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Sample records for bee honey setting

  1. Modeling Honey Bee Populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Torres

    Full Text Available Eusocial honey bee populations (Apis mellifera employ an age stratification organization of egg, larvae, pupae, hive bees and foraging bees. Understanding the recent decline in honey bee colonies hinges on understanding the factors that impact each of these different age castes. We first perform an analysis of steady state bee populations given mortality rates within each bee caste and find that the honey bee colony is highly susceptible to hive and pupae mortality rates. Subsequently, we study transient bee population dynamics by building upon the modeling foundation established by Schmickl and Crailsheim and Khoury et al. Our transient model based on differential equations accounts for the effects of pheromones in slowing the maturation of hive bees to foraging bees, the increased mortality of larvae in the absence of sufficient hive bees, and the effects of food scarcity. We also conduct sensitivity studies and show the effects of parameter variations on the colony population.

  2. Modeling Honey Bee Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, David J.; Ricoy, Ulises M.; Roybal, Shanae

    2015-01-01

    Eusocial honey bee populations (Apis mellifera) employ an age stratification organization of egg, larvae, pupae, hive bees and foraging bees. Understanding the recent decline in honey bee colonies hinges on understanding the factors that impact each of these different age castes. We first perform an analysis of steady state bee populations given mortality rates within each bee caste and find that the honey bee colony is highly susceptible to hive and pupae mortality rates. Subsequently, we study transient bee population dynamics by building upon the modeling foundation established by Schmickl and Crailsheim and Khoury et al. Our transient model based on differential equations accounts for the effects of pheromones in slowing the maturation of hive bees to foraging bees, the increased mortality of larvae in the absence of sufficient hive bees, and the effects of food scarcity. We also conduct sensitivity studies and show the effects of parameter variations on the colony population. PMID:26148010

  3. Honey bee toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Reed M

    2015-01-01

    Insecticides are chemicals used to kill insects, so it is unsurprising that many insecticides have the potential to harm honey bees (Apis mellifera). However, bees are exposed to a great variety of other potentially toxic chemicals, including flavonoids and alkaloids that are produced by plants; mycotoxins produced by fungi; antimicrobials and acaricides that are introduced by beekeepers; and fungicides, herbicides, and other environmental contaminants. Although often regarded as uniquely sensitive to toxic compounds, honey bees are adapted to tolerate and even thrive in the presence of toxic compounds that occur naturally in their environment. The harm caused by exposure to a particular concentration of a toxic compound may depend on the level of simultaneous exposure to other compounds, pathogen levels, nutritional status, and a host of other factors. This review takes a holistic view of bee toxicology by taking into account the spectrum of xenobiotics to which bees are exposed.

  4. Physiology and biochemistry of honey bees

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

  5. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

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    Cansu Ozge Tozkar

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 5 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. 60 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, Apis filamentous 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.

  6. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees

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    Kazlauskas, Nadia; Klappenbach, Martín; Depino, Amaicha M.; Locatelli, Fernando F.

    2016-01-01

    During an infection, animals suffer several changes in their normal physiology and behavior which may include lethargy, appetite loss, and reduction in grooming and general movements. This set of alterations is known as sickness behavior and although it has been extensively believed to be orchestrated primarily by the immune system, a relevant role for the central nervous system has also been established. The aim of the present work is to develop a simple animal model to allow studying how the immune and the nervous systems interact coordinately during an infection. We administered a bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into the thorax of honey bees to mimic a bacterial infection, and then we evaluated a set of stereotyped behaviors of the animals that might be indicative of sickness behavior. First, we show that this immune challenge reduces the locomotor activity of the animals in a narrow time window after LPS injection. Furthermore, bees exhibit a loss of appetite 60 and 90 min after injection, but not 15 h later. We also demonstrate that LPS injection reduces spontaneous antennal movements in harnessed animals, which suggests a reduction in the motivational state of the bees. Finally, we show that the LPS injection diminishes the interaction between animals, a crucial behavior in social insects. To our knowledge these results represent the first systematic description of sickness behavior in honey bees and provide important groundwork for the study of the interaction between the immune and the neural systems in an insect model. PMID:27445851

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

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    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.

  8. 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...

  9. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

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    Sebastian Gisder

    2015-10-01

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

  10. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-10-01

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

  11. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Swimming of the Honey Bees

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    Roh, Chris; Gharib, Morteza

    2016-11-01

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

  13. Hologenome theory and the honey bee pathosphere

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    Recent research shows substantial genomic diversity among the parasites and pathogens honey bees encounter, a robust microbiota living within bees, and a genome-level view of relationships across global honey bee races. Different combinations of these genomic complexes may explain regional variatio...

  14. Honey bee genotypes and the environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meixner, Marina D; Büchler, Ralph; Costa, Cecilia;

    2014-01-01

    Although knowledge about honey bee geographic and genetic diversity has increased tremendously in recent decades, the adaptation of honey bees to their local environment has not been well studied. The current demand for high economic performance of bee colonies with desirable behavioural characte...

  15. Cocaine tolerance in honey bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eirik Søvik

    Full Text Available Increasingly invertebrates are being used to investigate the molecular and cellular effects of drugs of abuse to explore basic mechanisms of addiction. However, in mammals the principle factors contributing to addiction are long-term adaptive responses to repeated drug use. Here we examined whether adaptive responses to cocaine are also seen in invertebrates using the honey bee model system. Repeated topical treatment with a low dose of cocaine rendered bees resistant to the deleterious motor effects of a higher cocaine dose, indicating the development of physiological tolerance to cocaine in bees. Cocaine inhibits biogenic amine reuptake transporters, but neither acute nor repeated cocaine treatments caused measurable changes in levels of biogenic amines measured in whole bee brains. Our data show clear short and long-term behavioural responses of bees to cocaine administration, but caution that, despite the small size of the bee brain, measures of biogenic amines conducted at the whole-brain level may not reveal neurochemical effects of the drug.

  16. Bees brought to their knees: Microbes affecting honey bee health

    Science.gov (United States)

    The biology and health of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, has been of interest to human societies since the advent of beekeeping. Descriptive scientific research on pathogens affecting honey bees have been published for nearly a century, but it wasn’t until the recent outbreak of heavy colony losses...

  17. Cell culture techniques in honey bee research

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

  18. Synergistic effects of non-Apis bees and honey bees for pollination services.

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    Brittain, Claire; Williams, Neal; Kremen, Claire; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2013-03-07

    In diverse pollinator communities, interspecific interactions may modify the behaviour and increase the pollination effectiveness of individual species. Because agricultural production reliant on pollination is growing, improving pollination effectiveness could increase crop yield without any increase in agricultural intensity or area. In California almond, a crop highly dependent on honey bee pollination, we explored the foraging behaviour and pollination effectiveness of honey bees in orchards with simple (honey bee only) and diverse (non-Apis bees present) bee communities. In orchards with non-Apis bees, the foraging behaviour of honey bees changed and the pollination effectiveness of a single honey bee visit was greater than in orchards where non-Apis bees were absent. This change translated to a greater proportion of fruit set in these orchards. Our field experiments show that increased pollinator diversity can synergistically increase pollination service, through species interactions that alter the behaviour and resulting functional quality of a dominant pollinator species. These results of functional synergy between species were supported by an additional controlled cage experiment with Osmia lignaria and Apis mellifera. Our findings highlight a largely unexplored facilitative component of the benefit of biodiversity to ecosystem services, and represent a way to improve pollinator-dependent crop yields in a sustainable manner.

  19. Fine-scale linkage mapping reveals a small set of candidate genes influencing honey bee grooming behavior in response to Varroa mites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel E Arechavaleta-Velasco

    Full Text Available Populations of honey bees in North America have been experiencing high annual colony mortality for 15-20 years. Many apicultural researchers believe that introduced parasites called Varroa mites (V. destructor are the most important factor in colony deaths. One important resistance mechanism that limits mite population growth in colonies is the ability of some lines of honey bees to groom mites from their bodies. To search for genes influencing this trait, we used an Illumina Bead Station genotyping array to determine the genotypes of several hundred worker bees at over a thousand single-nucleotide polymorphisms in a family that was apparently segregating for alleles influencing this behavior. Linkage analyses provided a genetic map with 1,313 markers anchored to genome sequence. Genotypes were analyzed for association with grooming behavior, measured as the time that individual bees took to initiate grooming after mites were placed on their thoraces. Quantitative-trait-locus interval mapping identified a single chromosomal region that was significant at the chromosome-wide level (p<0.05 on chromosome 5 with a LOD score of 2.72. The 95% confidence interval for quantitative trait locus location contained only 27 genes (honey bee official gene annotation set 2 including Atlastin, Ataxin and Neurexin-1 (AmNrx1, which have potential neurodevelopmental and behavioral effects. Atlastin and Ataxin homologs are associated with neurological diseases in humans. AmNrx1 codes for a presynaptic protein with many alternatively spliced isoforms. Neurexin-1 influences the growth, maintenance and maturation of synapses in the brain, as well as the type of receptors most prominent within synapses. Neurexin-1 has also been associated with autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia in humans, and self-grooming behavior in mice.

  20. Integrated control of honey bee diseases in apiculture

    OpenAIRE

    Al Toufailia, Hasan

    2016-01-01

    The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is important both ecologically and economically. Pests and diseases are arguably the greatest current challenge faced by honey bees and beekeeping. This PhD thesis is focused on honey bee disease control including natural resistance by means of hygienic behaviour. It contains eleven independent experiments, ten on honey bee pests and diseases and their control and resistance, and one on stingless bees. Each is written as a separate chapter, Chapters 4 and 14 of ...

  1. Chalkbrood disease in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronstein, K A; Murray, K D

    2010-01-01

    Chalkbrood is a fungal disease of honey bee brood caused by Ascosphaera apis. This disease is now found throughout the world, and there are indications that chalkbrood incidence may be on the rise. In this review we consolidate both historic knowledge and recent scientific findings. We document the worldwide spread of the fungus, which is aided by increased global travel and the migratory nature of many beekeeping operations. We discuss the current taxonomic classification in light of the recent complete reworking of fungal systematics brought on by application of molecular methods. In addition, we discuss epidemiology and pathogenesis of the disease, as well as pathogen biology, morphology and reproduction. New attempts at disease control methods and management tactics are reviewed. We report on research tools developed for identification and monitoring, and also include recent findings on genomic and molecular studies not covered by previous reviews, including sequencing of the A. apis genome and identification of the mating type locus.

  2. The Plight of the Honey Bee

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    Hockridge, Emma

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-01-01

    We examined honey bee's associative learning response to conditioning with trinitrotolulene (TNT) vapor concentrations generated at three temperatures and their ability to be reconditioned after a 24 h period. We used classical conditioning of the proboscis extension (PER) in honey bees using TNT vapors as the conditioned stimulus and sucrose as the unconditioned stimulus. We conducted fifteen experimental trials with an explosives vapor generator set at 43 C, 25 C and 5 C, producing three concentrations of explosives (1070 ppt, 57 ppt, and 11 ppt). Our objective was to test the honey bee's ability to exhibit a conditioned response to TNT vapors at all three concentrations by comparing the mean percentage of honey bees successfully exhibiting a conditioned response within each temperature group. Furthermore, we conducted eight experimental trials to test the honey bee's ability to retain their ability to exhibit a conditioned response to TNT after 24h period by comparing the mean percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response TNT on the first day compared to the percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response to TNT on the second day. Results indicate that there was no significant difference between the mean percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response to TNT vapors between three temperature groups. There was a significant difference between the percentage of honey bees exhibiting conditioned response on the first day of training compared to the percentage of honey bees exhibiting conditioned response 24 h after training. Our experimental results indicate that honey bees can be trained to exhibit a conditioned response to a range of TNT concentrations via PER However, it appears that the honey bee's ability to retain the conditioned response to TNT vapors after 24h significantly decreases.

  4. Cytosine modifications in the honey bee (Apis mellifera worker genome

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    Erik Magne Koscielniak Rasmussen

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic changes enable genomes to respond to changes in the environment, such as altered nutrition, activity, or social setting. Epigenetic modifications, thereby, provides a source of phenotypic plasticity in many species. The honey bee (Apis mellifera uses nutritionally sensitive epigenetic control mechanisms in the development of the royal caste (queens and the workers. The workers are functionally sterile females that can take on a range of distinct physiological and/or behavioral phenotypes in response to environmental changes. Honey bees have a wide repertoire of epigenetic mechanisms which, as in mammals, includes cytosine methylation, hydroxymethylated cytosines, together with the enzymatic machinery responsible for these cytosine modifications. Current data suggests that honey bees provide an excellent system for studying the social repertoire of the epigenome. In this review, we elucidate what is known so far about the honey bee epigenome and its mechanisms. Our discussion includes what may distinguish honey bees from other model animals, how the epigenome can influence worker behavioral task separation, and how future studies can answer central questions about the role of the epigenome in social behavior.

  5. BEES, HONEY AND HEALTH IN ANTIQUITY

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    L. Cilliers

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available

    In antiquity bees and honey had a very special significance. Honey was indeed considered to drip from heaven as the food of the gods. As an infant Zeus was fed on honey in the cave of Dicte, by bees and the beautiful Melissa, whose name became the Greek word for “bee”. When the ancient Romans wished you luck they said “May honey drip on you!” and for the Israelites Palestine was a “land of milk and honey” (Forbes 1957:85-87. In his Georgics Vergil likened the inhabitants of the new Golden Age to an orderly swarm of bees (Johnson 1980:90-105, and the word “honeymoon” probably derived from the ancient custom of newlyweds to drink mead (honey-wine for a month after their wedding (Hajar 2002:5-6. Allsop and Miller state that even today honey is popularly associated with warmth, nostalgia, goodness and flattery (1996:513-520.

    In this study the origins of apiculture (bee-keeping and the status and uses of honey in antiquity are analysed – with emphasis on its assumed value as a health promoting agent.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  7. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses

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    Katie F. Daughenbaugh

    2015-06-01

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

  8. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-23

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

  9. Acute paralysis viruses of the honey bee

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chunsheng; Hou; Nor; Chejanovsky

    2014-01-01

    <正>The alarming decline of honey bee(Apis mellifera)colonies in the last decade drove the attention and research to several pathogens of the honey bee including viruses.Viruses challenge the development of healthy and robust colonies since they manage to prevail in an asymptomatic mode and reemerge in acute infections following external stresses,as well as they are able to infect new healthy colonies(de Miranda J R,et al.,2010a;de Miranda J R,et al.,2010b;Di Prisco G,et al.,2013;Nazzi F,et al.,2012;Yang X L,et al.,2005).

  10. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar; Yañez, Orlando; Shutler, Dave; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-10-13

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances.

  11. Honey bees selectively avoid difficult choices.

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    Perry, Clint J; Barron, Andrew B

    2013-11-19

    Human decision-making strategies are strongly influenced by an awareness of certainty or uncertainty (a form of metacognition) to increase the chances of making a right choice. Humans seek more information and defer choosing when they realize they have insufficient information to make an accurate decision, but whether animals are aware of uncertainty is currently highly contentious. To explore this issue, we examined how honey bees (Apis mellifera) responded to a visual discrimination task that varied in difficulty between trials. Free-flying bees were rewarded for a correct choice, punished for an incorrect choice, or could avoid choosing by exiting the trial (opting out). Bees opted out more often on difficult trials, and opting out improved their proportion of successful trials. Bees could also transfer the concept of opting out to a novel task. Our data show that bees selectively avoid difficult tasks they lack the information to solve. This finding has been considered as evidence that nonhuman animals can assess the certainty of a predicted outcome, and bees' performance was comparable to that of primates in a similar paradigm. We discuss whether these behavioral results prove bees react to uncertainty or whether associative mechanisms can explain such findings. To better frame metacognition as an issue for neurobiological investigation, we propose a neurobiological hypothesis of uncertainty monitoring based on the known circuitry of the honey bee brain.

  12. Testing Honey Bees' Avoidance of Predators

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  14. Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-06-20

    emergence of new or newly more virulent pathogens; ! poor nutrition among adult bees; ! lack of genetic diversity and lineage of bees; ! level of stress... tangerines , etc.), peaches, pears, nectarines, plums, grapes, brambleberries, strawberries, olives, melon (cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew...mites, and disease loads in the bees and brood; ! emergence of new or newly more virulent pathogens, such as fungal diseases; ! poor nutrition among

  15. Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Paul; Lin, Zheguang; Buawangpong, Ninat; Zheng, Huoqing; Hu, Fuliang; Neumann, Peter; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Eusocial insect colonies form superorganisms, in which nestmates cooperate and use social immunity to combat parasites. However, social immunity may fail in case of emerging diseases. This is the case for the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, which switched hosts from the Eastern honeybee, Apis cerana, to the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, and currently is the greatest threat to A. mellifera apiculture globally. Here, we show that immature workers of the mite’s original host, A. cerana, are more susceptible to V. destructor infestations than those of its new host, thereby enabling more efficient social immunity and contributing to colony survival. This counterintuitive result shows that susceptible individuals can foster superorganism survival, offering empirical support to theoretical arguments about the adaptive value of worker suicide in social insects. Altruistic suicide of immature bees constitutes a social analogue of apoptosis, as it prevents the spread of infections by sacrificing parts of the whole organism, and unveils a novel form of transgenerational social immunity in honey bees. Taking into account the key role of susceptible immature bees in social immunity will improve breeding efforts to mitigate the unsustainably high colony losses of Western honey bees due to V. destructor infestations worldwide. PMID:27264643

  16. 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 drone or a worker cell is therefore a crucial step in the life of Varroa m

  17. Multiyear survey targeting disease incidence in US honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    The US National Honey Bee Disease Survey sampled colony pests and diseases from 2009 to 2014. We verified the absence of Tropilaelaps spp., the Asian honey bee (Apis cerana), and slow bee paralysis virus. Endemic health threats were quantified, including Varroa destructor, Nosema spp., and eight hon...

  18. Using DNA metabarcoding to investigate honey bee foraging reveals limited flower use despite high floral availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vere, Natasha; Jones, Laura E.; Gilmore, Tegan; Moscrop, Jake; Lowe, Abigail; Smith, Dan; Hegarty, Matthew J.; Creer, Simon; Ford, Col R.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding which flowers honey bees (Apis mellifera) use for forage can help us to provide suitable plants for healthy honey bee colonies. Accordingly, honey DNA metabarcoding provides a valuable tool for investigating pollen and nectar collection. We investigated early season (April and May) floral choice by honey bees provided with a very high diversity of flowering plants within the National Botanic Garden of Wales. There was a close correspondence between the phenology of flowering and the detection of plants within the honey. Within the study area there were 437 genera of plants in flower during April and May, but only 11% of these were used. Thirty-nine plant taxa were recorded from three hives but only ten at greater than 1%. All three colonies used the same core set of native or near-native plants, typically found in hedgerows and woodlands. The major plants were supplemented with a range of horticultural species, with more variation in plant choice between the honey bee colonies. We conclude that during the spring, honey bees need access to native hedgerows and woodlands to provide major plants for foraging. Gardens provide supplementary flowers that may increase the nutritional diversity of the honey bee diet. PMID:28205632

  19. Modelling collective foraging by means of individual behaviour rules in honey-bees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, H; Biesmeijer, JC

    1998-01-01

    An individual-oriented model is constructed which simulates the collective foraging behaviour of a colony of honey-bees, Apis mellifera. Each bee follows the same set of behavioural rules. Each rule consists of a set of conditions followed by the behavioural act to be performed if the conditions are

  20. Does the Honey Bee "Risk Cup" Runneth Over? Estimating Aggregate Exposures for Assessing Pesticide Risks to Honey Bees in Agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenbaum, May R

    2016-01-13

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are uniquely vulnerable to nontarget pesticide impacts because, as ubiquitous managed pollinators, they are deliberately transported into areas where crops are grown with pesticides. Moreover, attributes making them excellent managed pollinators, including large long-lived colonies and complex behavior, also make them challenging subjects for toxicity bioassays. For over 150 years, improvements in formulation and delivery of pesticides, increasing their environmental and temporal presence, have had unintended consequences for honey bees. Since 1996, the Environmental Protection Agency has used "aggregate risk"--exposure risks to all possible sources--to set tolerances; once a "risk cup" is filled, no new pesticide or use can be approved unless risks are reduced elsewhere. The EPA now recommends a modeling approach for aggregating all exposure risks for bees, with differential lifestage sensitivity and exposure probabilities. Thus, the honey bee is the first insect with its own "risk cup"--a technological innovation that may not have unintended consequences for this beleaguered beneficial species.

  1. Predictive markers of honey bee colony collapse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Dainat

    Full Text Available Across the Northern hemisphere, managed honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, are currently affected by abrupt depopulation during winter and many factors are suspected to be involved, either alone or in combination. Parasites and pathogens are considered as principal actors, in particular the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, associated viruses and the microsporidian Nosema ceranae. Here we used long term monitoring of colonies and screening for eleven disease agents and genes involved in bee immunity and physiology to identify predictive markers of honeybee colony losses during winter. The data show that DWV, Nosema ceranae, Varroa destructor and Vitellogenin can be predictive markers for winter colony losses, but their predictive power strongly depends on the season. In particular, the data support that V. destructor is a key player for losses, arguably in line with its specific impact on the health of individual bees and colonies.

  2. Honey Bees, Satellites and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esaias, W.

    2008-05-01

    Life isn't what it used to be for honey bees in Maryland. The latest changes in their world are discussed by NASA scientist Wayne Esaias, a biological oceanographer with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. At Goddard, Esaias has examined the role of marine productivity in the global carbon cycle using visible satellite sensors. In his personal life, Esaias is a beekeeper. Lately, he has begun melding his interest in bees with his professional expertise in global climate change. Esaias has observed that the period when nectar is available in central Maryland has shifted by one month due to local climate change. He is interested in bringing the power of global satellite observations and models to bear on the important but difficult question of how climate change will impact bees and pollination. Pollination is a complex, ephemeral interaction of animals and plants with ramifications throughout terrestrial ecosystems well beyond the individual species directly involved. Pollinators have been shown to be in decline in many regions, and the nature and degree of further impacts on this key interaction due to climate change are very much open questions. Honey bee colonies are used to quantify the time of occurrence of the major interaction by monitoring their weight change. During the peak period, changes of 5-15 kg/day per colony represent an integrated response covering thousands of hectares. Volunteer observations provide a robust metric for looking at spatial and inter-annual variations due to short term climate events, complementing plant phenology networks and satellite-derived vegetation phenology data. In central Maryland, the nectar flows are advancing by about -0.6 d/y, based on a 15 yr time series and a small regional study. This is comparable to the regional advancement in the spring green-up observed with MODIS and AVHRR. The ability to link satellite vegetation phenology to honey bee forage using hive weight changes provides a basis for applying satellite

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Liu

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    OpenAIRE

    Antoine Lecocq; Annette Bruun Jensen; Per Kryger; 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 sho...

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zavodna Lucie Sara

    2016-09-01

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

  8. Impacts of Austrian Climate Variability on Honey Bee Mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L; Lundgren, Jonathan G

    2016-07-14

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Marsha M; Robinson, Gene E

    2014-07-17

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SOESILAWATI HADISOESILO

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerry J Bromenshenk

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Youhui; Diao, Qingyun

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Responses of Varroa-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to Deformed wing virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    The negative impact of Deformedwing virus (DWV) on European honey bees Apis mellifera is magnified by Varroa destructor parasitism. This study compared the responses of two Varroa-resistant honey bee stocks, pure Russian honey bees (RHB) and out-crossed Varroa Sensitive Hygienic bees, Pol-line (POL)...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine E Thompson

    Full Text Available Feral honey bee populations have been reported to be in decline due to the spread of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite that when left uncontrolled leads to virus build-up and colony death. While pests and diseases are known causes of large-scale managed honey bee colony losses, no studies to date have considered the wider pathogen burden in feral colonies, primarily due to the difficulty in locating and sampling colonies, which often nest in inaccessible locations such as church spires and tree tops. In addition, little is known about the provenance of feral colonies and whether they represent a reservoir of Varroa tolerant material that could be used in apiculture. Samples of forager bees were collected from paired feral and managed honey bee colonies and screened for the presence of ten honey bee pathogens and pests using qPCR. Prevalence and quantity was similar between the two groups for the majority of pathogens, however feral honey bees contained a significantly higher level of deformed wing virus than managed honey bee colonies. An assessment of the honey bee race was completed for each colony using three measures of wing venation. There were no apparent differences in wing morphometry between feral and managed colonies, suggesting feral colonies could simply be escapees from the managed population. Interestingly, managed honey bee colonies not treated for Varroa showed similar, potentially lethal levels of deformed wing virus to that of feral colonies. The potential for such findings to explain the large fall in the feral population and the wider context of the importance of feral colonies as potential pathogen reservoirs is discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Youngsteadt

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

  19. Differential gene expression of the honey bee Apis mellifera associated with Varroa destructor infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evans JD

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is the most serious pest of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, and has caused the death of millions of colonies worldwide. This mite reproduces in brood cells and parasitizes immature and adult bees. We investigated whether Varroa infestation induces changes in Apis mellifera gene expression, and whether there are genotypic differences that affect gene expression relevant to the bee's tolerance, as first steps toward unravelling mechanisms of host response and differences in susceptibility to Varroa parasitism. Results We explored the transcriptional response to mite parasitism in two genetic stocks of A. mellifera which differ in susceptibility to Varroa, comparing parasitized and non-parasitized full-sister pupae from both stocks. Bee expression profiles were analyzed using microarrays derived from honey bee ESTs whose annotation has recently been enhanced by results from the honey bee genome sequence. We measured differences in gene expression in two colonies of Varroa-susceptible and two colonies of Varroa-tolerant bees. We identified a set of 148 genes with significantly different patterns of expression: 32 varied with the presence of Varroa, 116 varied with bee genotype, and 2 with both. Varroa parasitism caused changes in the expression of genes related to embryonic development, cell metabolism and immunity. Bees tolerant to Varroa were mainly characterized by differences in the expression of genes regulating neuronal development, neuronal sensitivity and olfaction. Differences in olfaction and sensitivity to stimuli are two parameters that could, at least in part, account for bee tolerance to Varroa; differences in olfaction may be related to increased grooming and hygienic behavior, important behaviors known to be involved in Varroa tolerance. Conclusion These results suggest that differences in behavior, rather than in the immune system, underlie Varroa tolerance in honey

  20. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...

  1. First detection of viruses in Africanized honey bees from Peru

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Orlando; Yaez; Graciano; Tejada; Peter; Neumann

    2014-01-01

    <正>Dear Editor,The ability of the Western honey bee,Apis mellifera,to adapt to most climates of the world and the ongoing standardization of colony management has made this species of honey bees the most important species for crop pollination.In recent years,Peru emerged as a main exporter of industrial crops.This industry is mainly concentrated in the Peruvian coastal region,because the local climate permits off-season production

  2. Visual associative learning in restrained honey bees with intact antennae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott E Dobrin

    Full Text Available A restrained honey bee can be trained to extend its proboscis in response to the pairing of an odor with a sucrose reward, a form of olfactory associative learning referred to as the proboscis extension response (PER. Although the ability of flying honey bees to respond to visual cues is well-established, associative visual learning in restrained honey bees has been challenging to demonstrate. Those few groups that have documented vision-based PER have reported that removing the antennae prior to training is a prerequisite for learning. Here we report, for a simple visual learning task, the first successful performance by restrained honey bees with intact antennae. Honey bee foragers were trained on a differential visual association task by pairing the presentation of a blue light with a sucrose reward and leaving the presentation of a green light unrewarded. A negative correlation was found between age of foragers and their performance in the visual PER task. Using the adaptations to the traditional PER task outlined here, future studies can exploit pharmacological and physiological techniques to explore the neural circuit basis of visual learning in the honey bee.

  3. 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.

  4. Detecting population admixture in honey bees of Serbia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nedic, Nebojsa; Francis, Roy Mathew; Stanisavljevic, Ljubisa;

    2014-01-01

    morphometrics and 122 bees were successfully analysed using 24 DNA microsatellite markers. A combination of methods including multivariate statistics and assignment tests (frequency-based and Bayesian) revealed the honey bees of this region to resemble the subspecies Apis mellifera macedonica, Apis mellifera...

  5. Summertime blues: August foraging leaves honey bees empty-handed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couvillon, Margaret J; Fensome, Katherine A; Quah, Shaun Kl; Schürch, Roger

    2014-01-01

    A successful honey bee forager tells her nestmates the location of good nectar and pollen with the waggle dance, a symbolic language that communicates a distance and direction. Because bees are adept at scouting out profitable forage and are very sensitive to energetic reward, we can use the distance that bees communicate via waggle dances as a proxy for forage availability, where the further the bees fly, the less forage can be found locally. Previously we demonstrated that bees fly furthest in the summer compared with spring or autumn to bring back forage that is not necessarily of better quality. Here we show that August is also the month when significantly more foragers return with empty crops (P = 7.63e-06). This provides additional support that summer may represent a seasonal foraging challenge for honey bees.

  6. A meta-analysis of effects of Bt crops on honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian J Duan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Honey bees (Apis mellifera L. are the most important pollinators of many agricultural crops worldwide and are a key test species used in the tiered safety assessment of genetically engineered insect-resistant crops. There is concern that widespread planting of these transgenic crops could harm honey bee populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a meta-analysis of 25 studies that independently assessed potential effects of Bt Cry proteins on honey bee survival (or mortality. Our results show that Bt Cry proteins used in genetically modified crops commercialized for control of lepidopteran and coleopteran pests do not negatively affect the survival of either honey bee larvae or adults in laboratory settings. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Although the additional stresses that honey bees face in the field could, in principle, modify their susceptibility to Cry proteins or lead to indirect effects, our findings support safety assessments that have not detected any direct negative effects of Bt crops for this vital insect pollinator.

  7. Multiple Routes of Pesticide Exposure for Honey Bees Living Near Agricultural Fields

    OpenAIRE

    Krupke, Christian H.; Hunt, Greg J.; Eitzer, Brian D.; Gladys Andino; Krispn Given

    2012-01-01

    Populations of honey bees and other pollinators have declined worldwide in recent years. A variety of stressors have been implicated as potential causes, including agricultural pesticides. Neonicotinoid insecticides, which are widely used and highly toxic to honey bees, have been found in previous analyses of honey bee pollen and comb material. However, the routes of exposure have remained largely undefined. We used LC/MS-MS to analyze samples of honey bees, pollen stored in the hive and seve...

  8. Population structure of honey bees in the Carpathian Basin (Hungary) confirms introgression from surrounding subspecies

    OpenAIRE

    Péntek‐Zakar, Erika; Oleksa, Andrzej; Borowik, Tomasz; Kusza,Szilvia

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Carniolan honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica) are considered as an indigenous subspecies in Hungary adapted to most of the ecological and climatic conditions in this area. However, during the last decades Hungarian beekeepers have recognized morphological signs of the Italian honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica). As the natural distribution of the honey bee subspecies can be affected by the importation of honey bee queens or by natural gene flow, we aimed at determining the genetic s...

  9. Winter survival of individual honey bees and honey bee colonies depends on level of Varroa destructor infestation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coby van Dooremalen

    Full Text Available 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.

  10. Virulence of mixed fungal infections in honey bee brood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vojvodic Svjetlana

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Honey bees, Apis mellifera, have a diverse community of pathogens. Previous research has mostly focused on bacterial brood diseases of high virulence, but milder diseases caused by fungal pathogens have recently attracted more attention. This interest has been triggered by partial evidence that co-infection with multiple pathogens has the potential to accelerate honey bee mortality. In the present study we tested whether co-infection with closely related fungal brood-pathogen species that are either specialists or non-specialist results in higher host mortality than infections with a single specialist. We used a specially designed laboratory assay to expose honey bee larvae to controlled infections with spores of three Ascosphaera species: A. apis, the specialist pathogen that causes chalkbrood disease in honey bees, A. proliperda, a specialist pathogen that causes chalkbrood disease in solitary bees, and A. atra, a saprophytic fungus growing typically on pollen brood-provision masses of solitary bees. Results We show for the first time that single infection with a pollen fungus A. atra may induce some mortality and that co-infection with A. atra and A. apis resulted in higher mortality of honey bees compared to single infections with A. apis. However, similar single and mixed infections with A. proliperda did not increase brood mortality. Conclusion Our results show that co-infection with a closely related fungal species can either increase or have no effect on host mortality, depending on the identity of the second species. Together with other studies suggesting that multiple interacting pathogens may be contributing to worldwide honey bee health declines, our results highlight the importance of studying effects of multiple infections, even when all interacting species are not known to be specialist pathogens.

  11. Functional diversity within the simple gut microbiota of the honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Philipp; Martinson, Vincent G; Moran, Nancy A

    2012-07-01

    Animals living in social communities typically harbor a characteristic gut microbiota important for nutrition and pathogen defense. Accordingly, in the gut of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, a distinctive microbial community, composed of a taxonomically restricted set of species specific to social bees, has been identified. Despite the ecological and economical importance of honey bees and the increasing concern about population declines, the role of their gut symbionts for colony health and nutrition is unknown. Here, we sequenced the metagenome of the gut microbiota of honey bees. Unexpectedly, we found a remarkable degree of genetic diversity within the few bacterial species colonizing the bee gut. Comparative analysis of gene contents suggests that different species harbor distinct functional capabilities linked to host interaction, biofilm formation, and carbohydrate breakdown. Whereas the former two functions could be critical for pathogen defense and immunity, the latter one might assist nutrient utilization. In a γ-proteobacterial species, we identified genes encoding pectin-degrading enzymes likely involved in the breakdown of pollen walls. Experimental investigation showed that this activity is restricted to a subset of strains of this species providing evidence for niche specialization. Long-standing association of these gut symbionts with their hosts, favored by the eusocial lifestyle of honey bees, might have promoted the genetic and functional diversification of these bee-specific bacteria. Besides revealing insights into mutualistic functions governed by the microbiota of this important pollinator, our findings indicate that the honey bee can serve as a model for understanding more complex gut-associated microbial communities.

  12. Sublethal imidacloprid effects on honey bee flower choices when foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karahan, Ahmed; Çakmak, Ibrahim; Hranitz, John M; Karaca, Ismail; Wells, Harrington

    2015-11-01

    Neonicotinoids, systemic neuro-active pesticides similar to nicotine, are widely used in agriculture and are being investigated for a role in honey bee colony losses. We examined one neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, for its effects on the foraging behavior of free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera anatoliaca) visiting artificial blue and white flowers. Imidacloprid doses, ranging from 1/5 to 1/50 of the reported LD50, were fed to bees orally. The study consisted of three experimental parts performed sequentially without interruption. In Part 1, both flower colors contained a 4 μL 1 M sucrose solution reward. Part 2 offered bees 4 μL of 1.5 M sucrose solution in blue flowers and a 4 μL 0.5 M sucrose solution reward in white flowers. In Part 3 we reversed the sugar solution rewards, while keeping the flower color consistent. Each experiment began 30 min after administration of the pesticide. We recorded the percentage of experimental bees that returned to forage after treatment. We also recorded the visitation rate, number of flowers visited, and floral reward choices of the bees that foraged after treatment. The forager return rate declined linearly with increasing imidacloprid dose. The number of foraging trips by returning bees was also affected adversely. However, flower fidelity was not affected by imidacloprid dose. Foragers visited both blue and white flowers extensively in Part 1, and showed greater fidelity for the flower color offering the higher sugar solution reward in Parts 2 and 3. Although larger samples sizes are needed, our study suggests that imidacloprid may not affect the ability to select the higher nectar reward when rewards were reversed. We observed acute, mild effects on foraging by honey bees, so mild that storage of imidacloprid tainted-honey is very plausible and likely to be found in honey bee colonies.

  13. Quitting time: When do honey bee foragers decide to stop foraging on natural resources?

    OpenAIRE

    Michael eRivera; Matina eDonaldson-Matasci; Anna eDornhaus

    2015-01-01

    Honey bee foragers may use both personal and social information when making decisions about when to visit resources. In particular, foragers may stop foraging at resources when their own experience indicates declining resource quality, or when social information, namely the delay to being able to unload nectar to receiver bees, indicates that the colony has little need for the particular resource being collected. Here we test the relative importance of these two factors in a natural setting, ...

  14. Chronic bee paralysis virus and Nosema ceranae experimental co-infection of winter honey bee workers (Apis mellifera L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is an important viral disease of adult bees which induces significant losses in honey bee colonies. In this study winter worker bees were experimentally infected using three different experiments. Bees were inoculated orally or topically with CBPV to evaluate the l...

  15. Honey Bee Colonies Remote Monitoring System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Lebrero, Sergio; Quiles-Latorre, Francisco Javier; Ortiz-López, Manuel; Sánchez-Ruiz, Víctor; Gámiz-López, Victoria; Luna-Rodríguez, Juan Jesús

    2016-01-01

    Bees are very important for terrestrial ecosystems and, above all, for the subsistence of many crops, due to their ability to pollinate flowers. Currently, the honey bee populations are decreasing due to colony collapse disorder (CCD). The reasons for CCD are not fully known, and as a result, it is essential to obtain all possible information on the environmental conditions surrounding the beehives. On the other hand, it is important to carry out such information gathering as non-intrusively as possible to avoid modifying the bees’ work conditions and to obtain more reliable data. We designed a wireless-sensor networks meet these requirements. We designed a remote monitoring system (called WBee) based on a hierarchical three-level model formed by the wireless node, a local data server, and a cloud data server. WBee is a low-cost, fully scalable, easily deployable system with regard to the number and types of sensors and the number of hives and their geographical distribution. WBee saves the data in each of the levels if there are failures in communication. In addition, the nodes include a backup battery, which allows for further data acquisition and storage in the event of a power outage. Unlike other systems that monitor a single point of a hive, the system we present monitors and stores the temperature and relative humidity of the beehive in three different spots. Additionally, the hive is continuously weighed on a weighing scale. Real-time weight measurement is an innovation in wireless beehive—monitoring systems. We designed an adaptation board to facilitate the connection of the sensors to the node. Through the Internet, researchers and beekeepers can access the cloud data server to find out the condition of their hives in real time. PMID:28036061

  16. Honey Bee Colonies Remote Monitoring System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Gil-Lebrero

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Bees are very important for terrestrial ecosystems and, above all, for the subsistence of many crops, due to their ability to pollinate flowers. Currently, the honey bee populations are decreasing due to colony collapse disorder (CCD. The reasons for CCD are not fully known, and as a result, it is essential to obtain all possible information on the environmental conditions surrounding the beehives. On the other hand, it is important to carry out such information gathering as non-intrusively as possible to avoid modifying the bees’ work conditions and to obtain more reliable data. We designed a wireless-sensor networks meet these requirements. We designed a remote monitoring system (called WBee based on a hierarchical three-level model formed by the wireless node, a local data server, and a cloud data server. WBee is a low-cost, fully scalable, easily deployable system with regard to the number and types of sensors and the number of hives and their geographical distribution. WBee saves the data in each of the levels if there are failures in communication. In addition, the nodes include a backup battery, which allows for further data acquisition and storage in the event of a power outage. Unlike other systems that monitor a single point of a hive, the system we present monitors and stores the temperature and relative humidity of the beehive in three different spots. Additionally, the hive is continuously weighed on a weighing scale. Real-time weight measurement is an innovation in wireless beehive—monitoring systems. We designed an adaptation board to facilitate the connection of the sensors to the node. Through the Internet, researchers and beekeepers can access the cloud data server to find out the condition of their hives in real time.

  17. Parasite-host interactions between the Varroa mite and the honey bee

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calis, J.N.M.

    2001-01-01

    Introduction

    Varroa mites as parasites of honey bees

    Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman, 2000), is the most important pest of European races of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera L., weakening bees and vectoring bee diseases (Matheson, 1993). Over the past decades it has spread

  18. Food consumption and food exchange of caged honey bees using a radioactive labelled sugar solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libor, Anika; Kupelwieser, Vera; Crailsheim, Karl

    2017-01-01

    We measured the distribution of sugar solution within groups of caged honey bees (Apis mellifera) under standard in vitro laboratory conditions using 14C polyethylene glycol as a radioactive marker to analyze ingestion by individual bees after group feeding. We studied the impact of different experimental setups by varying the number of bees, age of bees, origin of bees, duration of experiment, the amount of available diet, and the influence of the neurotoxic pesticide imidacloprid in the diet on the feeding and food sharing behavior (trophallaxis). Sugar solution was non-uniformly distributed in bees in 36 out of 135 cages. As a measure of the extent to which the sugar diet was equally distributed between caged bees, we calculated the (inner 80%) intake ratio by dividing the intake of the 90th percentile bee by the intake of the 10th percentile bee. This intake ratio ranged from 1.3 to 94.8 in 133 individual cages, further supporting a non-uniform distribution of food among caged bees. We can expect a cage with 10 or 30 bees containing one bee that ingests, on average, the 8.8-fold of the bee in the same cage ingesting the smallest quantity of food. Inner 80% intake ratios were lower in experiments with a permanent or chronic offering of labelled sugar solution compared to temporary or acute feedings. After pooling the data of replicates to achieve a higher statistical power we compared different experimental setups. We found that uniform food distribution is best approached with 10 newly emerged bees per cage, which originate from a brood comb from a single colony. We also investigated the trophallaxis between caged honey bees which originally consumed the diet and newly added bees. Color marked bees were starved and added to the cages in a ratio of 10:5 or 20:20 after the initial set of bees consumed all the labelled sugar solution. The distribution of the labelled sugar solution by trophallaxis within 48 hours to added bees was 25% (10:5) or 45% (20:20) of the

  19. 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 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.

  20. An inert pesticide adjuvant synergizes viral pathogenicity and mortality in honey bee larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bees are highly valued for their pollination services in agricultural settings, and recent declines in managed populations have caused concern. Colony losses following a major pollination event in the United States, almond pollination, have been characterized by brood mortality with specific s...

