and the direct inspection of potential cavity trees. Further, we established experimental swarms at forest edges and decoded dances for nest sites performed by scout bees in order to study how far swarms from beekeeper-managed hives would potentially move into a forest. We found that feral honey bee colonies regularly inhabit tree cavities in near-natural beech forests at densities of at least 0.11-0.14 colonies/km 2 . Colonies were not confined to the forest edges; they were also living deep inside the forests. We estimated a median distance of 2,600 m from the bee trees to the next apiaries, while scout bees in experimental swarms communicated nest sites in close distances (median: 470 m). We extrapolate that there are several thousand feral honey bee colonies in German woodlands. These have to be taken in account when assessing the role of forest areas in providing pollination services to the surrounding land, and their occurrence has implications for the species' perception among researchers, beekeepers and conservationists. This study provides a starting point for investigating the life-histories and the ecological interactions of honey bees in temperate European forest environments.

  19. Queens and Workers Contribute Differently to Adaptive Evolution in Bumble Bees and Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harpur, Brock A; Dey, Alivia; Albert, Jennifer R; Patel, Sani; Hines, Heather M; Hasselmann, Martin; Packer, Laurence; Zayed, Amro

    2017-09-01

    Eusociality represents a major transition in evolution and is typified by cooperative brood care and reproductive division of labor between generations. In bees, this division of labor allows queens and workers to phenotypically specialize. Worker traits associated with helping are thought to be crucial to the fitness of a eusocial lineage, and recent studies of honey bees (genus Apis) have found that adaptively evolving genes often have worker-biased expression patterns. It is unclear however if worker-biased genes are disproportionately acted on by strong positive selection in all eusocial insects. We undertook a comparative population genomics study of bumble bees (Bombus) and honey bees to quantify natural selection on queen- and worker-biased genes across two levels of social complexity. Despite sharing a common eusocial ancestor, genes, and gene groups with the highest levels of positive selection were often unique within each genus, indicating that life history and the environment, but not sociality per se, drives patterns of adaptive molecular evolution. We uncovered differences in the contribution of queen- and worker-biased genes to adaptive evolution in bumble bees versus honey bees. Unlike honey bees, where worker-biased genes are enriched for signs of adaptive evolution, genes experiencing positive selection in bumble bees were predominately expressed by reproductive foundresses during the initial solitary-founding stage of colonies. Our study suggests that solitary founding is a major selective pressure and that the loss of queen totipotency may cause a change in the architecture of selective pressures upon the social insect genome. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  20. Introgression of lineage c honey bees into black honey bee populations: a genome-wide estimation using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPS)

    OpenAIRE

    Henriques, Dora; Chavez-Galarza, Julio; Kryger, Per; Johnston, J. Spencer; De la Rúa, Pilar; Rufino, José; Dall'Olio, Raffaele; Garnery, Lionel; Pinto, M. Alice

    2012-01-01

    The black honey bee, Apis mellifera mellifera L., is probably the honey bee subspecies more threatened by introgression from foreign subspecies, specially lineage C A. m. carnica and A. m. ligustica. In fact, in some areas of its distributional range, intensive beekeeping with foreign subspecies has driven A. m. mellifera populations to nearly replacement. While massive and repeated introductions may lead to loss of native genetic patrimony, a low level of gene flow can also be detrimental be...

  1. Protein levels and colony development of Africanized and European honey bees fed natural and artificial diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morais, M M; Turcatto, A P; Pereira, R A; Francoy, T M; Guidugli-Lazzarini, K R; Gonçalves, L S; de Almeida, J M V; Ellis, J D; De Jong, D

    2013-12-19

    Pollen substitute diets are a valuable resource for maintaining strong and health honey bee colonies. Specific diets may be useful in one region or country and inadequate or economically unviable in others. We compared two artificial protein diets that had been formulated from locally-available ingredients in Brazil with bee bread and a non-protein sucrose diet. Groups of 100 newly-emerged, adult workers of Africanized honey bees in Brazil and European honey bees in the USA were confined in small cages and fed on one of four diets for seven days. The artificial diets included a high protein diet made of soy milk powder and albumin, and a lower protein level diet consisting of soy milk powder, brewer's yeast and rice bran. The initial protein levels in newly emerged bees were approximately 18-21 µg/µL hemolymph. After feeding on the diets for seven days, the protein levels in the hemolymph were similar among the protein diet groups (~37-49 µg/µL after seven days), although Africanized bees acquired higher protein levels, increasing 145 and 100% on diets D1 and D2, respectively, versus 83 and 60% in the European bees. All the protein diets resulted in significantly higher levels of protein than sucrose solution alone. In the field, the two pollen substitute diets were tested during periods of low pollen availability in the field in two regions of Brazil. Food consumption, population development, colony weight, and honey production were evaluated to determine the impact of the diets on colony strength parameters. The colonies fed artificial diets had a significant improvement in all parameters, while control colonies dwindled during the dearth period. We conclude that these two artificial protein diets have good potential as pollen substitutes during dearth periods and that Africanized bees more efficiently utilize artificial protein diets than do European honey bees.

  2. Studies of learned helplessness in honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinges, Christopher W; Varnon, Christopher A; Cota, Lisa D; Slykerman, Stephen; Abramson, Charles I

    2017-04-01

    The current study reports 2 experiments investigating learned helplessness in the honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica). In Experiment 1, we used a traditional escape method but found the bees' activity levels too high to observe changes due to treatment conditions. The bees were not able to learn in this traditional escape procedure; thus, such procedures may be inappropriate to study learned helplessness in honey bees. In Experiment 2, we used an alternative punishment, or passive avoidance, method to investigate learned helplessness. Using a master and yoked design where bees were trained as either master or yoked and tested as either master or yoked, we found that prior training with unavoidable and inescapable shock in the yoked condition interfered with avoidance and escape behavior in the later master condition. Unlike control bees, learned helplessness bees failed to restrict their movement to the safe compartment following inescapable shock. Unlike learned helplessness studies in other animals, no decrease in general activity was observed. Furthermore, we did not observe a "freezing" response to inescapable aversive stimuli-a phenomenon, thus far, consistently observed in learned helplessness tests with other species. The bees, instead, continued to move back and forth between compartments despite punishment in the incorrect compartment. These findings suggest that, although traditional escape methods may not be suitable, honey bees display learned helplessness in passive avoidance procedures. Thus, regardless of behavioral differences from other species, honey bees can be a unique invertebrate model organism for the study of learned helplessness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and wild bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, B A; Bullock, J M; Shore, R F; Heard, M S; Pereira, M G; Redhead, J; Ridding, L; Dean, H; Sleep, D; Henrys, P; Peyton, J; Hulmes, S; Hulmes, L; Sárospataki, M; Saure, C; Edwards, M; Genersch, E; Knäbe, S; Pywell, R F

    2017-06-30

    Neonicotinoid seed dressings have caused concern world-wide. We use large field experiments to assess the effects of neonicotinoid-treated crops on three bee species across three countries (Hungary, Germany, and the United Kingdom). Winter-sown oilseed rape was grown commercially with either seed coatings containing neonicotinoids (clothianidin or thiamethoxam) or no seed treatment (control). For honey bees, we found both negative (Hungary and United Kingdom) and positive (Germany) effects during crop flowering. In Hungary, negative effects on honey bees (associated with clothianidin) persisted over winter and resulted in smaller colonies in the following spring (24% declines). In wild bees ( Bombus terrestris and Osmia bicornis ), reproduction was negatively correlated with neonicotinoid residues. These findings point to neonicotinoids causing a reduced capacity of bee species to establish new populations in the year following exposure. Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  4. Antagonistic interactions between honey bee bacterial symbionts and implications for disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armstrong Tamieka-Nicole

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Honey bees, Apis mellifera, face many parasites and pathogens and consequently rely on a diverse set of individual and group-level defenses to prevent disease. One route by which honey bees and other insects might combat disease is through the shielding effects of their microbial symbionts. Bees carry a diverse assemblage of bacteria, very few of which appear to be pathogenic. Here we explore the inhibitory effects of these resident bacteria against the primary bacterial pathogen of honey bees, Paenibacillus larvae. Results Here we isolate, culture, and describe by 16S rRNA and protein-coding gene sequences 61 bacterial isolates from honey bee larvae, reflecting a total of 43 distinct bacterial taxa. We culture these bacteria alongside the primary larval pathogen of honey bees, Paenibacillus larvae, and show that many of these isolates severely inhibit the growth of this pathogen. Accordingly, symbiotic bacteria including those described here are plausible natural antagonists toward this widespread pathogen. Conclusion The results suggest a tradeoff in social insect colonies between the maintenance of potentially beneficial bacterial symbionts and deterrence at the individual and colony level of pathogenic species. They also provide a novel mechanism for recently described social components behind disease resistance in insect colonies, and point toward a potential control strategy for an important bee disease.

  5. The Plight of the Honey Bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hockridge, Emma

    2010-01-01

    The decline of colonies of honey bees across the world is threatening local plant biodiversity and human food supplies. Neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated as a major cause of the problem and are banned or suspended in several countries. Other factors could also be lowering the resistance of bees to opportunist infections by, for…

  6. Honey quality of Melipona sp. bees in Acre, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus Augusto Damaceno do Vale

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Honey from stingless bees (Melipona sp. is a nutritious and medicinal product economically valued in the informal Brazilian market, driven by the growing demand for natural products; however, its physicochemical characteristics are still unknown. Thus, the aim of this study is to evaluate the physicochemical profile of the stingless bee honey produced in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre. Honey samples were analyzed following the methodology recommended by Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento; the following parameters were established: moisture, total sugars, reducing sugars, apparent sucrose, ash, crude protein, diastase activity, Brix degrees, free acidity, lactonic acidity, total acidity, pH, hydroxymethylfurfural, electrical conductivity, color and Lugol, Lund and Fiehe reactions. Results show that these parameters are not suitable for all samples, being incompatible with established standards, indicating that the current legislation on Apis mellifera is not suitable for all characters analyzed, mainly moisture content, corroborating the need to standardize guidelines for honey from stingless bees. Moreover, there was no tampering in the honeys analyzed.

  7. Kiwifruit Flower Odor Perception and Recognition by Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twidle, Andrew M; Mas, Flore; Harper, Aimee R; Horner, Rachael M; Welsh, Taylor J; Suckling, David M

    2015-06-17

    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.

  8. Longevity extension of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) by royal jelly: optimal dose and active ingredient

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Wenchao; Tian, Yuanyuan; Han, Mingfeng; Miao, Xiaoqing

    2017-01-01

    In the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, queens and workers have different longevity although they share the same genome. Queens consume royal jelly (RJ) as the main food throughout their life, including as adults, but workers only eat worker jelly when they are larvae less than 3 days old. In order to explore the effect of RJ and the components affecting longevity of worker honey bees, we first determined the optimal dose for prolonging longevity of workers as 4% RJ in 50% sucrose solution,...

  9. Radioactive contamination of honey and other bee-keeping products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frantsevich, L.I.; Komissar, A.D.; Levchenko, I.A.

    1990-01-01

    Great amount of dust is collected in propolis under emergency atmospheric fallouts. Specific coefficient of the product migration amounts to several m 2 per 1 kg. Propolis is a good biological indicator of radioactive fallouts. The propolis collection is inadmissible after radioactive fallouts. Cocoon residuals obtained during bees-wax separation contain many radionuclides and should be disposed in special places. Nuclides are absent in bees-wax. Nuclides accumulated absent in a bee organism migrate into honey and queen milk, the honey is contaminated mainly via biogenic path

  10. Range and Frequency of Africanized Honey Bees in California (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kono, Yoshiaki; Kohn, Joshua R.

    2015-01-01

    Africanized honey bees entered California in 1994 but few accounts of their northward expansion or their frequency relative to European honey bees have been published. We used mitochondrial markers and morphometric analyses to determine the prevalence of Africanized honeybees in San Diego County and their current northward progress in California west of the Sierra Nevada crest. The northernmost African mitotypes detected were approximately 40 km south of Sacramento in California’s central valley. In San Diego County, 65% of foraging honey bee workers carry African mitochondria and the estimated percentage of Africanized workers using morphological measurements is similar (61%). There was no correlation between mitotype and morphology in San Diego County suggesting Africanized bees result from bidirectional hybridization. Seventy percent of feral hives, but only 13% of managed hives, sampled in San Diego County carried the African mitotype indicating that a large fraction of foraging workers in both urban and rural San Diego County are feral. We also found a single nucleotide polymorphism at the DNA barcode locus COI that distinguishes European and African mitotypes. The utility of this marker was confirmed using 401 georeferenced honey bee sequences from the worldwide Barcode of Life Database. Future censuses can determine whether the current range of the Africanized form is stable, patterns of introgression at nuclear loci, and the environmental factors that may limit the northern range of the Africanized honey bee. PMID:26361047

  11. Age and reproductive status of adult Varroa mites affect grooming success of honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirrane, Maria J; de Guzman, Lilia I; Rinderer, Thomas E; Frake, Amanda M; Wagnitz, Jeremy; Whelan, Pádraig M

    2012-12-01

    This study evaluated for the first time the grooming response of honey bees to Varroa mites of different ages and reproductive statuses in the laboratory. Plastic cages containing a section of dark comb and about 200 bees were inoculated with groups of four classes of mites: gravid, phoretic foundresses, phoretic daughters and a combination of gravid and phoretic foundress mites. Each cage received 20 mites belonging to one of these classes. Our results showed that, 1 day after mite inoculation, phoretic daughter mites were the most prone to grooming by honey bees with an average mite drop of 49.8 ± 2.6 %. The lowest mite drop was recorded for bees inoculated with phoretic foundresses (30.3 ± 3.6 %) but was comparable to bees inoculated with gravid mites (31.8 ± 3.8 %) and the combination of gravid and phoretic foundress mites (34.2 ± 3.2 %). No differences among mite types were detected during the second and third days of observation. Regardless of mite type, the highest mite drop was recorded on the first day (35 ± 2.1 %) compared to the drop for any subsequent day (grooming behaviour may increase our insight into the importance of grooming in mite resistance.

  12. Acute bee paralysis virus occurs in the Asian honey bee Apis cerana and parasitic mite Tropilaelaps mercedesae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanpanitkitchote, Pichaya; Chen, Yanping; Evans, Jay D; Li, Wenfeng; Li, Jianghong; Hamilton, Michele; Chantawannakul, Panuwan

    2018-01-01

    Viruses, and especially RNA viruses, constantly change and adapt to new host species and vectors, posing a potential threat of new and reemerging infectious diseases. Honey bee Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and Deformed wing virus (DWV) are two of the most common honey bee viruses found in European honey bees Apis mellifera and have been implicated in worldwide Varroa-associated bee colony losses. Previous studies have shown that DWV has jumped hosts several times in history causing infection in multiple host species. In the present study, we show that DWV infection could be detected in the Asian honey bee, A. cerana, and the parasitic mite Tropilaelaps mercedesae, confirming previous findings that DWV is a multi-host pathogen and supporting the notion that the high prevalence of DWV in honey bee host populations could be attributed to the high adaptability of this virus. Furthermore, our study provides the first evidence that ABPV occurs in both A. cerana and T. mercedesae in northern Thailand. The geographical proximity of host species likely played an important role in the initial exposure and the subsequent cross-species transmission of these viruses. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that ABPV might have moved from T. mercedesae to A. mellifera and to A. cerana while DWV might have moved in the opposite direction from A. cerana to A. mellifera and T. mercedesae. This result may reflect the differences in virus life history and virus-host interactions, warranting further investigation of virus transmission, epidemiology, and impacts of virus infections in the new hosts. The results from this study indicate that viral populations will continue to evolve and likely continue to expand host range, increasing the need for effective surveillance and control of virus infections in honey bee populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Effects of Long Distance Transportation on Honey Bee Physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiheung Ahn

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite the requirement of long distance transportation of honey bees used for pollination, we understand little how transportation affects honey bees. Three trials in three different states (CA, GA, and MI were conducted to study the effects of long distance transportation on honey bee physiology. Newly emerged bees from one colony were split into two groups and introduced into a transported (T colony or a stationary (S colony in each trial. Volumes of hypopharyngeal gland acini in T colonies were significantly smaller than S colonies in all three trials. There were no significant differences between S and T colonies in juvenile hormone titers. Protein content in head showed no significant differences between S and T either in 7-day-old or 17-day-old bees of MI trial, but GA trial showed a significant reduction in bees experiencing transportation. Protein content in thorax was only measured in GA trial and was not significantly different between the two groups. Lipid content in abdomen was not significantly different between the S and T colonies in all three trials. This study suggests that bees experiencing transportation have trouble fully developing their food glands and this might affect their ability to nurse the next generation of workers.

  14. Honey bee workers that are pollen stressed as larvae become poor foragers and waggle dancers as adults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hailey N Scofield

    Full Text Available The negative effects on adult behavior of juvenile undernourishment are well documented in vertebrates, but relatively poorly understood in invertebrates. We examined the effects of larval nutritional stress on the foraging and recruitment behavior of an economically important model invertebrate, the honey bee (Apis mellifera. Pollen, which supplies essential nutrients to developing workers, can become limited in colonies because of seasonal dearths, loss of foraging habitat, or intensive management. However, the functional consequences of being reared by pollen-stressed nestmates remain unclear, despite growing concern that poor nutrition interacts with other stressors to exacerbate colony decline. We manipulated nurse bees' access to pollen and then assessed differences in weight, longevity, foraging activity, and waggle-dance behavior of the workers that they reared (who were co-fostered as adults. Pollen stress during larval development had far-reaching physical and behavioral effects on adult workers. Workers reared in pollen-stressed colonies were lighter and shorter lived than nestmates reared with adequate access to pollen. Proportionally fewer stressed workers were observed foraging and those who did forage started foraging sooner, foraged for fewer days, and were more likely to die after only a single day of foraging. Pollen-stressed workers were also less likely to waggle dance than their unstressed counterparts and, if they danced, the information they conveyed about the location of food was less precise. These performance deficits may escalate if long-term pollen limitation prevents stressed foragers from providing sufficiently for developing workers. Furthermore, the effects of brief pollen shortages reported here mirror the effects of other environmental stressors that limit worker access to nutrients, suggesting the likelihood of their synergistic interaction. Honey bees often experience the level of stress that we created, thus

  15. APIS-a novel approach for conditioning honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkerud, Nicholas H; Wehmann, Henja-Niniane; Galizia, C Giovanni; Gustav, David

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees perform robustly in different conditioning paradigms. This makes them excellent candidates for studying mechanisms of learning and memory at both an individual and a population level. Here we introduce a novel method of honey bee conditioning: APIS, the Automatic Performance Index System. In an enclosed walking arena where the interior is covered with an electric grid, presentation of odors from either end can be combined with weak electric shocks to form aversive associations. To quantify behavioral responses, we continuously monitor the movement of the bee by an automatic tracking system. We found that escapes from one side to the other, changes in velocity as well as distance and time spent away from the punished odor are suitable parameters to describe the bee's learning capabilities. Our data show that in a short-term memory test the response rate for the conditioned stimulus (CS) in APIS correlates well with response rate obtained from conventional Proboscis Extension Response (PER)-conditioning. Additionally, we discovered that bees modulate their behavior to aversively learned odors by reducing their rate, speed and magnitude of escapes and that both generalization and extinction seem to be different between appetitive and aversive stimuli. The advantages of this automatic system make it ideal for assessing learning rates in a standardized and convenient way, and its flexibility adds to the toolbox for studying honey bee behavior.

  16. APIS—a novel approach for conditioning honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkerud, Nicholas H.; Wehmann, Henja-Niniane; Galizia, C. Giovanni; Gustav, David

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees perform robustly in different conditioning paradigms. This makes them excellent candidates for studying mechanisms of learning and memory at both an individual and a population level. Here we introduce a novel method of honey bee conditioning: APIS, the Automatic Performance Index System. In an enclosed walking arena where the interior is covered with an electric grid, presentation of odors from either end can be combined with weak electric shocks to form aversive associations. To quantify behavioral responses, we continuously monitor the movement of the bee by an automatic tracking system. We found that escapes from one side to the other, changes in velocity as well as distance and time spent away from the punished odor are suitable parameters to describe the bee's learning capabilities. Our data show that in a short-term memory test the response rate for the conditioned stimulus (CS) in APIS correlates well with response rate obtained from conventional Proboscis Extension Response (PER)-conditioning. Additionally, we discovered that bees modulate their behavior to aversively learned odors by reducing their rate, speed and magnitude of escapes and that both generalization and extinction seem to be different between appetitive and aversive stimuli. The advantages of this automatic system make it ideal for assessing learning rates in a standardized and convenient way, and its flexibility adds to the toolbox for studying honey bee behavior. PMID:23616753

  17. REVIEW: The Diversity of Indigenous Honey Bee Species of Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SOESILAWATI HADISOESILO

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available It has been known that Indonesia has the most diverse honey bee species in the world. At least five out of nine species of honey bees are native to Indonesia namely Apis andreniformis, A. dorsata, A. cerana, A. koschevnikovi, and A. nigrocincta. One species, A. florea, although it was claimed to be a species native to Indonesia, it is still debatable whether it is really found in Indonesia or not. The new species, A. nuluensis, which is found in Sabah, Borneo is likely to be found in Kalimantan but it has not confirmed yet. This paper discusses briefly the differences among those native honey bees.

  18. Urbanization Increases Pathogen Pressure on Feral and Managed Honey Bees

    OpenAIRE

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Appler, R. Holden; L?pez-Uribe, Margarita M.; Tarpy, David R.; Frank, Steven D.

    2015-01-01

    Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus), the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens....

  19. Genetic structure of Mount Huang honey bee (Apis cerana) populations: evidence from microsatellite polymorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fang; Shi, Tengfei; Huang, Sisi; Yu, Linsheng; Bi, Shoudong

    2016-01-01

    The Mount Huang eastern honey bees ( Apis cerana ) are an endemic population, which is well adapted to the local agricultural and ecological environment. In this study, the genetic structure of seven eastern honey bees ( A. cerana ) populations from Mount Huang in China were analyzed by SSR (simple sequence repeat) markers. The results revealed that 16 pairs of primers used amplified a total of 143 alleles. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 6 to 13, with a mean value of 8.94 alleles per locus. Observed and expected heterozygosities showed mean values of 0.446 and 0.831 respectively. UPGMA cluster analysis grouped seven eastern honey bees in three groups. The results obtained show a high genetic diversity in the honey bee populations studied in Mount Huang, and high differentiation among all the populations, suggesting that scarce exchange of honey bee species happened in Mount Huang. Our study demonstrated that the Mount Huang honey bee populations still have a natural genome worth being protected for conservation.

  20. Wintering Map for Honey Bee Colonies in El-Behera Governorate ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The geographical information system (GIS) has been used successfully in many studies to solve apicultural problems. The winter season is considered as a challenge for honey bee colonies due to the cold weather which cause the forfeiture of many colonies. The good wintering of honey bee colonies depends mainly on ...

  1. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) as explosives detectors: exploring proboscis extension reflex conditioned response to trinitrotolulene (TNT)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylor-mccabe, Kirsten J [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Wingo, Robert M [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Haarmann, Timothy K [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2008-01-01

    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.

  2. Brain gene expression changes elicited by peripheral vitellogenin knockdown in the honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, M M; Ament, S A; Rodriguez-Zas, S L; Robinson, G E

    2013-10-01

    Vitellogenin (Vg) is best known as a yolk protein precursor. Vg also functions to regulate behavioural maturation in adult honey bee workers, but the underlying molecular mechanisms by which it exerts this novel effect are largely unknown. We used abdominal vitellogenin (vg) knockdown with RNA interference (RNAi) and brain transcriptomic profiling to gain insights into how Vg influences honey bee behavioural maturation. We found that vg knockdown caused extensive gene expression changes in the bee brain, with much of this transcriptional response involving changes in central biological functions such as energy metabolism. vg knockdown targeted many of the same genes that show natural, maturation-related differences, but the direction of change for the genes in these two contrasts was not correlated. By contrast, vg knockdown targeted many of the same genes that are regulated by juvenile hormone (JH) and there was a significant correlation for the direction of change for the genes in these two contrasts. These results indicate that the tight coregulatory relationship that exists between JH and Vg in the regulation of honey bee behavioural maturation is manifest at the genomic level and suggest that these two physiological factors act through common pathways to regulate brain gene expression and behaviour. © 2013 Royal Entomological Society.

  3. Current Pesticide Risk Assessment Protocols Do Not Adequately Address Differences Between Honey Bees (Apis mellifera and Bumble Bees (Bombus spp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly Stoner

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent research has demonstrated colony-level sublethal effects of imidacloprid on bumble bees, affecting foraging and food consumption, and thus colony growth and reproduction, at lower pesticide concentrations than for honey bee colonies. However, these studies may not reflect the full effects of neonicotinoids on bumble bees because bumble bee life cycles are different from those of honey bees. Unlike honey bees, bumble bees live in colonies for only a few months each year. Assessing the sublethal effects of systemic insecticides only on the colony level is appropriate for honey bees, but for bumble bees, this approach addresses just part of their annual life cycle. Queens are solitary from the time they leave their home colonies in fall until they produce their first workers the following year. Queens forage for pollen and nectar, and are thus exposed to more risk of direct pesticide exposure than honey bee queens. Almost no research has been done on pesticide exposure to and effects on bumble bee queens. Additional research should focus on critical periods in a bumble bee queen’s life which have the greatest nutritional demands, foraging requirements, and potential for exposure to pesticides, particularly the period during and after nest establishment in the spring when the queen must forage for the nutritional needs of her brood and for her own needs while she maintains an elevated body temperature in order to incubate the brood.

  4. The Status of Honey Bee Health in Italy: Results from the Nationwide Bee Monitoring Network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio Porrini

    Full Text Available In Italy a nation-wide monitoring network was established in 2009 in response to significant honey bee colony mortality reported during 2008. The network comprised of approximately 100 apiaries located across Italy. Colonies were sampled four times per year, in order to assess the health status and to collect samples for pathogen, chemical and pollen analyses. The prevalence of Nosema ceranae ranged, on average, from 47-69% in 2009 and from 30-60% in 2010, with strong seasonal variation. Virus prevalence was higher in 2010 than in 2009. The most widespread viruses were BQCV, DWV and SBV. The most frequent pesticides in all hive contents were organophosphates and pyrethroids such as coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate. Beeswax was the most frequently contaminated hive product, with 40% of samples positive and 13% having multiple residues, while 27% of bee-bread and 12% of honey bee samples were contaminated. Colony losses in 2009/10 were on average 19%, with no major differences between regions of Italy. In 2009, the presence of DWV in autumn was positively correlated with colony losses. Similarly, hive mortality was higher in BQCV infected colonies in the first and second visits of the year. In 2010, colony losses were significantly related to the presence of pesticides in honey bees during the second sampling period. Honey bee exposure to poisons in spring could have a negative impact at the colony level, contributing to increase colony mortality during the beekeeping season. In both 2009 and 2010, colony mortality rates were positively related to the percentage of agricultural land surrounding apiaries, supporting the importance of land use for honey bee health.

  5. Effects of pollen dilution on infection of Nosema ceranae in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jack, Cameron J; Uppala, Sai Sree; Lucas, Hannah M; Sagili, Ramesh R

    2016-04-01

    Multiple stressors are currently threatening honey bee health, including pests and pathogens. Among honey bee pathogens, Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian found parasitizing the western honey bee (Apis mellifera) relatively recently. Honey bee colonies are fed pollen or protein substitute during pollen dearth to boost colony growth and immunity against pests and pathogens. Here we hypothesize that N. ceranae intensity and prevalence will be low in bees receiving high pollen diets, and that honey bees on high pollen diets will have higher survival and/or increased longevity. To test this hypothesis we examined the effects of different quantities of pollen on (a) the intensity and prevalence of N. ceranae and (b) longevity and nutritional physiology of bees inoculated with N. ceranae. Significantly higher spore intensities were observed in treatments that received higher pollen quantities (1:0 and 1:1 pollen:cellulose) when compared to treatments that received relatively lower pollen quantities. There were no significant differences in N. ceranae prevalence among different pollen diet treatments. Interestingly, the bees in higher pollen quantity treatments also had significantly higher survival despite higher intensities of N. ceranae. Significantly higher hypopharyngeal gland protein was observed in the control (no Nosema infection, and receiving a diet of 1:0 pollen:cellulose), followed by 1:0 pollen:cellulose treatment that was inoculated with N. ceranae. Here we demonstrate that diet with higher pollen quantity increases N. ceranae intensity, but also enhances the survival or longevity of honey bees. The information from this study could potentially help beekeepers formulate appropriate protein feeding regimens for their colonies to mitigate N. ceranae problems. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Performance of two honey bee subspecies during harsh weather and Acacia gerrardii nectar-rich flow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Awad Mohamed Awad

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Both climatic factors and bee forage characteristics affect the population size and productivity of honey bee colonies. To our knowledge, no scientific investigation has as yet considered the potential effect of nectar-rich bee forage exposed to drastic subtropical weather conditions on the performance of honey bee colonies. This study investigated the performance of the honey bee subspecies Apis mellifera jemenitica Ruttner (Yemeni and Apis mellifera carnica Pollmann (Carniolan in weather that was hot and dry and in an environment of nectar-rich flora. The brood production, food storage, bee population and honey yield of Yemeni (native and Carniolan (imported colonies on Talh trees (Acacia gerrardii Benth., a nectar-rich, subtropical, and summer bee forage source in Central Arabia were evaluated. Owing to their structural and behavioral adaptations, the Yemeni bees constructed stronger (high population size colonies than the Carniolan bees. Although both groups yielded similar amounts of Talh honey, the Yemeni bees consumed their stored honey rapidly if not timely harvested. A. m. jemenitica has a higher performance than A. m. carnica during extremely hot-dry conditions and A. gerrardii nectar-rich flow.

  7. Multiple routes of pesticide exposure for honey bees living near agricultural fields.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian H Krupke

    Full Text Available Populations of honey bees and other pollinators have declined worldwide in recent years. A variety of stressors have been implicated as potential causes, including agricultural pesticides. Neonicotinoid insecticides, which are widely used and highly toxic to honey bees, have been found in previous analyses of honey bee pollen and comb material. However, the routes of exposure have remained largely undefined. We used LC/MS-MS to analyze samples of honey bees, pollen stored in the hive and several potential exposure routes associated with plantings of neonicotinoid treated maize. Our results demonstrate that bees are exposed to these compounds and several other agricultural pesticides in several ways throughout the foraging period. During spring, extremely high levels of clothianidin and thiamethoxam were found in planter exhaust material produced during the planting of treated maize seed. We also found neonicotinoids in the soil of each field we sampled, including unplanted fields. Plants visited by foraging bees (dandelions growing near these fields were found to contain neonicotinoids as well. This indicates deposition of neonicotinoids on the flowers, uptake by the root system, or both. Dead bees collected near hive entrances during the spring sampling period were found to contain clothianidin as well, although whether exposure was oral (consuming pollen or by contact (soil/planter dust is unclear. We also detected the insecticide clothianidin in pollen collected by bees and stored in the hive. When maize plants in our field reached anthesis, maize pollen from treated seed was found to contain clothianidin and other pesticides; and honey bees in our study readily collected maize pollen. These findings clarify some of the mechanisms by which honey bees may be exposed to agricultural pesticides throughout the growing season. These results have implications for a wide range of large-scale annual cropping systems that utilize neonicotinoid seed

  8. First report of sacbrood virus in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freiberg, M; De Jong, D; Message, D; Cox-Foster, D

    2012-09-13

    Sacbrood disease, an affliction of honey bees (Apis mellifera) characterized by brood that fails to pupate and subsequently dies, is an important threat to honey bee health. The disease is caused by the sacbrood virus (SBV), a positive-, single-stranded RNA virus in the order Picornavirales. Because of the economic importance of honey bees for both pollination and honey production, it is vital to understand and monitor the spread of viruses such as SBV. This virus has been found in many places across the globe, including recently in some South American countries, and it is likely that it will continue to spread. We performed a preliminary study to search for SBV in two apiaries of Africanized honey bees in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, using RT-PCR and Sanger sequencing and found the first evidence of SBV in honey bee colonies in Brazil. The virus was detected in larvae, foraging and nurse bees from two colonies, one of which had symptoms of sacbrood disease, at the beginning of the winter season in June 2011. No SBV was found in samples from nine other nearby colonies.

  9. Raalin, a transcript enriched in the honey bee brain, is a remnant of genomic rearrangement in Hymenoptera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirosh, Y; Morpurgo, N; Cohen, M; Linial, M; Bloch, G

    2012-06-01

    We identified a predicted compact cysteine-rich sequence in the honey bee genome that we called 'Raalin'. Raalin transcripts are enriched in the brain of adult honey bee workers and drones, with only minimum expression in other tissues or in pre-adult stages. Open-reading frame (ORF) homologues of Raalin were identified in the transcriptomes of fruit flies, mosquitoes and moths. The Raalin-like gene from Drosophila melanogaster encodes for a short secreted protein that is maximally expressed in the adult brain with negligible expression in other tissues or pre-imaginal stages. Raalin-like sequences have also been found in the recently sequenced genomes of six ant species, but not in the jewel wasp Nasonia vitripennis. As in the honey bee, the Raalin-like sequences of ants do not have an ORF. A comparison of the genome region containing Raalin in the genomes of bees, ants and the wasp provides evolutionary support for an extensive genome rearrangement in this sequence. Our analyses identify a new family of ancient cysteine-rich short sequences in insects in which insertions and genome rearrangements may have disrupted this locus in the branch leading to the Hymenoptera. The regulated expression of this transcript suggests that it has a brain-specific function. © 2012 The Authors. Insect Molecular Biology © 2012 The Royal Entomological Society.

  10. Early gut colonizers shape parasite susceptibility and microbiota composition in honey bee workers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Microbial symbionts living within animal guts are largely composed of resident bacterial species, forming communities that often provide benefits to the host. Gut microbiomes of adult honey bees (Apis mel- lifera) include core residents such as the betaproteobacterium Snod- grassella alvi, alongside...

  11. Why does bee health matter? The science surrounding honey bee health concerns and what we can do about it

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spivak, Marla S; Browning, Zac; Goblirsch, Mike; Lee, Katie; Otto, Clint R.; Smart, Matthew; Wu-Smart, Judy

    2017-01-01

    A colony of honey bees is an amazing organism when it is healthy; it is a superorganism in many senses of the word. As with any organism, maintaining a state of health requires cohesiveness and interplay among cells and tissues and, in the case of a honey bee colony, the bees themselves. The individual bees that make up a honey bee colony deliver to the superorganism what it needs: pollen and nectar collected from flowering plants that contain nutrients necessary for growth and survival. Honey bees with access to better and more complete nutrition exhibit improved immune system function and behavioral defenses for fighting off effects of pathogens and pesticides (Evans and Spivak 2010; Mao, Schuler, and Berenbaum 2013; Wahl and Ulm 1983). Sadly, as this story is often told in the headlines, the focus is rarely about what it means for a honey bee colony to be healthy and is instead primarily focused on colony survival rates. Bee colonies are chronically exposed to parasitic mites, viruses, diseases, miticides, pesticides, and poor nutrition, which weaken and make innate defenses insufficient at overcoming these combined stressors. Colonies that are chronically weakened can be even more susceptible to infections and levels of pesticide exposure that might otherwise be innocuous, further promoting a downward spiral of health. Sick and weakened bees diminish the colony’s resiliency, ultimately leading to a breakdown in the social structure, production, efficiency, immunity, and reproduction of the colony, and eventual or sudden colony death.

