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Sample records for adult worker bees

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  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

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    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. 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.

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

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    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.

  7. 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

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

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    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.

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

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    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,...

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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    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. Physiology of reproductive worker honey bees (Apis mellifera): insights for the development of the worker caste.

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    Peso, Marianne; Even, Naïla; Søvik, Eirik; Naeger, Nicholas L; Robinson, Gene E; Barron, Andrew B

    2016-02-01

    Reproductive and behavioural specialisations characterise advanced social insect societies. Typically, the honey bee (Apis mellifera) shows a pronounced reproductive division of labour between worker and queen castes, and a clear division of colony roles among workers. In a queenless condition, however, both of these aspects of social organisation break down. Queenless workers reproduce, forage and maintain their colony operating in a manner similar to communal bees, rather than as an advanced eusocial group. This plasticity in social organisation provides a natural experiment for exploring physiological mechanisms of division of labour. We measured brain biogenic amine (BA) levels and abdominal fat body vitellogenin gene expression levels of workers in queenright and queenless colonies. Age, ovary activation and social environment influenced brain BA levels in honey bees. BA levels were most influenced by ovary activation state in queenless bees. Vitellogenin expression levels were higher in queenless workers than queenright workers, but in both colony environments vitellogenin expression was lower in foragers than non-foragers. We propose this plasticity in the interacting signalling systems that influence both reproductive and behavioural development allows queenless workers to deviate significantly from the typical worker bee reaction norm and develop as reproductively active behavioural generalists.

  14. Mapping sleeping bees within their nest: spatial and temporal analysis of worker honey bee sleep.

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    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.

  15. Colonies of Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens Produce Fewer Workers, Less Bee Biomass, and Have Smaller Mother Queens Following Fungicide Exposure

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    Olivia M. Bernauer

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possible culprit contributing to bee declines. Even fungicides, generally considered safe for bees, have been shown to disrupt honey bee development and impair bumble bee behavior. Little is known, however, how fungicides may affect bumble bee colony growth. We conducted a controlled cage study to determine the effects of fungicide exposure on colonies of a native bumble bee species (Bombus impatiens. Colonies of B. impatiens were exposed to flowers treated with field-relevant levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil over the course of one month. Colony success was assessed by the number and biomass of larvae, pupae, and adult bumble bees. Bumble bee colonies exposed to fungicide produced fewer workers, lower total bee biomass, and had lighter mother queens than control colonies. Our results suggest that fungicides negatively affect the colony success of a native bumble bee species and that the use of fungicides during bloom has the potential to severely impact the success of native bumble bee populations foraging in agroecosystems.

  16. Mapping Sleeping Bees within Their Nest: Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Worker Honey Bee Sleep

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    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

  17. Mapping sleeping bees within their nest: spatial and temporal analysis of worker honey bee sleep.

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    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.

  18. Body-Surface Compounds in Buckfast and Caucasian Honey Bee Workers (Apis Mellifera

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    Strachecka Aneta

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Body-surface chemical compounds were studied in 1-day-old nest workers and foragers both in Buckfast and Caucasian bees. The workers of these two age-castes were sampled twice in each of two consecutive years. Body-surface lipids were determined by means of gas chromatography, with a GCQ mass spectrometer. Protein concentrations and activities on the body surface were examined in bee cuticle rinsings obtained from worker bees according to the methods of Lowry, of Anson, and of Lee and Lin. Protease and protease inhibitor activities were determined. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was performed. Caucasian bees, particularly foragers, had more lipids, but Buckfast bees (two age-castes had more proteins on their body surfaces. A total of 17 alkane types (C17 - C33, 13 alkene types (C21 - C33, 21 esters (C12 - C32, and a phenol (C14 were detected in both races. Alkene C33 was detected only in Caucasian bees. More alkanes, esters, and phenols were found in Caucasian 1-day-old nest workers and foragers than in these age-castes of Buckfast bees. The protein concentration and protease inhibitor activities were lower in Caucasian bees that had higher protease activities. These values corresponded with specific numbers and widths of the electrophoretic bands.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  1. Notch signalling mediates reproductive constraint in the adult worker honeybee

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    Duncan, Elizabeth J.; Hyink, Otto; Dearden, Peter K.

    2016-01-01

    The hallmark of eusociality is the reproductive division of labour, in which one female caste reproduces, while reproduction is constrained in the subordinate caste. In adult worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) reproductive constraint is conditional: in the absence of the queen and brood, adult worker honeybees activate their ovaries and lay haploid male eggs. Here, we demonstrate that chemical inhibition of Notch signalling can overcome the repressive effect of queen pheromone and promote ovary activity in adult worker honeybees. We show that Notch signalling acts on the earliest stages of oogenesis and that the removal of the queen corresponds with a loss of Notch protein in the germarium. We conclude that the ancient and pleiotropic Notch signalling pathway has been co-opted into constraining reproduction in worker honeybees and we provide the first molecular mechanism directly linking ovary activity in adult worker bees with the presence of the queen. PMID:27485026

  2. Nest initiation in three North American bumble bees (Bombus): gyne number and presence of honey bee workers influence establishment success and colony size.

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    Strange, James P

    2010-01-01

    Three species of bumble bees, Bombus appositus Cresson, Bombus bifarius, Cresson and Bombus centralis Cresson (Hymenoptera: Apidae) were evaluated for nest initiation success under three sets of initial conditions. In the spring, gynes of each species were caught in the wild and introduced to nest boxes in one of three ways. Gynes were either introduced in conspecific pairs, singly with two honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) workers, or alone. Nesting success and colony growth parameters were measured to understand the effects of the various treatments on nest establishment. Colonies initiated from pairs of conspecific gynes were most successful in producing worker bees (59.1%), less successful were colonies initiated with honey bee workers (33.3%), and least successful were bumble bee gynes initiating colonies alone (16.7%). There was a negative correlation between the numbers of days to the emergence of the first worker in a colony to the attainment of ultimate colony size, indicating that gynes that have not commenced oviposition in 21 days are unlikely to result in colonies exceeding 50 workers. B. appositus had the highest rate of nest establishment followed by B. bifarius and B. centralis. Nest establishment rates in three western bumble bee species can be increased dramatically by the addition of either honey bee workers or a second gyne to nesting boxes at colony initiation.

  3. Measuring hypopharyngeal gland acinus size in honey bee (Apis mellifera) nurse workers

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    The nurse worker honey bee hypopharyngeal glands produce the protein fraction of worker and royal jelly fed to developing larvae and queens. These paired glands that are located in the head of the bee are highly sensitive to the quantity and quality of pollen and pollen substitutes that the nurse be...

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Comparative Analyses of Proteome Complement Between Worker Bee Larvae of High Royal Jelly Producing Bees (A. m. ligustica) and Carniolian Bees (A. m. carnica)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Jian; LI Jian-ke

    2009-01-01

    This study is to compare the protein composition of the high royal jelly producing bee (A. m. ligustica) with that of Carniolian bee (A. m. carnica) during their worker larval developmental stage. The experiment was carried out by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The results showed that significant higher numbers of total proteins (283) were detected in larvae of high royal jelly producing bees (Jelly bee) than those of Camiolian bees (152) on 2-d-old larvae. Among them, 110 proteins were presented on both strains of bee larvae, whereas 173 proteins were specific to larvae of Jelly bees, and 42 proteins were exclusive to Carniolian larvae. However, on the 4th d, a significant higher number of total proteins (290) were detected in larvae of Jelly bees than those of Camiolian bees (240), 163 proteins resolved to both bee larvae, and 127 proteins were specific to Jelly bees and 77 proteins to Camiolian bees. Until the 6th d, also a significant higher number of total proteins (236) were detected in larvae of Jelly bees than those of Carniolian bees (180), 132 proteins were constantly expressed in two bee larvae, whereas 104 and 48 proteins are unique to Jelly bee and Camiolian bee larvae, respectively. We tentatively concluded that the metabolic rate and gene expression of Jelly bees larvae is higher than those of Carniolian bees based proteins detected as total proteins and proteins specific to each stage of two strains of bee larvae. Proteins constantly expressed on 3 stages of larval development with some significant differences between two bee strains, and proteins unique to each stage expressed differences in term of quality and quantity, indicating that larval development needed house keeping and specific proteins to regulate its growth at different development phage, but the expression mold is different between two strains of larval development.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Bumble bees regulate their intake of essential protein and lipid pollen macronutrients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaudo, A D; Stabler, D; Patch, H M; Tooker, J F; Grozinger, C M; Wright, G A

    2016-12-15

    Bee population declines are linked to the reduction of nutritional resources due to land-use intensification, yet we know little about the specific nutritional needs of many bee species. Pollen provides bees with their primary source of protein and lipids, but nutritional quality varies widely among host-plant species. Therefore, bees might have adapted to assess resource quality and adjust their foraging behavior to balance nutrition from multiple food sources. We tested the ability of two bumble bee species, Bombus terrestris and Bombus impatiens, to regulate protein and lipid intake. We restricted B. terrestris adults to single synthetic diets varying in protein:lipid ratios (P:L). The bees over-ate protein on low-fat diets and over-ate lipid on high-fat diets to reach their targets of lipid and protein, respectively. The bees survived best on a 10:1 P:L diet; the risk of dying increased as a function of dietary lipid when bees ate diets with lipid contents greater than 5:1 P:L. Hypothesizing that the P:L intake target of adult worker bumble bees was between 25:1 and 5:1, we presented workers from both species with unbalanced but complementary paired diets to determine whether they self-select their diet to reach a specific intake target. Bees consumed similar amounts of proteins and lipids in each treatment and averaged a 14:1 P:L for B. terrestris and 12:1 P:L for B. impatiens These results demonstrate that adult worker bumble bees likely select foods that provide them with a specific ratio of P:L. These P:L intake targets could affect pollen foraging in the field and help explain patterns of host-plant species choice by bumble bees. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Social signals and aversive learning in honey bee drones and workers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, Eddie; Vallejo, Lianna; Pérez, María E.; Abramson, Charles I.; Giray, Tugrul

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The dissemination of information is a basic element of group cohesion. In honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus 1758), like in other social insects, the principal method for colony-wide information exchange is communication via pheromones. This medium of communication allows multiple individuals to conduct tasks critical to colony survival. Social signaling also establishes conflict at the level of the individual who must trade-off between attending to the immediate environment or the social demand. In this study we examined this conflict by challenging highly social worker honey bees, and less social male drone honey bees undergoing aversive training by presenting them with a social stress signal (isopentyl acetate, IPA). We utilized IPA exposure methods that caused lower learning performance in appetitive learning in workers. Exposure to isopentyl acetate (IPA) did not affect performance of drones and had a dose-specific effect on worker response, with positive effects diminishing at higher IPA doses. The IPA effects are specific because non-social cues, such as the odor cineole, improve learning performance in drones, and social homing signals (geraniol) did not have a discernible effect on drone or worker performance. We conclude that social signals do generate conflict and that response to them is dependent on signal relevance to the individual as well as the context. We discuss the effect of social signal on learning both related to its social role and potential evolutionary history. PMID:27895050

  13. Social signals and aversive learning in honey bee drones and workers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arian Avalos

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The dissemination of information is a basic element of group cohesion. In honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus 1758, like in other social insects, the principal method for colony-wide information exchange is communication via pheromones. This medium of communication allows multiple individuals to conduct tasks critical to colony survival. Social signaling also establishes conflict at the level of the individual who must trade-off between attending to the immediate environment or the social demand. In this study we examined this conflict by challenging highly social worker honey bees, and less social male drone honey bees undergoing aversive training by presenting them with a social stress signal (isopentyl acetate, IPA. We utilized IPA exposure methods that caused lower learning performance in appetitive learning in workers. Exposure to isopentyl acetate (IPA did not affect performance of drones and had a dose-specific effect on worker response, with positive effects diminishing at higher IPA doses. The IPA effects are specific because non-social cues, such as the odor cineole, improve learning performance in drones, and social homing signals (geraniol did not have a discernible effect on drone or worker performance. We conclude that social signals do generate conflict and that response to them is dependent on signal relevance to the individual as well as the context. We discuss the effect of social signal on learning both related to its social role and potential evolutionary history.

  14. Social signals and aversive learning in honey bee drones and workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avalos, Arian; Pérez, Eddie; Vallejo, Lianna; Pérez, María E; Abramson, Charles I; Giray, Tugrul

    2017-01-15

    The dissemination of information is a basic element of group cohesion. In honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus 1758), like in other social insects, the principal method for colony-wide information exchange is communication via pheromones. This medium of communication allows multiple individuals to conduct tasks critical to colony survival. Social signaling also establishes conflict at the level of the individual who must trade-off between attending to the immediate environment or the social demand. In this study we examined this conflict by challenging highly social worker honey bees, and less social male drone honey bees undergoing aversive training by presenting them with a social stress signal (isopentyl acetate, IPA). We utilized IPA exposure methods that caused lower learning performance in appetitive learning in workers. Exposure to isopentyl acetate (IPA) did not affect performance of drones and had a dose-specific effect on worker response, with positive effects diminishing at higher IPA doses. The IPA effects are specific because non-social cues, such as the odor cineole, improve learning performance in drones, and social homing signals (geraniol) did not have a discernible effect on drone or worker performance. We conclude that social signals do generate conflict and that response to them is dependent on signal relevance to the individual as well as the context. We discuss the effect of social signal on learning both related to its social role and potential evolutionary history. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. 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

  16. Comparative proteomic analysis provides insight into 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid biosynthesis in honey bee workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiao-Hui; Yang, Shi-Fa; Wang, Rui-Ming

    2017-07-01

    10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA) is the major compound produced from the mandibular glands (MGs) of honey bee workers. However, little information is available on the molecular mechanisms of 10-HDA biosynthesis. In our study, based on investigating the 10-HDA secretion pattern and the morphological characteristics of MGs from honey bee workers of different ages, a comparative proteomic analysis was performed in the MGs of workers with different 10-HDA production. In total, 59 up-regulated protein species representing 45 unique proteins were identified in high 10-HDA-producing workers by 2-DE-MALDI-TOF/TOF MS. These proteins were involved in carbohydrate/energy metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, protein metabolism and folding, antioxidation, cytoskeleton, development and cell signaling. Proteins related to fatty acid metabolism, including fatty acid synthase and β-oxidation enzymes, are potentially crucial proteins involved in 10-HDA biosynthesis pathway. And RNA interference (RNAi) results demonstrated that knockdown of electron transfer flavoprotein subunit beta (ETF-β), one of the protein related to fatty acid metabolism, decreased 10-HDA production of worker bees, suggesting that ETF-β was necessary for 10-HDA biosynthesis. This study reveals the characteristics of MGs of worker bees at different developmental stages and proteins associated with 10-HDA biosynthesis, which provides the first insight into the molecular mechanism of 10-HDA biosynthesis.

  17. 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.

  18. The influence of brood on the pollen consumption of worker bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrassnigg, Norbert; Crailsheim, Karl

    1998-05-01

    (1) In midgut dry weight (tissue plus contents) of worker bees we found a representative parameter for pollen consumption. Midguts of bees of successive ages were analyzed and correlated with various parameters. The relative proportions of sugar, protein and water were either constant or negatively correlated with midgut weight. Only the relative pollen weight (percent of midgut dry weight) increased. (2) To investigate the influence of different levels of brood on pollen consumption of individual bees, midgut dry weights from 2 normally breeding control colonies and 2 brood-reduced experimental colonies were analyzed. In bees from control colonies the pollen consumption increased up to the nursing age (3-10d), remained on an elevated level in middle-aged-bees (10-18d) and decreased relatively sharply towards the foraging ages (>21d). When queens were caged in the experimental colonies, the following decline of brood cells affected the consumption of pollen differently. After 6 days of caging, with a reduction of open brood only, no effect was seen. After 15 days, and even more pronounced after 23 days when no brood was present, the pollen consumption in young and middle-aged (10, 14, 18d) worker bees was significantly reduced, while it was clearly elevated in older bees. We discuss pollen consumption as an adaptation to reduced necessity to nurse brood in young and middle-aged bees, and to enhance life span in older animals.

  19. Effect of Propolis Oral Intake on Physiological Condition of Young Worker Honey Bees, Apis Mellifera L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damiani Natalia

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees collect resin from various plant species and transform it into propolis that is incorporated into the nest. The role of resins in the bee health field is poorly understood. The aim was to evaluate the effects of forced consumption of propolis on the physiological condition and short-term survival of Apis mellifera worker bees. It was tested if the number of circulating hemocytes in hemolymph, the abdominal fat bodies and the hypopharyngeal glands development were affected by the feeding with propolis extracts in laboratory conditions during the warm and the cold seasons. Propolis added to sugar candy was consumed by workers for fourteen days without affecting the bee survival. The number of circulating hemocytes in hemolymph remained constant despite the differential diet during the experiment. However, the development of fat bodies and hypopharyngeal glands was altered by propolis ingestion. The abdominal fat body development in winter bees diminished after fourteen days of propolis consumption, while it increased in summer bees. The hypopharyngeal gland development decreased for the assayed period in workers from both seasons. Our results encourage us to continue exploring this research field and learn how long-term forced ingestion of a plant-derived compound, a non-nutritive substance, can modify physiological bee parameters. A broader understanding of the multiple roles of propolis in the health of the honey bee colonies could be obtained by studying the ways in which it is processed and metabolized and the effect that generates in another physiological responses.

  20. The shaking signal of the honey bee informs workers to prepare for greater activity

    OpenAIRE

    Seeley, Thomas D.; Weidenmüller, Anja; Kühnholz, Susanne

    2010-01-01

    One of the most conspicuous activities o f worker bees inside a hive is the shaking of other wc~rliersT. his shaking has long been suspected to be a communication behavior, but its information content and function have until recently remained mysterious. Prior studies of the colony-level patterns of the production of ihc shaking signal supgest strongly that this signal semes to arouse workers to greater activity, such as at times of good foraging. Data from our obsenrauons of mdividual bees h...

  1. Effects of immunostimulation on social behavior, chemical communication and genome-wide gene expression in honey bee workers (Apis mellifera

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    Richard Freddie-Jeanne

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Social insects, such as honey bees, use molecular, physiological and behavioral responses to combat pathogens and parasites. The honey bee genome contains all of the canonical insect immune response pathways, and several studies have demonstrated that pathogens can activate expression of immune effectors. Honey bees also use behavioral responses, termed social immunity, to collectively defend their hives from pathogens and parasites. These responses include hygienic behavior (where workers remove diseased brood and allo-grooming (where workers remove ectoparasites from nestmates. We have previously demonstrated that immunostimulation causes changes in the cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of workers, which results in altered worker-worker social interactions. Thus, cuticular hydrocarbons may enable workers to identify sick nestmates, and adjust their behavior in response. Here, we test the specificity of behavioral, chemical and genomic responses to immunostimulation by challenging workers with a panel of different immune stimulants (saline, Sephadex beads and Gram-negative bacteria E. coli. Results While only bacteria-injected bees elicited altered behavioral responses from healthy nestmates compared to controls, all treatments resulted in significant changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Immunostimulation caused significant changes in expression of hundreds of genes, the majority of which have not been identified as members of the canonical immune response pathways. Furthermore, several new candidate genes that may play a role in cuticular hydrocarbon biosynthesis were identified. Effects of immune challenge expression of several genes involved in immune response, cuticular hydrocarbon biosynthesis, and the Notch signaling pathway were confirmed using quantitative real-time PCR. Finally, we identified common genes regulated by pathogen challenge in honey bees and other insects. Conclusions These results demonstrate that

  2. The queen is dead--long live the workers: intraspecific parasitism by workers in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, D A; Imperatriz-Fonseca, V L; Francoy, T M; Santos-Filho, P S; Nogueira-Neto, P; Billen, J; Wenseleers, T

    2009-10-01

    Insect societies are well known for their high degree of cooperation, but their colonies can potentially be exploited by reproductive workers who lay unfertilized, male eggs, rather than work for the good of the colony. Recently, it has also been discovered that workers in bumblebees and Asian honeybees can succeed in entering and parasitizing unrelated colonies to produce their own male offspring. The aim of this study was to investigate whether such intraspecific worker parasitism might also occur in stingless bees, another group of highly social bees. Based on a large-scale genetic study of the species Melipona scutellaris, and the genotyping of nearly 600 males from 45 colonies, we show that approximately 20% of all males are workers' sons, but that around 80% of these had genotypes that were incompatible with them being the sons of workers of the resident queen. By tracking colonies over multiple generations, we show that these males were not produced by drifted workers, but rather by workers that were the offspring of a previous, superseded queen. This means that uniquely, workers reproductively parasitize the next-generation workforce. Our results are surprising given that most colonies were sampled many months after the previous queen had died and that workers normally only have a life expectancy of approximately 30 days. It also implies that reproductive workers greatly outlive all other workers. We explain our results in the context of kin selection theory, and the fact that it pays workers more from exploiting the colony if costs are carried by less related individuals.

  3. 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...

  4. Out with the garbage: the parasitic strategy of the mantisfly Plega hagenella mass-infesting colonies of the eusocial bee Melipona subnitida in northeastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maia-Silva, Camila; Hrncir, Michael; Koedam, Dirk; Machado, Renato Jose Pires; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera Lucia

    2013-01-01

    Between April and June of 2012 mantisflies ( Plega hagenella) were found to be extensively parasitizing the nests of two groups of managed colonzies of eusocial stingless bees ( Melipona subnitida) in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil. The mantisfly larvae developed inside closed brood cells of the bee comb, where each mantispid larva fed on the bee larva or pupa present in a single brood cell. Mature mantispid larvae pupated inside silken cocoons spun in place within their hosts' brood cells then emerged as pharate adults inside the bee colony. Pharate adults were never attacked and killed by host colony workers. Instead, colony workers picked up the pharates and removed them from the nest unharmed, treating them similar to the way that the general refuse is removed from the nest. Adult mantispids subsequently eclosed from their pupal exuviae outside the nest. Manipulative experiments showed that post-eclosion adult mantispids placed back within active bee colonies were quickly attacked and killed. These observations demonstrate that pharate and post-eclosion adults of P. hagenella are perceived differently by colony workers and that delayed adult eclosion is an important functional element in the parasitic life strategy of P. hagenella, allowing adults to escape without injury from the bee colonies they parasitize.

  5. Hygienic behaviour in Brazilian stingless bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Denise A.; Bento, José M. S.; Marchini, Luis C.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Social insects have many defence mechanisms against pests and pathogens. One of these is hygienic behaviour, which has been studied in detail in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Hygienic honey bee workers remove dead and diseased larvae and pupae from sealed brood cells, thereby reducing disease transfer within the colony. Stingless bees, Meliponini, also rear broods in sealed cells. We investigated hygienic behaviour in three species of Brazilian stingless bees (Melipona scutellaris, Scaptotrigona depilis, Tetragonisca angustula) in response to freeze-killed brood. All three species had high mean levels of freeze-killed brood removal after 48 h ∼99% in M. scutellaris, 80% in S. depilis and 62% in T. angustula (N=8 colonies per species; three trials per colony). These levels are greater than in unselected honey bee populations, ∼46%. In S. depilis there was also considerable intercolony variation, ranging from 27% to 100% removal after 2 days. Interestingly, in the S. depilis colony with the slowest removal of freeze-killed brood, 15% of the adult bees emerging from their cells had shrivelled wings indicating a disease or disorder, which is as yet unidentified. Although the gross symptoms resembled the effects of deformed wing virus in the honey bee, this virus was not detected in the samples. When brood comb from the diseased colony was introduced to the other S. depilis colonies, there was a significant negative correlation between freeze-killed brood removal and the emergence of deformed worker bees (P=0.001), and a positive correlation with the cleaning out of brood cells (P=0.0008). This shows that the more hygienic colonies were detecting and removing unhealthy brood prior to adult emergence. Our results indicate that hygienic behaviour may play an important role in colony health in stingless bees. The low levels of disease normally seen in stingless bees may be because they have effective mechanisms of disease management, not because they lack

  6. Hygienic behaviour in Brazilian stingless bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan Al Toufailia

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Social insects have many defence mechanisms against pests and pathogens. One of these is hygienic behaviour, which has been studied in detail in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Hygienic honey bee workers remove dead and diseased larvae and pupae from sealed brood cells, thereby reducing disease transfer within the colony. Stingless bees, Meliponini, also rear broods in sealed cells. We investigated hygienic behaviour in three species of Brazilian stingless bees (Melipona scutellaris, Scaptotrigona depilis, Tetragonisca angustula in response to freeze-killed brood. All three species had high mean levels of freeze-killed brood removal after 48 h ∼99% in M. scutellaris, 80% in S. depilis and 62% in T. angustula (N=8 colonies per species; three trials per colony. These levels are greater than in unselected honey bee populations, ∼46%. In S. depilis there was also considerable intercolony variation, ranging from 27% to 100% removal after 2 days. Interestingly, in the S. depilis colony with the slowest removal of freeze-killed brood, 15% of the adult bees emerging from their cells had shrivelled wings indicating a disease or disorder, which is as yet unidentified. Although the gross symptoms resembled the effects of deformed wing virus in the honey bee, this virus was not detected in the samples. When brood comb from the diseased colony was introduced to the other S. depilis colonies, there was a significant negative correlation between freeze-killed brood removal and the emergence of deformed worker bees (P=0.001, and a positive correlation with the cleaning out of brood cells (P=0.0008. This shows that the more hygienic colonies were detecting and removing unhealthy brood prior to adult emergence. Our results indicate that hygienic behaviour may play an important role in colony health in stingless bees. The low levels of disease normally seen in stingless bees may be because they have effective mechanisms of disease management, not because

  7. Morphometric Identification of Queens, Workers and Intermediates in In Vitro Reared Honey Bees (Apis mellifera).

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    De Souza, Daiana A; Wang, Ying; Kaftanoglu, Osman; De Jong, David; Amdam, Gro V; Gonçalves, Lionel S; Francoy, Tiago M

    2015-01-01

    In vitro rearing is an important and useful tool for honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) studies. However, it often results in intercastes between queens and workers, which are normally are not seen in hive-reared bees, except when larvae older than three days are grafted for queen rearing. Morphological classification (queen versus worker or intercastes) of bees produced by this method can be subjective and generally depends on size differences. Here, we propose an alternative method for caste classification of female honey bees reared in vitro, based on weight at emergence, ovariole number, spermatheca size and size and shape, and features of the head, mandible and basitarsus. Morphological measurements were made with both traditional morphometric and geometric morphometrics techniques. The classifications were performed by principal component analysis, using naturally developed queens and workers as controls. First, the analysis included all the characters. Subsequently, a new analysis was made without the information about ovariole number and spermatheca size. Geometric morphometrics was less dependent on ovariole number and spermatheca information for caste and intercaste identification. This is useful, since acquiring information concerning these reproductive structures requires time-consuming dissection and they are not accessible when abdomens have been removed for molecular assays or in dried specimens. Additionally, geometric morphometrics divided intercastes into more discrete phenotype subsets. We conclude that morphometric geometrics are superior to traditional morphometrics techniques for identification and classification of honey bee castes and intermediates.

  8. Epigenetic modifications and their relation to caste and sex determination and adult division of labor in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris.

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    Cardoso-Júnior, Carlos A M; Fujimura, Patrícia Tieme; Santos-Júnior, Célio Dias; Borges, Naiara Araújo; Ueira-Vieira, Carlos; Hartfelder, Klaus; Goulart, Luiz Ricardo; Bonetti, Ana Maria

    2017-01-01

    Stingless bees of the genus Melipona, have long been considered an enigmatic case among social insects for their mode of caste determination, where in addition to larval food type and quantity, the genotype also has a saying, as proposed over 50 years ago by Warwick E. Kerr. Several attempts have since tried to test his Mendelian two-loci/two-alleles segregation hypothesis, but only recently a single gene crucial for sex determination in bees was evidenced to be sex-specifically spliced and also caste-specifically expressed in a Melipona species. Since alternative splicing is frequently associated with epigenetic marks, and the epigenetic status plays a major role in setting the caste phenotype in the honey bee, we investigated here epigenetic chromatin modification in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris. We used an ELISA-based methodology to quantify global methylation status and western blot assays to reveal histone modifications. The results evidenced DNA methylation/demethylation events in larvae and pupae, and significant differences in histone methylation and phosphorylation between newly emerged adult queens and workers. The epigenetic dynamics seen in this stingless bee species represent a new facet in the caste determination process in Melipona bees and suggest a possible mechanism that is likely to link a genotype component to the larval diet and adult social behavior of these bees.

  9. Epigenetic modifications and their relation to caste and sex determination and adult division of labor in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris

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    Carlos A.M. Cardoso-Júnior

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Stingless bees of the genus Melipona, have long been considered an enigmatic case among social insects for their mode of caste determination, where in addition to larval food type and quantity, the genotype also has a saying, as proposed over 50 years ago by Warwick E. Kerr. Several attempts have since tried to test his Mendelian two-loci/two-alleles segregation hypothesis, but only recently a single gene crucial for sex determination in bees was evidenced to be sex-specifically spliced and also caste-specifically expressed in a Melipona species. Since alternative splicing is frequently associated with epigenetic marks, and the epigenetic status plays a major role in setting the caste phenotype in the honey bee, we investigated here epigenetic chromatin modification in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris. We used an ELISA-based methodology to quantify global methylation status and western blot assays to reveal histone modifications. The results evidenced DNA methylation/demethylation events in larvae and pupae, and significant differences in histone methylation and phosphorylation between newly emerged adult queens and workers. The epigenetic dynamics seen in this stingless bee species represent a new facet in the caste determination process in Melipona bees and suggest a possible mechanism that is likely to link a genotype component to the larval diet and adult social behavior of these bees.

  10. Ambient Air Temperature Does Not Predict whether Small or Large Workers Forage in Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens

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    Margaret J. Couvillon

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Bumble bees are important pollinators of crops and other plants. However, many aspects of their basic biology remain relatively unexplored. For example, one important and unusual natural history feature in bumble bees is the massive size variation seen between workers of the same nest. This size polymorphism may be an adaptation for division of labor, colony economics, or be nonadaptive. It was also suggested that perhaps this variation allows for niche specialization in workers foraging at different temperatures: larger bees might be better suited to forage at cooler temperatures and smaller bees might be better suited to forage at warmer temperatures. This we tested here using a large, enclosed growth chamber, where we were able to regulate the ambient temperature. We found no significant effect of ambient or nest temperature on the average size of bees flying to and foraging from a suspended feeder. Instead, bees of all sizes successfully flew and foraged between 16∘C and 36∘C. Thus, large bees foraged even at very hot temperatures, which we thought might cause overheating. Size variation therefore could not be explained in terms of niche specialization for foragers at different temperatures.

  11. Workers make the queens in melipona bees: identification of geraniol as a caste determining compound from labial glands of nurse bees.

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    Jarau, Stefan; van Veen, Johan W; Twele, Robert; Reichle, Christian; Gonzales, Eduardo Herrera; Aguilar, Ingrid; Francke, Wittko; Ayasse, Manfred

    2010-06-01

    Reproductive division of labor in advanced eusocial honey bees and stingless bees is based on the ability of totipotent female larvae to develop into either workers or queens. In nearly all species, caste is determined by larval nutrition. However, the mechanism that triggers queen development in Melipona bees is still unresolved. Several hypotheses have been proposed, ranging from the proximate (a genetic determination of caste development) to the ultimate (a model in which larvae have complete control over their own caste fate). Here, we showed that the addition of geraniol, the main compound in labial gland secretions of nurse workers, to the larval food significantly increases the number of larvae that develop into queens. Interestingly, the proportion of queens in treated brood exactly matched the value (25%) predicted by the two-locus, two-allele model of genetic queen determination, in which only females that are heterozygous at both loci are capable of developing into queens. We conclude that labial gland secretions, added to the food of some cells by nurse bees, trigger queen development, provided that the larvae are genetically predisposed towards this developmental pathway. In Melipona beecheii, geraniol acts as a primer pheromone representing the first caste determination substance identified to date.

  12. Unequal subfamily proportions among honey bee queen and worker brood

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    Tilley; Oldroyd

    1997-12-01

    Queens from three colonies of feral honey bees, Apis mellifera were removed and placed in separate nucleus colonies. For each colony, eggs and larvae were taken from the nucleus and placed in the main hive on each of 3-4 consecutive weeks. Workers in the queenless parts selected young larvae to rear as queens. Queen pupae, together with the surrounding worker pupae, were removed from each colony and analysed at two to three microsatellite loci to determine their paternity. In all three colonies, the paternity of larvae chosen by the bees to rear as queens was not a random sample of the paternities in the worker brood, with certain subfamilies being over-represented in queens. These results support an important prediction of kin selection theory: when colonies are queenless, unequal relatedness within colonies could lead to the evolution of reproductive competition, that is some subfamilies achieving greater reproductive success than others. The mechanism by which such dominance is achieved could be through a system of kin recognition and nepotism, but we conclude that genetically based differential attractiveness of larvae for rearing as queens is more likely.Copyright 1997 The Association for the Study of Animal BehaviourCopyright 1997The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  13. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera Queen Reproductive Potential Affects Queen Mandibular Gland Pheromone Composition and Worker Retinue Response.

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    Juliana Rangel

    Full Text Available Reproductive division of labor is one of the defining traits of honey bees (Apis mellifera, with non-reproductive tasks being performed by workers while a single queen normally monopolizes reproduction. The decentralized organization of a honey bee colony is maintained in large part by a bouquet of queen-produced pheromones, the distribution of which is facilitated by contact among workers throughout the hive. Previous studies have shown that the developmental fate of honey bee queens is highly plastic, with queens raised from younger worker larvae exhibiting higher measures of reproductive potential compared to queens raised from older worker larvae. We investigated differences in the chemical composition of the mandibular glands and attractiveness to workers of "high-quality" queens (i.e., raised from first instar worker larvae; more queen-like and "low-quality" queens (i.e., raised from third instar worker larvae; more worker-like. We characterized the chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of high-quality queens and low-quality queens using GC-MS and used the worker retinue response as a measure of the attractiveness to workers of high-quality queens vs. low-quality queens. We found that queen quality affected the chemical profiles of mandibular gland contents differently across years, showing significant differences in the production of the queen mandibular pheromone ("QMP" components HVA and 9-HDA in 2010, but no significant differences of any glandular compound in 2012. We also found that workers were significantly more attracted to high-quality queens than to low-quality queens in 2012, possibly because of increased attractiveness of their mandibular gland chemical profiles. Our results indicate that the age at which honey bee larvae enter the "queen-specific" developmental pathway influences the chemical composition of queen mandibular glands and worker behavior. However, these changes are not consistent across years, suggesting

  14. Effects of Pesticide Treatments on Nutrient Levels in Worker Honey Bees (Apis mellifera

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    Haley K. Feazel-Orr

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Honey bee colony loss continues to be an issue and no factor has been singled out as to the cause. In this study, we sought to determine whether two beekeeper-applied pesticide products, tau-fluvalinate and Fumagilin-B®, and one agrochemical, chlorothalonil, impact the nutrient levels in honey bee workers in a natural colony environment. Treatments were performed in-hive and at three different periods (fall, spring, and summer over the course of one year. Bees were sampled both at pre-treatment and two and four weeks post-treatment, weighed, and their protein and carbohydrate levels were determined using BCA and anthrone based biochemical assays, respectively. We report that, based on the pesticide concentrations tested, no significant negative impact of the pesticide products was observed on wet weight, protein levels, or carbohydrate levels of bees from treated colonies compared with bees from untreated control colonies.

  15. Differential expression of a fructose receptor gene in honey bee workers according to age and behavioral role.

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    Takada, Tomoyuki; Sasaki, Taiyo; Sato, Ryoichi; Kikuta, Shingo; Inoue, Maki N

    2018-02-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) workers contribute to the maintenance of colonies in various ways. The primary functions of workers are divided into two types depending on age: young workers (nurses) primarily engage in such behaviors as cleaning and food handling within the hive, whereas older workers (foragers) acquire floral nutrients beyond the colony. Concomitant with this age-dependent change in activity, physiological changes occur in the tissues and organs of workers. Nurses supply younger larvae with honey containing high levels of glucose and supply older larvae with honey containing high levels of fructose. Given that nurses must determine both the concentration and type of sugar used in honey, gustatory receptors (Gr) expressed in the chemosensory organs likely play a role in distinguishing between sugars. Glucose is recognized by Gr1 in honey bees (AmGr1); however, it remains unclear which Gr are responsible for fructose recognition. This study aimed to identify fructose receptors in honey bees and reported that AmGr3, when transiently expressed in Xenopus oocytes, responded only to fructose, and to no other sugars. We analyzed expression levels of AmGr3 to identify which tissues and organs of workers are involved in fructose recognition and determined that expression of AmGr3 was particularly high in the antennae and legs of nurses. Our results suggest that nurses use their antennae and legs to recognize fructose, and that AmGr3 functions as an accurate nutrient sensor used to maintain food quality in honey bee hives. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  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

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    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. DNA methylation affects the lifespan of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) workers - Evidence for a regulatory module that involves vitellogenin expression but is independent of juvenile hormone function.

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    Cardoso-Júnior, Carlos A M; Guidugli-Lazzarini, Karina R; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2018-01-01

    The canonic regulatory module for lifespan of honey bee (Apis mellifera) workers involves a mutual repressor relationship between juvenile hormone (JH) and vitellogenin (Vg). Compared to vertebrates, however, little is known about a possible role of epigenetic factors. The full genomic repertoire of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) makes the honey bee an attractive emergent model for studying the role of epigenetics in the aging process of invertebrates, and especially so in social insects. We first quantified the transcript levels of the four DNMTs encoding genes in the head thorax and abdomens of workers of different age, showing that dnmt1a and dnmt3 expression is up-regulated in abdomens of old workers, whereas dnmt1b and dnmt2 are down-regulated in heads of old workers. Pharmacological genome demethylation by RG108 treatment caused an increase in worker lifespan. Next, we showed that the genomic DNA methylation status indirectly affects vitellogenin gene expression both in vitro and in vivo in young workers, and that this occurs independent of caloric restriction or JH levels, suggesting that a non-canonical circuitry may be acting in parallel with the JH/Vg module to regulate the adult life cycle of honey bee workers. Our data provide evidence that epigenetic factors play a role in regulatory networks associated with complex life history traits of a social insect. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Responses to Varroa by honey bees with different levels of Varroa Sensitive Hygiene

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    The mite-resistance trait called suppression of mite reproduction (SMR) is a form of hygienic behavior that we have named varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH). With VSH, adult worker bees (Apis mellifera) disrupt the population growth of parasitic mites (Varroa destructor) by removing mite-infested bee p...

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  2. Effects of the neonicotinoid pesticide thiamethoxam at field-realistic levels on microcolonies of Bombus terrestris worker bumble bees.

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    Laycock, Ian; Cotterell, Katie C; O'Shea-Wheller, Thomas A; Cresswell, James E

    2014-02-01

    Neonicotinoid pesticides are currently implicated in the decline of wild bee populations. Bumble bees, Bombus spp., are important wild pollinators that are detrimentally affected by ingestion of neonicotinoid residues. To date, imidacloprid has been the major focus of study into the effects of neonicotinoids on bumble bee health, but wild populations are increasingly exposed to alternative neonicotinoids such as thiamethoxam. To investigate whether environmentally realistic levels of thiamethoxam affect bumble bee performance over a realistic exposure period, we exposed queenless microcolonies of Bombus terrestris L. workers to a wide range of dosages up to 98 μgkg(-1) in dietary syrup for 17 days. Results showed that bumble bee workers survived fewer days when presented with syrup dosed at 98 μg thiamethoxamkg(-1), while production of brood (eggs and larvae) and consumption of syrup and pollen in microcolonies were significantly reduced by thiamethoxam only at the two highest concentrations (39, 98 μgkg(-1)). In contrast, we found no detectable effect of thiamethoxam at levels typically found in the nectars of treated crops (between 1 and 11 μgkg(-1)). By comparison with published data, we demonstrate that during an exposure to field-realistic concentrations lasting approximately two weeks, brood production in worker bumble bees is more sensitive to imidacloprid than thiamethoxam. We speculate that differential sensitivity arises because imidacloprid produces a stronger repression of feeding in bumble bees than thiamethoxam, which imposes a greater nutrient limitation on production of brood. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. No facultative worker policing in the honey bee ( Apis mellifera L.)

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    Loope, Kevin J.; Seeley, Thomas D.; Mattila, Heather R.

