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Sample records for bumblebee bombus ignitus

  1. Expression profile of the sex determination gene doublesex in a gynandromorph of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Matsuo, Koshiro; Kubo, Ryohei; Sasaki, Tetsuhiko; Ono, Masato

    2016-04-01

    Gynandromorphy that has both male and female features is known in many insect orders, including Hymenoptera. In most cases, however, only external morphology and behavioral aspects have been studied. We found a gynandromorph of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus, that showed almost bilateral distribution of external sexual traits, with male characters observed on the left side and female characters on the right side. This individual never exhibited sexual behavior toward new queens. The dissection of the head part showed that it had bilaterally dimorphic labial glands, only the left of which was well developed and synthesized male-specific pheromone components. In contrast, the gynandromorph possessed an ovipositor and a pair of ovaries in the abdominal part, suggesting that it had a uniformly female reproductive system. Furthermore, we characterized several internal organs of the gynandromorph by a molecular biological approach. The expression analyses of a sex determination gene, doublesex, in the brain, the fat bodies, the hindgut, and the ovaries of the gynandromorph revealed a male-type expression pattern exclusively in the left brain hemisphere and consistent female-type expression in other tissues. These findings clearly indicate the sexual discordance between external traits and internal organs in the gynandromorph. The results of genetic analyses using microsatellite markers suggested that this individual consisted of both genetically male- and female-type tissues.

  2. Sex ratio variation in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Duchateau, Marie José; Velthuis, Hayo H. W.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2004-01-01

    Bombus terrestris, bumblebees, colony development, queen control, reproductive strategies, sex allocation......Bombus terrestris, bumblebees, colony development, queen control, reproductive strategies, sex allocation...

  3. Nest wax triggers worker reproduction in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    OpenAIRE

    Rottler-Hoermann, Ann-Marie; Schulz, Stefan; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Social insects are well known for their high level of cooperation. Workers of the primitively eusocial bumblebee Bombus terrestris are able to produce male offspring in the presence of a queen. Nonetheless, they only compete for reproduction, in the so-called competition phase, when the workforce is large enough to support the rearing of reproductives. So far, little is known about the proximate mechanisms underlying the shift between altruism and selfish behaviour in bumblebee workers. In th...

  4. Heritability of sperm length in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; de Jong, Gerdien; Schmid-Hempel, Regula

    2006-01-01

    estimates of narrow sense heritability of sperm length in a social insect, the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. In spite of a balanced and straightforward rearing design of colonies, and the possibility to replicate measurements of sperm within single males nested within colonies, the analysis proved...

  5. A larval hunger signal in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Duchateau, Marie-Jose

    2006-01-01

    Larvae of Bombus terrestris, a pollen-storing bumblebee, are dependent on progressive provisioning by workers. We test the hypothesis that larval cuticular chemicals can act as a hunger signal. We first show with a new classical conditioning experiment, using a Y-shaped tube, that workers can...

  6. Short communication: First data on the prevalence and distribution of pathogens in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris and Bombus pascuorum from Spain

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    Clara Jabal-Uriel

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Bumblebees provide pollination services not only to wildflowers but also to economically important crops. In the context of the global decline of pollinators, there is an increasing interest in determining the pathogen diversity of bumblebee species. In this work, wild bumblebees of the species Bombus terrestris and Bombus pascuorum from northern and southern Spain were molecularly screened to detect and estimate prevalence of pathogens. One third of bumblebees were infected: while viruses only infected B. pascuorum, B. terrestris was infected by Apicystis bombi, Crithidia bombi and Nosema bombi. Ecological differences between host species might affect the success of the pathogens biological cycle and consequently infection prevalence. Furthermore, sex of the bumblebees (workers or males, sampling area (north or south and altitude were important predictors of pathogen prevalence. Understanding how these factors affect pathogens distribution is essential for future conservation of bumblebee wild populations.