  12. Learning impairment in honey bees caused by agricultural spray adjuvants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J Ciarlo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Spray adjuvants are often applied to crops in conjunction with agricultural pesticides in order to boost the efficacy of the active ingredient(s. The adjuvants themselves are largely assumed to be biologically inert and are therefore subject to minimal scrutiny and toxicological testing by regulatory agencies. Honey bees are exposed to a wide array of pesticides as they conduct normal foraging operations, meaning that they are likely exposed to spray adjuvants as well. It was previously unknown whether these agrochemicals have any deleterious effects on honey bee behavior. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: An improved, automated version of the proboscis extension reflex (PER assay with a high degree of trial-to-trial reproducibility was used to measure the olfactory learning ability of honey bees treated orally with sublethal doses of the most widely used spray adjuvants on almonds in the Central Valley of California. Three different adjuvant classes (nonionic surfactants, crop oil concentrates, and organosilicone surfactants were investigated in this study. Learning was impaired after ingestion of 20 µg organosilicone surfactant, indicating harmful effects on honey bees caused by agrochemicals previously believed to be innocuous. Organosilicones were more active than the nonionic adjuvants, while the crop oil concentrates were inactive. Ingestion was required for the tested adjuvant to have an effect on learning, as exposure via antennal contact only induced no level of impairment. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A decrease in percent conditioned response after ingestion of organosilicone surfactants has been demonstrated here for the first time. Olfactory learning is important for foraging honey bees because it allows them to exploit the most productive floral resources in an area at any given time. Impairment of this learning ability may have serious implications for foraging efficiency at the colony level, as well as potentially many

  13. Nutritional status influences socially regulated foraging ontogeny in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toth, Amy L; Kantarovich, Sara; Meisel, Adam F; Robinson, Gene E

    2005-12-01

    In many social insects, including honey bees, worker energy reserve levels are correlated with task performance in the colony. Honey bee nest workers have abundant stored lipid and protein while foragers are depleted of these reserves; this depletion precedes the shift from nest work to foraging. The first objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that lipid depletion has a causal effect on the age at onset of foraging in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). We found that bees treated with a fatty acid synthesis inhibitor (TOFA) were more likely to forage precociously. The second objective of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between social interactions, nutritional state and behavioral maturation. Since older bees are known to inhibit the development of young bees into foragers, we asked whether this effect is mediated nutritionally via the passage of food from old to young bees. We found that bees reared in social isolation have low lipid stores, but social inhibition occurs in colonies in the field, whether young bees are starved or fed. These results indicate that although social interactions affect the nutritional status of young bees, social and nutritional factors act independently to influence age at onset of foraging. Our findings suggest that mechanisms linking internal nutritional physiology to foraging in solitary insects have been co-opted to regulate altruistic foraging in a social context.

  14. Impact of Thiamethoxam on Honey Bee Queen (Apis mellifera carnica) Reproductive Morphology and Physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajger, Ivana Tlak; Sakač, Martina; Gregorc, Aleš

    2017-09-01

    High honey bee losses around the world have been linked in part by the regular use of neonicotinoids in agriculture. In light of the current situation, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of thiamethoxam on the development of the reproductive system and physiology in the honey bee queen. Two experimental groups of honey bee queen larvae were treated with thiamethoxam during artificial rearing, applied via artificial feed in two cycles. In the first rearing cycle, honey bee larvae received a single treatment dose (4.28 ng thiamethoxam/queen larva on the 4th day after larvae grafting in artificial queen cells), while the second honey bee queen rearing cycle received a double treatment dose (total of 8.56 ng thiamethoxam/queen larva on the 4th and 5th day after larvae grafting in artificial queen cells). After emerging, queens were anesthetized and weighed, and after mating with drones were anesthetized, weighed, and sectioned. Ovary mass and number of stored sperm were determined. Body weight differed between untreated and treated honey bee queens. The results also show a decrease in the number of sperm within honey bee queen spermathecae that received the double thiamethoxam dose.

  15. Does transgenic Cry1Ac + CpTI cotton pollen affect hypopharyngeal gland development and midgut proteolytic enzyme activity in the honey bee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Peng; Niu, Chang-Ying; Biondi, Antonio; Desneux, Nicolas

    2012-11-01

    The transgenic Cry1Ac (Bt toxin) + CpTI (Cowpea Trypsin Inhibitor) cotton cultivar CCRI41 is increasingly used in China and potential side effects on the honey bee Apis mellifera L. have been documented recently. Two studies have assessed potential lethal and sublethal effects in young bees fed with CCRI41 cotton pollen but no effect was observed on learning capacities, although lower feeding activity in exposed honey bees was noted (antifeedant effect). The present study aimed at providing further insights into potential side effects of CCRI41 cotton on honey bees. Emerging honey bees were exposed to different pollen diets using no-choice feeding protocols (chronic exposure) in controlled laboratory conditions and we aimed at documenting potential mechanisms underneath the CCRI41 antifeedant effect previously reported. Activity of midgut proteolytic enzyme of young adult honey bees fed on CCRI41 cotton pollen were not significantly affected, i.e. previously observed antifeedant effect was not linked to disturbed activity of the proteolytic enzymes in bees' midgut. Hypopharyngeal gland development was assessed by quantifying total extractable proteins from the glands. Results suggested that CCRI41 cotton pollen carries no risk to hypopharyngeal gland development of young adult honey bees. In the two bioassays, honey bees exposed to 1 % soybean trypsin inhibitor were used as positive controls for both midgut proteolytic enzymes and hypopharyngeal gland proteins quantification, and bees exposed to 48 ppb (part per billion) (i.e. 48 ng g(-1)) imidacloprid were used as controls for exposure to a sublethal concentration of toxic product. The results show that the previously reported antifeedant effect of CCRI41 cotton pollen on honey bees is not linked to effects on their midgut proteolytic enzymes or on the development of their hypopharyngeal glands. The results of the study are discussed in the framework of risk assessment of transgenic crops on honey bees.

  16. Disruption of quercetin metabolism by fungicide affects energy production in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Wenfu; Schuler, Mary A; Berenbaum, May R

    2017-03-07

    Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450) in the honey bee, Apis mellifera , detoxify phytochemicals in honey and pollen. The flavonol quercetin is found ubiquitously and abundantly in pollen and frequently at lower concentrations in honey. Worker jelly consumed during the first 3 d of larval development typically contains flavonols at very low levels, however. RNA-Seq analysis of gene expression in neonates reared for three days on diets with and without quercetin revealed that, in addition to up-regulating multiple detoxifying P450 genes, quercetin is a negative transcriptional regulator of mitochondrion-related nuclear genes and genes encoding subunits of complexes I, III, IV, and V in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. Thus, a consequence of inefficient metabolism of this phytochemical may be compromised energy production. Several P450s metabolize quercetin in adult workers. Docking in silico of 121 pesticide contaminants of American hives into the active pocket of CYP9Q1, a broadly substrate-specific P450 with high quercetin-metabolizing activity, identified six triazole fungicides, all fungal P450 inhibitors, that dock in the catalytic site. In adults fed combinations of quercetin and the triazole myclobutanil, the expression of five of six mitochondrion-related nuclear genes was down-regulated. Midgut metabolism assays verified that adult bees consuming quercetin with myclobutanil metabolized less quercetin and produced less thoracic ATP, the energy source for flight muscles. Although fungicides lack acute toxicity, they may influence bee health by interfering with quercetin detoxification, thereby compromising mitochondrial regeneration and ATP production. Thus, agricultural use of triazole fungicides may put bees at risk of being unable to extract sufficient energy from their natural food.

  17. Rapid parallel evolution overcomes global honey bee parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oddie, Melissa; Büchler, Ralph; Dahle, Bjørn; Kovacic, Marin; Le Conte, Yves; Locke, Barbara; de Miranda, Joachim R; Mondet, Fanny; Neumann, Peter

    2018-05-16

    In eusocial insect colonies nestmates cooperate to combat parasites, a trait called social immunity. However, social immunity failed for Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) when the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor switched hosts from Eastern honey bees (Apis cerana). This mite has since become the most severe threat to A. mellifera world-wide. Despite this, some isolated A. mellifera populations are known to survive infestations by means of natural selection, largely by supressing mite reproduction, but the underlying mechanisms of this are poorly understood. Here, we show that a cost-effective social immunity mechanism has evolved rapidly and independently in four naturally V. destructor-surviving A. mellifera populations. Worker bees of all four 'surviving' populations uncapped/recapped worker brood cells more frequently and targeted mite-infested cells more effectively than workers in local susceptible colonies. Direct experiments confirmed the ability of uncapping/recapping to reduce mite reproductive success without sacrificing nestmates. Our results provide striking evidence that honey bees can overcome exotic parasites with simple qualitative and quantitative adaptive shifts in behaviour. Due to rapid, parallel evolution in four host populations this appears to be a key mechanism explaining survival of mite infested colonies.

  18. Occurrence of Nosema species in honey bee colonies in Kenya ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    While honey bee colonies in North America and Europe are in decline due to parasites and ... Infections levels were higher in the coastal region than in the interior. ... of the impact of this pathogen to the Kenyan honey bee colonies with a view of ... Senegal (6); Sierra Leone (1); South Africa (96); South Sudan (1); Sudan (3) ...

  19. Within-Colony Variation in the Immunocompetency of Managed and Feral Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.) in Different Urban Landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Appler, R.; Frank, Steven; Tarpy, David

    2015-01-01

    Urbanization has the potential to dramatically affect insect populations worldwide, although its effects on pollinator populations are just beginning to be understood. We compared the immunocompetency of honey bees sampled from feral (wild-living) and managed (beekeeper-owned) honey bee colonies. We sampled foragers from feral and managed colonies in rural, suburban, and urban landscapes in and around Raleigh, NC, USA. We then analyzed adult workers using two standard bioassays for insect imm...

  20. Intensively Cultivated Landscape and Varroa Mite Infestation Are Associated with Reduced Honey Bee Nutritional State.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolezal, Adam G; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W Allen; Bonning, Bryony C; Toth, Amy L

    2016-01-01

    As key pollinators, honey bees are crucial to many natural and agricultural ecosystems. An important factor in the health of honey bees is the availability of diverse floral resources. However, in many parts of the world, high-intensity agriculture could result in a reduction in honey bee forage. Previous studies have investigated how the landscape surrounding honey bee hives affects some aspects of honey bee health, but to our knowledge there have been no investigations of the effects of intensively cultivated landscapes on indicators of individual bee health such as nutritional physiology and pathogen loads. Furthermore, agricultural landscapes in different regions vary greatly in forage and land management, indicating a need for additional information on the relationship between honey bee health and landscape cultivation. Here, we add to this growing body of information by investigating differences in nutritional physiology between honey bees kept in areas of comparatively low and high cultivation in an area generally high agricultural intensity in the Midwestern United States. We focused on bees collected directly before winter, because overwintering stress poses one of the most serious problems for honey bees in temperate climates. We found that honey bees kept in areas of lower cultivation exhibited higher lipid levels than those kept in areas of high cultivation, but this effect was observed only in colonies that were free of Varroa mites. Furthermore, we found that the presence of mites was associated with lower lipid levels and higher titers of deformed wing virus (DWV), as well as a non-significant trend towards higher overwinter losses. Overall, these results show that mite infestation interacts with landscape, obscuring the effects of landscape alone and suggesting that the benefits of improved foraging landscape could be lost without adequate control of mite infestations.

  1. Intensively Cultivated Landscape and Varroa Mite Infestation Are Associated with Reduced Honey Bee Nutritional State.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam G Dolezal

    Full Text Available As key pollinators, honey bees are crucial to many natural and agricultural ecosystems. An important factor in the health of honey bees is the availability of diverse floral resources. However, in many parts of the world, high-intensity agriculture could result in a reduction in honey bee forage. Previous studies have investigated how the landscape surrounding honey bee hives affects some aspects of honey bee health, but to our knowledge there have been no investigations of the effects of intensively cultivated landscapes on indicators of individual bee health such as nutritional physiology and pathogen loads. Furthermore, agricultural landscapes in different regions vary greatly in forage and land management, indicating a need for additional information on the relationship between honey bee health and landscape cultivation. Here, we add to this growing body of information by investigating differences in nutritional physiology between honey bees kept in areas of comparatively low and high cultivation in an area generally high agricultural intensity in the Midwestern United States. We focused on bees collected directly before winter, because overwintering stress poses one of the most serious problems for honey bees in temperate climates. We found that honey bees kept in areas of lower cultivation exhibited higher lipid levels than those kept in areas of high cultivation, but this effect was observed only in colonies that were free of Varroa mites. Furthermore, we found that the presence of mites was associated with lower lipid levels and higher titers of deformed wing virus (DWV, as well as a non-significant trend towards higher overwinter losses. Overall, these results show that mite infestation interacts with landscape, obscuring the effects of landscape alone and suggesting that the benefits of improved foraging landscape could be lost without adequate control of mite infestations.

  2. The African honey bee: factors contributing to a successful biological invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott Schneider, Stanley; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Smith, Deborah Roan

    2004-01-01

    The African honey bee subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata has colonized much of the Americas in less than 50 years and has largely replaced European bees throughout its range in the New World. The African bee therefore provides an excellent opportunity to examine the factors that influence invasion success. We provide a synthesis of recent research on the African bee, concentrating on its ability to displace European honey bees. Specifically, we consider (a) the genetic composition of the expanding population and the symmetry of gene flow between African and European bees, (b) the mechanisms that favor the preservation of the African genome, and (c) the possible range and impact of the African bee in the United States.

  3. Chinese sacbrood virus infection in Asian honey bees (Apis cerana cerana) and host immune responses to the virus infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinese Sacbrood virus (CSBV) is a common honey bee virus that infects both the European honey bee (A. mellifera) and the Asian honey bee (A. cerana). However, CSBV has much more devastating effects on Asian honey bees than on European honey bees, posing a serious threat to the agricultural and nat...

  4. Genetic variability of European honey bee, Apis mellifera in mid hills ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    To observe the genetic variability in European honey bee, A. mellifera, PCR was run separately with five primers and analysis of the banding pattern was worked out to investigate the molecular profile of honey bee genotypes collected from different locations having random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) primers.

  5. Field populations of native Indian honey bees from pesticide intensive agricultural landscape show signs of impaired olfaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakrabarti, Priyadarshini; Rana, Santanu; Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Naik, Dattatraya G.; Sarkar, Sagartirtha; Basu, Parthiba

    2015-07-01

    Little information is available regarding the adverse effects of pesticides on natural honey bee populations. This study highlights the detrimental effects of pesticides on honey bee olfaction through behavioural studies, scanning electron microscopic imaging of antennal sensillae and confocal microscopic studies of honey bee brains for calcium ions on Apis cerana, a native Indian honey bee species. There was a significant decrease in proboscis extension response and biologically active free calcium ions and adverse changes in antennal sensillae in pesticide exposed field honey bee populations compared to morphometrically similar honey bees sampled from low/no pesticide sites. Controlled laboratory experiments corroborated these findings. This study reports for the first time the changes in antennal sensillae, expression of Calpain 1(an important calcium binding protein) and resting state free calcium in brains of honey bees exposed to pesticide stress.

  6. APIS - a novel approach for conditioning honey bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas Hagen Kirkerud

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees perform robustly in different conditioning paradigms. This makes them excellent candidates for studying mechanisms of learning and memory at both an individual and a population level. Here we introduce a novel method of honey bee conditioning: APIS, the Automatic Performance Index System. In an enclosed walking arena where the interior is covered with an electric grid, presentation of odours from either end can be combined with weak electric shocks to form aversive associations. To quantify behavioural responses, we continuously monitor the movement of the bee by an automatic tracking system. We found that escapes from one side to the other, changes in velocity as well as distance and time spent away from the punished odour are suitable parameters to describe the bee’s learning capabilities.Our data show that in a short-term memory test the response rate for the conditioned stimulus in APIS correlates well with response rate obtained from conventional Proboscis Extension Response (PER-conditioning. Additionally, we discovered that bees modulate their behaviour to aversively learned odours by reducing their rate, speed and magnitude of escapes and that both generalisation and extinction seem to be different between appetitive and aversive stimuli. The advantages of this automatic system make it ideal for assessing learning rates in a standardised and convenient way, and its flexibility adds to our toolbox for studying honey bee behaviour.

  7. Researches on the Influence of Some Apicol Stimulators Use in the Supplemental Feeding of Honey Bee Colonies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Patruica

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the results of supplemental feedings use applied to honey bee colonies in autumn. The experiments were carried out between August 20th 2011 and July 2012, in Berini locality, Timiș County (Romania, on 32 Apis meliffera honey bee colonies, divided into four experimental variants. Honey bee families were fed in order to supplement the honey food reserves with sugar syrup containing medicinal plants, or with APIMERA product. During the experimental period, there were being studied the number of brood combs after hibernation, the quantity of broods at the beginning of spring, as well as the quantity of honey and pollen obtained by the studied bee colonies. The best results regarding the development of honey bee colonies in spring were obtained in honey bee colonies for which food reserves have been supplemented with honey combs, followed by the bee colonies fed with sugar syrup containing medicinal plants supplements.

  8. Pathogen prevalence and abundance in honey bee colonies involved in almond pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavigli, Ian; Daughenbaugh, Katie F; Martin, Madison; Lerch, Michael; Banner, Katie; Garcia, Emma; Brutscher, Laura M; Flenniken, Michelle L

    Honey bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops. Since 2006, US beekeepers have experienced high annual honey bee colony losses, which may be attributed to multiple abiotic and biotic factors, including pathogens. However, the relative importance of these factors has not been fully elucidated. To identify the most prevalent pathogens and investigate the relationship between colony strength and health, we assessed pathogen occurrence, prevalence, and abundance in Western US honey bee colonies involved in almond pollination. The most prevalent pathogens were Black queen cell virus (BQCV), Lake Sinai virus 2 (LSV2), Sacbrood virus (SBV), Nosema ceranae , and trypanosomatids. Our results indicated that pathogen prevalence and abundance were associated with both sampling date and beekeeping operation, that prevalence was highest in honey bee samples obtained immediately after almond pollination, and that weak colonies had a greater mean pathogen prevalence than strong colonies.

  9. Genetic diversity of Iranian honey bee (Apis mellifera meda Skorikow, 1829) populations based on ISSR markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahimi, A; Mirmoayedi, A; Kahrizi, D; Zarei, L; Jamali, S

    2016-04-30

    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.

  10. Territorial biodiversity and consequences on physico-chemical characteristics of pollen collected by honey bee colonies

    OpenAIRE

    Odoux, Jean Francois; Feuillet, Dalila; Aupinel, Pierrick; Loublier, Yves; Tasei, Jean Noel; Mateescu, Cristina

    2012-01-01

    International audience; Pollen resources may become a constraint for the honey bee in cereal farming agrosystems and thus influence honey bee colony development. This survey intended to increase knowledge on bee ecology in order to understand how farming systems can provide bee forage throughout the year. We conducted a 1-year study to investigate the flower range exploited in an agrarian environment in western France, the physico-chemical composition of honey bee-collected pollen, the territ...

  11. Social Reinforcement Delays in Free-Flying Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, David Philip Arthur; Grice, James W.; Varnon, Chris A.; Gibson, B.; Sokolowski, Michel B. C.; Abramson, Charles I.

    2012-01-01

    Free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) reactions were observed when presented with varying schedules of post-reinforcement delays of 0 s, 300 s, or 600 s. We measured inter-visit-interval, response length, inter-response-time, and response rate. Honey bees exposed to these post-reinforcement delay intervals exhibit one of several patterns compared to groups not encountering delays, and had longer inter-visit-intervals. We observed no group differences in inter-response time. Honey bees with higher response rates tended to not finish the experiment. The removal of the delay intervals increased response rates for those subjects that completed the trials. PMID:23056425

  12. Novel fungal proteins in the chalkbrood infection of honey bee larvae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roth, Doris; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Grell, Morten Nedergaard

    2009-01-01

    . Here we investigate the interaction between the honey bee and its fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis, the causative agent of chalkbrood, by identifying enzymes secreted by bee and fungus during different timepoints of infection. Upon testing A. apis-infected larvae for enzyme activity, the larvae...... the trappants are sequenced and annotated, selected genes are further described. As a result, we will deepen the understanding of chalkbrood, one of the main honey bee pests with relevant impact on the economy, among others due to the essential role of bees in pollination....

  13. Effects of brood pheromone (SuperBoost) on consumption of protein supplement and growth of honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies during fall in a northern temperate climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagili, Ramesh R; Breece, Carolyn R

    2012-08-01

    Honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), nutrition is vital for colony growth and maintenance of a robust immune system. Brood rearing in honey bee colonies is highly dependent on protein availability. Beekeepers in general provide protein supplement to colonies during periods of pollen dearth. Honey bee brood pheromone is a blend of methyl and ethyl fatty acid esters extractable from cuticle of honey bee larvae that communicates the presence of larvae in a colony. Honey bee brood pheromone has been shown to increase protein supplement consumption and growth of honey bee colonies in a subtropical winter climate. Here, we tested the hypothesis that synthetic brood pheromone (SuperBoost) has the potential to increase protein supplement consumption during fall in a temperate climate and thus increase colony growth. The experiments were conducted in two locations in Oregon during September and October 2009. In both the experiments, colonies receiving brood pheromone treatment consumed significantly higher protein supplement and had greater brood area and adult bees than controls. Results from this study suggest that synthetic brood pheromone may be used to stimulate honey bee colony growth by stimulating protein supplement consumption during fall in a northern temperate climate, when majority of the beekeepers feed protein supplement to their colonies.

  14. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of select macrocyclic lactones insecticides on forager worker honey bees under laboratory experimental conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdu-Allah, Gamal A M; Pittendrigh, Barry R

    2018-01-01

    Selective insecticide application is one important strategy for more precisely targeting harmful insects while avoiding or mitigating collateral damage to beneficial insects like honey bees. Recently, macrocyclic lactone-class insecticides have been introduced into the market place as selective bio-insecticides for controlling many arthropod pests, but how to target this selectivity only to harmful insects has yet to be achieved. In this study, the authors investigated the acute toxicity of fourmacrocyclic lactone insecticides (commercialized as abamectin, emamectin benzoate, spinetoram, and spinosad) both topically and through feeding studies with adult forager honey bees. Results indicated emamectin benzoate as topically 133.3, 750.0, and 38.3-fold and orally 3.3, 7.6, and 31.7-fold more toxic, respectively than abamectin, spinetoram and spinosad. Using Hazard Quotients for estimates of field toxicity, abamectin was measured as the safest insecticide both topically and orally for honey bees. Moreover, a significant reduction of sugar solution consumption by treatment group honey bees for orally applied emamectin benzoate and spinetoram suggests that these insecticides may have repellent properties.

  15. [Assessment of hypersensitivity to honey-bee venom in beekeepers by skin tests].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerril-Ángeles, Martín; Núñez-Velázquez, Marco; Marín-Martínez, Javier

    2013-01-01

    Beekeepers are exposed to frequent honey-bee stings, and have the risk to develop hypersensitivity to bee venom, but long-term exposure can induce immune tolerance in them. Up to 30% of beekeepers show positive skin tests with honey-bee venom. The prevalence of systemic reactions to bee stings in beekeepers is from 14% to 42%. To know the prevalence of hypersensitivity to honeybee venom in Mexican beekeepers and non-beekeepers by the use of skin tests. A group of 139 beekeepers and a group of 60 non-beekeeper volunteers had a history and physical related to age, sex, family and personal atopic history and time of exposure to bee stings. Both groups received intradermal skin tests with honey-bee venom, 0.1 mcg/mL and 1 mcg/mL, and histamine sulphate 0.1 mg/mL and Evans solution as controls. The skin tests results of both groups were compared by chi-squared test. Of the group of beekeepers, 116 were men (83%) and 23 women, average age was 39.3 years, had atopic family history 28% and personal atopy 13%, average time of exposure to bee stings was 10.9 years, skin tests with honey-bee venom were positive in 16.5% and 11% at 1 mcg/mL and 0.1 mcg/mL, respectively. In the non-beekeepers group venom skin tests were positive in 13.3% and 6.7% at 1 mcg/mL and 0.1 mcg/mL. We did not find significant differences between the two venom concentrations tested in both groups, neither in the number of positive skin tests between the two groups. We found hypersensivity to honey-bee venom slightly higher in the beekeepers than in the group apparently not exposed. Both honey-bee venom concentrations used did not show difference in the results of the skin tests. The similarity of skin tests positivity between both groups could be explained by immune tolerance due to continued exposure of beekeepers.

  16. Diagnosis and control of American foulbrood disease of honey bees in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blacquiere, T.; Steen, van der J.J.M.

    2006-01-01

    American foulbrood disease (AFB), caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae, is a disease of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) and other honey bee species (Apis sp.). It is distributed world wide. Spores of the bacterium can infest larvae of the bees, ultimately leading to the death of the

  17. Balancing Control and Complexity in Field Studies of Neonicotinoids and Honey Bee Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suryanarayanan, Sainath

    2013-01-01

    Amidst ongoing declines in honey bee health, the contributory role of the newer systemic insecticides continues to be intensely debated. Scores of toxicological field experiments, which bee scientists and regulators in the United States have looked to for definitive causal evidence, indicate a lack of support. This paper analyzes the methodological norms that shape the design and interpretation of field toxicological studies. I argue that contemporary field studies of honey bees and pesticides are underpinned by a “control-oriented” approach, which precludes a serious investigation of the indirect and multifactorial ways in which pesticides could drive declines in honey bee health. I trace the historical rise to prominence of this approach in honey bee toxicology to the development of entomology as a science of insecticide development in the United States. Drawing on “complexity-oriented” knowledge practices in ecology, epidemiology, beekeeping and sociology, I suggest an alternative socio-ecological systems approach, which would entail in situ studies that are less concerned with isolating individual factors and more attentive to the interactive and place-based mix of factors affecting honey bee health. PMID:26466800

  18. Insulin-like peptide response to nutritional input in honey bee workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ihle, Kate E; Baker, Nicholas A; Amdam, Gro V

    2014-10-01

    The rise in metabolic disorders in the past decades has heightened focus on achieving a healthy dietary balance in humans. This is also an increasingly important issue in the management of honey bees (Apis mellifera) where poor nutrition has negative effects on health and productivity in agriculture, and nutrition is suggested as a contributing factor in the recent global declines in honey bee populations. As in other organisms, the insulin/insulin-like signaling (IIS) pathway is likely involved in maintaining nutrient homeostasis in honey bees. Honey bees have two insulin-like peptides (Ilps) with differing spatial expression patterns in the fat body suggesting that AmIlp1 potentially functions in lipid metabolism while AmIlp2 is a more general indicator of nutritional status. We fed caged worker bees artificial diets high in carbohydrates, proteins or lipids and measured expression of AmIlp1, AmIlp2, and the insulin receptor substrate (IRS) to test their responses to dietary macronutrients. We also measured lifespan, worker weight and gustatory sensitivity to sugar as measures of individual physical condition. We found that expression of AmIlp1 was affected by diet composition and was highest on a diet high in protein. Expression of AmIlp2 and AmIRS were not affected by diet. Workers lived longest on a diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein and lipids. However, bees fed this diet weighed less than those that received a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates and lipids. Bees fed the high carbohydrates diet were also more responsive to sugar, potentially indicating greater levels of hunger. These results support a role for AmIlp1 in nutritional homeostasis and provide new insight into how unbalanced diets impact individual honey bee health. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L.; Lundgren, Jonathan G.

    2016-07-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic.

  20. Using DNA Metabarcoding to Identify the Floral Composition of Honey: A New Tool for Investigating Honey Bee Foraging Preferences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, Jennifer; de Vere, Natasha; Griffith, Adelaide; Ford, Col R; Allainguillaume, Joel; Hegarty, Matthew J; Baillie, Les; Adams-Groom, Beverley

    2015-01-01

    Identifying the floral composition of honey provides a method for investigating the plants that honey bees visit. We compared melissopalynology, where pollen grains retrieved from honey are identified morphologically, with a DNA metabarcoding approach using the rbcL DNA barcode marker and 454-pyrosequencing. We compared nine honeys supplied by beekeepers in the UK. DNA metabarcoding and melissopalynology were able to detect the most abundant floral components of honey. There was 92% correspondence for the plant taxa that had an abundance of over 20%. However, the level of similarity when all taxa were compared was lower, ranging from 22-45%, and there was little correspondence between the relative abundance of taxa found using the two techniques. DNA metabarcoding provided much greater repeatability, with a 64% taxa match compared to 28% with melissopalynology. DNA metabarcoding has the advantage over melissopalynology in that it does not require a high level of taxonomic expertise, a greater sample size can be screened and it provides greater resolution for some plant families. However, it does not provide a quantitative approach and pollen present in low levels are less likely to be detected. We investigated the plants that were frequently used by honey bees by examining the results obtained from both techniques. Plants with a broad taxonomic range were detected, covering 46 families and 25 orders, but a relatively small number of plants were consistently seen across multiple honey samples. Frequently found herbaceous species were Rubus fruticosus, Filipendula ulmaria, Taraxacum officinale, Trifolium spp., Brassica spp. and the non-native, invasive, Impatiens glandulifera. Tree pollen was frequently seen belonging to Castanea sativa, Crataegus monogyna and species of Malus, Salix and Quercus. We conclude that although honey bees are considered to be supergeneralists in their foraging choices, there are certain key species or plant groups that are particularly

  1. Using DNA Metabarcoding to Identify the Floral Composition of Honey: A New Tool for Investigating Honey Bee Foraging Preferences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Hawkins

    Full Text Available Identifying the floral composition of honey provides a method for investigating the plants that honey bees visit. We compared melissopalynology, where pollen grains retrieved from honey are identified morphologically, with a DNA metabarcoding approach using the rbcL DNA barcode marker and 454-pyrosequencing. We compared nine honeys supplied by beekeepers in the UK. DNA metabarcoding and melissopalynology were able to detect the most abundant floral components of honey. There was 92% correspondence for the plant taxa that had an abundance of over 20%. However, the level of similarity when all taxa were compared was lower, ranging from 22-45%, and there was little correspondence between the relative abundance of taxa found using the two techniques. DNA metabarcoding provided much greater repeatability, with a 64% taxa match compared to 28% with melissopalynology. DNA metabarcoding has the advantage over melissopalynology in that it does not require a high level of taxonomic expertise, a greater sample size can be screened and it provides greater resolution for some plant families. However, it does not provide a quantitative approach and pollen present in low levels are less likely to be detected. We investigated the plants that were frequently used by honey bees by examining the results obtained from both techniques. Plants with a broad taxonomic range were detected, covering 46 families and 25 orders, but a relatively small number of plants were consistently seen across multiple honey samples. Frequently found herbaceous species were Rubus fruticosus, Filipendula ulmaria, Taraxacum officinale, Trifolium spp., Brassica spp. and the non-native, invasive, Impatiens glandulifera. Tree pollen was frequently seen belonging to Castanea sativa, Crataegus monogyna and species of Malus, Salix and Quercus. We conclude that although honey bees are considered to be supergeneralists in their foraging choices, there are certain key species or plant groups that

  2. Lethal and sublethal effects, and incomplete clearance of ingested imidacloprid in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Bayo, Francisco; Belzunces, Luc; Bonmatin, Jean-Marc

    2017-11-01

    A previous study claimed a differential behavioural resilience between spring or summer honey bees (Apis mellifera) and bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) after exposure to syrup contaminated with 125 µg L -1 imidacloprid for 8 days. The authors of that study based their assertion on the lack of body residues and toxic effects in honey bees, whereas bumble bees showed body residues of imidacloprid and impaired locomotion during the exposure. We have reproduced their experiment using winter honey bees subject to the same protocol. After exposure to syrup contaminated with 125 µg L -1 imidacloprid, honey bees experienced high mortality rates (up to 45%), had body residues of imidacloprid in the range 2.7-5.7 ng g -1 and exhibited abnormal behaviours (restless, apathetic, trembling and falling over) that were significantly different from the controls. There was incomplete clearance of the insecticide during the 10-day exposure period. Our results contrast with the findings reported in the previous study for spring or summer honey bees, but are consistent with the results reported for the other bee species.

  3. Social modulation of stress reactivity and learning in young worker honey bees.

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    Elodie Urlacher

    Full Text Available Alarm pheromone and its major component isopentylacetate induce stress-like responses in forager honey bees, impairing their ability to associate odors with a food reward. We investigated whether isopentylacetate exposure decreases appetitive learning also in young worker bees. While isopentylacetate-induced learning deficits were observed in guards and foragers collected from a queen-right colony, learning impairments resulting from exposure to this pheromone could not be detected in bees cleaning cells. As cell cleaners are generally among the youngest workers in the colony, effects of isopentylacetate on learning behavior were examined further using bees of known age. Adult workers were maintained under laboratory conditions from the time of adult emergence. Fifty percent of the bees were exposed to queen mandibular pheromone during this period, whereas control bees were not exposed to this pheromone. Isopentylacetate-induced learning impairments were apparent in young (less than one week old controls, but not in bees of the same age exposed to queen mandibular pheromone. This study reveals young worker bees can exhibit a stress-like response to alarm pheromone, but isopentylacetate-induced learning impairments in young bees are suppressed by queen mandibular pheromone. While isopentylacetate exposure reduced responses during associative learning (acquisition, it did not affect one-hour memory retrieval.

  4. Social Modulation of Stress Reactivity and Learning in Young Worker Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Alison R.

    2014-01-01

    Alarm pheromone and its major component isopentylacetate induce stress-like responses in forager honey bees, impairing their ability to associate odors with a food reward. We investigated whether isopentylacetate exposure decreases appetitive learning also in young worker bees. While isopentylacetate-induced learning deficits were observed in guards and foragers collected from a queen-right colony, learning impairments resulting from exposure to this pheromone could not be detected in bees cleaning cells. As cell cleaners are generally among the youngest workers in the colony, effects of isopentylacetate on learning behavior were examined further using bees of known age. Adult workers were maintained under laboratory conditions from the time of adult emergence. Fifty percent of the bees were exposed to queen mandibular pheromone during this period, whereas control bees were not exposed to this pheromone. Isopentylacetate-induced learning impairments were apparent in young (less than one week old) controls, but not in bees of the same age exposed to queen mandibular pheromone. This study reveals young worker bees can exhibit a stress-like response to alarm pheromone, but isopentylacetate-induced learning impairments in young bees are suppressed by queen mandibular pheromone. While isopentylacetate exposure reduced responses during associative learning (acquisition), it did not affect one-hour memory retrieval. PMID:25470128

  5. Divergent forms of endoplasmic reticulum stress trigger a robust unfolded protein response in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Brittany A; Hooks, Katarzyna B; McKinstry, Mia; Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-03-01

    Honey bee colonies in the United States have suffered from an increased rate of die-off in recent years, stemming from a complex set of interacting stresses that remain poorly described. While we have some understanding of the physiological stress responses in the honey bee, our molecular understanding of honey bee cellular stress responses is incomplete. Thus, we sought to identify and began functional characterization of the components of the UPR in honey bees. The IRE1-dependent splicing of the mRNA for the transcription factor Xbp1, leading to translation of an isoform with more transactivation potential, represents the most conserved of the UPR pathways. Honey bees and other Apoidea possess unique features in the Xbp1 mRNA splice site, which we reasoned could have functional consequences for the IRE1 pathway. However, we find robust induction of target genes upon UPR stimulation. In addition, the IRE1 pathway activation, as assessed by splicing of Xbp1 mRNA upon UPR, is conserved. By providing foundational knowledge about the UPR in the honey bee and the relative sensitivity of this species to divergent stresses, this work stands to improve our understanding of the mechanistic underpinnings of honey bee health and disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The ability to cause infection in a pathogenic fungus uncovers a new biological feature of honey bee viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhiguo; Su, Songkun; Hamilton, Michele; Yan, Limin; Chen, Yanping

    2014-07-01

    We demonstrated that honey bee viruses including Deformed wing virus (DWV), Black queen cell virus (BQCV) and Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) could infect and replicate in the fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis that causes honey bee chalkbrood disease, revealing a novel biological feature of honey bee viruses. The phylogenetic analysis show that viruses of fungal and honey bee origins form two clusters in the phylogenetic trees distinctly and that host range of honey bee viruses is dynamic. Further studies are warranted to investigate the impact of the viruses on the fitness of their fungal host and phenotypic effects the virus-fungus combination has on honey bee hosts. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. The basic concept of honey bee breeding programs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uzunov, A.; Brascamp, Pim; Büchler, R.