  1. The honey bee parasite Nosema ceranae: transmissible via food exchange?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Smith

    Full Text Available Nosema ceranae, a newly introduced parasite of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is contributing to worldwide colony losses. Other Nosema species, such as N. apis, tend to be associated with increased defecation and spread via a fecal-oral pathway, but because N. ceranae does not induce defecation, it may instead be spread via an oral-oral pathway. Cages that separated older infected bees from young uninfected bees were used to test whether N. ceranae can be spread during food exchange. When cages were separated by one screen, food could be passed between the older bees and the young bees, but when separated by two screens, food could not be passed between the two cages. Young uninfected bees were also kept isolated in cages, as a solitary control. After 4 days of exposure to the older bees, and 10 days to incubate infections, young bees were more likely to be infected in the 1-Screen Test treatment vs. the 2-Screen Test treatment (P=0.0097. Young bees fed by older bees showed a 13-fold increase in mean infection level relative to young bees not fed by older bees (1-Screen Test 40.8%; 2-Screen Test 3.4%; Solo Control 2.8%. Although fecal-oral transmission is still possible in this experimental design, oral-oral infectivity could help explain the rapid spread of N. ceranae worldwide.

  2. 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.

  3. Functionality of Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) When Used for Western U.S. Honey Production and Almond Pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, were evaluated for performance when used for honey production in Montana, USA, and for almond pollination the following winter. Colonies of Russian honey bees (RHB) and outcrossed honey bees with...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J Ciarlo

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

  5. Properties of honey from ten species of Peruvian stingless bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Malaver, Antonio J; Rasmussen, Claus; Gutiérrez, María G; Gil, Florimar; Nieves, Beatriz; Vit, Patricia

    2009-09-01

    Honey produced by ten stingless bee species (Melipona crinita, M. eburnea, M. grandis, M. illota, Nannotrigona melanocera, Partamona epiphytophila, Ptilotrigona lurida, Scaptotrigona polystica, Scaura latitarsis, and Tetragonisca angustula) from Peru has been characterized according to traditional physicochemical standards (color and moisture), biochemical components (flavonoids, polyphenols, nitrites, proteins), and bioactive properties (antibacterial activity, antioxidant capacity). Analytical data are also provided for a sample of Apis mellifera and an artificial honey control. For stingless bees, honey color varied between 26 and 150 mm Pfund. M. illota produced the lightest honey, while N. melanocera and T. angustula were the darkest. Moisture varied between 20.8 and 45.8 g water/100 g, confirming higher moisture for stingless bee honey than the A. mellifera honey standard of 20 g water/100 g. Flavonoids varied from 2.6 to 31.0 mg quercetin equivalents/100g, nitrites from 0.30 to 2.88 micromoles nitrites/100 g, polyphenols from 99.7 to 464.9 mg gallic acid equivalents/100g, proteins from 0.75 to 2.86 g/100 g, and the antioxidant capacity from 93.8 to 569.6 micromoles Trolox equivalents/100 g. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was slightly lower against Staphylococcus aureus (12.5 -50 g/100 mL) than Escherichia coli (50 g/100 mL).

  6. Crop pollination exposes honey bees to pesticides which alters their susceptibility to the gut pathogen Nosema ceranae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffery S Pettis

    Full Text Available Recent declines in honey bee populations and increasing demand for insect-pollinated crops raise concerns about pollinator shortages. Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large numbers and high levels of pesticides found in honey bee colonies. Thus it is crucial to determine how field-relevant combinations and loads of pesticides affect bee health. We collected pollen from bee hives in seven major crops to determine 1 what types of pesticides bees are exposed to when rented for pollination of various crops and 2 how field-relevant pesticide blends affect bees' susceptibility to the gut parasite Nosema ceranae. Our samples represent pollen collected by foragers for use by the colony, and do not necessarily indicate foragers' roles as pollinators. In blueberry, cranberry, cucumber, pumpkin and watermelon bees collected pollen almost exclusively from weeds and wildflowers during our sampling. Thus more attention must be paid to how honey bees are exposed to pesticides outside of the field in which they are placed. We detected 35 different pesticides in the sampled pollen, and found high fungicide loads. The insecticides esfenvalerate and phosmet were at a concentration higher than their median lethal dose in at least one pollen sample. While fungicides are typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees, we found an increased probability of Nosema infection in bees that consumed pollen with a higher fungicide load. Our results highlight a need for research on sub-lethal effects of fungicides and other chemicals that bees placed in an agricultural setting are exposed to.

  7. Crop pollination exposes honey bees to pesticides which alters their susceptibility to the gut pathogen Nosema ceranae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettis, Jeffery S; Lichtenberg, Elinor M; Andree, Michael; Stitzinger, Jennie; Rose, Robyn; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis

    2013-01-01

    Recent declines in honey bee populations and increasing demand for insect-pollinated crops raise concerns about pollinator shortages. Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large numbers and high levels of pesticides found in honey bee colonies. Thus it is crucial to determine how field-relevant combinations and loads of pesticides affect bee health. We collected pollen from bee hives in seven major crops to determine 1) what types of pesticides bees are exposed to when rented for pollination of various crops and 2) how field-relevant pesticide blends affect bees' susceptibility to the gut parasite Nosema ceranae. Our samples represent pollen collected by foragers for use by the colony, and do not necessarily indicate foragers' roles as pollinators. In blueberry, cranberry, cucumber, pumpkin and watermelon bees collected pollen almost exclusively from weeds and wildflowers during our sampling. Thus more attention must be paid to how honey bees are exposed to pesticides outside of the field in which they are placed. We detected 35 different pesticides in the sampled pollen, and found high fungicide loads. The insecticides esfenvalerate and phosmet were at a concentration higher than their median lethal dose in at least one pollen sample. While fungicides are typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees, we found an increased probability of Nosema infection in bees that consumed pollen with a higher fungicide load. Our results highlight a need for research on sub-lethal effects of fungicides and other chemicals that bees placed in an agricultural setting are exposed to.

  8. Pollen Bearing Honey Bee Detection in Hive Entrance Video Recorded by Remote Embedded System for Pollination Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babic, Z.; Pilipovic, R.; Risojevic, V.; Mirjanic, G.

    2016-06-01

    Honey bees have crucial role in pollination across the world. This paper presents a simple, non-invasive, system for pollen bearing honey bee detection in surveillance video obtained at the entrance of a hive. The proposed system can be used as a part of a more complex system for tracking and counting of honey bees with remote pollination monitoring as a final goal. The proposed method is executed in real time on embedded systems co-located with a hive. Background subtraction, color segmentation and morphology methods are used for segmentation of honey bees. Classification in two classes, pollen bearing honey bees and honey bees that do not have pollen load, is performed using nearest mean classifier, with a simple descriptor consisting of color variance and eccentricity features. On in-house data set we achieved correct classification rate of 88.7% with 50 training images per class. We show that the obtained classification results are not far behind from the results of state-of-the-art image classification methods. That favors the proposed method, particularly having in mind that real time video transmission to remote high performance computing workstation is still an issue, and transfer of obtained parameters of pollination process is much easier.

  9. 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.

  10. THE VISUAL ACUITY OF THE HONEY BEE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, S; Wolf, E

    1929-07-20

    1. Bees respond by a characteristic reflex to a movement in their visual field. By confining the field to a series of parallel dark and luminous bars it is possible to determine the size of bar to which the bees respond under different conditions and in this way to measure the resolving power or visual acuity of the eye. The maximum visual acuity of the bee is lower than the lowest human visual acuity. Under similar, maximal conditions the fineness of resolution of the human eye is about 100 times that of the bee. 2. The eye of the bee is a mosaic composed of hexagonal pyramids of variable apical angle. The size of this angle determines the angular separation between adjacent ommatidia and therefore sets the structural limits to the resolving power of the eye. It is found that the visual angle corresponding to the maximum visual acuity as found experimentally is identical with the structural angular separation of adjacent ommatidia in the region of maximum density of ommatidia population. When this region of maximum ommatidia population is rendered non-functional by being covered with an opaque paint, the maximum visual acuity then corresponds to the angular separation of those remaining ommatidia which now constitute the maximum density of population. 3. The angular separation of adjacent ommatidia is much smaller in the vertical (dorso-ventral) axis than in the horizontal (anterio-posterior) axis. The experimentally found visual acuity varies correspondingly. From this and other experiments as well as from the shape of the eye itself, it is shown that the bee's eye is essentially an instrument for uni-directional visual resolution, functional along the dorso-ventral axis. The resolution of the visual pattern is therefore determined by the vertical angular separation of those ocular elements situated in the region of maximum density of ommatidia population. 4. The visual acuity of the bee varies with the illumination in much the same way that it does for the human

  11. Crop Pollination Exposes Honey Bees to Pesticides Which Alters Their Susceptibility to the Gut Pathogen Nosema ceranae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettis, Jeffery S.; Lichtenberg, Elinor M.; Andree, Michael; Stitzinger, Jennie; Rose, Robyn; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2013-01-01

    Recent declines in honey bee populations and increasing demand for insect-pollinated crops raise concerns about pollinator shortages. Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large numbers and high levels of pesticides found in honey bee colonies. Thus it is crucial to determine how field-relevant combinations and loads of pesticides affect bee health. We collected pollen from bee hives in seven major crops to determine 1) what types of pesticides bees are exposed to when rented for pollination of various crops and 2) how field-relevant pesticide blends affect bees’ susceptibility to the gut parasite Nosema ceranae. Our samples represent pollen collected by foragers for use by the colony, and do not necessarily indicate foragers’ roles as pollinators. In blueberry, cranberry, cucumber, pumpkin and watermelon bees collected pollen almost exclusively from weeds and wildflowers during our sampling. Thus more attention must be paid to how honey bees are exposed to pesticides outside of the field in which they are placed. We detected 35 different pesticides in the sampled pollen, and found high fungicide loads. The insecticides esfenvalerate and phosmet were at a concentration higher than their median lethal dose in at least one pollen sample. While fungicides are typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees, we found an increased probability of Nosema infection in bees that consumed pollen with a higher fungicide load. Our results highlight a need for research on sub-lethal effects of fungicides and other chemicals that bees placed in an agricultural setting are exposed to. PMID:23894612

  12. Pollen collection and honey bee forager distribution in cantaloupe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera, L.) pollen collection and forager distribution were examined during the summer of 2002 in a cantaloupe (Cucumis melo, L., Cruiser cv.) field provided with plastic mulch and drip irrigation. The experimental site was located near the INIFAP Campo Experimental La Laguna, Ma...

  13. Patterns of viral infection in honey bee queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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 separatel...

  14. Hybrid origins of Australian honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    With increased globalisation and homogenisation the maintenance of genetic integrity of local populations of agriculturally important species is of increasing concern. The honey bee provides an interesting perspective as it is both domesticated and wild, with a large native range and much larger int...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-01

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

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

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    Zhiguo Li

    Full Text Available Honey bee health is mainly affected by Varroa destructor, viruses, Nosema spp., pesticide residues and poor nutrition. Interactions between these proposed factors may be responsible for the colony losses reported worldwide in recent years. In the present study, the effects of a honey bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV, on the foraging behaviors and homing ability of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L. were investigated based on proboscis extension response (PER assays and radio frequency identification (RFID systems. The pollen forager honey bees originated from colonies that had no detectable level of honey bee viruses and were manually inoculated with IAPV to induce the viral infection. The results showed that IAPV-inoculated honey bees were more responsive to low sucrose solutions compared to that of non-infected foragers. After two days of infection, around 10⁷ copies of IAPV were detected in the heads of these honey bees. The homing ability of IAPV-infected foragers was depressed significantly in comparison to the homing ability of uninfected foragers. The data provided evidence that IAPV infection in the heads may enable the virus to disorder foraging roles of honey bees and to interfere with brain functions that are responsible for learning, navigation, and orientation in the honey bees, thus, making honey bees have a lower response threshold to sucrose and lose their way back to the hive.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee health is mainly affected by Varroa destructor, viruses, Nosema spp., pesticide residues and poor nutrition. Interactions between these proposed factors may be responsible for the colony losses reported worldwide in recent years. In the present study, the effects of a honey bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), on the foraging behaviors and homing ability of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were investigated based on proboscis extension response (PER) assays and radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. The pollen forager honey bees originated from colonies that had no detectable level of honey bee viruses and were manually inoculated with IAPV to induce the viral infection. The results showed that IAPV-inoculated honey bees were more responsive to low sucrose solutions compared to that of non-infected foragers. After two days of infection, around 10⁷ copies of IAPV were detected in the heads of these honey bees. The homing ability of IAPV-infected foragers was depressed significantly in comparison to the homing ability of uninfected foragers. The data provided evidence that IAPV infection in the heads may enable the virus to disorder foraging roles of honey bees and to interfere with brain functions that are responsible for learning, navigation, and orientation in the honey bees, thus, making honey bees have a lower response threshold to sucrose and lose their way back to the hive.

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

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    Antonina Jivan

    2013-10-01

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

  19. APIS - a novel approach for conditioning honey bees

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    Nicholas Hagen Kirkerud

    2013-04-01

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

  20. Effects of infection on honey bee population dynamics: a model.

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    Matt I Betti

    Full Text Available We propose a model that combines the dynamics of the spread of disease within a bee colony with the underlying demographic dynamics of the colony to determine the ultimate fate of the colony under different scenarios. The model suggests that key factors in the survival or collapse of a honey bee colony in the face of an infection are the rate of transmission of the infection and the disease-induced death rate. An increase in the disease-induced death rate, which can be thought of as an increase in the severity of the disease, may actually help the colony overcome the disease and survive through winter. By contrast, an increase in the transmission rate, which means that bees are being infected at an earlier age, has a drastic deleterious effect. Another important finding relates to the timing of infection in relation to the onset of winter, indicating that in a time interval of approximately 20 days before the onset of winter the colony is most affected by the onset of infection. The results suggest further that the age of recruitment of hive bees to foraging duties is a good early marker for the survival or collapse of a honey bee colony in the face of infection, which is consistent with experimental evidence but the model provides insight into the underlying mechanisms. The most important result of the study is a clear distinction between an exposure of the honey bee colony to an environmental hazard such as pesticides or insecticides, or an exposure to an infectious disease. The results indicate unequivocally that in the scenarios that we have examined, and perhaps more generally, an infectious disease is far more hazardous to the survival of a bee colony than an environmental hazard that causes an equal death rate in foraging bees.

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

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    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.

  2. An improved marriage in honey bees optimization algorithm for single objective unconstrained optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celik, Yuksel; Ulker, Erkan

    2013-01-01

    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.

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

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    Robbie eI'Anson Price

    2015-11-01

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

  4. Salt preferences of honey bee water foragers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Pierre W; Nieh, James C

    2016-03-01

    The importance of dietary salt may explain why bees are often observed collecting brackish water, a habit that may expose them to harmful xenobiotics. However, the individual salt preferences of water-collecting bees were not known. We measured the proboscis extension reflex (PER) response of Apis mellifera water foragers to 0-10% w/w solutions of Na, Mg and K, ions that provide essential nutrients. We also tested phosphate, which can deter foraging. Bees exhibited significant preferences, with the most PER responses for 1.5-3% Na and 1.5% Mg. However, K and phosphate were largely aversive and elicited PER responses only for the lowest concentrations, suggesting a way to deter bees from visiting contaminated water. We then analyzed the salt content of water sources that bees collected in urban and semi-urban environments. Bees collected water with a wide range of salt concentrations, but most collected water sources had relatively low salt concentrations, with the exception of seawater and swimming pools, which had >0.6% Na. The high levels of PER responsiveness elicited by 1.5-3% Na may explain why bees are willing to collect such salty water. Interestingly, bees exhibited high individual variation in salt preferences: individual identity accounted for 32% of variation in PER responses. Salt specialization may therefore occur in water foragers.

  5. Chasing your honey: Worldwide diaspora of the small hive beetle, a parasite of honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, small hive beetles (Aethina tumida) are now an invasive pest of honey bee colonies in Australia and North America. Knowledge on the introduction(s) from Africa into and between the current ranges will shed light on pest populations, invasion pathways and contribute to ...

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

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    Claudio Porrini

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bortolotti, Laura; Granato, Anna; Laurenson, Lynn; Roberts, Katherine; Gallina, Albino; Silvester, Nicholas; Medrzycki, Piotr; Renzi, Teresa; Sgolastra, Fabio; Lodesani, Marco

    2016-01-01

    In Italy a nation-wide monitoring network was established in 2009 in response to significant honey bee colony mortality reported during 2008. The network comprised of approximately 100 apiaries located across Italy. Colonies were sampled four times per year, in order to assess the health status and to collect samples for pathogen, chemical and pollen analyses. The prevalence of Nosema ceranae ranged, on average, from 47–69% in 2009 and from 30–60% in 2010, with strong seasonal variation. Virus prevalence was higher in 2010 than in 2009. The most widespread viruses were BQCV, DWV and SBV. The most frequent pesticides in all hive contents were organophosphates and pyrethroids such as coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate. Beeswax was the most frequently contaminated hive product, with 40% of samples positive and 13% having multiple residues, while 27% of bee-bread and 12% of honey bee samples were contaminated. Colony losses in 2009/10 were on average 19%, with no major differences between regions of Italy. In 2009, the presence of DWV in autumn was positively correlated with colony losses. Similarly, hive mortality was higher in BQCV infected colonies in the first and second visits of the year. In 2010, colony losses were significantly related to the presence of pesticides in honey bees during the second sampling period. Honey bee exposure to poisons in spring could have a negative impact at the colony level, contributing to increase colony mortality during the beekeeping season. In both 2009 and 2010, colony mortality rates were positively related to the percentage of agricultural land surrounding apiaries, supporting the importance of land use for honey bee health. PMID:27182604

  8. Assessing the comparative risk of plant protection products to honey bees, non-target arthropods and non-Apis bees

    OpenAIRE

    Miles, Mark J.; Alix, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Background: In the European Union the placing of pesticides on the market requires as a prerequisite that a risk assessment demonstrates low risks to human health and the environment, among which includes pollinators. Currently risks are evaluated for honey bees and for non-target arthropods (NTA) of cultivated ecosystems. The actual protection of pollinators other than the honey bees, as for example for non-Apis bees, in relation to these risk assessments has recently been questioned and req...

  9. Comparative testing of different methods for evaluation of Varroa destructor infestation of honey bee colonies

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    Nikolay D. Dobrynin

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Different methods for evaluation of the degree of Varroa destructor infestation of honey bee colonies were tested. The methods using in vivo evaluation were the most sparing for the bees but less precise. The methods using evaluation with the killing of the bees or brood were the most precise but less sparing for bees.

  10. 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

  11. A non-policing honey bee colony (Apis mellifera capensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beekman, Madeleine; Good, Gregory; Allsopp, Mike; Radloff, Sarah; Pirk, Chris; Ratnieks, Francis

    2002-09-01

    In the Cape honey bee Apis mellifera capensis, workers lay female eggs without mating by thelytokous parthenogenesis. As a result, workers are as related to worker-laid eggs as they are to queen-laid eggs and therefore worker policing is expected to be lower, or even absent. This was tested by transferring worker- and queen-laid eggs into three queenright A. m. capensis discriminator colonies and monitoring their removal. Our results show that worker policing is variable in A. m. capensis and that in one colony worker-laid eggs were not removed. This is the first report of a non-policing queenright honey bee colony. DNA microsatellite and morphometric analysis suggests that the racial composition of the three discriminator colonies was different. The variation in policing rates could be explained by differences in degrees of hybridisation between A. m. capensis and A. m. scutellata, although a larger survey is needed to confirm this.

  12. The presence of Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus infection in Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in the U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The presence of Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) infection in the U.S. is reported for the first time. Using molecular methods, the evidence of infection of honey bees with CBPV has been detected in both symptomatic and asymptomatic bees. While our seven year’s survey showed that the CBPV infect...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  14. Native bees buffer the negative impact of climate warming on honey bee pollination of watermelon crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rader, Romina; Reilly, James; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Winfree, Rachael

    2013-10-01

    If climate change affects pollinator-dependent crop production, this will have important implications for global food security because insect pollinators contribute to production for 75% of the leading global food crops. We investigate whether climate warming could result in indirect impacts upon crop pollination services via an overlooked mechanism, namely temperature-induced shifts in the diurnal activity patterns of pollinators. Using a large data set on bee pollination of watermelon crops, we predict how pollination services might change under various climate change scenarios. Our results show that under the most extreme IPCC scenario (A1F1), pollination services by managed honey bees are expected to decline by 14.5%, whereas pollination services provided by most native, wild taxa are predicted to increase, resulting in an estimated aggregate change in pollination services of +4.5% by 2099. We demonstrate the importance of native biodiversity in buffering the impacts of climate change, because crop pollination services would decline more steeply without the native, wild pollinators. More generally, our study provides an important example of how biodiversity can stabilize ecosystem services against environmental change.

  15. Population structure of honey bees in the Carpathian Basin (Hungary) confirms introgression from surrounding subspecies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Péntek-Zakar, Erika; Oleksa, Andrzej; Borowik, Tomasz; Kusza, Szilvia

    2015-12-01

    Carniolan honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica) are considered as an indigenous subspecies in Hungary adapted to most of the ecological and climatic conditions in this area. However, during the last decades Hungarian beekeepers have recognized morphological signs of the Italian honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica). As the natural distribution of the honey bee subspecies can be affected by the importation of honey bee queens or by natural gene flow, we aimed at determining the genetic structure and characteristics of the local honey bee population using molecular markers. All together, 48 Hungarian and 84 foreign (Italian, Polish, Spanish, Liberian) pupae and/or workers were used for mitochondrial DNA analysis. Additionally, 53 sequences corresponding to 10 subspecies and the Buckfast hybrid were downloaded from GenBank. For the nuclear analysis, 236 Hungarian and 106 foreign honey bees were genotyped using nine microsatellites. Heterozygosity values, population-specific alleles, FST values, principal coordinate analysis, assignment tests, structure analysis, and dendrograms were calculated. Haplotype and nucleotide diversity values showed moderate values. We found that one haplotype (H9) was dominant in Hungary. The presence of the black honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) was negligible, but a few individuals resembling other subspecies were identified. We proved that the Hungarian honey bee population is nearly homogeneous but also demonstrated introgression from the foreign subspecies. Both mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite analyses corroborated the observations of the beekeepers. Molecular analyses suggested that Carniolan honey bee in Hungary is slightly affected by Italian and black honey bee introgression. Genetic differences were detected between Polish and Hungarian Carniolan honey bee populations, suggesting the existence of at least two different gene pools within A. m. carnica.

  16. Honey bee success predicted by landscape composition in Ohio, USA

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    DB Sponsler

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Foraging honey bees (Apis mellifera L. can routinely travel as far as several kilometers from their hive in the process of collecting nectar and pollen from floral patches within the surrounding landscape. Since the availability of floral resources at the landscape scale is a function of landscape composition, apiculturists have long recognized that landscape composition is a critical determinant of honey bee colony success. Nevertheless, very few studies present quantitative data relating colony success metrics to local landscape composition. We employed a beekeeper survey in conjunction with GIS-based landscape analysis to model colony success as a function of landscape composition in the State of Ohio, USA, a region characterized by intensive cropland, urban development, deciduous forest, and grassland. We found that colony food accumulation and wax production were positively related to cropland and negatively related to forest and grassland, a pattern that may be driven by the abundance of dandelion and clovers in agricultural areas compared to forest or mature grassland. Colony food accumulation was also negatively correlated with urban land cover in sites dominated by urban and agricultural land use, which does not support the popular opinion that the urban environment is more favorable to honey bees than cropland.

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

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    Lorena A. Nunes

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The morphometrics of the honey bee Apis mellifera L., 1758 has been widely studied mainly because this species has great ecological importance, high adaptation capacity, wide distribution and capacity to effectively adapt to different regions. The current study aimed to investigate the morphometric variations of wings and pollen baskets of honey bees Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier, 1836 from the five regions in Brazil. We used geometric morphometrics to identify the existence of patterns of variations of shape and size in Africanized honey bees in Brazil 16 years after the classic study with this species, allowing a temporal and spatial comparative analysis using new technological resources to assess morphometrical data. Samples were collected in 14 locations in Brazil, covering the five geographical regions of the country. The shape analysis and multivariate analyses of the wing allowed to observe that there is a geographical pattern among the population of Apis mellifera in Brazil. The geographical variations may be attributed to the large territorial extension of the country in addition to the differences between the bioregions.

  18. Finding the missing honey bee genes: Lessons learned from a genome upgrade

    KAUST Repository

    Elsik, Christine G

    2014-01-30

    Background: The first generation of genome sequence assemblies and annotations have had a significant impact upon our understanding of the biology of the sequenced species, the phylogenetic relationships among species, the study of populations within and across species, and have informed the biology of humans. As only a few Metazoan genomes are approaching finished quality (human, mouse, fly and worm), there is room for improvement of most genome assemblies. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) genome, published in 2006, was noted for its bimodal GC content distribution that affected the quality of the assembly in some regions and for fewer genes in the initial gene set (OGSv1.0) compared to what would be expected based on other sequenced insect genomes. Results: Here, we report an improved honey bee genome assembly (Amel_4.5) with a new gene annotation set (OGSv3.2), and show that the honey bee genome contains a number of genes similar to that of other insect genomes, contrary to what was suggested in OGSv1.0. The new genome assembly is more contiguous and complete and the new gene set includes ~5000 more protein-coding genes, 50% more than previously reported. About 1/6 of the additional genes were due to improvements to the assembly, and the remaining were inferred based on new RNAseq and protein data. Conclusions: Lessons learned from this genome upgrade have important implications for future genome sequencing projects. Furthermore, the improvements significantly enhance genomic resources for the honey bee, a key model for social behavior and essential to global ecology through pollination. 2014 Elsik et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  19. Effects of cocaine on honey bee dance behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron, Andrew B; Maleszka, Ryszard; Helliwell, Paul G; Robinson, Gene E

    2009-01-01

    The role of cocaine as an addictive drug of abuse in human society is hard to reconcile with its ecological role as a natural insecticide and plant-protective compound, preventing herbivory of coca plants (Erythroxylum spp.). This paradox is often explained by proposing a fundamental difference in mammalian and invertebrate responses to cocaine, but here we show effects of cocaine on honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) that parallel human responses. Forager honey bees perform symbolic dances to advertise the location and value of floral resources to their nest mates. Treatment with a low dose of cocaine increased the likelihood and rate of bees dancing after foraging but did not otherwise increase locomotor activity. This is consistent with cocaine causing forager bees to overestimate the value of the floral resources they collected. Further, cessation of chronic cocaine treatment caused a withdrawal-like response. These similarities likely occur because in both insects and mammals the biogenic amine neuromodulator systems disrupted by cocaine perform similar roles as modulators of reward and motor systems. Given these analogous responses to cocaine in insects and mammals, we propose an alternative solution to the paradox of cocaine reinforcement. Ecologically, cocaine is an effective plant defence compound via disruption of herbivore motor control but, because the neurochemical systems targeted by cocaine also modulate reward processing, the reinforcing properties of cocaine occur as a ;side effect'.

  20. The Potential of Bee-Generated Carbon Dioxide for Control of Varroa Mite (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) in Indoor Overwintering Honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahreini, Rassol; Currie, Robert W

    2015-10-01

    The objective of this study was to manipulate ventilation rate to characterize interactions between stocks of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) and ventilation setting on varroa mite (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) mortality in honey bee colonies kept indoors over winter. The first experiment used colonies established from stock selected locally for wintering performance under exposure to varroa (n = 6) and unselected bees (n = 6) to assess mite and bee mortality and levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) in the bee cluster when kept under a simulated winter condition at 5°C. The second experiment, used colonies from selected bees (n = 10) and unselected bees (n = 12) that were exposed to either standard ventilation (14.4 liter/min per hive) or restricted ventilation (0.24 liter/min per hive, in a Plexiglas ventilation chamber) during a 16-d treatment period to assess the influence of restricted air flow on winter mortality rates of varroa mites and honey bees. Experiment 2 was repeated in early, mid-, and late winter. The first experiment showed that under unrestricted ventilation with CO2 concentrations averaging varroa mite mortality when colonies were placed under low temperature. CO2 was negatively correlated with O2 in the bee cluster in both experiments. When ventilation was restricted, mean CO2 level (3.82 ± 0.31%, range 0.43-8.44%) increased by 200% relative to standard ventilation (1.29 ± 0.31%; range 0.09-5.26%) within the 16-d treatment period. The overall mite mortality rates and the reduction in mean abundance of varroa mite over time was greater under restricted ventilation (37 ± 4.2%) than under standard ventilation (23 ± 4.2%) but not affected by stock of bees during the treatment period. Selected bees showed overall greater mite mortality relative to unselected bees in both experiments. Restricting ventilation increased mite mortality, but did not affect worker bee mortality relative to that for

  1. Acaricide, fungicide and drug interactions in honey bees (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reed M Johnson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chemical analysis shows that honey bees (Apis mellifera and hive products contain many pesticides derived from various sources. The most abundant pesticides are acaricides applied by beekeepers to control Varroa destructor. Beekeepers also apply antimicrobial drugs to control bacterial and microsporidial diseases. Fungicides may enter the hive when applied to nearby flowering crops. Acaricides, antimicrobial drugs and fungicides are not highly toxic to bees alone, but in combination there is potential for heightened toxicity due to interactive effects. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Laboratory bioassays based on mortality rates in adult worker bees demonstrated interactive effects among acaricides, as well as between acaricides and antimicrobial drugs and between acaricides and fungicides. Toxicity of the acaricide tau-fluvalinate increased in combination with other acaricides and most other compounds tested (15 of 17 while amitraz toxicity was mostly unchanged (1 of 15. The sterol biosynthesis inhibiting (SBI fungicide prochloraz elevated the toxicity of the acaricides tau-fluvalinate, coumaphos and fenpyroximate, likely through inhibition of detoxicative cytochrome P450 monooxygenase activity. Four other SBI fungicides increased the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate in a dose-dependent manner, although possible evidence of P450 induction was observed at the lowest fungicide doses. Non-transitive interactions between some acaricides were observed. Sublethal amitraz pre-treatment increased the toxicity of the three P450-detoxified acaricides, but amitraz toxicity was not changed by sublethal treatment with the same three acaricides. A two-fold change in the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate was observed between years, suggesting a possible change in the genetic composition of the bees tested. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Interactions with acaricides in honey bees are similar to drug interactions in other animals in that P450-mediated detoxication

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

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    Matthieu Dacher

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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.

  3. Ligand selectivity in tachykinin and natalisin neuropeptidergic systems of the honey bee parasitic mite Varroa destructor

    Science.gov (United States)

    The varroa mite, Varroa destructor, is a devastating ectoparasite of the honey bees Apis mellifera and A. cerana. Control of these mites in beehives is a challenge in part due to the lack of toxic agents that are specific to mites and not to the host honey bee. In searching for a specific toxic targ...

  4. Genomic analyses of the microsporidian Nosema ceranae, an emergent pathogen of honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent steep declines in honey bee health have severely impacted the beekeeping industry, presenting new risks for agricultural commodities that depend on insect pollination. Honey bee declines could reflect increased pressures from parasites and pathogens. The incidence of the microsporidian pathog...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cordelia Forkpah

    Full Text Available The causes of the current global decline in honey bee health are unknown. One major group of hypotheses invokes the pesticides and other xenobiotics to which this important pollinator species is often exposed. Most studies have focused on mortality or behavioral deficiencies in exposed honey bees while neglecting other biological functions and target organs. The midgut epithelium of honey bees presents an important interface between the insect and its environment. It is maintained by proliferation of intestinal stem cells throughout the adult life of honey bees. We used caged honey bees to test multiple xenobiotics for effects on the replicative activity of the intestinal stem cells under laboratory conditions. Most of the tested compounds did not alter the replicative activity of intestinal stem cells. However, colchicine, methoxyfenozide, tetracycline, and a combination of coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate significantly affected proliferation rate. All substances except methoxyfenozide decreased proliferation rate. Thus, the results indicate that some xenobiotics frequently used in apiculture and known to accumulate in honey bee hives may have hitherto unknown physiological effects. The nutritional status and the susceptibility to pathogens of honey bees could be compromised by the impacts of xenobiotics on the maintenance of the midgut epithelium. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence that more comprehensive testing of xenobiotics may be required before novel or existing compounds can be considered safe for honey bees and other non-target species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 mediatin...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The causes of the current global decline in honey bee health are unknown. One major group of hypotheses invokes the pesticides and other xenobiotics to which this important pollinator species is often exposed. Most studies have focused on mortality or behavioral deficiencies in exposed honey bees while neglecting other biological functions and target organs. The midgut epithelium of honey bees presents an important interface between the insect and its environment. It is maintained by proliferation of intestinal stem cells throughout the adult life of honey bees. We used caged honey bees to test multiple xenobiotics for effects on the replicative activity of the intestinal stem cells under laboratory conditions. Most of the tested compounds did not alter the replicative activity of intestinal stem cells. However, colchicine, methoxyfenozide, tetracycline, and a combination of coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate significantly affected proliferation rate. All substances except methoxyfenozide decreased proliferation rate. Thus, the results indicate that some xenobiotics frequently used in apiculture and known to accumulate in honey bee hives may have hitherto unknown physiological effects. The nutritional status and the susceptibility to pathogens of honey bees could be compromised by the impacts of xenobiotics on the maintenance of the midgut epithelium. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence that more comprehensive testing of xenobiotics may be required before novel or existing compounds can be considered safe for honey bees and other non-target species.

  8. STUDIES OF CHOSEN TOXIC ELEMENTS CONCENTRATION IN MULTIFLOWER BEE HONEY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Popiela

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available 72 544x376 Normal 0 21 false false false  The aim of the study was to determine the bioaccumulation level of chosen toxic elements (Zn, Cu, Pb, As and Cd in multiflower honey collected from Brzeg area. Biological material (honey was mineralized using the microwave technique at an elevated pressure in the microprocessor station of pressure in the type Mars 5. Quantitative analysis of elements (As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn was performed by plasma spectrometry method using a Varian ICP-AES apparatus. The presence of toxic elements was determined in examined biological materials. The elements fallowed the fallowing decreasing order with respect to their content of honey: Zn>Cu>Pb>As>Cd. The average concentrations of studied elements observed in multi-flower honey were as follows: 6.24 mg.kg-1 of zinc, 2.75 mg.kg-1 of copper, 0.53, 0.071, 0.042 mg.kg-1of lead, arsenic and cadmium, respectively. Lead was the most problematic in bee honey because its average content exceeded the maximum acceptable concentration. Additionally, this metal concentration was 60% higher in studied samples than allowable standard of lead content.doi:10.5219/134 

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. The tarsal taste of honey bees: behavioral and electrophysiological analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Gabriela eDe Brito Sanchez

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Taste plays a crucial role in the life of honey bees as their survival depends on the collection and intake of nectar and pollen, and other natural products. Here we studied the tarsal taste of honey bees through a series of behavioral and electrophysiological analyses. We characterized responsiveness to various sweet, salty and bitter tastants delivered to gustatory sensilla of the fore tarsi. Behavioral experiments showed that stimulation of opposite fore tarsi with sucrose and bitter substances or water yielded different outcomes depending on the stimulation sequence. When sucrose was applied first, thereby eliciting proboscis extension, no bitter substance could induce proboscis retraction, thus suggesting that the primacy of sucrose stimulation induced a central excitatory state. When bitter substances or water were applied first, sucrose stimulation could still elicit proboscis extension but to a lower level, thus suggesting central inhibition based on contradictory gustatory input on opposite tarsi. Electrophysiological experiments showed that receptor cells in the gustatory sensilla of the tarsomeres are highly sensitive to saline solutions at low concentrations. No evidence for receptors responding specifically to sucrose or to bitter substances was found in these sensilla. Receptor cells in the gustatory sensilla of the claws are highly sensitive to sucrose. Although bees do not possess dedicated bitter-taste receptors on the tarsi, indirect bitter detection is possible because bitter tastes inhibit sucrose receptor cells of the claws when mixed with sucrose solution. By combining behavioral and electrophysiological approaches, these results provide the first integrative study on tarsal taste detection in the honey bee.

  11. Epigenetic regulation of the honey bee transcriptome: unravelling the nature of methylated genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lockett Gabrielle A

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Epigenetic modification of DNA via methylation is one of the key inventions in eukaryotic evolution. It provides a source for the switching of gene activities, the maintenance of stable phenotypes and the integration of environmental and genomic signals. Although this process is widespread among eukaryotes, both the patterns of methylation and their relevant biological roles not only vary noticeably in different lineages, but often are poorly understood. In addition, the evolutionary origins of DNA methylation in multicellular organisms remain enigmatic. Here we used a new 'epigenetic' model, the social honey bee Apis mellifera, to gain insights into the significance of methylated genes. Results We combined microarray profiling of several tissues with genome-scale bioinformatics and bisulfite sequencing of selected genes to study the honey bee methylome. We find that around 35% of the annotated honey bee genes are expected to be methylated at the CpG dinucleotides by a highly conserved DNA methylation system. We show that one unifying feature of the methylated genes in this species is their broad pattern of expression and the associated 'housekeeping' roles. In contrast, genes involved in more stringently regulated spatial or temporal functions are predicted to be un-methylated. Conclusion Our data suggest that honey bees use CpG methylation of intragenic regions as an epigenetic mechanism to control the levels of activity of the genes that are broadly expressed and might be needed for conserved core biological processes in virtually every type of cell. We discuss the implications of our findings for genome-scale regulatory network structures and the evolution of the role(s of DNA methylation in eukaryotes. Our findings are particularly important in the context of the emerging evidence that environmental factors can influence the epigenetic settings of some genes and lead to serious metabolic and behavioural disorders.

  12. Selection and breeding of honey bees for higher or lower collection of avocado nectar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afik, Ohad; Dag, Arnon; Yeselson, Yelena; Schaffer, Arthur; Shafir, Sharoni

    2010-04-01

    Intensive activity of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., is essential for high fruit set in avocado, Persea americana Mill., orchards, but even when hives are located inside the orchard, many bees still search for alternative blooms. We tested for a possible genetic component for a preference of avocado bloom relative to competing bloom. The honey from each hive was extracted at the end of the avocado bloom and the concentration of perseitol, a carbohydrate that is unique to avocado, was analyzed as a measure for avocado foraging. During the first year, five bee strains were compared in three different sites in Israel. Significant differences were found between strains in honey perseitol concentrations, suggesting differences in their efficiency as avocado pollinators, although these differences were site dependent. At two sites, colonies with the highest and lowest perseitol concentrations were selected as parental "high" and "low" lines. Queens were raised from the selected colonies and were instrumentally inseminated by drones from other colonies of this line. During the second and third years, colonies with inseminated queens were introduced to the avocado orchards, together with the selected colonies still surviving from the previous year. Colonies of the high line had greater perseitol concentrations than those of the low line. Selected colonies that survived from the previous year performed consistently vis-à-vis perseitol concentration, in the second year of testing. Heritability value of 0.22 was estimated based on regression of offspring on midparent. The results reveal a heritable component for willingness of honey bees to collect avocado nectar.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenghua Xie

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

  15. Differential combinatorial coding of pheromones in two olfactory subsystems of the honey bee brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carcaud, Julie; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2015-03-11

    Neural coding of pheromones has been intensively studied in insects with a particular focus on sex pheromones. These studies favored the view that pheromone compounds are processed within specific antennal lobe glomeruli following a specialized labeled-line system. However, pheromones play crucial roles in an insect's life beyond sexual attraction, and some species use many different pheromones making such a labeled-line organization unrealistic. A combinatorial coding scheme, in which each component activates a set of broadly tuned units, appears more adapted in this case. However, this idea has not been tested thoroughly. We focused here on the honey bee Apis mellifera, a social insect that relies on a wide range of pheromones to ensure colony cohesion. Interestingly, the honey bee olfactory system harbors two central parallel pathways, whose functions remain largely unknown. Using optophysiological recordings of projection neurons, we compared the responses of these two pathways to 27 known honey bee pheromonal compounds emitted by the brood, the workers, and the queen. We show that while queen mandibular pheromone is processed by l-ALT (lateral antennal lobe tract) neurons and brood pheromone is mainly processed by m-ALT (median antennal lobe tract) neurons, worker pheromones induce redundant activity in both pathways. Moreover, all tested pheromonal compounds induce combinatorial activity from several AL glomeruli. These findings support the combinatorial coding scheme and suggest that higher-order brain centers reading out these combinatorial activity patterns may eventually classify olfactory signals according to their biological meaning.

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

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    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

  17. Honey bees are essential for pollination of Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. paradoxa (Sapotaceae) in Burkina Faso

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lassen, Kristin Marie; Nielsen, Lene Rostgaard; Dupont, Yoko Luise

    2016-01-01

    Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) is an important fruit tree in West African parklands, and its successful pollination is a requirement for fruit production. Size-based pollinator exclusion experiments combined with visual observations showed that presence of honey bees (Apis mellifera jemenitica...... was reduced. A positive correlation between fertilisation percentage and number of honey bee colonies within radii of 900 m and 1,000 m was observed. The percentage of fertilisation and number of mature fruits per fascicle were higher in trees with colonies of stingless bees in the trunk when honey bees were...... excluded by bagging. We conclude that local beekeeping with honey bees and stingless bees is likely to have a positive influence on fruit production of shea trees in the farmed West African parklands, which speaks in favour of a pollinator friendly environment....

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

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    Nurit Eliash

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Clint J; Søvik, Eirik; Myerscough, Mary R; Barron, Andrew B

    2015-03-17

    Many complex factors have been linked to the recent marked increase in honey bee colony failure, including pests and pathogens, agrochemicals, and nutritional stressors. It remains unclear, however, why colonies frequently react to stressors by losing almost their entire adult bee population in a short time, resulting in a colony population collapse. Here we examine the social dynamics underlying such dramatic colony failure. Bees respond to many stressors by foraging earlier in life. We manipulated the demography of experimental colonies to induce precocious foraging in bees and used radio tag tracking to examine the consequences of precocious foraging for their performance. Precocious foragers completed far fewer foraging trips in their life, and had a higher risk of death in their first flights. We constructed a demographic model to explore how this individual reaction of bees to stress might impact colony performance. In the model, when forager death rates were chronically elevated, an increasingly younger forager force caused a positive feedback that dramatically accelerated terminal population decline in the colony. This resulted in a breakdown in division of labor and loss of the adult population, leaving only brood, food, and few adults in the hive. This study explains the social processes that drive rapid depopulation of a colony, and we explore possible strategies to prevent colony failure. Understanding the process of colony failure helps identify the most effective strategies to improve colony resilience.