    2013-05-01

    Kin selection theory predicts that in colonies of social Hymenoptera with multiply mated queens, workers should mutually inhibit ("police") worker reproduction, but that in colonies with singly mated queens, workers should favor rearing workers' sons instead of queens' sons. In line with these predictions, Mattila et al. (Curr Biol 22:2027-2031, 2012) documented increased ovary development among workers in colonies of honey bees with singly mated queens, suggesting that workers can detect and respond adaptively to queen mating frequency and raising the possibility that they facultative police. In a follow-up experiment, we test and reject the hypothesis that workers in single-patriline colonies prefer worker-derived males and are able to reproduce directly; we show that their eggs are policed as strongly as those of workers in colonies with multiply mated queens. Evidently, workers do not respond facultatively to a kin structure that favors relaxed policing and increased direct reproduction. These workers may instead be responding to a poor queen or preparing for possible queen loss.

  4. The alternative Pharaoh approach: stingless bees mummify beetle parasites alive

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    Greco, Mark K.; Hoffmann, Dorothee; Dollin, Anne; Duncan, Michael; Spooner-Hart, Robert; Neumann, Peter

    2010-03-01

    Workers from social insect colonies use different defence strategies to combat invaders. Nevertheless, some parasitic species are able to bypass colony defences. In particular, some beetle nest invaders cannot be killed or removed by workers of social bees, thus creating the need for alternative social defence strategies to ensure colony survival. Here we show, using diagnostic radioentomology, that stingless bee workers ( Trigona carbonaria) immediately mummify invading adult small hive beetles ( Aethina tumida) alive by coating them with a mixture of resin, wax and mud, thereby preventing severe damage to the colony. In sharp contrast to the responses of honeybee and bumblebee colonies, the rapid live mummification strategy of T. carbonaria effectively prevents beetle advancements and removes their ability to reproduce. The convergent evolution of mummification in stingless bees and encapsulation in honeybees is another striking example of co-evolution between insect societies and their parasites.

  5. Programmed Cell Death in the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Worker Brain Induced by Imidacloprid.

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    Wu, Yan-Yan; Zhou, Ting; Wang, Qiang; Dai, Ping-Li; Xu, Shu-Fa; Jia, Hui-Ru; Wang, Xing

    2015-08-01

    Honey bees are at an unavoidable risk of exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are used worldwide. Compared with the well-studied roles of these pesticides in nontarget site (including midgut, ovary, or salivary glands), little has been reported in the target sites, the brain. In the current study, laboratory-reared adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were treated with sublethal doses of imidacloprid. Neuronal apoptosis was detected using the TUNEL technique for DNA labeling. We observed significantly increased apoptotic markers in dose- and time-dependent manners in brains of bees exposed to imidacloprid. Neuronal activated caspase-3 and mRNA levels of caspase-1, as detected by immunofluorescence and real-time quantitative PCR, respectively, were significantly increased, suggesting that sublethal doses of imidacloprid may induce the caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway. Additionally, the overlap of apoptosis and autophagy in neurons was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. It further suggests that a relationship exists between neurotoxicity and behavioral changes induced by sublethal doses of imidacloprid, and that there is a need to determine reasonable limits for imidacloprid application in the field to protect pollinators. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Reproduction of Varroa destructor and offspring mortality in worker and drone brood cells of Africanized honey bees.

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    Calderón, R A; Ureña, S; van Veen, J W

    2012-04-01

    Varroa destructor is known to be the most serious parasite of Apis mellifera worldwide. In order to reproduce varroa females enter worker or drone brood shortly before the cell is sealed. From March to December 2008, the reproductive rate and offspring mortality (mature and immature stages), focusing on male absence and male mortality of V. destructor, was investigated in naturally infested worker and drone brood of Africanized honey bees (AHB) in Costa Rica. Data were obtained from 388 to 403 single infested worker and drone brood cells, respectively. Mite fertility in worker and drone brood cells was 88.9 and 93.1%, respectively. There was no difference between the groups (X(2) = 3.6, P = 0.06). However, one of the most significant differences in mite reproduction was the higher percentage of mites producing viable offspring in drone cells (64.8%) compared to worker cells (37.6%) (X(2) = 57.2, P drone cells was high in the protonymph stage (mobile and immobile). A significant finding was the high rate of male mortality. The worker and drone brood revealed that 23.9 and 6.9%, respectively, of the adult male offspring was found dead. If the absence (missing) of the male and adult male mortality are taken together the percentage of cells increased to 40.0 and 21.3% in worker and drone cells, respectively (X(2) = 28.8, P < 0.05). The absence of the male or male mortality in a considerable number of worker cells naturally infested with varroa is the major factor in our study which reduces the production of viable daughters in AHB colonies in Costa Rica.

  7. The effects of dietary protein levels on the population growth, performance, and physiology of honey bee workers during early spring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Benle; Wu, Zaifu; Xu, Baohua

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary protein levels on honey bee colonies, specifically the population growth, physiology, and longevity of honey bee workers during early spring. Diets containing four different levels of crude protein (25.0, 29.5, 34.0, or 38.5%) and pure pollen (control) were evaluated. Twenty-five colonies of honey bees with sister queens were used in the study. We compared the effects of the different bee diets by measuring population growth, emergent worker weight, midgut proteolytic enzyme activity, hypopharyngeal gland development, and survival. After 48 d, the cumulative number of workers produced by the colonies ranged from 22,420 to 29,519, providing a significant fit to a quadratic equation that predicts the maximum population growth when the diet contains 31.7% crude protein. Significantly greater emergent worker weight, midgut proteolytic enzyme activity, hypopharyngeal gland acini, and survival were observed in the colonies that were fed diets containing 34.0% crude protein compared with the other crude protein levels. Although higher emergent worker weight and survival were observed in the colonies that were fed the control diet, there were no significant differences between the control colonies and the colonies that were fed 34.0% crude protein. Based on these results, we concluded that a dietary crude protein content of 29.5-34.0% is recommended to maximize the reproduction rate of honey bee colonies in early spring. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Toxicity of Anethole and the Essential Oils of Lemongrass and Sweet Marigold to the Parasitic Mite Varroa destructor and Their Selectivity for Honey Bee (Apis mellifera Workers and Larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qodratollah Sabahi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the toxicity of anethole and that of the essential oils of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus and sweet marigold (Tagetes lucida to the mite Varroa destructor and to honey bee workers and larvae. Anethole was the most toxic compound to V. destructor (LC50: 304.9 μg/ml, whereas Tagetes oil was the least toxic (LC50: 1256.27 μg/ml. The most and least toxic compounds to worker bees were anethole and Tagetes oil with LD50s of 35942 and 85381 μg/ml, respectively. For larvae, Tagetes oil was the most toxic compound (LD50: 9580.7 μg/ml and anethole the least toxic (LD50: 14518.0 μg/ml. Anethole and Cymbopogon oil had the highest selectivity ratios. The expression of AChE, a gene that regulates the production of acetyl cholinesterase, a detoxifying enzyme, was not altered in bees treated with the plant compounds at 48 h post-treatment. This study showed that anethole and Cymbopogon oil have potential for controlling Varroa mites and seem to be relatively safe for larvae and adult honey bees.

  10. Gonadotropic and physiological functions of juvenile hormone in Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris workers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hagai Shpigler

    Full Text Available The evolution of advanced sociality in bees is associated with apparent modifications in juvenile hormone (JH signaling. By contrast to most insects in which JH is a gonadotropin regulating female fertility, in the highly eusocial honey bee (Apis mellifera JH has lost its gonadotrophic function in adult females, and instead regulates age-related division of labor among worker bees. In order to shed light on the evolution of JH signaling in bees we performed allatectomy and replacement therapies to manipulate JH levels in workers of the "primitively eusocial" bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Allatectomized worker bees showed remarkable reduction in ovarian development, egg laying, Vitellogenin and Krüppel homolog 1 fat body transcript levels, hemolymph Vitellogenin protein abundance, wax secretion, and egg-cell construction. These effects were reverted, at least partially, by treating allatectomized bees with JH-III, the natural JH of bees. Allatectomy also affected the amount of ester component in Dufour's gland secretion, which is thought to convey a social signal relating to worker fertility. These findings provide a strong support for the hypothesis that in contrast to honey bees, JH is a gonadotropin in bumblebees and lend credence to the hypothesis that the evolution of advanced eusociality in honey bees was associated with major modifications in JH signaling.

  11. 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

  12. Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus in Honeybee Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amiri, Esmaeil; Meixner, Marina; Büchler, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is known as a disease of worker honey bees. To investigate pathogenesis of the CBPV on the queen, the sole reproductive individual in a colony, we conducted experiments regarding the susceptibility of queens to CBPV. Results from susceptibility experiment showed...... a similar disease progress in the queens compared to worker bees after infection. Infected queens exhibit symptoms by Day 6 post infection and virus levels reach 1011 copies per head. In a transmission experiment we showed that social interactions may affect the disease progression. Queens with forced...... contact to symptomatic worker bees acquired an overt infection with up to 1011 virus copies per head in six days. In contrast, queens in contact with symptomatic worker bees, but with a chance to receive food from healthy bees outside the cage appeared healthy. The virus loads did not exceed 107...

  13. Aversive conditioning in honey bees (Apis mellifera anatolica): a comparison of drones and workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinges, Christopher W; Avalos, Arian; Abramson, Charles I; Craig, David Philip Arthur; Austin, Zoe M; Varnon, Christopher A; Dal, Fatima Nur; Giray, Tugrul; Wells, Harrington

    2013-11-01

    Honey bees provide a model system to elucidate the relationship between sociality and complex behaviors within the same species, as females (workers) are highly social and males (drones) are more solitary. We report on aversive learning studies in drone and worker honey bees (Apis mellifera anatolica) in escape, punishment and discriminative punishment situations. In all three experiments, a newly developed electric shock avoidance assay was used. The comparisons of expected and observed responses were performed with conventional statistical methods and a systematic randomization modeling approach called object oriented modeling. The escape experiment consisted of two measurements recorded in a master-yoked paradigm: frequency of response and latency to respond following administration of shock. Master individuals could terminate an unavoidable shock triggered by a decrementing 30 s timer by crossing the shuttlebox centerline following shock activation. Across all groups, there was large individual response variation. When assessing group response frequency and latency, master subjects performed better than yoked subjects for both workers and drones. In the punishment experiment, individuals were shocked upon entering the shock portion of a bilaterally wired shuttlebox. The shock portion was spatially static and unsignalled. Only workers effectively avoided the shock. The discriminative punishment experiment repeated the punishment experiment but included a counterbalanced blue and yellow background signal and the side of shock was manipulated. Drones correctly responded less than workers when shock was paired with blue. However, when shock was paired with yellow there was no observable difference between drones and workers.

  14. 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...

  15. Imidacloprid-induced impairment of mushroom bodies and behavior of the native stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hudson Vaner V Tomé

    Full Text Available Declines in pollinator colonies represent a worldwide concern. The widespread use of agricultural pesticides is recognized as a potential cause of these declines. Previous studies have examined the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid on pollinator colonies, but these investigations have mainly focused on adult honey bees. Native stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponinae are key pollinators in neotropical areas and are threatened with extinction due to deforestation and pesticide use. Few studies have directly investigated the effects of pesticides on these pollinators. Furthermore, the existing impact studies did not address the issue of larval ingestion of contaminated pollen and nectar, which could potentially have dire consequences for the colony. Here, we assessed the effects of imidacloprid ingestion by stingless bee larvae on their survival, development, neuromorphology and adult walking behavior. Increasing doses of imidacloprid were added to the diet provided to individual worker larvae of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides throughout their development. Survival rates above 50% were only observed at insecticide doses lower than 0.0056 µg active ingredient (a.i./bee. No sublethal effect on body mass or developmental time was observed in the surviving insects, but the pesticide treatment negatively affected the development of mushroom bodies in the brain and impaired the walking behavior of newly emerged adult workers. Therefore, stingless bee larvae are particularly susceptible to imidacloprid, as it caused both high mortality and sublethal effects that impaired brain development and compromised mobility at the young adult stage. These findings demonstrate the lethal effects of imidacloprid on native stingless bees and provide evidence of novel serious sublethal effects that may compromise colony survival. The ecological and economic importance of neotropical stingless bees as pollinators

  16. Imidacloprid-induced impairment of mushroom bodies and behavior of the native stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé, Hudson Vaner V; Martins, Gustavo F; Lima, Maria Augusta P; Campos, Lúcio Antonio O; Guedes, Raul Narciso C

    2012-01-01

    Declines in pollinator colonies represent a worldwide concern. The widespread use of agricultural pesticides is recognized as a potential cause of these declines. Previous studies have examined the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid on pollinator colonies, but these investigations have mainly focused on adult honey bees. Native stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponinae) are key pollinators in neotropical areas and are threatened with extinction due to deforestation and pesticide use. Few studies have directly investigated the effects of pesticides on these pollinators. Furthermore, the existing impact studies did not address the issue of larval ingestion of contaminated pollen and nectar, which could potentially have dire consequences for the colony. Here, we assessed the effects of imidacloprid ingestion by stingless bee larvae on their survival, development, neuromorphology and adult walking behavior. Increasing doses of imidacloprid were added to the diet provided to individual worker larvae of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides throughout their development. Survival rates above 50% were only observed at insecticide doses lower than 0.0056 µg active ingredient (a.i.)/bee. No sublethal effect on body mass or developmental time was observed in the surviving insects, but the pesticide treatment negatively affected the development of mushroom bodies in the brain and impaired the walking behavior of newly emerged adult workers. Therefore, stingless bee larvae are particularly susceptible to imidacloprid, as it caused both high mortality and sublethal effects that impaired brain development and compromised mobility at the young adult stage. These findings demonstrate the lethal effects of imidacloprid on native stingless bees and provide evidence of novel serious sublethal effects that may compromise colony survival. The ecological and economic importance of neotropical stingless bees as pollinators, their

  17. Imidacloprid-Induced Impairment of Mushroom Bodies and Behavior of the Native Stingless Bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé, Hudson Vaner V.; Martins, Gustavo F.; Lima, Maria Augusta P.; Campos, Lúcio Antonio O.; Guedes, Raul Narciso C.

    2012-01-01

    Declines in pollinator colonies represent a worldwide concern. The widespread use of agricultural pesticides is recognized as a potential cause of these declines. Previous studies have examined the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid on pollinator colonies, but these investigations have mainly focused on adult honey bees. Native stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponinae) are key pollinators in neotropical areas and are threatened with extinction due to deforestation and pesticide use. Few studies have directly investigated the effects of pesticides on these pollinators. Furthermore, the existing impact studies did not address the issue of larval ingestion of contaminated pollen and nectar, which could potentially have dire consequences for the colony. Here, we assessed the effects of imidacloprid ingestion by stingless bee larvae on their survival, development, neuromorphology and adult walking behavior. Increasing doses of imidacloprid were added to the diet provided to individual worker larvae of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides throughout their development. Survival rates above 50% were only observed at insecticide doses lower than 0.0056 µg active ingredient (a.i.)/bee. No sublethal effect on body mass or developmental time was observed in the surviving insects, but the pesticide treatment negatively affected the development of mushroom bodies in the brain and impaired the walking behavior of newly emerged adult workers. Therefore, stingless bee larvae are particularly susceptible to imidacloprid, as it caused both high mortality and sublethal effects that impaired brain development and compromised mobility at the young adult stage. These findings demonstrate the lethal effects of imidacloprid on native stingless bees and provide evidence of novel serious sublethal effects that may compromise colony survival. The ecological and economic importance of neotropical stingless bees as pollinators, their

  18. Methyl farnesoate epoxidase (mfe) gene expression and juvenile hormone titers in the life cycle of a highly eusocial stingless bee, Melipona scutellaris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso-Júnior, Carlos Antônio Mendes; Silva, Renato Pereira; Borges, Naiara Araújo; de Carvalho, Washington João; Walter, S Leal; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Bitondi, Marcia Maria Gentile; Ueira Vieira, Carlos; Bonetti, Ana Maria; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2017-08-01

    In social insects, juvenile hormone (JH) has acquired novel functions related to caste determination and division of labor among workers, and this is best evidenced in the honey bee. In contrast to honey bees, stingless bees are a much more diverse group of highly eusocial bees, and the genus Melipona has long called special attention due to a proposed genetic mechanism of caste determination. Here, we examined methyl farnesoate epoxidase (mfe) gene expression, encoding an enzyme relevant for the final step in JH biosynthesis, and measured the hemolymph JH titers for all life cycle stages of Melipona scutellaris queens and workers. We confirmed that mfe is exclusively expressed in the corpora allata. The JH titer is high in the second larval instar, drops in the third, and rises again as the larvae enter metamorphosis. During the pupal stage, mfe expression is initialy elevated, but then gradually drops to low levels before adult emergence. No variation was, however, seen in the JH titer. In adult virgin queens, mfe expression and the JH titer are significantly elevated, possibly associated with their reproductive potential. For workers we found that JH titers are lower in foragers than in nurse bees, while mfe expression did not differ. Stingless bees are, thus, distinct from honey bee workers, suggesting that they have maintained the ancestral gonadotropic function for JH. Hence, the physiological circuitries underlying a highly eusocial life style may be variable, even within a monophyletic clade such as the corbiculate bees. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Detection of neural activity in the brains of Japanese honeybee workers during the formation of a "hot defensive bee ball".

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi Ugajin

    Full Text Available Anti-predator behaviors are essential to survival for most animals. The neural bases of such behaviors, however, remain largely unknown. Although honeybees commonly use their stingers to counterattack predators, the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica uses a different strategy to fight against the giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica. Instead of stinging the hornet, Japanese honeybees form a "hot defensive bee ball" by surrounding the hornet en masse, killing it with heat. The European honeybee (A. mellifera ligustica, on the other hand, does not exhibit this behavior, and their colonies are often destroyed by a hornet attack. In the present study, we attempted to analyze the neural basis of this behavior by mapping the active brain regions of Japanese honeybee workers during the formation of a hot defensive bee ball. First, we identified an A. cerana homolog (Acks = Apis cerana kakusei of kakusei, an immediate early gene that we previously identified from A. mellifera, and showed that Acks has characteristics similar to kakusei and can be used to visualize active brain regions in A. cerana. Using Acks as a neural activity marker, we demonstrated that neural activity in the mushroom bodies, especially in Class II Kenyon cells, one subtype of mushroom body intrinsic neurons, and a restricted area between the dorsal lobes and the optic lobes was increased in the brains of Japanese honeybee workers involved in the formation of a hot defensive bee ball. In addition, workers exposed to 46°C heat also exhibited Acks expression patterns similar to those observed in the brains of workers involved in the formation of a hot defensive bee ball, suggesting that the neural activity observed in the brains of workers involved in the hot defensive bee ball mainly reflects thermal stimuli processing.

  20. 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.

  1. A comparison of the reproductive ability of Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata:Varroidae) in worker and drone brood of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón, Rafael A; Zamora, Luis G; Van Veen, Johan W; Quesada, Mariela V

    2007-01-01

    Colony infestation by the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor is one of the most serious problems for beekeeping worldwide. In order to reproduce varroa females, enter worker or drone brood shortly before the cell is sealed. To test the hypothesis that, due to the preference of mites to invade drone brood to reproduce, a high proportion of the mite reproduction should occur in drone cells, a comparative study of mite reproductive rate in worker and drone brood of Africanized honey bees (AHB) was done for 370 mites. After determining the number, developmental stage and sex of the offspring in worker cells, the foundress female mite was immediately transferred into an uninfested drone cell. Mite fertility in single infested worker and drone brood cells was 76.5 and 79.3%, respectively. There was no difference between the groups (X(2)= 0.78, P = 0.37). However, one of the most significant differences in mite reproduction was the higher percentage of mites producing viable offspring (cells that contain one live adult male and at least one adult female mite) in drone cells (38.1%) compared to worker cells (13.8%) (X(2)= 55.4, P drone cells (X(2)= 69, P drone brood.

  2. 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.

  3. Flight behaviour of honey bee (Apis mellifera) workers is altered by initial infections of the fungal parasite Nosema apis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dosselli, Ryan; Grassl, Julia; Carson, Andrew; Simmons, Leigh W.; Baer, Boris

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) host a wide range of parasites, some being known contributors towards dramatic colony losses as reported over recent years. To counter parasitic threats, honey bees possess effective immune systems. Because immune responses are predicted to cause substantial physiological costs for infected individuals, they are expected to trade off with other life history traits that ultimately affect the performance and fitness of the entire colony. Here, we tested whether the initial onset of an infection negatively impacts the flight behaviour of honey bee workers, which is an energetically demanding behaviour and a key component of foraging activities. To do this, we infected workers with the widespread fungal pathogen Nosema apis, which is recognised and killed by the honey bee immune system. We compared their survival and flight behaviour with non-infected individuals from the same cohort and colony using radio frequency identification tags (RFID). We found that over a time frame of four days post infection, Nosema did not increase mortality but workers quickly altered their flight behaviour and performed more flights of shorter duration. We conclude that parasitic infections influence foraging activities, which could reduce foraging ranges of colonies and impact their ability to provide pollination services. PMID:27827404

  4. Effects of habitat composition and landscape structure on worker foraging distances of five bumble bee species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redhead, John W; Dreier, Stephanie; Bourke, Andrew F G; Heard, Matthew S; Jordan, William C; Sumner, Seirian; Wang, Jinliang; Carvell, Claire

    2016-04-01

    Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are important pollinators of both crops and wildflowers. Their contribution to this essential ecosystem service has been threatened over recent decades by changes in land use, which have led to declines in their populations. In order to design effective conservation measures, it is important to understand the effects of variation in landscape composition and structure on the foraging activities of worker bumble bees. This is because the viability of individual colonies is likely to be affected by the trade-off between the energetic costs of foraging over greater distances and the potential gains from access to additional resources. We used field surveys, molecular genetics, and fine resolution remote sensing to estimate the locations of wild bumble bee nests and to infer foraging distances across a 20-km² agricultural landscape in southern England, UK. We investigated five species, including the rare B. ruderatus and ecologically similar but widespread B. hortorum. We compared worker foraging distances between species and examined how variation in landscape composition and structure affected foraging distances at the colony level. Mean worker foraging distances differed significantly between species. Bombus terrestris, B. lapidarius, and B. ruderatus exhibited significantly greater mean foraging distances (551, 536, and 501 m, respectively) than B. hortorum and B. pascuorum (336 and 272 m, respectively). There was wide variation in worker foraging distances between colonies of the same species, which was in turn strongly influenced by the amount and spatial configuration of available foraging habitats. Shorter foraging distances were found for colonies where the local landscape had high coverage and low fragmentation of semi-natural vegetation, including managed agri-environmental field margins. The strength of relationships between different landscape variables and foraging distance varied between species, for example the strongest

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Transcriptional markers of sub-optimal nutrition in developing Apis mellifera nurse workers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Honey bees (Apis mellifera) contribute substantially to the worldwide economy and ecosystem health as pollinators. Pollen is essential to the bee’s diet, providing protein, lipids, and micronutrients. The dramatic shifts in physiology, anatomy, and behavior that accompany normal worker development are highly plastic and recent work demonstrates that development, particularly the transition from nurse to foraging roles, is greatly impacted by diet. However, the role that diet plays in the developmental transition of newly eclosed bees to nurse workers is poorly understood. To further understand honey bee nutrition and the role of diet in nurse development, we used a high-throughput screen of the transcriptome of 3 day and 8 day old worker bees fed either honey and stored pollen (rich diet) or honey alone (poor diet) within the hive. We employed a three factor (age, diet, age x diet) analysis of the transcriptome to determine whether diet affected nurse worker physiology and whether poor diet altered the developmental processes normally associated with aging. Results Substantial changes in gene expression occurred due to starvation. Diet-induced changes in gene transcription occurring in younger bees were largely a subset of those occurring in older bees, but certain signatures of starvation were only evident 8 day old workers. Of the 18,542 annotated transcripts in the A. mellifera genome, 150 transcripts exhibited differential expression due to poor diet at 3d of age compared with 17,226 transcripts that differed due to poor diet at 8d of age, and poor diet caused more frequent down-regulation of gene expression in younger bees compared to older bees. In addition, the age-related physiological changes that accompanied early adult development differed due to the diet these young adult bees were fed. More frequent down-regulation of gene expression was observed in developing bees fed a poor diet compared to those fed an adequate diet. Functional

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. Short-Term Exposure to Lambda-Cyhalothrin Negatively Affects the Survival and Memory-Related Characteristics of Worker Bees Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Chun-Hua; He, Xu-Jiang; Wang, Zi-Long; Barron, Andrew B; Zhang, Bo; Zeng, Zhi-Jiang; Wu, Xiao-Bo

    2018-07-01

    Pesticides are considered one of the major contemporary stressors of honey bee health. In this study, the effects of short-term exposure to lambda-cyhalothrin on lifespan, learning, and memory-related characteristics of Apis mellifera were systematically examined. Short-term exposure to lambda-cyhalothrin in worker bees reduced lifespan, affected learning and memory performance, reduced the homing ability, and influenced the expression levels of two learning and memory-related genes of A. mellifera. This research identifies the nature of the sublethal effects of lambda-cyhalothrin on bees and the level of exposure that can be harmful to bee health. This new information will assist in establishing guidelines for the safe use of lambda-cyhalothrin in the field.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Behavioural data on the production of males by workers in the stingless bee Melipona favosa (Apidae, Meliponinae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sommeijer, M.J.; Chinh, T.X.; Meeuwsen, F.J.A.J.

    1998-01-01

    Male production was studied in four queenright M. favosa colonies by permanent and long duration observation of egg-laying and subsequent bee emergence. Workers produced males in all colonies; they produced 94.5% of all males.

  17. Evidence of hybridization between two species of Melipona bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nascimento Vania Alves

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available This report describes a case of hybridization between two species of Meliponinae bees (Melipona scutellaris from the Diamantina plateau in the State of Bahia, and Melipona capixaba from around Domingos Martins, in the State of Espírito Santo, Brazil. To demonstrate hybridization, electrophoretic profiles of esterase activity from three colonies were studied. Ten adult workers of M. scutellaris, M. capixaba and the hybrid colony were collected and processed individually. The pattern of esterase activity was constant for each species but differed between them, whereas hybrid bees had a pattern derived from both species. The fact that two ecologically different species of stingless bees separated by more than 300 km could still cross when placed in the same area suggests that there has not been any pressure to develop reproductive isolation.

  18. Nutrient balancing of the adult worker bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) depends on the dietary source of essential amino acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stabler, Daniel; Paoli, Pier P; Nicolson, Susan W; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-03-01

    Animals carefully regulate the amount of protein that they consume. The quantity of individual essential amino acids (EAAs) obtained from dietary protein depends on the protein source, but how the proportion of EAAs in the diet affects nutrient balancing has rarely been studied. Recent research using the Geometric Framework for Nutrition has revealed that forager honeybees who receive much of their dietary EAAs from floral nectar and not from solid protein have relatively low requirements for dietary EAAs. Here, we examined the nutritional requirements for protein and carbohydrates of foragers of the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. By using protein (sodium caseinate) or an equimolar mixture of the 10 EAAs, we found that the intake target (nutritional optimum) of adult workers depended on the source and proportion of dietary EAAs. When bees consumed caseinate-containing diets in a range of ratios between 1:250 and 1:25 (protein to carbohydrate), they achieved an intake target (IT) of 1:149 (w/w). In contrast to those fed protein, bees fed the EAA diets had an IT more biased towards carbohydrates (1:560 w/w) but also had a greater risk of death than those fed caseinate. We also tested how the dietary source of EAAs affected free AAs in bee haemolymph. Bees fed diets near their IT had similar haemolymph AA profiles, whereas bees fed diets high in caseinate had elevated levels of leucine, threonine, valine and alanine in the haemolymph. We found that like honeybees, bumblebee workers prioritize carbohydrate intake and have a relatively low requirement for protein. The dietary source of EAAs influenced both the ratio of protein/EAA to carbohydrate and the overall amount of carbohydrate eaten. Our data support the idea that EAAs and carbohydrates in haemolymph are important determinants of nutritional state in insects. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. 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.

  20. Repeated evolution of soldier sub-castes suggests parasitism drives social complexity in stingless bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grüter, Christoph; Segers, Francisca H I D; Menezes, Cristiano; Vollet-Neto, Ayrton; Falcón, Tiago; von Zuben, Lucas; Bitondi, Márcia M G; Nascimento, Fabio S; Almeida, Eduardo A B

    2017-02-23

    The differentiation of workers into morphological castes represents an important evolutionary innovation that is thought to improve division of labor in insect societies. Given the potential benefits of task-related worker differentiation, it is puzzling that physical worker castes, such as soldiers, are extremely rare in social bees and absent in wasps. Following the recent discovery of soldiers in a stingless bee, we studied the occurrence of worker differentiation in 28 stingless bee species from Brazil and found that several species have specialized soldiers for colony defence. Our results reveal that worker differentiation evolved repeatedly during the last ~ 25 million years and coincided with the emergence of parasitic robber bees, a major threat to many stingless bee species. Furthermore, our data suggest that these robbers are a driving force behind the evolution of worker differentiation as targets of robber bees are four times more likely to have nest guards of increased size than non-targets. These findings reveal unexpected diversity in the social organization of stingless bees.Although common in ants and termites, worker differentiation into physical castes is rare in social bees and unknown in wasps. Here, Grüter and colleagues find a guard caste in ten species of stingless bees and show that the evolution of the guard caste is associated with parasitization by robber bees.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Monogamy in large bee societies: a stingless paradox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Pioker-Hara, Fabiana C; Dos Santos, Charles F; Santiago, Leandro R; Alves, Denise A; de M P Kleinert, Astrid; Francoy, Tiago M; Arias, Maria C; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L

    2014-03-01

    High genetic diversity is important for the functioning of large insect societies. Across the social Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps), species with the largest colonies tend to have a high colony-level genetic diversity resulting from multiple queens (polygyny) or queens that mate with multiple males (polyandry). Here we studied the genetic structure of Trigona spinipes, a stingless bee species with colonies an order of magnitude larger than those of polyandrous honeybees. Genotypes of adult workers and pupae from 43 nests distributed across three Brazilian biomes showed that T. spinipes colonies are usually headed by one singly mated queen. Apart from revealing a notable exception from the general incidence of high genetic diversity in large insect societies, our results reinforce previous findings suggesting the absence of polyandry in stingless bees and provide evidence against the sperm limitation hypothesis for the evolution of polyandry. Stingless bee species with large colonies, such as T. spinipes, thus seem promising study models to unravel alternative mechanisms to increase genetic diversity within colonies or understand the adaptive value of low genetic diversity in large insect societies.

  4. 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...

  5. Mitochondrial capacity, oxidative damage and hypoxia gene expression are associated with age-related division of labor in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cervoni, Mário S; Cardoso-Júnior, Carlos A M; Craveiro, Giovana; Souza, Anderson de O; Alberici, Luciane C; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2017-11-01

    During adult life, honey bee workers undergo a succession of behavioral states. Nurse bees perform tasks inside the nest, and when they are about 2-3 weeks old they initiate foraging. This switch is associated with alterations in diet, and with the levels of juvenile hormone and vitellogenin circulating in hemolymph. It is not clear whether this behavioral maturation involves major changes at the cellular level, such as mitochondrial activity and the redox environment in the head, thorax and abdomen. Using high-resolution respirometry, biochemical assays and RT-qPCR, we evaluated the association of these parameters with this behavioral change. We found that tissues from the head and abdomen of nurses have a higher oxidative phosphorylation capacity than those of foragers, while for the thorax we found the opposite situation. As higher mitochondrial activity tends to generate more H 2 O 2 , and H 2 O 2 is known to stabilize HIF-1α, this would be expected to stimulate hypoxia signaling. The positive correlation that we observed between mitochondrial activity and hif-1α gene expression in abdomen and head tissue of nurses would be in line with this hypothesis. Higher expression of antioxidant enzyme genes was observed in foragers, which could explain their low levels of protein carbonylation. No alterations were seen in nitric oxide (NO) levels, suggesting that NO signaling is unlikely to be involved in behavioral maturation. We conclude that the behavioral change seen in honey bee workers is reflected in differential mitochondrial activities and redox parameters, and we consider that this can provide insights into the underlying aging process. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Changes in Alternative Splicing in Apis Mellifera Bees Fed Apis Cerana Royal Jelly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi Yuan Yuan

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The Western honey bee (Apis mellifera is a social insect characterized by caste differentiation in which the queen bee and worker bees display marked differences in morphology, behavior, reproduction, and longevity despite their identical genomes. The main causative factor in caste differentiation is the food fed to queen larvae, termed royal jelly (RJ. Alternative splicing (AS is an important RNA-mediated post-transcriptional process in eukaryotes. Here we report AS changes in A. mellifera after being fed either A. mellifera RJ or A. cerana RJ. The results demonstrated that the RJ type affected 4 types of AS in adult A. mellifera: exon skipping, intron retention, alternative 5’ splice sites, and alternative 3’splice sites. After feeding with A. cerana RJ, AS occurred in many genes in adult A. mellifera that encode proteins involved in development, growth, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and substance metabolism. This study provides the first evidence that heterospecific RJ can influence the AS of many genes related to honey bee development and growth.

  7. The Effect of Dietary Vitamin C on Carbohydrate Concentrations and Hydrolase Activity, During the Development of Honey Bee Worker Brood

    OpenAIRE

    Farjan Marek; Żółtowska Krystyna; Lipiński Zbigniew; Łopieńska-Biernat Elżbieta; Dmitryjuk Małgorzata

    2015-01-01

    The colony collapse disorder is a growing problem world-wide. For this reason, we were prompted to search for natural and harmless agents that could improve the living conditions of honey bees. This group of agents includes exogenous antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid, which boost natural immunity. We analysed the effect of vitamin C supplementation on carbohydrate metabolism in the developing honey bee worker brood. The total carbohydrate content and the concentrations of glycogen, trehalos...

  8. Biopesticide-induced behavioral and morphological alterations in the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Wagner F; Tomé, Hudson Vaner V; Bernardes, Rodrigo C; Siqueira, Maria Augusta L; Smagghe, Guy; Guedes, Raul Narciso C

    2015-09-01

    Because of their natural origin, biopesticides are assumed to be less harmful to beneficial insects, including bees, and therefore their use has been widely encouraged for crop protection. There is little evidence, however, to support this ingrained notion of biopesticide safety to pollinators. Because larval exposure is still largely unexplored in ecotoxicology and risk assessment on bees, an investigation was performed on the lethal and sublethal effects of a diet treated with 2 bioinsecticides, azadirachtin and spinosad, on the stingless bee, Melipona quadrifasciata, which is one of the most important pollinators in the Neotropics. Survival of stingless bee larvae was significantly compromised at doses above 210 ng a.i./bee for azadirachtin and 114 ng a.i./bee for spinosad. No sublethal effect was observed on larvae developmental time, but doses of both compounds negatively affected pupal body mass. Azadirachtin produced deformed pupae and adults as a result of its insect growth regulator properties, but spinosad was more harmful and produced greater numbers of deformed individuals. Only spinosad compromised walking activity of the adult workers at doses as low as 2.29 ng a.i./bee, which is 1/5000 of the maximum field recommended rate. In conclusion, the results demonstrated that bioinsecticides can pose significant risks to native pollinators with lethal and sublethal effects; future investigations are needed on the likelihood of such effects under field conditions. © 2015 SETAC.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Consumption of tyrosine in royal jelly increases brain levels of dopamine and tyramine and promotes transition from normal to reproductive workers in queenless honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuyama, Syuhei; Nagao, Takashi; Sasaki, Ken

    2015-01-15

    Dopamine (DA) and tyramine (TA) have neurohormonal roles in the production of reproductive workers in queenless colonies of honey bees, but the regulation of these biogenic amines in the brain are still largely unclear. Nutrition is an important factor in promoting reproduction and might be involved in the regulation of these biogenic amines in the brain. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of oral treatments of tyrosine (Tyr; a common precursor of DA, TA and octopamine, and a component of royal jelly) in queenless workers and quantified the resulting production of biogenic amines. Tyrosine treatments enhanced the levels of DA, TA and their metabolites in the brain. Workers fed royal jelly had significantly larger brain levels of Tyr, DA, TA and the metabolites in the brains compared with those bees fed honey or sucrose (control). Treatment with Tyr also inhibited the behavior of workers outside of the hive and promoted ovarian development. These results suggest that there is a link between nutrition and the regulation of DA and TA in the brain to promote the production of reproductive workers in queenless honey bee colonies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. Honey bee drones maintain humoral immune competence throughout all life stages in the absence of vitellogenin production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gätschenberger, Heike; Gimple, Olaf; Tautz, Jürgen; Beier, Hildburg

    2012-04-15

    Drones are haploid male individuals whose major social function in honey bee colonies is to produce sperm and mate with a queen. In spite of their limited tasks, the vitality of drones is of utmost importance for the next generation. The immune competence of drones - as compared to worker bees - is largely unexplored. Hence, we studied humoral and cellular immune reactions of in vitro reared drone larvae and adult drones of different age upon artificial bacterial infection. Haemolymph samples were collected after aseptic and septic injury and subsequently employed for (1) the identification of immune-responsive peptides and/or proteins by qualitative proteomic analyses in combination with mass spectrometry and (2) the detection of antimicrobial activity by inhibition-zone assays. Drone larvae and adult drones responded with a strong humoral immune reaction upon bacterial challenge, as validated by the expression of small antimicrobial peptides. Young adult drones exhibited a broader spectrum of defence reactions than drone larvae. Distinct polypeptides including peptidoglycan recognition protein-S2 and lysozyme 2 were upregulated in immunized adult drones. Moreover, a pronounced nodulation reaction was observed in young drones upon bacterial challenge. Prophenoloxidase zymogen is present at an almost constant level in non-infected adult drones throughout the entire lifespan. All observed immune reactions in drones were expressed in the absence of significant amounts of vitellogenin. We conclude that drones - like worker bees - have the potential to activate multiple elements of the innate immune response.

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Differential gene expression underlying ovarian phenotype determination in honey bee, Apis mellifera L., caste development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lago, Denyse Cavalcante; Humann, Fernanda Carvalho; Barchuk, Angel Roberto; Abraham, Kuruvilla Joseph; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2016-12-01

    Adult honey bee queens and workers drastically differ in ovary size. This adult ovary phenotype difference becomes established during the final larval instar, when massive programmed cell death leads to the degeneration of 95-99% of the ovariole anlagen in workers. The higher juvenile hormone (JH) levels in queen larvae protect the ovaries against such degeneration. To gain insights into the molecular architecture underlying this divergence critical for adult caste fate and worker sterility, we performed a microarray analysis on fourth and early fifth instar queen and worker ovaries. For the fourth instar we found nine differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with log 2 FC > 1.0, but this number increased to 56 in early fifth-instar ovaries. We selected 15 DEGs for quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) analysis. Nine differed significantly by the variables caste and/or development. Interestingly, genes with enzyme functions were higher expressed in workers, while those related to transcription and signaling had higher transcript levels in queens. For the RT-qPCR confirmed genes we analyzed their response to JH. This revealed a significant up-regulation for two genes, a short chain dehydrogenase reductase (sdr) and a heat shock protein 90 (hsp90). Five other genes, including hsp60 and hexamerin 70b (hex70b), were significantly down-regulated by JH. The sdr gene had previously come up as differentially expressed in other transcriptome analyses on honey bee larvae and heat shock proteins are frequently involved in insect hormone responses, this making them interesting candidates for further functional assays. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Specific recognition of reproductive parasite workers by nest-entrance guards in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blacher, Pierre; Boreggio, Laurie; Leroy, Chloé; Devienne, Paul; Châline, Nicolas; Chameron, Stéphane

    2013-12-10

    The impact of social parasites on their hosts' fitness is a strong selective pressure that can lead to the evolution of adapted defence strategies. Guarding the nest to prevent the intrusion of parasites is a widespread response of host species. If absolute rejection of strangers provides the best protection against parasites, more fine-tuned strategies can prove more adaptive. Guarding is indeed costly and not all strangers constitute a real threat. That is particularly true for worker reproductive parasitism in social insects since only a fraction of non-nestmate visitors, the fertile ones, can readily engage in parasitic reproduction. Guards should thus be more restrictive towards fertile than sterile non-nestmate workers. We here tested this hypothesis by examining the reaction of nest-entrance guards towards nestmate and non-nestmate workers with varying fertility levels in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. Because social recognition in social insects mainly relies on cuticular lipids (CLs), chemical analysis was also conducted to examine whether workers' CLs could convey the relevant information upon which guards could base their decision. We thus aimed to determine whether an adapted defensive strategy to worker reproductive parasitism has evolved in B. terrestris colonies. Chemical analysis revealed that the cuticular chemical profiles of workers encode information about both their colony membership and their current fertility, therefore providing potential recognition cues for a suitable adjustment of the guards' defensive decisions. We found that guards were similarly tolerant towards sterile non-nestmate workers than towards nestmate workers. However, as predicted, guards responded more aggressively towards fertile non-nestmates. Our results show that B. terrestris guards discriminate non-nestmates that differ in their reproductive potential and respond more strongly to the individuals that are a greatest threat for the colony. Cuticular hydrocarbons are

  1. 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...