    2017-01-01

    Selective honey bee breeding is a phenomenon that fascinates beekeepers around the world. They often regard it as one of the most enigmatic and complex aspects of beekeeping. Indeed, according to our experiences participating in many international projects, both beekeepers and bee experts without a

  8. Genetics, Synergists, and Age Affect Insecticide Sensitivity of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinkevich, Frank D.; Margotta, Joseph W.; Pittman, Jean M.; Danka, Robert G.; Tarver, Matthew R.; Ottea, James A.; Healy, Kristen B.

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. Influence of feeding bee colonies on colony strenght and honey authenticity

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    Andreja KANDOLF BOROVŠAK

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available For the natural development of bee colonies, there is the need for appropriate nutrition. Lack of natural honey flow must be supplemented by feeding bee colonies with sugar syrups or candy paste. This supplementary feeding encourages brood breeding and forage activity, whereby stronger colonies collect more honey. Sugar syrups can cause honey adulteration, which is more frequent with the reversing of the brood combs with the bee food, with the combs moved from the brood chamber to the upper chamber. Authentication of honey from the standpoint of the presence of sugar syrup is very complex, because there is no single method by which honey adulteration can be reliably confirmed. Feeding the colonies in spring should result in stronger colonies and hence the collection of more honey in the brood chambers. The objective of the present study was to determine whether this has effects also on honey authenticity, and to discover a simple method for detection of honey adulteration. The colonies were fed with candy paste that had added yeast and blue dye, to provide markers for detection of honey adulteration. The strength of the colonies and quantity of honey in the brood chambers were monitored. The results of the analysis of stable isotope and activity of foreign enzymes were compared with the results of yeast quantity and colour of the honey (absorbance, L*, a*, b* parameters. Detection of yeast in the honey samples and presence of colour as a consequence of added dye appear to be appropriate methods to follow honey adulteration, and further studies are ongoing.

  10. Antimicrobial activity and rutin identification of honey produced by the stingless bee Melipona compressipes manaosensis and commercial honey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pimentel, Renah Boanerges de Queiroz; da Costa, Cristovão Alves; Albuquerque, Patrícia Melchionna; Junior, Sergio Duvoisin

    2013-07-01

    Honey has been identified as a potential alternative to the widespread use of antibiotics, which are of significant concern considering the emergence of resistant bacteria. In this context, this study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of honey samples produced by a stingless bee species and by Apis sp. against pathogenic bacteria, as well as to identify the presence of phenolic compounds. Honey samples from the stingless bee M. compressipes manaosensis were collected twice, during the dry and rainy seasons. Three commercial honey samples from Apis sp. were also included in this study. Two different assays were performed to evaluate the antibacterial potential of the honey samples: agar-well diffusion and broth macrodilution. Liquid-liquid extraction was used to assess phenolic compounds from honey. HPLC analysis was performed in order to identify rutin and apigenin on honey samples. Chromatograms were recorded at 340 and 290 nm. Two honey samples were identified as having the highest antimicrobial activity using the agar diffusion method. Honey produced by Melipona compressipes manaosensis inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (0157: H7), Proteus vulgaris, Shigella sonnei and Klebsiella sp. A sample of honey produced by Apis sp. also inhibited the growth of Salmonella paratyphi. The macrodilution technique presented greater sensitivity for the antibacterial testing, since all honey samples showed activity. Flavonoid rutin was identified in the honey sample produced by the stingless bee. Honey samples tested in this work showed antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The results reported herein highlight the potential of using honey to control bacterial growth.

  11. Sub-lethal effects of pesticide residues in brood comb on worker honey bee (Apis mellifera development and longevity.

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    Judy Y Wu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Numerous surveys reveal high levels of pesticide residue contamination in honey bee comb. We conducted studies to examine possible direct and indirect effects of pesticide exposure from contaminated brood comb on developing worker bees and adult worker lifespan. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Worker bees were reared in brood comb containing high levels of known pesticide residues (treatment or in relatively uncontaminated brood comb (control. Delayed development was observed in bees reared in treatment combs containing high levels of pesticides particularly in the early stages (day 4 and 8 of worker bee development. Adult longevity was reduced by 4 days in bees exposed to pesticide residues in contaminated brood comb during development. Pesticide residue migration from comb containing high pesticide residues caused contamination of control comb after multiple brood cycles and provided insight on how quickly residues move through wax. Higher brood mortality and delayed adult emergence occurred after multiple brood cycles in contaminated control combs. In contrast, survivability increased in bees reared in treatment comb after multiple brood cycles when pesticide residues had been reduced in treatment combs due to residue migration into uncontaminated control combs, supporting comb replacement efforts. Chemical analysis after the experiment confirmed the migration of pesticide residues from treatment combs into previously uncontaminated control comb. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study is the first to demonstrate sub-lethal effects on worker honey bees from pesticide residue exposure from contaminated brood comb. Sub-lethal effects, including delayed larval development and adult emergence or shortened adult longevity, can have indirect effects on the colony such as premature shifts in hive roles and foraging activity. In addition, longer development time for bees may provide a reproductive advantage for parasitic Varroa destructor

  12. The transcriptomic and evolutionary signature of social interactions regulating honey bee caste development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The caste fate of developing female honey bee larvae is strictly socially regulated by adult nurse workers. As a result of this social regulation, nurse-expressed genes as well as larval-expressed genes may affect caste expression and evolution. We used a novel transcriptomic approach to identify ge...

  13. Bee++: An Object-Oriented, Agent-Based Simulator for Honey Bee Colonies

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    Matthew Betti

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available We present a model and associated simulation package (www.beeplusplus.ca to capture the natural dynamics of a honey bee colony in a spatially-explicit landscape, with temporally-variable, weather-dependent parameters. The simulation tracks bees of different ages and castes, food stores within the colony, pollen and nectar sources and the spatial position of individual foragers outside the hive. We track explicitly the intake of pesticides in individual bees and their ability to metabolize these toxins, such that the impact of sub-lethal doses of pesticides can be explored. Moreover, pathogen populations (in particular, Nosema apis, Nosema cerenae and Varroa mites have been included in the model and may be introduced at any time or location. The ability to study interactions among pesticides, climate, biodiversity and pathogens in this predictive framework should prove useful to a wide range of researchers studying honey bee populations. To this end, the simulation package is written in open source, object-oriented code (C++ and can be easily modified by the user. Here, we demonstrate the use of the model by exploring the effects of sub-lethal pesticide exposure on the flight behaviour of foragers.

  14. Gustatory Perception and Fat Body Energy Metabolism Are Jointly Affected by Vitellogenin and Juvenile Hormone in Honey Bees

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Ying; Brent, Colin S.; Fennern, Erin; Amdam, Gro V.

    2012-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide a system for studying social and food-related behavior. A caste of workers performs age-related tasks: young bees (nurses) usually feed the brood and other adult bees inside the nest, while older bees (foragers) forage outside for pollen, a protein/lipid source, or nectar, a carbohydrate source. The workers' transition from nursing to foraging and their foraging preferences correlate with differences in gustatory perception, metabolic gene expression, and e...

  15. Effect of Iranian Honey bee (Apis Mellifera Venom on Blood Glucose and Insulin in Diabetic Rats

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    Seyyedeh Mahbubeh Mousavi

    2012-12-01

    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.

  16. Establishment of Lactobacillus plantarum strain in honey bee digestive tract monitored using gfp fluorescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javorský, P; Fecskeová, L Kolesár; Hrehová, L; Sabo, R; Legáth, J; Pristas, P

    2017-04-26

    Lactic acid bacteria are symbiotic bacteria that naturally reside in the gastrointestinal tract of honey bees. They serve a multitude of functions and are considered beneficial and completely harmless. In our experiments Lactobacillus plantarum strain B35, isolated from honey bee digestive tract, was modified using pAD43-25 plasmid carrying a functional GFP gene sequence (gfpmut3a) and used as a model for monitoring and optimisation of the mode of application. The establishment of this strain in honey bee digestive tract was monitored using GFP fluorescence. Three different modes of oral application of this strain were tested: water suspension of lyophilised bacteria, aerosol application of these bacteria and consumption of sugar honey paste containing the lyophilised lactobacilli. Two days after administration the L. plantarum B35-gfp was present throughout the honey bee digestive tract with 10 4 -10 5 cfu/bee with highest count observed for aerosol application.

  17. Impacts of Dietary Phytochemicals in the Presence and Absence of Pesticides on Longevity of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera

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    Ling-Hsiu Liao

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Because certain flavonols and phenolic acids are found in pollen and nectar of most angiosperms, they are routinely ingested by Apis mellifera, the western honey bee. The flavonol quercetin and the phenolic acid p-coumaric acid are known to upregulate detoxification enzymes in adult bees; their presence or absence in the diet may thus affect the toxicity of ingested pesticides. We conducted a series of longevity assays with one-day-old adult workers to test if dietary phytochemicals enhance longevity and pesticide tolerance. One-day-old bees were maintained on sugar syrup with or without casein (a phytochemical-free protein source in the presence or absence of quercetin and p-coumaric acid as well as in the presence or absence of two pyrethroid insecticides, bifenthrin and β-cyfluthrin. Dietary quercetin (hazard ratio, HR = 0.82, p-coumaric acid (HR = 0.91 and casein (HR = 0.74 were associated with extended lifespan and the two pyrethroid insecticides, 4 ppm bifenthrin (HR = 9.17 and 0.5 ppm β-cyfluthrin (HR = 1.34, reduced lifespan. Dietary quercetin enhanced tolerance of both pyrethroids; p-coumaric acid had a similar effect trend, although of reduced magnitude. Casein in the diet appears to eliminate the life-prolonging effect of p-coumaric acid in the absence of quercetin. Collectively, these assays demonstrate that dietary phytochemicals influence honey bee longevity and pesticide stress; substituting sugar syrups for honey or yeast/soy flour patties may thus have hitherto unrecognized impacts on adult bee health.

  18. Potential of ozone as a fumigant to control pests in honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) hives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, R R

    2011-04-01

    Ozone is a powerful oxidant capable of killing insects and microorganisms, and eliminating odors, taste, and color. Thus, it could be useful as a fumigant to decontaminate honey comb between uses. The experiments here are intended to determine the exposure levels required to kill an insect pest and spore forming bee pathogens. Ozone was effective against greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), even on naturally infested comb. Neonates and adults were the easiest life stages to kill, requiring only a few hours of exposure, whereas eggs required a 48-h exposure (at 460-920 mg O3/m3). Two honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), pathogens, Ascosphaera apis (a fungus that causes chalkbrood) and Paenibacillus larvae (a bacterium that causes American foulbrood), also were killed with ozone. These pathogens required much higher concentrations (3200 and 8560 mg O3/m3, respectively) and longer exposure periods (3 d) than needed to control the insects. P. larvae was effectively sterilized only when these conditions were combined with high temperature (50 degrees C) and humidity (> or =75% RH). Thus, ozone shows potential as a fumigant for bee nesting materials, but further research is needed to evaluate its acceptability and efficacy in the field. The need for a reliable method to decontaminate honey bee nesting materials as part of an overall bee health management system is discussed.

  19. Field populations of native Indian honey bees from pesticide intensive agricultural landscape show signs of impaired olfaction

    OpenAIRE

    Priyadarshini Chakrabarti; Santanu Rana; Sreejata Bandopadhyay; Dattatraya G. Naik; Sagartirtha Sarkar; Parthiba Basu

    2015-01-01

    Little information is available regarding the adverse effects of pesticides on natural honey bee populations. This study highlights the detrimental effects of pesticides on honey bee olfaction through behavioural studies, scanning electron microscopic imaging of antennal sensillae and confocal microscopic studies of honey bee brains for calcium ions on Apis cerana, a native Indian honey bee species. There was a significant decrease in proboscis extension response and biologically active free ...

  20. Within-Colony Variation in the Immunocompetency of Managed and Feral Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.) in Different Urban Landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appler, R Holden; Frank, Steven D; Tarpy, David R

    2015-10-29

    Urbanization has the potential to dramatically affect insect populations worldwide, although its effects on pollinator populations are just beginning to be understood. We compared the immunocompetency of honey bees sampled from feral (wild-living) and managed (beekeeper-owned) honey bee colonies. We sampled foragers from feral and managed colonies in rural, suburban, and urban landscapes in and around Raleigh, NC, USA. We then analyzed adult workers using two standard bioassays for insect immune function (encapsulation response and phenoloxidase activity). We found that there was far more variation within colonies for encapsulation response or phenoloxidase activity than among rural to urban landscapes, and we did not observe any significant difference in immune response between feral and managed bees. These findings suggest that social pollinators, like honey bees, may be sufficiently robust or variable in their immune responses to obscure any subtle effects of urbanization. Additional studies of immune physiology and disease ecology of social and solitary bees in urban, suburban, and natural ecosystems will provide insights into the relative effects of changing urban environments on several important factors that influence pollinator productivity and health.

  1. An Improved Marriage in Honey Bees Optimization Algorithm for Single Objective Unconstrained Optimization

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    Yuksel Celik

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Marriage in honey bees optimization (MBO is a metaheuristic optimization algorithm developed by inspiration of the mating and fertilization process of honey bees and is a kind of swarm intelligence optimizations. In this study we propose improved marriage in honey bees optimization (IMBO by adding Levy flight algorithm for queen mating flight and neighboring for worker drone improving. The IMBO algorithm’s performance and its success are tested on the well-known six unconstrained test functions and compared with other metaheuristic optimization algorithms.

  2. Clearance of ingested neonicotinoid pesticide (imidacloprid) in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cresswell, James E; Robert, François-Xavier L; Florance, Hannah; Smirnoff, Nicholas

    2014-02-01

    Bees in agricultural landscapes are exposed to dietary pesticides such as imidacloprid when they feed from treated mass-flowering crops. Concern about the consequent impact on bees makes it important to understand their resilience. In the laboratory, the authors therefore fed adult worker bees on dosed syrup (125 μg L(-1) of imidacloprid, or 98 μg kg(-1)) either continuously or as a pulsed exposure and measured their behaviour (feeding and locomotory activity) and whole-body residues. On dosed syrup, honey bees maintained much lower bodily levels of imidacloprid than bumblebees (<0.2 ng versus 2.4 ng of imidacloprid per bee). Dietary imidacloprid did not affect the behaviour of honey bees, but it reduced feeding and locomotory activity in bumblebees. After the pulsed exposure, bumblebees cleared bodily imidacloprid after 48 h and recovered behaviourally. The differential behavioural resilience of the two species can be attributed to the observed differential in bodily residues. The ability of bumblebees to recover may be environmentally relevant in wild populations that face transitory exposures from the pulsed blooming of mass-flowering crops. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. A new dewatering technique for stingless bees honey

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    Ramli Ahmad Syazwan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the problems faced in stingless bee honey storage is spoilage by the fermentation process occurs in honey due to its high water content. There are a few techniques available currently, but they are time consuming and there is excessive heat involved in the process. The temperature of the process must be kept low because excessive heat can deteriorate nutrition value and biochemical content in honey. Hence, a new method of honey dewatering was developed using a Low Temperature Vacuum Drying (LTVD with induced nucleation technique.The objective of this research is to investigate the performance of a LTVD with induced nucleation to reduce the water content in honey. First, the honey was placed in a pressure vessel, and then air was removed. Then, the honey was slightly heated at 30°C and the water content before and after the experiment was measured by a refractometer. The steps were repeated until the water content reached below 20%. It was found that the LTVD method improved the water removal rate significantly with an average of 0.15% of water content per minute. That is 3 times much faster than the conventional method of low temperature heating by Tabouret. Higher temperature during dewatering process improved the dewatering rate significantly. It can be concluded that LTVD is a promising option in tackling the high water content in stingless bee honey issue.

  4. Pheromonal regulation of starvation resistance in honey bee workers ( Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Patrick; Grozinger, Christina M.

    2008-08-01

    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.

  5. Varroa Sensitive Hygiene contributes to naturally selected varroa resistance in honey bees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Panziera, Delphine; Langevelde, van Frank; Blacquière, Tjeerd

    2017-01-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa destructor is a serious threat for western honey bee colonies and beekeepers are compelled to control it to keep their colonies healthy. Yet, by controlling varroa no resistance to the parasite can evolve. As a trial, honey bee colonies have been left untreated in

  6. Honey bees and their products as indicators of environmental pollution: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Salkova

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. In the present work a literature review of the experiments that explore the use of honey bees and their products as bioindicator of environmental pollution is presented. The greatest number of studies has been carried out on contaminations with heavy metals, followed by pesticides, radionuclides and other substances. Pb, Cd and Zn have been the most looked for metals. Zn and Cd have been mainly deposited on the surface of the bee body while Ni, Cd, Pb and Co have been released with the excrements most often. In all cases of pesticide implementation certain amounts of them have been always accumulated in the bees and their products. According to the researchers, pollutants accumulate in the bees and their products at different extents. Heavy metals and pesticides have been established in the bodies of honey bees in larger quantities in comparison to honey. Most of the authors reported that bee honey is a suitable tool for monitoring pollution with heavy metals and pesticides but the opposite assertions have been also expressed. A suggestion for the presence of a bio-barrier function of the bee organism against contaminators has been forwarded. It has been established that pollen is the most suitable indicator for radioactive pollution. As a whole, the present review shows that bees and their products are suitable models for bio-monitoring of the environmental pollution of different nature.

  7. RNAi-mediated double gene knockdown and gustatory perception measurement in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ying; Baker, Nicholas; Amdam, Gro V

    2013-07-25

    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. RNAi-mediated gene knockdown is an effective technique downregulating target gene expression. This technique is usually used for single gene manipulation, but it has limitations to detect interactions and joint effects between genes. In the first part of this video, we present two strategies to simultaneously knock down two genes (called double gene knockdown). We show both strategies are able to effectively suppress two genes, vitellogenin (vg) and ultraspiracle (usp), which are in a regulatory feedback loop. This double gene knockdown approach can be used to dissect interrelationships between genes and can be readily applied in different insect species. The second part of this video is a demonstration of proboscis extension response (PER) assay in honey bees after the treatment of double gene knockdown. The PER assay is a standard test for measuring gustatory perception in honey bees, which is a key predictor for how fast a honey bee's behavioral maturation is. Greater gustatory perception of nest bees indicates increased behavioral development which is often associated with an earlier age at onset of foraging and foraging specialization in pollen. In addition, PER assay can be applied to identify metabolic states of satiation or hunger in honey bees. Finally, PER assay combined with pairing different odor stimuli for conditioning the bees is also widely used for learning and memory studies in honey bees.

  8. Can We Disrupt the Sensing of Honey Bees by the Bee Parasite Varroa destructor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliash, Nurit; Singh, Nitin Kumar; Kamer, Yosef; Pinnelli, Govardhana Reddy; Plettner, Erika; Soroker, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    Background The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is considered to be one of the most significant threats to apiculture around the world. Chemical cues are known to play a significant role in the host-finding behavior of Varroa. The mites distinguish between bees from different task groups, and prefer nurses over foragers. We examined the possibility of disrupting the Varroa – honey bee interaction by targeting the mite's olfactory system. In particular, we examined the effect of volatile compounds, ethers of cis 5-(2′-hydroxyethyl) cyclopent-2-en-1-ol or of dihydroquinone, resorcinol or catechol. We tested the effect of these compounds on the Varroa chemosensory organ by electrophysiology and on behavior in a choice bioassay. The electrophysiological studies were conducted on the isolated foreleg. In the behavioral bioassay, the mite's preference between a nurse and a forager bee was evaluated. Principal findings We found that in the presence of some compounds, the response of the Varroa chemosensory organ to honey bee headspace volatiles significantly decreased. This effect was dose dependent and, for some of the compounds, long lasting (>1 min). Furthermore, disruption of the Varroa volatile detection was accompanied by a reversal of the mite's preference from a nurse to a forager bee. Long-term inhibition of the electrophysiological responses of mites to the tested compounds was a good predictor for an alteration in the mite's host preference. Conclusions These data indicate the potential of the selected compounds to disrupt the Varroa - honey bee associations, thus opening new avenues for Varroa control. PMID:25226388

  9. Can we disrupt the sensing of honey bees by the bee parasite Varroa destructor?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurit Eliash

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is considered to be one of the most significant threats to apiculture around the world. Chemical cues are known to play a significant role in the host-finding behavior of Varroa. The mites distinguish between bees from different task groups, and prefer nurses over foragers. We examined the possibility of disrupting the Varroa--honey bee interaction by targeting the mite's olfactory system. In particular, we examined the effect of volatile compounds, ethers of cis 5-(2'-hydroxyethyl cyclopent-2-en-1-ol or of dihydroquinone, resorcinol or catechol. We tested the effect of these compounds on the Varroa chemosensory organ by electrophysiology and on behavior in a choice bioassay. The electrophysiological studies were conducted on the isolated foreleg. In the behavioral bioassay, the mite's preference between a nurse and a forager bee was evaluated. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that in the presence of some compounds, the response of the Varroa chemosensory organ to honey bee headspace volatiles significantly decreased. This effect was dose dependent and, for some of the compounds, long lasting (>1 min. Furthermore, disruption of the Varroa volatile detection was accompanied by a reversal of the mite's preference from a nurse to a forager bee. Long-term inhibition of the electrophysiological responses of mites to the tested compounds was a good predictor for an alteration in the mite's host preference. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate the potential of the selected compounds to disrupt the Varroa--honey bee associations, thus opening new avenues for Varroa control.

  10. Can we disrupt the sensing of honey bees by the bee parasite Varroa destructor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliash, Nurit; Singh, Nitin Kumar; Kamer, Yosef; Pinnelli, Govardhana Reddy; Plettner, Erika; Soroker, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is considered to be one of the most significant threats to apiculture around the world. Chemical cues are known to play a significant role in the host-finding behavior of Varroa. The mites distinguish between bees from different task groups, and prefer nurses over foragers. We examined the possibility of disrupting the Varroa--honey bee interaction by targeting the mite's olfactory system. In particular, we examined the effect of volatile compounds, ethers of cis 5-(2'-hydroxyethyl) cyclopent-2-en-1-ol or of dihydroquinone, resorcinol or catechol. We tested the effect of these compounds on the Varroa chemosensory organ by electrophysiology and on behavior in a choice bioassay. The electrophysiological studies were conducted on the isolated foreleg. In the behavioral bioassay, the mite's preference between a nurse and a forager bee was evaluated. We found that in the presence of some compounds, the response of the Varroa chemosensory organ to honey bee headspace volatiles significantly decreased. This effect was dose dependent and, for some of the compounds, long lasting (>1 min). Furthermore, disruption of the Varroa volatile detection was accompanied by a reversal of the mite's preference from a nurse to a forager bee. Long-term inhibition of the electrophysiological responses of mites to the tested compounds was a good predictor for an alteration in the mite's host preference. These data indicate the potential of the selected compounds to disrupt the Varroa--honey bee associations, thus opening new avenues for Varroa control.

  11. Conservation in Mammals of Genes Associated with Aggression-Related Behavioral Phenotypes in Honey Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Liu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The emerging field of sociogenomics explores the relations between social behavior and genome structure and function. An important question is the extent to which associations between social behavior and gene expression are conserved among the Metazoa. Prior experimental work in an invertebrate model of social behavior, the honey bee, revealed distinct brain gene expression patterns in African and European honey bees, and within European honey bees with different behavioral phenotypes. The present work is a computational study of these previous findings in which we analyze, by orthology determination, the extent to which genes that are socially regulated in honey bees are conserved across the Metazoa. We found that the differentially expressed gene sets associated with alarm pheromone response, the difference between old and young bees, and the colony influence on soldier bees, are enriched in widely conserved genes, indicating that these differences have genomic bases shared with many other metazoans. By contrast, the sets of differentially expressed genes associated with the differences between African and European forager and guard bees are depleted in widely conserved genes, indicating that the genomic basis for this social behavior is relatively specific to honey bees. For the alarm pheromone response gene set, we found a particularly high degree of conservation with mammals, even though the alarm pheromone itself is bee-specific. Gene Ontology identification of human orthologs to the strongly conserved honey bee genes associated with the alarm pheromone response shows overrepresentation of protein metabolism, regulation of protein complex formation, and protein folding, perhaps associated with remodeling of critical neural circuits in response to alarm pheromone. We hypothesize that such remodeling may be an adaptation of social animals to process and respond appropriately to the complex patterns of conspecific communication essential for

  12. Conservation in Mammals of Genes Associated with Aggression-Related Behavioral Phenotypes in Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hui; Robinson, Gene E; Jakobsson, Eric

    2016-06-01

    The emerging field of sociogenomics explores the relations between social behavior and genome structure and function. An important question is the extent to which associations between social behavior and gene expression are conserved among the Metazoa. Prior experimental work in an invertebrate model of social behavior, the honey bee, revealed distinct brain gene expression patterns in African and European honey bees, and within European honey bees with different behavioral phenotypes. The present work is a computational study of these previous findings in which we analyze, by orthology determination, the extent to which genes that are socially regulated in honey bees are conserved across the Metazoa. We found that the differentially expressed gene sets associated with alarm pheromone response, the difference between old and young bees, and the colony influence on soldier bees, are enriched in widely conserved genes, indicating that these differences have genomic bases shared with many other metazoans. By contrast, the sets of differentially expressed genes associated with the differences between African and European forager and guard bees are depleted in widely conserved genes, indicating that the genomic basis for this social behavior is relatively specific to honey bees. For the alarm pheromone response gene set, we found a particularly high degree of conservation with mammals, even though the alarm pheromone itself is bee-specific. Gene Ontology identification of human orthologs to the strongly conserved honey bee genes associated with the alarm pheromone response shows overrepresentation of protein metabolism, regulation of protein complex formation, and protein folding, perhaps associated with remodeling of critical neural circuits in response to alarm pheromone. We hypothesize that such remodeling may be an adaptation of social animals to process and respond appropriately to the complex patterns of conspecific communication essential for social organization.

  13. Effects of Imidacloprid and Varroa destructor on survival and health of European honey bees, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbo, Pendo M; Kawasaki, Joshua K; Hamilton, Michele; Cook, Steven C; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Li, Wen Feng; Liu, Jie; Chen, Yan Ping

    2017-06-01

    There has been growing concern over declines in populations of honey bees and other pollinators which are a vital part to our food security. It is imperative to identify factors responsible for accelerated declines in bee populations and develop solutions for reversing bee losses. While exact causes of colony losses remain elusive, risk factors thought to play key roles are ectoparasitic mites Varroa destructor and neonicotinoid pesticides. The present study aims to investigate effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide Imidacloprid and Varroa mites individually on survivorship, growth, physiology, virus dynamics and immunity of honey bee workers. Our study provides clear evidence that the exposure to sublethal doses of Imidacloprid could exert a significantly negative effect on health and survival of honey bees. We observed a significant reduction in the titer of vitellogenin (Vg), an egg yolk precursor that regulates the honey bees development and behavior and often are linked to energy homeostasis, in bees exposed to Imidacloprid. This result indicates that sublethal exposure to neonicotinoid could lead to increased energy usage in honey bees as detoxification is a energy-consuming metabolic process and suggests that Vg could be a useful biomarker for measuring levels of energy stress and sublethal effects of pesticides on honey bees. Measurement of the quantitative effects of different levels of Varroa mite infestation on the replication dynamic of Deformed wing virus (DWV), an RNA virus associated with Varroa infestation, and expression level of immune genes yields unique insights into how honey bees respond to stressors under laboratory conditions. © 2016 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  14. Effects of Imidacloprid and Varroa destructor on survival and health of European honey bees, Apis mellifera

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pendo M.Abbo; Joshua K.Kawasaki; Michele Hamilton; Steven C.Cook; Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman; Wen Feng Li; Jie Liu; Yan Ping Chen

    2017-01-01

    There has been growing concern over declines in populations of honey bees and other pollinators which are a vital part to our food security.It is imperative to identify factors responsible for accelerated declines in bee populations and develop solutions for reversing bee losses.While exact causes of colony losses remain elusive,risk factors thought to play key roles are ectoparasitic mites Varroa destructor and neonicotinoid pesticides.The present study aims to investigate effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide Imidacloprid and Varroa mites individually on survivorship,growth,physiology,virus dynamics and immunity of honey bee workers.Our study provides clear evidence that the exposure to sublethal doses of Imidacloprid could exert a significantly negative effect on health and survival of honey bees.We observed a significant reduction in the titer ofvitellogenin (Vg),an egg yolk precursor that regulates the honey bees development and behavior and often are linked to energy homeostasis,in bees exposed to Imidacloprid.This result indicates that sublethal exposure to neonicotinoid could lead to increased energy usage in honey bees as detoxification is a energy-consuming metabolic process and suggests that Vg could be a useful biomarker for measuring levels of energy stress and sublethal effects of pesticideson honey bees.Measurement of the quantitative effects of different levels of Varroa mite infestation on the replication dynamic of Deformed wing virus (DWV),an RNA virus associated with Varroa infestation,and expression level of immune genes yields unique insights into how honey bees respond to stressors under laboratory conditions.

  15. Neuropharmacological Manipulation of Restrained and Free-flying Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Søvik, Eirik; Plath, Jenny A; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Barron, Andrew B

    2016-11-26

    Honey bees demonstrate astonishing learning abilities and advanced social behavior and communication. In addition, their brain is small, easy to visualize and to study. Therefore, bees have long been a favored model amongst neurobiologists and neuroethologists for studying the neural basis of social and natural behavior. It is important, however, that the experimental techniques used to study bees do not interfere with the behaviors being studied. Because of this, it has been necessary to develop a range of techniques for pharmacological manipulation of honey bees. In this paper we demonstrate methods for treating restrained or free-flying honey bees with a wide range of pharmacological agents. These include both noninvasive methods such as oral and topical treatments, as well as more invasive methods that allow for precise drug delivery in either systemic or localized fashion. Finally, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method and describe common hurdles and how to best overcome them. We conclude with a discussion on the importance of adapting the experimental method to the biological questions rather than the other way around.

  16. Effects of truck-mounted, ultra low volume mosquito adulticides on honey bees (Apis mellifera) in a suburban field setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLisi, Nicholas A.; Danka, Robert G.; Walker, Todd W.; Ottea, James A.; Healy, Kristen B.

    2018-01-01

    Few studies have examined the impact of mosquito adulticides on honey bees under conditions that reflect actual field exposure. Whereas several studies have evaluated the toxicity of mosquito control products on honey bees, most have been laboratory based and have focused solely on acute mortality as a measure of impact. The goal of this study was to determine effects of routine applications of truck-based ultra-low volume (ULV) mosquito adulticides (i.e., Scourge, Duet, and Deltagard) on honey bees in a suburban setting. The mosquito adulticides used in this study were pyrethroids with active ingredients resmethrin (Scourge), prallethrin and sumithrin (Duet), and deltamethrin (Deltagard), in which resmethrin, prallethrin, and sumithrin were synergized with piperonyl butoxide. We measured and compared mortality and detoxification enzyme activities (esterase and glutathione S-transferase) from sentinel beehives within and outside of mosquito control areas. Concurrently, colony health (i.e., number of adult bees, brood quantity and brood quality) was compared throughout the study period. No significant differences were observed in honey bee mortality, colony health or detoxification enzyme activities between treated (five sprayed areas each received one to three insecticide treatment) and control sites (four unsprayed areas that did not receive insecticide treatment) over the seven week study period. However, our laboratory study showed that exposure to resmethrin, the active ingredient in Scourge, caused significant inhibition of esterase activity compared with the control group. Our findings suggest that proper application of truck based insecticides for mosquito control results in little or no exposure and therefore minimal effects on domestic honey bees. PMID:29494661

  17. Honey bees and their products as indicators of environmental radioactive pollution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tonelli, D.; Gattavecchia, E.; Ghini, S.; Porrini, C.; Celli, G.; Mercuri, A.M.

    1990-01-01

    Samples of honey, pollen and honey bees were collected in some regions of Italy after the Chernobyl accident, and subjected to gamma spectrometry in order to assess their possible use as markers of the radioactive environmental contamination. Pollen proved to be the best indicator, since it reflects exactly the air contamination and therefore it is suitable for obtaining a map of fallout. Also bees can be used for this purpose, even if their collection is more difficult, whereas honey gives only an indication. (author) 13 refs.; 4 figs.; 2 tabs

  18. Honey bees and their products as indicators of environmental radioactive pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tonelli, D; Gattavecchia, E; Ghini, S [Bologna Univ. (Italy). Ist. di Scienze Chimiche; Porrini, C; Celli, G [Bologna Univ. (Italy). Ist. di Entomologia ' Guido Grandi' ; Mercuri, A M [Modena Univ. (Italy). Ist. Botanico

    1990-08-01

    Samples of honey, pollen and honey bees were collected in some regions of Italy after the Chernobyl accident, and subjected to gamma spectrometry in order to assess their possible use as markers of the radioactive environmental contamination. Pollen proved to be the best indicator, since it reflects exactly the air contamination and therefore it is suitable for obtaining a map of fallout. Also bees can be used for this purpose, even if their collection is more difficult, whereas honey gives only an indication. (author) 13 refs.; 4 figs.; 2 tabs.

  19. Effects of insemination quantity on honey bee queen physiology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddie-Jeanne Richard

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Mating has profound effects on the physiology and behavior of female insects, and in honey bee (Apis mellifera queens, these changes are permanent. Queens mate with multiple males during a brief period in their early adult lives, and shortly thereafter they initiate egg-laying. Furthermore, the pheromone profiles of mated queens differ from those of virgins, and these pheromones regulate many different aspects of worker behavior and colony organization. While it is clear that mating causes dramatic changes in queens, it is unclear if mating number has more subtle effects on queen physiology or queen-worker interactions; indeed, the effect of multiple matings on female insect physiology has not been broadly addressed. Because it is not possible to control the natural mating behavior of queens, we used instrumental insemination and compared queens inseminated with semen from either a single drone (single-drone inseminated, or SDI or 10 drones (multi-drone inseminated, or MDI. We used observation hives to monitor attraction of workers to SDI or MDI queens in colonies, and cage studies to monitor the attraction of workers to virgin, SDI, and MDI queen mandibular gland extracts (the main source of queen pheromone. The chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of virgin, SDI, and MDI queens were characterized using GC-MS. Finally, we measured brain expression levels in SDI and MDI queens of a gene associated with phototaxis in worker honey bees (Amfor. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that insemination quantity significantly affects mandibular gland chemical profiles, queen-worker interactions, and brain gene expression. Further research will be necessary to elucidate the mechanistic bases for these effects: insemination volume, sperm and seminal protein quantity, and genetic diversity of the sperm may all be important factors contributing to this profound change in honey bee queen physiology, queen behavior, and social interactions in the

  20. Critical Structure for Telescopic Movement of Honey bee (Insecta: Apidae) Abdomen: Folded Intersegmental Membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jieliang; Yan, Shaoze; Wu, Jianing

    2016-01-01

    The folded intersegmental membrane is a structure that interconnects two adjacent abdominal segments; this structure is distributed in the segments of the honey bee abdomen. The morphology of the folded intersegmental membrane has already been documented. However, the ultrastructure of the intersegmental membrane and its assistive role in the telescopic movements of the honey bee abdomen are poorly understood. To explore the morphology and ultrastructure of the folded intersegmental membrane in the honey bee abdomen, frozen sections were analyzed under a scanning electron microscope. The intersegmental membrane between two adjacent terga has a Z-S configuration that greatly influences the daily physical activities of the honey bee abdomen. The dorsal intersegmental membrane is 2 times thicker than the ventral one, leading to asymmetric abdominal motion. Honey bee abdominal movements were recorded using a high-speed camera and through phase-contrast computed tomography. These movements conformed to the structural features of the folded intersegmental membrane. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  1. Chronic Nosema ceranae infection inflicts comprehensive and persistent immunosuppression and accelerated lipid loss in host Apis mellifera honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wenfeng; Chen, Yanping; Cook, Steven C

    2018-05-01

    Nosema ceranae is an intracellular microsporidian parasite of the Asian honey bee Apis cerana and the European honey bee Apis mellifera. Until relatively recently, A. mellifera honey bees were naïve to N. ceranae infection. Symptoms of nosemosis, or Nosema disease, in the infected hosts include immunosuppression, damage to gut epithelium, nutrient and energetic stress, precocious foraging and reduced longevity of infected bees. Links remain unclear between immunosuppression, the symptoms of nutrient and energetic stress, and precocious foraging behavior of hosts. To clarify physiological connections, we inoculated newly emerged A. mellifera adult workers with N. ceranae spores, and over 21 days post inoculation (21 days pi), gauged infection intensity and quantified expression of genes representing two innate immune pathways, Toll and Imd. Additionally, we measured each host's whole-body protein, lipids, carbohydrates and quantified respirometric and activity levels. Results show sustained suppression of genes of both humorally regulated immune response pathways after 6 days pi. At 7 days pi, elevated protein levels of infected bees may reflect synthesis of antimicrobial peptides from an initial immune response, but the lack of protein gain compared with uninfected bees at 14 days pi may represent low de novo protein synthesis. Carbohydrate data do not indicate that hosts experience severe metabolic stress related to this nutrient. At 14 days pi infected honey bees show high respirometric and activity levels, and corresponding lipid loss, suggesting lipids may be used as fuel for increased metabolic demands resulting from infection. Accelerated lipid loss during nurse honey bee behavioral development can have cascading effects on downstream physiology that may lead to precocious foraging, which is a major factor driving colony collapse. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Detoxification mechanisms of honey bees (Apis mellifera) resulting in tolerance of dietary nicotine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Rand, Esther E; Smit, Salome; Beukes, Mervyn; Apostolides, Zeno; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W

    2015-07-02

    Insecticides are thought to be among the major factors contributing to current declines in bee populations. However, detoxification mechanisms in healthy, unstressed honey bees are poorly characterised. Alkaloids are naturally encountered in pollen and nectar, and we used nicotine as a model compound to identify the mechanisms involved in detoxification processes in honey bees. Nicotine and neonicotinoids have similar modes of action in insects. Our metabolomic and proteomic analyses show active detoxification of nicotine in bees, associated with increased energetic investment and also antioxidant and heat shock responses. The increased energetic investment is significant in view of the interactions of pesticides with diseases such as Nosema spp which cause energetic stress and possible malnutrition. Understanding how healthy honey bees process dietary toxins under unstressed conditions will help clarify how pesticides, alone or in synergy with other stress factors, lead to declines in bee vitality.