  1. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema

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    Pettis, Jeffery S.; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Johnson, Josephine; Dively, Galen

    2012-02-01

    Global pollinator declines have been attributed to habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change or some combination of these factors, and managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, are part of worldwide pollinator declines. Here we exposed honey bee colonies during three brood generations to sub-lethal doses of a widely used pesticide, imidacloprid, and then subsequently challenged newly emerged bees with the gut parasite, Nosema spp. The pesticide dosages used were below levels demonstrated to cause effects on longevity or foraging in adult honey bees. Nosema infections increased significantly in the bees from pesticide-treated hives when compared to bees from control hives demonstrating an indirect effect of pesticides on pathogen growth in honey bees. We clearly demonstrate an increase in pathogen growth within individual bees reared in colonies exposed to one of the most widely used pesticides worldwide, imidacloprid, at below levels considered harmful to bees. The finding that individual bees with undetectable levels of the target pesticide, after being reared in a sub-lethal pesticide environment within the colony, had higher Nosema is significant. Interactions between pesticides and pathogens could be a major contributor to increased mortality of honey bee colonies, including colony collapse disorder, and other pollinator declines worldwide.

  2. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema

    OpenAIRE

    Pettis, Jeffery S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Johnson, Josephine; Dively, Galen

    2012-01-01

    Global pollinator declines have been attributed to habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change or some combination of these factors, and managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, are part of worldwide pollinator declines. Here we exposed honey bee colonies during three brood generations to sub-lethal doses of a widely used pesticide, imidacloprid, and then subsequently challenged newly emerged bees with the gut parasite, Nosema spp. The pesticide dosages used were below levels demonstrat...

  3. Effects of stingless bee and honey bee propolis on four species of bacteria.

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    Farnesi, A P; Aquino-Ferreira, R; De Jong, D; Bastos, J K; Soares, A E E

    2009-01-01

    We examined the antibacterial activities of several types of propolis, including Africanized honey bee green propolis and propolis produced by meliponini bees. The antibacterial activity of green propolis against Micrococcus luteus and Staphylococcus aureus was superior to that of Melipona quadrifasciata and Scaptotrigona sp propolis. Only two samples of propolis (green propolis and Scaptotrigona sp propolis) were efficient against Escherichia coli. Melipona quadrifasciata propolis was better than green propolis and Scaptotrigona sp propolis against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We concluded that these resins have potential for human and veterinary medicine.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Honey has been identified as a potential alternative to the widespread use of antibiotics, which are of significant concern considering the emergence of resistant bacteria. In this context, this study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of honey samples produced by a stingless bee species and by Apis sp. against pathogenic bacteria, as well as to identify the presence of phenolic compounds. Methods Honey samples from the stingless bee M. compressipes manaosensis were collected twice, during the dry and rainy seasons. Three commercial honey samples from Apis sp. were also included in this study. Two different assays were performed to evaluate the antibacterial potential of the honey samples: agar-well diffusion and broth macrodilution. Liquid-liquid extraction was used to assess phenolic compounds from honey. HPLC analysis was performed in order to identify rutin and apigenin on honey samples. Chromatograms were recorded at 340 and 290 nm. Results Two honey samples were identified as having the highest antimicrobial activity using the agar diffusion method. Honey produced by Melipona compressipes manaosensis inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (0157: H7), Proteus vulgaris, Shigella sonnei and Klebsiella sp. A sample of honey produced by Apis sp. also inhibited the growth of Salmonella paratyphi. The macrodilution technique presented greater sensitivity for the antibacterial testing, since all honey samples showed activity. Flavonoid rutin was identified in the honey sample produced by the stingless bee. Conclusions Honey samples tested in this work showed antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The results reported herein highlight the potential of using honey to control bacterial growth. PMID:23815879

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

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

    2015-07-01

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

  6. Revisiting the Iberian honey bee (Apis mellifera iberiensis) contact zone: maternal and genome-wide nuclear variations provide support for secondary contact from historical refugia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chávez-Galarza, Julio; Henriques, Dora; Johnston, J Spencer; Carneiro, Miguel; Rufino, José; Patton, John C; Pinto, M Alice

    2015-06-01

    Dissecting diversity patterns of organisms endemic to Iberia has been truly challenging for a variety of taxa, and the Iberian honey bee is no exception. Surveys of genetic variation in the Iberian honey bee are among the most extensive for any honey bee subspecies. From these, differential and complex patterns of diversity have emerged, which have yet to be fully resolved. Here, we used a genome-wide data set of 309 neutrally tested single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), scattered across the 16 honey bee chromosomes, which were genotyped in 711 haploid males. These SNPs were analysed along with an intergenic locus of the mtDNA, to reveal historical patterns of population structure across the entire range of the Iberian honey bee. Overall, patterns of population structure inferred from nuclear loci by multiple clustering approaches and geographic cline analysis were consistent with two major clusters forming a well-defined cline that bisects Iberia along a northeastern-southwestern axis, a pattern that remarkably parallels that of the mtDNA. While a mechanism of primary intergradation or isolation by distance could explain the observed clinal variation, our results are more consistent with an alternative model of secondary contact between divergent populations previously isolated in glacial refugia, as proposed for a growing list of other Iberian taxa. Despite current intense honey bee management, human-mediated processes have seemingly played a minor role in shaping Iberian honey bee genetic structure. This study highlights the complexity of the Iberian honey bee patterns and reinforces the importance of Iberia as a reservoir of Apis mellifera diversity.

  7. 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.

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

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    Freddie-Jeanne Richard

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Tarpy, David R; Grozinger, Christina M

    2007-10-03

    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 colony.

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

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    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.

  11. Antineoplastic Effects of Honey Bee Venom

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    Mohammad Nabiuni

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Bee venom (BV, like many other complementary medicines, has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of a range of diseases. More recently, BV is also being considered as an effective composition for the treatment of cancer. Cancer is a major worldwide problem. It is obvious that the identification of compounds that can activate apoptosis could be effective on the treatment of cancer. BV is a very complicated mixture of active peptides, enzymes, and biologically active amines. The two main components of BV are melittin and phospholipase A2 (PLA2. Of these two components, melittin, the major active ingredient of BV, has been identified to induce apoptosis and to possess anti-tumor effects. We tried to review antineoplastic effects of BV in this study. Materials and Methods: The related articles were derived from different data bases such as PubMed, Elsevier Science, and Google Scholar using keywords including bee venom, cancer, and apoptosis.Results: According to the results of this study, BV can induce apoptosis and inhibit tumor cell growth and metastasis. Results of in vivo experiments show that the anti-tumor effect of the BV is highly dependent on the manner of injection as well as the distance between the area of injection and the tumor cells.Conclusion: The results obtained from the reported studies revealed that BV has anti-cancer effects and can be used as an effective chemotherapeutic agent against tumors in the future.

  12. Nosema ceranae in drone honey bees (Apis mellifera).

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    Traver, Brenna E; Fell, Richard D

    2011-07-01

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian intracellular parasite of honey bees, Apis mellifera. Previously Nosema apis was thought to be the only cause of nosemosis, but it has recently been proposed that N. ceranae is displacing N. apis. The rapid spread of N. ceranae could be due to additional transmission mechanisms, as well as higher infectivity. We analyzed drones for N. ceranae infections using duplex qPCR with species specific primers and probes. We found that both immature and mature drones are infected with N. ceranae at low levels. This is the first report detecting N. ceranae in immature bees. Our data suggest that because drones are known to drift from their parent hives to other hives, they could provide a means for disease spread within and between apiaries.

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

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    ROUBIK DAVID

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT

    Very little effort has been made to investigate bee population dynamics among intact wilderness areas. The presence of newly-arrived feral Africanized honey bee (AHB, Apis mellifera (Apidae, populations was studied for 10-17 years in areas previously with few or no escaped European apiary honey bees. Here I describe and interpret the major results from studies in three neotropical forests: French Guiana, Panama and Yucatan, Mexico (5° to 19° N. latitude. The exotic Africanized honey bees did not produce a negative effect on native bees, including species that were solitary or highly eusocial. Major differences over time were found in honey bee abundance on flowers near habitat experiencing the greatest degree of disturbance, compared to deep forest areas. At the population level, sampled at nest blocks, or at flower patches, or at light traps, there was no sudden decline in bees after AHB arrival, and relatively steady or sinusoidal population dynamics. However, the native bees shifted their foraging time or floral species. A principal conclusion is that such competition is silent, in floristically rich habitats, because bees compensate behaviorally for competition. Other factors limit their populations.

    Key words: Africanized honey bee, native bees, competition, population dynamics, neotropical forests

    RESUMEN Pocos estudios han considerado la dinámica de poblaciones de abejas en bosques o hábitats no alterados por el hombre. La presencia de abejas silvestres Africanizadas de Apis mellifera (Apidae fue estudiado por 10-17 años en áreas previamente sin esta especie. Aquí presento e interpreto resultados de tres bosques neotropicales: Guyana Francesa, Panamá y Yucatán, México (5° a 19° N. latitud. La abeja Africanizada exótica no produjo efecto negativo en las abejas nativas, incluyendo especies altamente sociales y solitarias. Diferencias mayores a través del tiempo fueron encontradas en

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

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    Matthew Betti

    2017-03-01

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

  15. Molecular genetic analysis of Varroa destructor mites in brood, fallen injured mites and worker bee longevity in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two important traits that contribute to honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony survival are resistance to Varroa destructor and longevity of worker bees. We investigated the relationship between a panel of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and three phenotypic measurements of colonies: a) perc...

  16. Variations in the Availability of Pollen Resources Affect Honey Bee Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Pasquale, Garance; Alaux, Cédric; Le Conte, Yves; Odoux, Jean-François; Pioz, Maryline; Vaissière, Bernard E.; Belzunces, Luc P.; Decourtye, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Intensive agricultural systems often expose honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to large temporal variations in the availability (quantity, quality and diversity) of nutritional resources. Such nutritional irregularity is expected to affect honey bee health. We therefore tested under laboratory conditions the effect of such variation in pollen availability on honey bee health (survival and nursing physiology—hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin expression). We fed honey bees with different diets composed of pollen pellets collected by honey bees in an agricultural landscape of western France. Slight drops (5–10%) in the availability of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) pollen resulted in significant reductions of all tested variables. Despite some variations in taxonomic diversity and nutritional quality, the pollen mixes harvested over the season had a similar positive influence on honey bee health, except for the one collected in late July that induced poor survival and nursing physiology. This period coincided with the mass-flowering of maize (Zea mays L.), an anemophilous crop which produces poor-quality pollen. Therefore, changes in bee health were not connected to variations in pollen diversity but rather to variations in pollen depletion and quality, such as can be encountered in an intensive agricultural system of western France. Finally, even though pollen can be available ad libitum during the mass-flowering of some crops (e.g. maize), it can fail to provide bees with diet adequate for their development. PMID:27631605

  17. 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.

  18. Nosema spp. infection and its negative effects on honey bees (Apis mellifera iberiensis) at the colony level.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-10

    Nosemosis caused by the microsporidia Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae are among the most common pathologies affecting adult honey bees. N. apis infection has been associated with a reduced lifespan of infected bees and increased winter mortality, and its negative impact on colony strength and productivity has been described in several studies. By contrast, when the effects of nosemosis type C, caused by N. ceranae infection, have been analysed at the colony level, these studies have largely focused on collapse as a response to infection without addressing the potential sub-clinical effects on colony strength and productivity. Given the spread and prevalence of N. ceranae worldwide, we set out here to characterize the sub-clinical and clinical signs of N. ceranae infection on colony strength and productivity. We evaluated the evolution of 50 honey bee colonies naturally infected by Nosema (mainly N. ceranae) over a one year period. Under our experimental conditions, N. ceranae infection was highly pathogenic for honey bee colonies, producing significant reductions in colony size, brood rearing and honey production. These deleterious effects at the colony level may affect beekeeping profitability and have serious consequences on pollination. Further research is necessary to identify possible treatments or beekeeping techniques that will limit the rapid spread of this dangerous emerging disease.

  19. MicroRNAs of host honey bees, Apis mellifera respond to the infection of Microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae

    Science.gov (United States)

    In order to clarify the impacts of Nosema ceranae infection on the expression levels of honey bees’ MicroRNAs (miRNAs), we deep-sequenced honey bee miRNAs daily across a full 6-day parasite reproduction cycle. 18 miRNAs were significantly differentially expressed in honey bees infected by N. ceranae...

  20. Conversion of high and low pollen protein diets into protein in worker honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basualdo, M; Barragán, S; Vanagas, L; García, C; Solana, H; Rodríguez, E; Bedascarrasbure, E

    2013-08-01

    Adequate protein levels are necessary to maintain strong honey bee [Apis mellifera (L.)] colonies. The aim of this study was to quantify how pollens with different crude protein contents influence protein stores within individual honey bees. Caged bees were fed one of three diets, consisting of high-protein-content pollen, low-protein-content pollen, or protein-free diet as control; measurements were made based on protein content in hemolymph and fat body, fat body weight, and body weight. Vitellogenin in hemolymph was also measured. Bees fed with high crude protein diet had significantly higher levels of protein in hemolymph and fat bodies. Caged bees did not increase pollen consumption to compensate for the lower protein in the diet, and ingesting approximately 4 mg of protein per bee could achieve levels of 20 microg/microl protein in hemolymph. Worker bees fed with low crude protein diet took more time in reaching similar protein content of the bees that were fed with high crude protein diet. The data showed that fat bodies and body weight were not efficient methods of measuring the protein status of bees. The determination of total protein or vitellogenin concentration in the hemolymph from 13-d-old bees and protein concentration of fat bodies from 9-d-old bees could be good indicators of nutritional status of honey bees.

  1. 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.

  2. Quitting time: When do honey bee foragers decide to stop foraging on natural resources?

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    Michael eRivera

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Honey bee foragers may use both personal and social information when making decisions about when to visit resources. In particular, foragers may stop foraging at resources when their own experience indicates declining resource quality, or when social information, namely the delay to being able to unload nectar to receiver bees, indicates that the colony has little need for the particular resource being collected. Here we test the relative importance of these two factors in a natural setting, where colonies are using many dynamically changing resources. We recorded detailed foraging histories of individually marked bees, and identified when they appeared to abandon any resources (such as flower patches that they had previously been collecting from consistently. As in previous studies, we recorded duration of trophallaxis events (unloading nectar to receiver bees as a proxy for resource quality and the delays before returning foragers started trophallaxis as a proxy for social need for the resource. If these proxy measures accurately reflect changes in resource quality and social need, they should predict whether bees continue foraging or not. However, neither factor predicted when individuals stopped foraging on a particular resource, nor did they explain changes in colony-level foraging activity. This may indicate that other, as yet unstudied processes also affect individual decisions to abandon particular resources.

  3. Survival and immune response of drones of a Nosemosis tolerant honey bee strain towards N. ceranae infections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huanga, Qiang; Kryger, Per; Le Conte, Yves

    2012-01-01

    Honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera) have been selected for low level of Nosema in Denmark over decades and Nosema is now rarely found in bee colonies from these breeding lines. We compared the immune response of a selected and an unselected honey bee lineage, taking advantage of the haploid males...

  4. A new device for monitoring individual activity rhythms of honey bees reveals critical effects of the social environment on behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beer, Katharina; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Härtel, Stephan; Helfrich-Förster, Charlotte

    2016-08-01

    Chronobiological studies of individual activity rhythms in social insects can be constrained by the artificial isolation of individuals from their social context. We present a new experimental set-up that simultaneously measures the temperature rhythm in a queen-less but brood raising mini colony and the walking activity rhythms of singly kept honey bees that have indirect social contact with it. Our approach enables monitoring of individual bees in the social context of a mini colony under controlled laboratory conditions. In a pilot experiment, we show that social contact with the mini colony improves the survival of monitored young individuals and affects locomotor activity patterns of young and old bees. When exposed to conflicting Zeitgebers consisting of a light-dark (LD) cycle that is phase-delayed with respect to the mini colony rhythm, rhythms of young and old bees are socially synchronized with the mini colony rhythm, whereas isolated bees synchronize to the LD cycle. We conclude that the social environment is a stronger Zeitgeber than the LD cycle and that our new experimental set-up is well suited for studying the mechanisms of social entrainment in honey bees.

  5. Honey bee microRNAs respond to infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Qiang; Chen, Yanping; Wang, Rui Wu; Schwarz, Ryan S; Evans, Jay D

    2015-12-01

    In order to study the effects of Nosema ceranae infection on honey bee microRNA (miRNA) expression, we deep-sequenced honey bee miRNAs daily across a full 6-day parasite reproduction cycle. Seventeen miRNAs were differentially expressed in honey bees infected by N. ceranae that potentially target over 400 genes predicted to primarily involve ion binding, signaling, the nucleus, transmembrane transport, and DNA binding. Based on Enzyme Code analysis, nine biological pathways were identified by screening target genes against the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database, seven of which involved metabolism. Our results suggest that differentially expressed miRNAs regulate metabolism related genes of host honey bees in response to N. ceranae infection.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Hawkins

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Honey bee gut microbiome is altered by in-hive pesticide exposures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madhavi Kakumanu

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Yan Y.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available China has the largest number of managed honey bee colonies globally, but there is currently no data on viral infection in diseased A. mellifera L. colonies in China. In particular, there is a lack of data on chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV in Chinese honey bee colonies. Consequently, the present study investigated the occurrence and frequency of several widespread honey bee viruses in diseased Chinese apiaries, and we used the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR assay. Described was the relationship between the presence of CBPV and diseased colonies (with at least one of the following symptoms: depopulation, paralysis, dark body colorings and hairless, or a mass of dead bees on the ground surrounding the beehives. Phylogenetic analyses of CBPV were employed. The prevalence of multiple infections of honey bee viruses in diseased Chinese apiaries was 100%, and the prevalence of infections with even five and six viruses were higher than expected. The incidence of CBPV in diseased colonies was significantly higher than that in apparently healthy colonies in Chinese A. mellifera aparies, and CBPV isolates from China can be separated into Chinese-Japanese clade 1 and 2. The results indicate that beekeeping in China may be threatened by colony decline due to the high prevalence of multiple viruses with CBPV.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiyong Li

    Full Text Available Honey bee (Apis mellifera drones and workers show differences in morphology, physiology, and behavior. Because the functions of drones are more related to colony reproduction, and those of workers relate to both survival and reproduction, we hypothesize that the microclimate for worker brood is more precisely regulated than that of drone brood.We assessed temperature and relative humidity (RH inside honey bee colonies for both drone and worker brood throughout the three-stage development period, using digital HOBO® Data Loggers. The major findings of this study are that 1 both drone and worker castes show the highest temperature for eggs, followed by larvae and then pupae; 2 temperature in drones are maintained at higher precision (smaller variance in drone eggs and larvae, but at a lower precision in pupae than the corresponding stages of workers; 3 RH regulation showed higher variance in drone than workers across all brood stages; and 4 RH regulation seems largely due to regulation by workers, as the contribution from empty honey combs are much smaller compared to that from adult workers.We conclude that honey bee colonies maintain both temperature and humidity actively; that the microclimate for sealed drone brood is less precisely regulated than worker brood; and that combs with honey contribute very little to the increase of RH in honey bee colonies. These findings increase our understanding of microclimate regulation in honey bees and may have implications for beekeeping practices.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Background Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones and workers show differences in morphology, physiology, and behavior. Because the functions of drones are more related to colony reproduction, and those of workers relate to both survival and reproduction, we hypothesize that the microclimate for worker brood is more precisely regulated than that of drone brood. Methodology/Principal Findings We assessed temperature and relative humidity (RH) inside honey bee colonies for both drone and worker 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. Conclusions/Significance 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. PMID:26882104

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-13

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

  13. Prevalence and phylogenetic analysis of honey bee viruses in the Biobío Region of Chile and their association with other honey bee pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Rodríguez

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Different episodes of mortalities of honey bee (Apis mellifera L. colonies have been associated with the presence of honey bee pathogens. Since the Biobío Region has among the highest number of apiaries in Chile, the aim of the present study was to identify viruses in the Region affecting honey bees, evaluate their relation to other pathogens, and conduct a phylogenetic analysis. Pupae and adult bees were collected from 60 apiaries of Apis mellifera L. in the Biobío Region over 2 yr. RNA viruses were detected by reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR, and Acarapis woodi, Nosema spp., and Varroa destructor via PCR. Three viruses were detected: Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV, Black queen cell virus (BQCV and Deformed wing virus (DWV in 2%, 10%, and 42% of the apiaries, respectively. No statistical correlation was observed between the presence of the different viruses, V. destructor, A. woodi, and the two Nosema species, and the bee development stages. One year after the first sampling, DWV and BQCV were detected mainly in foraging adult bee samples. Three percent of the apiaries were infected with N. apis and 18% with N. ceranae, 5% were positive for V. destructor, while A. woodi was not detected. PCR products were sequenced and compared to the Genbank database. Chilean sequences of ABPV, BQCV, and DWV showed high percentages of similarity to other isolates in South America.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian H Krupke

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaliunaa Tsevegmid

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krupke, Christian H; Hunt, Greg J; Eitzer, Brian D; Andino, Gladys; Given, Krispn

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsevegmid, Khaliunaa; Neumann, Peter; Yañez, Orlando

    2016-01-01

    Parasites and pathogens are apparent key factors for the detrimental health of managed European honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera. Apicultural trade is arguably the main factor for the almost global distribution of most honey bee diseases, thereby increasing chances for multiple infestations/infections of regions, apiaries, colonies and even individual bees. This imposes difficulties to evaluate the effects of pathogens in isolation, thereby creating demand to survey remote areas. Here, we conducted the first comprehensive survey for 14 honey bee pathogens in Mongolia (N = 3 regions, N = 9 locations, N = 151 colonies), where honey bee colonies depend on humans to overwinter. In Mongolia, honey bees, Apis spp., are not native and colonies of European A. mellifera subspecies have been introduced ~60 years ago. Despite the high detection power and large sample size across Mongolian regions with beekeeping, the mite Acarapis woodi, the bacteria Melissococcus plutonius and Paenibacillus larvae, the microsporidian Nosema apis, Acute bee paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus and Lake Sinai virus strain 2 were not detected, suggesting that they are either very rare or absent. The mite Varroa destructor, Nosema ceranae and four viruses (Sacbrood virus, Black queen cell virus, Deformed wing virus (DWV) and Chronic bee paralysis virus) were found with different prevalence. Despite the positive correlation between the prevalence of V. destructor mites and DWV, some areas had only mites, but not DWV, which is most likely due to the exceptional isolation of apiaries (up to 600 km). Phylogenetic analyses of the detected viruses reveal their clustering and European origin, thereby supporting the role of trade for pathogen spread and the isolation of Mongolia from South-Asian countries. In conclusion, this survey reveals the distinctive honey bee pathosphere of Mongolia, which offers opportunities for exciting future research. PMID:26959221

  18. Identification of candidate agents active against N. ceranae infection in honey bees: establishment of a medium throughput screening assay based on N. ceranae infected cultured cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

    Many flowering plants in both natural ecosytems and agriculture are dependent on insect pollination for fruit set and seed production. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera) and wild bees are key pollinators providing this indispensable eco- and agrosystem service. Like all other organisms, bees are attacked by numerous pathogens and parasites. Nosema apis is a honey bee pathogenic microsporidium which is widely distributed in honey bee populations without causing much harm. Its congener Nosema ceranae was originally described as pathogen of the Eastern honey bee (Apis cerana) but jumped host from A. cerana to A. mellifera about 20 years ago and spilled over from A. mellifera to Bombus spp. quite recently. N. ceranae is now considered a deadly emerging parasite of both Western honey bees and bumblebees. Hence, novel and sustainable treatment strategies against N. ceranae are urgently needed to protect honey and wild bees. We here present the development of an in vitro medium throughput screening assay for the identification of candidate agents active against N. ceranae infections. This novel assay is based on our recently developed cell culture model for N. ceranae and coupled with an RT-PCR-ELISA protocol for quantification of N. ceranae in infected cells. The assay has been adapted to the 96-well microplate format to allow automated analysis. Several substances with known (fumagillin) or presumed (surfactin) or no (paromomycin) activity against N. ceranae were tested as well as substances for which no data concerning N. ceranae inhibition existed. While fumagillin and two nitroimidazoles (metronidazole, tinidazole) totally inhibited N. ceranae proliferation, all other test substances were inactive. In summary, the assay proved suitable for substance screening and demonstrated the activity of two synthetic antibiotics against N. ceranae.

  19. The Integration of Geographical Information System and Remotely Sensed Data to Track and Predict the Migration Path of the Africanized Honey Bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Charles; Bravo, Jessica; De Luna, Rosalia; Lopez, Gerardo; Pichardo, Itza; Trejo, Danny; Vargas, Gabriel

    1997-01-01

    One of the research groups at the Pan American Center for Earth and Environmental Studies (PACES) is researching the northward migration path of Africanized Honey Bees or often referred to in the popular press as killer bees. The goal of the Killer Bee Research Group (KBRG) is to set up a database in the form of a geographical information system, which will be used to track and predict the bees future migration path. Included in this paper is background information on geographical information systems, the SPANS Explorer software package which was used to implement the database, and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer data and how each of these is being incorporated in the research. With an accurate means of predicting future migration paths, the negative effects of the Africanized honey bees maybe reduced.

  20. Earth sheltered bee wintering and solar honey house. Final technical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1985-01-01

    The construction and operation of an indoor wintering facility and a passive solar honey house are discussed. Goals for the project included both energy savings and financial savings for the beekeeping industry. The underground winter shelter provided a control temperature of approximately 46/sup 0/F in order to decrease both mortality rates and honey consumption rates of the bees. Three hundred square feet of glazing combined with wall insulation maintained comfortable work space temperatures for the ground level storage of honey. (BCS)

  1. Migratory management and environmental conditions affect lifespan and oxidative stress in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Huang, Ming H.; Strand, Micheline K.; Rueppell, Olav; Tarpy, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Most pollination in large-scale agriculture is dependent on managed colonies of a single species, the honey bee Apis mellifera. More than 1 million hives are transported to California each year just to pollinate the almonds, and bees are trucked across the country for various cropping systems. Concerns have been raised about whether such “migratory management” causes bees undue stress; however to date there have been no longer-term studies rigorously addressing whether migratory management is detrimental to bee health. To address this issue, we conducted field experiments comparing bees from commercial and experimental migratory beekeeping operations to those from stationary colonies to quantify effects on lifespan, colony health and productivity, and levels of oxidative damage for individual bees. We detected a significant decrease in lifespan of migratory adult bees relative to stationary bees. We also found that migration affected oxidative stress levels in honey bees, but that food scarcity had an even larger impact; some detrimental effects of migration may be alleviated by a greater abundance of forage. In addition, rearing conditions affect levels of oxidative damage incurred as adults. This is the first comprehensive study on impacts of migratory management on the health and oxidative stress of honey bees. PMID:27554200

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-15

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

  3. Detection of Deformed wing virus, a honey bee viral pathogen, in bumble bees (Bombus terrestris and Bombus pascuorum) with wing deformities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genersch, Elke; Yue, Constanze; Fries, Ingemar; de Miranda, Joachim R

    2006-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) productively infected with Deformed wing virus (DWV) through Varroa destructor (V. destructor) during pupal stages develop into adults showing wing and other morphological deformities. Here, we report for the first time the occurrence of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris, Bombus pascuorum) exhibiting wing deformities resembling those seen in clinically DWV-infected honey bees. Using specific RT-PCR protocols for the detection of DWV followed by sequencing of the PCR products we could demonstrate that the bumble bees were indeed infected with DWV. Since such deformed bumble bees are not viable DWV infection may pose a serious threat to bumble bee populations.

  4. Pancreatoprotective effects of Geniotrigona thoracica stingless bee honey in streptozotocin-nicotinamide-induced male diabetic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aziz, Muhammad Shakir Abdul; Giribabu, Nelli; Rao, Pasupuleti Visweswara; Salleh, Naguib

    2017-02-17

    Stingless bee honey (SLBH) has been claimed to possess multiple health benefits. Its anti-diabetic properties are however unknown. In this study, ability of SLBH from Geniotrigona thoracica stingless bee species in ameliorating pancreatic damage and in maintaining metabolic profiles were investigated in diabetic condition.

  5. A metagenomic survey of microbes in honey bee colony collapse disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    In Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), honey bee colonies inexplicably lose all of their workers. CCD has resulted in a loss of 50-90% of colonies in beekeeping operations across the United States. The observation that irradiated combs from affected colonies can be repopulated with naïve bees suggests a...

  6. Migratory management and environmental conditions affect lifespan and oxidative stress in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Most pollination in large-scale agriculture is dependent on managed colonies of a single species, the honey bee Apis mellifera. More than 1 million hives are transported to California each year just to pollinate the almonds, and bees are trucked across the country for various cropping systems. Conce...

  7. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS ON SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE AND CATALASE ACTIVITY AND EXPRESSION IN HONEY BEE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolić, Tatjana V; Purać, Jelena; Orčić, Snežana; Kojić, Danijela; Vujanović, Dragana; Stanimirović, Zoran; Gržetić, Ivan; Ilijević, Konstantin; Šikoparija, Branko; Blagojević, Duško P

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the cellular stress response in honey bees will significantly contribute to their conservation. The aim of this study was to analyze the response of the antioxidative enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase in honey bees related to the presence of toxic metals in different habitats. Three locations were selected: (i) Tunovo on the mountain Golija, as control area, without industry and large human impact, (ii) Belgrade as urban area, and (iii) Zajača, as mining and industrial zone. Our results showed that the concentrations of lead (Pb) in whole body of bees vary according to habitat, but there was very significant increase of Pb in bees from investigated industrial area. Bees from urban and industrial area had increased expression of both Sod1 and Cat genes, suggesting adaptation to increased oxidative stress. However, in spite increased gene expression, the enzyme activity of catalase was lower in bees from industrial area suggesting inhibitory effect of Pb on catalase.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreja KANDOLF BOROVŠAK

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. The Spatial Information Content of the Honey Bee Waggle Dance

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    Roger eSchürch

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In 1954, Haldane and Spurway published a paper in which they discussed the information content of the honey bee waggle dance with regard to the ideas of Norbert Wiener, who had recently developed a formal theory of information. We return to this concept by reanalyzing the information content in both vector components (direction, distance of the waggle dance using recent empirical data from a study that investigated the accuracy of the dance. Our results show that the direction component conveys 2.9 bits and the distance component 4.5 bits of information, which agrees to some extent with Haldane and Spurway's estimates that were based on data gathered by von Frisch. Of course, these are small amounts of information compared to what can be conveyed, given enough time, by human language, or compared to what is routinely transferred via the internet. Nevertheless, small amounts of information can be very valuable if it is the right information. The receivers of this information, the nestmate bees, know how to react adaptively so that the value of the information is not negated by its low information content.

  11. Honey bees avoid nectar colonized by three bacterial species, but not by a yeast species, isolated from the bee gut.

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    Ashley P Good

    Full Text Available The gut microflora of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is receiving increasing attention as a potential determinant of the bees' health and their efficacy as pollinators. Studies have focused primarily on the microbial taxa that appear numerically dominant in the bee gut, with the assumption that the dominant status suggests their potential importance to the bees' health. However, numerically minor taxa might also influence the bees' efficacy as pollinators, particularly if they are not only present in the gut, but also capable of growing in floral nectar and altering its chemical properties. Nonetheless, it is not well understood whether honey bees have any feeding preference for or against nectar colonized by specific microbial species. To test whether bees exhibit a preference, we conducted a series of field experiments at an apiary using synthetic nectar inoculated with specific species of bacteria or yeast that had been isolated from the bee gut, but are considered minor components of the gut microflora. These species had also been found in floral nectar. Our results indicated that honey bees avoided nectar colonized by the bacteria Asaia astilbes, Erwinia tasmaniensis, and Lactobacillus kunkeei, whereas the yeast Metschnikowia reukaufii did not affect the feeding preference of the insects. Our results also indicated that avoidance of bacteria-colonized nectar was caused not by the presence of the bacteria per se, but by the chemical changes to nectar made by the bacteria. These findings suggest that gut microbes may not only affect the bees' health as symbionts, but that some of the microbes may possibly affect the efficacy of A. mellifera as pollinators by altering nectar chemistry and influencing their foraging behavior.

  12. Colony Level Prevalence and Intensity of Nosema ceranae in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)

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    Lucas, Hannah M.; Webster, Thomas C.; Sagili, Ramesh R.

    2016-01-01

    Nosema ceranae is a widely prevalent microsporidian parasite in the western honey bee. There is considerable uncertainty regarding infection dynamics of this important pathogen in honey bee colonies. Understanding the infection dynamics at the colony level may aid in development of a reliable sampling protocol for N. ceranae diagnosis, and provide insights into efficient treatment strategies. The primary objective of this study was to characterize the prevalence (proportion of the sampled bees found infected) and intensity (number of spores per bee) of N. ceranae infection in bees from various age cohorts in a colony. We examined N. ceranae infection in both overwintered colonies that were naturally infected with N. ceranae and in quadruple cohort nucleus colonies that were established and artificially inoculated with N. ceranae. We also examined and quantified effects of N. ceranae infection on hypopharyngeal gland protein content and gut pH. There was no correlation between the prevalence and intensity of N. ceranae infection in composite samples (pooled bee samples used for analysis). Our results indicated that the prevalence and intensity of N. ceranae infection is significantly influenced by honey bee age. The N. ceranae infection prevalence values from composite samples of background bees (unmarked bees collected from four different locations in a colony) were not significantly different from those pertaining to marked-bee age cohorts specific to each sampling date. The foraging-aged bees had a higher prevalence of N. ceranae infection when compared to nurse-aged bees. N. ceranae did not have a significant effect on hypopharyngeal gland protein content. Further, there was no significant difference in mean gut pH of N. ceranae infected bees and non-infected bees. This study provides comprehensive insights into N. ceranae infection dynamics at the colony level, and also demonstrates the effects of N. ceranae infection on hypopharyngeal gland protein content and

  13. 5-HMF and carbohydrates content in stingless bee honey by CE before and after thermal treatment.

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    Biluca, Fabíola C; Della Betta, Fabiana; de Oliveira, Gabriela Pirassol; Pereira, Lais Morilla; Gonzaga, Luciano Valdemiro; Costa, Ana Carolina Oliveira; Fett, Roseane

    2014-09-15

    This study aimed to assess 5-hydroximethylfurfural and carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, and sucrose) in 13 stingless bee honey samples before and after thermal treatment using a capillary electrophoresis method. The methods were validated for the parameters of linearity, matrix effects, precision, and accuracy. A factorial design was implemented to determine optimal thermal treatment conditions and then verify the postprocedural 5-HMF formation, but once 5-HMF were honey presented higher 5-HMF content than stingless bee honey. Results suggest that a high temperature related to briefer thermal treatment could be an efficient way to extend shelf life without affecting 5-HMF content in stingless bee honey.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Démares, Fabien J.; Crous, Kendall L.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Nicolson, Susan W.; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed. PMID:27272274

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

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    Sainath Suryanarayanan

    2013-03-01

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

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

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    Fabien J Démares

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

  17. Mediation of pyrethroid insecticide toxicity to honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) by cytochrome P450 monooxygenases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Reed M; Wen, Zhimou; Schuler, Mary A; Berenbaum, May R

    2006-08-01

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera L., often thought to be extremely susceptible to insecticides in general, exhibit considerable variation in tolerance to pyrethroid insecticides. Although some pyrethroids, such as cyfluthrin and lambda-cyhalothrin, are highly toxic to honey bees, the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate is low enough to warrant its use to control parasitic mites inside honey bee colonies. Metabolic insecticide resistance in other insects is mediated by three major groups of detoxifying enzymes: the cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s), the carboxylesterases (COEs), and the glutathione S-transferases (GSTs). To test the role of metabolic detoxification in mediating the relatively low toxicity of tau-fluvalinate compared with more toxic pyrethroid insecticides, we examined the effects of piperonyl butoxide (PBO), S,S,S-tributylphosphorotrithioate (DEF), and diethyl maleate (DEM) on the toxicity of these pyrethroids. The toxicity of the three pyrethroids to bees was greatly synergized by the P450 inhibitor PBO and synergized at low levels by the carboxylesterase inhibitor DEF. Little synergism was observed with DEM. These results suggest that metabolic detoxification, especially that mediated by P450s, contributes significantly to honey bee tolerance of pyrethroid insecticides. The potent synergism between tau-fluvalinate and PBO suggests that P450s are especially important in the detoxification of this pyrethroid and explains the ability of honey bees to tolerate its presence.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Démares, Fabien J; Crous, Kendall L; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Evidence of the synergistic interaction of honey bee pathogens Nosema ceranae and Deformed wing virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Huo-Qing; Gong, Hong-Ri; Huang, Shao-Kang; Sohr, Alex; Hu, Fu-Liang; Chen, Yan Ping

    2015-05-15

    Nosema ceranae and Deformed wing virus (DWV) are two of the most prevalent pathogens currently attacking Western honey bees, Apis mellifera, and often simultaneously infect the same hosts. Here we investigated the effect of N. ceranae and Deformed wing virus (DWV) interactions on infected honey bees under lab conditions and at different nutrition statuses. Our results showed that Nosema could accelerate DWV replication in infected bees in a dose-dependent manner at the early stages of DWV infection. When bees were restricted from pollen nutrition, inoculation with 1×10(4) and 1×10(5) spores/bee could cause a significant increase in DWV titer, while inoculation with 1×10(3) spores/bee did not show any significant effect on the DWV titer. When bees were provided with pollen, only inoculation with 1×10(5) spores/bee showed significant effect on DWV titer. However, our results also showed that the two pathogens did not act synergistically when the titer of DWV reached a plateau. This study suggests that the synergistic effect of N. ceranae and DWV is dosage- and nutrition-dependent and that the synergistic interactions between the two pathogens could have implications on honey bee colony losses.

  1. Moku virus; a new Iflavirus found in wasps, honey bees and Varroa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordecai, Gideon J; Brettell, Laura E; Pachori, Purnima; Villalobos, Ethel M.; Martin, Stephen J; Jones, Ian M; Schroeder, Declan C

    2016-01-01

    There is an increasing global trend of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) affecting a wide range of species, including honey bees. The global epidemic of the single stranded RNA Deformed wing virus (DWV), driven by the spread of Varroa destructor has been well documented. However, DWV is just one of many insect RNA viruses which infect a wide range of hosts. Here we report the full genome sequence of a novel Iflavirus named Moku virus (MV), discovered in the social wasp Vespula pensylvanica collected in Hawaii. The novel genome is 10,056 nucleotides long and encodes a polyprotein of 3050 amino acids. Phylogenetic analysis showed that MV is most closely related to Slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV), which is highly virulent in honey bees but rarely detected. Worryingly, MV sequences were also detected in honey bees and Varroa from the same location, suggesting that MV can also infect other hymenopteran and Acari hosts. PMID:27713534

  2. Application of Asiatic Honey Bees (Apis cerana and Stingless Bees (Trigona laeviceps as Pollinator Agents of Hot Pepper (Capsicum annuum L. at Local Indonesia Farm System

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    Ramadhani Eka Putra

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In Indonesia, hot pepper (Capsicum annuum is one of the most important spices. Despite the fact that high yield cultivars and fertilizers have been applied to increase the annual production of this spice, local farming is always unable to maintain constant production. Studies to find the explanation of this problem mostly focused on pest attack while possibility of low fruit production due to lack of pollination was neglected. In this study, the effect of pollinator visitation to fruit set and quality was assessed by application of two local domesticated honey bees, Asiatic honey bees (Apis cerana and stingless bees (Trigona laeviceps as potential pollinator agents at hot pepper plantation. This study found that both bees had similar visitation rate while A. cerana spend less time in flowers. Visitation by A. cerana and Trigona laeviceps improved fruit set, fruit production per plant, average fruit weight, and fruit size. This result confirms the importance of cross pollination for hot pepper production and both species could be used as pollination agent for hot pepper. Advantages and disadvantages for each species as pollination agent for local Indonesia farm system are discussed in this paper.

  3. A cell line resource derived from honey bee (Apis mellifera embryonic tissues.

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    Michael J Goblirsch

    Full Text Available A major hindrance to the study of honey bee pathogens or the effects of pesticides and nutritional deficiencies is the lack of controlled in vitro culture systems comprised of honey bee cells. Such systems are important to determine the impact of these stress factors on the developmental and cell biology of honey bees. We have developed a method incorporating established insect cell culture techniques that supports sustained growth of honey bee cells in vitro. We used honey bee eggs mid to late in their embryogenesis to establish primary cultures, as these eggs contain cells that are progressively dividing. Primary cultures were initiated in modified Leibovitz's L15 medium and incubated at 32(°C. Serial transfer of material from several primary cultures was maintained and has led to the isolation of young cell lines. A cell line (AmE-711 has been established that is composed mainly of fibroblast-type cells that form an adherent monolayer. Most cells in the line are diploid (2n = 32 and have the Apis mellifera karyotype as revealed by Giemsa stain. The partial sequence for the mitochondrial-encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (Cox 1 gene in the cell line is identical to those from honey bee tissues and a consensus sequence for A. mellifera. The population doubling time is approximately 4 days. Importantly, the cell line is continuously subcultured every 10-14 days when split at a 1:3 ratio and is cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. The cell culture system we have developed has potential application for studies aimed at honey bee development, genetics, pathogenesis, transgenesis, and toxicology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. An Inert Pesticide Adjuvant Synergizes Viral Pathogenicity and Mortality in Honey Bee Larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fine, Julia D.; Cox-Foster, Diana L.; Mullin, Christopher A.