  7. Allele specific expression and methylation in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

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    Zoë Lonsdale

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The social hymenoptera are emerging as models for epigenetics. DNA methylation, the addition of a methyl group, is a common epigenetic marker. In mammals and flowering plants methylation affects allele specific expression. There is contradictory evidence for the role of methylation on allele specific expression in social insects. The aim of this paper is to investigate allele specific expression and monoallelic methylation in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris. We found nineteen genes that were both monoallelically methylated and monoallelically expressed in a single bee. Fourteen of these genes express the hypermethylated allele, while the other five express the hypomethylated allele. We also searched for allele specific expression in twenty-nine published RNA-seq libraries. We found 555 loci with allele-specific expression. We discuss our results with reference to the functional role of methylation in gene expression in insects and in the as yet unquantified role of genetic cis effects in insect allele specific methylation and expression.

  8. Nest wax triggers worker reproduction in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rottler-Hoermann, Ann-Marie; Schulz, Stefan; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Social insects are well known for their high level of cooperation. Workers of the primitively eusocial bumblebee Bombus terrestris are able to produce male offspring in the presence of a queen. Nonetheless, they only compete for reproduction, in the so-called competition phase, when the workforce is large enough to support the rearing of reproductives. So far, little is known about the proximate mechanisms underlying the shift between altruism and selfish behaviour in bumblebee workers. In this study, we have examined the influence of chemical cues from the nest wax on the onset of worker reproduction. Chemical analyses of wax extracts have revealed that the patterns and amounts of cuticular lipids change considerably during colony development. These changes in wax scent mirror worker abundance and the presence of fertile workers. In bioassays with queen-right worker groups, wax affects the dominance behaviour and ovarian development of workers. When exposed to wax from a colony in competition phase, workers start to compete for reproduction. We suggest that wax scent enables workers to time their reproduction by providing essential information concerning the social condition of the colony.

  9. Photoreceptor spectral sensitivity in the bumblebee, Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae.

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    Peter Skorupski

    Full Text Available The bumblebee Bombus impatiens is increasingly used as a model in comparative studies of colour vision, or in behavioural studies relying on perceptual discrimination of colour. However, full spectral sensitivity data on the photoreceptor inputs underlying colour vision are not available for B. impatiens. Since most known bee species are trichromatic, with photoreceptor spectral sensitivity peaks in the UV, blue and green regions of the spectrum, data from a related species, where spectral sensitivity measurements have been made, are often applied to B impatiens. Nevertheless, species differences in spectral tuning of equivalent photoreceptor classes may result in peaks that differ by several nm, which may have small but significant effects on colour discrimination ability. We therefore used intracellular recording to measure photoreceptor spectral sensitivity in B. impatiens. Spectral peaks were estimated at 347, 424 and 539 nm for UV, blue and green receptors, respectively, suggesting that this species is a UV-blue-green trichromat. Photoreceptor spectral sensitivity peaks are similar to previous measurements from Bombus terrestris, although there is a significant difference in the peak sensitivity of the blue receptor, which is shifted in the short wave direction by 12-13 nm in B. impatiens compared to B. terrestris.

  10. Varroa destructor Macula-like virus, Lake Sinai virus and other new RNA viruses in wild bumblebee hosts (Bombus pascuorum, Bombus lapidarius and Bombus pratorum).

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    Parmentier, Laurian; Smagghe, Guy; de Graaf, Dirk C; Meeus, Ivan