  3. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein and a Neonicotinoid Pesticide.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien J Démares

    Full Text Available Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera. Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed.

  4. Fipronil promotes motor and behavioral changes in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and affects the development of colonies exposed to sublethal doses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaluski, Rodrigo; Kadri, Samir Moura; Alonso, Diego Peres; Martins Ribolla, Paulo Eduardo; de Oliveira Orsi, Ricardo

    2015-05-01

    Bees play a crucial role in pollination and generate honey and other hive products; therefore, their worldwide decline is cause for concern. New broad-spectrum systemic insecticides such as fipronil can harm bees and their use has been discussed as a potential threat to bees' survival. In the present study, the authors evaluate the in vitro toxicity of fipronil and note behavioral and motor activity changes in Africanized adult Apis mellifera that ingest or come into contact with lethal or sublethal doses of fipronil. The effects of sublethal doses on brood viability, population growth, behavior, and the expression of the defensin 1 gene in adult bees were studied in colonies fed with contaminated sugar syrup (8 µg fipronil L(-1) ). Fipronil is highly toxic to bees triggering agitation, seizures, tremors, and paralysis. Bees that are exposed to a lethal or sublethal doses showed reduced motor activity. The number of eggs that hatched, the area occupied by worker eggs, and the number of larvae and pupae that developed were reduced, adult bees showed lethargy, and colonies were abandoned when they were exposed to sublethal doses of fipronil. No change was seen in the bees' expression of defensin 1. The authors conclude that fipronil is highly toxic to honey bees and even sublethal doses may negatively affect the development and maintenance of colonies. © 2015 SETAC.

  5. Nosema ceranae parasitism impacts olfactory learning and memory and neurochemistry in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gage, Stephanie L; Kramer, Catherine; Calle, Samantha; Carroll, Mark; Heien, Michael; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria

    2018-02-19

    Nosema sp. is an internal parasite of the honey bee, Apis mellifera , and one of the leading contributors to colony losses worldwide. This parasite is found in the honey bee midgut and has profound consequences for the host's physiology. Nosema sp. impairs foraging performance in honey bees, yet, it is unclear whether this parasite affects the bee's neurobiology. In this study, we examined whether Nosema sp. affects odor learning and memory and whether the brains of parasitized bees show differences in amino acids and biogenic amines. We took newly emerged bees and fed them with Nosema ceranae At approximate nurse and forager ages, we employed an odor-associative conditioning assay using the proboscis extension reflex and two bioanalytical techniques to measure changes in brain chemistry. We found that nurse-aged bees infected with N. ceranae significantly outperformed controls in odor learning and memory, suggestive of precocious foraging, but by forager age, infected bees showed deficits in learning and memory. We also detected significant differences in amino acid concentrations, some of which were age specific, as well as altered serotonin, octopamine, dopamine and l-dopa concentrations in the brains of parasitized bees. These findings suggest that N. ceranae infection affects honey bee neurobiology and may compromise behavioral tasks. These results yield new insight into the host-parasite dynamic of honey bees and N. ceranae , as well as the neurochemistry of odor learning and memory under normal and parasitic conditions. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Operant Conditioning in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.): The Cap Pushing Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramson, Charles I; Dinges, Christopher W; Wells, Harrington

    2016-01-01

    The honey bee has been an important model organism for studying learning and memory. More recently, the honey bee has become a valuable model to understand perception and cognition. However, the techniques used to explore psychological phenomena in honey bees have been limited to only a few primary methodologies such as the proboscis extension reflex, sting extension reflex, and free flying target discrimination-tasks. Methods to explore operant conditioning in bees and other invertebrates are not as varied as with vertebrates. This may be due to the availability of a suitable response requirement. In this manuscript we offer a new method to explore operant conditioning in honey bees: the cap pushing response (CPR). We used the CPR to test for difference in learning curves between novel auto-shaping and more traditional explicit-shaping. The CPR protocol requires bees to exhibit a novel behavior by pushing a cap to uncover a food source. Using the CPR protocol we tested the effects of both explicit-shaping and auto-shaping techniques on operant conditioning. The goodness of fit and lack of fit of these data to the Rescorla-Wagner learning-curve model, widely used in classical conditioning studies, was tested. The model fit well to both control and explicit-shaping results, but only for a limited number of trials. Learning ceased rather than continuing to asymptotically approach the physiological most accurate possible. Rate of learning differed between shaped and control bee treatments. Learning rate was about 3 times faster for shaped bees, but for all measures of proficiency control and shaped bees reached the same level. Auto-shaped bees showed one-trial learning rather than the asymptotic approach to a maximal efficiency. However, in terms of return-time, the auto-shaped bees' learning did not carry over to the covered-well test treatments.

  7. Quantifying honey bee mating range and isolation in semi-isolated valleys by DNA microsatellite paternity analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Annette Bruun; Palmer, Kellie A.; Chaline, Nicolas

    2005-01-01

    Apis mellifera mellifera, gene flow, honey bee conservation, mating distance, National Park, European black bee, Peak District, polyandry, social insects Udgivelsesdato: JUL......Apis mellifera mellifera, gene flow, honey bee conservation, mating distance, National Park, European black bee, Peak District, polyandry, social insects Udgivelsesdato: JUL...

  8. The first comprehensive molecular detection of six honey bee viruses in Iran in 2015-2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghorani, Mohammadreza; Madadgar, Omid; Langeroudi, Arash Ghalyanchi; Rezapanah, Mohammadreza; Nabian, Sedigheh; Akbarein, Hesameddin; Farahani, Reza Kh; Maghsoudloo, Hossein; Abdollahi, Hamed; Forsi, Mohammad

    2017-08-01

    At least 18 viruses have been reported in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.). However, severe diseases in honey bees are mainly caused by six viruses, and these are the most important in beekeeping. These viruses include: deformed wing virus (DWV), acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), sacbrood virus (SBV), kashmir bee virus (KBV), and black queen cell virus (BQCV). In this study, we evaluated 89 Iranian honey bee apiaries (during the period 2015-2016) suffering from symptoms of depopulation, sudden collapse, paralysis, or dark coloring, by employing reverse transcription-PCR. Samples were collected from four regions (Mazandaran, Hormozgan, Kurdistan, and Khorasan Razavi) of Iran. Of the 89 apiaries examined, 16 (17.97%), three (3.37%), and three (3.37%) were infected by DWV, ABPV, and CBPV, respectively. The study results for the other viruses (SBV, KBV, and BQCV) were negative. The present study evaluated the presence of the six most important honey bee viruses in bee colonies with suspected infections, and identified remarkable differences in the distribution patterns of the viruses in different geographic regions of Iran.

  9. Varroa destructor Mites Can Nimbly Climb from Flowers onto Foraging Honey Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David T Peck

    Full Text Available Varroa destructor, the introduced parasite of European honey bees associated with massive colony deaths, spreads readily through populations of honey bee colonies, both managed colonies living crowded together in apiaries and wild colonies living widely dispersed in natural settings. Mites are hypothesized to spread between most managed colonies via phoretically riding forager bees when they engage in robbing colonies or they drift between hives. However, widely spaced wild colonies show Varroa infestation despite limited opportunities for robbing and little or no drifting of bees between colonies. Both wild and managed colonies may also exchange mites via another mechanism that has received remarkably little attention or study: floral transmission. The present study tested the ability of mites to infest foragers at feeders or flowers. We show that Varroa destructor mites are highly capable of phoretically infesting foraging honey bees, detail the mechanisms and maneuvers by which they do so, and describe mite behaviors post-infestation.

  10. Varroa destructor Mites Can Nimbly Climb from Flowers onto Foraging Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Michael L.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2016-01-01

    Varroa destructor, the introduced parasite of European honey bees associated with massive colony deaths, spreads readily through populations of honey bee colonies, both managed colonies living crowded together in apiaries and wild colonies living widely dispersed in natural settings. Mites are hypothesized to spread between most managed colonies via phoretically riding forager bees when they engage in robbing colonies or they drift between hives. However, widely spaced wild colonies show Varroa infestation despite limited opportunities for robbing and little or no drifting of bees between colonies. Both wild and managed colonies may also exchange mites via another mechanism that has received remarkably little attention or study: floral transmission. The present study tested the ability of mites to infest foragers at feeders or flowers. We show that Varroa destructor mites are highly capable of phoretically infesting foraging honey bees, detail the mechanisms and maneuvers by which they do so, and describe mite behaviors post-infestation. PMID:27942015

  11. Varroa destructor Mites Can Nimbly Climb from Flowers onto Foraging Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, David T; Smith, Michael L; Seeley, Thomas D

    2016-01-01

    Varroa destructor, the introduced parasite of European honey bees associated with massive colony deaths, spreads readily through populations of honey bee colonies, both managed colonies living crowded together in apiaries and wild colonies living widely dispersed in natural settings. Mites are hypothesized to spread between most managed colonies via phoretically riding forager bees when they engage in robbing colonies or they drift between hives. However, widely spaced wild colonies show Varroa infestation despite limited opportunities for robbing and little or no drifting of bees between colonies. Both wild and managed colonies may also exchange mites via another mechanism that has received remarkably little attention or study: floral transmission. The present study tested the ability of mites to infest foragers at feeders or flowers. We show that Varroa destructor mites are highly capable of phoretically infesting foraging honey bees, detail the mechanisms and maneuvers by which they do so, and describe mite behaviors post-infestation.

  12. General Stress Responses in the Honey Bee

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naïla Even

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The biological concept of stress originated in mammals, where a “General Adaptation Syndrome” describes a set of common integrated physiological responses to diverse noxious agents. Physiological mechanisms of stress in mammals have been extensively investigated through diverse behavioral and physiological studies. One of the main elements of the stress response pathway is the endocrine hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis, which underlies the “fight-or-flight” response via a hormonal cascade of catecholamines and corticoid hormones. Physiological responses to stress have been studied more recently in insects: they involve biogenic amines (octopamine, dopamine, neuropeptides (allatostatin, corazonin and metabolic hormones (adipokinetic hormone, diuretic hormone. Here, we review elements of the physiological stress response that are or may be specific to honey bees, given the economical and ecological impact of this species. This review proposes a hypothetical integrated honey bee stress pathway somewhat analogous to the mammalian HPA, involving the brain and, particularly, the neurohemal organ corpora cardiaca and peripheral targets, including energy storage organs (fat body and crop. We discuss how this system can organize rapid coordinated changes in metabolic activity and arousal, in response to adverse environmental stimuli. We highlight physiological elements of the general stress responses that are specific to honey bees, and the areas in which we lack information to stimulate more research into how this fascinating and vital insect responds to stress.

  13. How Varroa Parasitism Affects the Immunological and Nutritional Status of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine A. Aronstein

    2012-06-01

    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.

  14. A diverse range of novel RNA viruses in geographically distinct honey bee populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Remnant, Emily J.; Shi, Mang; Buchmann, Gabriele; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Holmes, Edward C.; Beekman, Madeleine; Ashe, Alyson

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the diversity and consequences of viruses present in honey bees is critical for maintaining pollinator health and managing the spread of disease. The viral landscape of honey bees (Apis mellifera) has changed dramatically since the emergence of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor,

  15. Biology of Paenibacillus larvae, a deadly pathogen of honey bee larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebeling, Julia; Knispel, Henriette; Hertlein, Gillian; Fünfhaus, Anne; Genersch, Elke

    2016-09-01

    The gram-positive bacterium Paenibacillus larvae is the etiological agent of American Foulbrood of honey bees, a notifiable disease in many countries. Hence, P. larvae can be considered as an entomopathogen of considerable relevance in veterinary medicine. P. larvae is a highly specialized pathogen with only one established host, the honey bee larva. No other natural environment supporting germination and proliferation of P. larvae is known. Over the last decade, tremendous progress in the understanding of P. larvae and its interactions with honey bee larvae at a molecular level has been made. In this review, we will present the recent highlights and developments in P. larvae research and discuss the impact of some of the findings in a broader context to demonstrate what we can learn from studying "exotic" pathogens.

  16. Why, when and where did honey bee dance communication evolve?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbie eI'Anson Price

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis sp. are the only known bee genus that uses nest-based communication to provide nest-mates with information about the location of resources, the so-called dance language. Successful foragers perform waggle dances for high quality food sources and suitable nest-sites during swarming. However, since many species of social insects do not communicate the location of resources to their nest-mates, the question of why the dance language evolved is of ongoing interest. We review recent theoretical and empirical research into the ecological circumstances that make dance communication beneficial in present day environments. This research suggests that the dance language is most beneficial when food sources differ greatly in quality and are hard to find. The dances of extant honey bee species differ in important ways, and phylogenetic studies suggest an increase in dance complexity over time: species with the least complex dance were the first to appear and species with the most complex dance are the most derived. We review the fossil record of honey bees and speculate about the time and context (foraging vs. swarming in which spatially referential dance communication might have evolved. We conclude that there are few certainties about when the dance language first appeared; dance communication could be older than 40 million years and, thus, predate the genus Apis, or it could be as recent as 20 million years when extant honey bee species diverged during the early Miocene. The most parsimonious scenario assumes it evolved in a sub-tropical to temperate climate, with patchy vegetation somewhere in Eurasia.

  17. Immunogene and viral transcript dynamics during parasitic Varroa destructor mite infection of developing honey bee (Apis mellifera) pupae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuster, Ryan D; Boncristiani, Humberto F; Rueppell, Olav

    2014-05-15

    The ectoparasitic Varroa destructor mite is a major contributor to the ongoing honey bee health crisis. Varroa interacts with honey bee viruses, exacerbating their pathogenicity. In addition to vectoring viruses, immunosuppression of the developing honey bee hosts by Varroa has been proposed to explain the synergy between viruses and mites. However, the evidence for honey bee immune suppression by V. destructor is contentious. We systematically studied the quantitative effects of experimentally introduced V. destructor mites on immune gene expression at five specific time points during the development of the honey bee hosts. Mites reproduced normally and were associated with increased titers of deformed wing virus in the developing bees. Our data on different immune genes show little evidence for immunosuppression of honey bees by V. destructor. Experimental wounding of developing bees increases relative immune gene expression and deformed wing virus titers. Combined, these results suggest that mite feeding activity itself and not immunosuppression may contribute to the synergy between viruses and mites. However, our results also suggest that increased expression of honey bee immune genes decreases mite reproductive success, which may be explored to enhance mite control strategies. Finally, our expression data for multiple immune genes across developmental time and different experimental treatments indicates co-regulation of several of these genes and thus improves our understanding of the understudied honey bee immune system. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  18. Neonicotinoid-contaminated puddles of water represent a risk of intoxication for honey bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Samson-Robert

    Full Text Available In recent years, populations of honey bees and other pollinators have been reported to be in decline worldwide. A number of stressors have been identified as potential contributing factors, including the extensive prophylactic use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are highly toxic to bees, in agriculture. While multiple routes of exposure to these systemic insecticides have been documented for honey bees, contamination from puddle water has not been investigated. In this study, we used a multi-residue method based on LC-MS/MS to analyze samples of puddle water taken in the field during the planting of treated corn and one month later. If honey bees were to collect and drink water from these puddles, our results showed that they would be exposed to various agricultural pesticides. All water samples collected from corn fields were contaminated with at least one neonicotinoid compound, although most contained more than one systemic insecticide. Concentrations of neonicotinoids were higher in early spring, indicating that emission and drifting of contaminated dust during sowing raises contamination levels of puddles. Although the overall average acute risk of drinking water from puddles was relatively low, concentrations of neonicotinoids ranged from 0.01 to 63 µg/L and were sufficient to potentially elicit a wide array of sublethal effects in individuals and colony alike. Our results also suggest that risk assessment of honey bee water resources underestimates the foragers' exposure and consequently miscalculates the risk. In fact, our data shows that honey bees and native pollinators are facing unprecedented cumulative exposure to these insecticides from combined residues in pollen, nectar and water. These findings not only document the impact of this route of exposure for honey bees, they also have implications for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops for which the extensive use of neonicotinoids is currently promoted.

  19. A review of neurohormone GPCRs present in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster and the honey bee Apis mellifera

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauser, Frank; Cazzamali, Giuseppe; Williamson, Michael

    2006-01-01

    in 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 genes (21...

  20. Parallel epigenomic and transcriptomic responses to viral infection in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbraith, David A; Yang, Xingyu; Niño, Elina Lastro; Yi, Soojin; Grozinger, Christina

    2015-03-01

    Populations of honey bees are declining throughout the world, with US beekeepers losing 30% of their colonies each winter. Though multiple factors are driving these colony losses, it is increasingly clear that viruses play a major role. However, information about the molecular mechanisms mediating antiviral immunity in honey bees is surprisingly limited. Here, we examined the transcriptional and epigenetic (DNA methylation) responses to viral infection in honey bee workers. One-day old worker honey bees were fed solutions containing Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), a virus which causes muscle paralysis and death and has previously been associated with colony loss. Uninfected control and infected, symptomatic bees were collected within 20-24 hours after infection. Worker fat bodies, the primary tissue involved in metabolism, detoxification and immune responses, were collected for analysis. We performed transcriptome- and bisulfite-sequencing of the worker fat bodies to identify genome-wide gene expression and DNA methylation patterns associated with viral infection. There were 753 differentially expressed genes (FDR<0.05) in infected versus control bees, including several genes involved in epigenetic and antiviral pathways. DNA methylation status of 156 genes (FDR<0.1) changed significantly as a result of the infection, including those involved in antiviral responses in humans. There was no significant overlap between the significantly differentially expressed and significantly differentially methylated genes, and indeed, the genomic characteristics of these sets of genes were quite distinct. Our results indicate that honey bees have two distinct molecular pathways, mediated by transcription and methylation, that modulate protein levels and/or function in response to viral infections.

  1. Parallel epigenomic and transcriptomic responses to viral infection in honey bees (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Galbraith

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Populations of honey bees are declining throughout the world, with US beekeepers losing 30% of their colonies each winter. Though multiple factors are driving these colony losses, it is increasingly clear that viruses play a major role. However, information about the molecular mechanisms mediating antiviral immunity in honey bees is surprisingly limited. Here, we examined the transcriptional and epigenetic (DNA methylation responses to viral infection in honey bee workers. One-day old worker honey bees were fed solutions containing Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV, a virus which causes muscle paralysis and death and has previously been associated with colony loss. Uninfected control and infected, symptomatic bees were collected within 20-24 hours after infection. Worker fat bodies, the primary tissue involved in metabolism, detoxification and immune responses, were collected for analysis. We performed transcriptome- and bisulfite-sequencing of the worker fat bodies to identify genome-wide gene expression and DNA methylation patterns associated with viral infection. There were 753 differentially expressed genes (FDR<0.05 in infected versus control bees, including several genes involved in epigenetic and antiviral pathways. DNA methylation status of 156 genes (FDR<0.1 changed significantly as a result of the infection, including those involved in antiviral responses in humans. There was no significant overlap between the significantly differentially expressed and significantly differentially methylated genes, and indeed, the genomic characteristics of these sets of genes were quite distinct. Our results indicate that honey bees have two distinct molecular pathways, mediated by transcription and methylation, that modulate protein levels and/or function in response to viral infections.

  2. Within-Colony Variation in the Immunocompetency of Managed and Feral Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L. in Different Urban Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Holden Appler

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization has the potential to dramatically affect insect populations worldwide, although its effects on pollinator populations are just beginning to be understood. We compared the immunocompetency of honey bees sampled from feral (wild-living and managed (beekeeper-owned honey bee colonies. We sampled foragers from feral and managed colonies in rural, suburban, and urban landscapes in and around Raleigh, NC, USA. We then analyzed adult workers using two standard bioassays for insect immune function (encapsulation response and phenoloxidase activity. We found that there was far more variation within colonies for encapsulation response or phenoloxidase activity than among rural to urban landscapes, and we did not observe any significant difference in immune response between feral and managed bees. These findings suggest that social pollinators, like honey bees, may be sufficiently robust or variable in their immune responses to obscure any subtle effects of urbanization. Additional studies of immune physiology and disease ecology of social and solitary bees in urban, suburban, and natural ecosystems will provide insights into the relative effects of changing urban environments on several important factors that influence pollinator productivity and health.

  3. Multiple Virus Infections and the Characteristics of Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus in Diseased Honey Bees (Apis Mellifera L. in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Yan Y.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  4. Agricultural Landscape and Pesticide Effects on Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Biological Traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Steckel, Sandra J; Williams, Matthew T; Skinner, John A; Tarpy, David R; Meikle, William G; Adamczyk, John; Stewart, Scott D

    2017-06-01

    Sixteen honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies were placed in four different agricultural landscapes to study the effects of agricultural landscape and exposure to pesticides on honey bee health. Colonies were located in three different agricultural areas with varying levels of agricultural intensity (AG areas) and one nonagricultural area (NAG area). Colonies were monitored for their performance and productivity for one year by measuring colony weight changes, brood production, and colony thermoregulation. Palynological and chemical analyses were conducted on the trapped pollen collected from each colony and location. Our results indicate that the landscape's composition significantly affected honey bee colony performance and development. Colony weight and brood production were significantly greater in AG areas compared to the NAG area. Better colony thermoregulation in AG areas' colonies was also observed. The quantities of pesticides measured in the trapped pollen were relatively low compared to their acute toxicity. Unexplained queen and colony losses were recorded in the AG areas, while colony losses because of starvation were observed in the NAG area. Our results indicate that landscape with high urban activity enhances honey bee brood production, with no significant effects on colony weight gain. Our study indicates that agricultural crops provide a valuable resource for honey bee colonies, but there is a trade-off with an increased risk of exposure to pesticides. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Crop-emptying rate and the design of pesticide risk assessment schemes in the honey bee and wild bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, Alice; Rollin, Orianne; Le Féon, Violette; Decourtye, Axel; Henry, Mickaël

    2014-02-01

    Recent scientific literature and reports from official sanitary agencies have pointed out the deficiency of current pesticide risk assessment processes regarding sublethal effects on pollinators. Sublethal effects include troubles in learning performance, orientation skills, or mobility, with possible contribution to substantial dysfunction at population scale. However, the study of sublethal effects is currently limited by considerable knowledge gaps, particularly for the numerous pollinators other than the honey bee Apis mellifera L.--the traditional model for pesticide risk assessment in pollinators. Here, we propose to use the crop-emptying time as a rule of thumb to guide the design of oral exposure experiments in the honey bee and wild bees. The administration of contaminated sucrose solutions is typically followed by a fasting time lapse to allow complete assimilation before the behavioral tests. The fasting duration should at least encompass the crop-emptying time, because no absorption takes place in the crop. We assessed crop-emptying rate in fasted bees and how it relates 1) with sucrose solution concentration in the honey bee and 2) with body mass in wild bees. Fasting duration required for complete crop emptying in honey bees fed 20 microl of a 50% sucrose solution was nearly 2 h. Actual fasting durations are usually shorter in toxicological studies, suggesting incomplete crop emptying, and therefore partial assimilation of experimental solutions that could imply underestimation of sublethal effects. We also found faster crop-emptying rates in large wild bees compared with smaller wild bees, and suggest operative rules to adapt sublethal assessment schemes accordingly.

  6. Managed European-Derived Honey Bee, Apis mellifera sspp, Colonies Reduce African-Matriline Honey Bee, A. m. scutellata, Drones at Regional Mating Congregations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortensen, Ashley N; Ellis, James D

    2016-01-01

    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.

  7. Improving honey production in worker bees (Apis mellifera adansoni ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Modification of feeding activity, nursing care and undertaker behaviour were carried out among some colonies of honey bees Apis mellifera adansoni L to know the effect on honey production. Apiaries Numbers 1, 2 and 3 contain three replicates of experimental hives while apiary Number 4 contains control hives. All the ...

  8. Migrations of European honey bee lineages into Africa, Asia, and North America during the Oligocene and Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotthoff, Ulrich; Wappler, Torsten; Engel, Michael

    2013-04-01

    Today honey bees, principally the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, represent a multi-billion dollar agricultural industry. Through the efforts of humans they have become established well outside of their modern native ranges, having been introduced multiple times into the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, and many areas of Oceania. The native, i.e., non-human influenced, distribution and migration of honey bee species and populations has been a matter of serious and continued debate. Apicultural dogma informs us that the center of origin of honey bees (genus Apis) resides in Asia, with subsequent migration and diversification into Europe and Asia. Recent population genetic studies of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, slightly modified this received wisdom by suggesting that this species originated in Africa and subsequently reinvaded Eurasia. Research into the historical biogeography of honey bees has ignored entirely the abundant fossil evidence distributed through a variety of Late Paleogene (Oligocene) and Early Neogene (Miocene) deposits, a diversity which is predominantly European in origin, particularly among the most basal species of the genus. We have examined the morphological disparity and affinities of the full living and fossil diversity of honey bees ranging from their earliest origins to the present day. This analysis indicates that honey bees exhibited a greater morphological disparity during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs, a time when the principal lineages were established, and that Apis apparently originated in Europe, spreading from there into Asia, Africa, and North America, with subsequent diversification in the former two regions and extinction in the latter. During the human migrations and colonization honey bees were once again introduced multiple times into the Americas, as well as into Australia and Asia.

  9. Floral reward, advertisement and attractiveness to honey bees in dioecious Salix caprea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dötterl, Stefan; Glück, Ulrike; Jürgens, Andreas; Woodring, Joseph; Aas, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    In dioecious, zoophilous plants potential pollinators have to be attracted to both sexes and switch between individuals of both sexes for pollination to occur. It often has been suggested that males and females require different numbers of visits for maximum reproductive success because male fertility is more likely limited by access to mates, whereas female fertility is rather limited by resource availability. According to sexual selection theory, males therefore should invest more in pollinator attraction (advertisement, reward) than females. However, our knowledge on the sex specific investment in floral rewards and advertisement, and its effects on pollinator behaviour is limited. Here, we use an approach that includes chemical, spectrophotometric, and behavioural studies i) to elucidate differences in floral nectar reward and advertisement (visual, olfactory cues) in dioecious sallow, Salix caprea, ii) to determine the relative importance of visual and olfactory floral cues in attracting honey bee pollinators, and iii) to test for differential attractiveness of female and male inflorescence cues to honey bees. Nectar amount and sugar concentration are comparable, but sugar composition varies between the sexes. Olfactory sallow cues are more attractive to honey bees than visual cues; however, a combination of both cues elicits the strongest behavioural responses in bees. Male flowers are due to the yellow pollen more colourful and emit a higher amount of scent than females. Honey bees prefer the visual but not the olfactory display of males over those of females. In all, the data of our multifaceted study are consistent with the sexual selection theory and provide novel insights on how the model organism honey bee uses visual and olfactory floral cues for locating host plants.

  10. Floral reward, advertisement and attractiveness to honey bees in dioecious Salix caprea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Dötterl

    Full Text Available In dioecious, zoophilous plants potential pollinators have to be attracted to both sexes and switch between individuals of both sexes for pollination to occur. It often has been suggested that males and females require different numbers of visits for maximum reproductive success because male fertility is more likely limited by access to mates, whereas female fertility is rather limited by resource availability. According to sexual selection theory, males therefore should invest more in pollinator attraction (advertisement, reward than females. However, our knowledge on the sex specific investment in floral rewards and advertisement, and its effects on pollinator behaviour is limited. Here, we use an approach that includes chemical, spectrophotometric, and behavioural studies i to elucidate differences in floral nectar reward and advertisement (visual, olfactory cues in dioecious sallow, Salix caprea, ii to determine the relative importance of visual and olfactory floral cues in attracting honey bee pollinators, and iii to test for differential attractiveness of female and male inflorescence cues to honey bees. Nectar amount and sugar concentration are comparable, but sugar composition varies between the sexes. Olfactory sallow cues are more attractive to honey bees than visual cues; however, a combination of both cues elicits the strongest behavioural responses in bees. Male flowers are due to the yellow pollen more colourful and emit a higher amount of scent than females. Honey bees prefer the visual but not the olfactory display of males over those of females. In all, the data of our multifaceted study are consistent with the sexual selection theory and provide novel insights on how the model organism honey bee uses visual and olfactory floral cues for locating host plants.

  11. A large-scale field study examining effects of exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola on honey bee colony health, development, and overwintering success

    OpenAIRE

    Cutler, G. Christopher; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D.; Sultan, Maryam; McFarlane, Andrew D.; Brewer, Larry

    2014-01-01

    In summer 2012, we initiated a large-scale field experiment in southern Ontario, Canada, to determine whether exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola (oil seed rape) has any adverse impacts on honey bees. Colonies were placed in clothianidin seed-treated or control canola fields during bloom, and thereafter were moved to an apiary with no surrounding crops grown from seeds treated with neonicotinoids. Colony weight gain, honey production, pest incidence, bee mortality, number of adults, ...

  12. Nutritional Effect of Alpha-Linolenic Acid on Honey Bee Colony Development (Apis Mellifera L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Lanting

    2015-12-01

    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.

  13. Phenology of Honey Bee Swarm Departure in New Jersey, United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilley, D C; Courtright, T J; Thom, C

    2018-03-31

    Departure of swarms from honey bee (Apis mellifera Linnaeus (Hymenoptera: Apidae)) nests is an important reproductive event for wild honey bee colonies and economically costly in managed bee colonies. The seasonal timing of swarm departure varies regionally and annually, creating challenges for honey bee management and emphasizing the potential for swarming behavior to be affected by plant-pollinator phenological mismatch. In this study, we first document variability in the timing of swarm departure across the large and heterogeneous geographical area of New Jersey over 4 years using 689 swarm-cluster observations. Second, hypothesizing that honey bee colonies adaptively tune the timing of swarm departure to match floral food-resource availability, we predicted that growing degree-days could be used to account for regional and annual variability. To test this idea, we used local weather records to determine the growing degree-day on which each swarm cluster was observed and tested for differences among climate regions and years. The state-wide mean swarm cluster date was May 15 (± 0.6 d), with moderate but significant differences among the state's five climate regions and between years. Use of degree-day information suggests that local heat accumulation can account for some climate-region differences in swarm-departure timing. Annual variation existed on a scale of only several days and was not accounted for by growing degree-days, suggesting little adaptive tuning of swarm-departure timing with respect to local heat accumulation.

  14. High levels of miticides and agrochemicals in North American apiaries: implications for honey bee health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullin, Christopher A; Frazier, Maryann; Frazier, James L; Ashcraft, Sara; Simonds, Roger; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Pettis, Jeffery S

    2010-03-19

    Recent declines in honey bees for crop pollination threaten fruit, nut, vegetable and seed production in the United States. A broad survey of pesticide residues was conducted on samples from migratory and other beekeepers across 23 states, one Canadian province and several agricultural cropping systems during the 2007-08 growing seasons. We have used LC/MS-MS and GC/MS to analyze bees and hive matrices for pesticide residues utilizing a modified QuEChERS method. We have found 121 different pesticides and metabolites within 887 wax, pollen, bee and associated hive samples. Almost 60% of the 259 wax and 350 pollen samples contained at least one systemic pesticide, and over 47% had both in-hive acaricides fluvalinate and coumaphos, and chlorothalonil, a widely-used fungicide. In bee pollen were found chlorothalonil at levels up to 99 ppm and the insecticides aldicarb, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos and imidacloprid, fungicides boscalid, captan and myclobutanil, and herbicide pendimethalin at 1 ppm levels. Almost all comb and foundation wax samples (98%) were contaminated with up to 204 and 94 ppm, respectively, of fluvalinate and coumaphos, and lower amounts of amitraz degradates and chlorothalonil, with an average of 6 pesticide detections per sample and a high of 39. There were fewer pesticides found in adults and brood except for those linked with bee kills by permethrin (20 ppm) and fipronil (3.1 ppm). The 98 pesticides and metabolites detected in mixtures up to 214 ppm in bee pollen alone represents a remarkably high level for toxicants in the brood and adult food of this primary pollinator. This represents over half of the maximum individual pesticide incidences ever reported for apiaries. While exposure to many of these neurotoxicants elicits acute and sublethal reductions in honey bee fitness, the effects of these materials in combinations and their direct association with CCD or declining bee health remains to be determined.

  15. Tritium concentrations in bees and honey at Los Alamos National Laboratory: 1979-1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fresquez, P.R.; Armstrong, D.R.; Pratt, L.H.

    1997-01-01

    Honeybees are effective monitors of environmental pollution. The objective of this study was to summarize tritium ({sup 3}H) concentrations in bees and honey collected from within and around Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) over an 18-year period. Based on the long-term average, bees from nine out of eleven hives and honey from six out of eleven hives on LANL lands contained {sup 3}H that was significantly higher (p <0.05) than background. The highest average concentration of {sup 3}H in bees (435 pCi mL{sup -1}) collected over the years was from LANL`s Technical Area (TA) 54-a low-level radioactive waste disposal site (Area G). Similarly, the highest average concentration of {sup 3}H in honey (709 pCi mL{sup - 1}) was collected from a hive located near three {sup 3}H storage ponds at LANL TA-53. The average concentrations of {sup 3}H in bees and honey from background hives was 1.0 pCi mL{sup -1} and 1.5 pCi ML{sup -1}, respectively. Although the concentrations of 3H in bees and honey from most LANL and perimeter (White Rock/Pajarito Acres) areas were significantly higher than background, most areas, with the exception of TA-53 and TA-54, generally exhibited decreasing 3H concentrations over time.