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees are highly valued for their pollination services in agricultural settings, and recent declines in managed populations have caused concern. Colony losses following a major pollination event in the United States, almond pollination, have been characterized by brood mortality with specific symptoms, followed by eventual colony loss weeks later. In this study, we demonstrate that these symptoms can be produced by chronically exposing brood to both an organosilicone surfactant adjuvant (OSS) commonly used on many agricultural crops including wine grapes, tree nuts and tree fruits and exogenous viral pathogens by simulating a horizontal transmission event. Observed synergistic mortality occurred during the larval-pupal molt. Using q-PCR techniques to measure gene expression and viral levels in larvae taken prior to observed mortality at metamorphosis, we found that exposure to OSS and exogenous virus resulted in significantly heightened Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV) titers and lower expression of a Toll 7-like-receptor associated with autophagic viral defense (Am18w). These results demonstrate that organosilicone spray adjuvants that are considered biologically inert potentiate viral pathogenicity in honey bee larvae, and guidelines for OSS use may be warranted. PMID:28091574

  6. Efficiency of local Indonesia honey bees (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putra, Ramadhani Eka; Kinasih, Ida

    2014-01-01

    Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is considered as one of major agricultural commodity of Indonesia farming. However, monthly production is unstable due to lack of pollination services. Common pollinator agent of tomatoes is bumblebees which is unsuitable for tropical climate of Indonesia and the possibility of alteration of local wild plant interaction with their pollinator. Indonesia is rich with wild bees and some of the species already domesticated for years with prospect as pollinating agent for tomatoes. This research aimed to assess the efficiency of local honey bee (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis), as pollinator of tomato. During this research, total visitation rate and total numbers of pollinated flowers by honey bee and stingless bee were compared between them with bagged flowers as control. Total fruit production, average weight and size also measured in order to correlated pollination efficiency with quantity and quality of fruit produced. Result of this research showed that A. cerana has slightly higher rate of visitation (p>0.05) and significantly shorter handling time (p tomato flowers. However, honey bee pollinated tomato flowers more efficient pollinator than stingless bee (80.3 and 70.2% efficiency, respectively; p tomatoes were similar (p>0.05). Based on the results, it is concluded that the use of Apis cerana and Trigona spp., for pollinating tomatoes in tropical climates could be an alternative to the use of non-native Apis mellifera and bumblebees (Bombus spp.). However, more researches are needed to evaluate the cost/benefit on large-scale farming and greenhouse pollination using both bees against other bee species and pollination methods.

  7. Bidirectional transfer of RNAi between honey bee and Varroa destructor: Varroa gene silencing reduces Varroa population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garbian, Yael; Maori, Eyal; Kalev, Haim; Shafir, Sharoni; Sela, Ilan

    2012-12-01

    The mite Varroa destructor is an obligatory ectoparasite of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) and is one of the major threats to apiculture worldwide. We previously reported that honey bees fed on double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) with a sequence homologous to that of the Israeli acute paralysis virus are protected from the viral disease. Here we show that dsRNA ingested by bees is transferred to the Varroa mite and from mite on to a parasitized bee. This cross-species, reciprocal exchange of dsRNA between bee and Varroa engendered targeted gene silencing in the latter, and resulted in an over 60% decrease in the mite population. Thus, transfer of gene-silencing-triggering molecules between this invertebrate host and its ectoparasite could lead to a conceptually novel approach to Varroa control.

  8. Bidirectional transfer of RNAi between honey bee and Varroa destructor: Varroa gene silencing reduces Varroa population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yael Garbian

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The mite Varroa destructor is an obligatory ectoparasite of the honey bee (Apis mellifera and is one of the major threats to apiculture worldwide. We previously reported that honey bees fed on double-stranded RNA (dsRNA with a sequence homologous to that of the Israeli acute paralysis virus are protected from the viral disease. Here we show that dsRNA ingested by bees is transferred to the Varroa mite and from mite on to a parasitized bee. This cross-species, reciprocal exchange of dsRNA between bee and Varroa engendered targeted gene silencing in the latter, and resulted in an over 60% decrease in the mite population. Thus, transfer of gene-silencing-triggering molecules between this invertebrate host and its ectoparasite could lead to a conceptually novel approach to Varroa control.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feazel-Orr, Haley K.; Catalfamo, Katelyn M.; Brewster, Carlyle C.; Fell, Richard D.; Anderson, Troy D.; Traver, Brenna E.

    2016-01-01

    Honey bee colony loss continues to be an issue and no factor has been singled out as to the cause. In this study, we sought to determine whether two beekeeper-applied pesticide products, tau-fluvalinate and Fumagilin-B®, and one agrochemical, chlorothalonil, impact the nutrient levels in honey bee workers in a natural colony environment. Treatments were performed in-hive and at three different periods (fall, spring, and summer) over the course of one year. Bees were sampled both at pre-treatment and two and four weeks post-treatment, weighed, and their protein and carbohydrate levels were determined using BCA and anthrone based biochemical assays, respectively. We report that, based on the pesticide concentrations tested, no significant negative impact of the pesticide products was observed on wet weight, protein levels, or carbohydrate levels of bees from treated colonies compared with bees from untreated control colonies. PMID:26938563

  11. Using video-tracking to assess sublethal effects of pesticides on honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teeters, Bethany S; Johnson, Reed M; Ellis, Marion D; Siegfried, Blair D

    2012-06-01

    Concern about the role of pesticides in honey bee decline has highlighted the need to examine the effects of sublethal exposure on bee behaviors. The video-tracking system EthoVisionXT (Noldus Information Technologies) was used to measure the effects of sublethal exposure to tau-fluvalinate and imidacloprid on honey bee locomotion, interactions, and time spent near a food source over a 24-h observation period. Bees were either treated topically with 0.3, 1.5, and 3 µg tau-fluvalinate or exposed to 0.05, 0.5, 5.0, 50, and 500 ppb imidacloprid in a sugar agar cube. Tau-fluvalinate caused a significant reduction in distance moved at all dose levels (p Bees exposed to 50 and 500 ppb spent significantly more time near the food source than control bees (p bee behavior can enhance current protocols for measuring the effects of pesticides on honey bees at sublethal levels. It may provide a means of identifying problematic compounds for further testing.

  12. 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 poll

  13. The reproductive ability of Varroa destructor in worker brood of Africanized and hybrid honey bees in Costa Rica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calderon, R.A.; Sommeijer, M.J.; Ruijter, de A.; Veen, van der J.W.

    2003-01-01

    From February to July 2001, the reproductive ability of Varroa destructor in artificially infested worker brood cells of Africanized honey bees (AHB) (Apis mellifera) and hybrids (HF1) of AHB x European honey bees was investigated in Costa Rica. No significant differences were found between AHB and

  14. Phenotypic and genetic analyses of the Varroa Sensitive Hygienic trait in Russian Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varroa destructor continues to threaten colonies of European honey bees. General hygiene and more specific VarroaVarroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) provide resistance toward the Varroa mite in a number of stocks. In this study, Russian (RHB) and Italian honey bees were assessed for the VSH trait. Two...

  15. Crop pollination exposes honey bees to pesticides which alters their susceptibility to the gut pathogen Nosema ceranae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent declines in honey bee populations and increasing demand for insect-pollinated crops raise concerns about pollinator shortages. Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large number...

  16. Responses to Varroa destructor and Nosema ceranae by several commercial strains of Australian and North American honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The potential impact of varroa (Varroa destructor, Anderson & Trueman. 2000) on Australian beekeeping and agriculture depends in part on the levels of resistance to this parasite expressed by Australian commercial honey bees (Apis mellifera). The responses of seven lines of Australian honey bees to ...

  17. Statistical methods to quantify the effect of mite parasitism on the probability of death in honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varroa destructor is a mite parasite of European honey bees, Apis mellifera, that weakens the population, can lead to the death of an entire honey bee colony, and is believed to be the parasite with the most economic impact on beekeeping. The purpose of this study was to estimate the probability of ...

  18. Honey bee stock genotypes do not affect the level of physiological responses to chalkbrood fungus, Ascosphaera apis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breeding honey bees (Apis mellifera) for physiological resistance to diseases is a highly desirable and environmentally safe approach to increasing colony survival. Selection of desirable traits is a critical element of any breeding program. In this study we investigate whether honey bee stocks dif...

  19. Transcriptomic and functional resources for the Small Hive Beetle Aethina tumida, a worldwide parasite of honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    The small hive beetle (SHB), Aethina tumida, is a major pest of managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in the United States and Australia, and an emergent threat in Europe. While strong honey bee colonies generally keep SHB populations in check, weak or stressed colonies can succumb to infestat...

  20. Israeli acute paralysis virus: epidemiology, pathogenesis and implications for honey bee health and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a widespread RNA virus that was linked with honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the sudden and massive die-off of honey bee colonies in the U.S. in 2006-2007. Here we describe the transmission, prevalence and genetic diversity of IAPV, host transcripti...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  2. Short term hydrothermal scheduling via improved honey-bee mating optimization algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    hamed baradaran tavakoli

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a new approach for solving short term hydrothermal scheduling problem is suggested, to minimize the total production cost and to produce electrical energy in an optimized way, by using honey-bee mating optimization algorithm. In the proposed method, lots of the hydrothermal system constraints such as power balance, water balance, time delay between reservoirs, volume limits and the operation limits of hydro and thermal plants, are considered. Therefore, the problem of short term hydrothermal scheduling becomes a complicated and nonlinear problem. In this paper, in addition to implementing the honey-bee mating optimization on a sample system, the improved honey-bee mating optimization algorithm has also been tested and analyzed. With regard to the simulation results, it is apparent that the improved honey-bee mating optimization has far higher convergence speed and takes less time, and less total cost in comparison with honey-bee mating optimization algorithm, genetic algorithm, particle swarm optimization algorithm and other optimization methods.

  3. Negligible uptake and transfer of diet-derived pollen microRNAs in adult honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masood, Maryam; Everett, Claire P.; Chan, Stephen Y.; Snow, Jonathan W.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The putative transfer and gene regulatory activities of diet-derived miRNAs in ingesting animals are still debated. Importantly, no study to date has fully examined the role of dietary uptake of miRNA in the honey bee, a critical pollinator in both agricultural and natural ecosystems. After controlled pollen feeding experiments in adult honey bees, we observed that midguts demonstrated robust increases in plant miRNAs after pollen ingestion. However, we found no evidence of biologically relevant delivery of these molecules to proximal or distal tissues of recipient honey bees. Our results, therefore, support the premise that pollen miRNAs ingested as part of a typical diet are not robustly transferred across barrier epithelia of adult honey bees under normal conditions. Key future questions include whether other small RNA species in honey bee diets behave similarly and whether more specialized and specific delivery mechanisms exist for more efficient transport, particularly in the context of stressed barrier epithelia. PMID:26680555

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The honey bee has been an important model organism for studying learning and memory. More recently, the honey bee has become a valuable model to understand perception and cognition. However, the techniques used to explore psychological phenomena in honey bees have been limited to only a few primary methodologies such as the proboscis extension reflex, sting extension reflex, and free flying target discrimination-tasks. Methods to explore operant conditioning in bees and other invertebrates are not as varied as with vertebrates. This may be due to the availability of a suitable response requirement. In this manuscript we offer a new method to explore operant conditioning in honey bees: the cap pushing response (CPR). We used the CPR to test for difference in learning curves between novel auto-shaping and more traditional explicit-shaping. The CPR protocol requires bees to exhibit a novel behavior by pushing a cap to uncover a food source. Using the CPR protocol we tested the effects of both explicit-shaping and auto-shaping techniques on operant conditioning. The goodness of fit and lack of fit of these data to the Rescorla-Wagner learning-curve model, widely used in classical conditioning studies, was tested. The model fit well to both control and explicit-shaping results, but only for a limited number of trials. Learning ceased rather than continuing to asymptotically approach the physiological most accurate possible. Rate of learning differed between shaped and control bee treatments. Learning rate was about 3 times faster for shaped bees, but for all measures of proficiency control and shaped bees reached the same level. Auto-shaped bees showed one-trial learning rather than the asymptotic approach to a maximal efficiency. However, in terms of return-time, the auto-shaped bees’ learning did not carry over to the covered-well test treatments. PMID:27626797

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Samson-Robert

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

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

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    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.

  7. Honey Bees Modulate Their Olfactory Learning in the Presence of Hornet Predators and Alarm Component.

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    Zhengwei Wang

    Full Text Available In Southeast Asia the native honey bee species Apis cerana is often attacked by hornets (Vespa velutina, mainly in the period from April to November. During the co-evolution of these two species honey bees have developed several strategies to defend themselves such as learning the odors of hornets and releasing alarm components to inform other mates. However, so far little is known about whether and how honey bees modulate their olfactory learning in the presence of the hornet predator and alarm components of honey bee itself. In the present study, we test for associative olfactory learning of A. cerana in the presence of predator odors, the alarm pheromone component isopentyl acetate (IPA, or a floral odor (hexanal as a control. The results show that bees can detect live hornet odors, that there is almost no association between the innately aversive hornet odor and the appetitive stimulus sucrose, and that IPA is less well associated with an appetitive stimulus when compared with a floral odor. In order to imitate natural conditions, e.g. when bees are foraging on flowers and a predator shows up, or alarm pheromone is released by a captured mate, we tested combinations of the hornet odor and floral odor, or IPA and floral odor. Both of these combinations led to reduced learning scores. This study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the prey-predator system between A. cerana and V. velutina.

  8. Resistance to Acarapis woodi by honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae): divergent selection and evaluation of selection progress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasr, M E; Otis, G W; Scott-Dupree, C D

    2001-04-01

    Two generations of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., selected for resistance to tracheal mites, Acarapis woodi (Rennie), were produced from a foundation stock. The mite resistant lines had significantly low mite abundances and prevalences in each selected generation. The high mite-resistant lines of the first selected generation showed resistance equal to that of bees that had undergone natural selection from tracheal mite infestations for 3 yr in New York. Additionally, the high mite-resistant lines of the second selected generation and Buckfast bees had significantly lower mite abundances and prevalences than honey bees from control colonies which had never been exposed to tracheal mite infestation in Ontario. These results corroborate studies that have shown that honey bees possess genetic components for tracheal mite resistance that can be readily enhanced in a breeding program. The two methods used for evaluating relative resistance of honey bees to tracheal mites, a short-term bioassay and evaluation in field colonies, were positively correlated (rs = 0.64, P < 0.001).

  9. 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.

  10. Behavioral response of two species of stingless bees and the honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) to GF-120.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Escobar, Enoc; Liedo, Pablo; Montoya, Pablo; Vandame, Rémy; Sánchez, Daniel

    2014-08-01

    We present the results of evaluating the response of three species of bees, Trigona fulviventris (Guérin), Scaptotrigona mexicana (Guérin-Meneville), and Apis mellifera (L.), to food sources baited with the toxic bait GF-120 (NF Naturalyte), a spinosad-based bait exclusively used to manage fruit flies. Groups of foragers were trained to collect honey and water from a feeder located 50 m from the colonies. Once a sufficient number of foragers were observed at the experimental location, the training feeder was changed to two or three feeders that offered either honey and water, GF-120, Captor (hydrolyzed protein), GF-120 and honey (4:6), or Captor and honey (1:19). T fulviventris and S. mexicana rarely visited GF-120, Captor, or their mixtures with honey, while approximately 28.5 and 1.5% of A. mellifera foragers visited the GF-120 and honey and Captor and honey mixtures, respectively. Our results show that GF-120 clearly repels T. fulviventris and S. mexicana, whereas for A. mellifera, repellence is not as marked when GF-120 is combined with highly nutritious substances like honey.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  13. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    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...

  14. A mutualistic symbiosis between a parasitic mite and a pathogenic virus undermines honey bee immunity and health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Annoscia, Desiderato; Margiotta, Marina; Ferrara, Rosalba; Varricchio, Paola; Zanni, Virginia; Caprio, Emilio; Nazzi, Francesco; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Honey bee colony losses are triggered by interacting stress factors consistently associated with high loads of parasites and/or pathogens. A wealth of biotic and abiotic stressors are involved in the induction of this complex multifactorial syndrome, with the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and the associated deformed wing virus (DWV) apparently playing key roles. The mechanistic basis underpinning this association and the evolutionary implications remain largely obscure. Here we narrow this research gap by demonstrating that DWV, vectored by the Varroa mite, adversely affects humoral and cellular immune responses by interfering with NF-κB signaling. This immunosuppressive effect of the viral pathogen enhances reproduction of the parasitic mite. Our experimental data uncover an unrecognized mutualistic symbiosis between Varroa and DWV, which perpetuates a loop of reciprocal stimulation with escalating negative effects on honey bee immunity and health. These results largely account for the remarkable importance of this mite–virus interaction in the induction of honey bee colony losses. The discovery of this mutualistic association and the elucidation of the underlying regulatory mechanisms sets the stage for a more insightful analysis of how synergistic stress factors contribute to colony collapse, and for the development of new strategies to alleviate this problem. PMID:26951652

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattila, Heather R; Rios, Daniela; Walker-Sperling, Victoria E; Roeselers, Guus; Newton, Irene 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 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Viral prevalence increases with regional colony abundance in honey bee drones (Apis mellifera L)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forfert, Nadège; Natsopoulou, Myrsini E.; Paxton, Robert J.;

    2016-01-01

    of honey bees. To test this idea, we sampled male honey bees (drones) from seven distinct drone congregation areas (DCA), and used their genotypes to estimate colony abundance at each site. A multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification assay (MLPA) was used to assess the prevalence of ten viruses......, using five common viral targets, in individual drones. There was a significant positive association between colony abundance and number of viral infections. This result highlights the potential importance of high colony abundance for pathogen prevalence, possibly because high population density...... facilitates pathogen transmission. Pathogen prevalence in drones collected from DCAs may be a useful means of estimating the disease status of a population of honey bees during the mating season, especially for localities with a large number of wild or feral colonies....

  19. How habitat affects the benefits of communication in collectively foraging honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaldson-Matasci, Matina C; Dornhaus, Anna

    2012-04-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) use the dance language to symbolically convey information about the location of floral resources from within the nest. To figure out why this unique ability evolved, we need to understand the benefits it offers to the colony. Previous studies have shown that, in fact, the location information in the dance is not always beneficial. We ask, in which ecological habitats do honey bee colonies actually benefit from the dance language, and what is it about those habitats that makes communication useful? In this study, we examine the effects of floral distribution patterns on the benefits of dance communication across five different habitats. In each habitat, we manipulated colonies' ability to communicate and measured their foraging success, while simultaneously characterizing the naturally occurring floral distribution. We find that communication is most beneficial when floral species richness is high and patches contain many flowers. These are ecological features that could have helped shape the evolution of the honey bee dance language.

  20. Morphological Discrimination of Greek Honey Bee Populations Based on Geometric Morphometrics Analysis of Wing Shape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charistos Leonidas

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees collected from 32 different localities in Greece were studied based on the geometric morphometrics approach using the coordinates of 19 landmarks located at wing vein intersections. Procrustes analysis, principal component analysis, and Canonical variate analysis (CVA detected population variability among the studied samples. According to the Principal component analysis (PCA of pooled data from each locality, the most differentiated populations were the populations from the Aegean island localities Astypalaia, Chios, and Kythira. However, the populations with the most distant according to the canonical variate analysis performed on all measurements were the populations from Heraklion and Chania (both from Crete island. These results can be used as a starting point for the use of geometric morphometrics in the discrimination of honey bee populations in Greece and the establishment of conservation areas for local honey bee populations.

  1. Dynamic range compression in the honey bee auditory system toward waggle dance sounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seiya Tsujiuchi

    Full Text Available Honey bee foragers use a "waggle dance" to inform nestmates about direction and distance to locations of attractive food. The sound and air flows generated by dancer's wing and abdominal vibrations have been implicated as important cues, but the decoding mechanisms for these dance messages are poorly understood. To understand the neural mechanisms of honey bee dance communication, we analyzed the anatomy of antenna and Johnston's organ (JO in the pedicel of the antenna, as well as the mechanical and neural response characteristics of antenna and JO to acoustic stimuli, respectively. The honey bee JO consists of about 300-320 scolopidia connected with about 48 cuticular "knobs" around the circumference of the pedicel. Each scolopidium contains bipolar sensory neurons with both type I and II cilia. The mechanical sensitivities of the antennal flagellum are specifically high in response to low but not high intensity stimuli of 265-350 Hz frequencies. The structural characteristics of antenna but not JO neurons seem to be responsible for the non-linear responses of the flagellum in contrast to mosquito and fruit fly. The honey bee flagellum is a sensitive movement detector responding to 20 nm tip displacement, which is comparable to female mosquito. Furthermore, the JO neurons have the ability to preserve both frequency and temporal information of acoustic stimuli including the "waggle dance" sound. Intriguingly, the response of JO neurons was found to be age-dependent, demonstrating that the dance communication is only possible between aged foragers. These results suggest that the matured honey bee antennae and JO neurons are best tuned to detect 250-300 Hz sound generated during "waggle dance" from the distance in a dark hive, and that sufficient responses of the JO neurons are obtained by reducing the mechanical sensitivity of the flagellum in a near-field of dancer. This nonlinear effect brings about dynamic range compression in the honey bee

  2. Genotypic variability and relationships between mite infestation levels, mite damage, grooming intensity, and removal of Varroa destructor mites in selected strains of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto; Emsen, Berna; Unger, Peter; Espinosa-Montaño, Laura G; Petukhova, Tatiana

    2012-07-01

    The objective of this study was to demonstrate genotypic variability and analyze the relationships between the infestation levels of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies, the rate of damage of fallen mites, and the intensity with which bees of different genotypes groom themselves to remove mites from their bodies. Sets of paired genotypes that are presumably susceptible and resistant to the varroa mite were compared at the colony level for number of mites falling on sticky papers and for proportion of damaged mites. They were also compared at the individual level for intensity of grooming and mite removal success. Bees from the "resistant" colonies had lower mite population rates (up to 15 fold) and higher percentages of damaged mites (up to 9 fold) than bees from the "susceptible" genotypes. At the individual level, bees from the "resistant" genotypes performed significantly more instances of intense grooming (up to 4 fold), and a significantly higher number of mites were dislodged from the bees' bodies by intense grooming than by light grooming (up to 7 fold) in all genotypes. The odds of mite removal were high and significant for all "resistant" genotypes when compared with the "susceptible" genotypes. The results of this study strongly suggest that grooming behavior and the intensity with which bees perform it, is an important component in the resistance of some honey bee genotypes to the growth of varroa mite populations. The implications of these results are discussed.

  3. A Comparison of Honey Bee-Collected Pollen From Working Agricultural Lands Using Light Microscopy and ITS Metabarcoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, M D; Cornman, R S; Iwanowicz, D D; McDermott-Kubeczko, M; Pettis, J S; Spivak, M S; Otto, C R V

    2017-02-01

    Taxonomic identification of pollen has historically been accomplished via light microscopy but requires specialized knowledge and reference collections, particularly when identification to lower taxonomic levels is necessary. Recently, next-generation sequencing technology has been used as a cost-effective alternative for identifying bee-collected pollen; however, this novel approach has not been tested on a spatially or temporally robust number of pollen samples. Here, we compare pollen identification results derived from light microscopy and DNA sequencing techniques with samples collected from honey bee colonies embedded within a gradient of intensive agricultural landscapes in the Northern Great Plains throughout the 2010-2011 growing seasons. We demonstrate that at all taxonomic levels, DNA sequencing was able to discern a greater number of taxa, and was particularly useful for the identification of infrequently detected species. Importantly, substantial phenological overlap did occur for commonly detected taxa using either technique, suggesting that DNA sequencing is an appropriate, and enhancing, substitutive technique for accurately capturing the breadth of bee-collected species of pollen present across agricultural landscapes. We also show that honey bees located in high and low intensity agricultural settings forage on dissimilar plants, though with overlap of the most abundantly collected pollen taxa. We highlight practical applications of utilizing sequencing technology, including addressing ecological issues surrounding land use, climate change, importance of taxa relative to abundance, and evaluating the impact of conservation program habitat enhancement efforts.

  4. A comparison of honey bee-collected pollen from working agricultural lands using light microscopy and ITS metabarcoding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, Matthew; Cornman, Robert S.; Iwanowicz, Deborah; McDermott-Kubeczko, Margaret; Pettis, Jeff S; Spivak, Marla S; Otto, Clint R.

    2017-01-01

    Taxonomic identification of pollen has historically been accomplished via light microscopy but requires specialized knowledge and reference collections, particularly when identification to lower taxonomic levels is necessary. Recently, next-generation sequencing technology has been used as a cost-effective alternative for identifying bee-collected pollen; however, this novel approach has not been tested on a spatially or temporally robust number of pollen samples. Here, we compare pollen identification results derived from light microscopy and DNA sequencing techniques with samples collected from honey bee colonies embedded within a gradient of intensive agricultural landscapes in the Northern Great Plains throughout the 2010–2011 growing seasons. We demonstrate that at all taxonomic levels, DNA sequencing was able to discern a greater number of taxa, and was particularly useful for the identification of infrequently detected species. Importantly, substantial phenological overlap did occur for commonly detected taxa using either technique, suggesting that DNA sequencing is an appropriate, and enhancing, substitutive technique for accurately capturing the breadth of bee-collected species of pollen present across agricultural landscapes. We also show that honey bees located in high and low intensity agricultural settings forage on dissimilar plants, though with overlap of the most abundantly collected pollen taxa. We highlight practical applications of utilizing sequencing technology, including addressing ecological issues surrounding land use, climate change, importance of taxa relative to abundance, and evaluating the impact of conservation program habitat enhancement efforts.

  5. Mosaic male honey bees produced by queens inseminated with frozen spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbo, J R

    1980-01-01

    Mosaic male honey bees were found as the progeny of queens that had been inseminated with spermatozoa stored in liquid nitrogen. The origins of these mosaics and the genotype of their gametes were determined by using mutant markers. The mosaics probably developed from an egg pronucleus and a sperm pronucleus that did not unite after the latter had entered the egg. Instead, both pronuclei produced haploid tissue independently. The three mosaics that were mated to queens all had mosaic testes. Therefore, these were situations in which a male honey bee produced two types of spermatozoa.

  6. Predominant Api m 10 sensitization as risk factor for treatment failure in honey bee venom immunotherapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frick, Marcel; Fischer, Jörg; Helbling, Arthur;

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Component resolution recently identified distinct sensitization profiles in honey bee venom (HBV) allergy, some of which were dominated by specific IgE to Api m 3 and/or Api m 10, which have been reported to be underrepresented in therapeutic HBV preparations. OBJECTIVE: We performed...... a retrospective analysis of component-resolved sensitization profiles in HBV-allergic patients and association with treatment outcome. METHODS: HBV-allergic patients who had undergone controlled honey bee sting challenge after at least 6 months of HBV immunotherapy (n = 115) were included and classified...

  7. Functionality of Varroa-resistant honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) when used for western U.S. honey production and almond pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderer, Tihomas E; Danka, Robert G; Johnson, Stephanie; Bourgeois, A Lelania; Frake, Amanda M; Villa, José D; De Guzman, Lilia I; Harris, Jeffrey W

    2014-04-01

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, were evaluated for performance when used for honey production in Montana, and for almond pollination the following winter. Colonies of Russian honey bees and outcrossed honey bees with Varroa-sensitive hygiene (VSH) were compared with control colonies of Italian honey bees. All colonies were managed without miticide treatments. In total, 185 and 175 colonies were established for trials in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, respectively. Survival of colonies with original queens or with supersedure queens was similar among stocks for both years. Colony sizes of the Varroa-resistant stocks were as large as or larger than the control colonies during periods critical to honey production and almond pollination. Honey production varied among stocks. In the first year, all stocks produced similar amounts of honey. In the second year, Russian honey bees colonies produced less honey than the control colonies. V. destructor infestations also varied among stocks. In the first year, control colonies had more infesting mites than either of the Varroa-resistant stocks, especially later in the year. In the second year, the control and outcrossed Varroa-sensitive hygiene colonies had high and damaging levels of infestation while the Russian honey bees colonies maintained lower levels of infestation. Infestations of Acarapis woodi (Rennie) were generally infrequent and low. All the stocks had similarly high Nosema ceranae infections in the spring and following winter of both years. Overall, the two Varroa-resistant stocks functioned adequately in this model beekeeping system.

  8. Influence of pollen nutrition on honey bee health: do pollen quality and diversity matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Pasquale, Garance; Salignon, Marion; Le Conte, Yves; Belzunces, Luc P; Decourtye, Axel; Kretzschmar, André; Suchail, Séverine; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Alaux, Cédric

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee colonies are highly dependent upon the availability of floral resources from which they get the nutrients (notably pollen) necessary to their development and survival. However, foraging areas are currently affected by the intensification of agriculture and landscape alteration. Bees are therefore confronted to disparities in time and space of floral resource abundance, type and diversity, which might provide inadequate nutrition and endanger colonies. The beneficial influence of pollen availability on bee health is well-established but whether quality and diversity of pollen diets can modify bee health remains largely unknown. We therefore tested the influence of pollen diet quality (different monofloral pollens) and diversity (polyfloral pollen diet) on the physiology of young nurse bees, which have a distinct nutritional physiology (e.g. hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin level), and on the tolerance to the microsporidian parasite Nosemaceranae by measuring bee survival and the activity of different enzymes potentially involved in bee health and defense response (glutathione-S-transferase (detoxification), phenoloxidase (immunity) and alkaline phosphatase (metabolism)). We found that both nurse bee physiology and the tolerance to the parasite were affected by pollen quality. Pollen diet diversity had no effect on the nurse bee physiology and the survival of healthy bees. However, when parasitized, bees fed with the polyfloral blend lived longer than bees fed with monofloral pollens, excepted for the protein-richest monofloral pollen. Furthermore, the survival was positively correlated to alkaline phosphatase activity in healthy bees and to phenoloxydase activities in infected bees. Our results support the idea that both the quality and diversity (in a specific context) of pollen can shape bee physiology and might help to better understand the influence of agriculture and land-use intensification on bee nutrition and health.

  9. Influence of pollen nutrition on honey bee health: do pollen quality and diversity matter?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garance Di Pasquale

    Full Text Available Honey bee colonies are highly dependent upon the availability of floral resources from which they get the nutrients (notably pollen necessary to their development and survival. However, foraging areas are currently affected by the intensification of agriculture and landscape alteration. Bees are therefore confronted to disparities in time and space of floral resource abundance, type and diversity, which might provide inadequate nutrition and endanger colonies. The beneficial influence of pollen availability on bee health is well-established but whether quality and diversity of pollen diets can modify bee health remains largely unknown. We therefore tested the influence of pollen diet quality (different monofloral pollens and diversity (polyfloral pollen diet on the physiology of young nurse bees, which have a distinct nutritional physiology (e.g. hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin level, and on the tolerance to the microsporidian parasite Nosemaceranae by measuring bee survival and the activity of different enzymes potentially involved in bee health and defense response (glutathione-S-transferase (detoxification, phenoloxidase (immunity and alkaline phosphatase (metabolism. We found that both nurse bee physiology and the tolerance to the parasite were affected by pollen quality. Pollen diet diversity had no effect on the nurse bee physiology and the survival of healthy bees. However, when parasitized, bees fed with the polyfloral blend lived longer than bees fed with monofloral pollens, excepted for the protein-richest monofloral pollen. Furthermore, the survival was positively correlated to alkaline phosphatase activity in healthy bees and to phenoloxydase activities in infected bees. Our results support the idea that both the quality and diversity (in a specific context of pollen can shape bee physiology and might help to better understand the influence of agriculture and land-use intensification on bee nutrition and health.

  10. Assessing grooming behavior of Russian honey bees toward Varroa destructor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The grooming behavior of Russian bees was compared to Italian bees. Overall, Russian bees had significantly lower numbers of mites than the Italian bees with a mean of 1,937 ± 366 and 5,088 ± 733 mites, respectively. This low mite population in the Russian colonies was probably due to the increased ...

  11. Adult honey bee losses in Utah as related to arsenic poisoning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knowlton, G.F.; Sturtevant, A.P.; Sorenson, C.J.

    1950-08-01

    A study has been conducted to determine the source of arsenic that has caused serious losses of honey bees in Utah. Samples of dead and dying bees, pollen, plant blossoms, soil, pond water, algae, and moss were collected and analyzed for the presence of arsenic. Although some of the deaths were caused by improperly timed orchard spraying, a large percentage of arsenical materials found in blossoms must have come from some source other than through plant absorption from the soil. Plants apparently do not take up sufficient quantities of arsenic from the soil to poison bees. The data support the conclusion that most honey bee losses were caused by arsenic containing dusts from the operation of smelters. Some beekeepers reported that losses were especially noticeable after a light rain following a period of drought.

  12. A mathematical model for the interplay of Nosema infection and forager losses in honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petric, Alex; Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto; Eberl, Hermann J

    2016-10-05

    We present a mathematical model (a) for the infection of a honey bee colony with Nosema ceranae. This is a system of five ordinary differential equations for the dependent variables healthy and infected worker bees in the hive, healthy and infected forager bees, and disease potential deposited in the hive. The model is then (b) extended to account for increased forager losses, e.g. caused by exposure to external stressors. The model is non-autonomous with periodic coefficient functions. Algebraic complexity prevents a rigorous mathematical analysis. Therefore, we resort to computer simulations in addition to some analytical results in the constant coefficient case. We investigate each of the two stressors (a) and (b) individually and jointly. Our results indicate that the combined effect of two stressors, both of which can be tolerated by the colony individually, might lead to colony failure, suggesting multi-factorial causes behind losses of honey bee colonies.

  13. Down-regulation of honey bee IRS gene biases behavior toward food rich in protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Wang

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Food choice and eating behavior affect health and longevity. Large-scale research efforts aim to understand the molecular and social/behavioral mechanisms of energy homeostasis, body weight, and food intake. Honey bees (Apis mellifera could provide a model for these studies since individuals vary in food-related behavior and social factors can be controlled. Here, we examine a potential role of peripheral insulin receptor substrate (IRS expression in honey bee foraging behavior. IRS is central to cellular nutrient sensing through transduction of insulin/insulin-like signals (IIS. By reducing peripheral IRS gene expression and IRS protein amount with the use of RNA interference (RNAi, we demonstrate that IRS influences foraging choice in two standard strains selected for different food-hoarding behavior. Compared with controls, IRS knockdowns bias their foraging effort toward protein (pollen rather than toward carbohydrate (nectar sources. Through control experiments, we establish that IRS does not influence the bees' sucrose sensory response, a modality that is generally associated with food-related behavior and specifically correlated with the foraging preference of honey bees. These results reveal a new affector pathway of honey bee social foraging, and suggest that IRS expressed in peripheral tissue can modulate an insect's foraging choice between protein and carbohydrate sources.

  14. Nutritional regulation of division of labor in honey bees: toward a systems biology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ament, Seth A; Wang, Ying; Robinson, Gene E

    2010-01-01

    Organisms adapt their behavior and physiology to environmental conditions through processes of phenotypic plasticity. In one well-studied example, the division of labor among worker honey bees involves a stereotyped yet plastic pattern of behavioral and physiological maturation. Early in life, workers perform brood care and other in-hive tasks and have large internal nutrient stores; later in life, they forage for nectar and pollen outside the hive and have small nutrient stores. The pace of maturation depends on colony conditions, and the environmental, physiological, and genomic mechanisms by which this occurs are being actively investigated. Here we review current knowledge of the mechanisms by which a key environmental variable, nutritional status, influences worker honey bee division of labor. These studies demonstrate that changes in individual nutritional status and conserved food-related molecular and hormonal pathways regulate the age at which individual bees begin to forage. We then outline ways in which systems biology approaches, enabled by the sequencing of the honey bee genome, will allow researchers to gain deeper insight into nutritional regulation of honey bee behavior, and phenotypic plasticity in general.

  15. The fraction haemolymph vitellogenin of a honey bee colony, derived from a pooled haemolymph sample, a colony vitality parameter

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steen, van der J.J.M.; Martel, Anne Claire; Hendrickx, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    The number of bees, amount of brood and haemolymph vitellogenin titre are parameters to establish the vitality of a honey bee colony. Increasing numbers of bees during summer until autumn; increasing amounts of brood in spring towards summer followed by a decrease; and low haemolymph vitellogenin

  16. Varroa destructor virus 1: a new picorna-like virus in Varroa mites as well as honey bees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ongus, J.R.

    2006-01-01

    Varroa destructor mite is an ectoparasite of the honey bee Apis mellifera. This species was recently differentiated from Varroa jacobsoni species which infests the Asian bee Apis cerana. Varroa mites feed entirely on the bee's haemolymph and have been associated with the spread of a number of viruse

  17. Bees as Biosensors: Chemosensory Ability, Honey Bee Monitoring Systems, and Emergent Sensor Technologies Derived from the Pollinator Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromenshenk, Jerry J; Henderson, Colin B; Seccomb, Robert A; Welch, Phillip M; Debnam, Scott E; Firth, David R

    2015-10-30

    This review focuses on critical milestones in the development path for the use of bees, mainly honey bees and bumble bees, as sentinels and biosensors. These keystone species comprise the most abundant pollinators of agro-ecosystems. Pollinating 70%-80% of flowering terrestrial plants, bees and other insects propel the reproduction and survival of plants and themselves, as well as improve the quantity and quality of seeds, nuts, and fruits that feed birds, wildlife, and us. Flowers provide insects with energy, nutrients, and shelter, while pollinators are essential to global ecosystem productivity and stability. A rich and diverse milieu of chemical signals establishes and maintains this intimate partnership. Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle. In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals. In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management.

  18. Bees as Biosensors: Chemosensory Ability, Honey Bee Monitoring Systems, and Emergent Sensor Technologies Derived from the Pollinator Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerry J. Bromenshenk

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available This review focuses on critical milestones in the development path for the use of bees, mainly honey bees and bumble bees, as sentinels and biosensors. These keystone species comprise the most abundant pollinators of agro-ecosystems. Pollinating 70%–80% of flowering terrestrial plants, bees and other insects propel the reproduction and survival of plants and themselves, as well as improve the quantity and quality of seeds, nuts, and fruits that feed birds, wildlife, and us. Flowers provide insects with energy, nutrients, and shelter, while pollinators are essential to global ecosystem productivity and stability. A rich and diverse milieu of chemical signals establishes and maintains this intimate partnership. Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle. In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals. In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management.

  19. Bees as Biosensors: Chemosensory Ability, Honey Bee Monitoring Systems, and Emergent Sensor Technologies Derived from the Pollinator Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromenshenk, Jerry J.; Henderson, Colin B.; Seccomb, Robert A.; Welch, Phillip M.; Debnam, Scott E.; Firth, David R.

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on critical milestones in the development path for the use of bees, mainly honey bees and bumble bees, as sentinels and biosensors. These keystone species comprise the most abundant pollinators of agro-ecosystems. Pollinating 70%–80% of flowering terrestrial plants, bees and other insects propel the reproduction and survival of plants and themselves, as well as improve the quantity and quality of seeds, nuts, and fruits that feed birds, wildlife, and us. Flowers provide insects with energy, nutrients, and shelter, while pollinators are essential to global ecosystem productivity and stability. A rich and diverse milieu of chemical signals establishes and maintains this intimate partnership. Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle. In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals. In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management. PMID:26529030

  20. Bee health

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lecocq, Antoine

    with a queen bee, based on their health status. Some of the methodological novelty, set-backs and preliminary results are discussed. In the fourth part, the thesis concludes by zooming out of the confines of the inner hive in order to address recent concerns regarding the potential spill-over of honey bee...

  1. Integrating the Dimensions of NGSS within a Collaborative Board Game about Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauren, Hillary; Lutz, Claudia; Wallon, Robert C; Hug, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    The current reform in U.S. science education calls for the integration of three dimensions of science learning in classroom teaching and learning: Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. While the Next Generation Science Standards provide flexibility in how curriculum and instruction are structured to meet learning goals, there are few examples of existing curricula that portray the integration of these dimensions as "three-dimensional learning." Here, we describe a collaborative board game about honey bees that incorporates scientific evidence on how genetic and environmental factors influence variations of traits and social behavior and requires students to collaboratively examine and use a system model. Furthermore, we show how students used and evaluated the game as a model in authentic classroom settings.

  2. Mixtures of herbicides and metals affect the redox system of honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jumarie, Catherine; Aras, Philippe; Boily, Monique

    2017-02-01

    The increasing loss of bee colonies in many countries has prompted a surge of studies on the factors affecting bee health. In North America, main crops such as maize and soybean are cultivated with extensive use of pesticides that may affect non-target organisms such as bees. Also, biosolids, used as a soil amendment, represent additional sources of metals in agroecosystems; however, there is no information about how these metals could affect the bees. In previous studies we investigated the effects of environmentally relevant doses of herbicides and metals, each individually, on caged honey bees. The present study aimed at investigating the effects of mixtures of herbicides (glyphosate and atrazine) and metals (cadmium and iron), as these mixtures represent more realistic exposure conditions. Levels of metal, vitamin E, carotenoids, retinaldehyde, at-retinol, retinoic acid isomers (9-cis RA, 13-cis RA, at-RA) and the metabolites 13-cis-4-oxo-RA and at-4-oxo-RA were measured in bees fed for 10 days with contaminated syrup. Mixtures of herbicides and cadmium that did not affect bee viability, lowered bee α- and β-carotenoid contents and increased 9-cis-RA as well as 13-cis-4-oxo-RA without modifying the levels of at-retinol. Bee treatment with either glyphosate, a combination of atrazine and cadmium, or mixtures of herbicides promoted lipid peroxidation. Iron was bioconcentrated in bees and led to high levels of lipid peroxidation. Metals also decreased zeaxanthin bee contents. These results show that mixtures of atrazine, glyphosate, cadmium and iron may affect different reactions occurring in the metabolic pathway of vitamin A in the honey bee.

  3. The distribution of Aspergillus spp. opportunistic parasites in hives and their pathogenicity to honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Kirsten; Fazio, Géraldine; Jensen, Annette B; Hughes, William O H

    2014-03-14

    Stonebrood is a disease of honey bee larvae caused by fungi from the genus Aspergillus. As very few studies have focused on the epidemiological aspects of stonebrood and diseased brood may be rapidly discarded by worker bees, it is possible that a high number of cases go undetected. Aspergillus spp. fungi are ubiquitous and associated with disease in many insects, plants, animals and man. They are regarded as opportunistic pathogens that require immunocompromised hosts to establish infection. Microbiological studies have shown high prevalences of Aspergillus spp. in apiaries which occur saprophytically on hive substrates. However, the specific conditions required for pathogenicity to develop remain unknown. In this study, an apiary was screened to determine the prevalence and diversity of Aspergillus spp. fungi. A series of dose-response tests were then conducted using laboratory reared larvae to determine the pathogenicity and virulence of frequently occurring isolates. The susceptibility of adult worker bees to Aspergillus flavus was also tested. Three isolates (A. flavus, Aspergillus nomius and Aspergillus phoenicis) of the ten species identified were pathogenic to honey bee larvae. Moreover, adult honey bees were also confirmed to be highly susceptible to A. flavus infection when they ingested conidia. Neither of the two Aspergillus fumigatus strains used in dose-response tests induced mortality in larvae and were the least pathogenic of the isolates tested. These results confirm the ubiquity of Aspergillus spp. in the apiary environment and highlight their potential to infect both larvae and adult bees.