  2. The four hexamerin genes in the honey bee: structure, molecular evolution and function deduced from expression patterns in queens, workers and drones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Juliana R; Nunes, Francis M F; Cristino, Alexandre S; Simões, Zilá L P; Bitondi, Márcia M G

    2010-03-26

    Hexamerins are hemocyanin-derived proteins that have lost the ability to bind copper ions and transport oxygen; instead, they became storage proteins. The current study aimed to broaden our knowledge on the hexamerin genes found in the honey bee genome by exploring their structural characteristics, expression profiles, evolution, and functions in the life cycle of workers, drones and queens. The hexamerin genes of the honey bee (hex 70a, hex 70b, hex 70c and hex 110) diverge considerably in structure, so that the overall amino acid identity shared among their deduced protein subunits varies from 30 to 42%. Bioinformatics search for motifs in the respective upstream control regions (UCRs) revealed six overrepresented motifs including a potential binding site for Ultraspiracle (Usp), a target of juvenile hormone (JH). The expression of these genes was induced by topical application of JH on worker larvae. The four genes are highly transcribed by the larval fat body, although with significant differences in transcript levels, but only hex 110 and hex 70a are re-induced in the adult fat body in a caste- and sex-specific fashion, workers showing the highest expression. Transcripts for hex 110, hex 70a and hex70b were detected in developing ovaries and testes, and hex 110 was highly transcribed in the ovaries of egg-laying queens. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that HEX 110 is located at the most basal position among the holometabola hexamerins, and like HEX 70a and HEX 70c, it shares potential orthology relationship with hexamerins from other hymenopteran species. Striking differences were found in the structure and developmental expression of the four hexamerin genes in the honey bee. The presence of a potential binding site for Usp in the respective 5' UCRs, and the results of experiments on JH level manipulation in vivo support the hypothesis of regulation by JH. Transcript levels and patterns in the fat body and gonads suggest that, in addition to their primary

  3. Pattern recognition in bees : orientation discrimination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hateren, J.H. van; Srinivasan, M.V.; Wait, P.B.

    1990-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera, worker) were trained to discriminate between two random gratings oriented perpendicularly to each other. This task was quickly learned with vertical, horizontal, and oblique gratings. After being trained on perpendicularly-oriented random gratings, bees could discriminate

  4. Ingestion of Bt rice pollen does not reduce the survival or hypopharyngeal gland development of Apis mellifera adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanyuan; Dai, Pingli; Chen, Xiuping; Romeis, Jörg; Shi, Jianrong; Peng, Yufa; Li, Yunhe

    2017-05-01

    Because of its ecological and economic importance, the honey bee Apis mellifera is commonly used to assess the environmental risk of insect-resistant, genetically modified plants. In the present study, feeding-exposure experiments were used to determine whether pollen from transgenic rice harms A. mellifera worker bees. In 1 experiment, the survival and mean acinus diameter of hypopharyngeal glands of adult bees were similar when bees were fed on pollen from Bt rice lines or from a non-Bt rice line, but bee survival was significantly reduced when they received pollen that was mixed with potassium arsenate as a positive control. In a second experiment, bee survival and hypopharyngeal gland development were not reduced when adult bees were fed on non-Bt pollen and a sucrose solution supplemented with Cry2A at 400 µg/g, Cry1C at 50 µg/g, or bovine serum albumin (BSA) at 400 µg/g, but bee survival and hypopharyngeal gland development were reduced when the diet was supplemented with soybean trypsin inhibitor as a positive control. In both experiments, the uptake of Cry proteins by adult bees was confirmed. Overall, the results indicate that the planting of Bt rice lines expressing Cry2A or Cry1C protein poses a negligible risk to A. mellifera worker bees. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1243-1248. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Insights into the dynamics of hind leg development in honey bee (Apis mellifera L. queen and worker larvae - A morphology/differential gene expression analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Gonçalves Santos

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Phenotypic plasticity is a hallmark of the caste systems of social insects, expressed in their life history and morphological traits. These are best studied in bees. In their co-evolution with angiosperm plants, the females of corbiculate bees have acquired a specialized structure on their hind legs for collecting pollen. In the highly eusocial bees (Apini and Meliponini, this structure is however only present in workers and absent in queens. By means of histological sections and cell proliferation analysis we followed the developmental dynamics of the hind legs of queens and workers in the fourth and fifth larval instars. In parallel, we generated subtractive cDNA libraries for hind leg discs of queen and worker larvae by means of a Representational Difference Analysis (RDA. From the total of 135 unique sequences we selected 19 for RT-qPCR analysis, where six of these were confirmed as differing significantly in their expression between the two castes in the larval spinning stage. The development of complex structures such as the bees’ hind legs, requires diverse patterning mechanisms and signaling modules, as indicated by the set of differentially expressed genes related with cell adhesion and signaling pathways.

  8. Insights into the dynamics of hind leg development in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queen and worker larvae - A morphology/differential gene expression analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Carolina Gonçalves; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is a hallmark of the caste systems of social insects, expressed in their life history and morphological traits. These are best studied in bees. In their co-evolution with angiosperm plants, the females of corbiculate bees have acquired a specialized structure on their hind legs for collecting pollen. In the highly eusocial bees (Apini and Meliponini), this structure is however only present in workers and absent in queens. By means of histological sections and cell proliferation analysis we followed the developmental dynamics of the hind legs of queens and workers in the fourth and fifth larval instars. In parallel, we generated subtractive cDNA libraries for hind leg discs of queen and worker larvae by means of a Representational Difference Analysis (RDA). From the total of 135 unique sequences we selected 19 for RT-qPCR analysis, where six of these were confirmed as differing significantly in their expression between the two castes in the larval spinning stage. The development of complex structures such as the bees’ hind legs, requires diverse patterning mechanisms and signaling modules, as indicated by the set of differentially expressed genes related with cell adhesion and signaling pathways. PMID:26500430

  9. Differential antennal proteome comparison of adult honeybee drone, worker and queen (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Yu; Song, Feifei; Zhang, Lan; Aleku, Dereje Woltedji; Han, Bin; Feng, Mao; Li, Jianke

    2012-01-04

    To understand the olfactory mechanism of honeybee antennae in detecting specific volatile compounds in the atmosphere, antennal proteome differences of drone, worker and queen were compared using 2-DE, mass spectrometry and bioinformatics. Therefore, 107 proteins were altered their expressions in the antennae of drone, worker and queen bees. There were 54, 21 and 32 up-regulated proteins in the antennae of drone, worker and queen, respectively. Proteins upregulated in the drone antennae were involved in fatty acid metabolism, antioxidation, carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, protein folding and cytoskeleton. Proteins upregulated in the antennae of worker and queen bees were related to carbohydrate metabolism and energy production while molecular transporters were upregulated in the queen antennae. Our results explain the role played by the antennae of drone is to aid in perceiving the queen sexual pheromones, in the worker antennae to assist for food search and social communication and in the queen antennae to help pheromone communication with the worker and the drone during the mating flight. This first proteomic study significantly extends our understanding of honeybee olfactory activities and the possible mechanisms played by the antennae in response to various environmental, social, biological and biochemical signals. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Physiological variation as a mechanism for developmental caste-biasing in a facultatively eusocial sweat bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapheim, Karen M; Smith, Adam R; Ihle, Kate E; Amdam, Gro V; Nonacs, Peter; Wcislo, William T

    2012-04-07

    Social castes of eusocial insects may have arisen through an evolutionary modification of an ancestral reproductive ground plan, such that some adults emerge from development physiologically primed to specialize on reproduction (queens) and others on maternal care expressed as allo-maternal behaviour (workers). This hypothesis predicts that variation in reproductive physiology should emerge from ontogeny and underlie division of labour. To test these predictions, we identified physiological links to division of labour in a facultatively eusocial sweat bee, Megalopta genalis. Queens are larger, have larger ovaries and have higher vitellogenin titres than workers. We then compared queens and workers with their solitary counterparts-solitary reproductive females and dispersing nest foundresses-to investigate physiological variation as a factor in caste evolution. Within dyads, body size and ovary development were the best predictors of behavioural class. Queens and dispersers are larger, with larger ovaries than their solitary counterparts. Finally, we raised bees in social isolation to investigate the influence of ontogeny on physiological variation. Body size and ovary development among isolated females were highly variable, and linked to differences in vitellogenin titres. As these are key physiological predictors of social caste, our results provide evidence for developmental caste-biasing in a facultatively eusocial bee.

  12. Stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Meliponini feeding on stinkhorn spores (Fungi, Phallales: robbery or dispersal?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcio L. Oliveira

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available Records about stingless bee-fungi interaction are very rare. In Brazilian Amazonia, workers of Trigona crassipes (Fabricius, 1793 and Trigona fulviventris Guérin, 1835 visiting two stinkhorn species, Dictyophora sp. and Phallus sp., respectively, were observed. The workers licked the fungi gleba, a mucilaginous mass of spores covering the pileum. Neither gleba residue nor spores were found on the body surface of these bee workers. These observations indicate that these bee species include spores as a complement in their diet. On the other hand, they also suggest that these stingless bees can, at times, facilitale spore dispersal, in case intact spores are eliminated with the feces.

  13. Gustatory perception and fat body energy metabolism are jointly affected by vitellogenin and juvenile hormone in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

    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 endocrine physiology including the endocrine factors vitellogenin (Vg) and juvenile hormone (JH). However, the understanding of connections among social behavior, energy metabolism, and endocrine factors is incomplete. We used RNA interference (RNAi) to perturb the gene network of Vg and JH to learn more about these connections through effects on gustation, gene transcripts, and physiology. The RNAi perturbation was achieved by single and double knockdown of the genes ultraspiracle (usp) and vg, which encode a putative JH receptor and Vg, respectively. The double knockdown enhanced gustatory perception and elevated hemolymph glucose, trehalose, and JH. We also observed transcriptional responses in insulin like peptide 1 (ilp1), the adipokinetic hormone receptor (AKHR), and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG, or "foraging gene" Amfor). Our study demonstrates that the Vg-JH regulatory module controls changes in carbohydrate metabolism, but not lipid metabolism, when worker bees shift from nursing to foraging. The module is also placed upstream of ilp1, AKHR, and PKG for the first time. As insulin, adipokinetic hormone (AKH), and PKG pathways influence metabolism and gustation in many animals, we propose that honey bees have conserved pathways in carbohydrate metabolism and conserved connections between energy metabolism and gustatory perception. Thus, perhaps the bee can make general contributions to the understanding of food-related behavior and metabolic disorders.

  14. Gustatory perception and fat body energy metabolism are jointly affected by vitellogenin and juvenile hormone in honey bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Wang

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available 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 endocrine physiology including the endocrine factors vitellogenin (Vg and juvenile hormone (JH. However, the understanding of connections among social behavior, energy metabolism, and endocrine factors is incomplete. We used RNA interference (RNAi to perturb the gene network of Vg and JH to learn more about these connections through effects on gustation, gene transcripts, and physiology. The RNAi perturbation was achieved by single and double knockdown of the genes ultraspiracle (usp and vg, which encode a putative JH receptor and Vg, respectively. The double knockdown enhanced gustatory perception and elevated hemolymph glucose, trehalose, and JH. We also observed transcriptional responses in insulin like peptide 1 (ilp1, the adipokinetic hormone receptor (AKHR, and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG, or "foraging gene" Amfor. Our study demonstrates that the Vg-JH regulatory module controls changes in carbohydrate metabolism, but not lipid metabolism, when worker bees shift from nursing to foraging. The module is also placed upstream of ilp1, AKHR, and PKG for the first time. As insulin, adipokinetic hormone (AKH, and PKG pathways influence metabolism and gustation in many animals, we propose that honey bees have conserved pathways in carbohydrate metabolism and conserved connections between energy metabolism and gustatory perception. Thus, perhaps the bee can make general contributions to the understanding of food-related behavior and metabolic disorders.

  15. Global information sampling in the honey bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Brian R.

    2008-06-01

    Central to the question of task allocation in social insects is how workers acquire information. Patrolling is a curious behavior in which bees meander over the face of the comb inspecting cells. Several authors have suggested it allows bees to collect global information, but this has never been formally evaluated. This study explores this hypothesis by answering three questions. First, do bees gather information in a consistent manner as they patrol? Second, do they move far enough to get a sense of task demand in distant areas of the nest? And third, is patrolling a commonly performed task? Focal animal observations were used to address the first two predictions, while a scan sampling study was used to address the third. The results were affirmative for each question. While patrolling, workers collected information by performing periodic clusters of cell inspections. Patrolling bees not only traveled far enough to frequently change work zone; they often visited every part of the nest. Finally, the majority of the bees in the middle-age caste were shown to move throughout the nest over the course of a few hours in a manner suggestive of patrolling. Global information collection is contrary to much current theory, which assumes that workers respond to local information only. This study thus highlights the nonmutually exclusive nature of various information collection regimes in social insects.

  16. The four hexamerin genes in the honey bee: structure, molecular evolution and function deduced from expression patterns in queens, workers and drones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martins Juliana R

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hexamerins are hemocyanin-derived proteins that have lost the ability to bind copper ions and transport oxygen; instead, they became storage proteins. The current study aimed to broaden our knowledge on the hexamerin genes found in the honey bee genome by exploring their structural characteristics, expression profiles, evolution, and functions in the life cycle of workers, drones and queens. Results The hexamerin genes of the honey bee (hex 70a, hex 70b, hex 70c and hex 110 diverge considerably in structure, so that the overall amino acid identity shared among their deduced protein subunits varies from 30 to 42%. Bioinformatics search for motifs in the respective upstream control regions (UCRs revealed six overrepresented motifs including a potential binding site for Ultraspiracle (Usp, a target of juvenile hormone (JH. The expression of these genes was induced by topical application of JH on worker larvae. The four genes are highly transcribed by the larval fat body, although with significant differences in transcript levels, but only hex 110 and hex 70a are re-induced in the adult fat body in a caste- and sex-specific fashion, workers showing the highest expression. Transcripts for hex 110, hex 70a and hex70b were detected in developing ovaries and testes, and hex 110 was highly transcribed in the ovaries of egg-laying queens. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that HEX 110 is located at the most basal position among the holometabola hexamerins, and like HEX 70a and HEX 70c, it shares potential orthology relationship with hexamerins from other hymenopteran species. Conclusions Striking differences were found in the structure and developmental expression of the four hexamerin genes in the honey bee. The presence of a potential binding site for Usp in the respective 5' UCRs, and the results of experiments on JH level manipulation in vivo support the hypothesis of regulation by JH. Transcript levels and patterns in the fat body

  17. The four hexamerin genes in the honey bee: structure, molecular evolution and function deduced from expression patterns in queens, workers and drones

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Hexamerins are hemocyanin-derived proteins that have lost the ability to bind copper ions and transport oxygen; instead, they became storage proteins. The current study aimed to broaden our knowledge on the hexamerin genes found in the honey bee genome by exploring their structural characteristics, expression profiles, evolution, and functions in the life cycle of workers, drones and queens. Results The hexamerin genes of the honey bee (hex 70a, hex 70b, hex 70c and hex 110) diverge considerably in structure, so that the overall amino acid identity shared among their deduced protein subunits varies from 30 to 42%. Bioinformatics search for motifs in the respective upstream control regions (UCRs) revealed six overrepresented motifs including a potential binding site for Ultraspiracle (Usp), a target of juvenile hormone (JH). The expression of these genes was induced by topical application of JH on worker larvae. The four genes are highly transcribed by the larval fat body, although with significant differences in transcript levels, but only hex 110 and hex 70a are re-induced in the adult fat body in a caste- and sex-specific fashion, workers showing the highest expression. Transcripts for hex 110, hex 70a and hex70b were detected in developing ovaries and testes, and hex 110 was highly transcribed in the ovaries of egg-laying queens. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that HEX 110 is located at the most basal position among the holometabola hexamerins, and like HEX 70a and HEX 70c, it shares potential orthology relationship with hexamerins from other hymenopteran species. Conclusions Striking differences were found in the structure and developmental expression of the four hexamerin genes in the honey bee. The presence of a potential binding site for Usp in the respective 5' UCRs, and the results of experiments on JH level manipulation in vivo support the hypothesis of regulation by JH. Transcript levels and patterns in the fat body and gonads suggest that

  18. The transcription factor Krüppel homolog 1 is linked to hormone mediated social organization in bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Yongliang

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Regulation of worker behavior by dominant queens or workers is a hallmark of insect societies, but the underlying molecular mechanisms and their evolutionary conservation are not well understood. Honey bee and bumble bee colonies consist of a single reproductive queen and facultatively sterile workers. The queens' influences on the workers are mediated largely via inhibition of juvenile hormone titers, which affect division of labor in honey bees and worker reproduction in bumble bees. Studies in honey bees identified a transcription factor, Krüppel-homolog 1 (Kr-h1, whose expression in worker brains is significantly downregulated in the presence of a queen or queen pheromone and higher in forager bees, making this gene an ideal candidate for examining the evolutionary conservation of socially regulated pathways in Hymenoptera. Results In contrast to honey bees, bumble bees foragers do not have higher Kr-h1 levels relative to nurses: in one of three colonies levels were similar in nurses and foragers, and in two colonies levels were higher in nurses. Similarly to honey bees, brain Kr-h1 levels were significantly downregulated in the presence versus absence of a queen. Furthermore, in small queenless groups, Kr-h1 levels were downregulated in subordinate workers with undeveloped ovaries relative to dominant individuals with active ovaries. Brain Kr-h1 levels were upregulated by juvenile hormone treatment relative to a vehicle control. Finally, phylogenetic analysis indicates that KR-H1 orthologs are presence across insect orders. Though this protein is highly conserved between honey bees and bumble bees, there are significant differences between orthologs of insects from different orders. Conclusions Our results suggest that Kr-h1 is associated with juvenile hormone mediated regulation of reproduction in bumble bees. The expression of this transcription factor is inhibited by the queen and associated with endocrine mediated

  19. Characters that differ between diploid and haploid honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Matthias; Trenzcek, Tina; Fahrenhorst, Hartmut; Engels, Wolf

    2005-12-30

    Diploid males have long been considered a curiosity contradictory to the haplo-diploid mode of sex determination in the Hymenoptera. In Apis mellifera, 'false' diploid male larvae are eliminated by worker cannibalism immediately after hatching. A 'cannibalism substance' produced by diploid drone larvae to induce worker-assisted suicide has been hypothesized, but it has never been detected. Diploid drones are only removed some hours after hatching. Older larvae are evidently not regarded as 'false males' and instead are regularly nursed by the brood-attending worker bees. As the pheromonal cues presumably are located on the surface of newly hatched bee larvae, we extracted the cuticular secretions and analyzed their chemical composition by gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses. Larvae were sexed and then reared in vitro for up to three days. The GC-MS pattern that was obtained, with alkanes as the major compounds, was compared between diploid and haploid drone larvae. We also examined some physical parameters of adult drones. There was no difference between diploid and haploid males in their weight at the day of emergence. The diploid adult drones had fewer wing hooks and smaller testes. The sperm DNA content was 0.30 and 0.15 pg per nucleus, giving an exact 2:1 ratio for the gametocytes of diploid and haploid drones, respectively. Vitellogenin was found in the hemolymph of both types of imaginal drones at 5 to 6 days, with a significantly lower titer in the diploids.

  20. Pollination potential of male bumble bees (Bombus impatiens: movement patterns and pollen-transfer efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Thomson

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Many plant species rely on female bumble bee workers for pollen transfer. However, male bumble bees, which differ both behaviourally and morphologically from female workers, also visit many species of flowering plants and may transfer pollen differently. Males can outnumber workers on some plants, particularly those that flower late in the season. In laboratory experiments, we compared the movement patterns of male bees and female workers on an artificial flower array. We also compared the pollen transfer efficiency of males and workers foraging on Brassica rapa flowers. Males travelled between patches of flowers more often than workers, which may be an effective method for reducing geitonogamy in plants. Males also had lower foraging rates, longer flower handling time, and transferred more pollen from one B. rapa flower to the next than workers did. These caste-based differences in pollinating behaviour suggest that, under certain circumstances and on a per-visit basis, male bumble bees may be better pollen vectors than female foragers. Furthermore, our results emphasize the need to avoid species-wide generalizations of pollinator effectiveness.

  1. 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.

  2. The sound and the fury--bees hiss when expecting danger.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees are important model systems for the investigation of learning and memory and for a better understanding of the neuronal basics of brain function. Honey bees also possess a rich repertoire of tones and sounds, from queen piping and quacking to worker hissing and buzzing. In this study, we tested whether the worker bees' sounds can be used as a measure of learning. We therefore conditioned honey bees aversively to odours in a walking arena and recorded both their sound production and their movement. Bees were presented with two odours, one of which was paired with an electric shock. Initially, the bees did not produce any sound upon odour presentation, but responded to the electric shock with a strong hissing response. After learning, many bees hissed at the presentation of the learned odour, while fewer bees hissed upon presentation of another odour. We also found that hissing and movement away from the conditioned odour are independent behaviours that can co-occur but do not necessarily do so. Our data suggest that hissing can be used as a readout for learning after olfactory conditioning, but that there are large individual differences between bees concerning their hissing reaction. The basis for this variability and the possible ecological relevance of the bees' hissing remain to be investigated.

  3. In-depth Proteomics Characterization of Embryogenesis of the Honey Bee Worker (Apis mellifera ligustica) *

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Yu; Feng, Mao; Han, Bin; Lu, Xiaoshan; Ramadan, Haitham; Li, Jianke

    2014-01-01

    Identifying proteome changes of honey bee embryogenesis is of prime importance for unraveling the molecular mechanisms that they underlie. However, many proteomic changes during the embryonic period are not well characterized. We analyzed the proteomic alterations over the complete time course of honey bee worker embryogenesis at 24, 48, and 72 h of age, using mass spectrometry-based proteomics, label-free quantitation, and bioinformatics. Of the 1460 proteins identified the embryo of all three ages, the core proteome (proteins shared by the embryos of all three ages, accounting for 40%) was mainly involved in protein synthesis, metabolic energy, development, and molecular transporter, which indicates their centrality in driving embryogenesis. However, embryos at different developmental stages have their own specific proteome and pathway signatures to coordinate and modulate developmental events. The young embryos (proteins related to nutrition storage and nucleic acid metabolism may correlate with the cell proliferation occurring at this stage. The middle aged embryos (24–48 h) enhanced expression of proteins associated with cell cycle control, transporters, antioxidant activity, and the cytoskeleton suggest their roles to support rudimentary organogenesis. Among these proteins, the biological pathways of aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis, β-alanine metabolism, and protein export are intensively activated in the embryos of middle age. The old embryos (48–72 h) elevated expression of proteins implicated in fatty acid metabolism and morphogenesis indicate their functionality for the formation and development of organs and dorsal closure, in which the biological pathways of fatty acid metabolism and RNA transport are highly activated. These findings add novel understanding to the molecular details of honey bee embryogenesis, in which the programmed activation of the proteome matches with the physiological transition observed during embryogenesis. The identified

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Physiological and Behavioral Changes in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Induced by Nosema ceranae Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goblirsch, Mike; Huang, Zachary Y.; Spivak, Marla

    2013-01-01

    Persistent exposure to mite pests, poor nutrition, pesticides, and pathogens threaten honey bee survival. In healthy colonies, the interaction of the yolk precursor protein, vitellogenin (Vg), and endocrine factor, juvenile hormone (JH), functions as a pacemaker driving the sequence of behaviors that workers perform throughout their lives. Young bees perform nursing duties within the hive and have high Vg and low JH; as older bees transition to foraging, this trend reverses. Pathogens and parasites can alter this regulatory network. For example, infection with the microsporidian, Nosema apis, has been shown to advance behavioral maturation in workers. We investigated the effects of infection with a recent honey bee pathogen on physiological factors underlying the division of labor in workers. Bees infected with N. ceranae were nearly twice as likely to engage in precocious foraging and lived 9 days less, on average, compared to controls. We also show that Vg transcript was low, while JH titer spiked, in infected nurse-aged bees in cages. This pattern of expression is atypical and the reverse of what would be expected for healthy, non-infected bees. Disruption of the basic underpinnings of temporal polyethism due to infection may be a contributing factor to recent high colony mortality, as workers may lose flexibility in their response to colony demands. PMID:23483987

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Diverse microbiota identified in whole intact nest chambers of the red mason bee Osmia bicornis (Linnaeus 1758.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Keller

    Full Text Available Microbial activity is known to have profound impact on bee ecology and physiology, both by beneficial and pathogenic effects. Most information about such associations is available for colony-building organisms, and especially the honey bee. There, active manipulations through worker bees result in a restricted diversity of microbes present within the colony environment. Microbial diversity in solitary bee nests remains unstudied, although their larvae face a very different situation compared with social bees by growing up in isolated compartments. Here, we assessed the microbiota present in nests and pre-adults of Osmia bicornis, the red mason bee, by culture-independent pyrosequencing. We found high bacterial diversity not comparable with honey bee colonies. We identified a variety of bacteria potentially with positive or negative interactions for bee larvae. However, most of the other diverse bacteria present in the nests seem to originate from environmental sources through incorporated nest building material and stored pollen. This diversity of microorganisms may cause severe larval mortality and require specific physiological or symbiotic adaptations against microbial threats. They may however also profit from such a diverse environment through gain of mutualistic partners. We conclude that further studies of microbiota interaction in solitary bees will improve the understanding of fitness components and populations dynamics.

  11. Diverse microbiota identified in whole intact nest chambers of the red mason bee Osmia bicornis (Linnaeus 1758).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Alexander; Grimmer, Gudrun; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2013-01-01

    Microbial activity is known to have profound impact on bee ecology and physiology, both by beneficial and pathogenic effects. Most information about such associations is available for colony-building organisms, and especially the honey bee. There, active manipulations through worker bees result in a restricted diversity of microbes present within the colony environment. Microbial diversity in solitary bee nests remains unstudied, although their larvae face a very different situation compared with social bees by growing up in isolated compartments. Here, we assessed the microbiota present in nests and pre-adults of Osmia bicornis, the red mason bee, by culture-independent pyrosequencing. We found high bacterial diversity not comparable with honey bee colonies. We identified a variety of bacteria potentially with positive or negative interactions for bee larvae. However, most of the other diverse bacteria present in the nests seem to originate from environmental sources through incorporated nest building material and stored pollen. This diversity of microorganisms may cause severe larval mortality and require specific physiological or symbiotic adaptations against microbial threats. They may however also profit from such a diverse environment through gain of mutualistic partners. We conclude that further studies of microbiota interaction in solitary bees will improve the understanding of fitness components and populations dynamics.

  12. Patterns of viral infection in honey bee queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Francis, Roy Mathew; Kryger, Per; Nielsen, Steen Lykke

    2013-01-01

    by two real-time PCRs: one for the presence of deformed wing virus (DWV), and one that would detect sequences of acute bee-paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus (AKI complex). Worker bees accompanying the queen were also analysed. The queens could be divided into three......The well-being of a colony and replenishment of the workers depends on a healthy queen. Diseases in queens are seldom reported, and our knowledge on viral infection in queens is limited. In this study, 86 honey bee queens were collected from beekeepers in Denmark. All queens were tested separately...... groups based on the level of infection in their head, thorax, ovary, intestines and spermatheca. Four queens exhibited egg-laying deficiency, but visually all queens appeared healthy. Viral infection was generally at a low level in terms of AKI copy numbers, with 134/430 tissues (31 %) showing...

  13. 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.

  14. A Strong Immune Response in Young Adult Honeybees Masks Their Increased Susceptibility to Infection Compared to Older Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, James C.; Ryabov, Eugene V.; Prince, Gill; Mead, Andrew; Zhang, Cunjin; Baxter, Laura A.; Pell, Judith K.; Osborne, Juliet L.; Chandler, Dave

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees, Apis mellifera, show age-related division of labor in which young adults perform maintenance (“housekeeping”) tasks inside the colony before switching to outside foraging at approximately 23 days old. Disease resistance is an important feature of honeybee biology, but little is known about the interaction of pathogens and age-related division of labor. We tested a hypothesis that older forager bees and younger “house” bees differ in susceptibility to infection. We coupled an infection bioassay with a functional analysis of gene expression in individual bees using a whole genome microarray. Forager bees treated with the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae s.l. survived for significantly longer than house bees. This was concomitant with substantial differences in gene expression including genes associated with immune function. In house bees, infection was associated with differential expression of 35 candidate immune genes contrasted with differential expression of only two candidate immune genes in forager bees. For control bees (i.e. not treated with M. anisopliae) the development from the house to the forager stage was associated with differential expression of 49 candidate immune genes, including up-regulation of the antimicrobial peptide gene abaecin, plus major components of the Toll pathway, serine proteases, and serpins. We infer that reduced pathogen susceptibility in forager bees was associated with age-related activation of specific immune system pathways. Our findings contrast with the view that the immunocompetence in social insects declines with the onset of foraging as a result of a trade-off in the allocation of resources for foraging. The up-regulation of immune-related genes in young adult bees in response to M. anisopliae infection was an indicator of disease susceptibility; this also challenges previous research in social insects, in which an elevated immune status has been used as a marker of increased disease

  15. Ecological Succession in the Honey Bee Gut: Shift in Lactobacillus Strain Dominance During Early Adult Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Kirk E; Rodrigues, Pedro A P; Mott, Brendon M; Maes, Patrick; Corby-Harris, Vanessa

    2016-05-01

    In many vertebrates, social interactions and nutrition can affect the colonization of gut symbionts across generations. In the highly social honey bee, it is unknown to what extent the hive environment and older worker individuals contribute to the generational transmission of core gut bacteria. We used high-throughput sequencing to investigate the effect of nest materials and social contact on the colonization and succession of core hindgut microbiota in workers. With only brief exposure to hive materials following natural eclosion, gut bacterial communities at 3 and 7 days contained phylotypes typically found in the guts of mature adults regardless of treatment. Continuous exposure to nest materials or direct social interactions with mature adults did not affect the diversity or abundance of gut bacterial communities at the scale examined. Similarly, a common pollen supplement fed by beekeepers during pollen dearth had no effect. A consideration of unique OTUs revealed extensive microbial succession independent of treatment. The dominant Lactobacillus strain at 3 days was largely replaced by a different strain at day 7, revealing the colonization signature of a pioneer species. Similar but less pronounced patterns were evident in less abundant OTU's, many of which may influence community succession via alteration of the gut environment. Our results indicate that the process of bacterial community colonization in the hindgut is resilient to changes in the nutritional, hive, and social environment. Greater taxonomic resolution is needed to accurately resolve questions of ecological succession and typical proportional variation within and between core members of the gut bacterial community.

  16. The sound and the fury--bees hiss when expecting danger.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henja-Niniane Wehmann

    Full Text Available Honey bees are important model systems for the investigation of learning and memory and for a better understanding of the neuronal basics of brain function. Honey bees also possess a rich repertoire of tones and sounds, from queen piping and quacking to worker hissing and buzzing. In this study, we tested whether the worker bees' sounds can be used as a measure of learning. We therefore conditioned honey bees aversively to odours in a walking arena and recorded both their sound production and their movement. Bees were presented with two odours, one of which was paired with an electric shock. Initially, the bees did not produce any sound upon odour presentation, but responded to the electric shock with a strong hissing response. After learning, many bees hissed at the presentation of the learned odour, while fewer bees hissed upon presentation of another odour. We also found that hissing and movement away from the conditioned odour are independent behaviours that can co-occur but do not necessarily do so. Our data suggest that hissing can be used as a readout for learning after olfactory conditioning, but that there are large individual differences between bees concerning their hissing reaction. The basis for this variability and the possible ecological relevance of the bees' hissing remain to be investigated.

  17. 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.

  18. Differentially expressed regulatory genes in honey bee caste development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepperle, C.; Hartfelder, K.

    2001-03-01

    In the honey bee, an eminently fertile queen with up to 200 ovarioles per ovary monopolizes colony level reproduction. In contrast, worker bees have only few ovarioles and are essentially sterile. This phenotype divergence is a result of caste-specifically modulated juvenile hormone and ecdysteroid titers in larval development. In this study we employed a differential-display reverse transcription (DDRT)-PCR protocol to detect ecdysteroid-regulated gene expression during a critical phase of caste development. We identified a Ftz-F1 homolog and a Cut-like transcript. Ftz-F1 could be a putative element of the metamorphic ecdysone response cascade of bees, whereas Cut-like proteins are described as transcription factors involved in maintaining cellular differentiation states. The downregulation of both factors can be interpreted as steps in the metamorphic degradation of ovarioles in worker-bee ovaries.

  19. 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.

  20. Physiological and behavioral changes in honey bees (Apis mellifera induced by Nosema ceranae infection.

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    Mike Goblirsch

    Full Text Available Persistent exposure to mite pests, poor nutrition, pesticides, and pathogens threaten honey bee survival. In healthy colonies, the interaction of the yolk precursor protein, vitellogenin (Vg, and endocrine factor, juvenile hormone (JH, functions as a pacemaker driving the sequence of behaviors that workers perform throughout their lives. Young bees perform nursing duties within the hive and have high Vg and low JH; as older bees transition to foraging, this trend reverses. Pathogens and parasites can alter this regulatory network. For example, infection with the microsporidian, Nosema apis, has been shown to advance behavioral maturation in workers. We investigated the effects of infection with a recent honey bee pathogen on physiological factors underlying the division of labor in workers. Bees infected with N. ceranae were nearly twice as likely to engage in precocious foraging and lived 9 days less, on average, compared to controls. We also show that Vg transcript was low, while JH titer spiked, in infected nurse-aged bees in cages. This pattern of expression is atypical and the reverse of what would be expected for healthy, non-infected bees. Disruption of the basic underpinnings of temporal polyethism due to infection may be a contributing factor to recent high colony mortality, as workers may lose flexibility in their response to colony demands.

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

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    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Correlation between mandibular gland secretion and cuticular hydrocarbons in the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Landim, C; Ferreira-Caliman, M J; Gracioli-Vitti, L F; Zucchi, R

    2012-04-19

    We investigated whether Melipona quadrifasciata worker mandibular gland secretions contribute directly to their cuticular hydrocarbon profile. The mandibular gland secretion composition and cuticular surface compounds of newly emerged worker bees, nurse bees, and foragers were determined by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry and compared. Both the mandibular gland secretions and the cuticular surface compounds of all worker stages were found to be composed almost exclusively of hydrocarbons. Although the relative proportion of hydrocarbons from the cuticular surface and gland secretion was statistically different, there was a high similarity in the qualitative composition between these structures in all groups of bees.

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

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    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.

  5. Digestive and regenerative cells in the midgut of haploid and diploid males of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides (Hymenoptera: Apidae

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    Kenner M. Fernandes

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available In eusocial bees, workers and queens are diploid (2n, whereas males are haploid (n. However, in some species, including the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides Lepeletier, 1836, 2n males arise from fertilized eggs resulting from the crossing between a queen and her brother. In the present study, we provide a comparative analysis of the digestive and regenerative cells in n and 2n pupae and adult males of M. quadrifasciata anthidioides. In n and 2n pupae and adult males, the number of regenerative cells/nest was similar. In n and 2n pupae, the mean number of digestive cells/midgut area was 2076 ± 0.60, whereas in adults it was 1234 ± 1.42 digestive cells/midgut area. The nuclear area of the digestive cells was also similar in both n and 2n adult males (~154 µm² and smaller in pupae (~91 µm²; this variation might be a result of DNA amplification in digestive cells during bee development. The results from our current study provide further understanding of the morphological and physiological aspects of the digestive tract of bees and show that the ploidy difference between n and 2n male stages does not affect the number of digestive and regenerative cells in the midgut of M. quadrifasciata anthidioides.

  6. 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

  7. In-depth proteomics characterization of embryogenesis of the honey bee worker (Apis mellifera ligustica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Yu; Feng, Mao; Han, Bin; Lu, Xiaoshan; Ramadan, Haitham; Li, Jianke

    2014-09-01

    Identifying proteome changes of honey bee embryogenesis is of prime importance for unraveling the molecular mechanisms that they underlie. However, many proteomic changes during the embryonic period are not well characterized. We analyzed the proteomic alterations over the complete time course of honey bee worker embryogenesis at 24, 48, and 72 h of age, using mass spectrometry-based proteomics, label-free quantitation, and bioinformatics. Of the 1460 proteins identified the embryo of all three ages, the core proteome (proteins shared by the embryos of all three ages, accounting for 40%) was mainly involved in protein synthesis, metabolic energy, development, and molecular transporter, which indicates their centrality in driving embryogenesis. However, embryos at different developmental stages have their own specific proteome and pathway signatures to coordinate and modulate developmental events. The young embryos (proteins related to nutrition storage and nucleic acid metabolism may correlate with the cell proliferation occurring at this stage. The middle aged embryos (24-48 h) enhanced expression of proteins associated with cell cycle control, transporters, antioxidant activity, and the cytoskeleton suggest their roles to support rudimentary organogenesis. Among these proteins, the biological pathways of aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis, β-alanine metabolism, and protein export are intensively activated in the embryos of middle age. The old embryos (48-72 h) elevated expression of proteins implicated in fatty acid metabolism and morphogenesis indicate their functionality for the formation and development of organs and dorsal closure, in which the biological pathways of fatty acid metabolism and RNA transport are highly activated. These findings add novel understanding to the molecular details of honey bee embryogenesis, in which the programmed activation of the proteome matches with the physiological transition observed during embryogenesis. The identified biological

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Larval exposure to field-realistic concentrations of clothianidin has no effect on development rate, over-winter survival or adult metabolic rate in a solitary bee, Osmia bicornis

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    Elizabeth Nicholls

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available There is widespread concern regarding the effects of agro-chemical exposure on bee health, of which neonicotinoids, systemic insecticides detected in the pollen and nectar of both crops and wildflowers, have been the most strongly debated. The majority of studies examining the effect of neonicotinoids on bees have focussed on social species, namely honey bees and bumble bees. However, most bee species are solitary, their life histories differing considerably from these social species, and thus it is possible that their susceptibility to pesticides may be quite different. Studies that have included solitary bees have produced mixed results regarding the impact of neonicotinoid exposure on survival and reproductive success. While the majority of studies have focused on the effects of adult exposure, bees are also likely to be exposed as larvae via the consumption of contaminated pollen. Here we examined the effect of exposure of Osmia bicornis larvae to a range of field-realistic concentrations (0–10 ppb of the neonicotinoid clothianidin, observing no effect on larval development time, overwintering survival or adult weight. Flow-through respirometry was used to test for latent effects of larval exposure on adult physiological function. We observed differences between male and female bees in the propensity to engage in discontinuous gas exchange; however, no effect of larval clothianidin exposure was observed. Our results suggest that previously reported adverse effects of neonicotinoids on O. bicornis are most likely mediated by impacts on adults.

  11. Larval exposure to field-realistic concentrations of clothianidin has no effect on development rate, over-winter survival or adult metabolic rate in a solitary bee, Osmia bicornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholls, Elizabeth; Fowler, Robert; Niven, Jeremy E; Gilbert, James D; Goulson, Dave

    2017-01-01

    There is widespread concern regarding the effects of agro-chemical exposure on bee health, of which neonicotinoids, systemic insecticides detected in the pollen and nectar of both crops and wildflowers, have been the most strongly debated. The majority of studies examining the effect of neonicotinoids on bees have focussed on social species, namely honey bees and bumble bees. However, most bee species are solitary, their life histories differing considerably from these social species, and thus it is possible that their susceptibility to pesticides may be quite different. Studies that have included solitary bees have produced mixed results regarding the impact of neonicotinoid exposure on survival and reproductive success. While the majority of studies have focused on the effects of adult exposure, bees are also likely to be exposed as larvae via the consumption of contaminated pollen. Here we examined the effect of exposure of Osmia bicornis larvae to a range of field-realistic concentrations (0-10 ppb) of the neonicotinoid clothianidin, observing no effect on larval development time, overwintering survival or adult weight. Flow-through respirometry was used to test for latent effects of larval exposure on adult physiological function. We observed differences between male and female bees in the propensity to engage in discontinuous gas exchange; however, no effect of larval clothianidin exposure was observed. Our results suggest that previously reported adverse effects of neonicotinoids on O. bicornis are most likely mediated by impacts on adults.