  16. Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L. are more efficient at removing worker brood artificially infested with the parasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni Oudemans than are Italian bees or Italian/Africanized hybrids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guerra Jr. José Carlos Vieira

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Africanized honey bees are more tolerant of infestations with the mite Varroa jacobsoni than are honey bees of European origin. The capacity of these bees to detect and react to brood infested with this mite could be one of the factors determining this tolerance. We tested colonies of Africanized bees headed by queens from swarms collected in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo State. The Italian colonies had queens imported directly from the USA, or from the Brazilian Island of Fernando de Noronha, where varroa-infested Italian colonies have been maintained, untreated, since 1984. Recently sealed worker brood cells were artificially infested by opening the cell capping, inserting live adult female mites and resealing the cells. Control cells were treated in the same way, but without introducing mites. The ability of the Africanized honey bees to recognize and remove this artificially infested brood was compared with that of first generation Italian/Africanized hybrid bees, and with the two groups of "pure" Italian bees, in three separate experiments. Africanized colonies removed a mean of 51% of the infested brood, while Italian/Africanized hybrid colonies removed 25%. Africanized colonies also removed a significantly greater proportion of infested brood than did Italian colonies, headed by queens from the USA (59 vs. 31%, respectively. Similarly, when Africanized colonies were compared with colonies of Italian bees from Fernando de Noronha, the former were found to be significantly more efficient at removing infested brood (61 vs. 35%, respectively, even though the population of Italian bees on this island has been exposed to and survived varroa infestations (without treatment for more than 12 years. Only the Africanized honey bees removed a significant proportion of varroa-infested brood, when the data was corrected for brood removal from control cells.

  17. The synergistic effects of almond protection fungicides on honey bee (Apis mellifera) forager survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) contributes approximately $17 billion annually in pollination services performed for major agricultural crops in the United States including almond, which is completely dependent on honey bee pollination for nut set. Almond growers face challenges to crop productivity ...

  18. Nosema ceranae induced mortality in honey bees (Apis mellifera) depends on infection methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milbrath, Meghan O; Xie, Xianbing; Huang, Zachary Y

    2013-09-01

    Nosema ceranae infection can reduce survival of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, but experiments examining its virulence have highly variable results. This variation may arise from differences in experimental techniques. We examined survival effects of two techniques: Nosema infection at day 1 without anesthesia and infection at day 5 using CO2 anesthesia. All bees infected with the latter method had poorer survival. Interestingly, these bees also had significantly fewer spores than bees infected without anesthesia. These results indicate that differences in Nosema ceranae-induced mortality in honey bees may be partially due to differences in experimental techniques. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Stable genetic diversity despite parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jara, Laura; Muñoz, Irene; Cepero, Almudena; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Serrano, José; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2015-10-01

    In the last decades, the rapid spread of diseases, such as varroosis and nosemosis, associated with massive honey bee colonies mortality around the world has significantly decreased the number and size of honey bee populations and possibly their genetic diversity. Here, we compare the genetic diversity of Iberian honey bee colonies in two samplings performed in 2006 and 2010 in relation to the presence of the pathogenic agents Nosema apis, Nosema ceranae, and Varroa destructor in order to determine whether parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies reflects changes in genetic diversity. We found that the genetic diversity remained similar, while the incidence of N. ceranae increased and the incidence of N. apis and V. destructor decreased slightly. These results indicate that the genetic diversity was not affected by the presence of these pathogenic agents in the analyzed period. However, the two groups of colonies with and without Nosema/Varroa detected showed significant genetic differentiation (G test). A detailed analysis of the allelic segregation of microsatellite loci in Nosema/Varroa-negative colonies and parasitized ones revealed two outlier loci related to genes involved in immune response.

  20. Stable genetic diversity despite parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jara, Laura; Muñoz, Irene; Cepero, Almudena; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Serrano, José; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2015-10-01

    In the last decades, the rapid spread of diseases, such as varroosis and nosemosis, associated with massive honey bee colonies mortality around the world has significantly decreased the number and size of honey bee populations and possibly their genetic diversity. Here, we compare the genetic diversity of Iberian honey bee colonies in two samplings performed in 2006 and 2010 in relation to the presence of the pathogenic agents Nosema apis, Nosema ceranae, and Varroa destructor in order to determine whether parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies reflects changes in genetic diversity. We found that the genetic diversity remained similar, while the incidence of N. ceranae increased and the incidence of N. apis and V. destructor decreased slightly. These results indicate that the genetic diversity was not affected by the presence of these pathogenic agents in the analyzed period. However, the two groups of colonies with and without Nosema/Varroa detected showed significant genetic differentiation (G test). A detailed analysis of the allelic segregation of microsatellite loci in Nosema/Varroa-negative colonies and parasitized ones revealed two outlier loci related to genes involved in immune response.

  1. 75 FR 12171 - Notice of Availability of a Draft Pest Risk Assessment on Honey Bees Imported from Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-15

    ...] Notice of Availability of a Draft Pest Risk Assessment on Honey Bees Imported from Australia AGENCY... evaluation of the pest risks associated with the importation of honey bees from Australia. The draft pest... States from Australia after concerns that exotic honey bee pathogens or parasites may have been...

  2. Characterization of the active microbiotas associated with honey bees reveals healthier and broader communities when colonies are genetically diverse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather R Mattila

    Full Text Available Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected pollen into bee bread, a nutritious food product that can be stored for long periods in colonies. We used 16S rRNA pyrosequencing to comprehensively characterize in genetically diverse and genetically uniform colonies the active bacterial communities that are found on honey bees, in their digestive tracts, and in bee bread. This method provided insights that have not been revealed by past studies into the content and benefits of honey bee-associated microbial communities. Colony microbiotas differed substantially between sampling environments and were dominated by several anaerobic bacterial genera never before associated with honey bees, but renowned for their use by humans to ferment food. Colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from greater microbial diversity, reduced pathogen loads, and increased abundance of putatively helpful bacteria, particularly species from the potentially probiotic genus Bifidobacterium. Across all colonies, Bifidobacterium activity was negatively correlated with the activity of genera that include pathogenic microbes; this relationship suggests a possible target for understanding whether microbes provide protective benefits to honey bees. Within-colony diversity shapes microbiotas associated with honey bees in ways that may have important repercussions for colony function and health. Our findings illuminate the importance of honey bee-bacteria symbioses and examine their intersection with nutrition, pathogen load, and genetic diversity, factors that are considered key to understanding honey bee decline.

  3. Vitellogenin in the honey bee brain: Atypical localization of a reproductive protein that promotes longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münch, Daniel; Ihle, Kate E; Salmela, Heli; Amdam, Gro V

    2015-11-01

    In comparative gerontology, highly social insects such as honey bees (Apis mellifera) receive much attention due to very different and flexible aging patterns among closely related siblings. While experimental strategies that manipulate socio-environmental factors suggest a causative link between aging and social signals and behaviors, the molecular underpinnings of this linkage are less well understood. Here we study the atypical localization of the egg-yolk protein vitellogenin (Vg) in the brain of the honey bee. Vg is known to influence honey bee social regulation and aging rate. Our findings suggest that Vg immunoreactivity in the brain is specifically localized within the class of non-neuronal glial cells. We discuss how these results can help explain the socially-dependent aging rate of honey bees. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Octopamine and tyramine modulate the thermoregulatory fanning response in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biogenic amines regulate the proximate mechanisms underlying most behavior, including those that contribute to the overall success of complex societies. For honey bees one critical set of behaviors contributing to the welfare of a colony are involved with nest thermoregulation. Worker honey bees co...

  5. Quantification of toxins in a Cry1Ac + CpTI cotton cultivar and its potential effects on the honey bee Apis mellifera L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Peng; Niu, Chang-Ying; Lei, Chao-Liang; Cui, Jin-Jie; Desneux, Nicolas

    2010-11-01

    Transgenic Cry1Ac + CpTI cotton (CCRI41) is increasingly planted throughout China. However, negative effects of this cultivar on the honey bee Apis mellifera L., the most important pollinator for cultivated ecosystem, remained poorly investigated. The objective of our study was to evaluate the potential side effects of transgenic Cry1Ac + CpTI pollen from cotton on young adult honey bees A. mellifera L. Two points emphasized the significance of our study: (1) A higher expression level of insecticidal protein Cry1Ac in pollen tissues was detected (when compared with previous reports). In particular, Cry1Ac protein was detected at 300 ± 4.52 ng g(-1) [part per billion (ppb)] in pollen collected in July, (2) Effects on chronic mortality and feeding behaviour in honey bees were evaluated using a no-choice dietary feeding protocol with treated pollen, which guarantee the highest exposure level to bees potentially occurring in natural conditions (worst case scenario). Tests were also conducted using imidacloprid-treated pollen at a concentration of 48 ppb as positive control for sublethal effect on feeding behaviour. Our results suggested that Cry1Ac + CpTI pollen carried no lethal risk for honey bees. However, during a 7-day oral exposure to the various treatments (transgenic, imidacloprid-treated and control), honey bee feeding behaviour was disturbed and bees consumed significantly less CCRI41 cotton pollen than in the control group in which bees were exposed to conventional cotton pollen. It may indicate an antifeedant effect of CCRI41 pollen on honey bees and thus bees may be at risk because of large areas are planted with transgenic Bt cotton in China. This is the first report suggesting a potential sublethal effect of CCRI41 cotton pollen on honey bees. The implications of the results are discussed in terms of risk assessment for bees as well as for directions of future work involving risk assessment of CCRI41 cotton.

  6. Nutritional composition of honey bee food stores vary with floral composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donkersley, Philip; Rhodes, Glenn; Pickup, Roger W; Jones, Kevin C; Power, Eileen F; Wright, Geraldine A; Wilson, Kenneth

    2017-12-01

    Sufficiently diverse and abundant resources are essential for generalist consumers, and form an important part of a suite of conservation strategies for pollinators. Honey bees are generalist foragers and are dependent on diverse forage to adequately meet their nutritional needs. Through analysis of stored pollen (bee bread) samples obtained from 26 honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) hives across NW-England, we quantified bee bread nutritional content and the plant species that produced these stores from pollen. Protein was the most abundant nutrient by mass (63%), followed by carbohydrates (26%). Protein and lipid content (but not carbohydrate) contributed significantly to ordinations of floral diversity, linking dietary quality with forage composition. DNA sequencing of the ITS2 region of the nuclear ribosomal DNA gene identified pollen from 89 distinct plant genera, with each bee bread sample containing between 6 and 35 pollen types. Dominant genera included dandelion (Taraxacum), which was positively correlated with bee bread protein content, and cherry (Prunus), which was negatively correlated with the amount of protein. In addition, proportions of amino acids (e.g. histidine and valine) varied as a function of floral species composition. These results also quantify the effects of individual plant genera on the nutrition of honey bees. We conclude that pollens of different plants act synergistically to influence host nutrition; the pollen diversity of bee bread is linked to its nutrient content. Diverse environments compensate for the loss of individual forage plants, and diversity loss may, therefore, destabilize consumer communities due to restricted access to alternative resources.

  7. Managed European-Derived Honey Bee, Apis mellifera sspp, Colonies Reduce African-Matriline Honey Bee, A. m. scutellata, Drones at Regional Mating Congregations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortensen, Ashley N.; Ellis, James D.

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. Simulating a base population in honey bee for molecular genetic studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Pooja; Conrad, Tim; Spötter, Andreas; Reinsch, Norbert; Bienefeld, Kaspar

    2012-06-27

    Over the past years, reports have indicated that honey bee populations are declining and that infestation by an ecto-parasitic mite (Varroa destructor) is one of the main causes. Selective breeding of resistant bees can help to prevent losses due to the parasite, but it requires that a robust breeding program and genetic evaluation are implemented. Genomic selection has emerged as an important tool in animal breeding programs and simulation studies have shown that it yields more accurate breeding value estimates, higher genetic gain and low rates of inbreeding. Since genomic selection relies on marker data, simulations conducted on a genomic dataset are a pre-requisite before selection can be implemented. Although genomic datasets have been simulated in other species undergoing genetic evaluation, simulation of a genomic dataset specific to the honey bee is required since this species has a distinct genetic and reproductive biology. Our software program was aimed at constructing a base population by simulating a random mating honey bee population. A forward-time population simulation approach was applied since it allows modeling of genetic characteristics and reproductive behavior specific to the honey bee. Our software program yielded a genomic dataset for a base population in linkage disequilibrium. In addition, information was obtained on (1) the position of markers on each chromosome, (2) allele frequency, (3) χ(2) statistics for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, (4) a sorted list of markers with a minor allele frequency less than or equal to the input value, (5) average r(2) values of linkage disequilibrium between all simulated marker loci pair for all generations and (6) average r2 value of linkage disequilibrium in the last generation for selected markers with the highest minor allele frequency. We developed a software program that takes into account the genetic and reproductive biology specific to the honey bee and that can be used to constitute a genomic

  9. Effects of gamma irradiation on reproductive traits in Apis mellifera (honey bee)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shameer, P.M.; Harini, B.P.; Shetty, N.J.; Chaubey, R.C.; Jha, S.K.

    2013-01-01

    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)

  10. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arien, Yael; Dag, Arnon; Zarchin, Shlomi; Masci, Tania

    2015-01-01

    Deficiency in essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly the long-chain form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has been linked to health problems in mammals, including many mental disorders and reduced cognitive performance. Insects have very low long-chain PUFA concentrations, and the effect of omega-3 deficiency on cognition in insects has not been studied. We show a low omega-6:3 ratio of pollen collected by honey bee colonies in heterogenous landscapes and in many hand-collected pollens that we analyzed. We identified Eucalyptus as an important bee-forage plant particularly poor in omega-3 and high in the omega-6:3 ratio. We tested the effect of dietary omega-3 deficiency on olfactory and tactile associative learning of the economically highly valued honey bee. Bees fed either of two omega-3–poor diets, or Eucalyptus pollen, showed greatly reduced learning abilities in conditioned proboscis-extension assays compared with those fed omega-3–rich diets, or omega-3–rich pollen mixture. The effect on performance was not due to reduced sucrose sensitivity. Omega-3 deficiency also led to smaller hypopharyngeal glands. Bee brains contained high omega-3 concentrations, which were only slightly affected by diet, suggesting additional peripheral effects on learning. The shift from a low to high omega-6:3 ratio in the Western human diet is deemed a primary cause of many diseases and reduced mental health. A similar shift seems to be occurring in bee forage, possibly an important factor in colony declines. Our study shows the detrimental effect on cognitive performance of omega-3 deficiency in a nonmammal. PMID:26644556

  11. Classical conditioning of proboscis extension in harnessed Africanized honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquino, Italo S; Abramson, Charles I; Soares, Ademilson E E; Fernandes, Andrea Cardoso; Benbassat, Danny

    2004-06-01

    Experiments are reported on learning in virgin Africanized honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.). Queens restrained in a "Pavlovian harness" received a pairing of hexanal odor with a 1.8-M feeding of sucrose solution. Compared to explicitly unpaired controls, acquisition was rapid in reaching about 90%. Acquisition was also rapid in queens receiving an unconditioned stimulus of "bee candy" or an unconditioned stimulus administered by worker bees. During extinction the conditioned response declines. The steepest decline was observed in queens receiving an unconditioned stimulus of bee candy. These findings extend previous work on learning of Afrianized honey bee workers to a population of queen bees.

  12. Draft genome of the honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Tropilaelaps mercedesae, is shaped by the parasitic life history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Xiaofeng; Armstrong, Stuart D; Xia, Dong; Makepeace, Benjamin L; Darby, Alistair C; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2017-03-01

    The number of managed honey bee colonies has considerably decreased in many developed countries in recent years and ectoparasitic mites are considered as major threats to honey bee colonies and health. However, their general biology remains poorly understood. We sequenced the genome of Tropilaelaps mercedesae, the prevalent ectoparasitic mite infesting honey bees in Asia, and predicted 15 190 protein-coding genes that were well supported by the mite transcriptomes and proteomic data. Although amino acid substitutions have been accelerated within the conserved core genes of two mites, T. mercedesae and Metaseiulus occidentalis, T. mercedesae has undergone the least gene family expansion and contraction between the seven arthropods we tested. The number of sensory system genes has been dramatically reduced, but T. mercedesae contains all gene sets required to detoxify xenobiotics. T. mercedesae is closely associated with a symbiotic bacterium (Rickettsiella grylli-like) and Deformed Wing Virus, the most prevalent honey bee virus. T. mercedesae has a very specialized life history and habitat as the ectoparasitic mite strictly depends on the honey bee inside a stable colony. Thus, comparison of the genome and transcriptome sequences with those of a tick and free-living mites has revealed the specific features of the genome shaped by interaction with the honey bee and colony environment. Genome and transcriptome sequences of T. mercedesae, as well as Varroa destructor (another globally prevalent ectoparasitic mite of honey bee), not only provide insights into the mite biology, but may also help to develop measures to control the most serious pests of the honey bee. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  13. A large-scale field study examining effects of exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola on honey bee colony health, development, and overwintering success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutler, G Christopher; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D; Sultan, Maryam; McFarlane, Andrew D; Brewer, Larry

    2014-01-01

    In summer 2012, we initiated a large-scale field experiment in southern Ontario, Canada, to determine whether exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola (oil seed rape) has any adverse impacts on honey bees. Colonies were placed in clothianidin seed-treated or control canola fields during bloom, and thereafter were moved to an apiary with no surrounding crops grown from seeds treated with neonicotinoids. Colony weight gain, honey production, pest incidence, bee mortality, number of adults, and amount of sealed brood were assessed in each colony throughout summer and autumn. Samples of honey, beeswax, pollen, and nectar were regularly collected, and samples were analyzed for clothianidin residues. Several of these endpoints were also measured in spring 2013. Overall, colonies were vigorous during and after the exposure period, and we found no effects of exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola on any endpoint measures. Bees foraged heavily on the test fields during peak bloom and residue analysis indicated that honey bees were exposed to low levels (0.5-2 ppb) of clothianidin in pollen. Low levels of clothianidin were detected in a few pollen samples collected toward the end of the bloom from control hives, illustrating the difficulty of conducting a perfectly controlled field study with free-ranging honey bees in agricultural landscapes. Overwintering success did not differ significantly between treatment and control hives, and was similar to overwintering colony loss rates reported for the winter of 2012-2013 for beekeepers in Ontario and Canada. Our results suggest that exposure to canola grown from seed treated with clothianidin poses low risk to honey bees.

  14. How Hives Collapse: Allee Effects, Ecological Resilience, and the Honey Bee.

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    Brian Dennis

    Full Text Available We construct a mathematical model to quantify the loss of resilience in collapsing honey bee colonies due to the presence of a strong Allee effect. In the model, recruitment and mortality of adult bees have substantial social components, with recruitment enhanced and mortality reduced by additional adult bee numbers. The result is an Allee effect, a net per-individual rate of hive increase that increases as a function of adult bee numbers. The Allee effect creates a critical minimum size in adult bee numbers, below which mortality is greater than recruitment, with ensuing loss of viability of the hive. Under ordinary and favorable environmental circumstances, the critical size is low, and hives remain large, sending off viably-sized swarms (naturally or through beekeeping management when hive numbers approach an upper stable equilibrium size (carrying capacity. However, both the lower critical size and the upper stable size depend on many parameters related to demographic rates and their enhancement by bee sociality. Any environmental factors that increase mortality, decrease recruitment, or interfere with the social moderation of these rates has the effect of exacerbating the Allee effect by increasing the lower critical size and substantially decreasing the upper stable size. As well, the basin of attraction to the upper stable size, defined by the model potential function, becomes narrower and shallower, indicating the loss of resilience as the hive becomes subjected to increased risk of falling below the critical size. Environmental effects of greater severity can cause the two equilibria to merge and the basin of attraction to the upper stable size to disappear, resulting in collapse of the hive from any initial size. The model suggests that multiple proximate causes, among them pesticides, mites, pathogens, and climate change, working singly or in combinations, could trigger hive collapse.

  15. Testing Honey Bees' Avoidance of Predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Jesse Wade; Nieh, James C.; Goodale, Eben

    2012-01-01

    Many high school science students do not encounter opportunities for authentic science inquiry in their formal coursework. Ecological field studies can provide such opportunities. The purpose of this project was to teach students about the process of science by designing and conducting experiments on whether and how honey bees (Apis mellifera)…

  16. Learning context modulates aversive taste strength in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela; Serre, Marion; Avarguès-Weber, Aurore; Dyer, Adrian G; Giurfa, Martin

    2015-03-01

    The capacity of honey bees (Apis mellifera) to detect bitter substances is controversial because they ingest without reluctance different kinds of bitter solutions in the laboratory, whereas free-flying bees avoid them in visual discrimination tasks. Here, we asked whether the gustatory perception of bees changes with the behavioral context so that tastes that are less effective as negative reinforcements in a given context become more effective in a different context. We trained bees to discriminate an odorant paired with 1 mol l(-1) sucrose solution from another odorant paired with either distilled water, 3 mol l(-1) NaCl or 60 mmol l(-1) quinine. Training was either Pavlovian [olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) in harnessed bees], or mainly operant (olfactory conditioning of free-walking bees in a Y-maze). PER-trained and maze-trained bees were subsequently tested both in their original context and in the alternative context. Whereas PER-trained bees transferred their choice to the Y-maze situation, Y-maze-trained bees did not respond with a PER to odors when subsequently harnessed. In both conditioning protocols, NaCl and distilled water were the strongest and the weakest aversive reinforcement, respectively. A significant variation was found for quinine, which had an intermediate aversive effect in PER conditioning but a more powerful effect in the Y-maze, similar to that of NaCl. These results thus show that the aversive strength of quinine varies with the learning context, and reveal the plasticity of the bee's gustatory system. We discuss the experimental constraints of both learning contexts and focus on stress as a key modulator of taste in the honey bee. Further explorations of bee taste are proposed to understand the physiology of taste modulation in bees. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Ecological changes and local knowledge in a giant honey bee (Apis dorsata F.) hunting community in Palawan, Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matias, Denise Margaret S; Borgemeister, Christian; von Wehrden, Henrik

    2018-02-24

    One of the traditional livelihood practices of indigenous Tagbanuas in Palawan, Philippines is wild honey hunting and gathering from the giant honey bee (Apis dorsata F.). In order to analyze the linkages of the social and ecological systems involved in this indigenous practice, we conducted spatial, quantitative, and qualitative analyses on field data gathered through mapping of global positioning system coordinates, community surveys, and key informant interviews. We found that only 24% of the 251 local community members surveyed could correctly identify the giant honey bee. Inferential statistics showed that a lower level of formal education strongly correlates with correct identification of the giant honey bee. Spatial analysis revealed that mean NDVI of sampled nesting tree areas has dropped from 0.61 in the year 1988 to 0.41 in 2015. However, those who correctly identified the giant honey bee lived in areas with high vegetation cover. Decreasing vegetation cover limits the presence of wild honey bees and this may also be limiting direct experience of the community with wild honey bees. However, with causality yet to be established, we recommend conducting further studies to concretely model feedbacks between ecological changes and local knowledge.

  18. Honey bee-collected pollen in agro-ecosystems reveals diet diversity, diet quality, and pesticide exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colwell, Megan J; Williams, Geoffrey R; Evans, Rodger C; Shutler, Dave

    2017-09-01

    European honey bees Apis mellifera are important commercial pollinators that have suffered greater than normal overwintering losses since 2007 in North America and Europe. Contributing factors likely include a combination of parasites, pesticides, and poor nutrition. We examined diet diversity, diet nutritional quality, and pesticides in honey bee-collected pollen from commercial colonies in the Canadian Maritime Provinces in spring and summer 2011. We sampled pollen collected by honey bees at colonies in four site types: apple orchards, blueberry fields, cranberry bogs, and fallow fields. Proportion of honey bee-collected pollen from crop versus noncrop flowers was high in apple, very low in blueberry, and low in cranberry sites. Pollen nutritional value tended to be relatively good from apple and cranberry sites and poor from blueberry and fallow sites. Floral surveys ranked, from highest to lowest in diversity, fallow, cranberry, apple, and blueberry sites. Pesticide diversity in honey bee-collected pollen was high from apple and blueberry sites and low from cranberry and fallow sites. Four different neonicotinoid pesticides were detected, but neither these nor any other pesticides were at or above LD 50 levels. Pollen hazard quotients were highest in apple and blueberry sites and lowest in fallow sites. Pollen hazard quotients were also negatively correlated with the number of flower taxa detected in surveys. Results reveal differences among site types in diet diversity, diet quality, and pesticide exposure that are informative for improving honey bee and land agro-ecosystem management.

  19. Intraspecific Aggression in Giant Honey Bees (Apis dorsata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Weihmann

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We investigated intraspecific aggression in experimental nests (expN1, expN2 of the giant honey bee Apis dorsata in Chitwan (Nepal, focusing on interactions between surface bees and two other groups of bees approaching the nest: (1 homing “nestmate” foragers landing on the bee curtain remained unmolested by guards; and (2 supposed “non-nestmate” bees, which were identified by their erratic flight patterns in front of the nest, such as hovering or sideways scanning and splaying their legs from their body, and were promptly attacked by the surface bees after landing. These supposed non-nestmate bees only occurred immediately before and after migration swarms, which had arrived in close vicinity (and were most likely scouting for a nesting site. In total, 231 of the “nestmate” foragers (fb and 102 approaches of such purported “non-nestmate” scouts (sc were analysed (total observation time expN1: 5.43 min regarding the evocation of shimmering waves (sh. During their landing the “nestmate” foragers provoked less shimmering waves (relnsh[fb] = 23/231 = 0.0996, relnsh[sc] = 75/102 = 0.7353; p <0.001, χ2-test with shorter duration (Dsh[fb] = 197 ± 17 ms, Dsh[sc] = 488 ± 16 ms; p <0.001; t-test than “non-nestmates”. Moreover, after having landed on the nest surface, the “non-nestmates” were attacked by the surface bees (expN1, expN2: observation time >18 min quite similarly to the defensive response against predatory wasps. Hence, the surface members of settled colonies respond differently to individual giant honey bees approaching the nest, depending on whether erratic flight patterns are displayed or not.

  20. Comparative Flight Activities and Pathogen Load of Two Stocks of Honey Bees Reared in Gamma-Irradiated Combs

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    Lilia I. de Guzman

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Gamma irradiation is known to inactivate various pathogens that negatively affect honey bee health. Bee pathogens, such as Deformed wing virus (DWV and Nosema spp., have a deleterious impact on foraging activities and bee survival, and have been detected in combs. In this study, we assessed the effects of gamma irradiation on the flight activities, pathogen load, and survival of two honey bee stocks that were reared in irradiated and non-irradiated combs. Overall, bee genotype influenced the average number of daily flights, the total number of foraging flights, and total flight duration, in which the Russian honey bees outperformed the Italian honey bees. Exposing combs to gamma irradiation only affected the age at first flight, with worker bees that were reared in non-irradiated combs foraging prematurely compared to those reared in irradiated combs. Precocious foraging may be associated with the higher levels of DWV in bees reared in non-irradiated combs and also with the lower amount of pollen stores in colonies that used non-irradiated combs. These data suggest that gamma irradiation of combs can help minimize the negative impact of DWV in honey bees. Since colonies with irradiated combs stored more pollen than those with non-irradiated combs, crop pollination efficiency may be further improved when mite-resistant stocks are used, since they performed more flights and had longer flight durations.

  1. Brain metabolomic profiling of eastern honey bee (Apis cerana infested with the mite Varroa destructor.

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    Jiang-Li Wu

    Full Text Available The mite Varroa destructor is currently the greatest threat to apiculture as it is causing a global decrease in honey bee colonies. However, it rarely causes serious damage to its native hosts, the eastern honey bees Apis cerana. To better understand the mechanism of resistance of A. cerana against the V. destructor mite, we profiled the metabolic changes that occur in the honey bee brain during V. destructor infestation. Brain samples were collected from infested and control honey bees and then measured using an untargeted liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS-based global metabolomics method, in which 7918 and 7462 ions in ESI+ and ESI- mode, respectively, were successfully identified. Multivariate statistical analyses were applied, and 64 dysregulated metabolites, including fatty acids, amino acids, carboxylic acid, and phospholipids, amongst others, were identified. Pathway analysis further revealed that linoleic acid metabolism; propanoate metabolism; and glycine, serine, and threonine metabolism were acutely perturbed. The data obtained in this study offer insight into the defense mechanisms of A. cerana against V. destructor mites and provide a better method for understanding the synergistic effects of parasitism on honey bee colonies.

  2. Accelerated behavioural development changes fine-scale search behaviour and spatial memory in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ushitani, Tomokazu; Perry, Clint J; Cheng, Ken; Barron, Andrew B

    2016-02-01

    Normally, worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) begin foraging when more than 2 weeks old as adults, but if individual bees or the colony is stressed, bees often begin foraging precociously. Here, we examined whether bees that accelerated their behavioural development to begin foraging precociously differed from normal-aged foragers in cognitive performance. We used a social manipulation to generate precocious foragers from small experimental colonies and tested their performance in a free-flight visual reversal learning task, and a test of spatial memory. To assess spatial memory, bees were trained to learn the location of a small sucrose feeder within an array of three landmarks. In tests, the feeder and one landmark were removed and the search behaviour of the bees was recorded. Performance of precocious and normal-aged foragers did not differ in a visual reversal learning task, but the two groups showed a clear difference in spatial memory. Flight behaviour suggested normal-aged foragers were better able to infer the position of the removed landmark and feeder relative to the remaining landmarks than precocious foragers. Previous studies have documented the cognitive decline of old foragers, but this is the first suggestion of a cognitive deficit in young foragers. These data imply that worker honey bees continue their cognitive development during the adult stage. These findings may also help to explain why precocious foragers perform quite poorly as foragers and have a higher than normal loss rate. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  3. Variation morphogeometrics of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena A. Nunes

    2012-09-01

    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.

  4. Multielemental determination in Citrus spp bee honey samples by instrumental neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Favaro, D.I.T.; Vasconcellos, M.B.A.; Pamplona, B.

    1990-07-01

    Recently interest has grown in the determination of the concentration of inorganic chemical elements in honey bee samples, due its utilization as indicator of environmental pollution in several countries of Europe. In the present work, a method was developed to determine some essential and potentially inorganic elements in honey bee samples by intrumental neutrons activation analysis followed by high resolution gamma ray spectrometry. The honey samples were neutron irradiated during differents times at the nuclear research reactor IEA-Rl of the IPEN-CNEN/SP. The elements Na, Cl, K, Mg and Mn were determined using irradiations of 30 minutes under a thermal neutron flux of 10 12 n.cm -2 .s -1 . With 16 hours of irradiation under a flux of 10 13 n.cm -2 .s -1 and different cooling times, the elements Br, Ca, Au, Sb, Cs, Rb, Zn, Sc, Fe, Co and La were determined. The concentration of the analyzed elements ranged from ng/g to mg/g. In the future, different kinds of bee honey will be analyzed and the characteristic chemical composition of each one will be established. Based on these elemental concentration data, the relationship between the mineral composition of bee honey and its geographical origin can be studied. (author) [pt

  5. Effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide on thermoregulation of African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosi, Simone; Démares, Fabien J; Nicolson, Susan W; Medrzycki, Piotr; Pirk, Christian W W; Human, Hannelie

    Thiamethoxam is a widely used neonicotinoid pesticide that, as agonist of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, has been shown to elicit a variety of sublethal effects in honey bees. However, information concerning neonicotinoid effects on honey bee thermoregulation is lacking. Thermoregulation is an essential ability for the honey bee that guarantees the success of foraging and many in-hive tasks, especially brood rearing. We tested the effects of acute exposure to thiamethoxam (0.2, 1, 2ng/bee) on the thorax temperatures of foragers exposed to low (22°C) and high (33°C) temperature environments. Thiamethoxam significantly altered honey bee thorax temperature at all doses tested; the effects elicited varied depending on the environmental temperature and pesticide dose to which individuals were exposed. When bees were exposed to the high temperature environment, the high dose of thiamethoxam increased their thorax temperature 1-2h after exposure. When bees were exposed to the low temperature, the higher doses of the neonicotinoid reduced bee thorax temperatures 60-90min after treatment. In both experiments, the neonicotinoid decreased the temperature of bees the day following the exposure. After a cold shock (5min at 4°C), the two higher doses elicited a decrease of the thorax temperature, while the lower dose caused an increase, compared to the control. These alterations in thermoregulation caused by thiamethoxam may affect bee foraging activity and a variety of in-hive tasks, likely leading to negative consequences at the colony level. Our results shed light on sublethal effect of pesticides which our bees have to deal with. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Retschnig, Gina; Williams, Geoffrey R; Mehmann, Marion M; Yañez, Orlando; de Miranda, Joachim R; Neumann, Peter

    2014-01-01

    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.

  7. Testing pollen of single and stacked insect-resistant Bt-maize on in vitro reared honey bee larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendriksma, Harmen P; Härtel, Stephan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2011-01-01

    The ecologically and economic important honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a key non-target arthropod species in environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically modified (GM) crops. Honey bee larvae are directly exposed to transgenic products by the consumption of GM pollen. But most ERA studies only consider responses of adult bees, although Bt-proteins primarily affect the larval phases of target organisms. We adopted an in vitro larvae rearing system, to assess lethal and sublethal effects of Bt-pollen consumption in a standardized eco-toxicological bioassay. The effects of pollen from two Bt-maize cultivars, one expressing a single and the other a total of three Bt-proteins, on the survival and prepupae weight of honey bee larvae were analyzed. The control treatments included pollen from three non-transgenic maize varieties and of Heliconia rostrata. Three days old larvae were fed the realistic exposure dose of 2 mg pollen within the semi-artificial diet. The larvae were monitored over 120 h, until the prepupal stage, where larvae terminate feeding and growing. Neither single nor stacked Bt-maize pollen showed an adverse effect on larval survival and the prepupal weight. In contrast, feeding of H. rostrata pollen caused significant toxic effects. The results of this study indicate that pollen of the tested Bt-varieties does not harm the development of in vitro reared A. mellifera larvae. To sustain the ecosystem service of pollination, Bt-impact on A. mellifera should always be a crucial part of regulatory biosafety assessments. We suggest that our approach of feeding GM pollen on in vitro reared honey bee larvae is well suited of becoming a standard bioassay in regulatory risk assessments schemes of GM crops.

  8. Nosema parasitism in honey bees (Apis mellifera) impacts olfactory learning and memory and neurochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nosema sp. is an internal parasite of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, and one of the leading contributors to colony losses worldwide. This parasite is found in the honey bee midgut, and has profound consequences on the host’s physiology. There are reports that Nosema sp. impairs foraging performance ...

  9. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) nurses do not consume pollens based on their nutritional quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) consume a variety of pollens to meet the majority of their requirements for protein and lipids. Recent work indicates that at both the colony and individual levels, honey bees prefer diets that reflect the proper ratio of nutrients necessary for optimal survival and homeo...

  10. Differential responses to DWV infection in honey bees: A case of tolerance or resistance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bees contend with a variety of abiotic and biotic stressors, and this has led to high and likely unsustainable annual colony mortality. The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is the biggest threat affecting honey bee health in large part because of the viruses that mites vector while feeding...

  11. Effects of Nosema ceranae and thiametoxam in Apis mellifera: A comparative study in Africanized and Carniolan honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregorc, Ales; Silva-Zacarin, Elaine C M; Carvalho, Stephan Malfitano; Kramberger, Doris; Teixeira, Erica W; Malaspina, Osmar

    2016-03-01

    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. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. The metabolic fate of nectar nicotine in worker honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Rand, Esther E; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W; Apostolides, Zeno

    2017-04-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are generalist pollinators that forage for nectar and pollen of a very large variety of plant species, exposing them to a diverse range of secondary metabolites produced as chemical defences against herbivory. Honey bees can tolerate high levels of many of these toxic compounds, including the alkaloid nicotine, in their diet without incurring apparent fitness costs. Very little is known about the underlying detoxification processes mediating this tolerance. We examined the metabolic fate of nicotine in newly emerged worker bees using radiolabeled nicotine and LC-MS/MS analysis to determine the kinetic distribution profile of nicotine as well as the absence or presence and identity of any nicotine-derived metabolites. Nicotine metabolism was extensive; virtually no unmetabolised nicotine were recovered from the rectum. The major metabolite found was 4-hydroxy-4-(3-pyridyl) butanoic acid, the end product of 2'C-oxidation of nicotine. It is the first time that 4-hydroxy-4-(3-pyridyl) butanoic acid has been identified in an insect as a catabolite of nicotine. Lower levels of cotinine, cotinine N-oxide, 3'hydroxy-cotinine, nicotine N-oxide and norcotinine were also detected. Our results demonstrated that formation of 4-hydroxy-4-(3-pyridyl) butanoic acid is quantitatively the most significant pathway of nicotine metabolism in honey bees and that the rapid excretion of unmetabolised nicotine does not contribute significantly to nicotine tolerance in honey bees. In nicotine-tolerant insects that do not rely on the rapid excretion of nicotine like the Lepidoptera, it is possible that the 2'C-oxidation of nicotine is the conserved metabolic pathway instead of the generally assumed 5'C-oxidation pathway. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Genetic diversity affects colony survivorship in commercial honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarpy, David R.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Pettis, Jeffrey S.