  4. Risk assessment for honey bees and pesticides--recent developments and 'new issues'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Helen M

    2010-11-01

    In 2008, major areas of discussion at the ICPBR Bee Protection Group meeting were the development of a honey bee risk assessment scheme for systemic pesticides and revision of the test guidelines for semi-field and field studies. The risk assessment scheme for systemic pesticides is based on analysis of conditions for exposure of bees to residues. These are based on a stepwise approach, starting with simple calculations based on existing data in dossiers and progressing to higher-tier semi-field and field studies (the guidelines for these have been modified in line with this). The proposed scheme has been tested with data packages of high- and low-risk PPPs. A future area of interest for the group may be the risks posed by guttation fluid containing systemic pesticides. A recent paper on 'Translocation of neonicotinoid insecticides from coated seeds to seedling guttation drops: a novel way of intoxication for bees' has focused significant interest on the possible risks posed by the presence of residues of systemic pesticides in guttation fluid to water-collecting honey bees. The occurrence of guttation and the presence of pesticide residues in the fluid are discussed, together with remaining questions that will need to be addressed in answering whether such a route of exposure may pose a risk to honey bees.

  5. Resource Potential Analysis Of Honey Bee Feed Apis Dorsata In Mountain Tinanggo Kolaka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosmarlinasiah

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Honey Bees feed in the form of nectar pollen and water the bees used to build nests and establish colonies. A hexagonal honeycomb as a store of honey pollen and seedlings. If feed honey bees flower plants are abundantly available continuously then the always active bees build nests and fill each cell nest of honey pollen eggs and other products. The purpose of research is to determine the types of flowering plants as a potential feed honey bees nectar and pollen. The experiment was conducted at Mount Tinanggo Kolaka Southeast Sulawesi Province which lasted from March 2013 until March 2014. Determined by purposive sample observations based on the location of the nearest and farthest honey using the method of terraced paths. Samples were placed systematically with the withdrawal of the central point on the tree path beehive a radius of 700 meters from the center of the North East South and West. Data type of plant plant density and stem diameter were analyzed to determine the importance value index and diversity index type at the tree level trees saplings and seedlings. Based on the results of the enumeration on the collected research sites by 591 plant specimens were clustered on the tree level 152 level 102 poles 178 degree and 159 degree stake seedlings. Levels of tree species diversity and relatively abundant mast high and the level of saplings and seedlings are relatively abundant. The dominant species on the tree level Meranti Shorea sp and rambutan Nephelium lappaceum levels Holea pole Cleistantus laevis Hook f and Kuma Palaquium obovatum Engl the level of saplings and seedlings levels Holea Cleistantus laevis Hook f and rambutan Nephelium lappaceum. There are 237 types of flowering plants averaging 19.75 per month flowering plants and flowering peak was in September.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Dötterl

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortensen, Ashley N; Ellis, James D

    2016-01-01

    African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) dramatically changed the South American beekeeping industry as they rapidly spread through the Americas following their introduction into Brazil. In the present study, we aimed to determine if the management of European-derived honey bees (A. mellifera sspp.) could reduce the relative abundance of African-matriline drones at regional mating sites known as drone congregation areas (DCAs). We collected 2,400 drones at six DCAs either 0.25 km or >2.8 km from managed European-derived honey bee apiaries. The maternal ancestry of each drone was determined by Bgl II enzyme digestion of an amplified portion of the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene. Furthermore, sibship reconstruction via nuclear microsatellites was conducted for a subset of 1,200 drones to estimate the number of colonies contributing drones to each DCA. Results indicate that DCAs distant to managed European apiaries (>2.8 km) had significantly more African-matriline drones (34.33% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA) than did DCAs close (0.25 km) to managed European apiaries (1.83% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA). Furthermore, nuclear sibship reconstruction demonstrated that the reduction in the proportion of African matriline drones at DCAs near apiaries was not simply an increase in the number of European matriline drones at the DCAs but also the result of fewer African matriline colonies contributing drones to the DCAs. Our data demonstrate that the management of European honey bee colonies can dramatically influence the proportion of drones with African matrilines at nearby drone congregation areas, and would likely decreasing the probability that virgin European queens will mate with African drones at those drone congregation areas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortensen, Ashley N.; Ellis, James D.

    2016-01-01

    African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) dramatically changed the South American beekeeping industry as they rapidly spread through the Americas following their introduction into Brazil. In the present study, we aimed to determine if the management of European-derived honey bees (A. mellifera sspp.) could reduce the relative abundance of African-matriline drones at regional mating sites known as drone congregation areas (DCAs). We collected 2,400 drones at six DCAs either 0.25 km or >2.8 km from managed European-derived honey bee apiaries. The maternal ancestry of each drone was determined by Bgl II enzyme digestion of an amplified portion of the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene. Furthermore, sibship reconstruction via nuclear microsatellites was conducted for a subset of 1,200 drones to estimate the number of colonies contributing drones to each DCA. Results indicate that DCAs distant to managed European apiaries (>2.8 km) had significantly more African−matriline drones (34.33% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA) than did DCAs close (0.25 km) to managed European apiaries (1.83% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA). Furthermore, nuclear sibship reconstruction demonstrated that the reduction in the proportion of African matriline drones at DCAs near apiaries was not simply an increase in the number of European matriline drones at the DCAs but also the result of fewer African matriline colonies contributing drones to the DCAs. Our data demonstrate that the management of European honey bee colonies can dramatically influence the proportion of drones with African matrilines at nearby drone congregation areas, and would likely decreasing the probability that virgin European queens will mate with African drones at those drone congregation areas. PMID:27518068

  13. Regular dorsal dimples and damaged mites of Varroa destructor in some Iranian honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardestani, Masoud M; Ebadi, Rahim; Tahmasbi, Gholamhossein

    2011-07-01

    The frequency of damaged Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) found on the bottom board of hives of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) has been used as an indicator of the degree of tolerance or resistance of honey bee colonies against mites. However, it is not clear that this measure is adequate. These injuries should be separated from regular dorsal dimples that have a developmental origin. To investigate damage to Varroa mites and regular dorsal dimples, 32 honey bee (A. mellifera) colonies were selected from four Iranian provinces: Isfahan, Markazi, Qazvin, and Tehran. These colonies were part of the National Honey bee Breeding Program that resulted in province-specific races. In April, Varroa mites were collected from heavily infested colonies and used to infest the 32 experimental colonies. In August, 20 of these colonies were selected (five colonies from each province). Adult bees from these colonies were placed in cages and after introducing mites, damaged mites were collected from each cage every day. The average percentage of injured mites ranged from 0.6 to 3.0% in four provinces. The results did not show any statistical differences between the colonies within provinces for injuries to mites, but there were some differences among province-specific lines. Two kinds of injuries to the mites were observed: injuries to legs and pedipalps, and injuries to other parts of the body. There were also some regular dorsal dimples on dorsal idiosoma of the mites that were placed in categories separate from mites damaged by bees. This type of classification helps identifying damage to mites and comparing them with developmental origin symptoms, and may provide criteria for selecting bees tolerant or resistant to this mite.

  14. 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.

  15. Molecular diagnostics of the honey bee parasites Lotmaria passim and Crithidia spp. (Trypanosomatidae) using multiplex PCR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotmaria passim Schwarz is a recently described trypanosome parasite of honey bees in continental United States, Europe, and Japan. We developed a multiplex PCR technique using a PCR primer specific for L. passim to distinguish this species from C. mellificae. We report the presence of L. passim in ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  17. Acute and chronic effects of transportation stress in the honey bee, Apis mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owing to the continued impact of colony collapse disorder (CCD) on the beekeeping industry, numerous stressors including nutrition, pests and pathogens and biocides are being investigated as potential contributors to what appears to be a multi-factorial disorder. Because honey bee hives are transpo...

  18. Direct effect of acaricides on pathogen loads and gene expression levels of honey bee Apis mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effect of using miticides to control varroa mites has long been a concern to the beekeeping industry due to unintended negative impacts on honey bee health. Irregular ontogenesis, immune defense suppression, impairment of normal behavior are some of the described symptoms for the use of pestici...

  19. Viral prevalence increases with regional colony abundance in honey bee drones (Apis mellifera L).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forfert, Nadège; Natsopoulou, Myrsini E; Paxton, Robert J; Moritz, Robin F A

    2016-10-01

    Transmission among colonies is a central feature for the epidemiology of honey bee pathogens. High colony abundance may promote transmission among colonies independently of apiary layout, making colony abundance a potentially important parameter determining pathogen prevalence in populations of honey bees. To test this idea, we sampled male honey bees (drones) from seven distinct drone congregation areas (DCA), and used their genotypes to estimate colony abundance at each site. A multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification assay (MLPA) was used to assess the prevalence of ten viruses, using five common viral targets, in individual drones. There was a significant positive association between colony abundance and number of viral infections. This result highlights the potential importance of high colony abundance for pathogen prevalence, possibly because high population density facilitates pathogen transmission. Pathogen prevalence in drones collected from DCAs may be a useful means of estimating the disease status of a population of honey bees during the mating season, especially for localities with a large number of wild or feral colonies.

  20. International standardization of cage designs and feeding regimes for honey bee in vitro experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    The aim of this study was to improve and standardize cage systems for maintaining adult honey bee 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 (Preve...

  1. Muscarinic regulation of Kenyon cell dendritic arborizations in adult worker honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobrin, Scott E; Herlihy, J Daniel; Robinson, Gene E; Fahrbach, Susan E

    2011-09-01

    The experience of foraging under natural conditions increases the volume of mushroom body neuropil in worker honey bees. A comparable increase in neuropil volume results from treatment of worker honey bees with pilocarpine, an agonist for muscarinic-type cholinergic receptors. A component of the neuropil growth induced by foraging experience is growth of dendrites in the collar region of the calyces. We show here, via analysis of Golgi-impregnated collar Kenyon cells with wedge arborizations, that significant increases in standard measures of dendritic complexity were also found in worker honey bees treated with pilocarpine. This result suggests that signaling via muscarinic-type receptors promotes the increase in Kenyon cell dendritic complexity associated with foraging. Treatment of worker honey bees with scopolamine, a muscarinic inhibitor, inhibited some aspects of dendritic growth. Spine density on the Kenyon cell dendrites varied with sampling location, with the distal portion of the dendritic field having greater total spine density than either the proximal or medial section. This observation may be functionally significant because of the stratified organization of projections from visual centers to the dendritic arborizations of the collar Kenyon cells. Pilocarpine treatment had no effect on the distribution of spines on dendrites of the collar Kenyon cells.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Effects of genotype, environment, and their interactions on honey bee Health in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meixner, Marina D; Kryger, Per; Costa, Cecilia

    2015-01-01

    There are several reports of honey bee populations in Europe which survive without treatment for Varroa. However, when evaluated outside their native area, higher survival and resistance traits were not observed in colonies of a survivor population. Varroa infestation is strongly influenced by en...

  4. Effect of a home-made pollen substitute on honey bee colony development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steen, van der J.J.M.

    2007-01-01

    In 2001 and 2002, studies were conducted on a pollen substitute formulated for easy home preparation. Tests were done with free flying honey bee colonies. In 2001, pollen supply was restricted with pollen traps in 9 experimental colonies. Colonies were then equally divided among three treatments: (1

  5. Predicting honey bee sensitivity based on the conservation of the pesticide molecular initiating event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Concern surrounding the potential adverse impacts of pesticides to honey bee colonies has led to the need for rapid/cost efficient methods for aiding decision making relative to the protection of this important pollinator species. Neonicotinoids represent a class of pesticides th...

  6. Swarm prevention and spring treatment against Varroa destructor in honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelissen, B.; Gerritsen, L.J.M.

    2006-01-01

    In 2004 and 2005 experiments were carried out to test the efficacy and efficiency of Varroa control combined with swarm prevention methods in spring. Honey bee colonies were split in an artificial swarm and a brood carrier. Hereafter the swarms were treated with oxalic acid and the brood carriers ei

  7. 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.

  8. Regulation of caste differentiation in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goewie, E.A.

    1978-01-01

    The nutritional environment of honey-bee larvae affects the juvenile hormone (JH) titre of larval haemolymph and tissues. In this investigation the mechanism for the regulation of caste differentiation has been studied.Chemo- and mechanoreceptors are found on larval mouthparts. Chemoreceptors on max

  9. Spread of Africanized Honey Bees in the United States - Direct Download

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This map layer portrays the spread, by year, of the Africanized honey bee (AHB) in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The data indicate the...

  10. Transformations of the gram-positive honey bee pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae, by electroporation

    Science.gov (United States)

    In this study we developed an electrotransformation method for use with the Gram-positive bacterium Paenibacillus larvae—a deadly pathogen of honey bees. The method is substantially different from the only other electroporation method for a Paenibacillus species found in the literature. Using the ty...

  11. Honey bees are essential for pollination of Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. paradoxa (Sapotaceae) in Burkina Faso

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lassen, Kristin Marie; Nielsen, Lene Rostgaard; Dupont, Yoko Luise;

    2016-01-01

    Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) is an important fruit tree in West African parklands, and its successful pollination is a requirement for fruit production. Size-based pollinator exclusion experiments combined with visual observations showed that presence of honey bees (Apis mellifera jemenitica...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hatjina, Fani; Costa, Cecilia; Büchler, Ralph;

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation of honey bees to their environment is expressed by the annual development pattern of the colony, the balance with food sources and the host - parasite balance, all of which interact among each other with changes in the environment. In the present study, we analyse the development patte...

  13. 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...

  14. Integrated varroa control in honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera carnica) with or without brood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies were conducted in two apiaries in order to assess the comparative efficacy of oxalic acid (OA), formic acid (FA) and Thymovar against varroa mites in honey bee colonies. Treatments were performed using 85% FA and OA consisted of 2.9% oxalic acid dihydrate and 31.9% sugar in water. Consecutiv...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, th...

  16. Varroa destructor, a potential vector of Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus in honey bees, Apis mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although the role of the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, as a vector in transmission of viruses between honey bees is well established, no study has shown that it can similarly transmit Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), a virus that was found to be associated with Colony Collapse Disorder (CC...

  17. Differential gene expression associated with honey bee grooming behavior in response to varroa mites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) grooming behavior is an important mechanism of resistance against the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. This research was conducted to study associations between grooming behavior and the expression of selected immune, neural, detoxification, developmental and health-relat...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Rehan, Sandra M; Anderson, Kirk E

    2013-01-01

    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.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ying Wang; Brent, Colin S.; Erin Fennern; 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...

  3. Nontarget Effects of Aerial Mosquito Adulticiding With Water-Based Unsynergized Pyrethroids on Honey Bees and Other Beneficial Insects in an Agricultural Ecosystem of North Greece

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-01

    1977). Pesticides cause higher losses to bees when applied during day (Byrne and Waller 1990), but late evening spraying when the majority of bees are...Control Assoc. 20: 27Ð35. Erickson, B. J., and E. H. Erickson. 1983. Honey bees and pesticides past. 2. Facts and common sense. Am. Bee J. 123...SHORT COMMUNICATION Nontarget Effects of Aerial Mosquito Adulticiding With Water-Based Unsynergized Pyrethroids on Honey Bees and Other Beneficial

  4. The impact of insecticides to local honey bee colony Apis cerana indica in laboratory condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putra, Ramadhani E.; Permana, Agus D.; Nuriyah, Syayidah

    2014-03-01

    Heavy use of insecticides considered as one of common practice at local farming systems. Even though many Indonesian researchers had stated the possible detrimental effect of insecticide on agriculture environment and biodiversity, researches on this subject had been neglected. Therefore, our purpose in this research is observing the impact of insecticides usage by farmer to non target organisme like local honey bee (Apis cerana indica), which commonly kept in area near agriculture system. This research consisted of field observations out at Ciburial, Dago Pakar, Bandung and laboratory tests at School of Life Sciences and Technology, Institut Teknologi Bandung. The field observations recorded visited agriculture corps and types of pollen carried by bees to the nest while laboratory test recorderd the effect of common insecticide to mortality and behavior of honey bees. Three types of insecticides used in this research were insecticides A with active agent Chlorantraniliprol 50 g/l, insecticide B with active agent Profenofos 500 g/l, and insecticides C with active agent Chlorantraniliprol 100 g/l and λ-cyhalotrin 50g/l. The results show that during one week visit, wild flower, Wedelia montana, visited by most honey bees with average visit 60 honey bees followed by corn, Zea mays, with 21 honey bees. The most pollen carried by foragers was Wedelia montana, Calliandra callothyrsus, and Zea mays. Preference test show that honeybees tend move to flowers without insecticides as the preference to insecticides A was 12.5%, insecticides B was 0%, and insecticides was C 4.2%. Mortality test showed that insecticides A has LD50 value 0.01 μg/μl, insecticide B 0.31 μg/μl, and insecticides C 0.09 μg/μl which much lower than suggested dosage recommended by insecticides producer. This research conclude that the use of insecticide could lower the pollination service provide by honey bee due to low visitation rate to flowers and mortality of foraging bees.

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

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    Seyyedeh Mahbubeh Mousavi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Diabetes is an important disease. This disease is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from perturbation in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. Honey bee venom contains a wide range of polypeptide agents. The principle components of bee venom are mellitin and phospholipase A2. These components increase insulin secretion from the β-cells of pancreas. This study was conducted to show the hypoglycemic effect of honey bee venom on alloxan induced diabetic male rats.Methods: Eighteen adult male rats weighting 200±20 g were placed into 3 randomly groups: control, alloxan monohy­drate-induced diabetic rat and treated group that received honey bee venom daily before their nutrition for four months. Forty eight hours after the last injection, blood was collected from their heart, serum was dissented and blood glucose, insulin, triglyceride and total cholesterol were determined.Results: Glucose serum, triglyceride and total cholesterol level in treated group in comparison with diabetic group was significantly decreased (P< 0.01. On the other hand, using bee venom causes increase in insulin serum in com­parison with diabetic group (P< 0.05.Conclusion: Honeybee venom (apitoxin can be used as therapeutic option to lower blood glucose and lipids in dia­betic rats.

  6. Wings as a new route of exposure to pesticides in the honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poquet, Yannick; Kairo, Guillaume; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Belzunces, Luc P

    2015-09-01

    In pesticide risk assessment, estimating the routes and levels of exposure is critical. For honey bees subjected to pesticide spray, toxicity is assessed by thorax contact to account for all possible contact exposures. In the present study, the authors tested 6 active substances with different hydrophobicity. For the first time, the authors demonstrated that it is possible to induce mortality by pesticide contact with only the wings of the honey bee. The toxicities induced by contact with the wings and thorax were similar, with the wing median lethal dose (LD50) being 0.99 to 2.23 times higher than that of the thorax. This finding demonstrates that the wings represent a relevant route of exposure in the honey bee. In a second approach, the authors estimated the air volume displaced by the wings during 1 beating cycle to be 0.51 ± 0.03 cm(3), which corresponds to a volume of 116.8 ± 5.8 cm(3)  s(-1) at a wing beat frequency of 230 Hz. The authors then tested realistic scenarios of exposure for bees flying through a pesticide cloud at different concentrations. In the worst-case scenario, the dose accumulated during the flight reached 525 ng bee(-1)  s(-1). These results show that the procedure used to assess the risk posed by contact with pesticides could be improved by accounting for wing exposure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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. PMID:25894528

  8. PKG in honey bees: spatial expression, Amfor gene expression, sucrose responsiveness, and division of labor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thamm, Markus; Scheiner, Ricarda

    2014-06-01

    Division of labor is a hallmark of social insects. In honey bees, division of labor involves transition of female workers from one task to the next. The most distinct tasks are nursing (providing food for the brood) and foraging (collecting pollen and nectar). The brain mechanisms regulating this form of behavioral plasticity have largely remained elusive. Recently, it was suggested that division of labor is based on nutrition-associated signaling pathways. One highly conserved gene associated with food-related behavior across species is the foraging gene, which encodes a cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKG). Our analysis of this gene reveals the presence of alternative splicing in the honey bee. One isoform is expressed in the brain. Expression of this isoform is most pronounced in the mushroom bodies, the subesophageal ganglion, and the corpora allata. Division of labor and sucrose responsiveness in honey bees correlate significantly with foraging gene expression in distinct brain regions. Activating PKG selectively increases sucrose responsiveness in nurse bees to the level of foragers, whereas the same treatment does not affect responsiveness to light. These findings demonstrate a direct link between PKG signaling in distinct brain areas and division of labor. Furthermore, they demonstrate that the difference in sensory responsiveness between nurse bees and foragers can be compensated for by activating PKG. Our findings on the function of PKG in regulating specific sensory responsiveness and social organization offer valuable indications for the function of the cGMP/PKG pathway in many other insects and vertebrates.

  9. Insights into the Transcriptional Architecture of Behavioral Plasticity in the Honey Bee Apis mellifera

    KAUST Repository

    Khamis, Abdullah M.

    2015-06-15

    Honey bee colonies exhibit an age-related division of labor, with worker bees performing discrete sets of behaviors throughout their lifespan. These behavioral states are associated with distinct brain transcriptomic states, yet little is known about the regulatory mechanisms governing them. We used CAGEscan (a variant of the Cap Analysis of Gene Expression technique) for the first time to characterize the promoter regions of differentially expressed brain genes during two behavioral states (brood care (aka “nursing”) and foraging) and identified transcription factors (TFs) that may govern their expression. More than half of the differentially expressed TFs were associated with motifs enriched in the promoter regions of differentially expressed genes (DEGs), suggesting they are regulators of behavioral state. Strikingly, five TFs (nf-kb, egr, pax6, hairy, and clockwork orange) were predicted to co-regulate nearly half of the genes that were upregulated in foragers. Finally, differences in alternative TSS usage between nurses and foragers were detected upstream of 646 genes, whose functional analysis revealed enrichment for Gene Ontology terms associated with neural function and plasticity. This demonstrates for the first time that alternative TSSs are associated with stable differences in behavior, suggesting they may play a role in organizing behavioral state.

  10. Nectar Sources for the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera adansonii Revealed by Pollen Content

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olusola ADEKANMBI

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Nectar sources for the African honeybee Apis mellifera adansonii were investigated. The work involved analysis of three honey samples bought from open markets in Lagos, Nigeria. The pollen sediment of the honeys was acetolysed, mounted on slides and pollen types were identified and counted to determine the relative frequency of the different pollen types in the honey samples. The proportion of pollen from each of the honey samples varied from 196 in sample A, 280 in sample B to 238 in sample C. The most abundant taxa identified from the honey samples were Tridax procumbens and Elaeis guineensis belonging to the families Asteraceae and Palmae. The highest proportion of Palm pollen grain was recorded in sample B with one hundred and ten (110 pollen grains per slide. The pollen grains in the families Palmae and Asteraceae are of great importance to the bees for honey production, this can be seen in the abundance displayed in sample B and C. Other pollen taxa recovered belong to the families Mimosaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Sapotaceae and Anacardiaceae providing a clue on the ecological origin of the pollen grains in the honey sample. Pollen analysis of honey proved to be useful in deciphering nectar sources of Apis mellifera adansonii.

  11. 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.

  12. A Europe-wide experiment for assessing the impact of genotype-environment interactions on the vitality and performance of honey bee colonies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Costa, Cecilia; Büchler, Ralph; Berg, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    An international experiment to estimate the importance of genotype-environment interactions on vitality and performance of honey bees and on colony losses was run between July 2009 and March 2012. Altogether 621 bee colonies, involving 16 different genetic origins of European honey bees, were tes...

  13. In-vitro infection of pupae with Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus suggests variation for susceptibility and disturbance of transcriptional homeostasis in honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The ongoing decline of honey bee health worldwide is a serious economic and ecological concern. One major contributor to the decline are pathogens, including several honey bee viruses. However, information is limited on the biology of bee viruses and molecular interactions with their hosts. An exper...

  14. Utilization of bee (Apis mellifera) honey for vinegar production at laboratory scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilha, E C; Sant'Anna, E; Torres, R C; Porto, A C; Meinert, E M

    2000-01-01

    Vinegar was obtained from bee (Apis mellifera) honey. The wort was prepared by diluting honey in distilled water to 21% total solids and by adding ammonium sulfate and ammonium phosphate. Saccharomyces cerevisiae was inoculated to the wort (4 g/L). Ethanol production was carried out at room temperature during 84 hours. In this study, 1 Kg of honey yielded about 5 L of wine, containing 8% alcohol (v/v), from a wort with 17.11% total sugars (w/v). The efficiency of the alcoholic fermentation was 81.34%. The acetic fermentation with an inoculum of mixed acetic microorganisms was performed by quick process in a 15 L vertical fermenter. This resulted in a vinegar containing up to 9% of acetic acid (w/v) and about 1% of alcohol (v/v). The acetic fermentation yielded between 91.24 and 97.21%. Approximately 5 L of honey vinegar with 9% acetic acid (w/v) were obtained from 1 Kg of bee honey. All attributes of honey vinegar showed acceptability index over 70%: 95.37% for appearance, 94.81% for color, 79.07% for odor and 75.56% for flavor, indicating it would show good consumer acceptability.

  15. In vivo activity assessment of a "honey-bee pollen mix" formulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Küpeli Akkol, Esra; Orhan, Didem Deliorman; Gürbüz, Ilhan; Yesilada, Erdem

    2010-03-01

    Honey-bee pollen mix (HBM) formulation is claimed to be effective for the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, cancers, peptic ulcers, colitis, various types of infections including hepatitis B, and rheumatism by the herb dealers in northeast Turkey. In the present study, in vivo antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective and antioxidant effects of pure honey and HBM formulation were evaluated comparatively. HBM did not show any significant gastroprotective activity in a single administration at 250 mg/kg dose, whereas a weak activity was observed after three days of successive administration at 500 mg/kg dose. On the other hand, HBM displayed significant antinociceptive (p <0.01) and anti-inflammatory (p <0.01) activities at 500 mg/kg dose orally without inducing any apparent acute toxicity or gastric damage. HBM was also shown to possess potent antilipidperoxidant activity (p <0.01) at 500 mg/kg dose against acetaminophen-induced liver necrosis model in mice. On the other hand, pure honey did not exert any remarkable antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and gastroprotective activity, but a potent antilipidperoxidant activity (p <0.01) was determined. Results have clearly proved that mixing pure honey with bee pollen significantly increased the healing potential of honey and provided additional support for its traditional use. Total phenolic and flavonoid contents of HBM were found to be 145 and 59.3 mg/100 g of honey, which were estimated as gallic acid and quercetin equivalents, respectively.

  16. In vitro infection of pupae with Israeli acute paralysis virus suggests disturbance of transcriptional homeostasis in honey bees (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humberto F Boncristiani

    Full Text Available The ongoing decline of honey bee health worldwide is a serious economic and ecological concern. One major contributor to the decline are pathogens, including several honey bee viruses. However, information is limited on the biology of bee viruses and molecular interactions with their hosts. An experimental protocol to test these systems was developed, using injections of Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV into honey bee pupae reared ex-situ under laboratory conditions. The infected pupae developed pronounced but variable patterns of disease. Symptoms varied from complete cessation of development with no visual evidence of disease to rapid darkening of a part or the entire body. Considerable differences in IAPV titer dynamics were observed, suggesting significant variation in resistance to IAPV among and possibly within honey bee colonies. Thus, selective breeding for virus resistance should be possible. Gene expression analyses of three separate experiments suggest IAPV disruption of transcriptional homeostasis of several fundamental cellular functions, including an up-regulation of the ribosomal biogenesis pathway. These results provide first insights into the mechanisms of IAPV pathogenicity. They mirror a transcriptional survey of honey bees afflicted with Colony Collapse Disorder and thus support the hypothesis that viruses play a critical role in declining honey bee health.

  17. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene family of the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Andrew K; Raymond-Delpech, Valerie; Thany, Steeve H; Gauthier, Monique; Sattelle, David B

    2006-11-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast cholinergic synaptic transmission and play roles in many cognitive processes. They are under intense research as potential targets of drugs used to treat neurodegenerative diseases and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Invertebrate nAChRs are targets of anthelmintics as well as a major group of insecticides, the neonicotinoids. The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is one of the most beneficial insects worldwide, playing an important role in crop pollination, and is also a valuable model system for studies on social interaction, sensory processing, learning, and memory. We have used the A. mellifera genome information to characterize the complete honey bee nAChR gene family. Comparison with the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae shows that the honey bee possesses the largest family of insect nAChR subunits to date (11 members). As with Drosophila and Anopheles, alternative splicing of conserved exons increases receptor diversity. Also, we show that in one honey bee nAChR subunit, six adenosine residues are targeted for RNA A-to-I editing, two of which are evolutionarily conserved in Drosophila melanogaster and Heliothis virescens orthologs, and that the extent of editing increases as the honey bee lifecycle progresses, serving to maximize receptor diversity at the adult stage. These findings on Apis mellifera enhance our understanding of nAChR functional genomics and provide a useful basis for the development of improved insecticides that spare a major beneficial insect species.

  18. Gene expression in honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae exposed to pesticides and Varroa mites (Varroa destructor).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregorc, Aleš; Evans, Jay D; Scharf, Mike; Ellis, James D

    2012-08-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae reared in vitro were exposed to one of nine pesticides and/or were challenged with the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor. Total RNA was extracted from individual larvae and first strand cDNAs were generated. Gene-expression changes in larvae were measured using quantitative PCR (qPCR) targeting transcripts for pathogens and genes involved in physiological processes, bee health, immunity, and/or xenobiotic detoxification. Transcript levels for Peptidoglycan Recognition Protein (PGRPSC), a pathogen recognition gene, increased in larvae exposed to Varroa mites (Ppesticide treated larvae. As expected, Varroa-parasitized brood had higher transcripts of Deformed Wing Virus than did control larvae (Ppesticides and Varroa parasitism on honey bee larval gene expression were demonstrated. Interactions between larval treatments and gene expression for the targeted genes are discussed.

  19. In-vivo two-photon imaging of the honey bee antennal lobe

    CERN Document Server

    Haase, Albrecht; Trona, Federica; Anfora, Gianfranco; Vallortigara, Giorgio; Antolini, Renzo; Vinegoni, Claudio

    2010-01-01

    Due to the honey bee's importance as a simple neural model, there is a great need for new functional imaging modalities. Herein we report on the use of two-photon microscopy for in-vivo functional and morphological imaging of the honey bee's olfactory system focusing on its primary centers, the antennal lobes (ALs). Our imaging platform allows for simultaneously obtaining both morphological measurements of the AL and in-vivo calcium recording of neural activities. By applying external odor stimuli to the bee's antennas, we were able to record the characteristic odor response maps. Compared to previous works where conventional fluorescence microscopy is used, our approach offers all the typical advantages of multi-photon imaging, providing substantial enhancement in both spatial and temporal resolutions while minimizing photo-damages and autofluorescence contribution with a four-fold improvement in the functional signal. Moreover, the multi-photon associated extended penetration depth allows for functional ima...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urlacher, Elodie; Tarr, Ingrid S; 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Evaluation of the distribution and impacts of parasites, pathogens, and pesticides on honey bee (Apis mellifera populations in East Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elliud Muli

    Full Text Available In East Africa, honey bees (Apis mellifera provide critical pollination services and income for small-holder farmers and rural families. While honey bee populations in North America and Europe are in decline, little is known about the status of honey bee populations in Africa. We initiated a nationwide survey encompassing 24 locations across Kenya in 2010 to evaluate the numbers and sizes of honey bee colonies, assess the presence of parasites (Varroa mites and Nosema microsporidia and viruses, identify and quantify pesticide contaminants in hives, and assay for levels of hygienic behavior. Varroa mites were present throughout Kenya, except in the remote north. Levels of Varroa were positively correlated with elevation, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in honey bee host-parasite interactions. Levels of Varroa were negatively correlated with levels of hygienic behavior: however, while Varroa infestation dramatically reduces honey bee colony survival in the US and Europe, in Kenya Varroa presence alone does not appear to impact colony size. Nosema apis was found at three sites along the coast and one interior site. Only a small number of pesticides at low concentrations were found. Of the seven common US/European honey bee viruses, only three were identified but, like Varroa, were absent from northern Kenya. The number of viruses present was positively correlated with Varroa levels, but was not correlated with colony size or hygienic behavior. Our results suggest that Varroa, the three viruses, and Nosema have been relatively recently introduced into Kenya, but these factors do not yet appear to be impacting Kenyan bee populations. Thus chemical control for Varroa and Nosema are not necessary for Kenyan bees at this time. This study provides baseline data for future analyses of the possible mechanisms underlying resistance to and the long-term impacts of these factors on African bee populations.

  3. Evaluation of the distribution and impacts of parasites, pathogens, and pesticides on honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations in East Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muli, Elliud; Patch, Harland; Frazier, Maryann; Frazier, James; Torto, Baldwyn; Baumgarten, Tracey; Kilonzo, Joseph; Kimani, James Ng'ang'a; Mumoki, Fiona; Masiga, Daniel; Tumlinson, James; Grozinger, Christina

    2014-01-01

    In East Africa, honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide critical pollination services and income for small-holder farmers and rural families. While honey bee populations in North America and Europe are in decline, little is known about the status of honey bee populations in Africa. We initiated a nationwide survey encompassing 24 locations across Kenya in 2010 to evaluate the numbers and sizes of honey bee colonies, assess the presence of parasites (Varroa mites and Nosema microsporidia) and viruses, identify and quantify pesticide contaminants in hives, and assay for levels of hygienic behavior. Varroa mites were present throughout Kenya, except in the remote north. Levels of Varroa were positively correlated with elevation, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in honey bee host-parasite interactions. Levels of Varroa were negatively correlated with levels of hygienic behavior: however, while Varroa infestation dramatically reduces honey bee colony survival in the US and Europe, in Kenya Varroa presence alone does not appear to impact colony size. Nosema apis was found at three sites along the coast and one interior site. Only a small number of pesticides at low concentrations were found. Of the seven common US/European honey bee viruses, only three were identified but, like Varroa, were absent from northern Kenya. The number of viruses present was positively correlated with Varroa levels, but was not correlated with colony size or hygienic behavior. Our results suggest that Varroa, the three viruses, and Nosema have been relatively recently introduced into Kenya, but these factors do not yet appear to be impacting Kenyan bee populations. Thus chemical control for Varroa and Nosema are not necessary for Kenyan bees at this time. This study provides baseline data for future analyses of the possible mechanisms underlying resistance to and the long-term impacts of these factors on African bee populations.

  4. Researches on the Influence of Some Fito-Aditives Use in the Stimulation Feeding of Honey Bee Collonies

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    Silvia Patruica

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the results of supplemental feedings use applied to honey bee colonies in spring. The experiments were carried out in Hărău locality, Hunedoara County, between April 10th 2012 and May 1st 2012 (Romania, on 30 Apis meliffera honey bee families divided into three experimental variants. To ensure a best development and to improve the honey bee colonies state of health, they were given a stimulation feeding containing sugar syrup with medicinal plants supplements (underbrush, horse radish and ginger. During the experimental period, there were being studied the quantity of broods at the beginning of the experiment, and then every week for three weeks. At the end of the experiment, the results showed that the honey bee colonies fed with sugar syrup containing underbrush extract associated with horse radish and ginger extracts registered with 5.01-9.64% more broods compared to the control group only fed with sugar syrup.

  5. Gut pathology and responses to the microsporidium Nosema ceranae in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

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    Claudia Dussaubat

    Full Text Available The microsporidium Nosema ceranae is a newly prevalent parasite of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera. Although this parasite is presently spreading across the world into its novel host, the mechanisms by it which affects the bees and how bees respond are not well understood. We therefore performed an extensive characterization of the parasite effects at the molecular level by using genetic and biochemical tools. The transcriptome modifications at the midgut level were characterized seven days post-infection with tiling microarrays. Then we tested the bee midgut response to infection by measuring activity of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes (superoxide dismutases, glutathione peroxidases, glutathione reductase, and glutathione-S-transferase. At the gene-expression level, the bee midgut responded to N. ceranae infection by an increase in oxidative stress concurrent with the generation of antioxidant enzymes, defense and protective response specifically observed in the gut of mammals and insects. However, at the enzymatic level, the protective response was not confirmed, with only glutathione-S-transferase exhibiting a higher activity in infected bees. The oxidative stress was associated with a higher transcription of sugar transporter in the gut. Finally, a dramatic effect of the microsporidia infection was the inhibition of genes involved in the homeostasis and renewal of intestinal tissues (Wnt signaling pathway, a phenomenon that was confirmed at the histological level. This tissue degeneration and prevention of gut epithelium renewal may explain early bee death. In conclusion, our integrated approach not only gives new insights into the pathological effects of N. ceranae and the bee gut response, but also demonstrate that the honey bee gut is an interesting model system for studying host defense responses.

  6. The innate immune and systemic response in honey bees to a bacterial pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae

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    Foster Leonard J

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is a major paradox in our understanding of honey bee immunity: the high population density in a bee colony implies a high rate of disease transmission among individuals, yet bees are predicted to express only two-thirds as many immunity genes as solitary insects, e.g., mosquito or fruit fly. This suggests that the immune response in bees is subdued in favor of social immunity, yet some specific immune factors are up-regulated in response to infection. To explore the response to infection more broadly, we employ mass spectrometry-based proteomics in a quantitative analysis of honey bee larvae infected with the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. Newly-eclosed bee larvae, in the second stage of their life cycle, are susceptible to this infection, but become progressively more resistant with age. We used this host-pathogen system to probe not only the role of the immune system in responding to a highly evolved infection, but also what other mechanisms might be employed in response to infection. Results Using quantitative proteomics, we compared the hemolymph (insect blood of five-day old healthy and infected honey bee larvae and found a strong up-regulation of some metabolic enzymes and chaperones, while royal jelly (food and energy storage proteins were down-regulated. We also observed increased levels of the immune factors prophenoloxidase (proPO, lysozyme and the antimicrobial peptide hymenoptaecin. Furthermore, mass spectrometry evidence suggests that healthy larvae have significant levels of catalytically inactive proPO in the hemolymph that is proteolytically activated upon infection. Phenoloxidase (PO enzyme activity was undetectable in one or two-day-old larvae and increased dramatically thereafter, paralleling very closely the age-related ability of larvae to resist infection. Conclusion We propose a model for the host response to infection where energy stores and metabolic enzymes are regulated in concert with direct

  7. Molecular approaches to the analysis of deformed wing virus replication and pathogenesis in the honey bee, Apis mellifera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pettis Jeffery S

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background For years, the understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms that underlie honey bee viral diseases has been severely hindered because of the lack of a cell culture system for virus propagation. As a result, it is very imperative to develop new methods that would permit the in vitro pathogenesis study of honey bee viruses. The identification of virus replication is an important step towards the understanding of the pathogenesis process of viruses in their respective hosts. In the present study, we developed a strand-specific RT-PCR-based method for analysis of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV replication in honey bees and in honey bee parasitic mites, Varroa Destructor. Results The results shows that the method developed in our study allows reliable identification of the virus replication and solves the problem of falsely-primed cDNA amplifications that commonly exists in the current system. Using TaqMan real-time quantitative RT-PCR incorporated with biotinylated primers and magnetic beads purification step, we characterized the replication and tissue tropism of DWV infection in honey bees. We provide evidence for DWV replication in the tissues of wings, head, thorax, legs, hemolymph, and gut of honey bees and also in Varroa mites. Conclusion The strategy reported in the present study forms a model system for studying bee virus replication, pathogenesis and immunity. This study should be a significant contribution to the goal of achieving a better understanding of virus pathogenesis in honey bees and to the design of appropriate control measures for bee populations at risk to virus infections.

  8. Molecular and phylogenetic characterization of honey bee viruses, Nosema microsporidia, protozoan parasites, and parasitic mites in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Bu; Peng, Guangda; Li, Tianbang; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2013-02-01

    China has the largest number of managed honey bee colonies, which produce the highest quantity of honey and royal jelly in the world; however, the presence of honey bee pathogens and parasites has never been rigorously identified in Chinese apiaries. We thus conducted a molecular survey of honey bee RNA viruses, Nosema microsporidia, protozoan parasites, and tracheal mites associated with nonnative Apis mellifera ligustica and native Apis cerana cerana colonies in China. We found the presence of black queen cell virus (BQCV), chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), deformed wing virus (DWV), Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), and sacbrood virus (SBV), but not that of acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) or Kashmir bee virus (KBV). DWV was the most prevalent in the tested samples. Phylogenies of Chinese viral isolates demonstrated that genetically heterogeneous populations of BQCV, CBPV, DWV, and A. cerana-infecting SBV, and relatively homogenous populations of IAPV and A. meliifera-infecting new strain of SBV with single origins, are spread in Chinese apiaries. Similar to previous observations in many countries, Nosema ceranae, but not Nosema apis, was prevalent in the tested samples. Crithidia mellificae, but not Apicystis bombi was found in five samples, including one A. c. cerana colony, demonstrating that C. mellificae is capable of infecting multiple honey bee species. Based on kinetoplast-encoded cytochrome b sequences, the C. mellificae isolate from A. c. cerana represents a novel haplotype with 19 nucleotide differences from the Chinese and Japanese isolates from A. m. ligustica. This suggests that A. c. cerana is the native host for this specific haplotype. The tracheal mite, Acarapis woodi, was detected in one A. m. ligustica colony. Our results demonstrate that honey bee RNA viruses, N. ceranae, C. mellificae, and tracheal mites are present in Chinese apiaries, and some might be originated from native Asian honey bees.

  9. Evidence of immunocompetence reduction induced by cadmium exposure in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polykretis, P; Delfino, G; Petrocelli, I; Cervo, R; Tanteri, G; Montori, G; Perito, B; Branca, J J V; Morucci, G; Gulisano, M

    2016-11-01

    In the last decades a dramatic loss of Apis mellifera hives has been reported in both Europe and USA. Research in this field is oriented towards identifying a synergy of contributing factors, i.e. pathogens, pesticides, habitat loss and pollution to the weakening of the hive. Cadmium (Cd) is a hazardous anthropogenic pollutant whose effects are proving to be increasingly lethal. Among the multiple damages related to Cd contamination, some studies report that it causes immunosuppression in various animal species. The aim of this paper is to determine whether contamination by Cd, may have a similar effect on the honey bees' immunocompetence. Our results, obtained by immune challenge experiments and confirmed by structural and ultrastructural observations show that such metal causes a reduction in immunocompetence in 3 days Cd exposed bees. As further evidence of honey bee response to Cd treatment, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (X-EDS) has revealed the presence of zinc (Zn) in peculiar electron-dense granules in fat body cells. Zn is a characteristic component of metallothioneins (MTs), which are usually synthesized as anti-oxidant and scavenger tools against Cd contamination. Our findings suggest that honey bee colonies may have a weakened immune system in Cd polluted areas, resulting in a decreased ability in dealing with pathogens.