  12. Aging and body size in solitary bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solitary bees are important pollinators of crops and non-domestic plants. Osmia lignaria is a native, commercially-reared solitary bee used to maximize pollination in orchard crops. In solitary bees, adult body size is extremely variable depending on the nutritional resources available to the develo...

  13. 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.

  14. The Sound and the Fury—Bees Hiss when Expecting Danger

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galizia, C. Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees are important model systems for the investigation of learning and memory and for a better understanding of the neuronal basics of brain function. Honey bees also possess a rich repertoire of tones and sounds, from queen piping and quacking to worker hissing and buzzing. In this study, we tested whether the worker bees’ sounds can be used as a measure of learning. We therefore conditioned honey bees aversively to odours in a walking arena and recorded both their sound production and their movement. Bees were presented with two odours, one of which was paired with an electric shock. Initially, the bees did not produce any sound upon odour presentation, but responded to the electric shock with a strong hissing response. After learning, many bees hissed at the presentation of the learned odour, while fewer bees hissed upon presentation of another odour. We also found that hissing and movement away from the conditioned odour are independent behaviours that can co-occur but do not necessarily do so. Our data suggest that hissing can be used as a readout for learning after olfactory conditioning, but that there are large individual differences between bees concerning their hissing reaction. The basis for this variability and the possible ecological relevance of the bees’ hissing remain to be investigated. PMID:25747702

  15. Parasitized honey bees are less likely to forage and carry less pollen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lach, Lori; Kratz, Madlen; Baer, Boris

    2015-09-01

    Research into loss of pollination capacity has focused primarily on documenting pollinator declines and their causes with comparatively little attention paid to how stressors may affect pollinating behavior of surviving pollinators. The European honey bee, Apis mellifera is one of the world's most important generalist pollinators, and Nosema apis is a widespread microsporidian gut parasite of adult A. mellifera. We individually fed 960 newly eclosed A. mellifera workers either a sucrose solution or 400 N. apis spores in a sucrose solution and tagged them with a unique radio frequency identification (RFID) tag to monitor their foraging behavior. We found spore-fed bees were less likely to forage than those fed sugar only. Those that did forage started foraging when they were older and stopped foraging when they were younger than bees fed sugar only. However, inoculated and non-inoculated bees did not significantly differ in the number of foraging trips taken per day, the total hours foraged over their lifetime, or homing ability. Inoculated returning foragers were 4.3 times less likely to be carrying available pollen than non-inoculated returning foragers and the number of pollen grains carried was negatively correlated with the number of N. apis spores. In an arena of artificial flowers, inoculated bees had a tendency (p=0.061) to choose sugar flowers over pollen flowers, compared to non-inoculated bees which visited pollen and sugar flowers equally. These results demonstrate that even a relatively low dose of a widespread disease of A. mellifera may adversely affect bees' ability to pollinate. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. No genetic tradeoffs between hygienic behaviour and individual innate immunity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harpur, Brock A; Chernyshova, Anna; Soltani, Arash; Tsvetkov, Nadejda; Mahjoorighasrodashti, Mohammad; Xu, Zhixing; Zayed, Amro

    2014-01-01

    Many animals have individual and social mechanisms for combating pathogens. Animals may exhibit short-term physiological tradeoffs between social and individual immunity because the latter is often energetically costly. Genetic tradeoffs between these two traits can also occur if mutations that enhance social immunity diminish individual immunity, or vice versa. Physiological tradeoffs between individual and social immunity have been previously documented in insects, but there has been no study of genetic tradeoffs involving these traits. There is strong evidence that some genes influence both innate immunity and behaviour in social insects--a prerequisite for genetic tradeoffs. Quantifying genetic tradeoffs is critical for understanding the evolution of immunity in social insects and for devising effective strategies for breeding disease-resistant pollinator populations. We conducted two experiments to test the hypothesis of a genetic tradeoff between social and individual immunity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. First, we estimated the relative contribution of genetics to individual variation in innate immunity of honey bee workers, as only heritable traits can experience genetic tradeoffs. Second, we examined if worker bees with hygienic sisters have reduced individual innate immune response. We genotyped several hundred workers from two colonies and found that patriline genotype does not significantly influence the antimicrobial activity of a worker's hemolymph. Further, we did not find a negative correlation between hygienic behaviour and the average antimicrobial activity of a worker's hemolymph across 30 honey bee colonies. Taken together, our work indicates no genetic tradeoffs between hygienic behaviour and innate immunity in honey bees. Our work suggests that using artificial selection to increase hygienic behaviour of honey bee colonies is not expected to concurrently compromise individual innate immunity of worker bees.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Flowers and Wild Megachilid Bees Share Microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFrederick, Quinn S; Thomas, Jason M; Neff, John L; Vuong, Hoang Q; Russell, Kaleigh A; Hale, Amanda R; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2017-01-01

    Transmission pathways have fundamental influence on microbial symbiont persistence and evolution. For example, the core gut microbiome of honey bees is transmitted socially and via hive surfaces, but some non-core bacteria associated with honey bees are also found on flowers, and these bacteria may therefore be transmitted indirectly between bees via flowers. Here, we test whether multiple flower and wild megachilid bee species share microbes, which would suggest that flowers may act as hubs of microbial transmission. We sampled the microbiomes of flowers (either bagged to exclude bees or open to allow bee visitation), adults, and larvae of seven megachilid bee species and their pollen provisions. We found a Lactobacillus operational taxonomic unit (OTU) in all samples but in the highest relative and absolute abundances in adult and larval bee guts and pollen provisions. The presence of the same bacterial types in open and bagged flowers, pollen provisions, and bees supports the hypothesis that flowers act as hubs of transmission of these bacteria between bees. The presence of bee-associated bacteria in flowers that have not been visited by bees suggests that these bacteria may also be transmitted to flowers via plant surfaces, the air, or minute insect vectors such as thrips. Phylogenetic analyses of nearly full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the Lactobacillus OTU dominating in flower- and megachilid-associated microbiomes is monophyletic, and we propose the name Lactobacillus micheneri sp. nov. for this bacterium.

  20. Bumble Bee Abundance in New York City Community Gardens: Implications for Urban Agriculture

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    Gail A. Langellotto

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available A variety of crops are grown in New York City community gardens. Although the production of many crops benefits from pollination by bees, little is known about bee abundance in urban community gardens or which crops are specifically dependent on bee pollination. In 2005, we compiled a list of crop plants grown within 19 community gardens in New York City and classified these plants according to their dependence on bee pollination. In addition, using mark-recapture methods, we estimated the abundance of a potentially important pollinator within New York City urban gardens, the common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens. This species is currently recognized as a valuable commercial pollinator of greenhouse crops. However, wild populations of B. impatiens are abundant throughout its range, including in New York City community gardens, where it is the most abundant native bee species present and where it has been observed visiting a variety of crop flowers. We conservatively counted 25 species of crop plants in 19 surveyed gardens. The literature suggests that 92% of these crops are dependent, to some degree, on bee pollination in order to set fruit or seed. Bombus impatiens workers were observed visiting flowers of 78% of these pollination-dependent crops. Estimates of the number of B. impatiens workers visiting individual gardens during the study period ranged from 3 to 15 bees per 100 m2 of total garden area and 6 to 29 bees per 100 m2 of garden floral area. Of 229 B. impatiens workers marked, all recaptured individuals (45% were found in gardens where they were initially marked. These results indicate an abundance of B. impatiens workers within New York City community gardens and suggest that, at least for certain time periods, many individual workers forage within single gardens. Both findings suggest that B. impatiens may be an especially important pollinator of several common crops grown within community gardens and other urban green spaces

  1. Chemical Ecology of Stingless Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonhardt, Sara Diana

    2017-04-01

    Stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae: Meliponini) represent a highly diverse group of social bees confined to the world's tropics and subtropics. They show a striking diversity of structural and behavioral adaptations and are important pollinators of tropical plants. Despite their diversity and functional importance, their ecology, and especially chemical ecology, has received relatively little attention, particularly compared to their relative the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Here, I review various aspects of the chemical ecology of stingless bees, from communication over resource allocation to defense. I list examples in which functions of specific compounds (or compound groups) have been demonstrated by behavioral experiments, and show that many aspects (e.g., queen-worker interactions, host-parasite interactions, neuronal processing etc.) remain little studied. This review further reveals that the vast majority of studies on the chemical ecology of stingless bees have been conducted in the New World, whereas studies on Old World stingless bees are still comparatively rare. Given the diversity of species, behaviors and, apparently, chemical compounds used, I suggest that stingless bees provide an ideal subject for studying how functional context and the need for species specificity may interact to shape pheromone diversification in social insects.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. No genetic tradeoffs between hygienic behaviour and individual innate immunity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

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    Brock A Harpur

    Full Text Available Many animals have individual and social mechanisms for combating pathogens. Animals may exhibit short-term physiological tradeoffs between social and individual immunity because the latter is often energetically costly. Genetic tradeoffs between these two traits can also occur if mutations that enhance social immunity diminish individual immunity, or vice versa. Physiological tradeoffs between individual and social immunity have been previously documented in insects, but there has been no study of genetic tradeoffs involving these traits. There is strong evidence that some genes influence both innate immunity and behaviour in social insects--a prerequisite for genetic tradeoffs. Quantifying genetic tradeoffs is critical for understanding the evolution of immunity in social insects and for devising effective strategies for breeding disease-resistant pollinator populations. We conducted two experiments to test the hypothesis of a genetic tradeoff between social and individual immunity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. First, we estimated the relative contribution of genetics to individual variation in innate immunity of honey bee workers, as only heritable traits can experience genetic tradeoffs. Second, we examined if worker bees with hygienic sisters have reduced individual innate immune response. We genotyped several hundred workers from two colonies and found that patriline genotype does not significantly influence the antimicrobial activity of a worker's hemolymph. Further, we did not find a negative correlation between hygienic behaviour and the average antimicrobial activity of a worker's hemolymph across 30 honey bee colonies. Taken together, our work indicates no genetic tradeoffs between hygienic behaviour and innate immunity in honey bees. Our work suggests that using artificial selection to increase hygienic behaviour of honey bee colonies is not expected to concurrently compromise individual innate immunity of worker bees.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. A morphologically specialized soldier caste improves colony defense in a neotropical eusocial bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grüter, Christoph; Menezes, Cristiano; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2012-01-24

    Division of labor among workers is common in insect societies and is thought to be important in their ecological success. In most species, division of labor is based on age (temporal castes), but workers in some ants and termites show morphological specialization for particular tasks (physical castes). Large-headed soldier ants and termites are well-known examples of this specialization. However, until now there has been no equivalent example of physical worker subcastes in social bees or wasps. Here we provide evidence for a physical soldier subcaste in a bee. In the neotropical stingless bee Tetragonisca angustula, nest defense is performed by two groups of guards, one hovering near the nest entrance and the other standing on the wax entrance tube. We show that both types of guards are 30% heavier than foragers and of different shape; foragers have relatively larger heads, whereas guards have larger legs. Low variation within each subcaste results in negligible size overlap between guards and foragers, further indicating that they are distinct physical castes. In addition, workers that remove garbage from the nest are of intermediate size, suggesting that they might represent another unrecognized caste. Guards or soldiers are reared in low but sufficient numbers (1-2% of emerging workers), considering that bee Lestrimelitta limao, an important natural enemy, larger workers were able to fight for longer before being defeated by the much larger robber. This discovery opens up opportunities for the comparative study of physical castes in social insects, including the question of why soldiers appear to be so much rarer in bees than in ants or termites.

  10. Suscetibilidade de operárias e larvas de abelhas sociais em relação à ricinina Susceptibility of workers and larvae of social bees in relation to ricinine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Débora C. Rother

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Muitas substâncias de origem vegetal podem ser tóxicas ou apresentar potencial inseticida. Com o objetivo de diminuir a problemática da poluição ambiental alguns estudos vêm tentando substituir os inseticidas artificiais pelos inseticidas botânicos. Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae apresenta uma grande variedade de substâncias sendo a ricinina o principal componente tóxico. Considerando que as abelhas são insetos benéficos por atuarem como agentes polinizadores das plantas, este estudo teve por objetivo avaliar o efeito tóxico da ricinina para as operárias e larvas de Apis mellifera (Linnaeus, 1758 (Hymenoptera, Apidae e Scaptotrigona postica (Latreille, 1907 (Hymenoptera, Meliponini. Para isso, foram realizados testes de ingestão em operárias confinadas recebendo ricinina incorporada à dieta e testes de aplicação tópica com a substância solubilizada em metanol e aplicada no pronoto das abelhas com auxílio de uma microseringa. Para as larvas foram realizados testes de ingestão e calculada sua taxa de mortalidade. Os resultados mostram atividade tóxica significativa (p Many substances of vegetal origin can be toxic or present an insecticidal potential. With the aim of decreasing the environment pollution problem, a few studies are trying to substitute synthetic insecticides with botanical ones. Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae presents a great variety of substances, being the ricinine the main toxic component. Considering that bees are useful as pollinator agents of plants, this study evaluates toxicity potential of ricinine on workers and larvae of Apis mellifera (Linnaeus, 1758 (Hymenoptera, Apidae and Scaptotrigona postica (Latreille, 1907 (Hymenoptera, Meliponini. In order to determine ricinine toxicity, ingestion tests were carried out with isolated workers bees that received ricinine on its diet. Furthermore, for topic tests, solutions of ricinine in methanol were applied on pronotum of worker bees with an "Agla" brand

  11. Changes in the Gene Expression Profiles of the Hypopharyngeal Gland of Worker Honeybees in Association with Worker Behavior and Hormonal Factors.

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    Takayuki Ueno

    Full Text Available The hypopharyngeal glands (HPGs of worker honeybees undergo physiological changes along with the age-dependent role change from nursing to foraging: nurse bee HPGs secrete mainly major royal jelly proteins, whereas forager HPGs secrete mainly α-glucosidase III, which converts the sucrose in the nectar into glucose and fructose. We previously identified two other genes, Apis mellifera buffy (Ambuffy and Apis mellifera matrix metalloproteinase 1 (AmMMP1, with enriched expression in nurse bee and forager HPGs, respectively. In the present study, to clarify the molecular mechanisms that coordinate HPG physiology with worker behavior, we first analyzed whether Ambuffy, AmMMP1, mrjp2 (a gene encoding one of major royal jelly protein isoforms, and Hbg3 (a gene encoding α-glucosidase III expression, is associated with worker behavior in 'single-cohort colonies' where workers of almost the same age perform different tasks. Expression of these genes correlated with the worker's role, while controlling for age, indicating their regulation associated with the worker's behavior. Associated gene expression suggested the possible involvement of some hormonal factors in its regulation. We therefore examined the relationship between ecdysone- and juvenile hormone (JH-signaling, and the expression profiles of these 'indicator' genes (nurse bee HPG-selective genes: mrjp2 and Ambuffy, and forager HPG-selective genes: Hbg3 and AmMMP1. Expression of both ecdysone-regulated genes (ecdysone receptor, mushroom body large type Kenyon cell specific protein-1, and E74 and JH-regulated genes (Methoprene tolerant and Krüppel homolog 1 was higher in the forager HPGs than in the nurse bee HPGs, suggesting the possible roles of ecdysone- and JH-regulated genes in worker HPGs. Furthermore, 20-hydroxyecdysone-treatment repressed both nurse bee- and forager-selective gene expression, whereas methoprene-treatment enhanced the expression of forager-selective genes and repressed

  12. Effects of nutritional deprivation on development and behavior in the subsocial bee Ceratina calcarata (Hymenoptera: Xylocopinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Sarah P; Helmreich, Salena L; Rehan, Sandra M

    2017-12-01

    By manipulating resources or dispersal opportunities, mothers can force offspring to remain at the nest to help raise siblings, creating a division of labor. In the subsocial bee Ceratina calcarata , mothers manipulate the quantity and quality of pollen provided to the first female offspring, producing a dwarf eldest daughter that is physically smaller and behaviorally subordinate. This daughter forages for her siblings and forgoes her own reproduction. To understand how the mother's manipulation of pollen affects the physiology and behavior of her offspring, we manipulated the amount of pollen provided to offspring and measured the effects of pollen quantity on offspring development, adult body size and behavior. We found that by experimentally manipulating pollen quantities we could recreate the dwarf eldest daughter phenotype, demonstrating how nutrient deficiency alone can lead to the development of a worker-like daughter. Specifically, by reducing the pollen and nutrition to offspring, we significantly reduced adult body size and lipid stores, creating significantly less aggressive, subordinate individuals. Worker behavior in an otherwise solitary bee begins to explain how maternal manipulation of resources could lead to the development of social organization and reproductive hierarchies, a major step in the transition to highly social behaviors. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  13. Social regulation of maternal traits in nest-founding bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodard, S Hollis; Bloch, Guy; Band, Mark R; Robinson, Gene E

    2013-09-15

    During the nest-founding phase of the bumble bee colony cycle, queens undergo striking changes in maternal care behavior. Early in the founding phase, prior to the emergence of workers in the nest, queens are reproductive and also provision and feed their offspring. However, later in the founding phase, queens reduce their feeding of larvae and become specialized on reproduction. This transition is synchronized with the emergence of workers in the colony, who assume the task of feeding their siblings. Using a social manipulation experiment with the bumble bee Bombus terrestris, we tested the hypothesis that workers regulate the transition from feeding brood to specialization on reproduction in nest-founding bumble bee queens. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that early-stage nest-founding queens with workers prematurely added to their nests reduce their brood-feeding behavior and increase egg laying, and likewise, late-stage nest-founding queens increase their brood-feeding behavior and decrease egg-laying when workers are removed from their nests. Further, brood-feeding and egg-laying behaviors were negatively correlated. We used Agilent microarrays designed from B. terrestris brain expressed sequenced tags (ESTs) to explore a second hypothesis, that workers alter brain gene expression in nest-founding queens. We found evidence that brain gene expression in nest-founding queens is altered by the presence of workers, with the effect being much stronger in late-stage founding queens. This study provides new insights into how the transition from feeding brood to specialization on reproduction in queen bumble bees is regulated during the nest initiation phase of the colony cycle.

  14. First demonstration of olfactory learning and long term memory in honey bee queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Zhiwen; Tan, Ken; Nieh, James C

    2018-05-18

    As the primary source of colony reproduction, social insect queens play a vital role. However, the cognitive abilities of queens are not well understood, although queen learning and memory are essential in multiple species such as honey bees, in which virgin queens must leave the nest and then successful learn to navigate back over repeated nuptial flights. Honey bee queen learning has never been previously demonstrated. We therefore tested olfactory learning in queens and workers and examined the role of DNA methylation, which plays a key role in long term memory formation. We provide the first evidence that honey bee queens have excellent learning and memory. The proportion of honey bee queens that exhibited learning was 5-fold higher than workers at every tested age and, for memory, 4-fold higher than workers at a very young age. DNA methylation may play a key role in this queen memory because queens exhibiting remote memory had a more consistent elevation in Dnmt3 gene expression as compared to workers. Both castes also showed excellent remote memory (7 day memory), which was reduced by 14-20% by the DNA methylation inhibitor, zebularine. Given that queens live about 10-fold longer than workers, these results suggest that queens can serve as an excellently long-term reservoir of colony memory. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Johnson, Brian R; Harpur, Brock A; Kent, Clement F; Zayed, Amro; Anderson, Kirk E; Linksvayer, Timothy A

    2015-11-01

    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 genes with putative direct and indirect effects on honey bee caste development, and we subsequently studied the relative rates of molecular evolution at these caste-associated genes. We experimentally induced the production of new queens by removing the current colony queen, and we used RNA sequencing to study the gene expression profiles of both developing larvae and their caregiving nurses before and after queen removal. By comparing the gene expression profiles of queen-destined versus worker-destined larvae as well as nurses observed feeding these two types of larvae, we identified larval and nurse genes associated with caste development. Of 950 differentially expressed genes associated with caste, 82% were expressed in larvae with putative direct effects on larval caste, and 18% were expressed in nurses with putative indirect effects on caste. Estimated selection coefficients suggest that both nurse and larval genes putatively associated with caste are rapidly evolving, especially those genes associated with worker development. Altogether, our results suggest that indirect effect genes play important roles in both the expression and evolution of socially influenced traits such as caste.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Molecular, physiological and behavioral responses of honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones to infection with microsporidian parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Holly L; Villar, Gabriel; Cheng, Weiyi; Song, Jun; Grozinger, Christina M

    2018-04-26

    Susceptibility to pathogens and parasites often varies between sexes due to differences in life history traits and selective pressures. Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae are damaging intestinal pathogens of European honey bees (Apis mellifera). Nosema pathology has primarily been characterized in female workers where infection is energetically costly and accelerates worker behavioral maturation. Few studies, however, have examined infection costs in male honey bees (drones) to determine if Nosema similarly affects male energetic status and sexual maturation. We infected newly emerged adult drones with Nosema spores and conducted a series of molecular, physiological, and behavioral assays to characterize Nosema etiology in drones. We found that infected drones starved faster than controls and exhibited altered patterns of flight activity in the field, consistent with energetic distress or altered rates of sexual maturation. Moreover, expression of candidate genes with metabolic and/or hormonal functions, including members of the insulin signaling pathway, differed by infection status. Of note, while drone molecular responses generally tracked predictions based on worker studies, several aspects of infected drone flight behavior contrasted with previous observations of infected workers. While Nosema infection clearly imposed energetic costs in males, infection had no impact on drone sperm numbers and had only limited effects on antennal responsiveness to a major queen sex pheromone component (9-ODA). We compare Nosema pathology in drones with previous studies describing symptoms in workers and discuss ramifications for drone and colony fitness. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. Not Only Single Mating in Stingless Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paxton, Robert J.; Weißschuh, Nicole; Engels, Wolf; Hartfelder, Klaus; Quezada-Euan, J. Javier G.

    Queens of the large, pantropical and fully eusocial taxon Meliponinae (stingless bees) are generally considered to be singly mated. We indirectly estimated queen mating frequency in two meliponids, Melipona beecheii and Scaptotrigona postica, by examining genotypes of workers at microsatellite DNA loci. Microsatellites were highly variable, providing suitable markers with which to assign patrilinial origin of workers within colonies headed by single queens. Queen mating frequency varied between 1 and 3 (M. beecheii) and 1 and 6 (S. postica), representing the first clear documentation of polyandry in the Meliponinae. Effective paternity frequency, me, was lower, although above 2 for S. postica. Stingless bees may provide suitable subjects for the testing of recent inclusive fitness arguments describing intracolony kin conflict in social Hymenoptera.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Beeping and piping: characterization of two mechano-acoustic signals used by honey bees in swarming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, Thomas; Visscher, P. Kirk; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2012-12-01

    Of the many signals used by honey bees during the process of swarming, two of them—the stop signal and the worker piping signal—are not easily distinguished for both are mechano-acoustic signals produced by scout bees who press their bodies against other bees while vibrating their wing muscles. To clarify the acoustic differences between these two signals, we recorded both signals from the same swarm and at the same time, and compared them in terms of signal duration, fundamental frequency, and frequency modulation. Stop signals and worker piping signals differ in all three variables: duration, 174 ± 64 vs. 602 ± 377 ms; fundamental frequency, 407 vs. 451 Hz; and frequency modulation, absent vs. present. While it remains unclear which differences the bees use to distinguish the two signals, it is clear that they do so for the signals have opposite effects. Stop signals cause inhibition of actively dancing scout bees whereas piping signals cause excitation of quietly resting non-scout bees.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Imidacloprid Alters Foraging and Decreases Bee Avoidance of Predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ken; Chen, Weiwen; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb) imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana) showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera), to other important bee species. PMID:25025334

  9. Imidacloprid alters foraging and decreases bee avoidance of predators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Tan

    Full Text Available Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera, to other important bee species.

  10. 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.

  11. Potential costs of bacterial infection on storage protein gene expression and reproduction in queenless Apis mellifera worker bees on distinct dietary regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lourenço, Anete Pedro; Martins, Juliana Ramos; Guidugli-Lazzarini, Karina Rosa; Macedo, Liliane Maria Fróes; Bitondi, Márcia Maria Gentile; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino

    2012-09-01

    Insects are able to combat infection by initiating an efficient immune response that involves synthesizing antimicrobial peptides and a range of other defense molecules. These responses may be costly to the organism, resulting in it exploiting endogenous resources to maintain homeostasis or support defense to the detriment of other physiological needs. We used queenless worker bees on distinct dietary regimes that may alter hemolymph protein storage and ovary activation to investigate the physiological costs of infection with Serratia marcescens. The expression of the genes encoding the storage proteins vitellogenin and hexamerin 70a, the vitellogenin receptor, and vasa (which has a putative role in reproduction), was impaired in the infected bees. This impairment was mainly evident in the bees fed beebread, which caused significantly higher expression of these genes than did royal jelly or syrup, and this was confirmed at the vitellogenin and hexamerin 70a protein levels. Beebread was also the only diet that promoted ovary activation in the queenless bees, but this activation was significantly impaired by the infection. The expression of the genes encoding the storage proteins apolipophorins-I and -III and the lipophorin receptor was not altered by infection regardless the diet provided to the bees. Similarly, the storage of apolipophorin-I in the hemolymph was only slightly impaired by the infection, independently of the supplied diet. Taken together these results indicate that, infection demands a physiological cost from the transcription of specific protein storage-related genes and from the reproductive capacity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The Effect of Open Brood and Colony Strength on the Onset of Oviposition by Queen Bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gąbka Jakub

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In bee colonies without open brood, e.g., after swarming, there is no need for royal jelly, and nurse bees thus do not produce it. According to many beekeepers, adding combs with open brood restarts the production of royal jelly by nurse bees, and the virgin queens then are better fed and start earlier oviposition. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the presence of open brood and the strength of the colonies affect the onset of oviposition by queen bees. Open brood in colonies with virgins before and during mating flights did not accelerate the initiation of oviposition by the queens. In addition, no differences were identified in starting oviposition by queens in strong colonies of more than 30,000 worker bees, or in weak colonies with up to 1,000 workers. Overall, the results showed that neither open brood in the nests, nor the strength of the colonies affects the onset of oviposition by queen bees.

  13. Ovarian control of nectar collection in the honey bee (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam J Siegel

    Full Text Available Honey bees are a model system for the study of division of labor. Worker bees demonstrate a foraging division of labor (DOL by biasing collection towards carbohydrates (nectar or protein (pollen. The Reproductive ground-plan hypothesis of Amdam et al. proposes that foraging DOL is regulated by the networks that controlled foraging behavior during the reproductive life cycle of honey bee ancestors. Here we test a proposed mechanism through which the ovary of the facultatively sterile worker impacts foraging bias. The proposed mechanism suggests that the ovary has a regulatory effect on sucrose sensitivity, and sucrose sensitivity impacts nectar loading. We tested this mechanism by measuring worker ovary size (ovariole number, sucrose sensitivity, and sucrose solution load size collected from a rate-controlled artificial feeder. We found a significant interaction between ovariole number and sucrose sensitivity on sucrose solution load size when using low concentration nectar. This supports our proposed mechanism. As nectar and pollen loading are not independent, a mechanism impacting nectar load size would also impact pollen load size.

  14. Vasculature of the hive: heat dissipation in the honey bee ( Apis mellifera) hive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonoan, Rachael E.; Goldman, Rhyan R.; Wong, Peter Y.; Starks, Philip T.

    2014-06-01

    Eusocial insects are distinguished by their elaborate cooperative behavior and are sometimes defined as superorganisms. As a nest-bound superorganism, individuals work together to maintain favorable nest conditions. Residing in temperate environments, honey bees ( Apis mellifera) work especially hard to maintain brood comb temperature between 32 and 36 °C. Heat shielding is a social homeostatic mechanism employed to combat local heat stress. Workers press the ventral side of their bodies against heated surfaces, absorb heat, and thus protect developing brood. While the absorption of heat has been characterized, the dissipation of absorbed heat has not. Our study characterized both how effectively worker bees absorb heat during heat shielding, and where worker bees dissipate absorbed heat. Hives were experimentally heated for 15 min during which internal temperatures and heat shielder counts were taken. Once the heat source was removed, hives were photographed with a thermal imaging camera for 15 min. Thermal images allowed for spatial tracking of heat flow as cooling occurred. Data indicate that honey bee workers collectively minimize heat gain during heating and accelerate heat loss during cooling. Thermal images show that heated areas temporarily increase in size in all directions and then rapidly decrease to safe levels (<37 °C). As such, heat shielding is reminiscent of bioheat removal via the cardiovascular system of mammals.

  15. Honeybee Venom Proteome Profile of Queens and Winter Bees as Determined by a Mass Spectrometric Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danneels, Ellen L.; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C.

    2015-01-01

    Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal changes, also proves to be an important factor. The present study aimed at an in-depth analysis of the intraspecific variation in the honeybee venom proteome. In summer workers, the recent list of venom proteins resulted from merging combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment and targeted tandem mass spectrometry realized with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS/MS). Now, the same technique was used to determine the venom proteome of queens and winter bees, enabling us to compare it with that of summer bees. In total, 34 putative venom toxins were found, of which two were never described in honeybee venoms before. Venom from winter workers did not contain toxins that were not present in queens or summer workers, while winter worker venom lacked the allergen Api m 12, also known as vitellogenin. Venom from queen bees, on the other hand, was lacking six of the 34 venom toxins compared to worker bees, while it contained two new venom toxins, in particularly serine proteinase stubble and antithrombin-III. Although people are hardly stung by honeybees during winter or by queen bees, these newly identified toxins should be taken into account in the characterization of a putative allergic response against Apis mellifera stings. PMID:26529016

  16. Honeybee venom proteome profile of queens and winter bees as determined by a mass spectrometric approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danneels, Ellen L; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-10-30

    Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal changes, also proves to be an important factor. The present study aimed at an in-depth analysis of the intraspecific variation in the honeybee venom proteome. In summer workers, the recent list of venom proteins resulted from merging combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment and targeted tandem mass spectrometry realized with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS/MS). Now, the same technique was used to determine the venom proteome of queens and winter bees, enabling us to compare it with that of summer bees. In total, 34 putative venom toxins were found, of which two were never described in honeybee venoms before. Venom from winter workers did not contain toxins that were not present in queens or summer workers, while winter worker venom lacked the allergen Api m 12, also known as vitellogenin. Venom from queen bees, on the other hand, was lacking six of the 34 venom toxins compared to worker bees, while it contained two new venom toxins, in particularly serine proteinase stubble and antithrombin-III. Although people are hardly stung by honeybees during winter or by queen bees, these newly identified toxins should be taken into account in the characterization of a putative allergic response against Apis mellifera stings.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Early life stress affects mortality rate more than social behavior, gene expression or oxidative damage in honey bee workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueppell, Olav; Yousefi, Babak; Collazo, Juan; Smith, Daniel

    2017-04-01

    Early life stressors can affect aging and life expectancy in positive or negative ways. Individuals can adjust their behavior and molecular physiology based on early life experiences but relatively few studies have connected such mechanisms to demographic patterns in social organisms. Sociality buffers individuals from environmental influences and it is unclear how much early life stress affects later life history. Workers of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) were exposed to two stressors, Varroa parasitism and Paraquat exposure, early in life. Consequences were measured at the molecular, behavioral, and demographic level. While treatments did not significantly affect levels of oxidative damage, expression of select genes, and titers of the common deformed wing virus, most of these measures were affected by age. Some of the age effects, such as declining levels of deformed wing virus and oxidative damage, were opposite to our predictions but may be explained by demographic selection. Further analyses suggested some influences of worker behavior on mortality and indicated weak treatment effects on behavior. The latter effects were inconsistent among the two experiments. However, mortality rate was consistently reduced by Varroa mite stress during development. Thus, mortality was more responsive to early life stress than our other response variables. The lack of treatment effects on these measures may be due to the social organization of honey bees that buffers the individual from the impact of stressful developmental conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. A mid-cretaceous origin of sociality in xylocopine bees with only two origins of true worker castes indicates severe barriers to eusociality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra M Rehan

    Full Text Available The origin of sterile worker castes, resulting in eusociality, represents one of the major evolutionary transitions in the history of life. Understanding how eusociality has evolved is therefore an important issue for understanding life on earth. Here we show that in the large bee subfamily Xylocopinae, a simple form of sociality was present in the ancestral lineage and there have been at least four reversions to purely solitary nesting. The ancestral form of sociality did not involve morphological worker castes and maximum colony sizes were very small. True worker castes, entailing a life-time commitment to non-reproductive roles, have evolved only twice, and only one of these resulted in discrete queen-worker morphologies. Our results indicate extremely high barriers to the evolution of eusociality. Its origins are likely to have required very unusual life-history and ecological circumstances, rather than the amount of time that selection can operate on more simple forms of sociality.

  1. Linking Genes and Brain Development of Honeybee Workers: A Whole-Transcriptome Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Vleurinck, Christina; Raub, Stephan; Sturgill, David; Oliver, Brian; Beye, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Honeybees live in complex societies whose capabilities far exceed those of the sum of their single members. This social synergism is achieved mainly by the worker bees, which form a female caste. The worker bees display diverse collaborative behaviors and engage in different behavioral tasks, which are controlled by the central nervous system (CNS). The development of the worker brain is determined by the female sex and the worker caste determination signal. Here, we report on genes that are ...

  2. 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.

  3. Impact of honeybee (Apis mellifera L. density on wild bee foraging behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goras Georgios

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees are globally regarded as important crop pollinators and are also valued for their honey production. They have been introduced on an almost worldwide scale. During recent years, however, several studies argue their possible competition with unmanaged pollinators. Here we examine the possible effects of honey bees on the foraging behaviour of wild bees on Cistus creticus flowers in Northern Greece. We gradually introduced one, five, and eight honey-bee hives per site, each containing ca. 20,000 workers. The visitation frequency and visit duration of wild bees before and after the beehive introductions were measured by flower observation. While the visitation frequencies of wild bees were unaffected, the average time wild bees spent on C. creticus increased with the introduction of the honey-bee hives. Although competition between honey bees and wild bees is often expected, we did not find any clear evidence for significant effects even in honey-bee densities much higher than the European-wide average of 3.1 colonies/km2.

  4. Local differences in parasitism and competition shape defensive investment in a polymorphic eusocial bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segers, Francisca H I D; von Zuben, Lucas; Grüter, Christoph

    2016-02-01

    Many colonial animals rely for their defense on a soldier caste. Adaptive colony demography theory predicts that colonies should flexibly adjust the investment in different worker castes depending on the colony needs. For example, colonies should invest more in defensive workers (e.g., soldiers) in dangerous environments. However, evidence for this prediction has been mixed. We combined descriptive and experimental approaches to examine whether defensive investment and worker size are adjusted to local ecology in the only known bee with polymorphic workers, Tetragonisca angustula. Colonies of this species are defended by a morphologically specialized soldier caste. Our study included three populations that differed in the density of food competition and the occurrence of a parasitic robber bee. We found that colonies coexisting with robber bees had on average 43% more soldiers defending the nest entrance, while colonies facing stronger foraging competition had soldiers that were -6-7% smaller. We then experimentally relocated colonies to areas with different levels of competition. When released from intense food competition, body sizes of guards and foragers increased. After introducing chemical robber bee cues at nest entrances, we found both a short-term and a long-term up-regulation of the number of soldiers defending the colony. Active soldier numbers remained high after the experiment for a duration equivalent to 2-3 worker life spans. How information about past parasite threat is stored in the colony is currently unknown. In summary, T. angustula adjusts both the number and the body size of active soldiers to local ecological conditions. Competitor density also affects forager (or minor) size, an important colony trait with potential community ecological consequences. Our study supports adaptive colony demography theory in a eusocial bee and highlights the importance of colony threats and competition as selective forces shaping colony phenotype.

  5. Social Workers' Attitudes toward Older Adults: A Review of the Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Donna; Chonody, Jill

    2013-01-01

    Ageist attitudes toward older adults have been recognized as barriers to recruiting and training competent social workers. This article provides a systematic review of the literature that focused on social workers' and social work students' attitudes toward older adults and working with older adults. The authors sought empirical studies…

  6. 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.

  7. Learning at old age: a study on winter bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Behrends

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Ageing is often accompanied by a decline in learning and memory abilities across the animal kingdom. Understanding age-related changes in cognitive abilities is therefore a major goal of current research. The honey bee is emerging as a novel model organism for age-related changes in brain function, because learning and memory can easily be studied in bees under controlled laboratory conditions. In addition, genetically similar workers naturally display life expectancies from six weeks (summer bees to six months (winter bees. We studied whether in honey bees, extreme longevity leads to a decline in cognitive functions. Six-month-old winter bees were conditioned either to odours or to tactile stimuli. Afterwards, long-term memory and discrimination abilities were analysed. Winter bees were kept under different conditions (flight /no flight opportunity to test for effects of foraging activity on learning performance. Despite their extreme age, winter bees did not display an age-related decline in learning or discrimination abilities, but had a slightly impaired olfactory long-term memory. The opportunity to forage indoors led to a slight decrease in learning performance. This suggests that in honey bees, unlike in most other animals, age per se does not impair associative learning. Future research will show which mechanisms protect winter bees from age-related deficits in learning.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. A New Method for Quick and Easy Hemolymph Collection from Apidae Adults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz Borsuk

    Full Text Available Bio-analysis of insects is increasingly dependent on highly sensitive methods that require high quality biological material, such as hemolymph. However, it is difficult to collect fresh and uncontaminated hemolymph from adult bees since they are very active and have the potential to sting, and because hemolymph is rapidly melanized. Here we aimed to develop and test a quick and easy method for sterile and contamination-free hemolymph sampling from adult Apidae. Our novel antennae method for hemolymph sampling (AMHS, entailed the detachment of an antenna, followed by application of delicate pressure to the bee's abdomen. This resulted in the appearance of a drop of hemolymph at the base of the detached antenna, which was then aspirated using an automatic pipetter. Larger insect size corresponded to easier and faster hemolymph sampling, and to a greater sample volume. We obtained 80-100 μL of sterile non-melanized hemolymph in 1 minute from one Bombus terrestris worker, in 6 minutes from 10 Apis mellifera workers, and in 15 minutes from 18 Apis cerana workers (+/-0.5 minutes. Compared to the most popular method of hemolymph collection, in which hemolymph is sampled by puncturing the dorsal sinus of the thorax with a capillary (TCHS, significantly fewer bees were required to collect 80-100 μL hemolymph using our novel AMHS method. Moreover, the time required for hemolymph collection was significantly shorter using the AMHS compared to the TCHS, which protects the acquired hemolymph against melanization, thus providing the highest quality material for biological analysis.

  11. 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...