    2016-02-01

    Pollinators such as bumblebees (Bombus spp.) are in decline worldwide which poses a threat not only for ecosystem biodiversity but also to human crop production services. One main cause of pollinator decline may be the infection and transmission of diseases including RNA viruses. Recently, new viruses have been discovered in honeybees, but information on the presence of these in wild bumblebees is largely not available. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of new RNA viruses in Bombus species, and can report for the first time Varroa destructor Macula-like virus (VdMLV) and Lake Sinai virus (LSV) infection in multiple wild bumblebee hosts of Bombus pascuorum, Bombus lapidarius and Bombus pratorum. We sampled in 4 locations in Flanders, Belgium. Besides, we confirmed Slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV) in wild bumblebees, but no positive samples were obtained for Big Sioux river virus (BSRV). Secondly, we screened for the influence of apiaries on the prevalence of these viruses. Our results indicated a location effect for the prevalence of VdMLV in Bombus species, with a higher prevalence in the proximity of honeybee apiaries mainly observed in one location. For LSV, the prevalence was not different in the proximity or at a 1.5 km-distance of apiaries, but we reported a different isolate with similarities to LSV-2 and "LSV-clade A" as described by Ravoet et al. (2015), which was detected both in Apis mellifera and Bombus species. In general, our results indicate the existence of a disease pool of new viruses that seems to be associated to a broad range of Apoidae hosts, including multiple Bombus species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Effects of field characteristics on abundance of bumblebees (Bombus spp.) and seed yield in red clover fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wermuth, Kirsten Haugaard; Dupont, Yoko L.

    2010-01-01

    Red clover is a key floral ressource for bumblebees (Bombus spp.).We here investigate variation within and among red clover fields in species richness and abundance of Bombus spp. in addition to Apis mellifera. Bumblebee individuals were grouped into the following functional groups, based on castes...

  12. Fertility signals in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

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    Sramkova, A.; Schulz, C.; Twele, R.; Francke, W.; Ayasse, M.

    2008-06-01

    In eusocial Hymenoptera, queen control over workers is probably inseparable from the mechanism of queen recognition. In primitively eusocial bumblebees ( Bombus), worker reproduction is controlled not only by the presence or absence of a dominant queen but also by other dominant workers. Furthermore, it was shown that the queen dominance is maintained by pheromonal cues. We investigated whether there is a similar odor signal released by egg-laying queens and workers that may have a function as a fertility signal. We collected cuticular surface extracts from nest-searching and breeding Bombus terrestris queens and workers that were characterized by their ovarian stages. In chemical analyses, we identified 61 compounds consisting of aldehydes, alkanes, alkenes, and fatty acid esters. Nest-searching queens and all groups of breeding females differed significantly in their odor bouquets. Furthermore, workers before the competition point (time point of colony development where workers start to develop ovaries and lay eggs) differed largely from queens and all other groups of workers. Breeding queens showed a unique bouquet of chemical compounds and certain queen-specific compounds, and the differences toward workers decrease with an increasing development of the workers’ ovaries, hinting the presence of a reliable fertility signal. Among the worker groups, the smallest differences were found after the competition point. Egg-laying females contained higher total amounts of chemical compounds and of relative proportions of wax-type esters and aldehydes than nest-searching queens and workers before the competition point. Therefore, these compounds may have a function as a fertility signal present in queens and workers.

  13. Structural Analysis of Hand Drawn Bumblebee Bombus terrestris Silk

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    Andrea L. Woodhead

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Bombus terrestris, commonly known as the buff-tailed bumblebee, is native to Europe, parts of Africa and Asia. It is commercially bred for use as a pollinator of greenhouse crops. Larvae pupate within a silken cocoon that they construct from proteins produced in modified salivary glands. The amino acid composition and protein structure of hand drawn B. terrestris, silk fibres was investigated through the use of micro-Raman spectroscopy. Spectra were obtained from single fibres drawn from the larvae salivary gland at a rate of 0.14 cm/s. Raman spectroscopy enabled the identification of poly(alanine, poly(alanine-glycine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and methionine, which is consistent with the results of amino acid analysis. The dominant protein conformation was found to be coiled coil (73% while the β-sheet content of 10% is, as expected, lower than those reported for hornets and ants. Polarized Raman spectra revealed that the coiled coils were highly aligned along the fibre axis while the β-sheet and random coil components had their peptide carbonyl groups roughly perpendicular to the fibre axis. The protein orientation distribution is compared to those of other natural and recombinant silks. A structural model for the B. terrestris silk fibre is proposed based on these results.