    2013-08-01

    Honey bee ( Apis mellifera) queens mate with unusually high numbers of males (average of approximately 12 drones), although there is much variation among queens. One main consequence of such extreme polyandry is an increased diversity of worker genotypes within a colony, which has been shown empirically to confer significant adaptive advantages that result in higher colony productivity and survival. Moreover, honey bees are the primary insect pollinators used in modern commercial production agriculture, and their populations have been in decline worldwide. Here, we compare the mating frequencies of queens, and therefore, intracolony genetic diversity, in three commercial beekeeping operations to determine how they correlate with various measures of colony health and productivity, particularly the likelihood of queen supersedure and colony survival in functional, intensively managed beehives. We found the average effective paternity frequency ( m e ) of this population of honey bee queens to be 13.6 ± 6.76, which was not significantly different between colonies that superseded their queen and those that did not. However, colonies that were less genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e ≤ 7.0) were 2.86 times more likely to die by the end of the study when compared to colonies that were more genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e > 7.0). The stark contrast in colony survival based on increased genetic diversity suggests that there are important tangible benefits of increased queen mating number in managed honey bees, although the exact mechanism(s) that govern these benefits have not been fully elucidated.

  14. Differential proteomics reveals novel insights into Nosema-honey bee interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurze, Christoph; Dosselli, Ryan; Grassl, Julia; Le Conte, Yves; Kryger, Per; Baer, Boris; Moritz, Robin F A

    2016-12-01

    Host manipulation is a common strategy by parasites to reduce host defense responses, enhance development, host exploitation, reproduction and, ultimately, transmission success. As these parasitic modifications can reduce host fitness, increased selection pressure may result in reciprocal adaptations of the host. Whereas the majority of studies on host manipulation have explored resistance against parasites (i.e. ability to prevent or limit an infection), data describing tolerance mechanisms (i.e. ability to limit harm of an infection) are scarce. By comparing differential protein abundance, we provide evidence of host-parasite interactions in the midgut proteomes of N. ceranae-infected and uninfected honey bees from both Nosema-tolerant and Nosema-sensitive lineages. We identified 16 proteins out of 661 protein spots that were differentially abundant between experimental groups. In general, infections of Nosema resulted in an up-regulation of the bee's energy metabolism. Additionally, we identified 8 proteins that were differentially abundant between tolerant and sensitive honey bees regardless of the Nosema infection. Those proteins were linked to metabolism, response to oxidative stress and apoptosis. In addition to bee proteins, we also identified 3 Nosema ceranae proteins. Interestingly, abundance of two of these Nosema proteins were significantly higher in infected Nosema-sensitive honeybees relative to the infected Nosema-tolerant lineage. This may provide a novel candidate for studying the molecular interplay between N. ceranae and its honey bee host in more detail. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Electrophoresis characterisation of protein as a method to establish the entomological origin of stingless bee honeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramón-Sierra, Jesús Manuel; Ruiz-Ruiz, Jorge Carlos; de la Luz Ortiz-Vázquez, Elizabeth

    2015-09-15

    Increasing production of stingless-bee honey and the prospect of broader marker for natural and organic products indicate the need to establish parameters to determinate the entomological origin and authenticity of honey. In this research, honeys of Apis mellifera, Melipona beecheii and Trigona spp. were collected in Yucatan, Mexico. Stingless-bee honeys contained more water and less total sugars and reducing sugars. SDS-PAGE patterns show distinctive bands for each kind of honey. The SDS-PAGE pattern of A. mellifera proteins honey showed three bands with molecular weights between 10.2 and 74.8kDa, there were five proteins bands in M. beecheii honey with molecular weights between 6.1 and 97.0kDa and nine for Trigona spp. proteins between 9.3 and 86.7kDa. Conventional physicochemical parameters along with electrophoresis profiles of stingless-bee honeys proteins could be an alternative for determination of entomological origin. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Hemolymph proteome changes during worker brood development match the biological divergences between western honey bees (Apis mellifera) and eastern honey bees (Apis cerana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Mao; Ramadan, Haitham; Han, Bin; Fang, Yu; Li, Jianke

    2014-07-05

    Hemolymph plays key roles in honey bee molecule transport, immune defense, and in monitoring the physiological condition. There is a lack of knowledge regarding how the proteome achieves these biological missions for both the western and eastern honey bees (Apis mellifera and Apis cerana). A time-resolved proteome was compared using two-dimensional electrophoresis-based proteomics to reveal the mechanistic differences by analysis of hemolymph proteome changes between the worker bees of two bee species during the larval to pupal stages. The brood body weight of Apis mellifera was significantly heavier than that of Apis cerana at each developmental stage. Significantly, different protein expression patterns and metabolic pathways were observed in 74 proteins (166 spots) that were differentially abundant between the two bee species. The function of hemolymph in energy storage, odor communication, and antioxidation is of equal importance for the western and eastern bees, indicated by the enhanced expression of different protein species. However, stronger expression of protein folding, cytoskeletal and developmental proteins, and more highly activated energy producing pathways in western bees suggests that the different bee species have developed unique strategies to match their specific physiology using hemolymph to deliver nutrients and in immune defense. Our disparate findings constitute a proof-of-concept of molecular details that the ecologically shaped different physiological conditions of different bee species match with the hemolymph proteome during the brood stage. This also provides a starting point for future research on the specific hemolymph proteins or pathways related to the differential phenotypes or physiology.

  17. Quantification of toxins in a Cry1Ac?+?CpTI cotton cultivar and its potential effects on the honey bee Apis mellifera L.

    OpenAIRE

    Han, Peng; Niu, Chang-Ying; Lei, Chao-Liang; Cui, Jin-Jie; Desneux, Nicolas

    2010-01-01

    Transgenic Cry1Ac?+?CpTI cotton (CCRI41) is increasingly planted throughout China. However, negative effects of this cultivar on the honey bee Apis mellifera L., the most important pollinator for cultivated ecosystem, remained poorly investigated. The objective of our study was to evaluate the potential side effects of transgenic Cry1Ac?+?CpTI pollen from cotton on young adult honey bees A. mellifera L. Two points emphasized the significance of our study: (1) A higher expression level of inse...

  18. Comparative chronic toxicity of three neonicotinoids on New Zealand packaged honey bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah C Wood

    Full Text Available Thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and imidacloprid are the most commonly used neonicotinoid insecticides on the Canadian prairies. There is widespread contamination of nectar and pollen with neonicotinoids, at concentrations which are sublethal for honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus.We compared the effects of chronic, sublethal exposure to the three most commonly used neonicotinoids on honey bee colonies established from New Zealand packaged bees using colony weight gain, brood area, and population size as measures of colony performance.From May 7 to July 29, 2016 (12 weeks, sixty-eight colonies received weekly feedings of sugar syrup and pollen patties containing 0 nM, 20 nM (median environmental dose, or 80 nM (high environmental dose of one of three neonicotinoids (thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and imidacloprid. Colonies were weighed at three-week intervals. Brood area and population size were determined from digital images of colonies at week 12. Statistical analyses were performed by ANOVA and mixed models.There was a significant negative effect (-30%, p80% statistical power to detect an effect.Chronic exposure of honey bees to high environmental doses of neonicotinoids has negative effects on honey production. Brood area appears to be less sensitive to detect sublethal effects of neonicotinoids.

  19. Comparative chronic toxicity of three neonicotinoids on New Zealand packaged honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Sarah C; Kozii, Ivanna V; Koziy, Roman V; Epp, Tasha; Simko, Elemir

    2018-01-01

    Thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and imidacloprid are the most commonly used neonicotinoid insecticides on the Canadian prairies. There is widespread contamination of nectar and pollen with neonicotinoids, at concentrations which are sublethal for honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus). We compared the effects of chronic, sublethal exposure to the three most commonly used neonicotinoids on honey bee colonies established from New Zealand packaged bees using colony weight gain, brood area, and population size as measures of colony performance. From May 7 to July 29, 2016 (12 weeks), sixty-eight colonies received weekly feedings of sugar syrup and pollen patties containing 0 nM, 20 nM (median environmental dose), or 80 nM (high environmental dose) of one of three neonicotinoids (thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and imidacloprid). Colonies were weighed at three-week intervals. Brood area and population size were determined from digital images of colonies at week 12. Statistical analyses were performed by ANOVA and mixed models. There was a significant negative effect (-30%, pbee cluster size (-21%, pbees lacked adequate (>80%) statistical power to detect an effect. Chronic exposure of honey bees to high environmental doses of neonicotinoids has negative effects on honey production. Brood area appears to be less sensitive to detect sublethal effects of neonicotinoids.

  20. Genetic variability of European honey bee, Apis mellifera in mid hills ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bassi

    2014-02-19

    Feb 19, 2014 ... honey bees: bee brood was lyophilized, and ground with liquid nitrogen solution with .... fied RAPD loci in nine genotypes of A. mellifera (Figure. 3). The amplified .... used the polymorphism and segregation of RAPD markers.

  1. Molecular approaches to the analysis of deformed wing virus replication and pathogenesis in the honey bee, Apis mellifera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pettis Jeffery S

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background For years, the understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms that underlie honey bee viral diseases has been severely hindered because of the lack of a cell culture system for virus propagation. As a result, it is very imperative to develop new methods that would permit the in vitro pathogenesis study of honey bee viruses. The identification of virus replication is an important step towards the understanding of the pathogenesis process of viruses in their respective hosts. In the present study, we developed a strand-specific RT-PCR-based method for analysis of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV replication in honey bees and in honey bee parasitic mites, Varroa Destructor. Results The results shows that the method developed in our study allows reliable identification of the virus replication and solves the problem of falsely-primed cDNA amplifications that commonly exists in the current system. Using TaqMan real-time quantitative RT-PCR incorporated with biotinylated primers and magnetic beads purification step, we characterized the replication and tissue tropism of DWV infection in honey bees. We provide evidence for DWV replication in the tissues of wings, head, thorax, legs, hemolymph, and gut of honey bees and also in Varroa mites. Conclusion The strategy reported in the present study forms a model system for studying bee virus replication, pathogenesis and immunity. This study should be a significant contribution to the goal of achieving a better understanding of virus pathogenesis in honey bees and to the design of appropriate control measures for bee populations at risk to virus infections.

  2. Variation in Honey Bee Gut Microbial Diversity Affected by Ontogenetic Stage, Age and Geographic Location

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hroncova, Zuzana; Havlik, Jaroslav; Killer, Jiri; Doskocil, Ivo; Tyl, Jan; Kamler, Martin; Titera, Dalibor; Hakl, Josef; Mrazek, Jakub; Bunesova, Vera; Rada, Vojtech

    2015-01-01

    Social honey bees, Apis mellifera, host a set of distinct microbiota, which is similar across the continents and various honey bee species. Some of these bacteria, such as lactobacilli, have been linked to immunity and defence against pathogens. Pathogen defence is crucial, particularly in larval stages, as many pathogens affect the brood. However, information on larval microbiota is conflicting. Seven developmental stages and drones were sampled from 3 colonies at each of the 4 geographic locations of A. mellifera carnica, and the samples were maintained separately for analysis. We analysed the variation and abundance of important bacterial groups and taxa in the collected bees. Major bacterial groups were evaluated over the entire life of honey bee individuals, where digestive tracts of same aged bees were sampled in the course of time. The results showed that the microbial tract of 6-day-old 5th instar larvae were nearly equally rich in total microbial counts per total digestive tract weight as foraging bees, showing a high percentage of various lactobacilli (Firmicutes) and Gilliamella apicola (Gammaproteobacteria 1). However, during pupation, microbial counts were significantly reduced but recovered quickly by 6 days post-emergence. Between emergence and day 6, imago reached the highest counts of Firmicutes and Gammaproteobacteria, which then gradually declined with bee age. Redundancy analysis conducted using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis identified bacterial species that were characteristic of each developmental stage. The results suggest that 3-day 4th instar larvae contain low microbial counts that increase 2-fold by day 6 and then decrease during pupation. Microbial succession of the imago begins soon after emergence. We found that bacterial counts do not show only yearly cycles within a colony, but vary on the individual level. Sampling and pooling adult bees or 6th day larvae may lead to high errors and variability, as both of these stages may

  3. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) nurses do not consume pollens based on their nutritional quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Snyder, Lucy; Meador, Charlotte; Ayotte, Trace

    2018-01-01

    Honey bee workers (Apis mellifera) consume a variety of pollens to meet the majority of their requirements for protein and lipids. Recent work indicates that honey bees prefer diets that reflect the proper ratio of nutrients necessary for optimal survival and homeostasis. This idea relies on the precept that honey bees evaluate the nutritional composition of the foods provided to them. While this has been shown in bumble bees, the data for honey bees are mixed. Further, there is controversy as to whether foragers can evaluate the nutritional value of pollens, especially if they do not consume it. Here, we focused on nurse workers, who eat most of the pollen coming into the hive. We tested the hypothesis that nurses prefer diets with higher nutritional value. We first determined the nutritional profile, number of plant taxa (richness), and degree of hypopharyngeal gland (HG) growth conferred by three honey bee collected pollens. We then presented nurses with these same three pollens in paired choice assays and measured consumption. To further test whether nutrition influenced preference, we also presented bees with natural pollens supplemented with protein or lipids and liquid diets with protein and lipid ratios equal to the natural pollens. Different pollens conferred different degrees of HG growth, but despite these differences, nurse bees did not always prefer the most nutritious pollens. Adding protein and/or lipids to less desirable pollens minimally increased pollen attractiveness, and nurses did not exhibit a strong preference for any of the three liquid diets. We conclude that different pollens provide different nutritional benefits, but that nurses either cannot or do not assess pollen nutritional value. This implies that the nurses may not be able to communicate information about pollen quality to the foragers, who regulate the pollens coming into the hive.

  4. Honey bee (Apis mellifera nurses do not consume pollens based on their nutritional quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Corby-Harris

    Full Text Available Honey bee workers (Apis mellifera consume a variety of pollens to meet the majority of their requirements for protein and lipids. Recent work indicates that honey bees prefer diets that reflect the proper ratio of nutrients necessary for optimal survival and homeostasis. This idea relies on the precept that honey bees evaluate the nutritional composition of the foods provided to them. While this has been shown in bumble bees, the data for honey bees are mixed. Further, there is controversy as to whether foragers can evaluate the nutritional value of pollens, especially if they do not consume it. Here, we focused on nurse workers, who eat most of the pollen coming into the hive. We tested the hypothesis that nurses prefer diets with higher nutritional value. We first determined the nutritional profile, number of plant taxa (richness, and degree of hypopharyngeal gland (HG growth conferred by three honey bee collected pollens. We then presented nurses with these same three pollens in paired choice assays and measured consumption. To further test whether nutrition influenced preference, we also presented bees with natural pollens supplemented with protein or lipids and liquid diets with protein and lipid ratios equal to the natural pollens. Different pollens conferred different degrees of HG growth, but despite these differences, nurse bees did not always prefer the most nutritious pollens. Adding protein and/or lipids to less desirable pollens minimally increased pollen attractiveness, and nurses did not exhibit a strong preference for any of the three liquid diets. We conclude that different pollens provide different nutritional benefits, but that nurses either cannot or do not assess pollen nutritional value. This implies that the nurses may not be able to communicate information about pollen quality to the foragers, who regulate the pollens coming into the hive.

  5. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) nurses do not consume pollens based on their nutritional quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Lucy; Meador, Charlotte; Ayotte, Trace

    2018-01-01

    Honey bee workers (Apis mellifera) consume a variety of pollens to meet the majority of their requirements for protein and lipids. Recent work indicates that honey bees prefer diets that reflect the proper ratio of nutrients necessary for optimal survival and homeostasis. This idea relies on the precept that honey bees evaluate the nutritional composition of the foods provided to them. While this has been shown in bumble bees, the data for honey bees are mixed. Further, there is controversy as to whether foragers can evaluate the nutritional value of pollens, especially if they do not consume it. Here, we focused on nurse workers, who eat most of the pollen coming into the hive. We tested the hypothesis that nurses prefer diets with higher nutritional value. We first determined the nutritional profile, number of plant taxa (richness), and degree of hypopharyngeal gland (HG) growth conferred by three honey bee collected pollens. We then presented nurses with these same three pollens in paired choice assays and measured consumption. To further test whether nutrition influenced preference, we also presented bees with natural pollens supplemented with protein or lipids and liquid diets with protein and lipid ratios equal to the natural pollens. Different pollens conferred different degrees of HG growth, but despite these differences, nurse bees did not always prefer the most nutritious pollens. Adding protein and/or lipids to less desirable pollens minimally increased pollen attractiveness, and nurses did not exhibit a strong preference for any of the three liquid diets. We conclude that different pollens provide different nutritional benefits, but that nurses either cannot or do not assess pollen nutritional value. This implies that the nurses may not be able to communicate information about pollen quality to the foragers, who regulate the pollens coming into the hive. PMID:29324841

  6. Gene expression changes in honey bees induced by sublethal imidacloprid exposure during the larval stage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ming-Cheng; Chang, Yu-Wen; Lu, Kuang-Hui; Yang, En-Cheng

    2017-09-01

    Honey bee larvae exposed to sublethal doses of imidacloprid show behavioural abnormalities as adult insects. Previous studies have demonstrated that this phenomenon originates from abnormal neural development in response to imidacloprid exposure. Here, we further investigated the global gene expression changes in the heads of newly emerged adults and observed that 578 genes showed more than 2-fold changes in gene expression after imidacloprid exposure. This information might aid in understanding the effects of pesticides on the health of pollinators. For example, the genes encoding major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs), a group of multifunctional proteins with significant roles in the sustainable development of bee colonies, were strongly downregulated. These downregulation patterns were further confirmed through analyses using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction on the heads of 6-day-old nurse bees. To our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate that sublethal doses of imidacloprid affect mrjp expression and likely weaken bee colonies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Parasite-host interactions between the Varroa mite and the honey bee : a contribution to sustainable Varroa control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calis, J.N.M.

    2001-01-01

    Introduction

    Varroa mites as parasites of honey bees

    Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman, 2000), is the most important pest of European races of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera L., weakening bees

  8. Tritium concentrations in bees and honey at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fresquez, P.R.; Armstrong, D.R.; Salazar, J.G.

    1994-12-01

    Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has maintained a network of honey bee colonies at LANL, perimeter (Los Alamos townsite and White Rock/Pajarito Acres) and regional (background) areas for over 15 years; the main objective of this honey bee network was to help determine the bioavailability of certain radionuclides in the environment. Of all the radionuclides studied ( 3 H, 57 Co, 7 Be, 22 Na, 54 Mn, 83 Rb, 137 Cs, 238 Pu, 239 Pu, 90 Sr and total U), tritium was consistently detected in bees and was most readily transferred to the honey. In fact, honey collected from hives located at TA-21, TA-33, TA-50, TA-53, and TA-54 and from White Rock/Pajarito Acres contained significantly higher concentrations of 3 H than regional background hives. Based on the average concentration of all radionuclides measured over the years, the effective dose equivalent (EDE) from consuming 5 kg (11 lb) of honey collected from Los Alamos (townsite) and White Rock/Pajarito Acres, after regional background has been subtracted, was 0.0186 (±0.0507) and 0.0016 (±0.0010) mrem/yr, respectively. The highest EDE, based on the mean + 2SD (95% confidence level), was 0.1200 mrem/y; this was <0.2% of the International Commission on Radiological Protection permissible dose limit of 100 mrem/yr from all pathways

  9. Increased resin collection after parasite challenge: a case of self-medication in honey bees?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Simone-Finstrom

    Full Text Available The constant pressure posed by parasites has caused species throughout the animal kingdom to evolve suites of mechanisms to resist infection. Individual barriers and physiological defenses are considered the main barriers against parasites in invertebrate species. However, behavioral traits and other non-immunological defenses can also effectively reduce parasite transmission and infection intensity. In social insects, behaviors that reduce colony-level parasite loads are termed "social immunity." One example of a behavioral defense is resin collection. Honey bees forage for plant-produced resins and incorporate them into their nest architecture. This use of resins can reduce chronic elevation of an individual bee's immune response. Since high activation of individual immunity can impose colony-level fitness costs, collection of resins may benefit both the individual and colony fitness. However the use of resins as a more direct defense against pathogens is unclear. Here we present evidence that honey bee colonies may self-medicate with plant resins in response to a fungal infection. Self-medication is generally defined as an individual responding to infection by ingesting or harvesting non-nutritive compounds or plant materials. Our results show that colonies increase resin foraging rates after a challenge with a fungal parasite (Ascophaera apis: chalkbrood or CB. Additionally, colonies experimentally enriched with resin had decreased infection intensities of this fungal parasite. If considered self-medication, this is a particularly unique example because it operates at the colony level. Most instances of self-medication involve pharmacophagy, whereby individuals change their diet in response to direct infection with a parasite. In this case with honey bees, resins are not ingested but used within the hive by adult bees exposed to fungal spores. Thus the colony, as the unit of selection, may be responding to infection through self

  10. Molecular and phylogenetic characterization of honey bee viruses, Nosema microsporidia, protozoan parasites, and parasitic mites in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Bu; Peng, Guangda; Li, Tianbang; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2013-02-01

    China has the largest number of managed honey bee colonies, which produce the highest quantity of honey and royal jelly in the world; however, the presence of honey bee pathogens and parasites has never been rigorously identified in Chinese apiaries. We thus conducted a molecular survey of honey bee RNA viruses, Nosema microsporidia, protozoan parasites, and tracheal mites associated with nonnative Apis mellifera ligustica and native Apis cerana cerana colonies in China. We found the presence of black queen cell virus (BQCV), chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), deformed wing virus (DWV), Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), and sacbrood virus (SBV), but not that of acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) or Kashmir bee virus (KBV). DWV was the most prevalent in the tested samples. Phylogenies of Chinese viral isolates demonstrated that genetically heterogeneous populations of BQCV, CBPV, DWV, and A. cerana-infecting SBV, and relatively homogenous populations of IAPV and A. meliifera-infecting new strain of SBV with single origins, are spread in Chinese apiaries. Similar to previous observations in many countries, Nosema ceranae, but not Nosema apis, was prevalent in the tested samples. Crithidia mellificae, but not Apicystis bombi was found in five samples, including one A. c. cerana colony, demonstrating that C. mellificae is capable of infecting multiple honey bee species. Based on kinetoplast-encoded cytochrome b sequences, the C. mellificae isolate from A. c. cerana represents a novel haplotype with 19 nucleotide differences from the Chinese and Japanese isolates from A. m. ligustica. This suggests that A. c. cerana is the native host for this specific haplotype. The tracheal mite, Acarapis woodi, was detected in one A. m. ligustica colony. Our results demonstrate that honey bee RNA viruses, N. ceranae, C. mellificae, and tracheal mites are present in Chinese apiaries, and some might be originated from native Asian honey bees.

  11. Pollen Bearing Honey Bee Detection in Hive Entrance Video Recorded by Remote Embedded System for Pollination Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babic, Z.; Pilipovic, R.; Risojevic, V.; Mirjanic, G.

    2016-06-01

    Honey bees have crucial role in pollination across the world. This paper presents a simple, non-invasive, system for pollen bearing honey bee detection in surveillance video obtained at the entrance of a hive. The proposed system can be used as a part of a more complex system for tracking and counting of honey bees with remote pollination monitoring as a final goal. The proposed method is executed in real time on embedded systems co-located with a hive. Background subtraction, color segmentation and morphology methods are used for segmentation of honey bees. Classification in two classes, pollen bearing honey bees and honey bees that do not have pollen load, is performed using nearest mean classifier, with a simple descriptor consisting of color variance and eccentricity features. On in-house data set we achieved correct classification rate of 88.7% with 50 training images per class. We show that the obtained classification results are not far behind from the results of state-of-the-art image classification methods. That favors the proposed method, particularly having in mind that real time video transmission to remote high performance computing workstation is still an issue, and transfer of obtained parameters of pollination process is much easier.

  12. Pollen Contaminated With Field-Relevant Levels of Cyhalothrin Affects Honey Bee Survival, Nutritional Physiology, and Pollen Consumption Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolezal, Adam G; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W Allen; Bonning, Bryony C; Toth, Amy L

    2016-02-01

    Honey bees are exposed to a variety of environmental factors that impact their health, including nutritional stress, pathogens, and pesticides. In particular, there has been increasing evidence that sublethal exposure to pesticides can cause subtle, yet important effects on honey bee health and behavior. Here, we add to this body of knowledge by presenting data on bee-collected pollen containing sublethal levels of cyhalothrin, a pyrethroid insecticide, which, when fed to young honey bees, resulted in significant changes in lifespan, nutritional physiology,and behavior. For the first time, we show that when young, nest-aged bees are presented with pollen containing field-relevant levels of cyhalothrin, they reduce their consumption of contaminated pollen. This indicates that, at least for some chemicals, young bees are able to detect contamination in pollen and change their behavioral response, even if the contamination levels do not prevent foraging honey bees from collecting the contaminated pollen.

  13. Varroa-Virus Interaction in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Francis, Roy Mathew; Nielsen, Steen L.; Kryger, Per

    2013-01-01

    Varroa mites and viruses are the currently the high-profile suspects in collapsing bee colonies. Therefore, seasonal variation in varroa load and viruses (Acute-Kashmir-Israeli complex (AKI) and Deformed Wing Virus (DWV)) were monitored in a year-long study. We investigated the viral titres...... in honey bees and varroa mites from 23 colonies (15 apiaries) under three treatment conditions: Organic acids (11 colonies), pyrethroid (9 colonies) and untreated (3 colonies). Approximately 200 bees were sampled every month from April 2011 to October 2011, and April 2012. The 200 bees were split to 10...... subsamples of 20 bees and analysed separately, which allows us to determine the prevalence of virus-infected bees. The treatment efficacy was often low for both treatments. In colonies where varroa treatment reduced the mite load, colonies overwintered successfully, allowing the mites and viruses...

  14. A historical review of managed honey bee populations in Europe and the United States and the factors that may affect them.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Meixner, Marina Doris

    2010-01-01

    Honey bees are a highly valued resource around the world. They are prized for their honey and wax production and depended upon for pollination of many important crops. While globally honey bee populations have been increasing, the rate of increase is not keeping pace with demand. Further, honey bee populations have not been increasing in all parts of the world, and have declined in many nations in Europe and in North America. Managed honey bee populations are influenced by many factors including diseases, parasites, pesticides, the environment, and socio-economic factors. These factors can act alone or in combination with each other. This review highlights the present day value of honey bees, followed by a detailed description of some of the historical and present day factors that influence honey bee populations, with particular emphasis on colony populations in Europe and the United States. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Draft genome of the honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Tropilaelaps mercedesae, is shaped by the parasitic life history

    OpenAIRE

    Dong, Xiaofeng; Armstrong, Stuart D.; Xia, Dong; Makepeace, Benjamin L.; Darby, Alistair C.; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The number of managed honey bee colonies has considerably decreased in many developed countries in recent years and ectoparasitic mites are considered as major threats to honey bee colonies and health. However, their general biology remains poorly understood. We sequenced the genome of Tropilaelaps mercedesae, the prevalent ectoparasitic mite infesting honey bees in Asia, and predicted 15?190 protein-coding genes that were well supported by the mite transcriptomes and proteomic data....

  16. MICROSATELLITE ANALYSIS OF THE SLOVAK CARNIOLAN HONEY BEE (APIS MELLIFERA CARNICA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dušan Paál

    2013-02-01

    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

  17. Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Cavaliere, Valeria; Annoscia, Desiderato; Varricchio, Paola; Caprio, Emilio; Nazzi, Francesco; Gargiulo, Giuseppe; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2013-11-12

    Large-scale losses of honey bee colonies represent a poorly understood problem of global importance. Both biotic and abiotic factors are involved in this phenomenon that is often associated with high loads of parasites and pathogens. A stronger impact of pathogens in honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides has been reported, but the causal link between insecticide exposure and the possible immune alteration of honey bees remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin negatively modulates NF-κB immune signaling in insects and adversely affects honey bee antiviral defenses controlled by this transcription factor. We have identified in insects a negative modulator of NF-κB activation, which is a leucine-rich repeat protein. Exposure to clothianidin, by enhancing the transcription of the gene encoding this inhibitor, reduces immune defenses and promotes the replication of the deformed wing virus in honey bees bearing covert infections. This honey bee immunosuppression is similarly induced by a different neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, but not by the organophosphate chlorpyriphos, which does not affect NF-κB signaling. The occurrence at sublethal doses of this insecticide-induced viral proliferation suggests that the studied neonicotinoids might have a negative effect at the field level. Our experiments uncover a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and set the stage for studies on neural modulation of immunity in animals. Furthermore, this study has implications for the conservation of bees, as it will contribute to the definition of more appropriate guidelines for testing chronic or sublethal effects of pesticides used in agriculture.

  18. A large-scale field study examining effects of exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola on honey bee colony health, development, and overwintering success

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Christopher Cutler

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In summer 2012, we initiated a large-scale field experiment in southern Ontario, Canada, to determine whether exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola (oil seed rape has any adverse impacts on honey bees. Colonies were placed in clothianidin seed-treated or control canola fields during bloom, and thereafter were moved to an apiary with no surrounding crops grown from seeds treated with neonicotinoids. Colony weight gain, honey production, pest incidence, bee mortality, number of adults, and amount of sealed brood were assessed in each colony throughout summer and autumn. Samples of honey, beeswax, pollen, and nectar were regularly collected, and samples were analyzed for clothianidin residues. Several of these endpoints were also measured in spring 2013. Overall, colonies were vigorous during and after the exposure period, and we found no effects of exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola on any endpoint measures. Bees foraged heavily on the test fields during peak bloom and residue analysis indicated that honey bees were exposed to low levels (0.5–2 ppb of clothianidin in pollen. Low levels of clothianidin were detected in a few pollen samples collected toward the end of the bloom from control hives, illustrating the difficulty of conducting a perfectly controlled field study with free-ranging honey bees in agricultural landscapes. Overwintering success did not differ significantly between treatment and control hives, and was similar to overwintering colony loss rates reported for the winter of 2012–2013 for beekeepers in Ontario and Canada. Our results suggest that exposure to canola grown from seed treated with clothianidin poses low risk to honey bees.

  19. Distribution of Paenibacillus larvae spores inside honey bee colonies and its relevance for diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillard, M; Charriere, J D; Belloy, L

    2008-09-01

    One of the most important factors affecting the development of honey bee colonies is infectious diseases such as American foulbrood (AFB) caused by the spore forming Gram-positive bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. Colony inspections for AFB clinical symptoms are time consuming. Moreover, diseased cells in the early stages of the infection may easily be overlooked. In this study, we investigated whether it is possible to determine the sanitary status of a colony based on analyses of different materials collected from the hive. We analysed 237 bee samples and 67 honey samples originating from 71 colonies situated in 13 apiaries with clinical AFB occurrences. We tested whether a difference in spore load among bees inside the whole hive exists and which sample material related to its location inside the hive was the most appropriate for an early AFB diagnosis based on the culture method. Results indicated that diagnostics based on analysis of honey samples and bees collected at the hive entrance are of limited value as only 86% and 83%, respectively, of samples from AFB-symptomatic colonies were positive. Analysis of bee samples collected from the brood nest, honey chamber, and edge frame allowed the detection of all colonies showing AFB clinical symptoms. Microbiological analysis showed that more than one quarter of samples collected from colonies without AFB clinical symptoms were positive for P. larvae. Based on these results, we recommend investigating colonies by testing bee samples from the brood nest, edge frame or honey chamber for P. larvae spores.

  20. Neonicotinoid insecticides in pollen, honey and adult bees in colonies of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) in Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codling, Garry; Naggar, Yahya Al; Giesy, John P; Robertson, Albert J

    2018-03-01

    Honeybee losses have been attributed to multiple stressors and factors including the neonicotinoid insecticides (NIs). Much of the study of hive contamination has been focused upon temperate regions such as Europe, Canada and the United States. This study looks for the first time at honey, pollen and bees collected from across the Nile Delta in Egypt in both the spring and summer planting season of 2013. There is limited information upon the frequency of use of NIs in Egypt but the ratio of positive identification and concentrations of NIs are comparable to other regions. Metabolites of NIs were also monitored but given the low detection frequency, no link between matrices was possible in the study. Using a simple hazard assessment based upon published LD 50 values for individual neonicotinoids upon the foraging and brood workers it was found that there was a potential risk to brood workers if the lowest reported LD 50 was compared to the sum of the maximum NI concentrations. For non-lethal exposure there was significant risk at the worst case to brood bees but actual exposure effects are dependant upon the genetics and conditions of the Egyptian honeybee subspecies that remain to be determined.

  1. Viral prevalence increases with regional colony abundance in honey bee drones (Apis mellifera L).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forfert, Nadège; Natsopoulou, Myrsini E; Paxton, Robert J; Moritz, Robin F A

    2016-10-01

    Transmission among colonies is a central feature for the epidemiology of honey bee pathogens. High colony abundance may promote transmission among colonies independently of apiary layout, making colony abundance a potentially important parameter determining pathogen prevalence in populations of honey bees. To test this idea, we sampled male honey bees (drones) from seven distinct drone congregation areas (DCA), and used their genotypes to estimate colony abundance at each site. A multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification assay (MLPA) was used to assess the prevalence of ten viruses, using five common viral targets, in individual drones. There was a significant positive association between colony abundance and number of viral infections. This result highlights the potential importance of high colony abundance for pathogen prevalence, possibly because high population density facilitates pathogen transmission. Pathogen prevalence in drones collected from DCAs may be a useful means of estimating the disease status of a population of honey bees during the mating season, especially for localities with a large number of wild or feral colonies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Toxicity assessment of glyphosate on honey bee (Apis mellifera) spermatozoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    During 2016-2017, 33.2% of managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. were lost due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Commonly used pesticides are among the suspected reasons for bee mortality. N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine (glyphosate) is a widely used herbicide in the U.S. and has previously been shown ...

  3. Resource Potential Analysis Of Honey Bee Feed Apis Dorsata In Mountain Tinanggo Kolaka

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    Rosmarlinasiah

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Honey Bees feed in the form of nectar pollen and water the bees used to build nests and establish colonies. A hexagonal honeycomb as a store of honey pollen and seedlings. If feed honey bees flower plants are abundantly available continuously then the always active bees build nests and fill each cell nest of honey pollen eggs and other products. The purpose of research is to determine the types of flowering plants as a potential feed honey bees nectar and pollen. The experiment was conducted at Mount Tinanggo Kolaka Southeast Sulawesi Province which lasted from March 2013 until March 2014. Determined by purposive sample observations based on the location of the nearest and farthest honey using the method of terraced paths. Samples were placed systematically with the withdrawal of the central point on the tree path beehive a radius of 700 meters from the center of the North East South and West. Data type of plant plant density and stem diameter were analyzed to determine the importance value index and diversity index type at the tree level trees saplings and seedlings. Based on the results of the enumeration on the collected research sites by 591 plant specimens were clustered on the tree level 152 level 102 poles 178 degree and 159 degree stake seedlings. Levels of tree species diversity and relatively abundant mast high and the level of saplings and seedlings are relatively abundant. The dominant species on the tree level Meranti Shorea sp and rambutan Nephelium lappaceum levels Holea pole Cleistantus laevis Hook f and Kuma Palaquium obovatum Engl the level of saplings and seedlings levels Holea Cleistantus laevis Hook f and rambutan Nephelium lappaceum. There are 237 types of flowering plants averaging 19.75 per month flowering plants and flowering peak was in September.