  12. Limited social plasticity in the socially polymorphic sweat bee Lasioglossum calceatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davison, P J; Field, J

    2018-01-01

    Eusociality is characterised by a reproductive division of labour, where some individuals forgo direct reproduction to instead help raise kin. Socially polymorphic sweat bees are ideal models for addressing the mechanisms underlying the transition from solitary living to eusociality, because different individuals in the same species can express either eusocial or solitary behaviour. A key question is whether alternative social phenotypes represent environmentally induced plasticity or predominantly genetic differentiation between populations. In this paper, we focus on the sweat bee Lasioglossum calceatum , in which northern or high-altitude populations are solitary, whereas more southern or low-altitude populations are typically eusocial. To test whether social phenotype responds to local environmental cues, we transplanted adult females from a solitary, northern population, to a southern site where native bees are typically eusocial. Nearly all native nests were eusocial, with foundresses producing small first brood (B1) females that became workers. In contrast, nine out of ten nests initiated by transplanted bees were solitary, producing female offspring that were the same size as the foundress and entered directly into hibernation. Only one of these ten nests became eusocial. Social phenotype was unlikely to be related to temperature experienced by nest foundresses when provisioning B1 offspring, or by B1 emergence time, both previously implicated in social plasticity seen in two other socially polymorphic sweat bees. Our results suggest that social polymorphism in L. calceatum predominantly reflects genetic differentiation between populations, and that plasticity is in the process of being lost by bees in northern populations. Phenotypic plasticity is thought to play a key role in the early stages of the transition from solitary to eusocial behaviour, but may then be lost if environmental conditions become less variable. Socially polymorphic sweat bees exhibit

  13. Volume and density of microglomeruli in the honey bee mushroom bodies do not predict performance on a foraging task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Nest, Byron N; Wagner, Ashley E; Marrs, Glen S; Fahrbach, Susan E

    2017-09-01

    The mushroom bodies (MBs) are insect brain regions important for sensory integration, learning, and memory. In adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera), the volume of neuropil associated with the MBs is larger in experienced foragers compared with hive bees and less experienced foragers. In addition, the characteristic synaptic structures of the calycal neuropils, the microglomeruli, are larger but present at lower density in 35-day-old foragers relative to 1-day-old workers. Age- and experience-based changes in plasticity of the MBs are assumed to support performance of challenging tasks, but the behavioral consequences of brain plasticity in insects are rarely examined. In this study, foragers were recruited from a field hive to a patch comprising two colors of otherwise identical artificial flowers. Flowers of one color contained a sucrose reward mimicking nectar; flowers of the second were empty. Task difficulty was adjusted by changing flower colors according to the principle of honey bee color vision space. Microglomerular volume and density in the lip (olfactory inputs) and collar (visual inputs) compartments of the MB calyces were analyzed using anti-synapsin I immunolabeling and laser scanning confocal microscopy. Foragers displayed significant variation in microglomerular volume and density, but no correlation was found between these synaptic attributes and foraging performance. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 1057-1071, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Transcript levels of ten caste-related genes in adult diploid males of Melipona quadrifasciata (Hymenoptera, Apidae: a comparison with haploid males, queens and workers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreia A. Borges

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In Hymenoptera, homozygosity at the sex locus results in the production of diploid males. In social species, these pose a double burden by having low fitness and drawing resources normally spent for increasing the work force of a colony. Yet, diploid males are of academic interest as they can elucidate effects of ploidy (normal males are haploid, whereas the female castes, the queens and workers, are diploid on morphology and life history. Herein we investigated expression levels of ten caste-related genes in the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata, comparing newly emerged and 5-day-old diploid males with haploid males, queens and workers. In diploid males, transcript levels for dunce and paramyosin were increased during the first five days of adult life, while those for diacylglycerol kinase and the transcriptional co-repressor groucho diminished. Two general trends were apparent, (i gene expression patterns in diploid males were overall more similar to haploid ones and workers than to queens, and (ii in queens and workers, more genes were up-regulated after emergence until day five, whereas in diploid and especially so in haploid males more genes were down-regulated. This difference between the sexes may be related to longevity, which is much longer in females than in males.

  15. Transcript levels of ten caste-related genes in adult diploid males of Melipona quadrifasciata (Hymenoptera, Apidae) - A comparison with haploid males, queens and workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Andreia A; Humann, Fernanda C; Oliveira Campos, Lucio A; Tavares, Mara G; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2011-10-01

    In Hymenoptera, homozygosity at the sex locus results in the production of diploid males. In social species, these pose a double burden by having low fitness and drawing resources normally spent for increasing the work force of a colony. Yet, diploid males are of academic interest as they can elucidate effects of ploidy (normal males are haploid, whereas the female castes, the queens and workers, are diploid) on morphology and life history. Herein we investigated expression levels of ten caste-related genes in the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata, comparing newly emerged and 5-day-old diploid males with haploid males, queens and workers. In diploid males, transcript levels for dunce and paramyosin were increased during the first five days of adult life, while those for diacylglycerol kinase and the transcriptional co-repressor groucho diminished. Two general trends were apparent, (i) gene expression patterns in diploid males were overall more similar to haploid ones and workers than to queens, and (ii) in queens and workers, more genes were up-regulated after emergence until day five, whereas in diploid and especially so in haploid males more genes were down-regulated. This difference between the sexes may be related to longevity, which is much longer in females than in males.

  16. Pheromones affecting ovary activation and ovariole loss in the Asian honey bee Apis cerana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ken; Liu, Xiwen; Dong, Sihao; Wang, Chao; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2015-03-01

    The Asian hive bee Apis cerana has similar queen mandibular pheromones (QMP) to the Western honey bee Apismellifera. However the effects of individual QMP components have never been tested to determine their effects on the reproductive physiology of A. cerana workers. We fed one queen equivalent of each of the major components of A. cerana QMP to groups of c.a. 500 day-old, caged, workers twice a day until the workers were 10 days old. Half of the cages were also provided with 10% royal jelly in the food. Workers were sampled each day and dissected to determine the number of ovarioles and the degree of ovary activation (egg development). In cages treated with 9-carbon fatty acids ovary activation was minimal, whereas the 10-carbon acids suppressed ovary activation very little. Royal jelly enhanced ovary activation, especially in cages treated with 10-carbon acids. The number of ovarioles declined with bee age, but the rate of decline was slowed by the 9-carbon acids in particular. The results show conservation of the composition and function of QMP between A. cerana and A. mellifera and support the hypothesis that QMP is an honest signal of queen fecundity rather than a chemical castrator of workers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Causes and Scale of Winter Flights in Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera Carnica Colonies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Węgrzynowicz Paweł

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Winter honey bee losses were evaluated during the two overwintering periods of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011. The research included dead bee workers that fell on the hive bottom board (debris and the ones that flew out of the hive. Differences were observed in the number of bees fallen as debris between the two periods, whereas the number of bees flying out was similar in both years. No differences were found between the numbers of dead bees in strong and weak colonies. The percentage of bees flying out of the colony increased in the presence of Nosema spores, Varroa infestation, increased average air temperature, and insolation during the day. In addition, both the presence of Nosema and insolation during the day had an impact on the number of bees that died and fell on the hive board.

  18. Western honeybee drones and workers (Apis mellifera ligustica) have different olfactory mechanisms than eastern honeybees (Apis cerana cerana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woltedji, Dereje; Song, Feifei; Zhang, Lan; Gala, Alemayehu; Han, Bin; Feng, Mao; Fang, Yu; Li, Jianke

    2012-09-07

    The honeybees Apis mellifera ligustica (Aml) and Apis cerana cerana (Acc) are two different western and eastern bee species that evolved in distinct ecologies and developed specific antennal olfactory systems for their survival. Knowledge of how their antennal olfactory systems function in regards to the success of each respective bee species is scarce. We compared the antennal morphology and proteome between respective sexually mature drones and foraging workers of both species using a scanning electron microscope, two-dimensional electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Despite the general similarities in antennal morphology of the drone and worker bees between the two species, a total of 106 and 100 proteins altered their expression in the drones' and the workers' antennae, respectively. This suggests that the differences in the olfactory function of each respective bee are supported by the change of their proteome. Of the 106 proteins that altered their expression in the drones, 72 (68%) and 34 (32%) were overexpressed in the drones of Aml and Acc, respectively. The antennae of the Aml drones were built up by the highly expressed proteins that were involved in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, molecular transporters, antioxidation, and fatty acid metabolism in contrast to the Acc drones. This is believed to enhance the antennal olfactory functions of the Aml drones as compared to the Acc drones during their mating flight. Likewise, of the 100 proteins with expression changes between the worker bees of the two species, 67% were expressed in higher levels in the antennae of Aml worker contrasting to 33% in the Acc worker. The overall higher expressions of proteins related to carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, molecular transporters, and antioxidation in the Aml workers compared with the Acc workers indicate the Aml workers require more antennal proteins for their olfactory

  19. 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

  20. Worker life tables, survivorship, and longevity in colonies of Bombus (Fervidobombus atratus (Hymenoptera: Apidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunice Vieira da Silva-Matos

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available Survivorship curves and longevity of workers were studied in two queenright and two queenless colonies of Bombus (Fervidobombus atratus. Survivorship curves for workers of all colonies were, in general, convex, indicating an increasing mortality rate with increasing age. The mean longevity for the workers from queenright colonies, 24.3 days and 17.6 days, was not significantly different from that in queenless colonies, 21.2 days and 20.2 days. In all colonies workers started foraging activities when aged 0-5 days, and the potential forager rates rose progressively with increasing age. Mortality rates within each age interval were significantly correlated with the foraging worker rates in all colonies. Only in two of the colonies (one queenright and one queenless longevity was significantly correlated with worker size. The duration of brood development period seems to be one of the most important factors influencing adult worker longevity in this bumble bee species.

  1. Long work hours and obesity in Korean adult workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Tae-Won; Kim, Hyoung-Ryoul; Lee, Hye-Eun; Myong, Jun-Pyo; Koo, Jung-Wan

    2014-01-01

    The present study was designed to identify the association between work hours and obesity in Korean adult manual and nonmanual workers, and to determine whether there is a gender difference in this association. The study was conducted using Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data collected between 2007 and 2010. Individuals aged below 25 or over 64 years, pregnant women, part-time workers, soldiers, housewives and students were excluded. The total number of individuals included in the analysis was 8,889 (5,241 male and 3,648 female subjects). The outcome variable was obesity, defined as body mass index ≥25 kg/m(2). Variables considered in the model were age, education, income, marital status, alcohol drinking, smoking, daily energy intake, physical activity, sleep hours per day, the type of job, work hours, and work schedule. Work hours were categorized as 60 hours per week. In the multiple SURVEYLOGISTIC regression analyses, the adjusted odds ratio of obesity for long work hours (>60 hours per week) in male manual workers was 1.647 (95% confidence interval 1.262-2.151). Long work hours did not significantly increase the odds ratio for obesity in male nonmanual workers and female manual and nonmanual workers. More than 60 work hours per week increased the risk of obesity in Korean male manual workers. This result might be helpful in preventing obesity in Korean adult workers, especially male manual workers.

  2. 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...

  3. Honey bee nest thermoregulation: diversity promotes stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Julia C; Myerscough, Mary R; Graham, Sonia; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2004-07-16

    A honey bee colony is characterized by high genetic diversity among its workers, generated by high levels of multiple mating by its queen. Few clear benefits of this genetic diversity are known. Here we show that brood nest temperatures in genetically diverse colonies (i.e., those sired by several males) tend to be more stable than in genetically uniform ones (i.e., those sired by one male). One reason this increased stability arises is because genetically determined diversity in workers' temperature response thresholds modulates the hive-ventilating behavior of individual workers, preventing excessive colony-level responses to temperature fluctuations.

  4. Pathway profiles based on gene-set enrichment analysis in the honey bee Apis mellifera under brood rearing-suppressed conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyungmun; Kim, Ju Hyeon; Kim, Young Ho; Hong, Seong-Eui; Lee, Si Hyeock

    2018-01-01

    Perturbation of normal behaviors in honey bee colonies by any external factor can immediately reduce the colony's capacity for brood rearing, which can eventually lead to colony collapse. To investigate the effects of brood-rearing suppression on the biology of honey bee workers, gene-set enrichment analysis of the transcriptomes of worker bees with or without suppressed brood rearing was performed. When brood rearing was suppressed, pathways associated with both protein degradation and synthesis were simultaneously over-represented in both nurses and foragers, and their overall pathway representation profiles resembled those of normal foragers and nurses, respectively. Thus, obstruction of normal labor induced over-representation in pathways related with reshaping of worker bee physiology, suggesting that transition of labor is physiologically reversible. In addition, some genes associated with the regulation of neuronal excitability, cellular and nutritional stress and aggressiveness were over-expressed under brood rearing suppression perhaps to manage in-hive stress under unfavorable conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Population dynamics of European honey bee genotypes under different environmental conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hatjina, Fani; Costa, Cecilia; Büchler, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    - environment interactions and their effects on colony development, which we use in this study as a measure of their vitality. We found that colonies placed in Southern Europe tend to have lower adult bee populations compared to colonies placed in colder conditions, while the brood population tends...... to be smaller in the North, thus reflecting the shorter longevity of bees in warmer climates and the shorter brood rearing period in the North. We found that both genotype and environment significantly affect colony development, and that specific adaptations exist, especially in terms of adult bee population...

  6. Molecular characterization of the gene feminizer in the stingless bee Melipona interrupta (Hymenoptera: Apidae) reveals association to sex and caste development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Diana V; Silva, Carlos Gustavo N; Hasselmann, Martin; Viana, Luciana S; Astolfi-Filho, Spartaco; Carvalho-Zilse, Gislene A

    2015-11-01

    In highly eusocial insects, development of reproductive traits are regulated not only by sex determination pathway, but it also depends on caste fate. The molecular basis of both mechanisms in stingless bees and possible interaction with each other is still obscure. Here, we investigate sex determination in Melipona interrupta, focusing on characterization and expression analysis of the feminizer gene (Mi-fem), and its association to a major component of caste determination, the juvenile hormone (JH). We present evidence that Mi-fem mRNA is sex-specifically spliced in which only the female splice variant encodes the full length protein, following the same principle known for other bee species. We quantified Mi-fem expression among developmental stages, sexes and castes. Mi-fem expression varies considerably throughout development, with higher expression levels in embryos. Also, fem levels in pupae and newly emerged adults were significantly higher in queens than workers and males. Finally, we ectopically applied JH in cocoon spinning larvae, which correspond to the time window where queen/worker phenotypes diverge. We observed a significantly increase in Mi-fem expression compared to control groups. Since up to 100% of females turn into queens when treated with JH (while control groups are composed mainly of workers), we propose that fem might act to regulate queens' development. Our findings provide support for the conserved regulatory function of fem in Melipona bees and demonstrate a significant correlation between key elements of sex and caste determination pathways, opening the avenue to further investigate the molecular basis of these complex traits. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Recruits of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona pectoralis learn food odors from the nest atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichle, Christian; Jarau, Stefan; Aguilar, Ingrid; Ayasse, Manfred

    2010-05-01

    The ability to learn food odors inside the nest and to associate them with food sources in the field is of essential importance for the recruitment of nestmates in social bees. We investigated odor learning by workers within the hive and the influence of these odors on their food choice in the field in the stingless bee Scaptotrigona pectoralis. During the experiments, recruited bees had to choose between two feeders, one with an odor that was present inside the nest during the recruitment process, and one with an unknown odor. In all experiments with different odor combinations (linalool/phenylacetaldehyde, geraniol/eugenol) a significant majority of bees visited the feeder with the odor they had experienced in their nest ( χ 2-tests; p bees showed no preference for one of two feeders when they were either baited with the same odor (linalool) or contained no odor. Our results clearly show that naïve workers of S. pectoralis can learn the odor of a food source during the recruitment process from the nest atmosphere and that their subsequent food search in the field is influenced by the learned odor.

  8. Handling sticky resin by stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus Gastauer

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available For their nest defense, stingless bees (Meliponini collect plant resins which they stick on intruders like ants or cleptobiotic robber bees causing their immobilization. The aim of this article is to identify all parts of stingless bee workers contacting these sticky resins. Of special interest are those body parts with anti-adhesive properties to resin, where it can be removed without residues. For that, extensive behavioral observations during foraging flight, handling and application of the resin have been carried out. When handling the resin, all tarsi touch the resin while walking above it. For transportation from plants to the nest during foraging flight, the resin is packed to the corbicula via tarsi and basitarsi of front and middle legs. Once stuck to the resin or after the corbicula had been unloaded, the bee's legs have to be cleaned thoroughly. Only the tips of the mandibles, that form, cut and apply the sticky resin, seem to have at least temporarily resin-rejecting properties.

  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. The working alliance between homeless young adults and workers : A dyadic approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Altena, Astrid M.; Krabbenborg, Manon A M; Boersma, Sandra N.; Beijersbergen, Mariëlle D.; van den Berg, Yvonne H. M.; Vollebergh, Wilma A.M.; Wolf, Judith R.L.M.

    2017-01-01

    The development of a strong working alliance between homeless young adults and their social workers is seen as a critical component in the recovery process. The purpose of this study was to examine the composition of the working alliance between homeless young adults and their social workers, and

  11. 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.

  12. Caste-specific differences in hindgut microbial communities of honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapheim, Karen M; Rao, Vikyath D; Yeoman, Carl J; Wilson, Brenda A; White, Bryan A; Goldenfeld, Nigel; Robinson, Gene E

    2015-01-01

    Host-symbiont dynamics are known to influence host phenotype, but their role in social behavior has yet to be investigated. Variation in life history across honey bee (Apis mellifera) castes may influence community composition of gut symbionts, which may in turn influence caste phenotypes. We investigated the relationship between host-symbiont dynamics and social behavior by characterizing the hindgut microbiome among distinct honey bee castes: queens, males and two types of workers, nurses and foragers. Despite a shared hive environment and mouth-to-mouth food transfer among nestmates, we detected separation among gut microbiomes of queens, workers, and males. Gut microbiomes of nurses and foragers were similar to previously characterized honey bee worker microbiomes and to each other, despite differences in diet, activity, and exposure to the external environment. Queen microbiomes were enriched for bacteria that may enhance metabolic conversion of energy from food to egg production. We propose that the two types of workers, which have the highest diversity of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of bacteria, are central to the maintenance of the colony microbiome. Foragers may introduce new strains of bacteria to the colony from the environment and transfer them to nurses, who filter and distribute them to the rest of the colony. Our results support the idea that host-symbiont dynamics influence microbiome composition and, reciprocally, host social behavior.

  13. Caste-specific differences in hindgut microbial communities of honey bees (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen M Kapheim

    Full Text Available Host-symbiont dynamics are known to influence host phenotype, but their role in social behavior has yet to be investigated. Variation in life history across honey bee (Apis mellifera castes may influence community composition of gut symbionts, which may in turn influence caste phenotypes. We investigated the relationship between host-symbiont dynamics and social behavior by characterizing the hindgut microbiome among distinct honey bee castes: queens, males and two types of workers, nurses and foragers. Despite a shared hive environment and mouth-to-mouth food transfer among nestmates, we detected separation among gut microbiomes of queens, workers, and males. Gut microbiomes of nurses and foragers were similar to previously characterized honey bee worker microbiomes and to each other, despite differences in diet, activity, and exposure to the external environment. Queen microbiomes were enriched for bacteria that may enhance metabolic conversion of energy from food to egg production. We propose that the two types of workers, which have the highest diversity of operational taxonomic units (OTUs of bacteria, are central to the maintenance of the colony microbiome. Foragers may introduce new strains of bacteria to the colony from the environment and transfer them to nurses, who filter and distribute them to the rest of the colony. Our results support the idea that host-symbiont dynamics influence microbiome composition and, reciprocally, host social behavior.

  14. MICROSATELLITE ANALYSIS OF THE SLOVAK CARNIOLAN HONEY BEE (APIS MELLIFERA CARNICA

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    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

  15. Cephalic salivary glands of two species of advanced eusocial bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: morphology and secretion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvana B. Poiani

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Some adult eusocial bees have a pair of cephalic salivary glands (CSG in addition to the thoracic labial or salivary gland pairs. This paper deals with variations in morphological features and secretion production of the CSG of females and males of Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758 and Scaptotrigona postica Latreille, 1807. The following life stages were studied: newly emerged, nurse, and forager workers; newly emerged and egg-laying queens; and newly emerged and sexually mature males. The histological results showed that the CSG differs between the two species in the following features: while alveoli and duct cells are cuboidal in workers and queens of A. mellifera, they change from cuboidal to flat in S. postica as the workers age. The glands of newly emerged males and females of A. mellifera are similar. However, as males become sexually mature, glands degenerate and practically disappear. The secretion from the glands of females of both species is oleaginous and gradually accumulates in the lumen of the alveoli in the beginning of the adult phase. Consequently, forager workers and egg-laying queens exhibit more turgid alveoli than younger individuals. Sudan black and Nile's blue staining indicated that the CSG secretion consists of neutral lipids. The possible role of gland secretion is discussed taking in account tasks performed by the individuals in the particular phases studied.

  16. 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.

  17. Variable effects of nicotine, anabasine, and their interactions on parasitized bumble bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorburn, Lukas P.; Adler, Lynn S.; Irwin, Rebecca E.; Palmer-Young, Evan C.

    2015-01-01

    Secondary metabolites in floral nectar have been shown to reduce parasite load in two common bumble bee species. Previous studies on the effects of nectar secondary metabolites on parasitized bees have focused on single compounds in isolation; however, in nature, bees are simultaneously exposed to multiple compounds. We tested for interactions between the effects of two alkaloids found in the nectar of Nicotiana spp. plants, nicotine and anabasine, on parasite load and mortality in bumble bees ( Bombus impatiens) infected with the intestinal parasite Crithidia bombi. Adult worker bees inoculated with C. bombi were fed nicotine and anabasine diet treatments in a factorial design, resulting in four nectar treatment combinations:  2 ppm nicotine, 5 ppm anabasine, 2ppm nicotine and 5 ppm anabasine together, or a control alkaloid-free solution. We conducted the experiment twice: first, with bees incubated under variable environmental conditions (‘Variable’; temperatures varied from 10-35°C with ambient lighting); and second, under carefully controlled environmental conditions (‘Stable’; 27°C incubator, constant darkness). In ‘Variable’, each alkaloid alone significantly decreased parasite loads, but this effect was not realized with the alkaloids in combination, suggesting an antagonistic interaction. Nicotine but not anabasine significantly increased mortality, and the two compounds had no interactive effects on mortality. In ‘Stable’, nicotine significantly increased parasite loads, the opposite of its effect in ‘Variable’. While not significant, the relationship between anabasine and parasite loads was also positive. Interactive effects between the two alkaloids on parasite load were non-significant, but the pattern of antagonistic interaction was similar to that in the variable experiment. Neither alkaloid, nor their interaction, significantly affected mortality under controlled conditions. Our results do not indicate synergy between Nicotiana

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Abundance and Diversity of Native Bumble Bees Associated with Agricultural Crops: The Willamette Valley Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sujaya Rao

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available There are widespread concerns about declining populations of bumble bees due to conversion of native habitats to agroecosystems. Certain cropping systems, however, provide enormous foraging resources, and are beneficial for population build up of native bees, especially eusocial bees such as bumble bees. In this review, we present evidence of a flourishing bumble bee fauna in the Willamette Valley in western Oregon which we believe is sustained by cultivation of bee-pollinated crops which bloom in sequence, and in synchrony with foraging by queens and workers of a complex of bumble bee species. In support of our perspective, we describe the Oregon landscape and ascribe the large bumble bee populations to the presence of a pollen source in spring (cultivated blueberries followed by one in summer (red clover seed crops. Based on our studies, we recommend integration into conservation approaches of multiple agroecosystems that bloom in sequence for sustaining and building bumble bee populations.

  1. 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

  2. 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 ...

  3. Hypopharyngeal Gland Activity in Task-Specific Workers Under Brood and Broodless Conditions in Apis Cerana Indica (Fab.

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    Rahman Seydur

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The hypopharyngeal gland (HPG is the principal organ of protein synthesis in honey bees. It is involved in larval rearing. We examined the fresh head weight, HPG acini diameter, and HPG protein content in worker bees engaged in different tasks and under brood and broodless conditions. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that the HPG acini diameter of worker bees was related to their task. The highest HPG volume was found in nurse bees, and the volume regressed when the task changed from guarding to foraging. The fresh head weight was positively correlated with HPG acini diameter. Although, there was no positive correlation between HPG acini diameter and protein concentration, the glandular protein concentration increased progressively in nurse bees and declined in guard and forager bees. Histochemistry revealed similar results. Despite displaying significantly larger glands, guard bee protein secretion was similar to that of the foragers. Brooding had a significant effect on HPG activity. Only worker bees from the colony with an intact brood showed elevated rates of protein synthesis; thus, it is possible that a signal was emitted by the brood, which stimulated protein synthesis in the HPG. However, the size of the HPG was similar in both brood and broodless conditions.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Late winter feeding stimulates rapid spring development of carniolan honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera carnica)

    OpenAIRE

    Zlatko Puškadija; Lejla Spiljak; Marin Kovačić

    2017-01-01

    Unfavourable weather conditions after the queen starts with intensive oviposition during early spring may cause an imbalance in the division of tasks among worker bees in the bee colony. This can lead to slow spring development and poor exploitation of the main spring nectar flows. In order to accelerate the spring development, it is necessary, as a technological measure, to feed supplemental candy to bee colonies. In this research, the necessity of supplemental feeding, as well as the com...

  7. Risk factors associated with honey bee colony loss in apiaries in Galicia, NW Spain

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    Aranzazu Meana

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available A cross-sectional study was carried out in Galicia, NW Spain, in order to estimate the magnitude of honey bee colony losses and to identify potential risk factors involved. A total of 99 samples from 99 apiaries were collected in spring using simple random sampling. According to international guidelines, the apiaries were classified as affected by colony loss or asymptomatic. Each sample consisted of worker bees, brood and comb-stored pollen. All worker bees and brood samples were analysed individually in order to detect the main honey bee pathogens. Moreover, the presence of residues of the most prevalent agrotoxic insecticides and acaricides was assessed in comb-stored pollen. The general characteristics of the apiaries and sanitary information regarding previous years was evaluated through questionnaires, while the vegetation surrounding the apiaries sampled was assessed by palynological analysis of comb-stored pollen. The colony loss prevalence was 53.5% (CI95%=43.2-63.9 and Nosema ceranae was found to be the only risk factor strongly associated with colony loss. The decision tree also pointed out the impact of the Varroa mite presence while variables such as apiary size, the incorrect application of Varroa mite treatments, and the presence of Acarapis woodi and Kashmir bee virus (KBV were identified as possible co-factors.

  8. Methods to estimate breeding values in honey bees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brascamp, E.W.; Bijma, P.

    2014-01-01

    Background Efficient methodologies based on animal models are widely used to estimate breeding values in farm animals. These methods are not applicable in honey bees because of their mode of reproduction. Observations are recorded on colonies, which consist of a single queen and thousands of workers

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. A common neonicotinoid pesticide, thiamethoxam, alters honey bee activity, motor functions, and movement to light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosi, S; Nieh, J C

    2017-11-09

    Honey bees provide key ecosystem services. To pollinate and to sustain the colony, workers must walk, climb, and use phototaxis as they move inside and outside the nest. Phototaxis, orientation to light, is linked to sucrose responsiveness and the transition of work from inside to outside the nest, and is also a key component of division of labour. However, the sublethal effects of pesticides on locomotion and movement to light are relatively poorly understood. Thiamethoxam (TMX) is a common neonicotinoid pesticide that bees can consume in nectar and pollen. We used a vertical arena illuminated from the top to test the effects of acute and chronic sublethal exposures to TMX. Acute consumption (1.34 ng/bee) impaired locomotion, caused hyperactivity (velocity: +109%; time moving: +44%) shortly after exposure (30 min), and impaired motor functions (falls: +83%; time top: -43%; time bottom: +93%; abnormal behaviours: +138%; inability to ascend: +280%) over a longer period (60 min). A 2-day chronic exposure (field-relevant daily intakes of 1.42-3.48 ng/bee/day) impaired bee ability to ascend. TMX increased movement to light after acute and chronic exposure. Thus, TMX could reduce colony health by harming worker locomotion and, potentially, alter division of labour if bees move outside or remain outdoors.

  14. Repression and recuperation of brood production in Bombus terrestris bumble bees exposed to a pulse of the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian Laycock

    Full Text Available Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and some blame the residues of neonicotinoid pesticides in the nectar and pollen of treated crops. Bumble bees are important wild pollinators that are widely exposed to dietary neonicotinoids by foraging in agricultural environments. In the laboratory, we tested the effect of a pulsed exposure (14 days 'on dose' followed by 14 days 'off dose' to a common neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, on the amount of brood (number of eggs and larvae produced by Bombus terrestris L. bumble bees in small, standardised experimental colonies (a queen and four adult workers. During the initial 'on dose' period we observed a dose-dependent repression of brood production in colonies, with productivity decreasing as dosage increased up to 98 µg kg(-1 dietary imidacloprid. During the following 'off dose' period, colonies showed a dose-dependent recuperation such that total brood production during the 28-day pulsed exposure was not correlated with imidacloprid up to 98 µg kg(-1. Our findings raise further concern about the threat to wild bumble bees from neonicotinoids, but they also indicate some resilience to a pulsed exposure, such as that arising from the transient bloom of a treated mass-flowering crop.

  15. Repression and Recuperation of Brood Production in Bombus terrestris Bumble Bees Exposed to a Pulse of the Neonicotinoid Pesticide Imidacloprid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laycock, Ian; Cresswell, James E.

    2013-01-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and some blame the residues of neonicotinoid pesticides in the nectar and pollen of treated crops. Bumble bees are important wild pollinators that are widely exposed to dietary neonicotinoids by foraging in agricultural environments. In the laboratory, we tested the effect of a pulsed exposure (14 days ‘on dose’ followed by 14 days ‘off dose’) to a common neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, on the amount of brood (number of eggs and larvae) produced by Bombus terrestris L. bumble bees in small, standardised experimental colonies (a queen and four adult workers). During the initial ‘on dose’ period we observed a dose-dependent repression of brood production in colonies, with productivity decreasing as dosage increased up to 98 µg kg−1 dietary imidacloprid. During the following ‘off dose’ period, colonies showed a dose-dependent recuperation such that total brood production during the 28-day pulsed exposure was not correlated with imidacloprid up to 98 µg kg−1. Our findings raise further concern about the threat to wild bumble bees from neonicotinoids, but they also indicate some resilience to a pulsed exposure, such as that arising from the transient bloom of a treated mass-flowering crop. PMID:24224015

  16. Young adult conservation jobs and worker health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathleen L. Wolf; Elizabeth Housley

    2017-01-01

    Decades of research studies demonstrate links between healthy environment, healthy lifestyles, and healthy people. This study evaluated the correlations between young adult conservation workers’ perceived stress, personal effectiveness, and nature experience using quantitative and qualitative social science methods. The study cohort numbered nearly 300 individuals...

  17. Genomic analysis of the interaction between pesticide exposure and nutrition in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmehl, Daniel R; Teal, Peter E A; Frazier, James L; Grozinger, Christina M

    2014-12-01

    Populations of pollinators are in decline worldwide. These declines are best documented in honey bees and are due to a combination of stressors. In particular, pesticides have been linked to decreased longevity and performance in honey bees; however, the molecular and physiological pathways mediating sensitivity and resistance to pesticides are not well characterized. We explored the impact of coumaphos and fluvalinate, the two most abundant and frequently detected pesticides in the hive, on genome-wide gene expression patterns of honey bee workers. We found significant changes in 1118 transcripts, including genes involved in detoxification, behavioral maturation, immunity, and nutrition. Since behavioral maturation is regulated by juvenile hormone III (JH), we examined effects of these miticides on hormone titers; while JH titers were unaffected, titers of methyl farnesoate (MF), the precursor to JH, were decreased. We further explored the association between nutrition- and pesticide-regulated gene expression patterns and demonstrated that bees fed a pollen-based diet exhibit reduced sensitivity to a third pesticide, chlorpyrifos. Finally, we demonstrated that expression levels of several of the putative pesticide detoxification genes identified in our study and previous studies are also upregulated in response to pollen feeding, suggesting that these pesticides and components in pollen modulate similar molecular response pathways. Our results demonstrate that pesticide exposure can substantially impact expression of genes involved in several core physiological pathways in honey bee workers. Additionally, there is substantial overlap in responses to pesticides and pollen-containing diets at the transcriptional level, and subsequent analyses demonstrated that pollen-based diets reduce workers' pesticide sensitivity. Thus, providing honey bees and other pollinators with high quality nutrition may improve resistance to pesticides. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All

  18. Parasitic Cape honeybee workers, Apis mellifera capensis, evade policing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Stephen J.; Beekman, Madeleine; Wossler, Theresa C.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2002-01-01

    Relocation of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, by bee-keepers from southern to northern South Africa in 1990 has caused widespread death of managed African honeybee, A. m. scutellata, colonies. Apis mellifera capensis worker bees are able to lay diploid, female eggs without mating by means of automictic thelytoky (meiosis followed by fusion of two meiotic products to restore egg diploidy), whereas workers of other honeybee subspecies are able to lay only haploid, male eggs. The A. m. capensis workers, which are parasitizing and killing A. m. scutellata colonies in northern South Africa, are the asexual offspring of a single, original worker in which the small amount of genetic variation observed is due to crossing over during meiosis (P. Kryger, personal communication). Here we elucidate two principal mechanisms underlying this parasitism. Parasitic A. m. capensis workers activate their ovaries in host colonies that have a queen present (queenright colonies), and they lay eggs that evade being killed by other workers (worker policing)-the normal fate of worker-laid eggs in colonies with a queen. This unique parasitism by workers is an instance in which a society is unable to control the selfish actions of its members.

  19. 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....

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Foraging task specialisation and foraging labour allocation in stingless bees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofstede, Frouke Elisabeth

    2006-01-01

    Social bees collect nectar and pollen from flowering plants for energy of the adult bees and for feeding the larvae in the colony. The flowering patterns of plants imply that periods of high food availability are often followed by periods of meagre foraging conditions. Being dependent on such a

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Infestation and distribution of the mite Varroa destructor in colonies of africanized bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Moretto

    Full Text Available Whereas in several parts of the world varroa is the major pest affecting apiculture, in others the parasite is unknown to many beekeepers because its damage to bees is minor. The impact of the mite Varroa destructor is related to the climatic conditions and the races of Apis mellifera bees in each region where the pest exists. In the present study, the current level of infestation by the mite was assessed to determine the evolution of the pest in Africanized bee colonies in Southern Brazil. This level of infestation was considered low: approximately two mites per one hundred adult bees. This result is similar to that obtained for the same apiary almost five years ago and for others distributed in various regions of Brazil. In the present study, we also estimated the total varroa population and its distribution among brood and adults in each bee colony.

  6. Honey bees consider larval nutritional status rather than genetic relatedness when selecting larvae for emergency queen rearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagili, Ramesh R; Metz, Bradley N; Lucas, Hannah M; Chakrabarti, Priyadarshini; Breece, Carolyn R

    2018-05-16

    In honey bees and many other social insects, production of queens is a vital task, as colony fitness is dependent on queens. The factors considered by honey bee workers in selecting larvae to rear new queens during emergency queen rearing are poorly understood. Identifying these parameters is critical, both in an evolutionary and apicultural context. As female caste development in honey bees is dependent on larval diet (i.e. nutrition), we hypothesized that larval nutritional state is meticulously assessed and used by workers in selection of larvae for queen rearing. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a series of experiments manipulating the nutritional status of one day old larvae by depriving them of brood food for a four-hour period, and then allowing workers to choose larvae for rearing queens from nutritionally deprived and non-deprived larvae. We simultaneously investigated the role of genetic relatedness in selection of larvae for queen rearing. In all the experiments, significantly greater numbers of non-deprived larvae than deprived larvae were selected for queen rearing irrespective of genetic relatedness. Our results demonstrate that honey bees perceive the nutritional state of larvae and use that information when selecting larvae for rearing queens in the natural emergency queen replacement process.

  7. Cellular degradation activity is maintained during aging in long-living queen bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chin-Yuan; Qiu, Jiantai Timothy; Chan, Yu-Pei

    2016-11-01

    Queen honeybees (Apis mellifera) have a much longer lifespan than worker bees. Whether cellular degradation activity is involved in the longevity of queen bees is unknown. In the present study, cellular degradation activity was evaluated in the trophocytes and oenocytes of young and old queen bees. The results indicated that (i) 20S proteasome activity and the size of autophagic vacuoles decreased with aging, and (ii) there were no significant differences between young and old queen bees with regard to 20S proteasome expression or efficiency, polyubiquitin aggregate expression, microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3-II) expression, 70 kDa heat shock cognate protein (Hsc70) expression, the density of autophagic vacuoles, p62/SQSTM1 expression, the activity or density of lysosomes, or molecular target of rapamycin expression. These results indicate that cellular degradation activity maintains a youthful status in the trophocytes and oenocytes of queen bees during aging and that cellular degradation activity is involved in maintaining the longevity of queen bees.

  8. Precarious employment associated with depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation in adult wage workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Kyu-Man; Chang, Jisoon; Won, Eunsoo; Lee, Min-Soo; Ham, Byung-Joo

    2017-08-15

    Precarious employment is one of the most important indicators of social disadvantage and is associated with poor mental health. This study aimed to investigate the association of precarious employment with depressive mood and suicidal ideation in adult wage workers, and the possible mediating or moderating effect of socioeconomic factors in the association between precarious work and mental health status. Data from the Fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES V) conducted between 2010 and 2012 were analyzed. Among the 24,173 participants, 6266 adult wage workers (3206 precarious and 3060 non-precarious workers) aged ≥19 years were included. Socioeconomic and health-related characteristics as well as depressive mood and suicidal ideation were investigated. Precarious employment was significantly associated with depressive mood in the logistic regression analyses adjusting for all potential confounding factors as covariates. The socioeconomic variables including age, gender, education level, marital status, household income, and occupation type were significantly related with depressive mood and suicidal ideation in adult wage workers. We also found that gender and household income had possible moderating effects on the association between precarious employment and suicidal ideation. Precarious work was associated with suicidal ideation only for male workers and worker with low or middle-lower income levels. Our study is based on a cross-sectional design, thus, we could not elucidate the causal relationship between the variables. Our study suggested that precarious employment plays a pivotal role in the mental health status of adult wage workers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 20 CFR 663.115 - What are the eligibility criteria for core services for dislocated workers in the adult and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... services for dislocated workers in the adult and dislocated worker programs? 663.115 Section 663.115 Employees' Benefits EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ADULT AND DISLOCATED WORKER ACTIVITIES UNDER TITLE I OF THE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT Delivery of Adult and Dislocated Worker Services...

  10. Effects of the juvenile hormone analogue methoprene on rate of behavioural development, foraging performance and navigation in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Lun-Hsien; Barron, Andrew B; Cheng, Ken

    2015-06-01

    Worker honey bees change roles as they age as part of a hormonally regulated process of behavioural development that ends with a specialised foraging phase. The rate of behavioural development is highly plastic and responsive to changes in colony condition such that forager losses, disease or nutritional stresses accelerate behavioural development and cause an early onset of foraging in workers. It is not clear to what degree the behavioural development of workers can be accelerated without there being a cost in terms of reduced foraging performance. Here, we compared the foraging performance of bees induced to accelerate their behavioural development by treatment with the juvenile hormone analogue methoprene with that of controls that developed at a normal rate. Methoprene treatment accelerated the onset of both flight and foraging behaviour in workers, but it also reduced foraging span, the total time spent foraging and the number of completed foraging trips. Methoprene treatment did not alter performance in a short-range navigation task, however. These data indicate a limitation to the physiological plasticity of bees, and a trade off between forager performance and the speed at which bees begin foraging. Chronic stressors will be expected to reduce the mean age of the foraging force, and therefore also reduce the efficiency of the foraging force. This interaction may explain why honey bee colonies react to sustained stressors with non-linear population decline. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  11. Honey bee protein atlas at organ-level resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Queenie W T; Chan, Man Yi; Logan, Michelle; Fang, Yuan; Higo, Heather; Foster, Leonard J

    2013-11-01

    Genome sequencing has provided us with gene lists but cannot tell us where and how their encoded products work together to support life. Complex organisms rely on differential expression of subsets of genes/proteins in organs and tissues, and, in concert, evolved to their present state as they function together to improve an organism's overall reproductive fitness. Proteomics studies of individual organs help us understand their basic functions, but this reductionist approach misses the larger context of the whole organism. This problem could be circumvented if all the organs in an organism were comprehensively studied by the same methodology and analyzed together. Using honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) as a model system, we report here an initial whole proteome of a complex organism, measuring 29 different organ/tissue types among the three honey bee castes: queen, drone, and worker. The data reveal that, e.g., workers have a heightened capacity to deal with environmental toxins and queens have a far more robust pheromone detection system than their nestmates. The data also suggest that workers altruistically sacrifice not only their own reproductive capacity but also their immune potential in favor of their queen. Finally, organ-level resolution of protein expression offers a systematic insight into how organs may have developed.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mattila, H.R.; Rios, D.; Walker-Sperling, V.E.; Roeselers, G.; Newton, I.L.G.