  10. Nutritional limitation and resistance to opportunistic Aspergillus parasites in honey bee larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Kirsten; Fazio, Géraldine; Jensen, Annette B; Hughes, William O H

    2012-09-15

    Honey bees are threatened by land use changes which reduce the availability and diversity of pollen and nectar resources. There is concern that poor nutrition may be involved in recent population declines, either directly or due to indirect effects on immunocompetence. The larval stage is likely to be the most vulnerable to a poor diet, but the effects of larval nutrition on the disease susceptibility of bees are not well known. In this study we used laboratory-reared honey bee larvae to investigate the effects of diet quality on disease susceptibility to the opportunistic fungal parasites Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus phoenicis and A. fumigatus. Larvae fed on a nutritionally poor diet were found to be significantly more susceptible to A. fumigatus. Larval resistance to A. fumigatus was enhanced by feeding with a diet supplemented with either dandelion or polyfloral pollens. This indicates that dandelion and polyfloral pollens contain elements that enhance resistance to this fungal disease, illustrating an interaction between nutrition and parasitism and emphasising the benefit of diverse floral resources in the environment to maintain honey bee health.

  11. Differential expression of hypoxia pathway genes in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) caste development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azevedo, Sergio Vicente; Caranton, Omar Arvey Martinez; de Oliveira, Tatiane Lippi; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2011-01-01

    Diphenism in social bees is essentially contingent on nutrient-induced cellular and systemic physiological responses resulting in divergent gene expression patterns. Analyses of juvenile hormone (JH) titers and functional genomics assays of the insulin-insulin-like signaling (IIS) pathway and its associated branch, target-of-rapamycin (TOR), revealed systemic responses underlying honey bee (Apis mellifera) caste development. Nevertheless, little attention has been paid to cellular metabolic responses. Following up earlier investigations showing major caste differences in oxidative metabolism and mitochondrial physiology, we herein identified honey bee homologs of hypoxia signaling factors, HIFα/Sima, HIFβ/Tango and PHD/Fatiga and we investigated their transcript levels throughout critical stages of larval development. Amsima, Amtango and Amfatiga showed correlated transcriptional activity, with two peaks of occurring in both queens and workers, the first one shortly after the last larval molt and the second during the cocoon-spinning phase. Transcript levels for the three genes were consistently higher in workers. As there is no evidence for major microenvironmental differences in oxygen levels within the brood nest area, this appears to be an inherent caste character. Quantitative PCR analyses on worker brain, ovary, and leg imaginal discs showed that these tissues differ in transcript levels. Being a highly conserved pathway and linked to IIS/TOR, the hypoxia gene expression pattern seen in honey bee larvae denotes that the hypoxia pathway has undergone a transformation, at least during larval development, from a response to environmental oxygen concentrations to an endogenous regulatory factor in the diphenic development of honey bee larvae.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Ping Chen

    2014-07-01

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

  13. Does the Waggle Dance Help Honey Bees to Forage at Greater Distances than Expected for their Body Size?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francis L.W. Ratnieks

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available A honey bee colony has been likened to an oil company. Some members of the company or colony prospect for valuable liquid resources. When these are discovered other group members can be recruited to exploit the resource. The recruitment of nestmates to a specific location where there is a patch of flowers should change the economics of scouting, that is, the search for new resource patches. In particular, communication is predicted to make scouting at longer distances worthwhile because a profitable resource patch, once discovered, will enhance the foraging not only of the discoverer but also of nestmates that can be directed to the patch. By virtue of having large colonies and dance communication, honey bees are predicted to be able to profitably scout, and hence forage, at greater distances from the nest than either solitary bees or social bees without communication. We test this hypothesis by first examining existing data on foraging distance to evaluate whether honey bees do indeed forage at greater distances than other bees given their body size. Second, we present a simple cost-benefit analysis of scouting which indicates that communication causes longer range scouting to be more profitable. Overall, our analyses are supportive, but not conclusive, that honey bees forage further than would be expected given their size and that the waggle dance is a cause of the honey bee’s exceptional foraging range.

  14. Survey of the Health Status of Some Honey Bee Queens in Italy

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    Porporato Marco

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available While observing: non-acceptance, frequent replacements, and reduced performance in honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica queens, we were induced to analyse a certain number of queens to detect the causes. For this purpose, 99 newly mated queens were bought from 20 Italian queen breeders. In addition, 109 older or at-the-end-of-their-career queens, that showed poor productivity, were collected from honey production hives throughout Italy. All the queens were dissected to check the status of their reproductive system and/or the presence of various anomalies and diseases.

  15. Volatile organic compounds of Thai honeys produced from several floral sources by different honey bee species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattamayutanon, Praetinee; Angeli, Sergio; Thakeow, Prodpran; Abraham, John; Disayathanoowat, Terd; Chantawannakul, Panuwan

    2017-01-01

    The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of four monofloral and one multifloral of Thai honeys produced by Apis cerana, Apis dorsata and Apis mellifera were analyzed by headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) followed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The floral sources were longan, sunflower, coffee, wild flowers (wild) and lychee. Honey originating from longan had more VOCs than all other floral sources. Sunflower honey had the least numbers of VOCs. cis-Linalool oxide, trans-linalool oxide, ho-trienol, and furan-2,5-dicarbaldehyde were present in all the honeys studied, independent of their floral origin. Interestingly, 2-phenylacetaldehyde was detected in all honey sample except longan honey produced by A. cerana. Thirty-two VOCs were identified as possible floral markers. After validating differences in honey volatiles from different floral sources and honeybee species, the results suggest that differences in quality and quantity of honey volatiles are influenced by both floral source and honeybee species. The group of honey volatiles detected from A. cerana was completely different from those of A. mellifera and A. dorsata. VOCs could therefore be applied as chemical markers of honeys and may reflect preferences of shared floral sources amongst different honeybee species. PMID:28192487

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher A Mullin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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

  17. Interactive effect of reduced pollen availability and Varroa destructor infestation limits growth and protein content of young honey bees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    Varroa destructor in combination with one or more stressors, such as low food availability or chemical exposure, is considered to be one of the main causes for honey bee colony losses. We examined the inter-active effect of pollen availability on the protein content and body weight of young bees tha

  18. Selection of VSH-derived Pol-line honey bees and evaluation of their Varroa-resistance characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, that have high expression of the trait “Varroa sensitive hygiene” (VSH) have good resistance to Varroa destructor. We selected “Pol-line” bees by outcrossing VSH queens in three U.S. commercial beekeeping companies annually during 2008-2014 and selecting colonies with the...

  19. Glucose oxidase production does not increase after colony infection: Testing its role in honey bee social immunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bees rely on a variety of defense mechanisms to reduce disease infection and spread throughout the colony. Hygienic behavior, resin collection, and antimicrobial peptide production are some examples of defenses that bees use against parasites (Evans & Spivak, 2010 J Invertebr Pathol 103:S62). ...

  20. A descriptive study of the prevalence of parasites and pathogens in Chinese black honey bees, Apis mellifera mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    There has been increasing concern over declines in honey bee colony health that is negatively affected by multiple factors with parasitic mites Varroa destructor, which remains the single most detrimental one. The identification and selective breeding of resistant stock, especially bees resistant...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Dopamine and octopamine influence avoidance learning of honey bees in a place preference assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Maitreyi; Giannoni Guzmán, Manuel; Morales-Matos, Carla; Del Valle Díaz, Rafael Alejandro; Abramson, Charles I; Giray, Tugrul

    2011-01-01

    Biogenic amines are widely characterized in pathways evaluating reward and punishment, resulting in appropriate aversive or appetitive responses of vertebrates and invertebrates. We utilized the honey bee model and a newly developed spatial avoidance conditioning assay to probe effects of biogenic amines octopamine (OA) and dopamine (DA) on avoidance learning. In this new protocol non-harnessed bees associate a spatial color cue with mild electric shock punishment. After a number of experiences with color and shock the bees no longer enter the compartment associated with punishment. Intrinsic aspects of avoidance conditioning are associated with natural behavior of bees such as punishment (lack of food, explosive pollination mechanisms, danger of predation, heat, etc.) and their association to floral traits or other spatial cues during foraging. The results show that DA reduces the punishment received whereas octopamine OA increases the punishment received. These effects are dose-dependent and specific to the acquisition phase of training. The effects during acquisition are specific as shown in experiments using the antagonists Pimozide and Mianserin for DA and OA receptors, respectively. This study demonstrates the integrative role of biogenic amines in aversive learning in the honey bee as modeled in a novel non-appetitive avoidance learning assay.

  3. Dopamine and octopamine influence avoidance learning of honey bees in a place preference assay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maitreyi Agarwal

    Full Text Available Biogenic amines are widely characterized in pathways evaluating reward and punishment, resulting in appropriate aversive or appetitive responses of vertebrates and invertebrates. We utilized the honey bee model and a newly developed spatial avoidance conditioning assay to probe effects of biogenic amines octopamine (OA and dopamine (DA on avoidance learning. In this new protocol non-harnessed bees associate a spatial color cue with mild electric shock punishment. After a number of experiences with color and shock the bees no longer enter the compartment associated with punishment. Intrinsic aspects of avoidance conditioning are associated with natural behavior of bees such as punishment (lack of food, explosive pollination mechanisms, danger of predation, heat, etc. and their association to floral traits or other spatial cues during foraging. The results show that DA reduces the punishment received whereas octopamine OA increases the punishment received. These effects are dose-dependent and specific to the acquisition phase of training. The effects during acquisition are specific as shown in experiments using the antagonists Pimozide and Mianserin for DA and OA receptors, respectively. This study demonstrates the integrative role of biogenic amines in aversive learning in the honey bee as modeled in a novel non-appetitive avoidance learning assay.

  4. 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.

  5. Annotated expressed sequence tags and cDNA microarrays for studies of brain and behavior in the honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfield, Charles W; Band, Mark R; Bonaldo, Maria F; Kumar, Charu G; Liu, Lei; Pardinas, Jose R; Robertson, Hugh M; Soares, M Bento; Robinson, Gene E

    2002-04-01

    To accelerate the molecular analysis of behavior in the honey bee (Apis mellifera), we created expressed sequence tag (EST) and cDNA microarray resources for the bee brain. Over 20,000 cDNA clones were partially sequenced from a normalized (and subsequently subtracted) library generated from adult A. mellifera brains. These sequences were processed to identify 15,311 high-quality ESTs representing 8912 putative transcripts. Putative transcripts were functionally annotated (using the Gene Ontology classification system) based on matching gene sequences in Drosophila melanogaster. The brain ESTs represent a broad range of molecular functions and biological processes, with neurobiological classifications particularly well represented. Roughly half of Drosophila genes currently implicated in synaptic transmission and/or behavior are represented in the Apis EST set. Of Apis sequences with open reading frames of at least 450 bp, 24% are highly diverged with no matches to known protein sequences. Additionally, over 100 Apis transcript sequences conserved with other organisms appear to have been lost from the Drosophila genome. DNA microarrays were fabricated with over 7000 EST cDNA clones putatively representing different transcripts. Using probe derived from single bee brain mRNA, microarrays detected gene expression for 90% of Apis cDNAs two standard deviations greater than exogenous control cDNAs. [The sequence data described in this paper have been submitted to Genbank data library under accession nos. BI502708-BI517278. The sequences are also available at http://titan.biotec.uiuc.edu/bee/honeybee_project.htm.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    Discovery of novel fungal secreted proteins not only shed light on the biology of the secreting organism it may also lead to industrial exploitation. We expect that this is especially true for investigating the interaction between two organisms, which largely relies on secreted protein signals....... Here we investigate the interaction between the honey bee and its fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis, the causative agent of chalkbrood, by identifying enzymes secreted by bee and fungus during different timepoints of infection. Upon testing A. apis-infected larvae for enzyme activity, the larvae...

  7. Safety assessment of sugar dusting treatments by analysis of hygienic behavior in honey bee colonies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stevanovic Jevrosima

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The hygienic behavior in honey bees is a dominant natural defense mechanism against brood diseases. In this study, the influence of sugar dusting treatments on hygienic behavior was evaluated in 44 strong honey bee colonies. Three doses of pulverized sugar, 20, 30 and 40 g, each applied at three-, seven- and fourteen-day intervals were tested. The percentage of cleaned cells (PCC in the total number of those with pin-killed brood served as a measure of the hygienic potential. The effect was dependent on the frequency of treatments: all doses applied every third and seventh day significantly (p<0.001 decreased the PCC in comparison with the untreated control colonies. Nevertheless, sugar did not threaten the hygienic potential, as PPC values remained above 94% following all treatments. Thus, it can be concluded that the tested sugar treatments are safe and can be justifiably implemented into integrated pest management strategies to control Varroa destructor.

  8. The Effects of Diesel Exhaust Pollution on Floral Volatiles and the Consequences for Honey Bee Olfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lusebrink, Inka; Girling, Robbie D; Farthing, Emily; Newman, Tracey A; Jackson, Chris W; Poppy, Guy M

    2015-10-01

    There is growing evidence of a substantial decline in pollinators within Europe and North America, most likely caused by multiple factors such as diseases, poor nutrition, habitat loss, insecticides, and environmental pollution. Diesel exhaust could be a contributing factor to this decline, since we found that diesel exhaust rapidly degrades floral volatiles, which honey bees require for flower recognition. In this study, we exposed eight of the most common floral volatiles to diesel exhaust in order to investigate whether it can affect volatile mediated plant-pollinator interaction. Exposure to diesel exhaust altered the blend of common flower volatiles significantly: myrcene was considerably reduced, β-ocimene became undetectable, and β-caryophyllene was transformed into its cis-isomer isocaryophyllene. Proboscis extension response (PER) assays showed that the alterations of the blend reduced the ability of honey bees to recognize it. The chemically reactive nitrogen oxides fraction of diesel exhaust gas was identified as capable of causing degradation of floral volatiles.

  9. Multi-Drug Resistance Transporters and a Mechanism-Based Strategy for Assessing Risks of Pesticide Combinations to Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guseman, Alex J; Miller, Kaliah; Kunkle, Grace; Dively, Galen P; Pettis, Jeffrey S; Evans, Jay D; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Hawthorne, David J

    2016-01-01

    Annual losses of honey bee colonies remain high and pesticide exposure is one possible cause. Dangerous combinations of pesticides, plant-produced compounds and antibiotics added to hives may cause or contribute to losses, but it is very difficult to test the many combinations of those compounds that bees encounter. We propose a mechanism-based strategy for simplifying the assessment of combinations of compounds, focusing here on compounds that interact with xenobiotic handling ABC transporters. We evaluate the use of ivermectin as a model substrate for these transporters. Compounds that increase sensitivity of bees to ivermectin may be inhibiting key transporters. We show that several compounds commonly encountered by honey bees (fumagillin, Pristine, quercetin) significantly increased honey bee mortality due to ivermectin and significantly reduced the LC50 of ivermectin suggesting that they may interfere with transporter function. These inhibitors also significantly increased honey bees sensitivity to the neonicotinoid insecticide acetamiprid. This mechanism-based strategy may dramatically reduce the number of tests needed to assess the possibility of adverse combinations among pesticides. We also demonstrate an in vivo transporter assay that provides physical evidence of transporter inhibition by tracking the dynamics of a fluorescent substrate of these transporters (Rhodamine B) in bee tissues. Significantly more Rhodamine B remains in the head and hemolymph of bees pretreated with higher concentrations of the transporter inhibitor verapamil. Mechanism-based strategies for simplifying the assessment of adverse chemical interactions such as described here could improve our ability to identify those combinations that pose significantly greater risk to bees and perhaps improve the risk assessment protocols for honey bees and similar sensitive species.

  10. Multi-Drug Resistance Transporters and a Mechanism-Based Strategy for Assessing Risks of Pesticide Combinations to Honey Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex J Guseman

    Full Text Available Annual losses of honey bee colonies remain high and pesticide exposure is one possible cause. Dangerous combinations of pesticides, plant-produced compounds and antibiotics added to hives may cause or contribute to losses, but it is very difficult to test the many combinations of those compounds that bees encounter. We propose a mechanism-based strategy for simplifying the assessment of combinations of compounds, focusing here on compounds that interact with xenobiotic handling ABC transporters. We evaluate the use of ivermectin as a model substrate for these transporters. Compounds that increase sensitivity of bees to ivermectin may be inhibiting key transporters. We show that several compounds commonly encountered by honey bees (fumagillin, Pristine, quercetin significantly increased honey bee mortality due to ivermectin and significantly reduced the LC50 of ivermectin suggesting that they may interfere with transporter function. These inhibitors also significantly increased honey bees sensitivity to the neonicotinoid insecticide acetamiprid. This mechanism-based strategy may dramatically reduce the number of tests needed to assess the possibility of adverse combinations among pesticides. We also demonstrate an in vivo transporter assay that provides physical evidence of transporter inhibition by tracking the dynamics of a fluorescent substrate of these transporters (Rhodamine B in bee tissues. Significantly more Rhodamine B remains in the head and hemolymph of bees pretreated with higher concentrations of the transporter inhibitor verapamil. Mechanism-based strategies for simplifying the assessment of adverse chemical interactions such as described here could improve our ability to identify those combinations that pose significantly greater risk to bees and perhaps improve the risk assessment protocols for honey bees and similar sensitive species.

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

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    Gupta Pooja

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Over the past years, reports have indicated that honey bee populations are declining and that infestation by an ecto-parasitic mite (Varroa destructor is one of the main causes. Selective breeding of resistant bees can help to prevent losses due to the parasite, but it requires that a robust breeding program and genetic evaluation are implemented. Genomic selection has emerged as an important tool in animal breeding programs and simulation studies have shown that it yields more accurate breeding value estimates, higher genetic gain and low rates of inbreeding. Since genomic selection relies on marker data, simulations conducted on a genomic dataset are a pre-requisite before selection can be implemented. Although genomic datasets have been simulated in other species undergoing genetic evaluation, simulation of a genomic dataset specific to the honey bee is required since this species has a distinct genetic and reproductive biology. Our software program was aimed at constructing a base population by simulating a random mating honey bee population. A forward-time population simulation approach was applied since it allows modeling of genetic characteristics and reproductive behavior specific to the honey bee. Results Our software program yielded a genomic dataset for a base population in linkage disequilibrium. In addition, information was obtained on (1 the position of markers on each chromosome, (2 allele frequency, (3 χ2 statistics for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, (4 a sorted list of markers with a minor allele frequency less than or equal to the input value, (5 average r2 values of linkage disequilibrium between all simulated marker loci pair for all generations and (6 average r2 value of linkage disequilibrium in the last generation for selected markers with the highest minor allele frequency. Conclusion We developed a software program that takes into account the genetic and reproductive biology specific to the honey bee

  12. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene family of the honey bee, Apis mellifera

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, Andrew K.; Raymond-Delpech, Valerie; Steeve H Thany; Gauthier, Monique; Sattelle, David B.

    2006-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast cholinergic synaptic transmission and play roles in many cognitive processes. They are under intense research as potential targets of drugs used to treat neurodegenerative diseases and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Invertebrate nAChRs are targets of anthelmintics as well as a major group of insecticides, the neonicotinoids. The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is one of the most beneficial insects worldw...

  13. Vertical transmission of honey bee viruses in a Belgian queen breeding program

    OpenAIRE

    Ravoet, Jorgen; De Smet, Lina; Wenseleers, Tom; de Graaf, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Background The Member States of European Union are encouraged to improve the general conditions for the production and marketing of apicultural products. In Belgium, programmes on the restocking of honey bee hives have run for many years. Overall, the success ratio of this queen breeding programme has been only around 50%. To tackle this low efficacy, we organized sanitary controls of the breeding queens in 2012 and 2014. Results We found a high quantity of viruses, with more than 75% of the ...

  14. 介绍Honey Bee King 3D电动模型直升机

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    益飞

    2007-01-01

    随着电机、电池和遥控设备的发展,小型3D电动模型直升机逐渐大众化。最近,笔者得到了一架天外飞公司出品的小型电动3D模型直升机“Honey Bee King”。

  15. Swarm prevention and spring treatment against Varroa destructor in honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera)

    OpenAIRE

    Cornelissen, B; Gerritsen, L.J.M.

    2006-01-01

    In 2004 and 2005 experiments were carried out to test the efficacy and efficiency of Varroa control combined with swarm prevention methods in spring. Honey bee colonies were split in an artificial swarm and a brood carrier. Hereafter the swarms were treated with oxalic acid and the brood carriers either with formic acid (2004) or Thymovar (2005). Both the oxalic acid and the formic acid were very effective, resulting in an average efficacy of 97% and 96%, respectively. There was some worker b...

  16. Oxalic acid for the control of varroosis in honey bee colonies - a review

    OpenAIRE

    RADEMACHER, Eva; Harz, Marika

    2006-01-01

    International audience; The review summarizes research results on the use of oxalic acid as an acaricide in honey bee colonies. Three different treatment techniques (i.e. trickling, evaporation and spraying) have been developed for the application of oxalic acid. Detailed information is given on the efficacy against Varroa destructor, tolerability by Apis mellifera, protective procedures for the user, residue situation and consumer safety, as well as recommendations for use.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Haematopoetic effect of methanol extract of Nigerian honey bee (Apis mellifera propolis in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bashir Lawal

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To investigate the haematopoetic effect of methanol extract of Nigerian honey bee propolis in mice. Methods: Fifteen white Albino mice were grouped into 3(A-C of 5 animals each. Group A mice serve as control group, while groups B and C received 300 and 600 mL/kg of honey bee propolis respectively, for 21 days. The haematological parameters were determined using the automated haematologic analyzer Sysmex kx21, (product of Sysmex Corporation, Japan using standard techniques. The data were analyzed using ANOVA and the level of significance was at P 0.05 alteration to the erythrocytic indices like red blood cells, haematocrite, haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume and red cell distribution width, but increase mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration in dose related fashion. Acute oral toxicity showed the extract to be relatively safe at a high dose on acute exposure. However, 21-days of treatment with the extract do neither increase nor decrease the body weight of the mice. Conclusions: Administration of methanol extract of Nigerian honey bee propolis in mice at the doses investigated has brought about leucopoietic and thrombopoietic changes without any significant effect on red blood cells and factors that relate to it, except for the mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration.

  2. The contribution of honey bees, flies and wasps to avocado (Persea americana pollination in southern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesica Perez-Balam

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Although avocado is native to Mexico, there are no comparative measures in this country on the performance of its flower visitors as pollinators. The contribution of honey bees, flies and wasps to the pollination of avocado from tropical Mexico was assessed by comparing abundance, speed of flower visitation, quantity of pollen carried per individual and pollen deposited on virgin flowers after single visits. The values of abundance and frequency of flower visitation with pollen deposition were combined to obtain a measure of pollinator performance (PP. The most abundant insects on avocado were flies (mean ± SE: 15. 2 ± 6.2, followed by honey bees (9.4 ± 6.3 and wasps (4.2 ± 3.1 (ANOVA F = 91.71, d.f. = 2,78; P P P = 0.001, the number of pollen grains deposited on a stigma after a single visit was similar for the three taxa (2-5. There was evidence for a significant and similarly positive PP of both honey bees and flies as avocado pollinators over wasps, given their abundance, potential for pollen transport and deposition of pollen on stigmas.

  3. Genomic analyses of the microsporidian Nosema ceranae, an emergent pathogen of honey bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Scott Cornman

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent steep declines in honey bee health have severely impacted the beekeeping industry, presenting new risks for agricultural commodities that depend on insect pollination. Honey bee declines could reflect increased pressures from parasites and pathogens. The incidence of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema ceranae has increased significantly in the past decade. Here we present a draft assembly (7.86 MB of the N. ceranae genome derived from pyrosequence data, including initial gene models and genomic comparisons with other members of this highly derived fungal lineage. N. ceranae has a strongly AT-biased genome (74% A+T and a diversity of repetitive elements, complicating the assembly. Of 2,614 predicted protein-coding sequences, we conservatively estimate that 1,366 have homologs in the microsporidian Encephalitozoon cuniculi, the most closely related published genome sequence. We identify genes conserved among microsporidia that lack clear homology outside this group, which are of special interest as potential virulence factors in this group of obligate parasites. A substantial fraction of the diminutive N. ceranae proteome consists of novel and transposable-element proteins. For a majority of well-supported gene models, a conserved sense-strand motif can be found within 15 bases upstream of the start codon; a previously uncharacterized version of this motif is also present in E. cuniculi. These comparisons provide insight into the architecture, regulation, and evolution of microsporidian genomes, and will drive investigations into honey bee-Nosema interactions.

  4. Sleep deprivation impairs precision of waggle dance signaling in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Barrett A.; Klein, Arno; Wray, Margaret K.; Mueller, Ulrich G.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2010-01-01

    Sleep is essential for basic survival, and insufficient sleep leads to a variety of dysfunctions. In humans, one of the most profound consequences of sleep deprivation is imprecise or irrational communication, demonstrated by degradation in signaling as well as in receiving information. Communication in nonhuman animals may suffer analogous degradation of precision, perhaps with especially damaging consequences for social animals. However, society-specific consequences of sleep loss have rarely been explored, and no function of sleep has been ascribed to a truly social (eusocial) organism in the context of its society. Here we show that sleep-deprived honey bees (Apis mellifera) exhibit reduced precision when signaling direction information to food sources in their waggle dances. The deterioration of the honey bee's ability to communicate is expected to reduce the foraging efficiency of nestmates. This study demonstrates the impact of sleep deprivation on signaling in a eusocial animal. If the deterioration of signals made by sleep-deprived honey bees and humans is generalizable, then imprecise communication may be one detrimental effect of sleep loss shared by social organisms. PMID:21156830

  5. Haematopoetic effect of methanol extract of Nigerian honey bee (Apis mellifera) propolis in mice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bashir Lawal; Oluwatosin Kudrat Shittu; Asmau NiwoyeAbubakar; Garba Muhammed Haruna; Sani Saidu; Prince Chukwudi Ossai

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the haematopoetic effect of methanol extract of Nigerian honey bee propolis in mice. Methods: Fifteen white Albino mice were grouped into 3(A-C) of 5 animals each. Group A mice serve as control group, while groups B and C received 300 and 600 mL/kg of honey bee propolis respectively, for 21 days. The haematological parameters were determined using the automated haematologic analyzer Sysmex kx21, (product of Sysmex Corporation, Japan) using standard techniques. The data were analyzed using ANOVA and the level of significance was at P 0.05) alteration to the erythrocytic indices like red blood cells, haematocrite, haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume and red cell distribution width, but increase mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration in dose related fashion. Acute oral toxicity showed the extract to be relatively safe at a high dose on acute exposure. However, 21-days of treatment with the extract do neither increase nor decrease the body weight of the mice. Conclusions: Administration of methanol extract of Nigerian honey bee propolis in mice at the doses investigated has brought about leucopoietic and thrombopoietic changes without any significant effect on red blood cells and factors that relate to it, except for the mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration.

  6. Toward an Upgraded Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Genome Annotation Using Proteogenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAfee, Alison; Harpur, Brock A; Michaud, Sarah; Beavis, Ronald C; Kent, Clement F; Zayed, Amro; Foster, Leonard J

    2016-02-05

    The honey bee is a key pollinator in agricultural operations as well as a model organism for studying the genetics and evolution of social behavior. The Apis mellifera genome has been sequenced and annotated twice over, enabling proteomics and functional genomics methods for probing relevant aspects of their biology. One troubling trend that emerged from proteomic analyses is that honey bee peptide samples consistently result in lower peptide identification rates compared with other organisms. This suggests that the genome annotation can be improved, or atypical biological processes are interfering with the mass spectrometry workflow. First, we tested whether high levels of polymorphisms could explain some of the missed identifications by searching spectra against the reference proteome (OGSv3.2) versus a customized proteome of a single honey bee, but our results indicate that this contribution was minor. Likewise, error-tolerant peptide searches lead us to eliminate unexpected post-translational modifications as a major factor in missed identifications. We then used a proteogenomic approach with ~1500 raw files to search for missing genes and new exons, to revive discarded annotations and to identify over 2000 new coding regions. These results will contribute to a more comprehensive genome annotation and facilitate continued research on this important insect.

  7. Expression of insulin/insulin-like signalling and TOR pathway genes in honey bee caste determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, D E; Buck, N A; Evans, J D

    2014-02-01

    The development of queen and worker castes in honey bees is induced by differential nutrition, with future queens and workers receiving diets that are qualitatively and quantitatively different. We monitored the gene expression of 14 genes for components of the insulin/insulin-like signalling and TOR pathways in honey bee larvae from 40-88 h after hatching. We compared normally fed queen and normally fed worker larvae and found that three genes showed expression differences in 40-h-old larvae. Genes that show such early differences in expression may be part of the mechanism that transduces nutrition level into a hormone signal. We then compared changes in expression after shifts in diet with those in normally developing queens and workers. Following a shift to the worker diet, the expression of 9/14 genes was upregulated in comparison with queens. Following a shift to the queen diet, expression of only one gene changed. The honey bee responses may function together as a homeostatic mechanism buffering larvae from caste-disrupting variation in nutrition. The different responses would be part of the canalization of both the queen and worker developmental pathways, and as such, a signature of advanced sociality.

  8. Increased resin collection after parasite challenge: a case of self-medication in honey bees?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael D; Spivak, Marla

    2012-01-01

    The constant pressure posed by parasites has caused species throughout the animal kingdom to evolve suites of mechanisms to resist infection. Individual barriers and physiological defenses are considered the main barriers against parasites in invertebrate species. However, behavioral traits and other non-immunological defenses can also effectively reduce parasite transmission and infection intensity. In social insects, behaviors that reduce colony-level parasite loads are termed "social immunity." One example of a behavioral defense is resin collection. Honey bees forage for plant-produced resins and incorporate them into their nest architecture. This use of resins can reduce chronic elevation of an individual bee's immune response. Since high activation of individual immunity can impose colony-level fitness costs, collection of resins may benefit both the individual and colony fitness. However the use of resins as a more direct defense against pathogens is unclear. Here we present evidence that honey bee colonies may self-medicate with plant resins in response to a fungal infection. Self-medication is generally defined as an individual responding to infection by ingesting or harvesting non-nutritive compounds or plant materials. Our results show that colonies increase resin foraging rates after a challenge with a fungal parasite (Ascophaera apis: chalkbrood or CB). Additionally, colonies experimentally enriched with resin had decreased infection intensities of this fungal parasite. If considered self-medication, this is a particularly unique example because it operates at the colony level. Most instances of self-medication involve pharmacophagy, whereby individuals change their diet in response to direct infection with a parasite. In this case with honey bees, resins are not ingested but used within the hive by adult bees exposed to fungal spores. Thus the colony, as the unit of selection, may be responding to infection through self-medication by increasing the

  9. Increased resin collection after parasite challenge: a case of self-medication in honey bees?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Simone-Finstrom

    Full Text Available The constant pressure posed by parasites has caused species throughout the animal kingdom to evolve suites of mechanisms to resist infection. Individual barriers and physiological defenses are considered the main barriers against parasites in invertebrate species. However, behavioral traits and other non-immunological defenses can also effectively reduce parasite transmission and infection intensity. In social insects, behaviors that reduce colony-level parasite loads are termed "social immunity." One example of a behavioral defense is resin collection. Honey bees forage for plant-produced resins and incorporate them into their nest architecture. This use of resins can reduce chronic elevation of an individual bee's immune response. Since high activation of individual immunity can impose colony-level fitness costs, collection of resins may benefit both the individual and colony fitness. However the use of resins as a more direct defense against pathogens is unclear. Here we present evidence that honey bee colonies may self-medicate with plant resins in response to a fungal infection. Self-medication is generally defined as an individual responding to infection by ingesting or harvesting non-nutritive compounds or plant materials. Our results show that colonies increase resin foraging rates after a challenge with a fungal parasite (Ascophaera apis: chalkbrood or CB. Additionally, colonies experimentally enriched with resin had decreased infection intensities of this fungal parasite. If considered self-medication, this is a particularly unique example because it operates at the colony level. Most instances of self-medication involve pharmacophagy, whereby individuals change their diet in response to direct infection with a parasite. In this case with honey bees, resins are not ingested but used within the hive by adult bees exposed to fungal spores. Thus the colony, as the unit of selection, may be responding to infection through self

  10. A monitoring study to assess the acute mortality effects of indoxacarb on honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in flowering apple orchards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Steen, Jozef J M; Dinter, Axel

    2007-11-01

    To evaluate the effect of the indoxacarb 300 g kg(-1) WG, Steward 30WDG, on the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) in apple orchards, a monitoring study was conducted in Dutch apple orchards in April/May 2004. Before apple flowering began, two honey bee colonies were placed in each orchard to investigate honey bee mortality. Each hive was provided with a Münster dead bee trap to collect dead honey bees. The numbers of dead bees found in these Münster dead traps were counted every 3-4 days for about 2 weeks before and after the period of the insecticide treatment. In nine flowering orchards no indoxacarb was applied during the flowering period, which served as control sites. In 30 flowering orchards indoxacarb was sprayed by the fruit growers according to local practice at 170-260 g formulated product ha(-1) (51-78 g AI ha(-1)). In the control orchards the average mortality was 8 honey bees colony(-1) day(-1). The average daily honey bee mortality before and after indoxacarb application was 8 and 10 honey bees colony(-1) day(-1) respectively. At one test site, indoxacarb was mixed with other plant protection products plus plant nutrients, and in this orchard a slight but biologically non-significant increase in acute honey bee mortality was recorded. It was concluded that the application of indoxacarb caused no effects on honey bee mortality, and that the number of dead honey bees counted in the Münster traps in the orchard treated with indoxacarb was comparable with those determined in control orchards.

  11. 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.

  12. Honey pollen: using melissopalynology to understand foraging preferences of bees in tropical South India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponnuchamy, Raja; Bonhomme, Vincent; Prasad, Srinivasan; Das, Lipi; Patel, Prakash; Gaucherel, Cédric; Pragasam, Arunachalam; Anupama, Krishnamurthy

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the study was to use melissopalynology to delineate the foraging preferences of bees in tropical environs. This was done by comparing pollen spectra obtained from the same hives every three months for three years at four sampling locations (in two sites) within a confined landscape mosaic. If melissopalynology is highly replicable, the spatial variation of the pollen spectrum from the honey samples would be much more than the temporal (inter-annual) variations. In other words, given the three factors, Month, Year and Location, honey pollen from different Locations, in a given Year and Month, would be much less similar than samples from different Years, in a given Location and Month. We then determined how the factors, Month, Year and Location, influenced the pollen influx of honey. The pollen analyses of the 42 honey samples collected during the three years yielded 80 pollen taxa/types: 72 dicotyledonous and 8 monocotyledonous, encompassing 41 botanical families spread into seven life forms namely, trees, shrubs, epiphytes, herbs, climbers, grasses, and sedges. Our results showed that pollen spectra were equally comparable between Locations and between Months and Years; the importance of this result is that it helped to demonstrate the complexity of ecological/environmental phenomena involved in the process of foraging by bees in a heterogeneous and complex landscape.

  13. Honey pollen: using melissopalynology to understand foraging preferences of bees in tropical South India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raja Ponnuchamy

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to use melissopalynology to delineate the foraging preferences of bees in tropical environs. This was done by comparing pollen spectra obtained from the same hives every three months for three years at four sampling locations (in two sites within a confined landscape mosaic. If melissopalynology is highly replicable, the spatial variation of the pollen spectrum from the honey samples would be much more than the temporal (inter-annual variations. In other words, given the three factors, Month, Year and Location, honey pollen from different Locations, in a given Year and Month, would be much less similar than samples from different Years, in a given Location and Month. We then determined how the factors, Month, Year and Location, influenced the pollen influx of honey. The pollen analyses of the 42 honey samples collected during the three years yielded 80 pollen taxa/types: 72 dicotyledonous and 8 monocotyledonous, encompassing 41 botanical families spread into seven life forms namely, trees, shrubs, epiphytes, herbs, climbers, grasses, and sedges. Our results showed that pollen spectra were equally comparable between Locations and between Months and Years; the importance of this result is that it helped to demonstrate the complexity of ecological/environmental phenomena involved in the process of foraging by bees in a heterogeneous and complex landscape.

  14. Honey bee diet in intensive farmland habitats reveals an unexpectedly high flower richness and a major role of weeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Requier, Fabrice; Odoux, Jean-François; Tamic, Thierry; Moreau, Nathalie; Henry, Mickaël; Decourtye, Axel; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-06-01

    In intensive farmland habitats, pollination of wild flowers and crops may be threatened by the widespread decline of pollinators. The honey bee decline, in particular, appears to result from the combination of multiple stresses, including diseases, pathogens, and pesticides. The reduction of semi-natural habitats is also suspected to entail floral resource scarcity for bees. Yet, the seasonal dynamics and composition of the honey bee diet remains poorly documented to date. In this study, we studied the seasonal contribution of mass-flowering crops (rapeseed and sunflower) vs. other floral resources, as well as the influence of nutritional quality and landscape composition on pollen diet composition over five consecutive years. From April to October, the mass of pollen and nectar collected by honey bees followed a bimodal seasonal trend, marked by a two-month period of low food supply between the two oilseed crop mass-flowerings (ending in May for rapeseed and July for sunflower). Bees collected nectar mainly from crops while pollen came from a wide diversity of herbaceous and woody plant species in semi-natural habitats or from weeds in crops. Weed species constituted the bulk of the honey bee diet between the mass flowering crop periods (up to 40%) and are therefore suspected to play a critical role at this time period. The pollen diet composition was related to the nutritional value of the collected pollen and by the local landscape composition. Our study highlights (1) a food supply depletion period of both pollen and nectar resources during late spring, contemporaneously with the demographic peak of honey bee populations, (2) a high botanical richness of pollen diet, mostly proceeding from trees and weeds, and (3) a pollen diet composition influenced by the local landscape composition. Our results therefore support the Agri-Environmental Schemes intended to promote honey bees and beekeeping sustainability through the enhancement of flower availability in

  15. Influence of honey bee, Apis mellifera, hives and field size on foraging activity of native bee species in pumpkin fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artz, Derek R; Hsu, Cynthia L; Nault, Brian A

    2011-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify bee species active in pumpkin fields in New York and to estimate their potential as pollinators by examining their foraging activity. In addition, we examined whether foraging activity was affected by either the addition of hives of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., or by field size. Thirty-five pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.) fields ranging from 0.6 to 26.3 ha, 12 supplemented with A. mellifera hives and 23 not supplemented, were sampled during peak flowering over three successive weeks in 2008 and 2009. Flowers from 300 plants per field were visually sampled for bees on each sampling date. A. mellifera, Bombus impatiens Cresson, and Peponapis pruinosa (Say) accounted for 99% of all bee visits to flowers. A. mellifera and B. impatiens visited significantly more pistillate flowers than would be expected by chance, whereas P. pruinosa showed no preference for visiting pistillate flowers. There were significantly more A. mellifera visits per flower in fields supplemented with A. mellifera hives than in fields not supplemented, but there were significantly fewer P. pruinosa visits in supplemented fields. The number of B. impatiens visits was not affected by supplementation, but was affected by number of flowers per field. A. mellifera and P. pruinosa visits were not affected by field size, but B. impatiens visited fewer flowers as field size increased in fields that were not supplemented with A. mellifera hives. Declining A. mellifera populations may increase the relative importance of B. impatiens in pollinating pumpkins in New York.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  17. Chromatic processing in the anterior optic tubercle of the honey bee brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mota, Theo; Gronenberg, Wulfila; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2013-01-02

    Color vision in honey bees (Apis mellifera) has been extensively studied at the behavioral level and, to a lesser degree, at the physiological level by means of electrophysiological intracellular recordings of single neurons. Few visual neurons have been so far characterized in the lateral protocerebrum of bees. Therefore, the possible implication of this region in chromatic processing remains unknown. We performed in vivo calcium imaging of interneurons in the anterior optic tubercle (AOTu) of honey bees upon visual stimulation of the compound eye to analyze chromatic response properties. Stimulation with distinct monochromatic lights (ultraviolet [UV], blue, and green) matching the sensitivity of the three photoreceptor types of the bee retina induced different signal amplitudes, temporal dynamics, and spatial activity patterns in the AOTu intertubercle network, thus revealing intricate chromatic processing properties. Green light strongly activated both the dorsal and ventral lobes of the AOTu's major unit; blue light activated the dorsal lobe more while UV light activated the ventral lobe more. Eye stimulation with mixtures of blue and green light induced suppression phenomena in which responses to the mixture were lower than those to the color components, thus concurring with color-opponent processing. These data provide evidence for a spatial segregation of color processing in the AOTu, which may serve for navigation purposes.

  18. 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 (heat shielding is reminiscent of bioheat removal via the cardiovascular system of mammals.

  19. Common and novel transcriptional routes to behavioral maturation in worker and male honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zayed, A; Naeger, N L; Rodriguez-Zas, S L; Robinson, G E

    2012-04-01

    Worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) undergo a process of behavioral maturation leading to their transition from in-hive tasks to foraging--a process which is associated with profound transcriptional changes in the brain. Changes in brain gene expression observed during worker behavioral maturation could represent either a derived program underlying division of labor or a general program unrelated to sociality. Male bees (drones) undergo a process of behavioral maturation associated with the onset of mating flights, but do not partake in division of labor. Drones thus provide an excellent reference point for polarizing transcriptional changes associated with behavioral maturation in honey bees. We assayed the brain transcriptomes of adult drones and workers to compare and contrast differences associated with behavioral maturation in the two sexes. Both behavioral maturation and sex were associated with changes in expression of thousands of genes in the brain. Many genes involved in neuronal development, behavior, and the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters regulating the perception of reward showed sex-biased gene expression. Furthermore, most of the transcriptional changes associated with behavioral maturation were common to drones and workers, consistent with common genetic and physiological regulation. Our study suggests that there is a common behavioral maturation program that has been co-opted and modified to yield the different behavioral and cognitive phenotypes of worker and drone bees.