  4. Chemical communication in the honey bee scarab pest Oplostomus haroldi: role of (Z)-9-Pentacosene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oplostomus haroldi Witte belongs to a unique genus of afro-tropical scarabs that have associations with honey bee colonies, from which they derive vital nutrients. Although the attributes of the honey bee nest impose barriers to communication among nest invaders, this beetle still is able to detect ...

  5. Varroa Sensitive Hygiene contributes to naturally selected varroa resistance in honey bees

    OpenAIRE

    Panziera, Delphine; Langevelde, van, Frank; Blacquière, Tjeerd

    2017-01-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa destructor is a serious threat for western honey bee colonies and beekeepers are compelled to control it to keep their colonies healthy. Yet, by controlling varroa no resistance to the parasite can evolve. As a trial, honey bee colonies have been left untreated in isolated locations to allow development of resistance or tolerance to the mite. These colonies developed an ability to live without control measures against varroa, although the traits responsible for this ...

  6. Land use in the Northern Great Plains region of the U.S. influences the survival and productivity of honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, Matthew; Pettis, Jeff S.; Euliss, Ned H. Jr.; Spivak, Marla S.

    2016-01-01

    The Northern Great Plains region of the US annually hosts a large portion of commercially managed U.S. honey bee colonies each summer. Changing land use patterns over the last several decades have contributed to declines in the availability of bee forage across the region, and the future sustainability of the region to support honey bee colonies is unclear. We examined the influence of varying land use on the survivorship and productivity of honey bee colonies located in six apiaries within the Northern Great Plains state of North Dakota, an area of intensive agriculture and high density of beekeeping operations. Land use surrounding the apiaries was quantified over three years, 2010–2012, and survival and productivity of honey bee colonies were determined in response to the amount of bee forage land within a 3.2-km radius of each apiary. The area of uncultivated forage land (including pasture, USDA conservation program fields, fallow land, flowering woody plants, grassland, hay land, and roadside ditches) exerted a positive impact on annual apiary survival and honey production. Taxonomic diversity of bee-collected pollen and pesticide residues contained therein varied seasonally among apiaries, but overall were not correlated to large-scale land use patterns or survival and honey production. The predominant flowering plants utilized by honey bee colonies for pollen were volunteer species present in unmanaged (for honey bees), and often ephemeral, lands; thus placing honey bee colonies in a precarious situation for acquiring forage and nutrients over the entire growing season. We discuss the implications for land management, conservation, and beekeeper site selection in the Northern Great Plains to adequately support honey bee colonies and insure long term security for pollinator-dependent crops across the entire country.

  7. Analysis of Africanized honey bee mitochondrial DNA reveals further diversity of origin

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    Walter S. Sheppard

    1999-03-01

    Full Text Available Within the past 40 years, Africanized honey bees spread from Brazil and now occupy most areas habitable by the species Apis mellifera, from Argentina to the southwestern United States. The primary genetic source for Africanized honey bees is believed to be the sub-Saharan honey bee subspecies A. m. scutellata. Mitochondrial markers common in A. m. scutellata have been used to classify Africanized honey bees in population genetic and physiological studies. Assessment of composite mitochondrial haplotypes from Africanized honey bees, using 4 base recognizing restriction enzymes and COI-COII intergenic spacer length polymorphism, provided evidence for a more diverse mitochondrial heritage. Over 25% of the "African" mtDNA found in Africanized populations in Argentina are derived from non-A. m. scutellata sources.Nos últimos 40 anos, abelhas africanizadas se espalharam a partir do Brasil e agora ocupam a maioria das áreas habitáveis pela espécie Apis mellifera, da Argentina ao sudoeste dos Estados Unidos. Acredita-se que a fonte genética primária das abelhas africanizadas seja a subespécie subsaariana de abelha A. m. scutellata. Marcadores mitocondriais comuns em A. m. scutellata têm sido usados para classificar abelhas africanizadas em estudos de fisiologia e genética de população. A avaliação de haplótipos mitocondriais compostos em abelhas africanizadas, usando 3 enzimas de restrição e um polimorfismo de comprimento no espaçador intergênico "COI-COII", evidenciou uma herança mitocondrial mais diversa. Mais de 25% do mtDNA "africano" encontrado em populações africanizadas na Argentina são derivados de fontes não relacionadas a A. m. scutellata.

  8. Simulating a base population in honey bee for molecular genetic studies

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    Gupta Pooja

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Over the past years, reports have indicated that honey bee populations are declining and that infestation by an ecto-parasitic mite (Varroa destructor is one of the main causes. Selective breeding of resistant bees can help to prevent losses due to the parasite, but it requires that a robust breeding program and genetic evaluation are implemented. Genomic selection has emerged as an important tool in animal breeding programs and simulation studies have shown that it yields more accurate breeding value estimates, higher genetic gain and low rates of inbreeding. Since genomic selection relies on marker data, simulations conducted on a genomic dataset are a pre-requisite before selection can be implemented. Although genomic datasets have been simulated in other species undergoing genetic evaluation, simulation of a genomic dataset specific to the honey bee is required since this species has a distinct genetic and reproductive biology. Our software program was aimed at constructing a base population by simulating a random mating honey bee population. A forward-time population simulation approach was applied since it allows modeling of genetic characteristics and reproductive behavior specific to the honey bee. Results Our software program yielded a genomic dataset for a base population in linkage disequilibrium. In addition, information was obtained on (1 the position of markers on each chromosome, (2 allele frequency, (3 χ2 statistics for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, (4 a sorted list of markers with a minor allele frequency less than or equal to the input value, (5 average r2 values of linkage disequilibrium between all simulated marker loci pair for all generations and (6 average r2 value of linkage disequilibrium in the last generation for selected markers with the highest minor allele frequency. Conclusion We developed a software program that takes into account the genetic and reproductive biology specific to the honey bee

  9. Crop pollination exposes honey bees to pesticides which alters their susceptibility to the gut pathogen Nosema ceranae.

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    Jeffery S Pettis

    Full Text Available Recent declines in honey bee populations and increasing demand for insect-pollinated crops raise concerns about pollinator shortages. Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large numbers and high levels of pesticides found in honey bee colonies. Thus it is crucial to determine how field-relevant combinations and loads of pesticides affect bee health. We collected pollen from bee hives in seven major crops to determine 1 what types of pesticides bees are exposed to when rented for pollination of various crops and 2 how field-relevant pesticide blends affect bees' susceptibility to the gut parasite Nosema ceranae. Our samples represent pollen collected by foragers for use by the colony, and do not necessarily indicate foragers' roles as pollinators. In blueberry, cranberry, cucumber, pumpkin and watermelon bees collected pollen almost exclusively from weeds and wildflowers during our sampling. Thus more attention must be paid to how honey bees are exposed to pesticides outside of the field in which they are placed. We detected 35 different pesticides in the sampled pollen, and found high fungicide loads. The insecticides esfenvalerate and phosmet were at a concentration higher than their median lethal dose in at least one pollen sample. While fungicides are typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees, we found an increased probability of Nosema infection in bees that consumed pollen with a higher fungicide load. Our results highlight a need for research on sub-lethal effects of fungicides and other chemicals that bees placed in an agricultural setting are exposed to.

  10. Season and landscape composition affect pollen foraging distances and habitat use of honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danner, Nadja; Molitor, Anna Maria; Schiele, Susanne; Härtel, Stephan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2016-09-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) show a large variation in foraging distances and use a broad range of plant species as pollen resources, even in regions with intensive agriculture. However, it is unknown how increasing areas of mass-flowering crops like oilseed rape (Brassica napus; OSR) or a decrease of seminatural habitats (SNH) change the temporal and spatial availability of pollen resources for honey bee colonies, and thus foraging distances and frequency in different habitat types. We studied pollen foraging of honey bee colonies in 16 agricultural landscapes with independent gradients of OSR and SNH area within 2 km and used waggle dances and digital geographic maps with major land cover types to reveal the distance and visited habitat type on a landscape level. Mean pollen foraging distance of 1347 decoded bee dances was 1015 m (± 26 m; SEM). In spring, increasing area of flowering OSR within 2 km reduced mean pollen foraging distances from 1324 m to only 435 m. In summer, increasing cover of SNH areas close to the colonies (within 200 m radius) reduced mean pollen foraging distances from 846 to 469 m. Frequency of pollen foragers per habitat type, measured as the number of dances per hour and hectare, was equally high for SNH, grassland, and OSR fields, but lower for other crops and forests. In landscapes with a small proportion of SNH a significantly higher density of pollen foragers on SNH was observed, indicating that pollen resources in such simple agricultural landscapes are more limited. Overall, we conclude that SNH and mass-flowering crops can reduce foraging distances of honey bee colonies at different scales and seasons with possible benefits for the performance of honey bee colonies. Further, mixed agricultural landscapes with a high proportion of SNH reduce foraging densities of honey bees in SNH and thus possible competition for pollen resources. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  11. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony health and pathogen composition in migratory beekeeping operations involved in California almond pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenny, William; Cavigli, Ian; Daughenbaugh, Katie F; Radford, Rosemarie; Kegley, Susan E; Flenniken, Michelle L

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops. Pathogens and other factors have been implicated in high annual losses of honey bee colonies in North America and some European countries. To further investigate the relationship between multiple factors, including pathogen prevalence and abundance and colony health, we monitored commercially managed migratory honey bee colonies involved in California almond pollination in 2014. At each sampling event, honey bee colony health was assessed, using colony population size as a proxy for health, and the prevalence and abundance of seven honey bee pathogens was evaluated using PCR and quantitative PCR, respectively. In this sample cohort, pathogen prevalence and abundance did not correlate with colony health, but did correlate with the date of sampling. In general, pathogen prevalence (i.e., the number of specific pathogens harbored within a colony) was lower early in the year (January-March) and was greater in the summer, with peak prevalence occurring in June. Pathogen abundance in individual honey bee colonies varied throughout the year and was strongly associated with the sampling date, and was influenced by beekeeping operation, colony health, and mite infestation level. Together, data from this and other observational cohort studies that monitor individual honey bee colonies and precisely account for sampling date (i.e., day of year) will lead to a better understanding of the influence of pathogens on colony mortality and the effects of other factors on these associations.

  12. Honey bee (Apis mellifera colony health and pathogen composition in migratory beekeeping operations involved in California almond pollination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Glenny

    Full Text Available Honey bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops. Pathogens and other factors have been implicated in high annual losses of honey bee colonies in North America and some European countries. To further investigate the relationship between multiple factors, including pathogen prevalence and abundance and colony health, we monitored commercially managed migratory honey bee colonies involved in California almond pollination in 2014. At each sampling event, honey bee colony health was assessed, using colony population size as a proxy for health, and the prevalence and abundance of seven honey bee pathogens was evaluated using PCR and quantitative PCR, respectively. In this sample cohort, pathogen prevalence and abundance did not correlate with colony health, but did correlate with the date of sampling. In general, pathogen prevalence (i.e., the number of specific pathogens harbored within a colony was lower early in the year (January-March and was greater in the summer, with peak prevalence occurring in June. Pathogen abundance in individual honey bee colonies varied throughout the year and was strongly associated with the sampling date, and was influenced by beekeeping operation, colony health, and mite infestation level. Together, data from this and other observational cohort studies that monitor individual honey bee colonies and precisely account for sampling date (i.e., day of year will lead to a better understanding of the influence of pathogens on colony mortality and the effects of other factors on these associations.

  13. Testing Pollen of Single and Stacked Insect-Resistant Bt-Maize on In vitro Reared Honey Bee Larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendriksma, Harmen P.; Härtel, Stephan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2011-01-01

    The ecologically and economic important honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a key non-target arthropod species in environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically modified (GM) crops. Honey bee larvae are directly exposed to transgenic products by the consumption of GM pollen. But most ERA studies only consider responses of adult bees, although Bt-proteins primarily affect the larval phases of target organisms. We adopted an in vitro larvae rearing system, to assess lethal and sublethal effects of Bt-pollen consumption in a standardized eco-toxicological bioassay. The effects of pollen from two Bt-maize cultivars, one expressing a single and the other a total of three Bt-proteins, on the survival and prepupae weight of honey bee larvae were analyzed. The control treatments included pollen from three non-transgenic maize varieties and of Heliconia rostrata. Three days old larvae were fed the realistic exposure dose of 2 mg pollen within the semi-artificial diet. The larvae were monitored over 120 h, until the prepupal stage, where larvae terminate feeding and growing. Neither single nor stacked Bt-maize pollen showed an adverse effect on larval survival and the prepupal weight. In contrast, feeding of H. rostrata pollen caused significant toxic effects. The results of this study indicate that pollen of the tested Bt-varieties does not harm the development of in vitro reared A. mellifera larvae. To sustain the ecosystem service of pollination, Bt-impact on A. mellifera should always be a crucial part of regulatory biosafety assessments. We suggest that our approach of feeding GM pollen on in vitro reared honey bee larvae is well suited of becoming a standard bioassay in regulatory risk assessments schemes of GM crops. PMID:22194811

  14. Testing pollen of single and stacked insect-resistant Bt-maize on in vitro reared honey bee larvae.

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    Harmen P Hendriksma

    Full Text Available The ecologically and economic important honey bee (Apis mellifera is a key non-target arthropod species in environmental risk assessment (ERA of genetically modified (GM crops. Honey bee larvae are directly exposed to transgenic products by the consumption of GM pollen. But most ERA studies only consider responses of adult bees, although Bt-proteins primarily affect the larval phases of target organisms. We adopted an in vitro larvae rearing system, to assess lethal and sublethal effects of Bt-pollen consumption in a standardized eco-toxicological bioassay. The effects of pollen from two Bt-maize cultivars, one expressing a single and the other a total of three Bt-proteins, on the survival and prepupae weight of honey bee larvae were analyzed. The control treatments included pollen from three non-transgenic maize varieties and of Heliconia rostrata. Three days old larvae were fed the realistic exposure dose of 2 mg pollen within the semi-artificial diet. The larvae were monitored over 120 h, until the prepupal stage, where larvae terminate feeding and growing. Neither single nor stacked Bt-maize pollen showed an adverse effect on larval survival and the prepupal weight. In contrast, feeding of H. rostrata pollen caused significant toxic effects. The results of this study indicate that pollen of the tested Bt-varieties does not harm the development of in vitro reared A. mellifera larvae. To sustain the ecosystem service of pollination, Bt-impact on A. mellifera should always be a crucial part of regulatory biosafety assessments. We suggest that our approach of feeding GM pollen on in vitro reared honey bee larvae is well suited of becoming a standard bioassay in regulatory risk assessments schemes of GM crops.

  15. Mapping sleeping bees within their nest: spatial and temporal analysis of worker honey bee sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Barrett Anthony; Stiegler, Martin; Klein, Arno; Tautz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns.

  16. Longitudinal Effects of Supplemental Forage on the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Microbiota and Inter- and Intra-Colony Variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothman, Jason A; Carroll, Mark J; Meikle, William G; Anderson, Kirk E; McFrederick, Quinn S

    2018-02-03

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide vital pollination services for a variety of agricultural crops around the world and are known to host a consistent core bacterial microbiome. This symbiotic microbial community is essential to many facets of bee health, including likely nutrient acquisition, disease prevention and optimal physiological function. Being that the bee microbiome is likely involved in the digestion of nutrients, we either provided or excluded honey bee colonies from supplemental floral forage before being used for almond pollination. We then used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to examine the effects of forage treatment on the bees' microbial gut communities over four months. In agreement with previous studies, we found that the honey bee gut microbiota is quite stable over time. Similarly, we compared the gut communities of bees from separate colonies and sisters sampled from within the same hive over four months. Surprisingly, we found that the gut microbial communities of individual sisters from the same colony can exhibit as much variation as bees from different colonies. Supplemental floral forage had a subtle effect on the composition of the microbiome during the month of March only, with strains of Gilliamella apicola, Lactobacillus, and Bartonella being less proportionally abundant in bees exposed to forage in the winter. Collectively, our findings show that there is unexpected longitudinal variation within the gut microbial communities of sister honey bees and that supplemental floral forage can subtly alter the microbiome of managed honey bees.

  17. Mapping floral resources for honey bees in New Zealand at the catchment scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ausseil, Anne-Gaelle E; Dymond, John R; Newstrom, Linda

    2018-03-12

    Honey bees require nectar and pollen from flowers: nectar for energy and pollen for growth. The demand for nectar and pollen varies during the year, with more pollen needed in spring for colony population growth and more nectar needed in summer to sustain the maximum colony size and collect surplus nectar stores for winter. Sufficient bee forage is therefore necessary to ensure a healthy bee colony. Land-use changes can reduce the availability of floral resources suitable for bees, thereby increasing the susceptibility of bees to other stressors such as disease and pesticides. In contrast, land-based management decisions to protect or plant bee forage can enhance pollen and nectar supply to bees while meeting other goals such as riparian planting for water-quality improvement. Commercial demand for honey can also put pressure on floral resources through over-crowding of hives. To help understand and manage floral resources for bees, we developed a spatial model for mapping monthly nectar and pollen production from maps of land cover. Based on monthly estimated production data we mapped potential monthly supply of nectar and pollen to a given apiary location in the landscape. This is done by summing the total production within the foraging range of the apiary while subtracting the estimated nectar converted to energy for collection. Ratios of estimated supply over theoretical hive demand may then be used to infer a potential landscape carrying capacity to sustain hives. This model framework is quantitative and spatial, utilizing estimated flight energy costs for nectar foraging. It can contribute to management decisions such as where apiaries could be placed in the landscape depending on floral resources and where nectar limited areas may be located. It can contribute to planning areas for bee protection or planting such as in riparian vegetation. This would aid managed bee health, wild pollinator protection, and honey production. We demonstrate the methods in a

  18. Sequence and expression pattern of the germ line marker vasa in honey bees and stingless bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Queens and workers of social insects differ in the rates of egg laying. Using genomic information we determined the sequence of vasa, a highly conserved gene specific to the germ line of metazoans, for the honey bee and four stingless bees. The vasa sequence of social bees differed from that of other insects in two motifs. By RT-PCR we confirmed the germ line specificity of Amvasa expression in honey bees. In situ hybridization on ovarioles showed that Amvasa is expressed throughout the germarium, except for the transition zone beneath the terminal filament. A diffuse vasa signal was also seen in terminal filaments suggesting the presence of germ line cells. Oocytes showed elevated levels of Amvasa transcripts in the lower germarium and after follicles became segregated. In previtellogenic follicles, Amvasa transcription was detected in the trophocytes, which appear to supply its mRNA to the growing oocyte. A similar picture was obtained for ovarioles of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata, except that Amvasa expression was higher in the oocytes of previtellogenic follicles. The social bees differ in this respect from Drosophila, the model system for insect oogenesis, suggesting that changes in the sequence and expression pattern of vasa may have occurred during social evolution. PMID:21637523

  19. Sequence and expression pattern of the germ line marker vasa in honey bees and stingless bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Érica Donato Tanaka

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Queens and workers of social insects differ in the rates of egg laying. Using genomic information we determined the sequence of vasa, a highly conserved gene specific to the germ line of metazoans, for the honey bee and four stingless bees. The vasa sequence of social bees differed from that of other insects in two motifs. By RT-PCR we confirmed the germ line specificity of Amvasa expression in honey bees. In situ hybridization on ovarioles showed that Amvasa is expressed throughout the germarium, except for the transition zone beneath the terminal filament. A diffuse vasa signal was also seen in terminal filaments suggesting the presence of germ line cells. Oocytes showed elevated levels of Amvasa transcripts in the lower germarium and after follicles became segregated. In previtellogenic follicles, Amvasa transcription was detected in the trophocytes, which appear to supply its mRNA to the growing oocyte. A similar picture was obtained for ovarioles of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata, except that Amvasa expression was higher in the oocytes of previtellogenic follicles. The social bees differ in this respect from Drosophila, the model system for insect oogenesis, suggesting that changes in the sequence and expression pattern of vasa may have occurred during social evolution.

  20. Planting of neonicotinoid-coated corn raises honey bee mortality and sets back colony development

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    Olivier Samson-Robert

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Worldwide occurrences of honey bee colony losses have raised concerns about bee health and the sustainability of pollination-dependent crops. While multiple causal factors have been identified, seed coating with insecticides of the neonicotinoid family has been the focus of much discussion and research. Nonetheless, few studies have investigated the impacts of these insecticides under field conditions or in commercial beekeeping operations. Given that corn-seed coating constitutes the largest single use of neonicotinoid, our study compared honey bee mortality from commercial apiaries located in two different agricultural settings, i.e. corn-dominated areas and corn-free environments, during the corn planting season. Data was collected in 2012 and 2013 from 26 bee yards. Dead honey bees from five hives in each apiary were counted and collected, and samples were analyzed using a multi-residue LC-MS/MS method. Long-term effects on colony development were simulated based on a honey bee population dynamic model. Mortality survey showed that colonies located in a corn-dominated area had daily mortality counts 3.51 times those of colonies from corn crop-free sites. Chemical analyses revealed that honey bees were exposed to various agricultural pesticides during the corn planting season, but were primarily subjected to neonicotinoid compounds (54% of analysed samples contained clothianidin, and 31% contained both clothianidin and thiamethoxam. Performance development simulations performed on hive populations’ show that increased mortality during the corn planting season sets back colony development and bears contributions to collapse risk but, most of all, reduces the effectiveness and value of colonies for pollination services. Our results also have implications for the numerous large-scale and worldwide-cultivated crops that currently rely on pre-emptive use of neonicotinoid seed treatments.

  1. Down-regulation of honey bee IRS gene biases behavior toward food rich in protein.

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    Ying Wang

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Food choice and eating behavior affect health and longevity. Large-scale research efforts aim to understand the molecular and social/behavioral mechanisms of energy homeostasis, body weight, and food intake. Honey bees (Apis mellifera could provide a model for these studies since individuals vary in food-related behavior and social factors can be controlled. Here, we examine a potential role of peripheral insulin receptor substrate (IRS expression in honey bee foraging behavior. IRS is central to cellular nutrient sensing through transduction of insulin/insulin-like signals (IIS. By reducing peripheral IRS gene expression and IRS protein amount with the use of RNA interference (RNAi, we demonstrate that IRS influences foraging choice in two standard strains selected for different food-hoarding behavior. Compared with controls, IRS knockdowns bias their foraging effort toward protein (pollen rather than toward carbohydrate (nectar sources. Through control experiments, we establish that IRS does not influence the bees' sucrose sensory response, a modality that is generally associated with food-related behavior and specifically correlated with the foraging preference of honey bees. These results reveal a new affector pathway of honey bee social foraging, and suggest that IRS expressed in peripheral tissue can modulate an insect's foraging choice between protein and carbohydrate sources.

  2. The impact of insecticides to local honey bee colony Apis cerana indica in laboratory condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putra, Ramadhani E.; Permana, Agus D.; Nuriyah, Syayidah

    2014-03-01

    Heavy use of insecticides considered as one of common practice at local farming systems. Even though many Indonesian researchers had stated the possible detrimental effect of insecticide on agriculture environment and biodiversity, researches on this subject had been neglected. Therefore, our purpose in this research is observing the impact of insecticides usage by farmer to non target organisme like local honey bee (Apis cerana indica), which commonly kept in area near agriculture system. This research consisted of field observations out at Ciburial, Dago Pakar, Bandung and laboratory tests at School of Life Sciences and Technology, Institut Teknologi Bandung. The field observations recorded visited agriculture corps and types of pollen carried by bees to the nest while laboratory test recorderd the effect of common insecticide to mortality and behavior of honey bees. Three types of insecticides used in this research were insecticides A with active agent Chlorantraniliprol 50 g/l, insecticide B with active agent Profenofos 500 g/l, and insecticides C with active agent Chlorantraniliprol 100 g/l and λ-cyhalotrin 50g/l. The results show that during one week visit, wild flower, Wedelia montana, visited by most honey bees with average visit 60 honey bees followed by corn, Zea mays, with 21 honey bees. The most pollen carried by foragers was Wedelia montana, Calliandra callothyrsus, and Zea mays. Preference test show that honeybees tend move to flowers without insecticides as the preference to insecticides A was 12.5%, insecticides B was 0%, and insecticides was C 4.2%. Mortality test showed that insecticides A has LD50 value 0.01 μg/μl, insecticide B 0.31 μg/μl, and insecticides C 0.09 μg/μl which much lower than suggested dosage recommended by insecticides producer. This research conclude that the use of insecticide could lower the pollination service provide by honey bee due to low visitation rate to flowers and mortality of foraging bees.

  3. Population genetics of commercial and feral honey bees in Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Nadine C; Lim, Julianne; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2008-04-01

    Due to the introduction of exotic honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) diseases in the eastern states, the borders of the state of Western Australia were closed to the import of bees for breeding and other purposes > 25 yr ago. To provide genetically improved stock for the industry, a closed population breeding program was established that now provides stock for the majority of Western Australian beekeepers. Given concerns that inbreeding may have resulted from the closed population breeding structure, we assessed the genetic diversity within and between the breeding lines by using microsatellite and mitochondrial markers. We found that the breeding population still maintains considerable genetic diversity, despite 25 yr of selective breeding. We also investigated the genetic distance of the closed population breeding program to that of beekeepers outside of the program, and the feral Western Australian honey bee population. The feral population is genetically distinct from the closed population, but not from the genetic stock maintained by beekeepers outside of the program. The honey bees of Western Australia show three mitotypes, originating from two subspecies: Apis mellifera ligustica (mitotypes C1 and M7b) and Apis mellifera iberica (mitotype M6). Only mitotypes C1 and M6 are present in the commercial populations. The feral population contains all three mitotypes.

  4. Two Novel Strains of Torulaspora delbrueckii Isolated from the Honey Bee Microbiome and Their Use in Honey Fermentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph P. Barry

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Yeasts are ubiquitous microbes found in virtually all environments. Many yeast species can ferment sugar into ethanol and CO2, and humans have taken advantage of these characteristics to produce fermented beverages for thousands of years. As a naturally abundant source of fermentable sugar, honey has had a central role in such fermentations since Neolithic times. However, as beverage fermentation has become industrialized, the processes have been streamlined, including the narrow and almost exclusive usage of yeasts in the genus Saccharomyces for fermentation. We set out to identify wild honey- or honey-bee-related yeasts that can be used in honey fermentation. Here, we isolated two strains of Torulaspora delbrueckii from the gut of a locally collected honey bee. Both strains were able to ferment honey sugar into mead but failed to metabolize more than a modest amount of wort sugar in trial beer fermentations. Further, the meads fermented by the T. delbrueckii strains displayed better sensory characteristics than mead fermented by a champagne yeast. The combination of T. delbrueckii and champagne yeast strains was also able to rapidly ferment honey at an industrial scale. Thus, wild yeasts represent a largely untapped reservoir for the introduction of desirable sensory characteristics in fermented beverages such as mead.

  5. A genome-wide signature of positive selection in ancient and recent invasive expansions of the honey bee Apis mellifera

    OpenAIRE

    Zayed, Amro; Whitfield, Charles W.

    2008-01-01

    Apis mellifera originated in Africa and extended its range into Eurasia in two or more ancient expansions. In 1956, honey bees of African origin were introduced into South America, their descendents admixing with previously introduced European bees, giving rise to the highly invasive and economically devastating “Africanized” honey bee. Here we ask whether the honey bee's out-of-Africa expansions, both ancient and recent (invasive), were associated with a genome-wide signature of positive sel...

  6. Nutritional aspects of honey bee-collected pollen and constraints on colony development in the eastern Mediterranean

    OpenAIRE

    Shafir, S.; Avni, D.; Hendriksma, H.; Dag, A.; Uni, Z.; Avni, Dorit; Hendriksma, Harmen; Dag, Arnon; Uni, Zehava; Shafir, Sharoni

    2014-01-01

    Pollen is the main protein and lipid source for honey bees (Apis mellifera), and nutritionally impoverished landscapes pose a threat to colony development. To determine colony nutritional demands, we analyzed a yearly cycle of bee-collected pollen from colonies in the field and compared it to colony worker production and honey bee body composition, for the first time in social insects. We monitored monthly bee production in ten colonies at each of seven sites throughout Israel, and trapped po...

  7. Sleep deprivation impairs precision of waggle dance signaling in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Barrett A.; Klein, Arno; Wray, Margaret K.; Mueller, Ulrich G.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2010-01-01

    Sleep is essential for basic survival, and insufficient sleep leads to a variety of dysfunctions. In humans, one of the most profound consequences of sleep deprivation is imprecise or irrational communication, demonstrated by degradation in signaling as well as in receiving information. Communication in nonhuman animals may suffer analogous degradation of precision, perhaps with especially damaging consequences for social animals. However, society-specific consequences of sleep loss have rarely been explored, and no function of sleep has been ascribed to a truly social (eusocial) organism in the context of its society. Here we show that sleep-deprived honey bees (Apis mellifera) exhibit reduced precision when signaling direction information to food sources in their waggle dances. The deterioration of the honey bee's ability to communicate is expected to reduce the foraging efficiency of nestmates. This study demonstrates the impact of sleep deprivation on signaling in a eusocial animal. If the deterioration of signals made by sleep-deprived honey bees and humans is generalizable, then imprecise communication may be one detrimental effect of sleep loss shared by social organisms. PMID:21156830

  8. Differential expression of odorant-binding proteins in the mandibular glands of the honey bee according to caste and age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iovinella, Immacolata; Dani, Francesca Romana; Niccolini, Alberto; Sagona, Simona; Michelucci, Elena; Gazzano, Angelo; Turillazzi, Stefano; Felicioli, Antonio; Pelosi, Paolo

    2011-08-05

    Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) and chemosensory proteins (CSPs) mediate both perception and release of chemical stimuli in insects. The genome of the honey bee contains 21 genes encoding OBPs and 6 encoding CSPs. Using a proteomic approach, we have investigated the expression of OBPs and CSPs in the mandibular glands of adult honey bees in relation to caste and age. OBP13 is mostly expressed in young individuals and in virgin queens, while OBP21 is abundant in older bees and is prevalent in mated queens. OBP14, which had been found in larvae, is produced in hive workers' glands. Quite unexpectedly, the mandibular glands of drones also contain OBPs, mainly OBP18 and OBP21. We have expressed three of the most represented OBPs and studied their binding properties. OBP13 binds with good specificity oleic acid and some structurally related compounds, OBP14 is better tuned to monoterpenoid structures, while OBP21 binds the main components of queen mandibular pheromone as well as farnesol, a compound used as a trail pheromone in the honey bee and other hymenopterans. The high expression of different OBPs in the mandibular glands suggests that such proteins could be involved in solubilization and release of semiochemicals.

  9. The neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin affect the immunocompetence of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Annely; Gorenflo, Anna; Siede, Reinhold; Meixner, Marina; Büchler, Ralph

    2016-03-01

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Environmental radioactivity and chemical composition of different types of bee honeys produced at in-house area, egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramadan, A.B.

    2005-01-01

    Environmental radioactivity and chemical composition of bee honey varies with the surrounding environment (major floral and soil contamination), which reflects the nutritional value of honey. 23SU, 232Th, 40K, >37Cs, major elements Na, K, Mg and Cl and trace elements Mn, Fe, Zn, F, I, Cu, Co, Ni and Sr as well as toxic elements Cd and Pb -were all determined in different types of bee honey, which include non-floral honey with artificial feeding (syrup-feed honey) and mono-floral honeys (clover honey or sesame honey or orange honey). These elements were also determined in the bee feeds, which include flowers (clover, sesame and orange) and syrup. The results revealed that of all types of honeys and syrup-feed honey exhibited higher natural radioactivity and higher concentrations ofNa, K, Mg, Cl, oMn, Fe, Co, Cd and Pb than in the other honeys. Orange honey contained the lowest natural radioactivity and element concentrations. Clover honey had the lowest toxic element Cd and Pb concentrations (0.02 and 4.2/xg/g, respectively) while sesame honey contained the highest levels of Cd and F (0.7 and 12.9 /ig/g, respectively). Statistical analysis revealed significant correlation between honey and the feed (R= 0.745 to 0.921). Environmental radioactivity and element concentrations in the honey under study were in the safety baseline levels for human consumption

  11. Longevity extension of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera by royal jelly: optimal dose and active ingredient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenchao Yang

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available In the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, queens and workers have different longevity although they share the same genome. Queens consume royal jelly (RJ as the main food throughout their life, including as adults, but workers only eat worker jelly when they are larvae less than 3 days old. In order to explore the effect of RJ and the components affecting longevity of worker honey bees, we first determined the optimal dose for prolonging longevity of workers as 4% RJ in 50% sucrose solution, and developed a method of obtaining long lived workers. We then compared the effects of longevity extension by RJ 4% with bee-collected pollen from rapeseed (Brassica napus. Lastly, we determined that a water soluble RJ protein obtained by precipitation with 60% ammonium sulfate (RJP60 contained the main component for longevity extension after comparing the effects of RJ crude protein extract (RJCP, RJP30 (obtained by precipitation with 30% ammonium sulfate, and RJ ethanol extract (RJEE. Understanding what regulates worker longevity has potential to help increase colony productivity and improve crop pollination efficiency.

  12. Longevity extension of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) by royal jelly: optimal dose and active ingredient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wenchao; Tian, Yuanyuan; Han, Mingfeng; Miao, Xiaoqing

    2017-01-01

    In the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera , queens and workers have different longevity although they share the same genome. Queens consume royal jelly (RJ) as the main food throughout their life, including as adults, but workers only eat worker jelly when they are larvae less than 3 days old. In order to explore the effect of RJ and the components affecting longevity of worker honey bees, we first determined the optimal dose for prolonging longevity of workers as 4% RJ in 50% sucrose solution, and developed a method of obtaining long lived workers. We then compared the effects of longevity extension by RJ 4% with bee-collected pollen from rapeseed ( Brassica napus ). Lastly, we determined that a water soluble RJ protein obtained by precipitation with 60% ammonium sulfate (RJP 60 ) contained the main component for longevity extension after comparing the effects of RJ crude protein extract (RJCP), RJP 30 (obtained by precipitation with 30% ammonium sulfate), and RJ ethanol extract (RJEE). Understanding what regulates worker longevity has potential to help increase colony productivity and improve crop pollination efficiency.

  13. Juvenile hormone biosynthesis gene expression in the corpora allata of honey bee (Apis mellifera L. female castes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Durvalina Bomtorin

    Full Text Available Juvenile hormone (JH controls key events in the honey bee life cycle, viz. caste development and age polyethism. We quantified transcript abundance of 24 genes involved in the JH biosynthetic pathway in the corpora allata-corpora cardiaca (CA-CC complex. The expression of six of these genes showing relatively high transcript abundance was contrasted with CA size, hemolymph JH titer, as well as JH degradation rates and JH esterase (jhe transcript levels. Gene expression did not match the contrasting JH titers in queen and worker fourth instar larvae, but jhe transcript abundance and JH degradation rates were significantly lower in queen larvae. Consequently, transcriptional control of JHE is of importance in regulating larval JH titers and caste development. In contrast, the same analyses applied to adult worker bees allowed us inferring that the high JH levels in foragers are due to increased JH synthesis. Upon RNAi-mediated silencing of the methyl farnesoate epoxidase gene (mfe encoding the enzyme that catalyzes methyl farnesoate-to-JH conversion, the JH titer was decreased, thus corroborating that JH titer regulation in adult honey bees depends on this final JH biosynthesis step. The molecular pathway differences underlying JH titer regulation in larval caste development versus adult age polyethism lead us to propose that mfe and jhe genes be assayed when addressing questions on the role(s of JH in social evolution.