    2012-01-01

    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

  17. Appetite for self-destruction: suicidal biting as a nest defense strategy in Trigona stingless bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackleton, Kyle; Al Toufailia, Hasan; Balfour, Nicholas J; Nascimento, Fabio S; Alves, Denise A; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    Self-sacrificial behavior represents an extreme and relatively uncommon form of altruism in worker insects. It can occur, however, when inclusive fitness benefits are high, such as when defending the nest. We studied nest defense behaviors in stingless bees, which live in eusocial colonies subject to predation. We introduced a target flag to nest entrances to elicit defensive responses and quantified four measures of defensivity in 12 stingless bee species in São Paulo State, Brazil. These included three Trigona species, which are locally known for their aggression. Species varied significantly in their attack probability (cross species range = 0-1, P  bees (3.5-508.7 s, P  bee. Our results indicate that suicidal biting may be a widespread defense strategy in stingless bees, but it is not universal.

  18. Sperm viability and gene expression in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera) following exposure to the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid and the organophosphate acaricide coumaphos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaimanee, Veeranan; Evans, Jay D; Chen, Yanping; Jackson, Caitlin; Pettis, Jeffery S

    2016-06-01

    Honey bee population declines are of global concern. Numerous factors appear to cause these declines including parasites, pathogens, malnutrition and pesticides. Residues of the organophosphate acaricide coumaphos and the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid, widely used to combat Varroa mites and for crop protection in agriculture, respectively, have been detected in wax, pollen and comb samples. Here, we assess the effects of these compounds at different doses on the viability of sperm stored in the honey bee queens' spermatheca. Our results demonstrate that sub-lethal doses of imidacloprid (0.02ppm) decreased sperm viability by 50%, 7days after treatment. Sperm viability was a downward trend (about 33%) in queens treated with high doses of coumaphos (100ppm), but there was not significant difference. The expression of genes that are involved in development, immune responses and detoxification in honey bee queens and workers exposed to chemicals was measured by qPCR analysis. The data showed that expression levels of specific genes were triggered 1day after treatment. The expression levels of P450 subfamily genes, CYP306A1, CYP4G11 and CYP6AS14 were decreased in honey bee queens treated with low doses of coumaphos (5ppm) and imidacloprid (0.02ppm). Moreover, these two compounds suppressed the expression of genes related to antioxidation, immunity and development in queens at day 1. Up-regulation of antioxidants by these compounds in worker bees was observed at day 1. Coumaphos also caused a repression of CYP306A1 and CYP4G11 in workers. Antioxidants appear to prevent chemical damage to honey bees. We also found that DWV replication increased in workers treated with imidacloprid. This research clearly demonstrates that chemical exposure can affect sperm viability in queen honey bees. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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...

  20. Lower virus infections in Varroa destructor-infested and uninfested brood and adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) of a low mite population growth colony compared to a high mite population growth colony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emsen, Berna; Hamiduzzaman, Mollah Md; Goodwin, Paul H; Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto

    2015-01-01

    A comparison was made of the prevalence and relative quantification of deformed wing virus (DWV), Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), black queen cell virus (BQCV), Kashmir bee virus (KBV), acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and sac brood virus (SBV) in brood and adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) from colonies selected for high (HMP) and low (LMP) Varroa destructor mite population growth. Two viruses, ABPV and SBV, were never detected. For adults without mite infestation, DWV, IAPV, BQCV and KBV were detected in the HMP colony; however, only BQCV was detected in the LMP colony but at similar levels as in the HMP colony. With mite infestation, the four viruses were detected in adults of the HMP colony but all at higher amounts than in the LMP colony. For brood without mite infestation, DWV and IAPV were detected in the HMP colony, but no viruses were detected in the LMP colony. With mite infestation of brood, the four viruses were detected in the HMP colony, but only DWV and IAPV were detected and at lower amounts in the LMP colony. An epidemiological explanation for these results is that pre-experiment differences in virus presence and levels existed between the HMP and LMP colonies. It is also possible that low V. destructor population growth in the LMP colony resulted in the bees being less exposed to the mite and thus less likely to have virus infections. LMP and HMP bees may have also differed in susceptibility to virus infection.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Studies on Bee Venom and Its Medical Uses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Mahmoud Abdu Al-Samie Mohamed

    2012-07-01

    Use of honey and other bee products in human treatments traced back thousands of years and healing properties are included in many religious texts including the Veda, Bible and Quran. Apitherapy is the use of honey bee products for medical purposes, this include bee venom, raw honey, royal jelly, pollen, propolis, and beeswax. Whereas bee venom therapy is the use of live bee stings (or injectable venom) to treat various diseases such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, sciatica, low back pain, and tennis elbow to name a few. It refers to any use of venom to assist the body in healing itself. Bee venom contains at least 18 pharmacologically active components including various enzymes, peptides and amines. Sulfur is believed to be the main element in inducing the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands and in protecting the body from infections. Contact with bee venom produces a complex cascade of reactions in the human body. The bee venom is safe for human treatments, the median lethal dose (LD50) for an adult human is 2.8 mg of venom per kg of body weight, i.e. a person weighing 60 kg has a 50% chance of surviving injections totaling 168 mg of bee venom. Assuming each bee injects all its venom and no stings are quickly removed at a maximum of 0.3 mg venom per sting, 560 stings could well be lethal for such a person. For a child weighing 10 kg, as little as 93.33 stings could be fatal. However, most human deaths result from one or few bee stings due to allergic reactions, heart failure or suffocation from swelling around the neck or the mouth. As compare with other human diseases, accidents and other unusual cases, the bee venom is very safe for human treatments.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Examining Self-Protection Measures Guarding Adult Protective Services Social Workers against Compassion Fatigue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourassa, Dara

    2012-01-01

    Little research has focused on the risk factors, effects, and experiences of compassion fatigue among gerontological social workers. This qualitative study explores the experiences and perspectives of nine Adult Protective Services (APS) social workers in relation to compassion fatigue. Results show that the APS social workers combined personal…

  7. Worker policing in the German wasp Vespula germanica

    OpenAIRE

    Wim Bonckaert; Kristel Vuerinckx; Johan Billen; Rob L. Hammond; Laurent Keller; Tom Wenseleers

    2008-01-01

    In some ants, bees, and wasps, workers kill or "police" male eggs laid by other workers in order to maintain the reproductive primacy of the queen. Kin selection theory predicts that multiple mating by the queen is one factor that can selectively favor worker policing. This is because when the queen is mated to multiple males, workers are more closely related to the queen's sons than to the sons of other workers. Earlier work has suggested that reproductive patterns in the German wasp Vespula...

  8. A Mathematical Model for the Bee Hive of Apis Mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonioni, Alberto; Bellom, Fabio Enrici; Montabone, Andrea; Venturino, Ezio

    2010-09-01

    In this work we introduce and discuss a model for the bee hive, in which only adult bees and drones are modeled. The role that the latter have in the system is interesting, their population can retrieve even if they are totally absent from the bee hive. The feasibility and stability of the equilibria is studied numerically. A simplified version of the model shows the importance of the drones' role, in spite of the fact that it allows only a trivial equilibrium. For this simplified system, no Hopf bifurcations are shown to arise.

  9. Pre-hospital treatment of bee and wasp induced anaphylactic reactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruiz Oropeza, Athamaica; Mikkelsen, Søren; Bindslev-Jensen, Carsten

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Bee and wasp stings are among the most common triggers of anaphylaxis in adults representing around 20% of fatal anaphylaxis from any cause. Data of pre-hospital treatment of bee and wasp induced anaphylactic reactions are sparse. This study aimed to estimate the incidence of bee...... only for Odense and 2009-2014 for the whole region). Discharge summaries with diagnosis related to anaphylaxis according to the International Classification of Diseases 10 (ICD-10) were reviewed to identify bee and wasp induced anaphylactic reactions. The severity of the anaphylactic reaction...... was assessed according to Sampson's severity score and Mueller's severity score. Treatment was evaluated in relation to administration of adrenaline, glucocorticoids and antihistamine. RESULTS: We identified 273 cases (Odense 2008 n = 14 and Region of Southern Denmark 2009-2014 n = 259) of bee and wasp induced...

  10. Socially induced brain development in a facultatively eusocial sweat bee Megalopta genalis (Halictidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Adam R; Seid, Marc A; Jiménez, Lissette C; Wcislo, William T

    2010-07-22

    Changes in the relative size of brain regions are often dependent on experience and environmental stimulation, which includes an animal's social environment. Some studies suggest that social interactions are cognitively demanding, and have examined predictions that the evolution of sociality led to the evolution of larger brains. Previous studies have compared species with different social organizations or different groups within obligately social species. Here, we report the first intraspecific study to examine how social experience shapes brain volume using a species with facultatively eusocial or solitary behaviour, the sweat bee Megalopta genalis. Serial histological sections were used to reconstruct and measure the volume of brain areas of bees behaving as social reproductives, social workers, solitary reproductives or 1-day-old bees that are undifferentiated with respect to the social phenotype. Social reproductives showed increased development of the mushroom body (an area of the insect brain associated with sensory integration and learning) relative to social workers and solitary reproductives. The gross neuroanatomy of young bees is developmentally similar to the advanced eusocial species previously studied, despite vast differences in colony size and social organization. Our results suggest that the transition from solitary to social behaviour is associated with modified brain development, and that maintaining dominance, rather than sociality per se, leads to increased mushroom body development, even in the smallest social groups possible (i.e. groups with two bees). Such results suggest that capabilities to navigate the complexities of social life may be a factor shaping brain evolution in some social insects, as for some vertebrates.

  11. Generalist Bee Species on Brazilian Bee-Plant Interaction Networks

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    Astrid de Matos Peixoto Kleinert

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Determining bee and plant interactions has an important role on understanding general biology of bee species as well as the potential pollinating relationship between them. Bee surveys have been conducted in Brazil since the end of the 1960s. Most of them applied standardized methods and had identified the plant species where the bees were collected. To analyze the most generalist bees on Brazilian surveys, we built a matrix of bee-plant interactions. We estimated the most generalist bees determining the three bee species of each surveyed locality that presented the highest number of interactions. We found 47 localities and 39 species of bees. Most of them belong to Apidae (31 species and Halictidae (6 families and to Meliponini (14 and Xylocopini (6 tribes. However, most of the surveys presented Apis mellifera and/or Trigona spinipes as the most generalist species. Apis mellifera is an exotic bee species and Trigona spinipes, a native species, is also widespread and presents broad diet breath and high number of individuals per colony.

  12. Big bees do a better job: intraspecific size variation influences pollination effectiveness

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    Pat Willmer

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available 1. Bumblebees (Bombus spp. are efficient pollinators of many flowering plants, yet the pollen deposition performance of individual bees has not been investigated. Worker bumblebees exhibit large intraspecific and intra-nest size variation, in contrast with other eusocial bees; and their size influences collection and deposition of pollen grains. 2. Laboratory studies with B. terrestris workers and Vinca minor flowers showed that pollination effectiveness PE, as measured from pollen grains deposited on stigmas in single visits (SVD, was significantly positively related to bee size; larger bees deposited more grains, while the smallest individuals, with proportionally shorter tongues, were unable to collect or deposit pollen in these flowers. Individuals did not increase their pollen deposition over time, so handling experience does not influence SVD in Vinca minor. 3. Field studies using Geranium sanguineum and Echium vulgare, and multiple visiting species, confirmed that individual size affects SVD. All bumblebee species showed positive SVD/size effects, though even the smallest individuals did deposit pollen. Apis with its limited size variation showed no such detectable effect when visiting Geranium flowers. Two abundant hoverfly species also showed size effects, particularly when feeding for nectar on Echium. 4. Mean size of foragers also varied diurnally, with larger individuals active earlier and later, so that pollination effectiveness varies through a day; flowers routinely pollinated by bees may best be served by early morning dehiscence and visits from larger individuals. 5. Thus, while there are well-documented species-level variations in pollination effectiveness, the fine-scale individual differences between foragers should also be taken into account when assessing the reproductive outputs of biotically-pollinated plants.

  13. Foraging on some nonfloral resources by stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Meliponini in a caatinga region

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    M. C. A. Lorenzon

    Full Text Available In a caatinga region the flowers and nonfloral resources visited by highly eusocial bees, stingless beess and Apis mellifera (Africanized honey bee were studied. During one year, monthly sampling took place in two sites at Serra da Capivara National Park (Piauí State, Brazil, one of them, including the local village, outside the park, and the other inside, using already existing park trails. With the help of entomological nets, all bees were caught while visiting floral and nonfloral resources. At the study sites we observed more stingless bees in nonfloral resources, made possible by human presence. Twelve stingless bee species used the nonfloral resources in different proportions, showing no preference for time of day, season of the year, or sites. During the rainy season, more water sources and abundant flowering plants were observed, which attract stingless bees, even though many worker bees were found foraging in the aqueous substrates while few were observed at water sources. This relationship was higher for stingless bee species than for Africanized honey bees. Paratrigona lineata was represented by few specimens in floral and nonfloral resources and is perhaps rare in this region. Frieseomelitta silvestrii could be considered rare in the floral resources, but they were abundant in nonfloral resources. The variety and intriguing abundance of bees in nonfloral resources suggests that these are an important part of the stingless bee niches, even if these resources are used for nest construction and defense.

  14. Lower Virus Infections in Varroa destructor-Infested and Uninfested Brood and Adult Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) of a Low Mite Population Growth Colony Compared to a High Mite Population Growth Colony

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emsen, Berna; Hamiduzzaman, Mollah Md.; Goodwin, Paul H.; Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto

    2015-01-01

    A comparison was made of the prevalence and relative quantification of deformed wing virus (DWV), Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), black queen cell virus (BQCV), Kashmir bee virus (KBV), acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and sac brood virus (SBV) in brood and adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) from colonies selected for high (HMP) and low (LMP) Varroa destructor mite population growth. Two viruses, ABPV and SBV, were never detected. For adults without mite infestation, DWV, IAPV, BQCV and KBV were detected in the HMP colony; however, only BQCV was detected in the LMP colony but at similar levels as in the HMP colony. With mite infestation, the four viruses were detected in adults of the HMP colony but all at higher amounts than in the LMP colony. For brood without mite infestation, DWV and IAPV were detected in the HMP colony, but no viruses were detected in the LMP colony. With mite infestation of brood, the four viruses were detected in the HMP colony, but only DWV and IAPV were detected and at lower amounts in the LMP colony. An epidemiological explanation for these results is that pre-experiment differences in virus presence and levels existed between the HMP and LMP colonies. It is also possible that low V. destructor population growth in the LMP colony resulted in the bees being less exposed to the mite and thus less likely to have virus infections. LMP and HMP bees may have also differed in susceptibility to virus infection. PMID:25723540

  15. Neonatal bee venom exposure induces sensory modality-specific enhancement of nociceptive response in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Mengmeng; Chen, Huisheng; Tang, Jiaguang; Chen, Jun

    2014-06-01

    Previous studies have shown that inflammatory pain at the neonatal stage can produce long-term structural and functional changes in nociceptive pathways, resulting in altered pain perception in adulthood. However, the exact pattern of altered nociceptive response and associated neurochemical changes in the spinal cord in this process is unclear. In this study, we used an experimental paradigm in which each rat first received intraplantar bee venom (BV) or saline injection on postnatal day 1, 4, 7, 14, 21, or 28. This was followed 2 months later by a second intraplantar bee venom injection in the same rats to examine the difference in nociceptive responses. We found that neonatal inflammatory pain induced by the first BV injection significantly reduced baseline paw withdrawal mechanical threshold, but not baseline paw withdrawal thermal latency, when rats were examined 2 months from the first BV injection. Neonatal inflammatory pain also exacerbated mechanical, but not thermal, hyperalgesia in response to the second BV injection in these same rats. Rats exposed to neonatal inflammation also showed up-regulation of spinal NGF, TrkA receptor, BDNF, TrkB receptor, IL-1β, and COX-2 expression following the second BV injection, especially with prior BV exposure on postnatal day 21 or 28. These results indicate that neonatal inflammation produces sensory modality-specific changes in nociceptive behavior and alters neurochemistry in the spinal cord of adult rats. These results also suggest that a prior history of inflammatory pain during the developmental period might have an impact on clinical pain in highly susceptible adult patients. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Does the Spatial Distribution of the Parasitic Mite Varroa jacobsoni Oud. (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) in Worker Brood of Honey Bee Apis Mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Rely on an Aggregative Process?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvy, M.; Capowiez, Y.; Le Conte, Y.; Salvy, M.; Clément, J.-L.

    Varroa jacobsoni is an ectoparasite of honey bees which reproduces in capped brood cells. Multi-infestation is frequently observed in worker brood and can be interpreted as an aggregative phenomenon. The aim of this study was to determine whether the distribution of V. jacobsoni in worker brood cells relies on a random or an aggregative process. We studied the distribution of Varroa females in capped worker brood at similar age by comparing, by a Monte Carlo test, the observed frequency distribution of mites per cell to simulated distributions based on a random process. A complementary approach, using the "nearest neighbor distances" (NND) with Monte Carlo tests, was investigated to study the spatial distribution (a) between mites in different cells and (b) between infested cells in brood. The observed distributions did not differ significantly from that expected by a random process, and we conclude that there is no aggregation during invasion of V. jacobsoni in worker brood.

  17. Morphologic analysis and phenotypic variations observed in the acid glands of Apis mellifera L. (1758 africanized worker bees (HYM.: Apidae in the region of Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

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    Mônica Maria Bueno de Moraes

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available In Apis mellifera,the acid gland can present atypical branching. It is composed of secretor cells that surround a canal leading into a non-muscular reservoir. We proposed to evaluate the morphology of the gland in worker bees of genetically distinct colonies, in terms of the presence and size of branching, the length of the main duct of the reservoir up to the branching point, and the total length of the gland. It was observed that the presence of branching varied from 30% to 76% with X = 59% ± 11.5%, and its length varied from 0.13mm ± 0.24mm to 1.03mm ± 1.54mm with X = 0.53mm ± 0.27mm; the variation in size of the main duct was from 5.97mm ± 1.61mm to 20.95mm ± 6.66mm with X = 12.3mm ± 5.7mm; the distance from the reservoir to the branching point was from 5.52mm ± 1.84mm to 19.53mm ± 6.42mm with X = 11.42mm ± 5.31mm, and the total length of the gland varied from 6.22mm ± 1.60mm and 21.98mm ± 7.40mm with X = 12.86mm ± 5.88mm. A large phenotypic variation was evident. The samples presented branching in at least 30% of the individuals, this characteristic being considered primitive. However, glands without branching suggest an evolution in that direction for this type of bee in the region. Concerning the genetic characteristics of the gland, in 31% of the colonies the workers presented small poison glands, genotype recessive homozygotes gm1gm1 and gm2gm2; in 69%, the workers presented large glands in heterozygote Gm2gm1 and dominant homozygotes Gm1Gm1 and Gm2Gm2. These results indicate a concentration of bees with large acid glands in the region, favoring a selection process for the production of poison.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Transcriptome analysis of the Asian honey bee Apis cerana cerana.

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    Zi Long Wang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Eastern hive honey bee, Apis cerana cerana is a native and widely bred honey bee species in China. Molecular biology research about this honey bee species is scarce, and genomic information for A. c. cerana is not currently available. Transcriptome and expression profiling data for this species are therefore important resources needed to better understand the biological mechanisms of A. c. cerana. In this study, we obtained the transcriptome information of A. c. cerana by RNA-sequencing and compared gene expression differences between queens and workers of A. c. cerana by digital gene expression (DGE analysis. RESULTS: Using high-throughput Illumina RNA sequencing we obtained 51,581,510 clean reads corresponding to 4.64 Gb total nucleotides from a single run. These reads were assembled into 46,999 unigenes with a mean length of 676 bp. Based on a sequence similarity search against the five public databases (NR, Swissport, GO, COG, KEGG with a cut-off E-value of 10(-5 using BLASTX, a total of 24,630 unigenes were annotated with gene descriptions, gene ontology terms, or metabolic pathways. Using these transcriptome data as references we analyzed the gene expression differences between the queens and workers of A. c. cerana using a tag-based digital gene expression method. We obtained 5.96 and 5.66 million clean tags from the queen and worker samples, respectively. A total of 414 genes were differentially expressed between them, with 189 up-regulated and 225 down-regulated in queens. CONCLUSIONS: Our transcriptome data provide a comprehensive sequence resource for future A. c. cerana study, establishing an important public information platform for functional genomic studies in A. c. cerana. Furthermore, the DGE data provide comprehensive gene expression information for the queens and workers, which will facilitate our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the different physiological aspects of the two castes.

  20. Colour is more than hue: preferences for compiled colour traits in the stingless bees Melipona mondury and M. quadrifasciata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koethe, Sebastian; Bossems, Jessica; Dyer, Adrian G; Lunau, Klaus

    2016-10-01

    The colour vision of bees has been extensively analysed in honeybees and bumblebees, but few studies consider the visual perception of stingless bees (Meliponini). In a five-stage experiment the preference for colour intensity and purity, and the preference for the dominant wavelength were tested by presenting four colour stimuli in each test to freely flying experienced workers of two stingless bee species, Melipona mondury and Melipona quadrifasciata. The results with bee-blue, bee-UV-blue and bee-green colours offered in four combinations of varying colour intensity and purity suggest a complex interaction between these colour traits for the determination of colour choice. Specifically, M. mondury preferred bee-UV-blue colours over bee-green, bee-blue and bee-blue-green colours while M. quadrifasciata preferred bee-green colour stimuli. Moreover in M. mondury the preferences were different if the background colour was changed from grey to green. There was a significant difference between species where M. mondury preferred UV-reflecting over UV-absorbing bee-blue-green colour stimuli, whereas M. quadrifasciata showed an opposite preference. The different colour preferences of the free flying bees in identical conditions may be caused by the bees' experience with natural flowers precedent to the choice tests, suggesting reward partitioning between species.

  1. Hygienic behavior in the stingless bees Melipona beecheii and Scaptotrigona pectoralis (Hymenoptera: Meliponini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, L M; Hart, A G; Ratnieks, F L W

    2009-05-19

    Hygienic behavior, a trait that may confer resistance to brood diseases in the honey bee Apis mellifera, was studied in two species of stingless bees in Mexico. Eight colonies each of Melipona beecheii and Scaptotrigona pectoralis were tested for hygienic behavior, the removal of dead or diseased brood, by freeze killing a comb of sealed cells containing pupae. Both species detected and removed dead brood. However, removal rates differed between species. In M. beecheii colonies, workers took 2-9 days to remove 100% of the dead brood (4.4 +/- 2.0 days, mean +/- SD), while S. pectoralis removed all dead brood in less than 3 days (2.3 +/- 0.6 days, mean +/- SD). We conclude that hygienic behavior is not unique to A. mellifera, and is not solely an adaptation for the reuse of brood cells as occurs in honey bees but not stingless bees. Although stingless bees do not reuse brood cells, space is limited. The removal of dead brood may be necessary to allow new cells to be constructed in the same place.

  2. Retinal and optical adaptations for nocturnal vision in the halictid bee Megalopta genalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greiner, Birgit; Ribi, Willi A; Warrant, Eric J

    2004-06-01

    The apposition compound eye of a nocturnal bee, the halictid Megalopta genalis, is described for the first time. Compared to the compound eye of the worker honeybee Apis mellifera and the diurnal halictid bee Lasioglossum leucozonium, the eye of M. genalis shows specific retinal and optical adaptations for vision in dim light. The major anatomical adaptations within the eye of the nocturnal bee are (1) nearly twofold larger ommatidial facets and (2) a 4-5 times wider rhabdom diameter than found in the diurnal bees studied. Optically, the apposition eye of M. genalis is 27 times more sensitive to light than the eyes of the diurnal bees. This increased optical sensitivity represents a clear optical adaptation to low light intensities. Although this unique nocturnal apposition eye has a greatly improved ability to catch light, a 27-fold increase in sensitivity alone cannot account for nocturnal vision at light intensities that are 8 log units dimmer than during daytime. New evidence suggests that additional neuronal spatial summation within the first optic ganglion, the lamina, is involved.

  3. Diet quantity influence phenotypic dimorphism during honey bee (Apis mellifera) caste determination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queen and worker honey bees are genetically analogous, but morphologically and physiologically different. Nutritional differences in larval diets regulate caste determination. Our recent work indicates diet quantity has a strong influence on caste in honeybees, and that queen induction can occur in ...

  4. Effects of oral exposure to fungicides on honey bee nutrition and immunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worker bees fed pollen containing fungicides (boscalid and pyraclostrobin) that are respiratory inhibitors had lower ATP concentrations in thoracic muscle tissue than those fed untreated pollen in both cage and colony studies. Midgut protease activity, used an indicator of consumption, was higher in...

  5. Do managed bees drive parasite spread and emergence in wild bees?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graystock, Peter; Blane, Edward J; McFrederick, Quinn S; Goulson, Dave; Hughes, William O H

    2016-04-01

    Bees have been managed and utilised for honey production for centuries and, more recently, pollination services. Since the mid 20th Century, the use and production of managed bees has intensified with hundreds of thousands of hives being moved across countries and around the globe on an annual basis. However, the introduction of unnaturally high densities of bees to areas could have adverse effects. Importation and deployment of managed honey bee and bumblebees may be responsible for parasite introductions or a change in the dynamics of native parasites that ultimately increases disease prevalence in wild bees. Here we review the domestication and deployment of managed bees and explain the evidence for the role of managed bees in causing adverse effects on the health of wild bees. Correlations with the use of managed bees and decreases in wild bee health from territories across the globe are discussed along with suggestions to mitigate further health reductions in wild bees.

  6. Do managed bees drive parasite spread and emergence in wild bees?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Graystock

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Bees have been managed and utilised for honey production for centuries and, more recently, pollination services. Since the mid 20th Century, the use and production of managed bees has intensified with hundreds of thousands of hives being moved across countries and around the globe on an annual basis. However, the introduction of unnaturally high densities of bees to areas could have adverse effects. Importation and deployment of managed honey bee and bumblebees may be responsible for parasite introductions or a change in the dynamics of native parasites that ultimately increases disease prevalence in wild bees. Here we review the domestication and deployment of managed bees and explain the evidence for the role of managed bees in causing adverse effects on the health of wild bees. Correlations with the use of managed bees and decreases in wild bee health from territories across the globe are discussed along with suggestions to mitigate further health reductions in wild bees.

  7. Taxonomic notes on stingless bee Trigona (Tetragonula iridipennis Smith (Hymenoptera: Apidae from India

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    K. Vijayakumar

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Stingless Bees are a large and diverse taxon and more than 500 species are recorded worldwide.  Based on the previous reports, totally seven species are reported from India.  The present study reports male and female morphological characteristics of Tetragonula iridipennis belonging to Tetragonula subgenus in Nellithurai Village, Tamil Nadu, India.  The species of Tetragonula group are extremely similar in the external morphology of the workers. The glabrous bands on mesoscutum of female bees and structure and arrangement of gonostylus and the penis valve of male bees are used to separate T. iridipennis from other species in this group.  The identity of T. iridipennis is made based on the male and female key morphological characteristics in the previous literature.

  8. Prediction of social structure and genetic relatedness in colonies of the facultative polygynous stingless bee Melipona bicolor (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dos Reis, Evelyze Pinheiro; de Oliveira Campos, Lucio Antonio; Tavares, Mara Garcia

    2011-04-01

    Stingless bee colonies typically consist of one single-mated mother queen and her worker offspring. The stingless bee Melipona bicolor (Hymenoptera: Apidae) shows facultative polygyny, which makes this species particularly suitable for testing theoretical expectations concerning social behavior. In this study, we investigated the social structure and genetic relatedness among workers from eight natural and six manipulated colonies of M. bicolor over a period of one year. The populations of M. bicolor contained monogynous and polygynous colonies. The estimated genetic relatedness among workers from monogynous and polygynous colonies was 0.75 ± 0.12 and 0.53 ± 0.16 (mean ± SEM), respectively. Although the parental genotypes had significant effects on genetic relatedness in monogynous and polygynous colonies, polygyny markedly decreased the relatedness among nestmate workers. Our findings also demonstrate that polygyny in M. bicolor may arise from the adoption of related or unrelated queens.

  9. Prediction of social structure and genetic relatedness in colonies of the facultative polygynous stingless bee Melipona bicolor (Hymenoptera, Apidae

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    Evelyze Pinheiro dos Reis

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Stingless bee colonies typically consist of one single-mated mother queen and her worker offspring. The stingless bee Melipona bicolor (Hymenoptera: Apidae shows facultative polygyny, which makes this species particularly suitable for testing theoretical expectations concerning social behavior. In this study, we investigated the social structure and genetic relatedness among workers from eight natural and six manipulated colonies of M. bicolor over a period of one year. The populations of M. bicolor contained monogynous and polygynous colonies. The estimated genetic relatedness among workers from monogynous and polygynous colonies was 0.75 ± 0.12 and 0.53 ± 0.16 (mean ± SEM, respectively. Although the parental genotypes had significant effects on genetic relatedness in monogynous and polygynous colonies, polygyny markedly decreased the relatedness among nestmate workers. Our findings also demonstrate that polygyny in M. bicolor may arise from the adoption of related or unrelated queens.

  10. Long-term ecology of euglossine orchid-bees (Apidae: Euglossini) in Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roubik, D W; Ackerman, J D

    1987-09-01

    Abundance patterns during 6-7 years and orchid visitation were determined for 51 species of the 57 local euglossine bees. Male bees were counted at 3 chemical attractants presented in the same manner each month. Sites were separated by 75 km but included wet Atlantic forest at 500 m elevation, moist forest at 180 m near Barro Colorado Island, and cloud forest at 900 m near the Pacific ocean. 1. From 15 to 30 euglossine species of 4 genera were active in each month and site; monthly species number and general bee abundance were positively correlated. Many species had 3 annual abundance peaks (range 1-4) and were active throughout the year, but peak annual abundances rarely occurred during late wet or early dry seasons. In contrast, Eufriesea generally were present as adults only 1-2 months in a year. 2. Euglossine populations were exceptionally stable. Species at each site were more stable than any known insect population, and stability and abundance were positively associated. However, year-to-year population stability and the degree of seasonality were not correlated. Among the three sites, the more diverse (species rich) bee assemblages displayed lower stability; these were the wetter and upland sites. 3. The most abundant bees visited more orchid species. Eg. and El. each visited and average of 4 orchid species (range 0-13); Ex. and Ef. visited 0-3. Stable populations did not visit more or fewer orchid species than did unstable populations. 4. Less than 68% of species at each site visited orchid flowers; less than a few dozen of the 100-800 bees counted in a day carried orchid pollinaria. Over 20% of the euglossine species never were seen with pollinaria at any site and probably seldom visit orchids in central Panama. 5. Most bee species visited 1 or no fragrance orchids in a given habitat. Orchids tended to utilize common pollinators that seldom included more than 1 species, and they utilized stable or unstable, seasonal or aseasonal bees. However, the most

  11. Variable effects of nicotine, anabasine, and their interactions on parasitized bumble bees [version 2; referees: 2 approved

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    Lukas P. Thorburn

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Secondary metabolites in floral nectar have been shown to reduce parasite load in two common bumble bee species. Previous studies on the effects of nectar secondary metabolites on parasitized bees have focused on single compounds in isolation; however, in nature, bees are simultaneously exposed to multiple compounds. We tested for interactions between the effects of two alkaloids found in the nectar of Nicotiana spp. plants, nicotine and anabasine, on parasite load and mortality in bumble bees (Bombus impatiens infected with the intestinal parasite Crithidia bombi. Adult worker bees inoculated with C. bombi were fed nicotine and anabasine diet treatments in a factorial design, resulting in four nectar treatment combinations:  2 ppm nicotine, 5 ppm anabasine, 2ppm nicotine and 5 ppm anabasine together, or a control alkaloid-free solution. We conducted the experiment twice: first, with bees incubated under variable environmental conditions (‘Variable’; temperatures varied from 10-35°C with ambient lighting; and second, under carefully controlled environmental conditions (‘Stable’; 27°C incubator, constant darkness. In ‘Variable’, each alkaloid alone significantly decreased parasite loads, but this effect was not realized with the alkaloids in combination, suggesting an antagonistic interaction. Nicotine but not anabasine significantly increased mortality, and the two compounds had no interactive effects on mortality. In ‘Stable’, nicotine significantly increased parasite loads, the opposite of its effect in ‘Variable’. While not significant, the relationship between anabasine and parasite loads was also positive. Interactive effects between the two alkaloids on parasite load were non-significant, but the pattern of antagonistic interaction was similar to that in the variable experiment. Neither alkaloid, nor their interaction, significantly affected mortality under controlled conditions. Our results do not indicate synergy

  12. Changes in learning and foraging behaviour within developing bumble bee (Bombus terrestris colonies.

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    Lisa J Evans

    Full Text Available Organisation in eusocial insect colonies emerges from the decisions and actions of its individual members. In turn, these decisions and actions are influenced by the individual's behaviour (or temperament. Although there is variation in the behaviour of individuals within a colony, we know surprisingly little about how (or indeed if the types of behaviour present in a colony change over time. Here, for the first time, we assessed potential changes in the behavioural type of foragers during colony development. Using an ecologically relevant foraging task, we measured the decision speed and learning ability of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris at different stages of colony development. We determined whether individuals that forage early in the colony life cycle (the queen and early emerging workers behaved differently from workers that emerge and forage at the end of colony development. Whilst we found no overall change in the foraging behaviour of workers with colony development, there were strong differences in foraging behaviour between queens and their workers. Queens appeared to forage more cautiously than their workers and were also quicker to learn. These behaviours could allow queens to maximise their nectar collecting efficiency whilst avoiding predation. Because the foundress queen is crucial to the survival and success of a bumble bee colony, more efficient foraging behaviour in queens may have strong adaptive value.

  13. Forager bees (Apis mellifera) highly express immune and detoxification genes in tissues associated with nectar processing.

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    Vannette, Rachel L; Mohamed, Abbas; Johnson, Brian R

    2015-11-09

    Pollinators, including honey bees, routinely encounter potentially harmful microorganisms and phytochemicals during foraging. However, the mechanisms by which honey bees manage these potential threats are poorly understood. In this study, we examine the expression of antimicrobial, immune and detoxification genes in Apis mellifera and compare between forager and nurse bees using tissue-specific RNA-seq and qPCR. Our analysis revealed extensive tissue-specific expression of antimicrobial, immune signaling, and detoxification genes. Variation in gene expression between worker stages was pronounced in the mandibular and hypopharyngeal gland (HPG), where foragers were enriched in transcripts that encode antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and immune response. Additionally, forager HPGs and mandibular glands were enriched in transcripts encoding detoxification enzymes, including some associated with xenobiotic metabolism. Using qPCR on an independent dataset, we verified differential expression of three AMP and three P450 genes between foragers and nurses. High expression of AMP genes in nectar-processing tissues suggests that these peptides may contribute to antimicrobial properties of honey or to honey bee defense against environmentally-acquired microorganisms. Together, these results suggest that worker role and tissue-specific expression of AMPs, and immune and detoxification enzymes may contribute to defense against microorganisms and xenobiotic compounds acquired while foraging.

  14. Distinct subspecies or phenotypic plasticity? Genetic and morphological differentiation of mountain honey bees in East Africa.

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    Gruber, Karl; Schöning, Caspar; Otte, Marianne; Kinuthia, Wanja; Hasselmann, Martin

    2013-09-01

    Identifying the forces shaping intraspecific phenotypic and genotypic divergence are of key importance in evolutionary biology. Phenotypic divergence may result from local adaptation or, especially in species with strong gene flow, from pronounced phenotypic plasticity. Here, we examine morphological and genetic divergence among populations of the western honey bee Apis mellifera in the topographically heterogeneous East African region. The currently accepted "mountain refugia hypothesis" states that populations living in disjunct montane forests belong to a different lineage than those in savanna habitats surrounding these forests. We obtained microsatellite data, mitochondrial sequences, and morphometric data from worker honey bees collected from feral colonies in three montane forests and corresponding neighboring savanna regions in Kenya. Honey bee colonies from montane forests showed distinct worker morphology compared with colonies in savanna areas. Mitochondrial sequence data did not support the existence of the two currently accepted subspecies. Furthermore, analyses of the microsatellite data with a Bayesian clustering method did not support the existence of two source populations as it would be expected under the mountain refugia scenario. Our findings suggest that phenotypic plasticity rather than distinct ancestry is the leading cause behind the phenotypic divergence observed between montane forest and savanna honey bees. Our study thus corroborates the idea that high gene flow may select for increased plasticity.

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

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    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.

  16. First identification of nanoparticles on thorax, abdomen and wings of the worker bee Apis dorsata Fabricius

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    Bhattacharyya Atanu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The presence of nanoparticles on the body of the honeybee Apis dorsata Fabricius, was investigated for the first time to better understand the bee’s behaviour. These have been observed by using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM and confirmed by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM. Our study clearly denotes that the Indian rock honey bee Apis dorsata possess calcium silicate and calcium phosphate nanoparticles on its body surface of 5-50 nm in diameter. In particular, the nanoparticles on the abdomen and thorax of A. dorsata have an average diameter of about 10 nanometers and they are smaller than those found on wings of the same bees which are about 20 nanometers. The nanoparticles found are different of the ones previously observed on honey bees or other insects. The origin and role of these natural nanoparticles on the body of the Indian rock bee need to be to be further investigated; more research in the subject might raise important aspects in relation to the conservation of these unique pollinators.

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

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    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

  18. Pathogenesis of varroosis at the level of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony.

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    Wegener, J; Ruhnke, H; Scheller, K; Mispagel, S; Knollmann, U; Kamp, G; Bienefeld, K

    2016-01-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa destructor, in interaction with different viruses, is the main cause of honey bee colony mortality in most parts of the world. Here we studied how effects of individual-level parasitization are reflected by the bee colony as a whole. We measured disease progression in an apiary of 24 hives with differing degree of mite infestation, and investigated its relationship to 28 biometrical, physiological and biochemical indicators. In early summer, when the most heavily infested colonies already showed reduced growth, an elevated ratio of brood to bees, as well as a strong presence of phenoloxidase/prophenoloxidase in hive bees were found to be predictors of the time of colony collapse. One month later, the learning performance of worker bees as well as the activity of glucose oxidase measured from head extracts were significantly linked to the timing of colony collapse. Colonies at the brink of collapse were characterized by reduced weight of winter bees and a strong increase in their relative body water content. Our data confirm the importance of the immune system, known from studies of individually-infested bees, for the pathogenesis of varroosis at colony level. However, they also show that single-bee effects cannot always be extrapolated to the colony as a whole. This fact, together with the prominent role of colony-level factors like the ratio between brood and bees for disease progression, stress the importance of the superorganismal dimension of Varroa research. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Chemical changes associated with the invasion of a Melipona scutellaris colony by Melipona rufiventris workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pianaro, Adriana; Flach, Adriana; Patricio, Eda F L R A; Nogueira-Neto, Paulo; Marsaioli, Anita J

    2007-05-01

    Wax constituents produced by worker bees and the chemistry of the nest batumen (mixture of wax, mud, and floral materials) in a Melipona scutellaris colony changed when it was invaded by Melipona rufiventris workers. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analyses showed that after invasion, the M. scutellaris workers of the invaded colony produced waxes with higher relative abundance of triacontanyl acetate and decreased the amounts of n-alkanes and n-9-alkenes. On the other hand, waxes from M. rufiventris workers displayed few changes. The change in the composition of the M. scutellaris waxes chemically differentiates that species from the M. rufiventris invader workers. Comparative analyses of batumens samples from pure and invaded colonies revealed greater amounts of terpenes and phenolic derivatives in the batumen from the invaded colony. This is the first report on the chemical characterization of batumens from stingless bees.

  1. Late winter feeding stimulates rapid spring development of carniolan honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera carnica

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    Zlatko Puškadija

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Unfavourable weather conditions after the queen starts with intensive oviposition during early spring may cause an imbalance in the division of tasks among worker bees in the bee colony. This can lead to slow spring development and poor exploitation of the main spring nectar flows. In order to accelerate the spring development, it is necessary, as a technological measure, to feed supplemental candy to bee colonies. In this research, the necessity of supplemental feeding, as well as the composition of candy (pollen and protein substitute were analysed. Three groups of ten bee colonies each were formed - the control, unfed group, pollen candy fed and protein substitute candy fed. In the period from 22/02/2016 and 04/04/2016 three control measurements were performed during which the number of bees, the number of brood cells and weight of the bee colonies were determined. The research has shown that supplemental feeding of the bee colony in late winter in order to encourage the rapid spring development is justified. Namely, at the final measurements in April, the results showed differences between groups. The treated colonies had higher net hive weight, a greater number of bees and statistically significantly more brood cells. The results of this study confirm that the technological measure of supplemental feeding in late winter should be performed on all commercial apiaries for the production of honey, pollen, royal jelly, queen bees and bee venom.