  20. Comparison of within hive sampling and seasonal activity of Nosema ceranae in honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traver, Brenna E; Williams, Matthew R; Fell, Richard D

    2012-02-01

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian parasite of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, that is found worldwide and in multiple Apis spp.; however, little is known about the effects of N. ceranae on A. mellifera. Previous studies using spore counts suggest that there is no longer a seasonal cycle for N. ceranae and that it is found year round with little variation in infection intensity among months. Our goal was to determine whether infection levels differ in bees collected from different areas of the hive and if there may be seasonal differences in N. ceranae infections. A multiplex species-specific real-time PCR assay was used for the detection and quantification of N. ceranae. Colonies were sampled monthly from September 2009-2010 by collecting workers from honey supers, the fringe of the brood nest, and the brood nest. We found that all bees sampled were infected with N. ceranae and that there was no significant difference in infection levels among the different groups of bees sampled (P=0.74). However, significant differences in colony infection levels were found at different times of the year (Pbeekeepers on N. ceranae management.

  1. 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.

  2. Specific Cues Associated With Honey Bee Social Defence against Varroa destructor Infested Brood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondet, Fanny; Kim, Seo Hyun; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Beslay, Dominique; Le Conte, Yves; Mercer, Alison R.

    2016-01-01

    Social immunity forms an essential part of the defence repertoire of social insects. In response to infestation by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and its associated viruses, honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) have developed a specific behaviour (varroa-sensitive hygiene, or VSH) that helps protect the colony from this parasite. Brood cells heavily infested with mites are uncapped, the brood killed, and the cell contents removed. For this extreme sacrifice to be beneficial to the colony, the targeting of parasitized brood for removal must be accurate and selective. Here we show that varroa-infested brood produce uniquely identifiable cues that could be used by VSH-performing bees to identify with high specificity which brood cells to sacrifice. This selective elimination of mite-infested brood is a disease resistance strategy analogous to programmed cell death, where young bees likely to be highly dysfunctional as adults are sacrificed for the greater good of the colony. PMID:27140530

  3. A Honey Bee Foraging approach for optimal location of a biomass power plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vera, David; Jurado, Francisco [Dept. of Electrical Engineering, University of Jaen, 23700 EPS Linares, Jaen (Spain); Carabias, Julio; Ruiz-Reyes, Nicolas [Dept. of Telecommunication Engineering, University of Jaen, 23700 EPS Linares, Jaen (Spain)

    2010-07-15

    Over eight million hectares of olive trees are cultivated worldwide, especially in Mediterranean countries, where more than 97% of the world's olive oil is produced. The three major olive oil producers worldwide are Spain, Italy, and Greece. Olive tree pruning residues are an autochthonous and important renewable source that, in most of cases, farmers burn through an uncontrolled manner. Besides, industrial uses have not yet been developed. The aim of this paper consists of a new calculation tool based on particles swarm (Binary Honey Bee Foraging, BHBF). Effectively, this approach will make possible to determine the optimal location, biomass supply area and power plant size that offer the best profitability for investor. Moreover, it prevents the accurate method (not feasible from computational viewpoint). In this work, Profitability Index (PI) is set as the fitness function for the BHBF approach. Results are compared with other evolutionary optimization algorithms such as Binary Particle Swarm Optimization (BPSO), and Genetic Algorithms (GA). All the experiments have shown that the optimal plant size is 2 MW, PI = 3.3122, the best location corresponds to coordinate: X = 49, Y = 97 and biomass supply area is 161.33 km{sup 2}. The simulation times have been reduced to the ninth of time than the greedy (accurate) solution. Matlab registered is used to run all simulations. (author)

  4. Worker honey bee pheromone regulation of foraging ontogeny

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankiw, Tanya

    The evolution of sociality has configured communication chemicals, called primer pheromones, which play key roles in regulating the organization of social life. Primer pheromones exert relatively slow effects that fundamentally alter developmental, physiological, and neural systems. Here, I demonstrate how substances extracted from the surface of foraging and young pre-foraging worker bees regulated age at onset of foraging, a developmental process. Hexane-extractable compounds washed from foraging workers increased foraging age compared with controls, whereas extracts of young pre-foraging workers decreased foraging age. This represents the first known direct demonstration of primer pheromone activity derived from adult worker bees.

  5. Influence of Honey Bee Genotype and Wintering Method on Wintering Performance of Varroa destructor (Parasitiformes: Varroidae)-Infected Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies in a Northern Climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahreini, Rassol; Currie, Robert W

    2015-08-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a cooperative breeding program designed to enhance winter survival of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) when exposed to high levels of varroa (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) in outdoor-wintered and indoor-wintered colonies. Half of the colonies from selected and unselected stocks were randomly assigned to be treated with late autumn oxalic acid treatment or to be left untreated. Colonies were then randomly assigned to be wintered either indoors (n = 37) or outdoors (n = 40). Late autumn treatment with oxalic acid did not improve wintering performance. However, genotype of bees affected colony survival and the proportion of commercially viable colonies in spring, as indicated by greater rates of colony survival and commercially viable colonies for selected stock (43% survived and 33% were viable) in comparison to unselected stock (19% survived and 9% were viable) across all treatment groups. Indoor wintering improved spring bee population score, proportion of colonies surviving, and proportion of commercially viable colonies relative to outdoor wintering (73% of selected stock and 41% of unselected stock survived during indoor wintering). Selected stock showed better "tolerance" to varroa as the selected stock also maintained higher bee populations relative to unselected stock. However, there was no evidence of "resistance" in selected colonies (reduced mite densities). Collectively, this experiment showed that breeding can improve tolerance to varroa and this can help minimize colony loss through winter and improve colony wintering performance. Overall, colony wintering success of both genotypes of bees was better when colonies were wintered indoors than when colonies were wintered outdoors.

  6. A monitoring study to assess the acute mortality effects of indoxacarb on honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in flowering apple orchards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steen, van der J.J.M.; Dinter, A.

    2007-01-01

    To evaluate the effect of the indoxacarb 300 g kg-1 WG, Steward 30WDGTM, on the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) in apple orchards, a monitoring study was conducted in Dutch apple orchards in April/May 2004. Before apple flowering began, two honey bee colonies were placed in each orchard to investigate

  7. Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) and Oplostomus haroldi (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): Occurrence in Kenya, Distribution within Honey Bee Colonies, and Response to Host Odors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aethina tumida Murray is considered a minor parasitic pest of African honey bee colonies, but little information is available on other coleopteran pests. We surveyed for A. tumida and other beetles in honey bee colonies at four major beekeeping locations: Watamu, Chawia-Taita, Matuu, and Nairobi in...

  8. Population growth of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in colonies of Russian and unselected honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) stock as related to numbers of foragers with mites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varroa mites are an external parasite of honey bees and a leading cause of colony losses worldwide. Varroa populations can be controlled with miticides, but mite resistant stocks such as the Russian honey bee (RHB) also are available. RHB and other mite resistant stock limit Varroa population growth...

  9. csd alleles in the red dwarf honey bee (Apis florea,Hymenoptera: Apidae) show exceptionally high nucleotide diversity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhi-Yong Liu; Zi-Long Wang; Xiao-Bo Wu; Wei-Yu Yan; Zhi-Jiang Zeng

    2011-01-01

    The single locus complementary sex determination (sl-csd) gene is the primary gene determining the gender of honey bees (Apis spp.).While the csd gene has been well studied in the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera),and comparable data exist in both the Eastern honey bee (Apis cerana) and the giant honey bee (Apis dorsata),no studies have been conducted in the red dwarf honey bee,Apisflorea.In this study we cloned the genomic region 3 of the A.florea csd gene from 60 workers,and identified 12 csd alleles.Analysis showed that similar to A.mellifera,region 3 of the csd gene contains a RS domain at the N terminal,a proline-rich domain at the C terminal,and a hypervariable region in the middle.However,the A.florea csd gene possessed a much higher level of nucleotide diversity,compared to A.mellifera,A.cerana and Apis dorsata.We also show that similar to the other three Apis species,in A.florea,nonsynonymous mutations in the csd gene are selectively favored in young alleles.

  10. A pan-European epidemiological study reveals honey bee colony survival depends on beekeeper education and disease control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacques, Antoine; Laurent, Marion; Ribière-Chabert, Magali; Saussac, Mathilde; Bougeard, Stéphanie; Budge, Giles E.; Hendrikx, Pascal; Chauzat, Marie-Pierre

    2017-01-01

    Reports of honey bee population decline has spurred many national efforts to understand the extent of the problem and to identify causative or associated factors. However, our collective understanding of the factors has been hampered by a lack of joined up trans-national effort. Moreover, the impacts of beekeeper knowledge and beekeeping management practices have often been overlooked, despite honey bees being a managed pollinator. Here, we established a standardised active monitoring network for 5 798 apiaries over two consecutive years to quantify honey bee colony mortality across 17 European countries. Our data demonstrate that overwinter losses ranged between 2% and 32%, and that high summer losses were likely to follow high winter losses. Multivariate Poisson regression models revealed that hobbyist beekeepers with small apiaries and little experience in beekeeping had double the winter mortality rate when compared to professional beekeepers. Furthermore, honey bees kept by professional beekeepers never showed signs of disease, unlike apiaries from hobbyist beekeepers that had symptoms of bacterial infection and heavy Varroa infestation. Our data highlight beekeeper background and apicultural practices as major drivers of honey bee colony losses. The benefits of conducting trans-national monitoring schemes and improving beekeeper training are discussed. PMID:28278255

  11. Bees under stress: sublethal doses of a neonicotinoid pesticide and pathogens interact to elevate honey bee mortality across the life cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doublet, Vincent; Labarussias, Maureen; de Miranda, Joachim R; Moritz, Robin F A; Paxton, Robert J

    2015-04-01

    Microbial pathogens are thought to have a profound impact on insect populations. Honey bees are suffering from elevated colony losses in the northern hemisphere possibly because of a variety of emergent microbial pathogens, with which pesticides may interact to exacerbate their impacts. To reveal such potential interactions, we administered at sublethal and field realistic doses one neonicotinoid pesticide (thiacloprid) and two common microbial pathogens, the invasive microsporidian Nosema ceranae and black queen cell virus (BQCV), individually to larval and adult honey bees in the laboratory. Through fully crossed experiments in which treatments were administered singly or in combination, we found an additive interaction between BQCV and thiacloprid on host larval survival likely because the pesticide significantly elevated viral loads. In adult bees, two synergistic interactions increased individual mortality: between N. ceranae and BQCV, and between N. ceranae and thiacloprid. The combination of two pathogens had a more profound effect on elevating adult mortality than N. ceranae plus thiacloprid. Common microbial pathogens appear to be major threats to honey bees, while sublethal doses of pesticide may enhance their deleterious effects on honey bee larvae and adults. It remains an open question as to whether these interactions can affect colony survival.

  12. Varroa-Virus Interaction in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Francis, Roy Mathew; Nielsen, Steen L.; Kryger, Per

    2013-01-01

    to be carried over with the bees into the next season. In general, AKI and DWV titres did not show any notable response to the treatment and steadily increased over the season from April to October. In the untreated control group, titres increased most dramatically. Viral copies were correlated to number...

  13. Africanized honey bees are slowere learners than their European counterparts

    Science.gov (United States)

    The range of Africanized honeybees continues to expand, superseding the common European honeybees in the southern United States. Are superior learning and memory the reason for their ecological success? Surprisingly, a comparison in a classical conditioning test of the two bee races shows that few...

  14. Effects of environmentally-relevant mixtures of four common organophosphorus insecticides on the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Naggar, Yahya; Wiseman, Steve; Sun, Jianxian; Cutler, G Christopher; Aboul-Soud, Mourad; Naiem, Elsaied; Mona, Mohamed; Seif, Amal; Giesy, John P

    2015-11-01

    We assessed whether exposure to environmentally-relevant mixtures of four organophosphorus insecticides (OPs) exerted adverse effects on honey bees. Adult and worker bees were orally exposed for five days under laboratory conditions to mixtures of four insecticides, diazinon, malathion, profenofos and chlorpyrifos at two concentrations. Concentration in the mixtures tested were equivalent to the median and 95th centile concentrations of the OPs in honey, as reported in the literature. Effects on survival, behavior, activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and expression of genes important in detoxification of xenobiotics and immune response were examined. Survival of worker bees was not affected by exposure to median or 95th centile concentrations of the OPs. Activity of AChE was significantly greater in worker bees exposed to the 95th centile concentration mixture of OPs compared to the median concentration mixture. Expression of genes involved in detoxification of xenobiotics was not affected by treatment, but the abundance of transcripts of the antimicrobial peptide hymenoptaecin was significantly greater in worker honey bees exposed to the median concentration mixture. Results suggest that short-term exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of a mixture of OPs do not adversely affect worker honey bees.

  15. Acaricide treatment affects viral dynamics in Varroa destructor-infested honey bee colonies via both host physiology and mite control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Barbara; Forsgren, Eva; Fries, Ingemar; de Miranda, Joachim R

    2012-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies are declining, and a number of stressors have been identified that affect, alone or in combination, the health of honey bees. The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, honey bee viruses that are often closely associated with the mite, and pesticides used to control the mite population form a complex system of stressors that may affect honey bee health in different ways. During an acaricide treatment using Apistan (plastic strips coated with tau-fluvalinate), we analyzed the infection dynamics of deformed wing virus (DWV), sacbrood virus (SBV), and black queen cell virus (BQCV) in adult bees, mite-infested pupae, their associated Varroa mites, and uninfested pupae, comparing these to similar samples from untreated control colonies. Titers of DWV increased initially with the onset of the acaricide application and then slightly decreased progressively coinciding with the removal of the Varroa mite infestation. This initial increase in DWV titers suggests a physiological effect of tau-fluvalinate on the host's susceptibility to viral infection. DWV titers in adult bees and uninfested pupae remained higher in treated colonies than in untreated colonies. The titers of SBV and BQCV did not show any direct relationship with mite infestation and showed a variety of possible effects of the acaricide treatment. The results indicate that other factors besides Varroa mite infestation may be important to the development and maintenance of damaging DWV titers in colonies. Possible biochemical explanations for the observed synergistic effects between tau-fluvalinate and virus infections are discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike Hartmann

    2015-05-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Honey bee Apis mellifera parasites in the absence of Nosema ceranae fungi and Varroa destructor mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shutler, Dave; Head, Krista; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L; Colwell, Megan J; Levitt, Abby L; Ostiguy, Nancy; Williams, Geoffrey R

    2014-01-01

    Few areas of the world have western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies that are free of invasive parasites Nosema ceranae (fungi) and Varroa destructor (mites). Particularly detrimental is V. destructor; in addition to feeding on host haemolymph, these mites are important vectors of several viruses that are further implicated as contributors to honey bee mortality around the world. Thus, the biogeography and attendant consequences of viral communities in the absence of V. destructor are of significant interest. The island of Newfoundland, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is free of V. destructor; the absence of N. ceranae has not been confirmed. Of 55 Newfoundland colonies inspected visually for their strength and six signs of disease, only K-wing had prevalence above 5% (40/55 colonies = 72.7%). Similar to an earlier study, screenings again confirmed the absence of V. destructor, small hive beetles Aethina tumida (Murray), tracheal mites Acarapis woodi (Rennie), and Tropilaelaps spp. ectoparasitic mites. Of a subset of 23 colonies screened molecularly for viruses, none had Israeli acute paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, or sacbrood virus. Sixteen of 23 colonies (70.0%) were positive for black queen cell virus, and 21 (91.3%) had some evidence for deformed wing virus. No N. ceranae was detected in molecular screens of 55 colonies, although it is possible extremely low intensity infections exist; the more familiar N. apis was found in 53 colonies (96.4%). Under these conditions, K-wing was associated (positively) with colony strength; however, viruses and N. apis were not. Furthermore, black queen cell virus was positively and negatively associated with K-wing and deformed wing virus, respectively. Newfoundland honey bee colonies are thus free of several invasive parasites that plague operations in other parts of the world, and they provide a unique research arena to study independent pathology of the parasites that are present.

  19. Honey bee Apis mellifera parasites in the absence of Nosema ceranae fungi and Varroa destructor mites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dave Shutler

    Full Text Available Few areas of the world have western honey bee (Apis mellifera colonies that are free of invasive parasites Nosema ceranae (fungi and Varroa destructor (mites. Particularly detrimental is V. destructor; in addition to feeding on host haemolymph, these mites are important vectors of several viruses that are further implicated as contributors to honey bee mortality around the world. Thus, the biogeography and attendant consequences of viral communities in the absence of V. destructor are of significant interest. The island of Newfoundland, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is free of V. destructor; the absence of N. ceranae has not been confirmed. Of 55 Newfoundland colonies inspected visually for their strength and six signs of disease, only K-wing had prevalence above 5% (40/55 colonies = 72.7%. Similar to an earlier study, screenings again confirmed the absence of V. destructor, small hive beetles Aethina tumida (Murray, tracheal mites Acarapis woodi (Rennie, and Tropilaelaps spp. ectoparasitic mites. Of a subset of 23 colonies screened molecularly for viruses, none had Israeli acute paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, or sacbrood virus. Sixteen of 23 colonies (70.0% were positive for black queen cell virus, and 21 (91.3% had some evidence for deformed wing virus. No N. ceranae was detected in molecular screens of 55 colonies, although it is possible extremely low intensity infections exist; the more familiar N. apis was found in 53 colonies (96.4%. Under these conditions, K-wing was associated (positively with colony strength; however, viruses and N. apis were not. Furthermore, black queen cell virus was positively and negatively associated with K-wing and deformed wing virus, respectively. Newfoundland honey bee colonies are thus free of several invasive parasites that plague operations in other parts of the world, and they provide a unique research arena to study independent pathology of the parasites that are present.

  20. 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

    2017-02-13

    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.

  1. Reproductive biology of Varroa destructor in Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón, R A; van Veen, J W; Sommeijer, M J; Sanchez, L A

    2010-04-01

    Since its first contact with Apis mellifera, the population dynamics of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor varies from one region to another. In many regions of the world, apiculture has come to depend on the use of acaricides, because of the extensive damage caused by varroa to bee colonies. At present, the mite is considered to contribute to the recent decline of honey bee colonies in North America and Europe. Because in tropical climates worker brood rearing and varroa reproduction occurs all year round, it could be expected that here the impact of the parasite will be even more devastating. Yet, this has not been the case in tropical areas of South America. In Brazil, varroa was introduced more than 30 years ago and got established at low levels of infestation, without causing apparent damage to apiculture with Africanized honey bees (AHB). The tolerance of AHB to varroa is apparently attributable, at least in part, to resistance in the bees. The low fertility of this parasite in Africanized worker brood and the grooming and hygienic behavior of the bees are referred as important factors in keeping mite infestation low in the colonies. It has also been suggested that the type of mite influences the level of tolerance in a honey bee population. The Korea haplotype is predominant in unbalanced host-parasite systems, as exist in Europe, whereas in stable systems, as in Brazil, the Japan haplotype used to predominate. However, the patterns of varroa genetic variation have changed in Brazil. All recently sampled mites were of the Korea haplotype, regardless whether the mites had reproduced or not. The fertile mites on AHB in Brazil significantly increased from 56% in the 1980s to 86% in recent years. Nevertheless, despite the increased fertility, no increase in mite infestation rates in the colonies has been detected so far. A comprehensive literature review of varroa reproduction data, focusing on fertility and production of viable female mites, was conducted to

  2. A pragmatic approach to assess the exposure of the honey bee (Apis mellifera when subjected to pesticide spray.

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    Yannick Poquet

    Full Text Available Plant protection spray treatments may expose non-target organisms to pesticides. In the pesticide registration procedure, the honey bee represents one of the non-target model species for which the risk posed by pesticides must be assessed on the basis of the hazard quotient (HQ. The HQ is defined as the ratio between environmental exposure and toxicity. For the honey bee, the HQ calculation is not consistent because it corresponds to the ratio between the pesticide field rate (in mass of pesticide/ha and LD50 (in mass of pesticide/bee. Thus, in contrast to all other species, the HQ can only be interpreted empirically because it corresponds to a number of bees/ha. This type of HQ calculation is due to the difficulty in transforming pesticide field rates into doses to which bees are exposed. In this study, we used a pragmatic approach to determine the apparent exposure surface area of honey bees submitted to pesticide treatments by spraying with a Potter-type tower. The doses received by the bees were quantified by very efficient chemical analyses, which enabled us to determine an apparent surface area of 1.05 cm(2/bee. The apparent surface area was used to calculate the exposure levels of bees submitted to pesticide sprays and then to revisit the HQ ratios with a calculation mode similar to that used for all other living species. X-tomography was used to assess the physical surface area of a bee, which was 3.27 cm(2/bee, and showed that the apparent exposure surface was not overestimated. The control experiments showed that the toxicity induced by doses calculated with the exposure surface area was similar to that induced by treatments according to the European testing procedure. This new approach to measure risk is more accurate and could become a tool to aid the decision-making process in the risk assessment of pesticides.

  3. A pragmatic approach to assess the exposure of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) when subjected to pesticide spray.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poquet, Yannick; Bodin, Laurent; Tchamitchian, Marc; Fusellier, Marion; Giroud, Barbara; Lafay, Florent; Buleté, Audrey; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Cousin, Marianne; Pélissier, Michel; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Belzunces, Luc P

    2014-01-01

    Plant protection spray treatments may expose non-target organisms to pesticides. In the pesticide registration procedure, the honey bee represents one of the non-target model species for which the risk posed by pesticides must be assessed on the basis of the hazard quotient (HQ). The HQ is defined as the ratio between environmental exposure and toxicity. For the honey bee, the HQ calculation is not consistent because it corresponds to the ratio between the pesticide field rate (in mass of pesticide/ha) and LD50 (in mass of pesticide/bee). Thus, in contrast to all other species, the HQ can only be interpreted empirically because it corresponds to a number of bees/ha. This type of HQ calculation is due to the difficulty in transforming pesticide field rates into doses to which bees are exposed. In this study, we used a pragmatic approach to determine the apparent exposure surface area of honey bees submitted to pesticide treatments by spraying with a Potter-type tower. The doses received by the bees were quantified by very efficient chemical analyses, which enabled us to determine an apparent surface area of 1.05 cm(2)/bee. The apparent surface area was used to calculate the exposure levels of bees submitted to pesticide sprays and then to revisit the HQ ratios with a calculation mode similar to that used for all other living species. X-tomography was used to assess the physical surface area of a bee, which was 3.27 cm(2)/bee, and showed that the apparent exposure surface was not overestimated. The control experiments showed that the toxicity induced by doses calculated with the exposure surface area was similar to that induced by treatments according to the European testing procedure. This new approach to measure risk is more accurate and could become a tool to aid the decision-making process in the risk assessment of pesticides.

  4. A Pragmatic Approach to Assess the Exposure of the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) When Subjected to Pesticide Spray

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poquet, Yannick; Bodin, Laurent; Tchamitchian, Marc; Fusellier, Marion; Giroud, Barbara; Lafay, Florent; Buleté, Audrey; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Cousin, Marianne; Pélissier, Michel; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Belzunces, Luc P.

    2014-01-01

    Plant protection spray treatments may expose non-target organisms to pesticides. In the pesticide registration procedure, the honey bee represents one of the non-target model species for which the risk posed by pesticides must be assessed on the basis of the hazard quotient (HQ). The HQ is defined as the ratio between environmental exposure and toxicity. For the honey bee, the HQ calculation is not consistent because it corresponds to the ratio between the pesticide field rate (in mass of pesticide/ha) and LD50 (in mass of pesticide/bee). Thus, in contrast to all other species, the HQ can only be interpreted empirically because it corresponds to a number of bees/ha. This type of HQ calculation is due to the difficulty in transforming pesticide field rates into doses to which bees are exposed. In this study, we used a pragmatic approach to determine the apparent exposure surface area of honey bees submitted to pesticide treatments by spraying with a Potter-type tower. The doses received by the bees were quantified by very efficient chemical analyses, which enabled us to determine an apparent surface area of 1.05 cm2/bee. The apparent surface area was used to calculate the exposure levels of bees submitted to pesticide sprays and then to revisit the HQ ratios with a calculation mode similar to that used for all other living species. X-tomography was used to assess the physical surface area of a bee, which was 3.27 cm2/bee, and showed that the apparent exposure surface was not overestimated. The control experiments showed that the toxicity induced by doses calculated with the exposure surface area was similar to that induced by treatments according to the European testing procedure. This new approach to measure risk is more accurate and could become a tool to aid the decision-making process in the risk assessment of pesticides. PMID:25412103

  5. Cocaine affects foraging behaviour and biogenic amine modulated behavioural reflexes in honey bees

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    Eirik Søvik

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available In humans and other mammals, drugs of abuse alter the function of biogenic amine pathways in the brain leading to the subjective experience of reward and euphoria. Biogenic amine pathways are involved in reward processing across diverse animal phyla, however whether cocaine acts on these neurochemical pathways to cause similar rewarding behavioural effects in animal phyla other than mammals is unclear. Previously, it has been shown that bees are more likely to dance (a signal of perceived reward when returning from a sucrose feeder after cocaine treatment. Here we examined more broadly whether cocaine altered reward-related behaviour, and biogenic amine modulated behavioural responses in bees. Bees developed a preference for locations at which they received cocaine, and when foraging at low quality sucrose feeders increase their foraging rate in response to cocaine treatment. Cocaine also increased reflexive proboscis extension to sucrose, and sting extension to electric shock. Both of these simple reflexes are modulated by biogenic amines. This shows that systemic cocaine treatment alters behavioural responses that are modulated by biogenic amines in insects. Since insect reward responses involve both octopamine and dopamine signalling, we conclude that cocaine treatment altered diverse reward-related aspects of behaviour in bees. We discuss the implications of these results for understanding the ecology of cocaine as a plant defence compound. Our findings further validate the honey bee as a model system for understanding the behavioural impacts of cocaine, and potentially other drugs of abuse.

  6. Absence of food alternatives promotes risk-prone feeding of unpalatable substances in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desmedt, Lucie; Hotier, Lucie; Giurfa, Martin; Velarde, Rodrigo; de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela

    2016-08-18

    The question of why animals sometimes ingest noxious substances is crucial to understand unknown determinants of feeding behaviour. Research on risk-prone feeding behaviour has largely focused on energy budgets as animals with low energy budgets tend to ingest more aversive substances. A less explored possibility is that risk-prone feeding arises from the absence of alternative feeding options, irrespectively of energy budgets. Here we contrasted these two hypotheses in late-fall and winter honey bees. We determined the toxicity of various feeding treatments and showed that when bees can choose between sucrose solution and a mixture of this sucrose solution and a noxious/unpalatable substance, they prefer the pure sucrose solution and reject the mixtures, irrespective of their energy budget. Yet, when bees were presented with a single feeding option and their escape possibilities were reduced, they consumed unexpectedly some of the previously rejected mixtures, independently of their energy budget. These findings are interpreted as a case of feeding helplessness, in which bees behave as if it were utterly helpless to avoid the potentially noxious food and consume it. They suggest that depriving bees of variable natural food sources may have the undesired consequence of increasing their acceptance of food that would be otherwise rejected.

  7. 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.

  8. Absence of food alternatives promotes risk-prone feeding of unpalatable substances in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desmedt, Lucie; Hotier, Lucie; Giurfa, Martin; Velarde, Rodrigo; de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela

    2016-01-01

    The question of why animals sometimes ingest noxious substances is crucial to understand unknown determinants of feeding behaviour. Research on risk-prone feeding behaviour has largely focused on energy budgets as animals with low energy budgets tend to ingest more aversive substances. A less explored possibility is that risk-prone feeding arises from the absence of alternative feeding options, irrespectively of energy budgets. Here we contrasted these two hypotheses in late-fall and winter honey bees. We determined the toxicity of various feeding treatments and showed that when bees can choose between sucrose solution and a mixture of this sucrose solution and a noxious/unpalatable substance, they prefer the pure sucrose solution and reject the mixtures, irrespective of their energy budget. Yet, when bees were presented with a single feeding option and their escape possibilities were reduced, they consumed unexpectedly some of the previously rejected mixtures, independently of their energy budget. These findings are interpreted as a case of feeding helplessness, in which bees behave as if it were utterly helpless to avoid the potentially noxious food and consume it. They suggest that depriving bees of variable natural food sources may have the undesired consequence of increasing their acceptance of food that would be otherwise rejected. PMID:27534586

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

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    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

  10. Larval and nurse worker control of developmental plasticity and the evolution of honey bee queen-worker dimorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linksvayer, T A; Kaftanoglu, O; Akyol, E; Blatch, S; Amdam, G V; Page, R E

    2011-09-01

    Social evolution in honey bees has produced strong queen-worker dimorphism for plastic traits that depend on larval nutrition. The honey bee developmental programme includes both larval components that determine plastic growth responses to larval nutrition and nurse components that regulate larval nutrition. We studied how these two components contribute to variation in worker and queen body size and ovary size for two pairs of honey bee lineages that show similar differences in worker body-ovary size allometry but have diverged over different evolutionary timescales. Our results indicate that the lineages have diverged for both nurse and larval developmental components, that rapid changes in worker body-ovary size allometry may disrupt queen development and that queen-worker dimorphism arises mainly from discrete nurse-provided nutritional environments, not from a developmental switch that converts variable nutritional environments into discrete phenotypes. Both larval and nurse components have likely contributed to the evolution of queen-worker dimorphism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Overwintering Is Associated with Reduced Expression of Immune Genes and Higher Susceptibility to Virus Infection in Honey Bees.

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    Nadja Steinmann

    Full Text Available The eusocial honey bee, Apis mellifera, has evolved remarkable abilities to survive extreme seasonal differences in temperature and availability of resources by dividing the worker caste into two groups that differ in physiology and lifespan: summer and winter bees. Most of the recent major losses of managed honey bee colonies occur during the winter, suggesting that winter bees may have compromised immune function and higher susceptibility to diseases. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the expression of eight immune genes and naturally occurring infection levels of deformed wing virus (DWV, one of the most widespread viruses in A. mellifera populations, between summer and winter bees. Possible interactions between immune response and physiological activity were tested by measuring the expression of vitellogenin and methyl farnesoate epoxidase, a gene coding for the last enzyme involved in juvenile hormone biosynthesis. Our data show that high DWV loads in winter bees correlate with reduced expression of genes involved in the cellular immune response and physiological activity and high expression of humoral immune genes involved in antibacterial defense compared with summer bees. This expression pattern could reflect evolutionary adaptations to resist bacterial pathogens and economize energy during the winter under a pathogen landscape with reduced risk of pathogenic viral infections. The outbreak of Varroa destructor infestation could have overcome these adaptations by promoting the transmission of viruses. Our results suggest that reduced cellular immune function during the winter may have increased honey bee's susceptibility to DWV. These results contribute to our understanding of honey bee colony losses in temperate regions.

  13. Ozone Differentially Affects Perception of Plant Volatiles in Western Honey Bees.

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    Dötterl, Stefan; Vater, Marina; Rupp, Thomas; Held, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    Floral scents play a key role in mediating plant-pollinator interactions. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by flowers are used by flower visitors as olfactory cues to locate flowers, both from a distance and at close range. More recently it has been demonstrated that reactive molecules such as ozone can modify or degrade VOCs, and this may impair the communication between plants and their pollinators. However, it is not known whether such reactive molecules also may affect the olfactory system of pollinators, and thus not only influence signal transmission but perception of the signal. In this study, we used electroantennographic measurements to determine the effect of increased levels of ozone on antennal responses in western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Linalool and 2-phenylethanol, both known to be involved in location of flowers by the bees, and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, a widespread green leaf volatile also detected by bees, were used. The results showed that ozone affected antennal responses to the different substances differently. Ozone decreased antennal responses to (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, whereas responses to linalool and 2-phenylethanol were not influenced by ozone. Overall, the study does not provide evidence that pollination by honey bees is impaired by damage in the olfactory system of the bees caused by increased levels of ozone, at least when linalool and 2-phenylethanol are the attractive signals. However, the results also suggest that ozone can change the overall perception of an odor blend. This might have negative effects in pollination systems and other organismic interactions mediated by specific ratios of compounds.

  14. Microarray analysis of natural socially regulated plasticity in circadian rhythms of honey bees.

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    Rodriguez-Zas, Sandra L; Southey, Bruce R; Shemesh, Yair; Rubin, Elad B; Cohen, Mira; Robinson, Gene E; Bloch, Guy

    2012-02-01

    Honey bee workers care for ("nurse") the brood around the clock without circadian rhythmicity, but then they forage outside with strong circadian rhythms and a consolidated nightly rest. This chronobiological plasticity is associated with variation in the expression of the canonical "clock genes" that regulate the circadian clock: nurse bees show no brain rhythms of expression, while foragers do. These results suggest that the circadian system is organized differently in nurses and foragers. Nurses switch to activity with circadian rhythms shortly after being removed from the hive, suggesting that at least some clock cells in their brain continue to measure time while in the hive. We performed a microarray genome-wide survey to determine general patterns of brain gene expression in nurses and foragers sampled around the clock. We found 160 and 541 transcripts that exhibited significant sinusoidal oscillations in nurses and foragers, respectively, with peaks of expression distributed throughout the day in both task groups. Consistent with earlier studies, transcripts of genes involved in circadian rhythms, including Clockwork Orange that has not been studied before in bees, oscillated in foragers but not in nurses. The oscillating transcripts also were enriched for genes involved in the visual system, "development" and "response to stimuli" (foragers), "muscle contraction" and "microfilament motor gene expression" (nurses), and "generation of precursor metabolites" and "energy" (both). Transcripts of genes encoding P450 enzymes oscillated in both nurses and foragers but with a different phase. This study identified new putative clock-controlled genes in the honey bee and suggests that some brain functions show circadian rhythmicity even in nurse bees that are active around the clock.

  15. Honey Bees (Apis mellifera, L. as Active Samplers of Airborne Particulate Matter.

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    Ilaria Negri

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis mellifera L. are bioindicators of environmental pollution levels. During their wide-ranging foraging activity, these hymenopterans are exposed to pollutants, thus becoming a useful tool to trace the environmental contaminants as heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides and volatile organic compounds. In the present work we demonstrate that bees can also be used as active samplers of airborne particulate matter. Worker bees were collected from hives located in a polluted postmining area in South West Sardinia (Italy that is also exposed to dust emissions from industrial plants. The area is included in an official list of sites of national interest for environmental remediation, and has been characterized for the effects of pollutants on the health of the resident population. The head, wings, hind legs and alimentary canal of the bees were investigated with Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX. The analyses pointed to specific morphological and chemical features of the particulate, and resulted into the identification of three categories of particles: industry-, postmining-, and soil-derived. With the exception of the gut, all the analyzed body districts displayed inorganic particles, mostly concentrated in specific areas of the body (i.e. along the costal margin of the fore wings, the medial plane of the head, and the inner surface of the hind legs. The role of both past mining activities and the industrial activity close to the study area as sources of the particulate matter is also discussed. We conclude that honey bees are able to collect samples of the main airborne particles emitted from different sources, therefore could be an ideal tool for monitoring such a kind of pollutants.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Al Toufailia, Hasan M; Amiri, Esmaeil; Scandian, Luciano; Kryger, Per; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2014-01-01

    Hygienic behaviour in the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is the uncapping and removal of dead, diseased or infected brood from sealed cells by worker bees. We determined the effect of hygienic behaviour on varroa population growth and incidence of deformed wing virus (DWV), which can be transmitted 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

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    Gina Retschnig

    Full Text Available Sex-related differences in susceptibility to pathogens are a common phenomenon in animals. In the eusocial Hymenoptera the two female castes, workers and queens, are diploid and males are haploid. The haploid susceptibility hypothesis predicts that haploid males are more susceptible to pathogen infections compared to females. Here we test this hypothesis using adult male (drone and female (worker honey bees (Apis mellifera, inoculated with the gut endoparasite Nosema ceranae and/or black queen cell virus (BQCV. These pathogens were chosen due to previously reported synergistic interactions between Nosema apis and BQCV. Our data do not support synergistic interactions between N. ceranae and BQCV and also suggest that BQCV has limited effect on both drone and worker health, regardless of the infection level. However, the data clearly show that, despite lower levels of N. ceranae spores in drones than in workers, Nosema-infected drones had both a higher mortality and a lower body mass than non-infected drones, across all treatment groups, while the mortality and body mass of worker bees were largely unaffected by N. ceranae infection, suggesting that drones are more susceptible to this pathogen than workers. In conclusion, the data reveal considerable sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees and highlight the importance of ultimate measures for determining susceptibility, such as mortality and body quality, rather than mere infection levels.

  19. 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.

  20. Activity-dependent gene expression in honey bee mushroom bodies in response to orientation flight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Claudia C; Robinson, Gene E

    2013-06-01

    The natural history of adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) provides an opportunity to study the molecular basis of learning in an ecological context. Foragers must learn to navigate between the hive and floral locations that may be up to miles away. Young pre-foragers prepare for this task by performing orientation flights near the hive, during which they begin to learn navigational cues such as the appearance of the hive, the position of landmarks, and the movement of the sun. Despite well-described spatial learning and navigation behavior, there is currently limited information on the neural basis of insect spatial learning. We found that Egr, an insect homolog of Egr-1, is rapidly and transiently upregulated in the mushroom bodies in response to orientation. This result is the first example of an Egr-1 homolog acting as a learning-related immediate-early gene in an insect and also demonstrates that honey bee orientation uses a molecular mechanism that is known to be involved in many other forms of learning. This transcriptional response occurred both in naïve bees and in foragers induced to re-orient. Further experiments suggest that visual environmental novelty, rather than exercise or memorization of specific visual cues, acts as the stimulus for Egr upregulation. Our results implicate the mushroom bodies in spatial learning and emphasize the deep conservation of Egr-related pathways in experience-dependent plasticity.

  1. Stress indicator gene expression profiles, colony dynamics and tissue development of honey bees exposed to sub-lethal doses of imidacloprid in laboratory and field experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ioannidis, Pavlos; Hamamtzoglou, Anna; Schoonvaere, Karel; Francis, Frédéric; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; de Graaf, Dirk C.

    2017-01-01

    In this study, different context-dependent effects of imidacloprid exposure on the honey bee response were studied. Honey bees were exposed to different concentrations of imidacloprid during a time period of 40 days. Next to these variables, a laboratory-field comparison was conducted. The influence of the chronic exposure on gene expression levels was determined using an in-house developed microarray targeting different immunity-related and detoxification genes to determine stress-related gene expression changes. Increased levels of the detoxification genes encoding, CYP9Q3 and CYT P450, were detected in imidacloprid-exposed honey bees. The different context-dependent effects of imidacloprid exposure on honey bees were confirmed physiologically by decreased hypopharyngeal gland sizes. Honey bees exposed to imidacloprid in laboratory cages showed a general immunosuppression and no detoxification mechanisms were triggered significantly, while honey bees in-field showed a resilient response with an immune stimulation at later time points. However, the treated colonies had a brood and population decline tendency after the first brood cycle in the field. In conclusion, this study highlighted the different context-dependent effects of imidacloprid exposure on the honey bee response. These findings warn for possible pitfalls concerning the generalization of results based on specific experiments with short exposure times. The increased levels of CYT P450 and CYP9Q3 combined with an immune response reaction can be used as markers for bees which are exposed to pesticides in the field. PMID:28182641

  2. Large-scale field application of RNAi technology reducing Israeli acute paralysis virus disease in honey bees (Apis mellifera, Hymenoptera: Apidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wayne Hunter

    Full Text Available The importance of honey bees to the world economy far surpasses their contribution in terms of honey production; they are responsible for up to 30% of the world's food production through pollination of crops. Since fall 2006, honey bees in the U.S. have faced a serious population decline, due in part to a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD, which is a disease syndrome that is likely caused by several factors. Data from an initial study in which investigators compared pathogens in honey bees affected by CCD suggested a putative role for Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, IAPV. This is a single stranded RNA virus with no DNA stage placed taxonomically within the family Dicistroviridae. Although subsequent studies have failed to find IAPV in all CCD diagnosed colonies, IAPV has been shown to cause honey bee mortality. RNA interference technology (RNAi has been used successfully to silence endogenous insect (including honey bee genes both by injection and feeding. Moreover, RNAi was shown to prevent bees from succumbing to infection from IAPV under laboratory conditions. In the current study IAPV specific homologous dsRNA was used in the field, under natural beekeeping conditions in order to prevent mortality and improve the overall health of bees infected with IAPV. This controlled study included a total of 160 honey bee hives in two discrete climates, seasons and geographical locations (Florida and Pennsylvania. To our knowledge, this is the first successful large-scale real world use of RNAi for disease control.

  3. Stress indicator gene expression profiles, colony dynamics and tissue development of honey bees exposed to sub-lethal doses of imidacloprid in laboratory and field experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Smet, Lina; Hatjina, Fani; Ioannidis, Pavlos; Hamamtzoglou, Anna; Schoonvaere, Karel; Francis, Frédéric; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2017-01-01

    In this study, different context-dependent effects of imidacloprid exposure on the honey bee response were studied. Honey bees were exposed to different concentrations of imidacloprid during a time period of 40 days. Next to these variables, a laboratory-field comparison was conducted. The influence of the chronic exposure on gene expression levels was determined using an in-house developed microarray targeting different immunity-related and detoxification genes to determine stress-related gene expression changes. Increased levels of the detoxification genes encoding, CYP9Q3 and CYT P450, were detected in imidacloprid-exposed honey bees. The different context-dependent effects of imidacloprid exposure on honey bees were confirmed physiologically by decreased hypopharyngeal gland sizes. Honey bees exposed to imidacloprid in laboratory cages showed a general immunosuppression and no detoxification mechanisms were triggered significantly, while honey bees in-field showed a resilient response with an immune stimulation at later time points. However, the treated colonies had a brood and population decline tendency after the first brood cycle in the field. In conclusion, this study highlighted the different context-dependent effects of imidacloprid exposure on the honey bee response. These findings warn for possible pitfalls concerning the generalization of results based on specific experiments with short exposure times. The increased levels of CYT P450 and CYP9Q3 combined with an immune response reaction can be used as markers for bees which are exposed to pesticides in the field.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagili, Ramesh R; Breece, Carolyn R

    2012-08-01

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

  5. Antibacterial synergic effect of honey from two stingless bees: Scaptotrigona bipunctata Lepeletier, 1836, and S. postica Latreille, 1807

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishio, E. K.; Ribeiro, J. M.; Oliveira, A. G.; Andrade, C. G. T. J.; Proni, E. A.; Kobayashi, R. K. T.; Nakazato, G.