  14. Juvenile hormone biosynthesis gene expression in the corpora allata of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) female castes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomtorin, Ana Durvalina; Mackert, Aline; Rosa, Gustavo Conrado Couto; Moda, Livia Maria; Martins, Juliana Ramos; Bitondi, Márcia Maria Gentile; Hartfelder, Klaus; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino

    2014-01-01

    Juvenile hormone (JH) controls key events in the honey bee life cycle, viz. caste development and age polyethism. We quantified transcript abundance of 24 genes involved in the JH biosynthetic pathway in the corpora allata-corpora cardiaca (CA-CC) complex. The expression of six of these genes showing relatively high transcript abundance was contrasted with CA size, hemolymph JH titer, as well as JH degradation rates and JH esterase (jhe) transcript levels. Gene expression did not match the contrasting JH titers in queen and worker fourth instar larvae, but jhe transcript abundance and JH degradation rates were significantly lower in queen larvae. Consequently, transcriptional control of JHE is of importance in regulating larval JH titers and caste development. In contrast, the same analyses applied to adult worker bees allowed us inferring that the high JH levels in foragers are due to increased JH synthesis. Upon RNAi-mediated silencing of the methyl farnesoate epoxidase gene (mfe) encoding the enzyme that catalyzes methyl farnesoate-to-JH conversion, the JH titer was decreased, thus corroborating that JH titer regulation in adult honey bees depends on this final JH biosynthesis step. The molecular pathway differences underlying JH titer regulation in larval caste development versus adult age polyethism lead us to propose that mfe and jhe genes be assayed when addressing questions on the role(s) of JH in social evolution.

  15. Testing the effect of paraquat exposure on genomic recombination rates in queens of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langberg, Kurt; Phillips, Matthew; Rueppell, Olav

    2018-04-01

    The rate of genomic recombination displays evolutionary plasticity and can even vary in response to environmental factors. The western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) has an extremely high genomic recombination rate but the mechanistic basis for this genome-wide upregulation is not understood. Based on the hypothesis that meiotic recombination and DNA damage repair share common mechanisms in honey bees as in other organisms, we predicted that oxidative stress leads to an increase in recombination rate in honey bees. To test this prediction, we subjected honey bee queens to oxidative stress by paraquat injection and measured the rates of genomic recombination in select genome intervals of offspring produced before and after injection. The evaluation of 26 genome intervals in a total of over 1750 offspring of 11 queens by microsatellite genotyping revealed several significant effects but no overall evidence for a mechanistic link between oxidative stress and increased recombination was found. The results weaken the notion that DNA repair enzymes have a regulatory function in the high rate of meiotic recombination of honey bees, but they do not provide evidence against functional overlap between meiotic recombination and DNA damage repair in honey bees and more mechanistic studies are needed.

  16. Infra-Population and -Community Dynamics of the Parasites Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, and Consequences for Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Geoffrey R.; Shutler, Dave; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L.; Rogers, Richard E. L.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24987989

  17. Infra-population and -community dynamics of the parasites Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, and consequences for honey bee (Apis mellifera) hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Shutler, Dave; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L; Rogers, Richard E L

    2014-01-01

    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.

  18. Challenges associated with the honey bee ( Apis Mellifera Adansonii )

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Challenges associated with the honey bee ( Apis Mellifera Adansonii ) colonies ... Diseases like American and European foulbrood were absent while ... African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Volume 13 No. 2 April ...

  19. A genome-wide signature of positive selection in ancient and recent invasive expansions of the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zayed, Amro; Whitfield, Charles W

    2008-03-04

    Apis mellifera originated in Africa and extended its range into Eurasia in two or more ancient expansions. In 1956, honey bees of African origin were introduced into South America, their descendents admixing with previously introduced European bees, giving rise to the highly invasive and economically devastating "Africanized" honey bee. Here we ask whether the honey bee's out-of-Africa expansions, both ancient and recent (invasive), were associated with a genome-wide signature of positive selection, detected by contrasting genetic differentiation estimates (F(ST)) between coding and noncoding SNPs. In native populations, SNPs in protein-coding regions had significantly higher F(ST) estimates than those in noncoding regions, indicating adaptive evolution in the genome driven by positive selection. This signal of selection was associated with the expansion of honey bees from Africa into Western and Northern Europe, perhaps reflecting adaptation to temperate environments. We estimate that positive selection acted on a minimum of 852-1,371 genes or approximately 10% of the bee's coding genome. We also detected positive selection associated with the invasion of African-derived honey bees in the New World. We found that introgression of European-derived alleles into Africanized bees was significantly greater for coding than noncoding regions. Our findings demonstrate that Africanized bees exploited the genetic diversity present from preexisting introductions in an adaptive way. Finally, we found a significant negative correlation between F(ST) estimates and the local GC content surrounding coding SNPs, suggesting that AT-rich genes play an important role in adaptive evolution in the honey bee.

  20. The geometric framework for nutrition reveals interactions between protein and carbohydrate during larval growth in honey bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan R. Helm

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In holometabolous insects, larval nutrition affects adult body size, a life history trait with a profound influence on performance and fitness. Individual nutritional components of larval diets are often complex and may interact with one another, necessitating the use of a geometric framework for elucidating nutritional effects. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, nurse bees provision food to developing larvae, directly moderating growth rates and caste development. However, the eusocial nature of honey bees makes nutritional studies challenging, because diet components cannot be systematically manipulated in the hive. Using in vitro rearing, we investigated the roles and interactions between carbohydrate and protein content on larval survival, growth, and development in A. mellifera. We applied a geometric framework to determine how these two nutritional components interact across nine artificial diets. Honey bees successfully completed larval development under a wide range of protein and carbohydrate contents, with the medium protein (∼5% diet having the highest survival. Protein and carbohydrate both had significant and non-linear effects on growth rate, with the highest growth rates observed on a medium-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Diet composition did not have a statistically significant effect on development time. These results confirm previous findings that protein and carbohydrate content affect the growth of A. mellifera larvae. However, this study identified an interaction between carbohydrate and protein content that indicates a low-protein, high-carb diet has a negative effect on larval growth and survival. These results imply that worker recruitment in the hive would decline under low protein conditions, even when nectar abundance or honey stores are sufficient.

  1. A honey bee (Apis mellifera L. PeptideAtlas crossing castes and tissues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deutsch Eric W

    2011-06-01

    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.

  2. Effects of Nosema apis, N. ceranae, and coinfections on honey bee (Apis mellifera) learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charbonneau, Lise R; Hillier, Neil Kirk; Rogers, Richard E L; Williams, Geoffrey R; Shutler, Dave

    2016-03-10

    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.

  3. Sublethal Effects of Imidacloprid on Honey Bee Colony Growth and Activity at Three Sites in the U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meikle, William G; Adamczyk, John J; Weiss, Milagra; Gregorc, Ales; Johnson, Don R; Stewart, Scott D; Zawislak, Jon; Carroll, Mark J; Lorenz, Gus M

    2016-01-01

    Imidacloprid is a neonicotinoid pesticide heavily used by the agricultural industry and shown to have negative impacts on honey bees above certain concentrations. We evaluated the effects of different imidacloprid concentrations in sugar syrup using cage and field studies, and across different environments. Honey bee colonies fed sublethal concentrations of imidicloprid (0, 5, 20 and 100 ppb) over 6 weeks in field trials at a desert site (Arizona), a site near intensive agriculture (Arkansas) and a site with little nearby agriculture but abundant natural forage (Mississippi) were monitored with respect to colony metrics, such as adult bee and brood population sizes, as well as pesticide residues. Hive weight and internal hive temperature were monitored continuously over two trials in Arizona. Colonies fed 100 ppb imidacloprid in Arizona had significantly lower adult bee populations, brood surface areas and average frame weights, and reduced temperature control, compared to colonies in one or more of the other treatment groups, and consumption rates of those colonies were lower compared to other colonies in Arizona and Arkansas, although no differences in capped brood or average frame weight were observed among treatments in Arkansas. At the Mississippi site, also rich in alternative forage, colonies fed 5 ppb imidacloprid had less capped brood than control colonies, but contamination of control colonies was detected. In contrast, significantly higher daily hive weight variability among colonies fed 5 ppb imidacloprid in Arizona suggested greater foraging activity during a nectar flow post treatment, than any other treatment group. Imidacloprid concentrations in stored honey corresponded well with the respective syrup concentrations fed to the colonies and remained stable within the hive for at least 7 months after the end of treatment.

  4. Various Bee Pheromones Binding Affinity, Exclusive Chemosensillar Localization, and Key Amino Acid Sites Reveal the Distinctive Characteristics of Odorant-Binding Protein 11 in the Eastern Honey Bee, Apis cerana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Xin-Mi; Zhang, Lin-Ya; Fu, Xiao-Bin; Wu, Fan; Tan, Jing; Li, Hong-Liang

    2018-01-01

    Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) are the critical elements responsible for binding and transporting odors and pheromones in the sensitive olfactory system in insects. Honey bees are representative social insects that have complex odorants and pheromone communication systems relative to solitary insects. Here, we first cloned and characterized OBP11 ( AcerOBP11 ), from the worker bees antennae of Eastern honey bee, Apis cerana . Based on sequence and phylogenetic analysis, most sequences homologous to AcerOBP11 belong to the typical OBPs family. The transcriptional expression profiles showed that AcerOBP11 was expressed throughout the developmental stages and highly specifically expressed in adult antennae. Using immunofluorescence localization, AcerOBP11 in worker bee's antennae was only localized in the sensilla basiconica (SB) near the fringe of each segment. Fluorescence ligand-binding assay showed that AcerOBP11 protein had strong binding affinity with the tested various bee pheromones components, including the main queen mandibular pheromones (QMPs), methyl p-hydroxybenzoate (HOB), and ( E )-9-oxo-2-decanoic acid (9-ODA), alarm pheromone (n-hexanol), and worker pheromone components. AcerOBP11 also had strong binding affinity to plant volatiles, such as 4-Allylveratrole. Based on the docking and site-directed mutagenesis, two key amino acid residues (Ile97 and Ile140) were involved in the binding of AcerOBP11 to various bee pheromones. Taken together, we identified that AcerOBP11 was localized in a single type of antennal chemosensilla and had complex ligand-binding properties, which confer the dual-role with the primary characteristics of sensing various bee pheromones and secondary characteristics of sensing general odorants. This study not only prompts the theoretical basis of OBPs-mediated bee pheromones recognition of honey bee, but also extends the understanding of differences in pheromone communication between social and solitary insects.

  5. Various Bee Pheromones Binding Affinity, Exclusive Chemosensillar Localization, and Key Amino Acid Sites Reveal the Distinctive Characteristics of Odorant-Binding Protein 11 in the Eastern Honey Bee, Apis cerana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin-Mi Song

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs are the critical elements responsible for binding and transporting odors and pheromones in the sensitive olfactory system in insects. Honey bees are representative social insects that have complex odorants and pheromone communication systems relative to solitary insects. Here, we first cloned and characterized OBP11 (AcerOBP11, from the worker bees antennae of Eastern honey bee, Apis cerana. Based on sequence and phylogenetic analysis, most sequences homologous to AcerOBP11 belong to the typical OBPs family. The transcriptional expression profiles showed that AcerOBP11 was expressed throughout the developmental stages and highly specifically expressed in adult antennae. Using immunofluorescence localization, AcerOBP11 in worker bee's antennae was only localized in the sensilla basiconica (SB near the fringe of each segment. Fluorescence ligand-binding assay showed that AcerOBP11 protein had strong binding affinity with the tested various bee pheromones components, including the main queen mandibular pheromones (QMPs, methyl p-hydroxybenzoate (HOB, and (E-9-oxo-2-decanoic acid (9-ODA, alarm pheromone (n-hexanol, and worker pheromone components. AcerOBP11 also had strong binding affinity to plant volatiles, such as 4-Allylveratrole. Based on the docking and site-directed mutagenesis, two key amino acid residues (Ile97 and Ile140 were involved in the binding of AcerOBP11 to various bee pheromones. Taken together, we identified that AcerOBP11 was localized in a single type of antennal chemosensilla and had complex ligand-binding properties, which confer the dual-role with the primary characteristics of sensing various bee pheromones and secondary characteristics of sensing general odorants. This study not only prompts the theoretical basis of OBPs-mediated bee pheromones recognition of honey bee, but also extends the understanding of differences in pheromone communication between social and solitary insects.

  6. Characterizing the Impact of Commercial Pollen Substitute Diets on the Level of Nosema spp. in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    OpenAIRE

    Fleming, James C.; Schmehl, Daniel R.; Ellis, James D.

    2015-01-01

    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...

  7. Mapping Sleeping Bees within Their Nest: Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Worker Honey Bee Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Barrett Anthony; Stiegler, Martin; Klein, Arno; Tautz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns. PMID:25029445

  8. Mapping sleeping bees within their nest: spatial and temporal analysis of worker honey bee sleep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barrett Anthony Klein

    Full Text Available Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.. Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns.

  9. Immune related gene expression in worker honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica) pupae exposed to neonicotinoid thiamethoxam and Varroa mites (Varroa destructor).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesovnik, Tanja; Cizelj, Ivanka; Zorc, Minja; Čitar, Manuela; Božič, Janko; Glavan, Gordana; Narat, Mojca

    2017-01-01

    Varroa destructor is one of the most common parasites of honey bee colonies and is considered as a possible co-factor for honey bee decline. At the same time, the use of pesticides in intensive agriculture is still the most effective method of pest control. There is limited information about the effects of pesticide exposure on parasitized honey bees. Larval ingestion of certain pesticides could have effects on honey bee immune defense mechanisms, development and metabolic pathways. Europe and America face the disturbing phenomenon of the disappearance of honey bee colonies, termed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). One reason discussed is the possible suppression of honey bee immune system as a consequence of prolonged exposure to chemicals. In this study, the effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica, pupae infested with Varroa destructor mites were analyzed at the molecular level. Varroa-infested and non-infested honey bee colonies received protein cakes with or without thiamethoxam. Nurse bees used these cakes as a feed for developing larvae. Samples of white-eyed and brown-eyed pupae were collected. Expression of 17 immune-related genes was analyzed by real-time PCR. Relative gene expression in samples exposed only to Varroa or to thiamethoxam or simultaneously to both Varroa and thiamethoxam was compared. The impact from the consumption of thiamethoxam during the larval stage on honey bee immune related gene expression in Varroa-infested white-eyed pupae was reflected as down-regulation of spaetzle, AMPs abaecin and defensin-1 and up-regulation of lysozyme-2. In brown-eyed pupae up-regulation of PPOact, spaetzle, hopscotch and basket genes was detected. Moreover, we observed a major difference in immune response to Varroa infestation between white-eyed pupae and brown-eyed pupae. The majority of tested immune-related genes were upregulated only in brown-eyed pupae, while in white-eyed pupae they were downregulated.

  10. First detection of the larval chalkbrood disease pathogen Ascosphaera apis (Ascomycota: Eurotiomycetes: Ascosphaerales in adult bumble bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A Maxfield-Taylor

    Full Text Available Fungi in the genus Ascosphaera (Ascomycota: Eurotiomycetes: Ascosphaerales cause chalkbrood disease in larvae of bees. Here, we report the first-ever detection of the fungus in adult bumble bees that were raised in captivity for studies on colony development. Wild queens of Bombus griseocollis, B. nevadensis and B. vosnesenskii were collected and maintained for establishment of nests. Queens that died during rearing or that did not lay eggs within one month of capture were dissected, and tissues were examined microscopically for the presence of pathogens. Filamentous fungi that were detected were plated on artificial media containing broad spectrum antibiotics for isolation and identification. Based on morphological characters, the fungus was identified as Ascosphaera apis (Maasen ex Claussen Olive and Spiltoir, a species that has been reported earlier only from larvae of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, and the carpenter bee Xylocopa californica arizonensis. The identity of the fungus was confirmed using molecular markers and phylogenetic analysis. Ascosphaera apis was detected in queens of all three bumble bee species examined. Of 150 queens dissected, 12 (8% contained vegetative and reproductive stages of the fungus. Both fungal stages were also detected in two workers collected from colonies with Ascosphaera-infected B. nevadensis queens. In this study, wild bees could have been infected prior to capture for rearing, or, the A. apis infection could have originated via contaminated European honey bee pollen fed to the bumble bees in captivity. Thus, the discovery of A. apis in adult bumble bees in the current study has important implications for commercial production of bumble bee colonies and highlights potential risks to native bees via pathogen spillover from infected bees and infected pollen.

  11. First detection of the larval chalkbrood disease pathogen Ascosphaera apis (Ascomycota: Eurotiomycetes: Ascosphaerales) in adult bumble bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxfield-Taylor, Sarah A; Mujic, Alija B; Rao, Sujaya

    2015-01-01

    Fungi in the genus Ascosphaera (Ascomycota: Eurotiomycetes: Ascosphaerales) cause chalkbrood disease in larvae of bees. Here, we report the first-ever detection of the fungus in adult bumble bees that were raised in captivity for studies on colony development. Wild queens of Bombus griseocollis, B. nevadensis and B. vosnesenskii were collected and maintained for establishment of nests. Queens that died during rearing or that did not lay eggs within one month of capture were dissected, and tissues were examined microscopically for the presence of pathogens. Filamentous fungi that were detected were plated on artificial media containing broad spectrum antibiotics for isolation and identification. Based on morphological characters, the fungus was identified as Ascosphaera apis (Maasen ex Claussen) Olive and Spiltoir, a species that has been reported earlier only from larvae of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, and the carpenter bee Xylocopa californica arizonensis. The identity of the fungus was confirmed using molecular markers and phylogenetic analysis. Ascosphaera apis was detected in queens of all three bumble bee species examined. Of 150 queens dissected, 12 (8%) contained vegetative and reproductive stages of the fungus. Both fungal stages were also detected in two workers collected from colonies with Ascosphaera-infected B. nevadensis queens. In this study, wild bees could have been infected prior to capture for rearing, or, the A. apis infection could have originated via contaminated European honey bee pollen fed to the bumble bees in captivity. Thus, the discovery of A. apis in adult bumble bees in the current study has important implications for commercial production of bumble bee colonies and highlights potential risks to native bees via pathogen spillover from infected bees and infected pollen.

  12. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS ON SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE AND CATALASE ACTIVITY AND EXPRESSION IN HONEY BEE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolić, Tatjana V; Purać, Jelena; Orčić, Snežana; Kojić, Danijela; Vujanović, Dragana; Stanimirović, Zoran; Gržetić, Ivan; Ilijević, Konstantin; Šikoparija, Branko; Blagojević, Duško P

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the cellular stress response in honey bees will significantly contribute to their conservation. The aim of this study was to analyze the response of the antioxidative enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase in honey bees related to the presence of toxic metals in different habitats. Three locations were selected: (i) Tunovo on the mountain Golija, as control area, without industry and large human impact, (ii) Belgrade as urban area, and (iii) Zajača, as mining and industrial zone. Our results showed that the concentrations of lead (Pb) in whole body of bees vary according to habitat, but there was very significant increase of Pb in bees from investigated industrial area. Bees from urban and industrial area had increased expression of both Sod1 and Cat genes, suggesting adaptation to increased oxidative stress. However, in spite increased gene expression, the enzyme activity of catalase was lower in bees from industrial area suggesting inhibitory effect of Pb on catalase. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Hybrid origins of Australian honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  14. Efficiency of local Indonesia honey bees (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putra, Ramadhani Eka; Kinasih, Ida

    2014-01-01

    Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is considered as one of major agricultural commodity of Indonesia farming. However, monthly production is unstable due to lack of pollination services. Common pollinator agent of tomatoes is bumblebees which is unsuitable for tropical climate of Indonesia and the possibility of alteration of local wild plant interaction with their pollinator. Indonesia is rich with wild bees and some of the species already domesticated for years with prospect as pollinating agent for tomatoes. This research aimed to assess the efficiency of local honey bee (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis), as pollinator of tomato. During this research, total visitation rate and total numbers of pollinated flowers by honey bee and stingless bee were compared between them with bagged flowers as control. Total fruit production, average weight and size also measured in order to correlated pollination efficiency with quantity and quality of fruit produced. Result of this research showed that A. cerana has slightly higher rate of visitation (p>0.05) and significantly shorter handling time (p tomato flowers. However, honey bee pollinated tomato flowers more efficient pollinator than stingless bee (80.3 and 70.2% efficiency, respectively; p tomatoes were similar (p>0.05). Based on the results, it is concluded that the use of Apis cerana and Trigona spp., for pollinating tomatoes in tropical climates could be an alternative to the use of non-native Apis mellifera and bumblebees (Bombus spp.). However, more researches are needed to evaluate the cost/benefit on large-scale farming and greenhouse pollination using both bees against other bee species and pollination methods.

  15. Honey bee success predicted by landscape composition in Ohio, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DB Sponsler

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Foraging honey bees (Apis mellifera L. can routinely travel as far as several kilometers from their hive in the process of collecting nectar and pollen from floral patches within the surrounding landscape. Since the availability of floral resources at the landscape scale is a function of landscape composition, apiculturists have long recognized that landscape composition is a critical determinant of honey bee colony success. Nevertheless, very few studies present quantitative data relating colony success metrics to local landscape composition. We employed a beekeeper survey in conjunction with GIS-based landscape analysis to model colony success as a function of landscape composition in the State of Ohio, USA, a region characterized by intensive cropland, urban development, deciduous forest, and grassland. We found that colony food accumulation and wax production were positively related to cropland and negatively related to forest and grassland, a pattern that may be driven by the abundance of dandelion and clovers in agricultural areas compared to forest or mature grassland. Colony food accumulation was also negatively correlated with urban land cover in sites dominated by urban and agricultural land use, which does not support the popular opinion that the urban environment is more favorable to honey bees than cropland.

  16. Honey bee success predicted by landscape composition in Ohio, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sponsler, D B; Johnson, R M

    2015-01-01

    Foraging honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) can routinely travel as far as several kilometers from their hive in the process of collecting nectar and pollen from floral patches within the surrounding landscape. Since the availability of floral resources at the landscape scale is a function of landscape composition, apiculturists have long recognized that landscape composition is a critical determinant of honey bee colony success. Nevertheless, very few studies present quantitative data relating colony success metrics to local landscape composition. We employed a beekeeper survey in conjunction with GIS-based landscape analysis to model colony success as a function of landscape composition in the State of Ohio, USA, a region characterized by intensive cropland, urban development, deciduous forest, and grassland. We found that colony food accumulation and wax production were positively related to cropland and negatively related to forest and grassland, a pattern that may be driven by the abundance of dandelion and clovers in agricultural areas compared to forest or mature grassland. Colony food accumulation was also negatively correlated with urban land cover in sites dominated by urban and agricultural land use, which does not support the popular opinion that the urban environment is more favorable to honey bees than cropland.

  17. A Push-pull Protocol to Reduce Colonization of Bird Nest Boxes by Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Efstathion, Caroline A; Kern, William H

    2016-09-04

    Introduction of the invasive Africanized honey bee (AHB) into the Neotropics is a serious problem for many cavity nesting birds, specifically parrots. These bees select cavities that are suitable nest sites for birds, resulting in competition. The difficulty of removing bees and their defensive behavior makes a prevention protocol necessary. Here, we describe a push-pull integrated pest management protocol to deter bees from inhabiting bird boxes by applying a bird safe insecticide, permethrin, to repel bees from nest boxes, while simultaneously attracting them to pheromone-baited swarm traps. Shown here is an example experiment using Barn Owl nest boxes. This protocol successfully reduced colonization of Barn Owl nest boxes by Africanized honey bees. This protocol is flexible, allowing adjustments to accommodate a wide range of bird species and habitats. This protocol could benefit conservation efforts where AHB are located.

  18. Dietary amino acid and vitamin complex protects honey bee from immunosuppression caused by Nosema ceranae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavinic, Uros; Stankovic, Biljana; Draskovic, Vladimir; Stevanovic, Jevrosima; Petrovic, Tamas; Lakic, Nada; Stanimirovic, Zoran

    2017-01-01

    Microsporidium Nosema ceranae is well known for exerting a negative impact on honey bee health, including down-regulation of immunoregulatory genes. Protein nutrition has been proven to have beneficial effects on bee immunity and other aspects of bee health. Bearing this in mind, the aim of our study was to evaluate the potential of a dietary amino acid and vitamin complex "BEEWELL AminoPlus" to protect honey bees from immunosuppression induced by N. ceranae. In a laboratory experiment bees were infected with N. ceranae and treated with supplement on first, third, sixth and ninth day after emergence. The expression of genes for immune-related peptides (abaecin, apidaecin, hymenoptaecin, defensin and vitellogenin) was compared between groups. The results revealed significantly lower (pbees that received the supplement. It was supposed that N. ceranae had a negative impact on bee immunity and that the tested amino acid and vitamin complex modified the expression of immune-related genes in honey bees compromised by infection, suggesting immune-stimulation that reflects in the increase in resistance to diseases and reduced bee mortality. The supplement exerted best efficacy when applied simultaneously with Nosema infection, which can help us to assume the most suitable period for its application in the hive.

  19. Protocols to test the activity of antimicrobial peptides against the honey bee pathogen Paenibacillus larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khilnani, Jasmin C; Wing, Helen J

    2015-10-01

    Paenibacillus larvae is the causal agent of the honey bee disease American Foulbrood. Two enhanced protocols that allow the activity of antimicrobial peptides to be tested against P. larvae are presented. Proof of principle experiments demonstrate that the honey bee antimicrobial peptide defensin 1 is active in both assays. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Low hybrid onion seed yields relate to honey bee visits and insecticide use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachael Long

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Onion thrips, previously considered of minor importance to hybrid onion seed production in California, vector the newly introduced iris yellow spot virus, a serious pathogen of onions that can cause significant yield losses. Insecticide use to control onion thrips has increased in onion seed fields, coincident with a steep decrease in yields, especially in Colusa County. We examined a number of possible contributing factors and found a strong positive correlation between honey bee activity and onion seed set, indicating that a lack of pollination may be contributing to the reduced yields. In addition, honey bee visits to onion flowers were negatively correlated with the number of insecticides applied per field and field size. Reduced onion seed yields in recent years could be associated with the increase in insecticide use, which may be repelling or killing honey bees, important pollinators of this crop.

  1. Colony Level Prevalence and Intensity of Nosema ceranae in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Hannah M.; Webster, Thomas C.; Sagili, Ramesh R.

    2016-01-01

    Nosema ceranae is a widely prevalent microsporidian parasite in the western honey bee. There is considerable uncertainty regarding infection dynamics of this important pathogen in honey bee colonies. Understanding the infection dynamics at the colony level may aid in development of a reliable sampling protocol for N. ceranae diagnosis, and provide insights into efficient treatment strategies. The primary objective of this study was to characterize the prevalence (proportion of the sampled bees found infected) and intensity (number of spores per bee) of N. ceranae infection in bees from various age cohorts in a colony. We examined N. ceranae infection in both overwintered colonies that were naturally infected with N. ceranae and in quadruple cohort nucleus colonies that were established and artificially inoculated with N. ceranae. We also examined and quantified effects of N. ceranae infection on hypopharyngeal gland protein content and gut pH. There was no correlation between the prevalence and intensity of N. ceranae infection in composite samples (pooled bee samples used for analysis). Our results indicated that the prevalence and intensity of N. ceranae infection is significantly influenced by honey bee age. The N. ceranae infection prevalence values from composite samples of background bees (unmarked bees collected from four different locations in a colony) were not significantly different from those pertaining to marked-bee age cohorts specific to each sampling date. The foraging-aged bees had a higher prevalence of N. ceranae infection when compared to nurse-aged bees. N. ceranae did not have a significant effect on hypopharyngeal gland protein content. Further, there was no significant difference in mean gut pH of N. ceranae infected bees and non-infected bees. This study provides comprehensive insights into N. ceranae infection dynamics at the colony level, and also demonstrates the effects of N. ceranae infection on hypopharyngeal gland protein content and

  2. Colony Level Prevalence and Intensity of Nosema ceranae in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L..

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cameron J Jack

    Full Text Available Nosema ceranae is a widely prevalent microsporidian parasite in the western honey bee. There is considerable uncertainty regarding infection dynamics of this important pathogen in honey bee colonies. Understanding the infection dynamics at the colony level may aid in development of a reliable sampling protocol for N. ceranae diagnosis, and provide insights into efficient treatment strategies. The primary objective of this study was to characterize the prevalence (proportion of the sampled bees found infected and intensity (number of spores per bee of N. ceranae infection in bees from various age cohorts in a colony. We examined N. ceranae infection in both overwintered colonies that were naturally infected with N. ceranae and in quadruple cohort nucleus colonies that were established and artificially inoculated with N. ceranae. We also examined and quantified effects of N. ceranae infection on hypopharyngeal gland protein content and gut pH. There was no correlation between the prevalence and intensity of N. ceranae infection in composite samples (pooled bee samples used for analysis. Our results indicated that the prevalence and intensity of N. ceranae infection is significantly influenced by honey bee age. The N. ceranae infection prevalence values from composite samples of background bees (unmarked bees collected from four different locations in a colony were not significantly different from those pertaining to marked-bee age cohorts specific to each sampling date. The foraging-aged bees had a higher prevalence of N. ceranae infection when compared to nurse-aged bees. N. ceranae did not have a significant effect on hypopharyngeal gland protein content. Further, there was no significant difference in mean gut pH of N. ceranae infected bees and non-infected bees. This study provides comprehensive insights into N. ceranae infection dynamics at the colony level, and also demonstrates the effects of N. ceranae infection on hypopharyngeal gland

  3. A draft genome of the honey bee trypanosomatid parasite Crithidia mellificae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Runckel

    Full Text Available Since 2006, honey bee colonies in North America and Europe have experienced increased annual mortality. These losses correlate with increased pathogen incidence and abundance, though no single etiologic agent has been identified. Crithidia mellificae is a unicellular eukaryotic honey bee parasite that has been associated with colony losses in the USA and Belgium. C. mellificae is a member of the family Trypanosomatidae, which primarily includes other insect-infecting species (e.g., the bumble bee pathogen Crithidia bombi, as well as species that infect both invertebrate and vertebrate hosts including human pathogens (e.g.,Trypanosoma cruzi, T. brucei, and Leishmania spp.. To better characterize C. mellificae, we sequenced the genome and transcriptome of strain SF, which was isolated and cultured in 2010. The 32 megabase draft genome, presented herein, shares a high degree of conservation with the related species Leishmania major. We estimate that C. mellificae encodes over 8,300 genes, the majority of which are orthologs of genes encoded by L. major and other Leishmania or Trypanosoma species. Genes unique to C. mellificae, including those of possible bacterial origin, were annotated based on function and include genes putatively involved in carbohydrate metabolism. This draft genome will facilitate additional investigations of the impact of C. mellificae infection on honey bee health and provide insight into the evolution of this unique family.

  4. Queen rearing and selection practices and their impact on the genetic diversity and fitness of honey bee colonies

    OpenAIRE

    Bouga, Maria; Arnold, Gerard; Bienkowska, Malgorzata; Büchler, Ralph; Garnery, Lionel; Ivanova, Evgeniya; De Jong, David; De la Rúa, Pilar; Kence, Meral; Kezic, Nikola; Kryger, Per; Murilhas, António; Oldroyd, Benjamin; Oliver, Randy; Palacio, María

    2011-01-01

    The Apimondia working group on honey bee diversity and fitness (AWG 7) was created on October 25, 2010 as a Scientific Working Group of Apimondia. The aim of this AWG is to collect information on honey bee queen rearing practices, and examine their impact on the genetic variability and general health of honey bee colonies. The AWG consists of 23 members from 16 different countries. The world wide survey being conducted by this AWG is focused on gathering information on how selection methods, ...

  5. Larva-mediated chalkbrood resistance-associated single nucleotide polymorphism markers in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Y; Yan, L; Li, Z; Huang, W-F; Pokhrel, S; Liu, X; Su, S

    2016-06-01

    Chalkbrood is a disease affecting honey bees that seriously impairs brood growth and productivity of diseased colonies. Although honey bees can develop chalkbrood resistance naturally, the details underlying the mechanisms of resistance are not fully understood, and no easy method is currently available for selecting and breeding resistant bees. Finding the genes involved in the development of resistance and identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that can be used as molecular markers of resistance is therefore a high priority. We conducted genome resequencing to compare resistant (Res) and susceptible (Sus) larvae that were selected following in vitro chalkbrood inoculation. Twelve genomic libraries, including 14.4 Gb of sequence data, were analysed using SNP-finding algorithms. Unique SNPs derived from chromosomes 2 and 11 were analysed in this study. SNPs from resistant individuals were confirmed by PCR and Sanger sequencing using in vitro reared larvae and resistant colonies. We found strong support for an association between the C allele at SNP C2587245T and chalkbrood resistance. SNP C2587245T may be useful as a genetic marker for the selection of chalkbrood resistance and high royal jelly production honey bee lines, thereby helping to minimize the negative effects of chalkbrood on managed honey bees. © 2016 The Royal Entomological Society.

  6. A Molecular Method for the Identification of Honey Bee Subspecies Used by Beekeepers in Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syromyatnikov, Mikhail Y.; Borodachev, Anatoly V.; Kokina, Anastasia V.; Popov, Vasily N.

    2018-01-01

    Apis mellifera L. includes several recognized subspecies that differ in their biological properties and agricultural characteristics. Distinguishing between honey bee subspecies is complicated. We analyzed the Folmer region of the COX1 gene in honey bee subspecies cultivated at bee farms in Russia and identified subspecies-specific SNPs. DNA analysis revealed two clearly distinct haplogroups in A. mellifera mellifera. The first one was characterized by multiple cytosine-thymine (thymine–cytosine) transitions, one adenine-guanine substitution, and one thymine–adenine substitution. The nucleotide sequence of the second haplogroup coincided with sequences from other subspecies, except the unique C/A SNP at position 421 of the 658-bp Folmer region. A. mellifera carnica and A. mellifera carpatica could be distinguished from A. mellifera mellifera and A. mellifera caucasica by the presence of the A/G SNP at position 99 of the 658-bp Folmer region. The G/A SNP at position 448 was typical for A. mellifera carnica. A. mellifera caucasica COX1 sequence lacked all the above-mentioned sites. We developed a procedure for rapid identification of honey bee subspecies by PCR with restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) using mutagenic primers. The developed molecular method for honey bee subspecies identification is fast and inexpensive. PMID:29382048

  7. Antennae hold a key to Varroa-sensitive hygiene behaviour in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondet, Fanny; Alaux, Cédric; Severac, Dany; Rohmer, Marine; Mercer, Alison R; Le Conte, Yves

    2015-05-22

    In honey bees, Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) behaviour, which involves the detection and removal of brood parasitised by the mite Varroa destructor, can actively participate in the survival of colonies facing Varroa outbreaks. This study investigated the mechanisms of VSH behaviour, by comparing the antennal transcriptomes of bees that do and do not perform VSH behaviour. Results indicate that antennae likely play a key role in the expression of VSH behaviour. Comparisons with the antennal transcriptome of nurse and forager bees suggest that VSH profile is more similar to that of nurse bees than foragers. Enhanced detection of certain odorants in VSH bees may be predicted from transcriptional patterns, as well as a higher metabolism and antennal motor activity. Interestingly, Deformed wing virus/Varroa destructor virus infections were detected in the antennae, with higher level in non-VSH bees; a putative negative impact of viral infection on bees' ability to display VSH behaviour is proposed. These results bring new perspectives to the understanding of VSH behaviour and the evolution of collective defence by focusing attention on the importance of the peripheral nervous system. In addition, such data might be useful for promoting marker-assisted selection of honey bees that can survive Varroa infestations.

  8. An insight into the antibiofilm properties of Costa Rican stingless bee honeys

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zamora, L.G.; Beukelman, C.J.; Berg, van den A.J.J.; Aerts, P.C.; Quarles van Ufford, H.C.; Nijland, R.; Arias, M.L.

    2017-01-01

    Objective: There is an increasing search for antibiofilm agents that either have specific act