  2. Short communication. Impact of the amino acid proline on the cold hardiness of honey bee, Apis mellifera L.

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    M. Mollaei

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Like many insects, honey bee can increase its cold tolerance through freeze avoidance, using antifreeze proteins (AFPs to lower its supercooling point (SCP. Proline is the most dominant amino acid in honey bee hemolymph, which can be obtained by the insect through feeding. In the current study the antifreeze activity of this amino acid was evaluated on worker honey bees, immediately before the start of cold season. The experiment was established on four treatments including three different concentrations of proline (1%, 3% and 4.35% diluted in 1:1 water sucrose syrup, and the syrup without proline (control. Newly emerged worker honey bees were fed on the mentioned diets for 2 weeks, under cage condition, and then 20 bees from each treatment (cage were selected randomly for determination of cold hardiness inside a cooling bath. Using a CHY data logger, equipped with a K100 sensor attached to the bee’s gaster, the SCP, the amount of released heat and the rate of this release as measures of insect cold hardiness were recorded. Proline significantly reduced honey bees’ SCP. The lowest point, -7.67±0.2646°C, was observed in the concentration of 1% proline. The amount of released heat and the rate of this release were not significantly different across the treatments.

  3. 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.

  4. Molecular identification of chronic bee paralysis virus infection in Apis mellifera colonies in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morimoto, Tomomi; Kojima, Yuriko; Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Yang, Bu; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2012-07-01

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) infection causes chronic paralysis and loss of workers in honey bee colonies around the world. Although CBPV shows a worldwide distribution, it had not been molecularly detected in Japan. Our investigation of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana japonica colonies with RT-PCR has revealed CBPV infection in A. mellifera but not A. c. japonica colonies in Japan. The prevalence of CBPV is low compared with that of other viruses: deformed wing virus (DWV), black queen cell virus (BQCV), Israel acute paralysis virus (IAPV), and sac brood virus (SBV), previously reported in Japan. Because of its low prevalence (5.6%) in A. mellifera colonies, the incidence of colony losses by CBPV infection must be sporadic in Japan. The presence of the (-) strand RNA in dying workers suggests that CBPV infection and replication may contribute to their symptoms. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates a geographic separation of Japanese isolates from European, Uruguayan, and mainland US isolates. The lack of major exchange of honey bees between Europe/mainland US and Japan for the recent 26 years (1985-2010) may have resulted in the geographic separation of Japanese CBPV isolates.

  5. Varroa destructor mite mortality rate according to the amount of worker broods in africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera L. colonies = Taxa de mortalidade do ácaro Varroa destructor de acordo com a quantidade de crias em colônias de abelhas africanizadas (Apis mellifera L.

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    Geraldo Moretto

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The Varroa destructor mite has caused the death of hundreds of thousands of Apis mellifera colonies in several countries worldwide. However, the effects determined by the Varroa mite change according to the A. mellifera subspecies. In Africanized bee colonies from South and Central America, the parasite causes little damage, as the infestation levels are relatively stable and low, thus treatments against the pest are not required. Among several factors, the grooming behavior of Africanized worker bees plays an important role in the maintenance of the low infestation levels. This study determined the daily rate of live and dead mites found at the bottom of the hive in five Africanized honey bee colonies. During fifteen days of observations, a significant increase was verified in the number of live and dead mites at the bottom of the hive as the amount of worker broods from each honey bee colony decreased. This suggests a more intense grooming activity as the Varroa concentration in the adult honey bee population increases.O ácaro Varroa destructor tem causado a mortalidade de centenas de milhares de colônias de abelhas Apis mellifera em várias partes do mundo. Os efeitos determinados pelo ácaro Varroa variam com a subespécie de Apis mellifera. Nas Américas do Sul e Central, o parasita causa poucos danos às colônias de abelhas africanizadas, a taxa de infestação é estável e baixa, não sendo necessário o tratamento químico contra a praga. Entre vários fatores que são responsáveis pela tolerância das abelhas africanizadas a esse parasita, o comportamento de grooming executado pelas operárias deve exercer importante papel na manutenção dos baixos níveis deinfestação. Neste estudo, foram avaliadas as taxas diárias de ácaros vivos e mortos encontrados no fundo das colméias de cinco colônias de abelhas africanizadas. Durante 15 dias de observações, foi verificado significativo aumento de ácaros no fundo da colméia

  6. Investigation of the yearly dynamics of the intensity of reciprocal feeding among honey bees Apis mellifica L. by means of I131

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Skirkevicius, A.V.; Bagdonas, J.-S.A.

    1978-01-01

    The results of the investigation show that the early change of the intensity of reciprocal feeding among honey bees makes up a circle consisting of 4 phases, 2 of them being with a more frequent and 2 with a less frequent reciprocal feeding. The duration of one phase varies from 1 to 6 months. The intensity of the reciprocal feeding is the same during both phases with the less frequent reciprocal feeding, while significantly unequal in the phases with the more frequent reciprocal feeding (on the average by 2.6 times greater in the 2nd phase than in the 4th). There is a positive correlation between the yearly dynamics of the intensity of reciprocal feeding and the quantity of feed given by the nurse bee. The average radioactivity per 1 bee (from those who got radioactive feed) is constant and depends neither upon season nor the period worker bees were kept in the group. Here is a positive correlation between the yearly dynamics of the intensity of reciprocal feeding among worker bees and the extent of variability of the quantity of feed they receive

  7. Olfactory interference during inhibitory backward pairing in honey bees.

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    Matthieu Dacher

    Full Text Available Restrained worker honey bees are a valuable model for studying the behavioral and neural bases of olfactory plasticity. The proboscis extension response (PER; the proboscis is the mouthpart of honey bees is released in response to sucrose stimulation. If sucrose stimulation is preceded one or a few times by an odor (forward pairing, the bee will form a memory for this association, and subsequent presentations of the odor alone are sufficient to elicit the PER. However, backward pairing between the two stimuli (sucrose, then odor has not been studied to any great extent in bees, although the vertebrate literature indicates that it elicits a form of inhibitory plasticity.If hungry bees are fed with sucrose, they will release a long lasting PER; however, this PER can be interrupted if an odor is presented 15 seconds (but not 7 or 30 seconds after the sucrose (backward pairing. We refer to this previously unreported process as olfactory interference. Bees receiving this 15 second backward pairing show reduced performance after a subsequent single forward pairing (excitatory conditioning trial. Analysis of the results supported a relationship between olfactory interference and a form of backward pairing-induced inhibitory learning/memory. Injecting the drug cimetidine into the deutocerebrum impaired olfactory interference.Olfactory interference depends on the associative link between odor and PER, rather than between odor and sucrose. Furthermore, pairing an odor with sucrose can lead either to association of this odor to PER or to the inhibition of PER by this odor. Olfactory interference may provide insight into processes that gate how excitatory and inhibitory memories for odor-PER associations are formed.

  8. Microsatellite loci for the stingless bee Melipona rufiventris (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Denilce Meneses; D Silva, Filipe Oliveira; Fernandes Salomão, Tânia Maria; Campos, Lúcio Antônio D Oliveira; Tavares, Mara Garcia

    2009-05-01

    Eight microsatellite primers were developed from ISSR (intersimple sequence repeats) markers for the stingless bee Melipona rufiventris. These primers were tested in 20 M. rufiventris workers, representing a single population from Minas Gerais state. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 5 (mean = 2.63) and the observed and expected heterozygosity values ranged from 0.00 to 0.44 (mean = 0.20) and from 0.05 to 0.68 (mean = 0.31), respectively. Several loci were also polymorphic in M. quadrifasciata, M. bicolor, M. mandacaia and Partamona helleri and should prove useful in population studies of other stingless bees. © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  9. Consumption rate of some proteinic diets affecting hypopharyngeal glands development in honeybee workers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Ghamdi, Ahmad AlKazim; Al-Khaibari, Abeer M.; Omar, Mohamed O.

    2010-01-01

    The experiment was carried out under laboratory condition to study the consumption of some proteinic diets and their effect on hypopharyngeal glands (HPG) development during nursing period. The results showed that the bee bread and the pollen loads mixture with sugar (1:1) were more consumed by honeybee workers followed by Nectapol® and Yeast-Gluten mixture. The lowest consumption amount was recorded with traditional substitute. Clear differences were found in HPG development under feeding with different diets. The maximum development degree was observed when fed with bee bread followed by pollen loads and mixture from Yeast, Gluten and sugar (1:1:2). The acinal surface of HPG showed clear difference under feeding with difference diets. The largest area was recorded when honeybee workers fed on bee bread followed by Yeast-Gluten-sugar mixture (diet,4) and pollen loads(diet,2). PMID:23961106

  10. The geometric framework for nutrition reveals interactions between protein and carbohydrate during larval growth in honey bees

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    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.

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Behavior genetics: Bees as model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nates Parra, Guiomar

    2011-01-01

    The honeybee Apis mellifera (Apidae) is a model widely used in behavior because of its elaborate social life requiring coordinate actions among the members of the society. Within a colony, division of labor, the performance of tasks by different individuals, follows genetically determined physiological changes that go along with aging. Modern advances in tools of molecular biology and genomics, as well as the sequentiation of A. mellifera genome, have enabled a better understanding of honeybee behavior, in particular social behavior. Numerous studies show that aspects of worker behavior are genetically determined, including defensive, hygienic, reproductive and foraging behavior. For example, genetic diversity is associated with specialization to collect water, nectar and pollen. Also, control of worker reproduction is associated with genetic differences. In this paper, I review the methods and the main results from the study of the genetic and genomic basis of some behaviors in bees.

  14. 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.

  15. Can the exposure of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apiadae) larvae to a field concentration of thiamethoxam affect newly emerged bees?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friol, Priscila Sepúlveda; Catae, Aline Fernanda; Tavares, Daiana Antonia; Malaspina, Osmar; Roat, Thaisa Cristina

    2017-10-01

    The use of insecticides on crops can affect non-target insects, such as bees. In addition to the adult bees, larvae can be exposed to the insecticide through contaminated floral resources. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the possible effects of the exposure of A. mellifera larvae to a field concentration of thiamethoxam (0.001 ng/μL thiamethoxam) on larval and pupal survival and on the percentage of adult emergence. Additionally, its cytotoxic effects on the digestive cells of midgut, Malpighian tubules cells and Kenyon cells of the brain of newly emerged A. mellifera bees were analyzed. The results showed that larval exposure to this concentration of thiamethoxam did not influence larval and pupal survival or the percentage of adult bee emergence. However, this exposure caused ultra-structural alterations in the target and non-target organs of newly emerged bees. The digestive cell of bees that were exposed to the insecticide exhibited a basal labyrinth without long and thin channels and compromised mitochondria. In Malpighian tubules cells, disorganized basal labyrinth, dilated mitochondria with a deformed shape and a loss of cristae, and disorganized microvilli were observed. The results showed that the exposed bees presented Kenyon cells with alterations in the nucleus and mitochondria. These alterations indicate possible tissue degeneration, demonstrating the cytotoxicity of thiamethoxam in the target and non-target organs of newly emerged bees. Such results suggest cellular organelle impairment that can compromise cellular function of the midgut cells, Malpighian tubules cells and Kenyon cells, and, consequently, can compromise the longevity of the bees of the whole colony. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Towards integrated control of varroa: effect of variation in hygienic behaviour among honey bee colonies on mite population increase and deformed wing virus incidence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toufailia, Hasan M Al; Amiri, Esmaeil; Scandian, Luciano

    2014-01-01

    by varroa. We treated 42 broodless honey bee colonies with oxalic acid in early January 2013 to reduce varroa populations to low levels, which we quantified by extracting mites from a sample of worker bees. We quantified varroa levels, again when the colonies were broodless, 48 weeks later. During...

  19. Subalpine bumble bee foraging distances and densities in relation to flower availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Susan E

    2009-06-01

    Bees feed almost exclusively on nectar and pollen from flowers. However, little is known about how food availability limits bee populations, especially in high elevation areas. Foraging distances and relationships between forager densities and resource availability can provide insights into the potential for food limitation in mobile consumer populations. For example, if floral resources are limited, bee consumers should fly farther to forage, and they should be more abundant in areas with more flowers. I estimated subalpine bumble bee foraging distances by calculating forager recapture probabilities at increasing distances from eight marking locations. I measured forager and flower densities over the flowering season in six half-hectare plots. Because subalpine bumble bees have little time to build their colonies, they may forage over short distances and forager density may not be constrained by flower density. However, late in the season, when floral resources dwindle, foraging distances may increase, and there may be stronger relationships between forager and flower densities. Throughout the flowering season, marked bees were primarily found within 100 m (and never >1,000 m) from their original marking location, suggesting that they typically did not fly far to forage. Although the density of early season foraging queens increased with early-season flower density, the density of mid- and late-season workers and males did not vary with flower density. Short foraging distances and no relationships between mid- and late-season forager and flower densities suggest that high elevation bumble bees may have ample floral resources for colony growth reproduction.

  20. New species of the stingless bee genus Schwarziana (Hymenoptera, Apidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel A.R. Melo

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Two new species of the stingless bee genus Schwarziana from Brazil are described and illustrated. Schwarziana bocainensis sp. nov. is described from Serra da Bocaina, in São Paulo, and S. chapadensis sp. nov. is described from Chapada dos Veadeiros, in Goiás. An identification key to workers of the known species of Schwarziana is provided.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Importance of brood maintenance terms in simple models of the honeybee - Varroa destructor - acute bee paralysis virus complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hermann J. Eberl

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available We present a simple mathematical model of the infestation of a honeybee colony by the Acute Paralysis Virus, which is carried by parasitic varroa mites (Varroa destructor. This is a system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations for the dependent variables: number of mites that carry the virus, number of healthy bees and number of sick bees. We study this model with a mix of analytical and computational techniques. Our results indicate that, depending on model parameters and initial data, bee colonies in which the virus is present can, over years, function seemingly like healthy colonies before they decline and disappear rapidly (e.g. Colony Collapse Disorder, wintering losses. This is a consequence of the fact that a certain number of worker bees is required in a colony to maintain and care for the brood, in order to ensure continued production of new bees.

  4. Bee-Wild about Pollinators!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Bonnie; Kil, Jenny; Evans, Elaine; Koomen, Michele Hollingsworth

    2014-01-01

    With their sunny stripes and fuzzy bodies, bees are beloved--but unfortunately, they are in trouble. Bee decline, of both wild bees as well as managed bees like honey bees, has been in the news for the last several years. Habitat loss, diseases, pests, and pesticides have made it difficult for bees to survive in many parts of our world (Walsh…

  5. The impact of pollen consumption on honey bee digestive physiology and carbohydrate metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbohydrate-active enzymes play an important role in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) due to its dietary specialization on plant-based nutrition. Secretory glycoside hydrolases (GHs) produced in worker head glands aid in the processing of floral nectar into honey and are expressed in accordance with ...

  6. Highly controlled nest homeostasis of honey bees helps deactivate phenolics in nectar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fanglin; He, Jianzhong; Fu, Wenjun

    2005-06-01

    Honey bees have a highly developed nest homeostasis, for example, maintaining low CO2 levels and stable nest temperatures at 35°C.We investigate the role of nest homeostasis in deactivating phenolic compounds present in the nectar of Aloe littoralis. We show that the phenolic content in nectar was reduced (from 0.65% to 0.49%) after nectar was incubated in a nest of Apis cerana, and that it was reduced still more (from 0.65% to 0.37%) if nectar was mixed with hypopharyngeal gland proteins (HGP) of worker bees before being placed inside a nest. HGP had little effect on samples outside a nest, indicating that nest conditions are necessary for HGP to deactivate phenolics in nectar. Consequently, the highly controlled nest homeostasis of honey bees facilitates direct deactivation of phenolics in nectar, and plays a role in the action of HGP as well.

  7. Proteomic analysis in the Dufour's gland of Africanized Apis mellifera workers (Hymenoptera: Apidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aparecida das Dores Teixeira

    Full Text Available The colony of eusocial bee Apis mellifera has a reproductive queen and sterile workers performing tasks such as brood care and foraging. Chemical communication plays a crucial role in the maintenance of sociability in bees with many compounds released by the exocrine glands. The Dufour's gland is a non-paired gland associated with the sting apparatus with important functions in the communication between members of the colony, releasing volatile chemicals that influence workers roles and tasks. However, the protein content in this gland is not well studied. This study identified differentially expressed proteins in the Dufour's glands of nurse and forager workers of A. mellifera through 2D-gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. A total of 131 spots showed different expression between nurse and forager bees, and 28 proteins were identified. The identified proteins were categorized into different functions groups including protein, carbohydrate, energy and lipid metabolisms, cytoskeleton-associated proteins, detoxification, homeostasis, cell communication, constitutive and allergen. This study provides new insights of the protein content in the Dufour's gland contributing to a more complete understanding of the biological functions of this gland in honeybees.

  8. Proteomic analysis in the Dufour's gland of Africanized Apis mellifera workers (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Aparecida das Dores; Games, Patricia D; Katz, Benjamin B; Tomich, John M; Zanuncio, José C; Serrão, José Eduardo

    2017-01-01

    The colony of eusocial bee Apis mellifera has a reproductive queen and sterile workers performing tasks such as brood care and foraging. Chemical communication plays a crucial role in the maintenance of sociability in bees with many compounds released by the exocrine glands. The Dufour's gland is a non-paired gland associated with the sting apparatus with important functions in the communication between members of the colony, releasing volatile chemicals that influence workers roles and tasks. However, the protein content in this gland is not well studied. This study identified differentially expressed proteins in the Dufour's glands of nurse and forager workers of A. mellifera through 2D-gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. A total of 131 spots showed different expression between nurse and forager bees, and 28 proteins were identified. The identified proteins were categorized into different functions groups including protein, carbohydrate, energy and lipid metabolisms, cytoskeleton-associated proteins, detoxification, homeostasis, cell communication, constitutive and allergen. This study provides new insights of the protein content in the Dufour's gland contributing to a more complete understanding of the biological functions of this gland in honeybees.

  9. Linking Genes and Brain Development of Honeybee Workers: A Whole-Transcriptome Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Vleurinck

    Full Text Available Honeybees live in complex societies whose capabilities far exceed those of the sum of their single members. This social synergism is achieved mainly by the worker bees, which form a female caste. The worker bees display diverse collaborative behaviors and engage in different behavioral tasks, which are controlled by the central nervous system (CNS. The development of the worker brain is determined by the female sex and the worker caste determination signal. Here, we report on genes that are controlled by sex or by caste during differentiation of the worker's pupal brain. We sequenced and compared transcriptomes from the pupal brains of honeybee workers, queens and drones. We detected 333 genes that are differently expressed and 519 genes that are differentially spliced between the sexes, and 1760 genes that are differentially expressed and 692 genes that are differentially spliced between castes. We further found that 403 genes are differentially regulated by both the sex and caste signals, providing evidence of the integration of both signals through differential gene regulation. In this gene set, we found that the molecular processes of restructuring the cell shape and cell-to-cell signaling are overrepresented. Our approach identified candidate genes that may be involved in brain differentiation that ensures the various social worker behaviors.

  10. Morphology and structure of the tarsal glands of the stingless bee Melipona seminigra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarau, Stefan; Hrncir, Michael; Zucchi, Ronaldo; Barth, Friedrich G.

    2005-03-01

    Footprint secretions deposited at the nest entrance or on food sources are used for chemical communication by honey bees, bumble bees, and stingless bees. The question of the glandular origin of the substances involved, however, has not been unequivocally answered yet. We investigated the morphology and structure of tarsal glands within the fifth tarsomeres of the legs of workers of Melipona seminigra in order to clarify their possible role in the secretion of footprints. The tarsal gland is a sac-like fold forming a reservoir. Its glandular tissue is composed of a unicellular layer of specialized epidermal cells, which cover the thin cuticular intima forming the reservoir. We found that the tarsal glands lack any openings to the outside and therefore conclude that they are not involved in the secretion of footprint substances. The secretion produced accumulates within the gland's reservoir and reaches as far as into the arolium. Thus it is likely that it serves to fill and unfold the arolium during walking to increase adhesion on smooth surfaces, as is known for honey bees and weaver ants.

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

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    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Drifting bumble bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) workers in commercial greenhouses may be social parasites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Birmingham, A.L.; Hoover, S.E.; Winston, M.L.; Ydenberg, R.C.

    2004-01-01

    Commercial greenhouses require high densities of managed bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis Greene, 1858 and Bombus impatiens Cresson, 1863) colonies to pollinate crops such as tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Miller). We examined drifting, a behavioural consequence of introducing closely aggregated

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola has no long-term impact on honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutler, G Christopher; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D

    2007-06-01

    We conducted a long-term investigation to ascertain effects on honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colonies during and after exposure to flowering canola, Brassica napus variety Hyola 420, grown from clothianidin-treated seed. Colonies were placed in the middle of 1-ha clothianidin seed-treated or control canola fields for 3 wk during bloom, and thereafter they were moved to a fall apiary. There were four treated and four control fields, and four colonies per field, giving 32 colonies total. Bee mortality, worker longevity, and brood development were regularly assessed in each colony for 130 d from initial exposure to canola. Samples of honey, beeswax, pollen, and nectar were regularly collected for 130 d, and the samples were analyzed for clothianidin residues by using high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection. Overall, no differences in bee mortality, worker longevity, or brood development occurred between control and treatment groups throughout the study. Weight gains of and honey yields from colonies in treated fields were not significantly different from those in control fields. Although clothianidin residues were detected in honey, nectar, and pollen from colonies in clothianidin-treated fields, maximum concentrations detected were 8- to 22-fold below the reported no observable adverse effects concentration. Clothianidin residues were not detected in any beeswax sample. Assessment of overwintered colonies in spring found no differences in those originally exposed to treated or control canola. The results show that honey bee colonies will, in the long-term, be unaffected by exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola.

  20. Effect of Citrus floral extracts on the foraging behavior of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona pectoralis (Dalla Torre

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julieta Grajales-Conesa

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Effect of Citrus floral extracts on the foraging behavior of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona pectoralis (Dalla Torre. Stingless bees have an important role as pollinators of many wild and cultivated plant species in tropical regions. Little is known, however, about the interaction between floral fragrances and the foraging behavior of meliponine species. Thus we investigated the chemical composition of the extracts of citric (lemon and orange flowers and their effects on the foraging behavior of the stingless bee Scaptotrigona pectoralis. We found that each type of flower has its own specific blend of major compounds: limonene (62.9% for lemon flowers, and farnesol (26.5%, (E-nerolidol (20.8%, and linalool (12.7% for orange flowers. In the foraging experiments the S. pectoralis workers were able to use the flower extracts to orient to the food source, overlooking plates baited with hexane only. However, orange flower extracts were seemingly more attractive to these worker bees, maybe because of the particular blend present in it. Our results reveal that these fragrances are very attractive to S. pectoralis, so we can infer that within citric orchards they could be important visitors in the study area; however habitat destruction, overuse of pesticides and the competitive override by managed honeybees might have put at risk their populations and thus the ecological services they provide to us.

  1. Transcriptional, translational, and physiological signatures of undernourished honey bees (Apis mellifera) suggest a role for hormonal factors in hypopharyngeal gland degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Meador, Charlotte A D; Snyder, Lucy A; Schwan, Melissa R; Maes, Patrick; Jones, Beryl M; Walton, Alexander; Anderson, Kirk E

    2016-02-01

    Honey bee colonies function as a superorganism, where facultatively sterile female workers perform various tasks that support the hive. Nurse workers undergo numerous anatomical and physiological changes in preparation for brood rearing, including the growth of hypopharyngeal glands (HGs). These glands produce the major protein fraction of a protein- and lipid-rich jelly used to sustain developing larvae. Pollen intake is positively correlated with HG growth, but growth in the first three days is similar regardless of diet, suggesting that initial growth is a pre-determined process while later HG development depends on nutrient availability during a critical window in early adulthood (>3 d). It is unclear whether the resultant size differences in nurse HG are simply due to growth arrest or active degradation of the tissue. To determine what processes cause such differences in HG size, we catalogued the differential expression of both gene transcripts and proteins in the HGs of 8 d old bees that were fed diets containing pollen or no pollen. 3438 genes and 367 proteins were differentially regulated due to nutrition. Of the genes and proteins differentially expressed, undernourished bees exhibited more gene and protein up-regulation compared to well-nourished bees, with the affected processes including salivary gland apoptosis, oogenesis, and hormone signaling. Protein secretion was virtually the only process up-regulated in well-nourished bees. Further assays demonstrated that inhibition of ultraspiracle, one component of the ecdysteroid receptor, in the fat body caused larger HGs. Undernourished bees also had higher acid phosphatase activity, a physiological marker of cell death, compared to well-nourished bees. These results support a connection between poor nutrition, hormonal signaling, and HG degradation. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. [Visitation of orchid by Melipona capixaba Moure & Camargo (Hymenoptera: Apidae), bee threatened with extinction].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resende, Helder C; Barros, Fábio de; Campos, Lúcio A O; Fernandes-Salomão, Tânia M

    2008-01-01

    The stingless bee Melipona capixaba Moure & Camargo is a species restricted to the Atlantic forest in the Domingos Martins, Conceição do Castelo, Venda Nova do Imigrante and Afonso Cláudio County, in the Espírito Santo State, Brazil. Despite its cological importance as pollinator few studies have examined the ecology and biology of this bee. This note relates a case of the M. capixaba workers carrying pollinarium attached to the scuttellum. The pollinaria were identified as belonging to the orchid subtribe Maxillariinae species possibly of the genus Maxillaria sensu lato or Xylobium.

  3. Social and Individual Influences on Tractor Operating Practices of Young Adult Agricultural Workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolphi, Josie M; Campo, Shelly; Gerr, Fred; Rohlman, Diane S

    2018-05-01

    Tractor-related incidents are the leading cause of agricultural-related fatalities in the United States. Injuries from rollovers can be prevented by equipping tractors with rollover protective structures (ROPS, an engineering approach) and by using seatbelts (a behavior-based approach). While adult farmers report low seatbelt use and frequent use of tractors without ROPS, it is unknown whether the young adult population has adopted similar tractor driving practices. This study was designed to identify tractor operating practices among young adult agricultural workers and the influence of supervisors, peers, and parents on their safety behaviors. An online survey was conducted among college students enrolled in agricultural science classes in four Midwestern colleges and universities. Participants answered questions about their tractor operating practices, the influence of supervisors, peers, parents, and individual risk taking tendencies on their workplace practices. A tractor operation safety score was estimated from participants' responses. Linear regression was used to examine the association of these influences and the tractor operation safety score. Of the 193 respondents, most (78.8%) reported that they never or rarely wear a seatbelt when operating a tractor with a ROPS. Supervisory influences, such as being negatively evaluated by a supervisor, were found to be more strongly associated with tractor operating behaviors than peer or parent influence. Young adult agricultural workers frequently reported unsafe tractor operating behaviors. Supervisors were found to have the most influence over reported behaviors of young adult agricultural workers. Copyright © 2017 The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Gamma irradiation inactivates honey bee fungal, microsporidian, and viral pathogens and parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Aronstein, Kate; Goblirsch, Michael; Rinkevich, Frank; de Guzman, Lilia

    2018-03-01

    Managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations are currently facing unsustainable losses due to a variety of factors. Colonies are challenged with brood pathogens, such as the fungal agent of chalkbrood disease, the microsporidian gut parasite Nosema spp., and several viruses. These pathogens may be transmitted horizontally from worker to worker, vertically from queen to egg and via vectors like the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor. Despite the fact that these pathogens are widespread and often harbored in wax comb that is reused from year to year and transferred across beekeeping operations, few, if any, universal treatments exist for their control. In order to mitigate some of these biological threats to honey bees and to allow for more sustainable reuse of equipment, investigations into techniques for the sterilization of hive equipment and comb are of particular significance. Here, we investigated the potential of gamma irradiation for inactivation of the fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis, the microsporidian Nosema ceranae and three honey bee viruses (Deformed wing virus [DWV], Black queen cell virus [BQCV], and Chronic bee paralysis virus [CBPV]), focusing on the infectivity of these pathogens post-irradiation. Results indicate that gamma irradiation can effectively inactivate A. apis, N. ceranae, and DWV. Partial inactivation was noted for BQCV and CBPV, but this did not reduce effects on mortality at the tested, relatively high doses. These findings highlight the importance of studying infection rate and symptom development post-treatment and not simply rate or quantity detected. These findings suggest that gamma irradiation may function as a broad treatment to help mitigate colony losses and the spread of pathogens through the exchange of comb across colonies, but raises the question why some viruses appear to be unaffected. These results provide the basis for subsequent studies on benefits of irradiation of used comb for colony health and productivity

  6. The effect of sex-allocation biasing on the evolution of worker policing in hymenopteran societies

    OpenAIRE

    Foster, K.R.; Ratnieks, F.L.W.

    2001-01-01

    Mutual policing is thought to be important in conflict suppression at all levels of biological organization. In hymenopteran societies (bees, ants, and wasps), multiple mating by queens favors mutual policing of male production among workers (worker policing). However, worker policing of male production is proving to be more widespread than predicted by relatedness patterns, occurring in societies headed by single-mated queens in which, paradoxically, workers are more related to the workers' ...

  7. Effects of diluents and plasma on honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) drone frozen-thawed semen fertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gül, Aziz; Şahinler, Nuray; Onal, Ali G; Hopkins, Brandon K; Sheppard, Walter S

    2017-10-01

    Cryopreservation is an advanced method used to protect germplasm in liquid nitrogen. Honey bees are of special interest to protect because of their pollination activity and critical role in agriculture. There has been important progress in the cryopreservation of honey bee germplasm in recent years, leading to practical recovery of genetic material for breeding purposes following freezing. However, there remains room for improvement and the goal of the present study was to evaluate the effect of different "extenders" added post-thaw on the fertilization rate of cryopreserved honey bee semen. The purpose of adding extender post-thaw was to dilute the cryoprotectant to remove chemicals after centrifugation because of potential adverse effects. The control consisted of frozen-thawed semen without the addition of an extender; treatment groups included the addition of one of the following extenders: glucose solution, fresh ram semen plasma, fresh honey bee semen plasma, extender solution. All of the above treatments and frozen-thawed control were compared to fresh semen. For each group, 15 virgin queens were instrumentally inseminated with the semen-diluent solution and introduced into nucleus colonies to determine the brood patterns of the queens. Percentages of worker brood produced in the fresh semen, frozen-thawed semen control, glucose, fresh ram semen plasma, fresh honey bee semen plasma, and extender solution supplemented groups were 98.±1.1%, 47.0 ± 0.9%, 3.0 ± 0.8%, 0.3 ± 0.1%, 48.1 ± 4.1% and 40.3 ± 2.4%, respectively. Similiarly, spermatozoa numbers in the spermathecae of the same treatment groups were 3.6 × 10 6 , 1.6 × 10 6 , 7.3 × 10 5 , 4.7 × 10 5 , 8.1 × 10 5 , and 4.6 × 10 5 spermatozoa for the same treatment, respectively. The differences in both worker brood percentage and sperm count in the spermatheca were statistically significant (P drone semen plasma group. We found a positive correlation between sperm count in

  8. Differential responses of Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) to viral replication following mechanical transmission or Varroa destructor parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamiduzzaman, Mollah Md; Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto; Goodwin, Paul H; Reyes-Quintana, Mariana; Koleoglu, Gun; Correa-Benítez, Adriana; Petukhova, Tatiana

    2015-03-01

    For the first time, adults and brood of Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) were compared for relative virus levels over 48 h following Varroa destructor parasitism or injection of V. destructor homogenate. Rates of increase of deformed wing virus (DWV) for Africanized versus European bees were temporarily lowered for 12h with parasitism and sustainably lowered over the entire experiment (48 h) with homogenate injection in adults. The rates were also temporarily lowered for 24h with parasitism but were not affected by homogenate injection in brood. Rates of increase of black queen cell virus (BQCV) for Africanized versus European bees were similar with parasitism but sustainably lowered over the entire experiment with homogenate injection in adults and were similar for parasitism and homogenate injection in brood. Analyses of sac brood bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus were limited as detection did not occur after both homogenate injection and parasitism treatment, or levels were not significantly higher than those following control buffer injection. Lower rates of replication of DWV and BQCV in Africanized bees shows that they may have greater viral resistance, at least early after treatment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Immune related gene expression in worker honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica pupae exposed to neonicotinoid thiamethoxam and Varroa mites (Varroa destructor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja Tesovnik

    Full Text Available 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

  10. Sexual dimorphism and phenotypic plasticity in the antennal lobe of a stingless bee, Melipona scutellaris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roselino, Ana Carolina; Hrncir, Michael; da Cruz Landim, Carminda; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2015-07-01

    Among social insects, the stingless bees (Apidae, Meliponini), a mainly tropical group of highly eusocial bees, present an intriguing variety of well-described olfactory-dependent behaviors showing both caste- and sex-specific adaptations. By contrast, little is known about the neural structures underlying such behavioral richness or the olfactory detection and processing abilities of this insect group. This study therefore aimed to provide the first detailed description and comparison of the brains and primary olfactory centers, the antennal lobes, of the different members of a colony of the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris. Global neutral red staining, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and 3D reconstructions were used to compare the brain structures of males, workers, and virgin queens with a special emphasis on the antennal lobe. We found significant differences between both sexes and castes with regard to the relative volumes of olfactory and visual neuropils in the brain and also in the number and volume of the olfactory glomeruli. In addition, we identified one (workers, queens) and three or four (males) macroglomeruli in the antennal lobe. In both sexes and all castes, the largest glomerulus (G1) was located at a similar position relative to four identified landmark glomeruli, close to the entrance of the antennal nerve. This similarity in position suggests that G1s of workers, virgin queens, and males of M. scutellaris may correspond to the same glomerular entity, possibly tuned to queen-emitted volatiles since all colony members need this information. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. 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.

  12. Context-dependent medicinal effects of anabasine and infection-dependent toxicity in bumble bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evan C Palmer-Young

    Full Text Available Floral phytochemicals are ubiquitous in nature, and can function both as antimicrobials and as insecticides. Although many phytochemicals act as toxins and deterrents to consumers, the same chemicals may counteract disease and be preferred by infected individuals. The roles of nectar and pollen phytochemicals in pollinator ecology and conservation are complex, with evidence for both toxicity and medicinal effects against parasites. However, it remains unclear how consistent the effects of phytochemicals are across different parasite lineages and environmental conditions, and whether pollinators actively self-medicate with these compounds when infected.Here, we test effects of the nectar alkaloid anabasine, found in Nicotiana, on infection intensity, dietary preference, and survival and performance of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens. We examined variation in the effects of anabasine on infection with different lineages of the intestinal parasite Crithidia under pollen-fed and pollen-starved conditions.We found that anabasine did not reduce infection intensity in individual bees infected with any of four Crithidia lineages that were tested in parallel, nor did anabasine reduce infection intensity in microcolonies of queenless workers. In addition, neither anabasine nor its isomer, nicotine, was preferred by infected bees in choice experiments, and infected bees consumed less anabasine than did uninfected bees under no-choice conditions. Furthermore, anabasine exacerbated the negative effects of infection on bee survival and microcolony performance. Anabasine reduced infection in only one experiment, in which bees were deprived of pollen and post-pupal contact with nestmates. In this experiment, anabasine had antiparasitic effects in bees from only two of four colonies, and infected bees exhibited reduced-rather than increased-phytochemical consumption relative to uninfected bees.Variation in the effect of anabasine on infection suggests potential

  13. Context-dependent medicinal effects of anabasine and infection-dependent toxicity in bumble bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer-Young, Evan C; Hogeboom, Alison; Kaye, Alexander J; Donnelly, Dash; Andicoechea, Jonathan; Connon, Sara June; Weston, Ian; Skyrm, Kimberly; Irwin, Rebecca E; Adler, Lynn S

    2017-01-01

    Floral phytochemicals are ubiquitous in nature, and can function both as antimicrobials and as insecticides. Although many phytochemicals act as toxins and deterrents to consumers, the same chemicals may counteract disease and be preferred by infected individuals. The roles of nectar and pollen phytochemicals in pollinator ecology and conservation are complex, with evidence for both toxicity and medicinal effects against parasites. However, it remains unclear how consistent the effects of phytochemicals are across different parasite lineages and environmental conditions, and whether pollinators actively self-medicate with these compounds when infected. Here, we test effects of the nectar alkaloid anabasine, found in Nicotiana, on infection intensity, dietary preference, and survival and performance of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens). We examined variation in the effects of anabasine on infection with different lineages of the intestinal parasite Crithidia under pollen-fed and pollen-starved conditions. We found that anabasine did not reduce infection intensity in individual bees infected with any of four Crithidia lineages that were tested in parallel, nor did anabasine reduce infection intensity in microcolonies of queenless workers. In addition, neither anabasine nor its isomer, nicotine, was preferred by infected bees in choice experiments, and infected bees consumed less anabasine than did uninfected bees under no-choice conditions. Furthermore, anabasine exacerbated the negative effects of infection on bee survival and microcolony performance. Anabasine reduced infection in only one experiment, in which bees were deprived of pollen and post-pupal contact with nestmates. In this experiment, anabasine had antiparasitic effects in bees from only two of four colonies, and infected bees exhibited reduced-rather than increased-phytochemical consumption relative to uninfected bees. Variation in the effect of anabasine on infection suggests potential modulation of

  14. Phenological, but not social, variation associated with climate differences in a eusocial sweat bee, Halictus ligatus, nesting in southern Ontario

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam H. Richards

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Studies of annual and geographic variation in eusocial bee populations suggest that more stringent environmental conditions result in stronger reproductive skew favouring queens, while moderate conditions favour increasing worker reproduction. To test these predictions, we compared the phenology and colony development of H. ligatus nesting in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada to a previously studied aggregation 90 km north of St. Catharines, in Victoria, Ontario. Despite the close proximity of these two locations, St. Catharines has markedly shorter winters and longer summers. Comparisons between St. Catharines in 2006 and Victoria in the 1980s and 1990s incorporate both geographic differences in climate and temporal differences due to climate change. We predicted that St. Catharines foundress queens should emerge from hibernation and initiate nests earlier in spring, giving them time to produce more workers. Since earlier studies indicated that queens have difficulty suppressing worker reproduction in larger colonies, we also predicted higher rates of worker ovarian development in St. Catharines. In spring and summer 2006, we excavated 65 H. ligatus nests, comparing their contents to 713 specimens collected in pan traps. As predicted, nests were initiated about a month earlier in St. Catharines than in Victoria, but contrary to prediction, fewer workers were produced in St. Catharines. St. Catharines workers were just as likely to have developed ovaries as Victoria workers. About 40% of St. Catharines workers were classified as reproductive, and larger reproductive workers tended to have higher ovarian scores. Early queen mortality in the longer nest cycle of St. Catharines bees may have enhanced opportunities for worker reproduction despite their smaller numbers. Novel features of H. ligatus sociobiology in St. Catharines included evidence that queens can initiate new nests following the loss of their first brood, overlap between worker and gyne

  15. Effectiveness of Dysphagia Training for Adult Learning Disabilities Support Workers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tredinnick, Gerlind; Cocks, Naomi

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the effectiveness of a 1-day dysphagia training package delivered to support workers who work with adults with a learning disability. Thirty-eight support staff took part in this study. Twenty-five support staff received training, and 13 did not receive training and therefore acted as a control group. Three questionnaires…

  16. Comparative virulence and competition between Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milbrath, Meghan O; van Tran, Toan; Huang, Wei-Fong; Solter, Leellen F; Tarpy, David R; Lawrence, Frank; Huang, Zachary Y

    2015-02-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are infected by two species of microsporidia: Nosema apis and Nosemaceranae. Epidemiological evidence indicates that N. ceranae may be replacing N. apis globally in A. mellifera populations, suggesting a potential competitive advantage of N. ceranae. Mixed infections of the two species occur, and little is known about the interactions among the host and the two pathogens that have allowed N. ceranae to become dominant in most geographical areas. We demonstrated that mixed Nosema species infections negatively affected honey bee survival (median survival=15-17days) more than single species infections (median survival=21days and 20days for N. apis and N. ceranae, respectively), with median survival of control bees of 27days. We found similar rates of infection (percentage of bees with active infections after inoculation) for both species in mixed infections, with N. apis having a slightly higher rate (91% compared to 86% for N. ceranae). We observed slightly higher spore counts in bees infected with N. ceranae than in bees infected with N. apis in single microsporidia infections, especially at the midpoint of infection (day 10). Bees with mixed infections of both species had higher spore counts than bees with single infections, but spore counts in mixed infections were highly variable. We did not see a competitive advantage for N. ceranae in mixed infections; N. apis spore counts were either higher or counts were similar for both species and more N. apis spores were produced in 62% of bees inoculated with equal dosages of the two microsporidian species. N. ceranae does not, therefore, appear to have a strong within-host advantage for either infectivity or spore growth, suggesting that direct competition in these worker bee mid-guts is not responsible for its apparent replacement of N. apis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Emerging and re-emerging viruses of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genersch, Elke; Aubert, Michel

    2010-01-01

    Until the late 1980s, specific viral infections of the honey bee were generally considered harmless in all countries. Then, with the worldwide introduction of the ectoparasite mite Varroa destructor, beekeepers encountered increasing difficulties in maintaining their colonies. Epidemiological surveys and laboratory experiments have demonstrated that the newly acquired virulence of several viruses belonging to the family Dicistroviridae (acute bee paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus) in Europe and the USA had been observed in relation with V. destructor acting as a disseminator of these viruses between and within bee colonies and as an activator of virus multiplication in the infected individuals: bee larvae and adults. Equal emphasis is given to deformed wing virus (DWV) belonging to the Iflaviridae. Overt outbreaks of DWV infections have been shown to be linked to the ability of V. destructor to act not only as a mechanical vector of DWV but also as a biological vector. Its replication in mites prior to its vectoring into pupae seemed to be necessary and sufficient for the induction of a overt infection in pupae developing in non-viable bees with deformed wings. DWV in V. destructor infested colonies is now considered as one of the key players of the final collapse. Various approaches for combating bee viral diseases are described: they include selection of tolerant bees, RNA interference and prevention of new pathogen introduction. None of these approaches are expected to lead to enhanced bee-health in the short term. © INRA, EDP Sciences, 2010.