    2016-02-01

    Several studies have tested antimicrobial activity of combinations of honey and various substances. In this study, we tested a combination of two stingless bee honeys against various bacterial strains. In particular: the antibacterial activity of honeys produced by Scaptotrigona bipunctata (SB) and Scaptotrigona postica (SP) was evaluated against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains by agar well diffusion assays, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assessment, construction of growth and viability curves and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The interaction of the two honeys was also evaluated by the checkerboard assay. Inhibition zones ranged from 8 to 22 mm. The MIC values of the individual honeys ranged from 0.62 to 10% (v v-1) and decreased to 1/4 to 1/32 when the honeys were combined. SEM images showed division inhibition and cell wall disruption for the SB and SP honeys, respectively, and these alterations were observed in same field when the SB and SP honeys were combined. This study demonstrated that the natural honeys possess in vitro antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains. Combination of the SB and SP honeys could lead to the development of new broad-spectrum antimicrobials that have the potential to prevent the emergence of resistant bacterial strains.

  6. Temporal Variation in Honey Production by the Stingless Bee Melipona subnitida (Hymenoptera: Apidae): Long-Term Management Reveals its Potential as a Commercial Species in Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koffler, Sheina; Menezes, Cristiano; Menezes, Paulo Roberto; Kleinert, Astrid de Matos Peixoto; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera Lucia; Pope, Nathaniel; Jaffé, Rodolfo

    2015-06-01

    Even though stingless beekeeping has a great potential as a sustainable development tool, the activity remains essentially informal, technical knowledge is scarce, and management practices lack the sophistication and standardization found in apiculture. Here, we contributed to the further development of stingless beekeeping by investigating the long-term impact of management and climate on honey production and colony survival in the stingless bee Melipona subnitida Ducke (1910). We analyzed a 10-yr record of 155 M. subnitida colonies kept by a commercial honey producer of northeastern Brazil. This constitutes the longest and most accurate record available for a stingless bee. We modeled honey production in relation to time (years), age, management practices (colony division and food supplementation), and climatic factors (temperature and precipitation), and used a model selection approach to identify which factors best explained honey production. We also modeled colony mortality in relation to climatic factors. Although the amount of honey produced by each colony decreased over time, we found that the probability of producing honey increased over the years. Colony divisions decreased honey production, but did not affect honey presence, while supplementary feeding positively affected honey production. In warmer years, the probability of producing honey decreased and the amount of honey produced was lower. In years with lower precipitation, fewer colonies produced honey. In contrast, colony mortality was not affected by climatic factors, and some colonies lived up to nine years, enduring extreme climatic conditions. Our findings provide useful guidelines to improve management and honey production in stingless bees.

  7. Aging- and task-related resilience decline is linked to food responsiveness in highly social honey bees.

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    Speth, Martin T; Kreibich, Claus D; Amdam, Gro V; Münch, Daniel

    2015-05-01

    Conventional invertebrate models of aging have provided striking examples for the influence of food- and nutrient-sensing on lifespan and stress resilience. On the other hand, studies in highly social insects, such as honey bees, have revealed how social context can shape very plastic life-history traits, for example flexible aging dynamics in the helper caste (workers). It is, however, not understood how food perception and stress resilience are connected in honey bee workers with different social task behaviors and aging dynamics. To explore this linkage, we tested if starvation resilience, which normally declines with age, depends on food responsiveness in honey bees. We studied two typically non-senesced groups of worker bees with different social task behaviors: mature nurses (caregivers) and mature foragers (food collectors). In addition, we included a group of old foragers for which functional senescence is well-established. Bees were individually scored for their food perception by measuring the gustatory response to different sucrose concentrations. Subsequently, individuals were tested for survival under starvation stress. We found that starvation stress resilience, but not gustatory responsiveness differed between workers with different social task behaviors (mature nurses vs. mature foragers). In addition starvation stress resilience differed between foragers with different aging progressions (mature foragers vs. old foragers). Control experiments confirmed that differences in starvation resilience between mature nurses and mature foragers were robust against changing experimental conditions, such as water provision and activity. For all worker groups we established that individuals with low gustatory responsiveness were more resilient to starvation stress. Finally, for the group of rapidly aging foragers we found that low food responsiveness was linked to a delayed age-related decline in starvation resilience. Our study highlights associations between

  8. Epigenetic integration of environmental and genomic signals in honey bees: the critical interplay of nutritional, brain and reproductive networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maleszka, Ryszard

    2008-01-01

    The discovery of a family of highly conserved DNA cytosine methylases in honey bees and other insects suggests that, like mammals, invertebrates possess a mechanism for storing epigenetic information that controls heritable states of gene expression. Recent data also show that silencing DNA methylation in young larvae mimics the effects of nutrition on early developmental processes that determine the reproductive fate of honey bee females. We evaluate the impact of these findings on future studies of environmentally-driven phenotypic plasticity in social insects, and discuss how they may help in understanding the nutritional basis of epigenetic reprogramming in humans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Most organisms are constantly faced with environmental changes and stressors. In diverse organisms, there is an anticipatory mechanism during development that can program adult phenotypes. The adult phenotype would be adapted to the predicted environment that occurred during organism maturation. However, whether this anticipatory mechanism is present in eusocial species is questionable because eusocial organisms are largely shielded from exogenous conditions by their stable nest environment. In this study, we tested whether food deprivation during development of the honey bee (Apis mellifera), a eusocial insect model, can shift adult phenotypes to better cope with nutritional stress. After subjecting fifth instar worker larvae to short-term starvation, we measured nutrition-related morphology, starvation resistance, physiology, endocrinology and behavior in the adults. We found that the larval starvation caused adult honey bees to become more resilient toward starvation. Moreover, the adult bees were characterized by reduced ovary size, elevated glycogen stores and juvenile hormone (JH) titers, and decreased sugar sensitivity. These changes, in general, can help adult insects survive and reproduce in food-poor environments. Overall, we found for the first time support for an anticipatory mechanism in a eusocial species, the honey bee. Our results suggest that this mechanism may play a role in honey bee queen-worker differentiation and worker division of labor, both of which are related to the responses to nutritional stress.

  10. Organic Extractives from Mentha spp. Honey and the Bee-Stomach: Methyl Syringate, Vomifoliol, Terpenediol I, Hotrienol and Other Compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Jerković

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The GC and GC/MS analyses of the solvent organic extractive from the stomach of the bees, having collected Mentha spp. nectar, revealed the presence of methyl syringate (6.6%, terpendiol I (5.0% and vomifoliol (3.0% that can be attributed to the plant origin. Other major compounds from the bee-stomach were related to the composition of cuticular waxes and less to pheromones. Organic extractivesfrom Mentha spp. honey were obtained by solvent-free headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME and ultrasonic solvent extraction (USE and analyzed by GC and GC/MS. The major honey headspace compounds were hotrienol (31.1%–38.5%, 2-methoxy-4-methylphenol (0.5–6.0%, cis- and trans-linalool oxides (0.9–2.8%, linalool (1.0–3.1% and neroloxide (0.9–1.9%. Methyl syringate was the most abundant compound (38.3-56.2% in the honey solvent extractives followed by vomifoliol (7.0–26.6%. Comparison of the honey organic extractives with the corresponding bee-stomach extractive indicated that methyl syringate and vomofoliol were transferred to the honey while terpendiol I was partially transformed to hotrienol in ripened honey.

  11. Micro-CT imaging of denatured chitin by silver to explore honey bee and insect pathologies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter R Butzloff

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chitin and cuticle coatings are important to the environmental and immune defense of honey bees and insect pollinators. Pesticides or environmental effects may target the biochemistry of insect chitin and cuticle coating. Denaturing of chitin involves a combination of deacetylation, intercalation, oxidation, Schweiger-peeling, and the formation of amine hydrochloride salt. The term "denatured chitin" calls attention to structural and property changes to the internal membranes and external carapace of organisms so that some properties affecting biological activities are diminished. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A case study was performed on honey bees using silver staining and microscopic computer-tomographic x-ray radiography (micro-CT. Silver nitrate formed counter-ion complexes with labile ammonium cations and reacted with amine hydrochloride. Silver was concentrated in the peritrophic membrane, on the abdomen, in the glossa, at intersegmental joints (tarsi, at wing attachments, and in tracheal air sacs. Imaged mono-esters and fatty acids from cuticle coating on external surfaces were apparently reduced by an alcohol pretreatment. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The technique provides 3-dimensional and sectional images of individual honey bees consistent with the chemistries of silver reaction and complex formation with denatured chitin. Environmental exposures and influences such as gaseous nitric oxide intercalant, trace oxidants such as ozone gas, oligosachharide salt conversion, exposure to acid rain, and chemical or biochemical denaturing by pesticides may be studied using this technique. Peritrophic membranes, which protect against food abrasion, microorganisms, and permit efficient digestion, were imaged. Apparent surface damage to the corneal lenses of compound eyes by dilute acid exposure consistent with chitin amine hydrochloride formation was imaged. The technique can contribute to existing insect pathology research, and may

  12. Learning and memory in workers reared by nutritionally stressed honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies.

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    Mattila, Heather R; Smith, Brian H

    2008-12-15

    Chronic nutritional stress can have a negative impact on an individual's learning ability and memory. However, in social animals that share food among group members, such as the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), it is unknown whether group-level nutritional stress is manifested in the learning performance of individuals. Accordingly, we examined learning and memory in honey bee workers reared by colonies exposed to varying degrees of long-term pollen stress. Pollen provides honey bee workers with almost all of the proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals that they require as larvae and adults. Colonies were created that were either chronically pollen poor or pollen rich, or were intermediate in pollen supply; treatments altered colonies' pollen stores and brood-rearing capacity. Workers from these colonies were put through a series of olfactory-conditioning assays using proboscis-extension response (PER). PER thresholds were determined, then workers learned in olfactory-conditioning trials to associate two floral odors (one novel and the other presented previously without reward) with stimulation with sucrose and a sucrose reward. The strength of the memory that was formed for the odor/sucrose association was tested after olfactory-conditioning assays ended. Colony-level nutritional status had no effect on worker learning or memory (response threshold of workers to sucrose, acquisition of the odor/sucrose association, occurrence of latent inhibition, or memory retention over 72 h). We conclude that potential effects of chronic, colony-wide nutrient deprivation on learning and memory are not found in workers, probably because colonies use brood-rearing capacity to buffer nutrient stress at the level of the individual.

  13. Overwintering Is Associated with Reduced Expression of Immune Genes and Higher Susceptibility to Virus Infection in Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmann, Nadja; Corona, Miguel; Neumann, Peter; Dainat, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    The eusocial honey bee, Apis mellifera, has evolved remarkable abilities to survive extreme seasonal differences in temperature and availability of resources by dividing the worker caste into two groups that differ in physiology and lifespan: summer and winter bees. Most of the recent major losses of managed honey bee colonies occur during the winter, suggesting that winter bees may have compromised immune function and higher susceptibility to diseases. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the expression of eight immune genes and naturally occurring infection levels of deformed wing virus (DWV), one of the most widespread viruses in A. mellifera populations, between summer and winter bees. Possible interactions between immune response and physiological activity were tested by measuring the expression of vitellogenin and methyl farnesoate epoxidase, a gene coding for the last enzyme involved in juvenile hormone biosynthesis. Our data show that high DWV loads in winter bees correlate with reduced expression of genes involved in the cellular immune response and physiological activity and high expression of humoral immune genes involved in antibacterial defense compared with summer bees. This expression pattern could reflect evolutionary adaptations to resist bacterial pathogens and economize energy during the winter under a pathogen landscape with reduced risk of pathogenic viral infections. The outbreak of Varroa destructor infestation could have overcome these adaptations by promoting the transmission of viruses. Our results suggest that reduced cellular immune function during the winter may have increased honey bee’s susceptibility to DWV. These results contribute to our understanding of honey bee colony losses in temperate regions. PMID:26121358

  14. Acute exposure to selenium disrupts associative conditioning and long-term memory recall in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burden, Christina M; Elmore, Christopher; Hladun, Kristen R; Trumble, John T; Smith, Brian H

    2016-05-01

    A plethora of toxic compounds - including pesticides, heavy metals, and metalloids - have been detected in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and their colonies. One such compound is selenium, which bees are exposed to by consuming nectar and pollen from flowers grown in contaminated areas. Though selenium is lethal at high concentrations, sublethal exposure may also impair honey bees' ability to function normally. Examining the effect of selenium exposure on learning and memory provides a sensitive assay with which to identify sublethal effects on honey bee health and behavior. To determine whether sublethal selenium exposure causes learning and memory deficits, we used proboscis extension reflex conditioning coupled with recall tests 30min and 24h post-conditioning. We exposed forager honey bees to a single sublethal dose of selenium, and 3h later we used an olfactory conditioning assay to train the bees to discriminate between one odor associated with sucrose-reinforcement and a second unreinforced odor. Following conditioning we tested short- and long-term recall of the task. Acute exposure to as little as 1.8ng of an inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenate) before conditioning caused a reduction in behavioral performance during conditioning. And, exposure to 18ng of either an inorganic form (sodium selenate) or an organic form (methylseleno-l-cysteine) of selenium caused a reduction in the bees' performance during the long-term recall test. These concentrations of selenium are lower than those found in the nectar of plants grown in selenium-contaminated soil, indicating that even low-grade selenium toxicity produces significant learning and memory impairments. This may reduce foragers' ability to effectively gather resources for the colony or nurse bees' ability to care for and maintain a healthy colony.

  15. Radionuclide Concentrations in Honey Bees from Area G at TA-54 during 1999

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    T. K. Haarmann; P. R. Fresquez

    2000-06-01

    Honey bees were collected from two colonies located at Los Alamos National Laboratory's Area G, Technical Area 54, and from one control (background) colony located near Jemez Springs, NM. Samples were analyzed for various radionuclides. Area G sample results from both colonies were higher than the upper (95%) level background concentration for {sup 3}H. Sample results from one colony were higher than the upper (95%) level background concentration for total uranium, while sample results from the other colony were higher than the upper (95%) level background concentration for {sup 90}Sr.

  16. Radionuclide Concentrations in Honey Bees from Area G at TA-54 during 1998

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haarmann, T.K.; Fresquez, P.R.

    1999-06-01

    Honey bees were collected from two colonies located at Los Alamos National Laboratory's Area G, Technical Area 54, and from one control (background) colony located near Jemez Springs, NM. Samples were analyzed for various radionuclides. Area G sample results from both colonies were higher than the upper (95%) level background concentration for {sup 239,240}Pu, {sup 3}H, and total uranium. Sample results from one colony were higher than the upper (95%) level background concentration for {sup 238}Pu.

  17. Radionuclide concentrations in honey bees from Area G at TA-54 during 1997. Progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haarmann, T.K.; Fresquez, P.R.

    1998-07-01

    Honey bees were collected from two colonies located at Los Alamos National Laboratory`s Area G, Technical Area 54, and from one control (background) colony located near Jamez Springs, NM. Samples were analyzed for the following: cesium ({sup 137}Cs), americium ({sup 241}Am), plutonium ({sup 238}Pu and {sup 239,240}Pu), tritium ({sup 3}H), total uranium, and gross gamma activity. Area G sample results from both colonies were higher than the upper (95%) level background concentration for {sup 238}Pu and {sup 3}H.

  18. Meta-analysis of genome-wide expression patterns associated with behavioral maturation in honey bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Southey Bruce R

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The information from multiple microarray experiments can be integrated in an objective manner via meta-analysis. However, multiple meta-analysis approaches are available and their relative strengths have not been directly compared using experimental data in the context of different gene expression scenarios and studies with different degrees of relationship. This study investigates the complementary advantages of meta-analysis approaches to integrate information across studies, and further mine the transcriptome for genes that are associated with complex processes such as behavioral maturation in honey bees. Behavioral maturation and division of labor in honey bees are related to changes in the expression of hundreds of genes in the brain. The information from various microarray studies comparing the expression of genes at different maturation stages in honey bee brains was integrated using complementary meta-analysis approaches. Results Comparison of lists of genes with significant differential expression across studies failed to identify genes with consistent patterns of expression that were below the selected significance threshold, or identified genes with significant yet inconsistent patterns. The meta-analytical framework supported the identification of genes with consistent overall expression patterns and eliminated genes that exhibited contradictory expression patterns across studies. Sample-level meta-analysis of normalized gene-expression can detect more differentially expressed genes than the study-level meta-analysis of estimates for genes that were well described by similar model parameter estimates across studies and had small variation across studies. Furthermore, study-level meta-analysis was well suited for genes that exhibit consistent patterns across studies, genes that had substantial variation across studies, and genes that did not conform to the assumptions of the sample-level meta-analysis. Meta

  19. Superinfection exclusion and the long-term survival of honey bees in Varroa-infested colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordecai, Gideon J; Brettell, Laura E; Martin, Stephen J; Dixon, David; Jones, Ian M; Schroeder, Declan C

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 50 years, many millions of European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies have died as the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has spread around the world. Subsequent studies have indicated that the mite's association with a group of RNA viral pathogens (Deformed Wing Virus, DWV) correlates with colony death. Here, we propose a phenomenon known as superinfection exclusion that provides an explanation of how certain A. mellifera populations have survived, despite Varroa infestation and high DWV loads. Next-generation sequencing has shown that a non-lethal DWV variant ‘type B' has become established in these colonies and that the lethal ‘type A' DWV variant fails to persist in the bee population. We propose that this novel stable host-pathogen relationship prevents the accumulation of lethal variants, suggesting that this interaction could be exploited for the development of an effective treatment that minimises colony losses in the future. PMID:26505829

  20. Neuropeptide Y-like signalling and nutritionally mediated gene expression and behaviour in the honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ament, S A; Velarde, R A; Kolodkin, M H; Moyse, D; Robinson, G E

    2011-06-01

    Previous research has led to the idea that derived traits can arise through the evolution of novel roles for conserved genes. We explored whether neuropeptide Y (NPY)-like signalling, a conserved pathway that regulates food-related behaviour, is involved in a derived, nutritionally-related trait, the division of labour in worker honey bees. Transcripts encoding two NPY-like peptides were expressed in separate populations of brain neurosecretory cells, consistent with endocrine functions. NPY-related genes were upregulated in the brains of older foragers compared with younger bees performing brood care ('nurses'). A subset of these changes can be attributed to nutrition, but neuropeptide F peptide treatments did not influence sugar intake. These results contrast with recent reports of more robust associations between division of labour and the related insulin-signalling pathway and suggest that some elements of molecular pathways associated with feeding behaviour may be more evolutionarily labile than others.

  1. Efficiency in pollen foraging by honey bees: Time, motion and pollen depletion on flowers of Sisyrinchium palmifolium Linnaeus (Asparagales: Iridaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breno M. Freitas

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees depend on flower resources (nectar and pollen to supply individual and colony needs. Although behavioural studies already assessed optimum foraging patterns of bumblebees, honey bees foraging behavioural patterns have been poorly assessed. We used Sysirinchium palmifolium L. (Iridaceae, a low-growing, abundant and anthophilous grassland flower to test the hypotheses that Apis mellifera workers would i spend more time, ii visit a greater number of flowers, and iii travel greater distances within patches of S. palmifolium which were newly opened or not been visited by other pollinators when compared to foraging on patches that were available to pollinators during its whole blooming period (only one day. In two different sunny days, we measured bee activities in an area opened for visitation during the whole anthesis (OP plot treatment and another opened for visitation only half of anthesis (CL plot treatment. We observed bees spending more time, visiting more flowers and travelling more in S. palmifolium CL treatment than the OP plot treatment. Previous studies already showed bees alter their foraging behaviour in the lack of resources. Honey bees are able to remember the period of the day when resources are usually the higher, they probably detect the most promising period to gather resources on S. palmifolium flowers. Since A. mellifera is a pollinator with a wide-distribution and is considered an important cause of changes on native pollinator communities, we support additional studies evaluating its foraging behaviours to better understand how it explores flower resources.

  2. Hydrocarbons emitted by waggle-dancing honey bees increase forager recruitment by stimulating dancing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilley, David C

    2014-01-01

    Hydrocarbons emitted by waggle-dancing honey bees are known to reactivate experienced foragers to visit known food sources. This study investigates whether these hydrocarbons also increase waggle-dance recruitment by observing recruitment and dancing behavior when the dance compounds are introduced into the hive. If the hydrocarbons emitted by waggle-dancing bees affect the recruitment of foragers to a food source, then the number of recruits arriving at a food source should be greater after introduction of dance compounds versus a pure-solvent control. This prediction was supported by the results of experiments in which recruits were captured at a feeder following introduction of dance-compounds into a hive. This study also tested two nonexclusive behavioral mechanism(s) by which the compounds might stimulate recruitment; 1) increased recruitment could occur by means of increasing the recruitment effectiveness of each dance and/or 2) increased recruitment could occur by increasing the intensity of waggle-dancing. These hypotheses were tested by examining video records of the dancing and recruitment behavior of individually marked bees following dance-compound introduction. Comparisons of numbers of dance followers and numbers of recruits per dance and waggle run showed no significant differences between dance-compound and solvent-control introduction, thus providing no support for the first hypothesis. Comparison of the number of waggle-dance bouts and the number of waggle runs revealed significantly more dancing during morning dance-compound introduction than morning solvent-control introduction, supporting the second hypothesis. These results suggest that the waggle-dance hydrocarbons play an important role in honey bee foraging recruitment by stimulating foragers to perform waggle dances following periods of inactivity.

  3. Infra-population and -community dynamics of the parasites Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, and consequences for honey bee (Apis mellifera hosts.

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    Geoffrey R Williams

    Full Text Available Nosema spp. fungal gut parasites are among myriad possible explanations for contemporary increased mortality of western honey bees (Apis mellifera, hereafter honey bee in many regions of the world. Invasive Nosema ceranae is particularly worrisome because some evidence suggests it has greater virulence than its congener N. apis. N. ceranae appears to have recently switched hosts from Asian honey bees (Apis cerana and now has a nearly global distribution in honey bees, apparently displacing N. apis. We examined parasite reproduction and effects of N. apis, N. ceranae, and mixed Nosema infections on honey bee hosts in laboratory experiments. Both infection intensity and honey bee mortality were significantly greater for N. ceranae than for N. apis or mixed infections; mixed infection resulted in mortality similar to N. apis parasitism and reduced spore intensity, possibly due to inter-specific competition. This is the first long-term laboratory study to demonstrate lethal consequences of N. apis and N. ceranae and mixed Nosema parasitism in honey bees, and suggests that differences in reproduction and intra-host competition may explain apparent heterogeneous exclusion of the historic parasite by the invasive species.

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

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    Brian Dennis

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis, Brian; Kemp, William P.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26910061

  6. Highly Dynamic and Adaptive Traffic Congestion Avoidance in Real-Time Inspired by Honey Bee Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wedde, Horst F.; Lehnhoff, Sebastian; van Bonn, Bernhard; Bay, Z.; Becker, S.; Böttcher, S.; Brunner, C.; Büscher, A.; Fürst, T.; Lazarescu, A. M.; Rotaru, E.; Senge, S.; Steinbach, B.; Yilmaz, F.; Zimmermann, T.

    Traffic congestions have become a major problem in metropolitan areas world-wide, within and between cities, to an extent where they make driving and transportation times largely unpredictable. Due to the highly dynamic character of congestion building and dissolving this phenomenon appears even to resist a formal treatment. Static approaches, and even more their global management, have proven counterproductive in practice. Given the latest progress in VANET technology and the remarkable commercially driven efforts like in the European C2C consortium, or the VSC Project in the US, allow meanwhile to tackle various aspects of traffic regulation through VANET communication. In this paper we introduce a novel, completely decentralized multi-agent routing algorithm (termed BeeJamA) which we have derived from the foraging behavior of honey bees. It is highly dynamic, adaptive, robust, and scalable, and it allows for both avoiding congestions, and minimizing traveling times to individual destinations. Vehicle guidance is provided well ahead of every intersection, depending on the individual speeds. Thus strict deadlines are imposed on, and respected by, the BeeJamA algorithm. We report on extensive simulation experiments which show the superior performance of BeeJamA over conventional approaches.

  7. A Causal Analysis of Observed Declines in Managed Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staveley, Jane P.; Law, Sheryl A.; Fairbrother, Anne; Menzie, Charles A.

    2013-01-01

    The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a highly valuable, semi-free-ranging managed agricultural species. While the number of managed hives has been increasing, declines in overwinter survival, and the onset of colony collapse disorder in 2006, precipitated a large amount of research on bees' health in an effort to isolate the causative factors. A workshop was convened during which bee experts were introduced to a formal causal analysis approach to compare 39 candidate causes against specified criteria to evaluate their relationship to the reduced overwinter survivability observed since 2006 of commercial bees used in the California almond industry. Candidate causes were categorized as probable, possible, or unlikely; several candidate causes were categorized as indeterminate due to lack of information. Due to time limitations, a full causal analysis was not completed at the workshop. In this article, examples are provided to illustrate the process and provide preliminary findings, using three candidate causes. Varroa mites plus viruses were judged to be a “probable cause” of the reduced survival, while nutrient deficiency was judged to be a “possible cause.” Neonicotinoid pesticides were judged to be “unlikely” as the sole cause of this reduced survival, although they could possibly be a contributing factor. PMID:24363549

  8. Consumption of an acute dose of caffeine reduces acquisition but not memory in the honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustard, Julie A; Dews, Lauren; Brugato, Arlana; Dey, Kevin; Wright, Geraldine A

    2012-06-15

    Caffeine affects several molecules that are also involved in the processes underlying learning and memory such as cAMP and calcium. However, studies of caffeine's influence on learning and memory in mammals are often contradictory. Invertebrate model systems have provided valuable insight into the actions of many neuroactive compounds including ethanol and cocaine. We use the honey bee (Apis mellifera) to investigate how the ingestion of acute doses of caffeine before, during, and after conditioning influences performance in an appetitive olfactory learning and memory task. Consumption of caffeine doses of 0.01 M or greater during or prior to conditioning causes a significant reduction in response levels during acquisition. Although bees find the taste of caffeine to be aversive at high concentrations, the bitter taste does not explain the reduction in acquisition observed for bees fed caffeine before conditioning. While high doses of caffeine reduced performance during acquisition, the response levels of bees given caffeine were the same as those of the sucrose only control group in a recall test 24h after conditioning. In addition, caffeine administered after conditioning had no affect on recall. These results suggest that caffeine specifically affects performance during acquisition and not the processes involved in the formation of early long term memory.

  9. Uncoupling primer and releaser responses to pheromone in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grozinger, Christina M.; Fischer, Patrick; Hampton, Jacob E.

    2007-05-01

    Pheromones produce dramatic behavioral and physiological responses in a wide variety of species. Releaser pheromones elicit rapid responses within seconds or minutes, while primer pheromones produce long-term changes which may take days to manifest. Honeybee queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) elicits multiple distinct behavioral and physiological responses in worker bees, as both a releaser and primer, and thus produces responses on vastly different time scales. In this study, we demonstrate that releaser and primer responses to QMP can be uncoupled. First, treatment with the juvenile hormone analog methoprene leaves a releaser response (attraction to QMP) intact, but modulates QMP’s primer effects on sucrose responsiveness. Secondly, two components of QMP (9-ODA and 9-HDA) do not elicit a releaser response (attraction) but are as effective as QMP at modulating a primer response, downregulation of foraging-related brain gene expression. These results suggest that different responses to a single pheromone may be produced via distinct pathways.

  10. 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.

  11. Antibacterial immune competence of honey bees (Apis mellifera is adapted to different life stages and environmental risks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heike Gätschenberger

    Full Text Available The development of all honey bee castes proceeds through three different life stages all of which encounter microbial infections to a various extent. We have examined the immune strength of honey bees across all developmental stages with emphasis on the temporal expression of cellular and humoral immune responses upon artificial challenge with viable Escherichia coli bacteria. We employed a broad array of methods to investigate defence strategies of infected individuals: (a fate of bacteria in the haemocoel; (b nodule formation and (c induction of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs. Newly emerged adult worker bees and drones were able to activate efficiently all examined immune reactions. The number of viable bacteria circulating in the haemocoel of infected bees declined rapidly by more than two orders of magnitude within the first 4-6 h post-injection (p.i., coinciding with the occurrence of melanised nodules. Antimicrobial activity, on the other hand, became detectable only after the initial bacterial clearance. These two temporal patterns of defence reactions very likely represent the constitutive cellular and the induced humoral immune response. A unique feature of honey bees is that a fraction of worker bees survives the winter season in a cluster mostly engaged in thermoregulation. We show here that the overall immune strength of winter bees matches that of young summer bees although nodulation reactions are not initiated at all. As expected, high doses of injected viable E.coli bacteria caused no mortality in larvae or adults of each age. However, drone and worker pupae succumbed to challenge with E.coli even at low doses, accompanied by a premature darkening of the pupal body. In contrast to larvae and adults, we observed no fast clearance of viable bacteria and no induction of AMPs but a rapid proliferation of E.coli bacteria in the haemocoel of bee pupae ultimately leading to their death.

  12. Daily number of bee louse (Braula coeca) in honey bee (Apis mellifera camica and A. m. syriaca) colonies maintained under semi-arid conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shahera Zaitoun; Abd AI-Majeed AI-Ghzawi

    2008-01-01

    Experimental work was conducted at two apiaries located in Irbid district and in Shuna North, Jordan, during the years 2004-2006. The aims of these investigations were to estimate the seasonal changes in the infestation rates of the bee louse (Braula sp.) and to develop an easy and rapid method of estimating the infestation rate on workers with bee Braula. Two major honey bee subspecies are reared in Jordan; Apis mellifera carnica and Apis mellifera syriaca were used in this study. The results showed that the infestation rate began to increase rapidly in May, reaching the season's maximum rate of 16.2%, 15.8% and 17.4% forA. ra. carnica and 22.6%, 23.9% and 22.9% forA. m. syr/aca in December of 2004,2005 and 2006, respectively. The maximum adult numbers of bees were found in April and June, whereas the minimum for the year was in January in both honey bee subspecies colonies during the study period. The actual population of the bee louse could be estimated by counting the daily dropped lice and multiplying by a factor of 158. This factor is valid for the experimental colonies of both subspecies kept for 3 years under semi-arid Mediterranean conditions.

  13. Nosema ceranae is an old resident of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in Mexico, causing infection levels of one million spores per bee or higher during summer and fall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero-Molina, Cristina; Correa-Benítez, Adriana; Hamiduzzaman, Mollah Md; Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto

    2016-11-01

    This study was conducted to identify Nosema spp. and to determine their infection levels in honey bee (Apis mellifera) samples collected in Mexico in 1995-1996. Samples of historical surveys from different countries are of particular interest to support or challenge the hypothesis that the microsporidium Nosema ceranae is a new parasite of A. mellifera that has recently dispersed across the world. We demonstrate that N. ceranae has parasitized honey bees in Mexico since at least 1995 and that the infection levels of this parasite during summer and fall, exceed the threshold at which treatment of honey bee colonies is recommended.

  14. An Observational Study of Honey Bee Colony Winter Losses and Their Association with Varroa destructor, Neonicotinoids and Other Risk Factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zee, van der R.; Gray, A.; Rijk, de T.C.

    2015-01-01

    This article presents results of an analysis of honey bee losses over the winter of 2011-2012 in the Netherlands, from a sample of 86 colonies, located at 43 apiaries. The apiaries were selected using spatially stratified random sampling. Colony winter loss data were collected and related to various

  15. Monitoring colony phenology using within-day variability in continuous weight and temperature of honey bee hives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Continuous weight and temperature data were collected for honey bee hives in two locations in Arizona, and those data were evaluated with respect to separate measurements of hive phenology to develop methods for monitoring hives non-invasively. Both the weight and temperature data were divided into ...

  16. Sublethal effects of Imidacloprid on honey bee colony growth and activity at three sites in the U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field experiments in southern Arizona, central Arkansas and southern Mississippi were conducted to evaluate the effects of sublethal concentrations (0, 5, 20 and 100 ppb) of imidacloprid in sugar syrup on honey bee colony growth and activity. Response variables included discrete data from hive inspe...

  17. Colony failure linked to low sperm viability in honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens and an exploration of potential causative factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queen health is closely linked to colony performance in honey bees as a single queen is normally responsible for all egg laying and brood production within the colony. In the U. S. in recent years, queens have been failing at a high rate; with 50% or greater of queens replaced in colonies within 6 m...

  18. Assessing the health of colonies and individual honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in a commercial beekeeping operation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metrics of honey bee health were assessed every six weeks over three years in colonies owned by a migratory beekeeper. The colonies were located in six apiaries during the summer months in North Dakota and were transported to California for almond pollination every winter. We previously characteri...

  19. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones survive oxidative stress due to increased tolerance instead of avoidance or repair of oxidative damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Huang, Ming Hua; Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Strand, Micheline K; Tarpy, David R; Rueppell, Olav

    2016-10-01

    Oxidative stress can lead to premature aging symptoms and cause acute mortality at higher doses in a range of organisms. Oxidative stress resistance and longevity are mechanistically and phenotypically linked; considerable variation in oxidative stress resistance exists among and within species and typically covaries with life expectancy. However, it is unclear whether stress-resistant, long-lived individuals avoid, repair, or tolerate molecular damage to survive longer than others. The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) is an emerging model system that is well-suited to address this question. Furthermore, this species is the most economically important pollinator, whose health may be compromised by pesticide exposure, including oxidative stressors. Here, we develop a protocol for inducing oxidative stress in honey bee males (drones) via Paraquat injection. After injection, individuals from different colony sources were kept in common social conditions to monitor their survival compared to saline-injected controls. Oxidative stress was measured in susceptible and resistant individuals. Paraquat drastically reduced survival but individuals varied in their resistance to treatment within and among colony sources. Longer-lived individuals exhibited higher levels of lipid peroxidation than individuals dying early. In contrast, the level of protein carbonylation was not significantly different between the two groups. This first study of oxidative stress in male honey bees suggests that survival of an acute oxidative stressor is due to tolerance, not prevention or repair, of oxidative damage to lipids. It also demonstrates colony differences in oxidative stress resistance that might be useful for breeding stress-resistant honey bees.

  20. A morphometry map and a new method for honey bee morphometric analysis by using the ArcGIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossam F. Abou-Shaara

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The morphometric analysis of honey bees has a substantial importance for honey bee subspecies characterization and discrimination while the ArcGIS is a geographical program for data analysis. In the present research, the combination between the morphometric data and the spatial analysis options of the ArcGIS was done and subsequently tested in creating a morphometry map for honey bees from some regions in Egypt as well as for the discrimination between two honey bee subspecies. Therefore, I present a model for creating the morphometry maps and a new method for the morphometric analysis by the transformation of the morphometric data to raster data layers. The obtained results showed that the created morphometry map classified the regions successfully according to the morphological character means. The morphometric analysis was successfully performed by using trend analysis and raster difference range. The analysis of the morphometric data as raster layers showed high sensitivity for the differences between subspecies and regions. The presented model and the method are effective and can be applied for the discrimination between subspecies, regions and colonies as well as can be used with other insects.

  1. QSTR modeling for qualitative and quantitative toxicity predictions of diverse chemical pesticides in honey bee for regulatory purposes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Kunwar P; Gupta, Shikha; Basant, Nikita; Mohan, Dinesh

    2014-09-15

    Pesticides are designed toxic chemicals for specific purposes and can harm nontarget species as well. The honey bee is considered a nontarget test species for toxicity evaluation of chemicals. Global QSTR (quantitative structure-toxicity relationship) models were established for qualitative and quantitative toxicity prediction of pesticides in honey bee (Apis mellifera) based on the experimental toxicity data of 237 structurally diverse pesticides. Structural diversity of the chemical pesticides and nonlinear dependence in the toxicity data were evaluated using the Tanimoto similarity index and Brock-Dechert-Scheinkman statistics. Probabilistic neural network (PNN) and generalized regression neural network (GRNN) QSTR models were constructed for classification (two and four categories) and function optimization problems using the toxicity end point in honey bees. The predictive power of the QSTR models was tested through rigorous validation performed using the internal and external procedures employing a wide series of statistical checks. In complete data, the PNN-QSTR model rendered a classification accuracy of 96.62% (two-category) and 95.57% (four-category), while the GRNN-QSTR model yielded a correlation (R(2)) of 0.841 between the measured and predicted toxicity values with a mean squared error (MSE) of 0.22. The results suggest the appropriateness of the developed QSTR models for reliably predicting qualitative and quantitative toxicities of pesticides in honey bee. Both the PNN and GRNN based QSTR models constructed here can be useful tools in predicting the qualitative and quantitative toxicities of the new chemical pesticides for regulatory purposes.

  2. Cyclodextrins as Carriers of Monterpenes into the Hemolymph of the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) for Integrated Pest Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Varroa mite (Varroa destructor), is becoming ubiquitous worldwide and is a serious threat to honey bees. The cultivation of certain food crops are at risk. The most noted acaricides against Varroa mites are with tau-fluvaninate and with coumaphos, but the mites are showing resistance. Since t...

  3. Multi-drug resistance transporters and a mechanism-based strategy for assessing risks of pesticide combinations to honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Annual losses of honey bee colonies remain high and pesticide exposure is one possible cause. Dangerous combinations of pesticides, plant-produced compounds and antibiotics added to hives may cause or contribute to losses, but it is very difficult to test the many combinations of those compounds tha...

  4. Comparison of acute effects of heroin and Kerack on sensory and motor activity of honey bees (Apis mellifera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Hassanpour-Ezatti

    2015-04-01

    Conclusion: Acute effects of heroin andKerack on the sensory and motor functions of honey bees were different. Findings of this research suggest that these differences originated from the activation of different neurotransmitter systems by caffeine together with activation of opioid receptors by heroin.

  5. Queen survival and oxalic acid residues in sugar stores after summer application against Varroa destructor in honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelissen, B.; Donders, J.N.L.C.; Stratum, van P.; Blacquière, T.; Dooremalen, van C.

    2012-01-01

    Methods using oxalic acid (OA) to control Varroa destructor in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies are widely applied. In this study, the effects of an OA spray application in early summer on the survival of young and old queens, and on OA residues in sugar stores were investigated. A questionnaire

  6. Swarming, defensive and hygienic behaviour in honey bee colonies of different genetic origin in a pan-European experiment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uzunov, Aleksandar; Costa, Cecilia; Panasiuk, Beata;

    2014-01-01

    Honey bee colonies exhibit a wide range of variation in their behaviour, depending on their genetic origin and environmental factors. The COLOSS Genotype-Environment Interactions Experiment gave us the opportunity to investigate the phenotypic expression of the swarming, defensive and hygienic be...

  7. Plant-Derived Tick Repellents Activate the Honey Bee Ectoparasitic Mite TRPA1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangda Peng

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available We have identified and characterized the TRPA1 channel of Varroa destructor (VdTRPA1, a major ectoparasitic mite of honey bee. One of the two VdTRPA1 isoforms, VdTRPA1L, was activated by a variety of plant-derived compounds, including electrophilic compounds, suggesting that chemical activation profiles are mostly shared between arthropod TRPA1 channels. Nevertheless, carvacrol and α-terpineol activated VdTRPA1L but not a honey bee noxious-stimuli-sensitive TRPA, AmHsTRPA, and Drosophila melanogaster TRPA1. Activation of VdTRPA1L in D. melanogaster taste neurons by the above compounds was sufficient to modify the gustatory behaviors. Carvacrol and α-terpineol repelled V. destructor in a laboratory assay, and α-terpineol repressed V. destructor entry for reproduction into the brood cells in hives. Understanding the functions of parasite TRP channels not only gives clues about the evolving molecular and cellular mechanisms of parasitism but also helps in the development of control methods.

  8. Production of the Catechol Type Siderophore Bacillibactin by the Honey Bee Pathogen Paenibacillus larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Gonzalez, Eva; Poppinga, Lena; Süssmuth, Roderich D.; Genersch, Elke

    2014-01-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Paenibacillus larvae is the etiological agent of American Foulbrood. This bacterial infection of honey bee brood is a notifiable epizootic posing a serious threat to global honey bee health because not only individual larvae but also entire colonies succumb to the disease. In the recent past considerable progress has been made in elucidating molecular aspects of host pathogen interactions during pathogenesis of P. larvae infections. Especially the sequencing and annotation of the complete genome of P. larvae was a major step forward and revealed the existence of several giant gene clusters coding for non-ribosomal peptide synthetases which might act as putative virulence factors. We here present the detailed analysis of one of these clusters which we demonstrated to be responsible for the biosynthesis of bacillibactin, a P. larvae siderophore. We first established culture conditions allowing the growth of P. larvae under iron-limited conditions and triggering siderophore production by P. larvae. Using a gene disruption strategy we linked siderophore production to the expression of an uninterrupted bacillibactin gene cluster. In silico analysis predicted the structure of a trimeric trithreonyl lactone (DHB-Gly-Thr)3 similar to the structure of bacillibactin produced by several Bacillus species. Mass spectrometric analysis unambiguously confirmed that the siderophore produced by P. larvae is identical to bacillibactin. Exposure bioassays demonstrated that P. larvae bacillibactin is not required for full virulence of P. larvae in laboratory exposure bioassays. This observation is consistent with results obtained for bacillibactin in other pathogenic bacteria. PMID:25237888

  9. Landscape analysis of drone congregation areas of the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galindo-Cardona, Alberto; Monmany, A Carolina; Moreno-Jackson, Rafiné; Rivera-Rivera, Carlos; Huertas-Dones, Carlos; Caicedo-Quiroga, Laura; Giray, Tugrul

    2012-01-01

    Male honey bees fly and gather at Drone Congregation Areas (DCAs), where drones and queens mate in flight. DCAs occur in places with presumably characteristic features. Using previously described landscape characteristics and observations on flight direction of drones in nearby apiaries, 36 candidate locations were chosen across the main island of Puerto Rico. At these locations, the presence or absence of DCAs was tested by lifting a helium balloon equipped with queen-sex-pheromone-impregnated bait, and visually determining the presence of high numbers of drones. Because of the wide distribution of honey bees in Puerto Rico, it was expected that most of the potential DCAs would be used as such by drones and queens from nearby colonies. Eight DCAs were found in the 36 candidate locations. Locations with and without DCAs were compared in a landscape analysis including characteristics that were described to be associated with DCAs and others. Aspect (direction of slope) and density of trails were found to be significantly associated with the presence of DCAs.

  10. 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.

  11. The sex determination gene shows no founder effect in the giant