  19. Honey Bee Allatostatins Target Galanin/Somatostatin-Like Receptors and Modulate Learning: A Conserved Function?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie Urlacher

    Full Text Available Sequencing of the honeybee genome revealed many neuropeptides and putative neuropeptide receptors, yet functional characterization of these peptidic systems is scarce. In this study, we focus on allatostatins, which were first identified as inhibitors of juvenile hormone synthesis, but whose role in the adult honey bee (Apis mellifera brain remains to be determined. We characterize the bee allatostatin system, represented by two families: allatostatin A (Apime-ASTA and its receptor (Apime-ASTA-R; and C-type allatostatins (Apime-ASTC and Apime-ASTCC and their common receptor (Apime-ASTC-R. Apime-ASTA-R and Apime-ASTC-R are the receptors in bees most closely related to vertebrate galanin and somatostatin receptors, respectively. We examine the functional properties of the two honeybee receptors and show that they are transcriptionally expressed in the adult brain, including in brain centers known to be important for learning and memory processes. Thus we investigated the effects of exogenously applied allatostatins on appetitive olfactory learning in the bee. Our results show that allatostatins modulate learning in this insect, and provide important insights into the evolution of somatostatin/allatostatin signaling.

  20. Do managed bees have negative effects on wild bees?: A systematic review of the literature.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel E Mallinger

    Full Text Available Managed bees are critical for crop pollination worldwide. As the demand for pollinator-dependent crops increases, so does the use of managed bees. Concern has arisen that managed bees may have unintended negative impacts on native wild bees, which are important pollinators in both agricultural and natural ecosystems. The goal of this study was to synthesize the literature documenting the effects of managed honey bees and bumble bees on wild bees in three areas: (1 competition for floral and nesting resources, (2 indirect effects via changes in plant communities, including the spread of exotic plants and decline of native plants, and (3 transmission of pathogens. The majority of reviewed studies reported negative effects of managed bees, but trends differed across topical areas. Of studies examining competition, results were highly variable with 53% reporting negative effects on wild bees, while 28% reported no effects and 19% reported mixed effects (varying with the bee species or variables examined. Equal numbers of studies examining plant communities reported positive (36% and negative (36% effects, with the remainder reporting no or mixed effects. Finally, the majority of studies on pathogen transmission (70% reported potential negative effects of managed bees on wild bees. However, most studies across all topical areas documented the potential for impact (e.g. reporting the occurrence of competition or pathogens, but did not measure direct effects on wild bee fitness, abundance, or diversity. Furthermore, we found that results varied depending on whether managed bees were in their native or non-native range; managed bees within their native range had lesser competitive effects, but potentially greater effects on wild bees via pathogen transmission. We conclude that while this field has expanded considerably in recent decades, additional research measuring direct, long-term, and population-level effects of managed bees is needed to understand

  1. Do managed bees have negative effects on wild bees?: A systematic review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallinger, Rachel E; Gaines-Day, Hannah R; Gratton, Claudio

    2017-01-01

    Managed bees are critical for crop pollination worldwide. As the demand for pollinator-dependent crops increases, so does the use of managed bees. Concern has arisen that managed bees may have unintended negative impacts on native wild bees, which are important pollinators in both agricultural and natural ecosystems. The goal of this study was to synthesize the literature documenting the effects of managed honey bees and bumble bees on wild bees in three areas: (1) competition for floral and nesting resources, (2) indirect effects via changes in plant communities, including the spread of exotic plants and decline of native plants, and (3) transmission of pathogens. The majority of reviewed studies reported negative effects of managed bees, but trends differed across topical areas. Of studies examining competition, results were highly variable with 53% reporting negative effects on wild bees, while 28% reported no effects and 19% reported mixed effects (varying with the bee species or variables examined). Equal numbers of studies examining plant communities reported positive (36%) and negative (36%) effects, with the remainder reporting no or mixed effects. Finally, the majority of studies on pathogen transmission (70%) reported potential negative effects of managed bees on wild bees. However, most studies across all topical areas documented the potential for impact (e.g. reporting the occurrence of competition or pathogens), but did not measure direct effects on wild bee fitness, abundance, or diversity. Furthermore, we found that results varied depending on whether managed bees were in their native or non-native range; managed bees within their native range had lesser competitive effects, but potentially greater effects on wild bees via pathogen transmission. We conclude that while this field has expanded considerably in recent decades, additional research measuring direct, long-term, and population-level effects of managed bees is needed to understand their

  2. Pheromone-modulated behavioral suites influence colony growth in the honey bee (Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankiw, Tanya; Roman, Roman; Sagili, Ramesh R.; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan

    2004-12-01

    The success of a species depends on its ability to assess its environment and to decide accordingly which behaviors are most appropriate. Many animal species, from bacteria to mammals, are able to communicate using interspecies chemicals called pheromones. In addition to exerting physiological effects on individuals, for social species, pheromones communicate group social structure. Communication of social structure is important to social insects for the allocation of its working members into coordinated suites of behaviors. We tested effects of long-term treatment with brood pheromone on suites of honey bee brood rearing and foraging behaviors. Pheromone-treated colonies reared significantly greater brood areas and more adults than controls, while amounts of stored pollen and honey remained statistically similar. Brood pheromone increased the number of pollen foragers and the pollen load weights they returned. It appeared that the pheromone-induced increase in pollen intake was directly canalized into more brood rearing. A two-way pheromone priming effect was observed, such that some workers from the same age cohorts showed an increased and extended capacity to rear larvae, while others were recruited at significantly younger ages into pollen-specific foraging. Brood pheromone affected suites of nursing and foraging behaviors allocating worker and pollen resources associated with an important fitness trait, colony growth.

  3. The microRNA ame-miR-279a regulates sucrose responsiveness of forager honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fang; Shi, Tengfei; Yin, Wei; Su, Xin; Qi, Lei; Huang, Zachary Y; Zhang, Shaowu; Yu, Linsheng

    2017-11-01

    Increasing evidence demonstrates that microRNAs (miRNA) play an important role in the regulation of animal behaviours. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are eusocial insects, with honey bee workers displaying age-dependent behavioural maturation. Many different miRNAs have been implicated in the change of behaviours in honey bees and ame-miR-279a was previously shown to be more highly expressed in nurse bee heads than in those of foragers. However, it was not clear whether this difference in expression was associated with age or task performance. Here we show that ame-miR-279a shows significantly higher expression in the brains of nurse bees relative to forager bees regardless of their ages, and that ame-miR-279a is primarily localized in the Kenyon cells of the mushroom body in both foragers and nurses. Overexpression of ame-miR-279a attenuates the sucrose responsiveness of foragers, while its absence enhances their sucrose responsiveness. Lastly, we determined that ame-miR-279a directly target the mRNA of Mblk-1. These findings suggest that ame-miR-279a plays important roles in regulating honey bee division of labour. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. RNAi-mediated silencing of vitellogenin gene function turns honeybee ( Apis mellifera) workers into extremely precocious foragers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marco Antonio, David Santos; Guidugli-Lazzarini, Karina Rosa; Do Nascimento, Adriana Mendes; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2008-10-01

    The switch from within-hive activities to foraging behavior is a major transition in the life cycle of a honeybee ( Apis mellifera) worker. A prominent regulatory role in this switch has long been attributed to juvenile hormone (JH), but recent evidence also points to the yolk precursor protein vitellogenin as a major player in behavioral development. In the present study, we injected vitellogenin double-stranded RNA (dsVg) into newly emerged worker bees of Africanized genetic origin and introduced them together with controls into observation hives to record flight behavior. RNA interference-mediated silencing of vitellogenin gene function shifted the onset of long-duration flights (>10 min) to earlier in life (by 3 4 days) when compared with sham and untreated control bees. In fact, dsVg bees were observed conducting such flights extremely precociously, when only 3 days old. Short-duration flights (<10 min), which bees usually perform for orientation and cleaning, were not affected. Additionally, we found that the JH titer in dsVg bees collected after 7 days was not significantly different from the controls. The finding that depletion of the vitellogenin titer can drive young bees to become extremely precocious foragers could imply that vitellogenin is the primary switch signal. At this young age, downregulation of vitellogenin gene activity apparently had little effect on the JH titer. As this unexpected finding stands in contrast with previous results on the vitellogenin/JH interaction at a later age, when bees normally become foragers, we propose a three-step sequence in the constellation of physiological parameters underlying behavioral development.

  5. Effects of Oral Exposure to Fungicides on Honey Bee Nutrition and Virus Levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Chen, Yanping; Watkins Dejong, Emily; Chambers, Mona L; Hidalgo, Geoffrey

    2015-12-01

    Sublethal exposure to fungicides can affect honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in ways that resemble malnutrition. These include reduced brood rearing, queen loss, and increased pathogen levels. We examined the effects of oral exposure to the fungicides boscalid and pyraclostrobin on factors affecting colony nutrition and immune function including pollen consumption, protein digestion, hemolymph protein titers, and changes in virus levels. Because the fungicides are respiratory inhibitors, we also measured ATP concentrations in flight muscle. The effects were evaluated in 3- and 7-d-old worker bees at high fungicide concentrations in cage studies, and at field-relevant concentrations in colony studies. Though fungicide levels differed greatly between the cage and colony studies, similar effects were observed. Hemolymph protein concentrations were comparable between bees feeding on pollen with and without added fungicides. However, in both cage and colony studies, bees consumed less pollen containing fungicides and digested less of the protein. Bees fed fungicide-treated pollen also had lower ATP concentrations and higher virus titers. The combination of effects we detected could produce symptoms that are similar to those from poor nutrition and weaken colonies making them more vulnerable to loss from additional stressors such as parasites and pathogens. 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.

  6. Bees and Honey

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TOM; HANCOCK

    2011-01-01

    The first bee landed on Dalin Wang at around one in the afternoon.Surrounded by3,000 onlookers,he wore a pair of trousers,black boots and two small cloth bags,each containing a queen bee.Wang watched the bees cover his chest,legs and arms,until every

  7. Cross-species correlation between queen mating numbers and worker ovary sizes suggests kin conflict may influence ovary size evolution in honeybees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueppell, Olav; Phaincharoen, Mananya; Kuster, Ryan; Tingek, Salim

    2011-09-01

    During social evolution, the ovary size of reproductively specialized honey bee queens has dramatically increased while their workers have evolved much smaller ovaries. However, worker division of labor and reproductive competition under queenless conditions are influenced by worker ovary size. Little comparative information on ovary size exists in the different honey bee species. Here, we report ovariole numbers of freshly dissected workers from six Apis species from two locations in Southeast Asia. The average number of worker ovarioles differs significantly among species. It is strongly correlated with the average mating number of queens, irrespective of body size. Apis dorsata, in particular, is characterized by numerous matings and very large worker ovaries. The relation between queen mating number and ovary size across the six species suggests that individual selection via reproductive competition plays a role in worker ovary size evolution. This indicates that genetic diversity, generated by multiple mating, may bear a fitness cost at the colony level.

  8. Odorant cues linked to social immunity induce lateralized antenna stimulation in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAfee, Alison; Collins, Troy F; Madilao, Lufiani L; Foster, Leonard J

    2017-04-07

    Hygienic behaviour (HB) is a social immunity trait in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) whereby workers detect, uncap and remove unhealthy brood, improving disease resistance in the colony. This is clearly economically valuable; however, the molecular mechanism behind it is not well understood. The freeze-killed brood (FKB) assay is the conventional method of HB selection, so we compared odour profiles of FKB and live brood to find candidate HB-inducing odours. Surprisingly, we found that significantly more brood pheromone (β-ocimene) was released from FKB. β-ocimene abundance also positively correlated with HB, suggesting there could be a brood effect contributing to overall hygiene. Furthermore, we found that β-ocimene stimulated worker antennae in a dose-dependent manner, with the left antennae responding significantly stronger than right antennae in hygienic bees, but not in non-hygienic bees. Five other unidentifiable compounds were differentially emitted from FKB which could also be important for HB. We also compared odour profiles of Varroa-infested brood to healthy brood and found an overall interactive effect between developmental stage and infestation, but specific odours did not drive these differences. Overall, the data we present here is an important foundation on which to build our understanding the molecular mechanism behind this complex behaviour.

  9. Molecular Identification of Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus Infection in Apis mellifera Colonies in Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomomi Morimoto

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV infection causes chronic paralysis and loss of workers in honey bee colonies around the world. Although CBPV shows a worldwide distribution, it had not been molecularly detected in Japan. Our investigation of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana japonica colonies with RT-PCR has revealed CBPV infection in A. mellifera but not A. c. japonica colonies in Japan. The prevalence of CBPV is low compared with that of other viruses: deformed wing virus (DWV, black queen cell virus (BQCV, Israel acute paralysis virus (IAPV, and sac brood virus (SBV, previously reported in Japan. Because of its low prevalence (5.6% in A. mellifera colonies, the incidence of colony losses by CBPV infection must be sporadic in Japan. The presence of the (− strand RNA in dying workers suggests that CBPV infection and replication may contribute to their symptoms. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates a geographic separation of Japanese isolates from European, Uruguayan, and mainland US isolates. The lack of major exchange of honey bees between Europe/mainland US and Japan for the recent 26 years (1985–2010 may have resulted in the geographic separation of Japanese CBPV isolates.

  10. 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.

  11. Estimation of maximal oxygen uptake without exercise testing in Korean healthy adult workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Tae-Won; Park, Shin-Goo; Kim, Hyoung-Ryoul; Kim, Jung-Man; Hong, Young-Seoub; Kim, Byoung-Gwon

    2012-08-01

    Maximal oxygen uptake is generally accepted as the most valid and reliable index of cardiorespiratory fitness and functional aerobic capacity. The exercise test for measuring maximal oxygen uptake is unsuitable for screening tests in public heath examinations, because of the potential risks of exercise exertion and time demands. We designed this study to determine whether work-related physical activity is a potential predictor of maximal oxygen uptake, and to develop a maximal oxygen uptake equation using a non-exercise regression model for the cardiorespiratory fitness test in Korean adult workers. Study subjects were adult workers of small-sized companies in Korea. Subjects with history of disease such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma and angina were excluded. In total, 217 adult subjects (113 men of 21-55 years old and 104 women of 20-64 years old) were included. Self-report questionnaire survey was conducted on study subjects, and maximal oxygen uptake of each subject was measured with the exercise test. The statistical analysis was carried out to develop an equation for estimating maximal oxygen uptake. The predictors for estimating maximal oxygen uptake included age, gender, body mass index, smoking, leisure-time physical activity and the factors representing work-related physical activity. The work-related physical activity was identified to be a predictor of maximal oxygen uptake. Moreover, the equation showed high validity according to the statistical analysis. The equation for estimating maximal oxygen uptake developed in the present study could be used as a screening test for assessing cardiorespiratory fitness in Korean adult workers.

  12. Young and old honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae differentially prime the developmental maturation of their caregivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    In eusocial insects daughters rear the offspring of the queen to adulthood. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, nurses differentially regulate larval nutrition. Among worker-destined larvae, younger instars receive an unrestricted diet paralleling that of queen larvae in protein composition but with r...

  13. Bee Pollen

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... for nutrition; as an appetite stimulant; to improve stamina and athletic performance; and for premature aging, premenstrual ... use bee pollen as a general tonic, to increase urine flow, and for alcohol intoxication. Bee pollen ...

  14. Dynamics of Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus (AmFV) Infections in Honey Bees and Relationships with Other Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Ulrike; Forsgren, Eva; Charrière, Jean-Daniel; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-05-22

    Apis mellifera filamentous virus (AmFV) is a large double stranded DNA virus of honey bees, but its relationship with other parasites and prevalence are poorly known. We analyzed individual honey bees from three colonies at different times post emergence in order to monitor the dynamics of the AmFV gut colonization under natural conditions. Prevalence and loads of microsporidia and trypanosomes were also recorded, as well as five common honey bee RNA viruses. The results show that a high proportion of bees get infected with AmFV during the first week post-emergence (75%) and that AmFV DNA levels remained constant. A similar pattern was observed for microsporidia while trypanosomes seem to require more time to colonize the gut. No significant associations between these three infections were found, but significant positive correlations were observed between AmFV and RNA viruses. In parallel, the prevalence of AmFV in France and Sweden was assessed from pooled honey bee workers. The data indicate that AmFV is almost ubiquitous, and does not seem to follow seasonal patterns, although higher viral loads were significantly detected in spring. A high prevalence of AmFV was also found in winter bees, without obvious impact on overwintering of the colonies.

  15. Aggressive reproductive competition among hopelessly queenless honeybee workers triggered by pheromone signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malka, O.; Shnieor, S.; Katzav-Gozansky, T.; Hefetz, A.

    2008-06-01

    In the honeybee, Apis mellifera, the queen monopolizes reproduction, while the sterile workers cooperate harmoniously in nest maintenance. However, under queenless (QL) conditions, cooperation collapses and reproductive competition among workers ensues. This is mediated through aggression and worker oviposition, as well as shifts in pheromones, from worker to queen-like composition. Many studies suggest a dichotomy between conflict resolution through aggression or through pheromonal signaling. In this paper, we demonstrate that both phenomena comprise essential components of reproductive competition and that pheromone signaling actually triggers the onset of aggression. We kept workers as QL groups until first aggression was observed and subsequently determined the contestants’ reproductive status and content of the mandibular (MG) and Dufour’s glands (DG). In groups in which aggression occurred early, the attacked bee had consistently more queen-like pheromone in both the MG and DG, although both contestants had undeveloped ovaries. In groups with late aggression, the attacked bee had consistently larger oocytes and more queen-like pheromone in the DG, but not the MG. We suggest that at early stages of competition, the MG secretion is utilized to establish dominance and that the DG provides an honest fertility signal. We further argue that it is the higher amount of DG pheromone that triggers aggression.

  16. Low-Skilled Workers and Adult Vocational Skills-Upgrading Strategies in Denmark and South Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gvaramadze, Irakli

    2010-01-01

    The main objective of the paper was to address the relevance of adult vocational skills-upgrading strategies for low-skilled workers. The research was based on an identification of core elements such as time, cost and access which define and impact on formulation and implementation of adult vocational skills-upgrading strategies. The literature…

  17. 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.

  18. E-β-ocimene, a volatile brood pheromone involved in social regulation in the honey bee colony (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alban Maisonnasse

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In honey bee colony, the brood is able to manipulate and chemically control the workers in order to sustain their own development. A brood ester pheromone produced primarily by old larvae (4 and 5 days old larvae was first identified as acting as a contact pheromone with specific effects on nurses in the colony. More recently a new volatile brood pheromone has been identified: E-β-ocimene, which partially inhibits ovary development in workers. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDING: Our analysis of E-β-ocimene production revealed that young brood (newly hatched to 3 days old produce the highest quantity of E-β-ocimene relative to their body weight. By testing the potential action of this molecule as a non-specific larval signal, due to its high volatility in the colony, we demonstrated that in the presence of E-β-ocimene nest workers start to forage earlier in life, as seen in the presence of real brood. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In this way, young larvae are able to assign precedence to the task of foraging by workers in order to increase food stores for their own development. Thus, in the complexity of honey bee chemical communication, E-β-ocimene, a pheromone of young larvae, provides the brood with the means to express their nutritional needs to the workers.

  19. Desynchronizations in bee-plant interactions cause severe fitness losses in solitary bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenk, Mariela; Krauss, Jochen; Holzschuh, Andrea

    2018-01-01

    Global warming can disrupt mutualistic interactions between solitary bees and plants when increasing temperature differentially changes the timing of interacting partners. One possible scenario is for insect phenology to advance more rapidly than plant phenology. However, empirical evidence for fitness consequences due to temporal mismatches is lacking for pollinators and it remains unknown if bees have developed strategies to mitigate fitness losses following temporal mismatches. We tested the effect of temporal mismatches on the fitness of three spring-emerging solitary bee species, including one pollen specialist. Using flight cages, we simulated (i) a perfect synchronization (from a bee perspective): bees and flowers occur simultaneously, (ii) a mismatch of 3 days and (iii) a mismatch of 6 days, with bees occurring earlier than flowers in the latter two cases. A mismatch of 6 days caused severe fitness losses in all three bee species, as few bees survived without flowers. Females showed strongly reduced activity and reproductive output compared to synchronized bees. Fitness consequences of a 3-day mismatch were species-specific. Both the early-spring species Osmia cornuta and the mid-spring species Osmia bicornis produced the same number of brood cells after a mismatch of 3 days as under perfect synchronization. However, O. cornuta decreased the number of female offspring, whereas O. bicornis spread the brood cells over fewer nests, which may increase offspring mortality, e.g. due to parasitoids. The late-spring specialist Osmia brevicornis produced fewer brood cells even after a mismatch of 3 days. Additionally, our results suggest that fitness losses after temporal mismatches are higher during warm than cold springs, as the naturally occurring temperature variability revealed that warm temperatures during starvation decreased the survival rate of O. bicornis. We conclude that short temporal mismatches can cause clear fitness losses in solitary bees

  20. Correlation of proteome-wide changes with social immunity behaviors provides insight into resistance to the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, in the honey bee (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Robert; Guarna, M Marta; Melathopoulos, Andony P; Moon, Kyung-Mee; White, Rick; Huxter, Elizabeth; Pernal, Stephen F; Foster, Leonard J

    2012-06-29

    Disease is a major factor driving the evolution of many organisms. In honey bees, selection for social behavioral responses is the primary adaptive process facilitating disease resistance. One such process, hygienic behavior, enables bees to resist multiple diseases, including the damaging parasitic mite Varroa destructor. The genetic elements and biochemical factors that drive the expression of these adaptations are currently unknown. Proteomics provides a tool to identify proteins that control behavioral processes, and these proteins can be used as biomarkers to aid identification of disease tolerant colonies. We sampled a large cohort of commercial queen lineages, recording overall mite infestation, hygiene, and the specific hygienic response to V. destructor. We performed proteome-wide correlation analyses in larval integument and adult antennae, identifying several proteins highly predictive of behavior and reduced hive infestation. In the larva, response to wounding was identified as a key adaptive process leading to reduced infestation, and chitin biosynthesis and immune responses appear to represent important disease resistant adaptations. The speed of hygienic behavior may be underpinned by changes in the antenna proteome, and chemosensory and neurological processes could also provide specificity for detection of V. destructor in antennae. Our results provide, for the first time, some insight into how complex behavioural adaptations manifest in the proteome of honey bees. The most important biochemical correlations provide clues as to the underlying molecular mechanisms of social and innate immunity of honey bees. Such changes are indicative of potential divergence in processes controlling the hive-worker maturation.

  1. Bees without Flowers: Before Peak Bloom, Diverse Native Bees Find Insect-Produced Honeydew Sugars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiners, Joan M; Griswold, Terry L; Harris, David J; Ernest, S K Morgan

    2017-08-01

    Bee foragers respond to complex visual, olfactory, and extrasensory cues to optimize searches for floral rewards. Their abilities to detect and distinguish floral colors, shapes, volatiles, and ultraviolet signals and even gauge nectar availability from changes in floral humidity or electric fields are well studied. Bee foraging behaviors in the absence of floral cues, however, are rarely considered. We observed 42 species of wild bees visiting inconspicuous, nonflowering shrubs during early spring in a protected Mediterranean habitat. We determined experimentally that these bees were accessing sugary honeydew secretions from scale insects without the aid of standard cues. While honeydew use is known among some social Hymenoptera, its use across a diverse community of solitary bees is a novel observation. The widespread ability of native bees to locate and use unadvertised, nonfloral sugars suggests unappreciated sensory mechanisms and/or the existence of an interspecific foraging network among solitary bees that may influence how native bees cope with scarcity of floral resources and increasing environmental change.

  2. 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.

  3. Environmental assessment for the Satellite Power System (SPS): studies of honey bees exposed to 2. 45 GHz continuous-wave electromagnetic energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gary, N E; Westerdahl, B B

    1980-12-01

    A system for small animal exposure was developed for treating honey bees, Apis mellifera L., in brood and adult stages, with 2.45 GHz continuous wave microwaves at selected power densities and exposure times. Post-treatment brood development was normal and teratological effects were not detected at exposures of 3 to 50 mw/cm/sup 2/ for 30 minutes. Post-treatment survival, longevity, orientation, navigation, and memory of adult bees were also normal after exposures of 3 to 50 mw/cm/sup 2/ for 30 minutes. Post-treatment longevity of confined bees in the laboratory was normal after exposures of 3 to 50 mw/cm/sup 2/ for 24 hours. Thermoregulation of brood nest, foraging activity, brood rearing, and social interaction were not affected by chronic exposure to 1 mw/cm/sup 2/ during 28 days. In dynamic behavioral bioassays the frequency of entry and duration of activity of unrestrained, foraging adult bees was identical in microwave-exposed (5 to 40 mw/cm/sup 2/) areas versus control areas.

  4. Intrinsic colony conditions affect the provisioning and oviposition process in the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, R A; Morais, M M; Nascimento, F S; Bego, L R

    2009-01-01

    The cell provisioning and oviposition process (POP) is a unique characteristic of stingless bees (Meliponini), in which coordinated interactions between workers and queen regulate the filling of brood cells with larval resources and subsequent egg laying. Environmental conditions seem to regulate reproduction in stingless bees; however, little is known about how the amount of food affects quantitative sequences of the process. We examined intrinsic variables by comparing three colonies in distinct conditions (strong, intermediate and weak state). We predicted that some of these variables are correlated with temporal events of POP in Melipona scutellaris colonies. The results demonstrated that the strong colony had shorter periods of POP.

  5. ZigBee-2007 Security Essentials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yuksel, Ender; Nielson, Hanne Riis; Nielson, Flemming

    2008-01-01

    ZigBee is a fairly new but promising standard for wireless networks due to its low resource requirements. As in other wireless network standards, security is an important issue and each new version of the ZigBee Specification enhances the level of the ZigBee security. In this paper, we present...... the security essentials of the latest ZigBee Specification, ZigBee-2007. We explain the key concepts, protocols, and computations. In addition, we formulate the protocols using standard protocol narrations. Finally, we identify the key challenges to be considered for consolidating ZigBee....

  6. Development of a 44K SNP assay focussing on the analysis of a varroa-specific defence behaviour in honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spötter, A; Gupta, P; Nürnberg, G; Reinsch, N; Bienefeld, K

    2012-03-01

    Honey bees are exposed to a number of damaging pathogens and parasites. The most destructive among them, affecting mainly the brood, is Varroa destructor. A promising approach to prevent its spread is to breed for Varroa-tolerant honey bees. A trait that has been shown to provide significant resistance against the Varroa mite is hygienic behaviour, a behavioural response of honey bee workers to brood diseases in general. This study reports the development of a 44K SNP assay, specifically designed for the analysis of hygienic behaviour of individual worker bees (Apis mellifera carnica) directed against V. destructor. Initially, 70,000 SNPs chosen from a large set of SNPs published by the Honey Bee Genome Project were validated for their suitability in the analysis of the Varroa resistance trait 'uncapping of Varroa-infested brood'. This was achieved by genotyping of pooled DNA samples of trait bearers and two trait-negative controls using next-generation sequencing. Approximately 36,000 of these validated SNPs and another 8000 SNPs not validated in this study were selected for the construction of a SNP assay. This assay will be employed in following experiments to analyse individualized DNA samples in order to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) involved in the control of the investigated trait and to evaluate and possibly confirm QTL found in other studies. However, this assay is not just suitable to study Varroa tolerance, it is as well applicable to analyse any other trait in honey bees. In addition, because of its high density, this assay provides access into genomic selection with respect to several traits considered in honey bee breeding. It will become publicly available via AROS Applied Biotechnology AS, Aarhus, Denmark, before the end of the year 2011. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  7. Adaptive evolution of a key gene affecting queen and worker traits in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Clement F; Issa, Amer; Bunting, Alexandra C; Zayed, Amro

    2011-12-01

    The vitellogenin egg yolk precursor protein represents a well-studied case of social pleiotropy in the model organism Apis mellifera. Vitellogenin is associated with fecundity in queens and plays a major role in controlling division of labour in workers, thereby affecting both individual and colony-level fitness. We studied the molecular evolution of vitellogenin and seven other genes sequenced in a large population panel of Apis mellifera and several closely related species to investigate the role of social pleiotropy on adaptive protein evolution. We found a significant excess of nonsynonymous fixed differences between A. mellifera, A. cerana and A. florea relative to synonymous sites indicating high rates of adaptive evolution at vitellogenin. Indeed, 88% of amino acid changes were fixed by selection in some portions of the gene. Further, vitellogenin exhibited hallmark signatures of selective sweeps in A. mellifera, including a significant skew in the allele frequency spectrum, extreme levels of genetic differentiation and linkage disequilibrium. Finally, replacement polymorphisms in vitellogenin were significantly enriched in parts of the protein involved in binding lipid, establishing a link between the gene's structure, function and effects on fitness. Our case study provides unequivocal evidence of historical and ongoing bouts of adaptive evolution acting on a key socially pleiotropic gene in the honey bee. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. 20 CFR 663.105 - When must adults and dislocated workers be registered?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 3 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false When must adults and dislocated workers be registered? 663.105 Section 663.105 Employees' Benefits EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF... determination of eligibility. This information may be collected through methods that include electronic data...

  9. The bacterial communities associated with honey bee (Apis mellifera foragers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Corby-Harris

    Full Text Available The honey bee is a key pollinator species in decline worldwide. As part of a commercial operation, bee colonies are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of individuals and the hive. While many recent studies support the idea of a core microbiota in guts of younger in-hive bees, it is unknown whether this core is present in forager bees or the pollen they carry back to the hive. Additionally, several studies hypothesize that the foregut (crop, a key interface between the pollination environment and hive food stores, contains a set of 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB that inoculate collected pollen and act in synergy to preserve pollen stores. Here, we used a combination of 454 based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial communities of forager guts, crops, and corbicular pollen and crop plate counts to show that (1 despite a very different diet, forager guts contain a core microbiota similar to that found in younger bees, (2 corbicular pollen contains a diverse community dominated by hive-specific, environmental or phyllosphere bacteria that are not prevalent in the gut or crop, and (3 the 13 LAB found in culture-based studies are not specific to the crop but are a small subset of midgut or hindgut specific bacteria identified in many recent 454 amplicon-based studies. The crop is dominated by Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae, highly osmotolerant and acid resistant bacteria found in stored pollen and honey. Crop taxa at low abundance include core hindgut bacteria in transit to their primary niche, and potential pathogens or food spoilage organisms seemingly vectored from the pollination environment. We conclude that the crop microbial environment is influenced by worker task, and may function in both decontamination and inoculation.

  10. A comparison of the hygienic response of Africanized and European (Apis mellifera carnica honey bees to Varroa-infested brood in tropical Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pia Aumeier

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available In order to examine the significance of hygienic behavior for the tolerance to varroosis of Africanized honey bees, they were compared with non-tolerant Carniolans in tropical Brazil. Capped worker brood cells were artificially infested with living Varroa mites, and inspected some days later. Uncapping, disappearance of the introduced mite and removal of the pupa were recorded in a total of manipulated 3,096 cells during three summer seasons. The hygienic response varied between Africanized and Carniolan colonies, but this difference was significant only in one year, during which Africanized honey bees removed a significantly greater proportion of Varroa mites than European honey bees. A high proportion of the mites disappeared from artificially infested brood cells without damage to the pupae. The opening of the cell and the removal of the bee brood are independent traits of a graded response by adult workers towards mite-infested brood cells. We found a higher between-colony variation in the reaction towards Varroa-infested brood of Africanized honey bees compared to Carniolans. The overall similar response of the two bee types indicates that hygienic behavior is not a key factor in the tolerance to varroosis of Africanized bees in Brazil.Com o intuito de examinar o significado do comportamento higiênico na tolerância à varroose de abelhas africanizadas, elas foram comparadas com as não tolerantes Cárnicas no Brasil tropical. Células de cria de operárias operculadas foram artificialmente infestadas com ácaros Varroa vivos e inspecionadas alguns dias depois. Desoperculação, desaparecimento dos ácaros introduzidos e remoção da pupa foram anotados em um total de 3096 células manipuladas durante três verões. A resposta higiênica variou entre as colônias africanizadas e de Cárnicas, mas esta diferença foi significante apenas em um ano, durante o qual as abelhas africanizadas removeram uma proporção significantemente maior de

  11. A critical number of workers in a honeybee colony triggers investment in reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Michael L; Ostwald, Madeleine M; Loftus, J Carter; Seeley, Thomas D

    2014-10-01

    Social insect colonies, like individual organisms, must decide as they develop how to allocate optimally their resources among survival, growth, and reproduction. Only when colonies reach a certain state do they switch from investing purely in survival and growth to investing also in reproduction. But how do worker bees within a colony detect that their colony has reached the state where it is adaptive to begin investing in reproduction? Previous work has shown that larger honeybee colonies invest more in reproduction (i.e., the production of drones and queens), however, the term 'larger' encompasses multiple colony parameters including number of adult workers, size of the nest, amount of brood, and size of the honey stores. These colony parameters were independently increased in this study to test which one(s) would increase a colony's investment in reproduction via males. This was assayed by measuring the construction of drone comb, the special type of comb in which drones are reared. Only an increase in the number of workers stimulated construction of drone comb. Colonies with over 4,000 workers began building drone comb, independent of the other colony parameters. These results show that attaining a critical number of workers is the key parameter for honeybee colonies to start to shift resources towards reproduction. These findings are relevant to other social systems in which a group's members must adjust their behavior as a function of the group's size.

  12. A critical number of workers in a honeybee colony triggers investment in reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Michael L.; Ostwald, Madeleine M.; Loftus, J. Carter; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2014-10-01

    Social insect colonies, like individual organisms, must decide as they develop how to allocate optimally their resources among survival, growth, and reproduction. Only when colonies reach a certain state do they switch from investing purely in survival and growth to investing also in reproduction. But how do worker bees within a colony detect that their colony has reached the state where it is adaptive to begin investing in reproduction? Previous work has shown that larger honeybee colonies invest more in reproduction (i.e., the production of drones and queens), however, the term `larger' encompasses multiple colony parameters including number of adult workers, size of the nest, amount of brood, and size of the honey stores. These colony parameters were independently increased in this study to test which one(s) would increase a colony's investment in reproduction via males. This was assayed by measuring the construction of drone comb, the special type of comb in which drones are reared. Only an increase in the number of workers stimulated construction of drone comb. Colonies with over 4,000 workers began building drone comb, independent of the other colony parameters. These results show that attaining a critical number of workers is the key parameter for honeybee colonies to start to shift resources towards reproduction. These findings are relevant to other social systems in which a group's members must adjust their behavior as a function of the group's size.

  13. No intracolonial nepotism during colony fissioning in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangel, Juliana; Mattila, Heather R.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2009-01-01

    Most species of social insects have singly mated queens, but in some species each queen mates with numerous males to create a colony whose workers belong to multiple patrilines. This colony genetic structure creates a potential for intracolonial nepotism. One context with great potential for such nepotism arises in species, like honey bees, whose colonies reproduce by fissioning. During fissioning, workers might nepotistically choose between serving a young (sister) queen or the old (mother) queen, preferring the former if she is a full-sister but the latter if the young queen is only a half-sister. We examined three honeybee colonies that swarmed, and performed paternity analyses on the young (immature) queens and samples of workers who either stayed with the young queens in the nest or left with the mother queen in the swarm. For each colony, we checked whether patrilines represented by immature queens had higher proportions of staying workers than patrilines not represented by immature queens. We found no evidence of this. The absence of intracolonial nepotism during colony fissioning could be because the workers cannot discriminate between full-sister and half-sister queens when they are immature, or because the costs of behaving nepotistically outweigh the benefits. PMID:19692398

  14. Social context and reproductive potential affect worker reproductive decisions in a eusocial insect.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Yagound

    Full Text Available Context-dependent decision-making conditions individual plasticity and is an integrant part of alternative reproductive strategies. In eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps, the discovery of worker reproductive parasitism recently challenged the view of workers as a homogeneous collective entity and stressed the need to consider them as autonomous units capable of elaborate choices which influence their fitness returns. The reproductive decisions of individual workers thus need to be investigated and taken into account to understand the regulation of reproduction in insect societies. However, we know virtually nothing about the proximate mechanisms at the basis of worker reproductive decisions. Here, we test the hypothesis that the capacity of workers to reproduce in foreign colonies lies in their ability to react differently according to the colonial context and whether this reaction is influenced by a particular internal state. Using the bumble bee Bombus terrestris, we show that workers exhibit an extremely high reproductive plasticity which is conditioned by the social context they experience. Fertile workers reintroduced into their mother colony reverted to sterility, as expected. On the contrary, a high level of ovary activity persisted in fertile workers introduced into a foreign nest, and this despite more frequent direct contacts with the queen and the brood than control workers. Foreign workers' reproductive decisions were not affected by the resident queen, their level of fertility being similar whether or not the queen was removed from the host colony. Workers' physiological state at the time of introduction is also of crucial importance, since infertile workers failed to develop a reproductive phenotype in a foreign nest. Therefore, both internal and environmental factors appear to condition individual reproductive strategies in this species, suggesting that more complex decision-making mechanisms are involved in the regulation

  15. Enhanced production of parthenocarpic cucumbers pollinated with stingless bees and Africanized honey bees in greenhouses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Euclides Braga Malheiros

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Crops have different levels of dependence on pollinators; this holds true even for cultivars of the same species, as in the case of cucumber (Cucumis sativus. The aim of this research was to assess the attractiveness of flowers of three Japanese parthenocarpic cucumber cultivars and evaluate the importance of Africanized bees (Apis mellifera, and the Brazilian native stingless bees, Jataí (Tetragonisca angustula and Iraí (Nannotrigona testaceicornis on fruit production. Several parameters, including frequency of bee visits to flowers as well as duration of nectar collection and fruit set were examined; additionally, fruit weight, length and diameter were evaluated. Three greenhouses located in Ribeirão Preto, SP, were used for planting three cucumber cultivars (Hokushin, Yoshinari and Soudai. The female flowers were more attractive than male flowers; however, Jataí bees were not observed visiting the flowers. The Africanized and the Iraí bees collected only nectar, with a visitation peak between 10 and 12h. Visits to female flowers had a longer duration than visits to male flower visits in all three cultivars. Africanized bee colonies declined due to loss of bees while in the greenhouse; the native stingless bee colonies did not suffer these losses. When bees were excluded, fruit set was 78%; however, when bees had access to the flowers, fruit set was significantly (19.2% higher. Fruit size and weight did not differ with and without bees. This demonstrates that even in parthenocarpic cucumber cultivars, which do not require pollination in order to from fruits, fruit production is significantly increased by bee pollination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. 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