  14. Habitat and forage associations of a naturally colonising insect pollinator, the Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum

    OpenAIRE

    Crowther, Liam P.; Hein, Pierre-Louis; Bourke, Andrew F. G.

    2014-01-01

    Bumblebees (Bombus species) are major pollinators of commercial crops and wildflowers but factors affecting their abundance, including causes of recent population declines, remain unclear. Investigating the ecology of species with expanding ranges provides a potentially powerful means of elucidating these factors. Such species may also bring novel pollination services to their new ranges. We therefore investigated landscape-scale habitat use and foraging preferences of the Tree Bumblebee, B. ...

  15. Sperm influences female hibernation success, survival and fitness in the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2005-01-01

    . Using the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris, we artificially inseminated queens (females) with sperm from one or several males and show that sire groups (groups of brother males) vary in their effects on queen hibernation survival, longevity and fitness. In addition, multiply inseminated queens always had...

  16. Imidacloprid slows the development of preference for rewarding food sources in bumblebees (Bombus impatiens).

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    Phelps, Jordan D; Strang, Caroline G; Gbylik-Sikorska, Malgorzata; Sniegocki, Tomasz; Posyniak, Andrzej; Sherry, David F

    2018-03-01

    Bee pollination is economically and ecologically vital and recent declines in bee populations are therefore a concern. One possible cause of bee declines is pesticide use. Bumblebees exposed to imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid pesticide, have been shown to be less efficient foragers and collect less pollen on foraging trips than unexposed bees. We investigated whether bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) chronically exposed to imidacloprid at field-realistic levels of 2.6 and 10 ppb showed learning deficits that could affect foraging. Bumblebees were tested for their ability to associate flower colour with reward value in a simulated foraging environment. Bumblebees completed 10 foraging trips in which they collected sucrose solution from artificial flowers that varied in sucrose concentration. The reward quality of each artificial flower was predicted by corolla colour. Unexposed bumblebees acquired a preference for feeding on the most rewarding flower colour on the second foraging trip, while bumblebees exposed at 2.6 and 10 ppb did not until their third and fifth trip, respectively. The delay in preference acquisition in exposed bumblebees may be due to reduced flower sampling and shorter foraging trips. These results show that bumblebees exposed to imidacloprid are slow to learn the reward value of flowers and this may explain previously observed foraging inefficiencies associated with pesticide exposure.

  17. Effect of ultraviolet radiation absorbing film on pollination work of foreign bumblebee [Bombus terrestris

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishiguchi, I.

    1999-01-01

    The transmitted light through the ultraviolet radiation absorbing (UVA) film has a preventing effect of disease and pest occurrence. To develop the agriculture harmonized with the ecosystem, we attempted to research a further possible utilization of the UVA film. Pollination work of foreign bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) in the greenhouses roofed with UVA film and with common film for agriculture was examined in growing fruit-vegetables. The bumblebees used were not acclimatized to environmental conditions of the greenhouses. They visited flowers and gathered pollen from flowered crops grown in both houses, irrespective of the kind of film covering over the greenhouse roof, and the pollen quantity gathered was far greater in crops which produced in large quantity of pollen. Thus, the bumblebees were capable to work under the condition lacking in ultraviolet radiation. This pollinating behavior is different from that of honeybees. Then we concluded that bumblebees functioned well as an efficient pollinator under the condition without ultraviolet radiation

  18. Space use of bumblebees (Bombus spp. revealed by radio-tracking.

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    Melanie Hagen

    Full Text Available Accurate estimates of movement behavior and distances travelled by animals are difficult to obtain, especially for small-bodied insects where transmitter weights have prevented the use of radio-tracking.Here, we report the first successful use of micro radio telemetry to track flight distances and space use of bumblebees. Using ground surveys and Cessna overflights in a Central European rural landscape mosaic we obtained maximum flight distances of 2.5 km, 1.9 km and 1.3 km for Bombus terrestris (workers, Bombus ruderatus (worker, and Bombus hortorum (young queens, respectively. Bumblebee individuals used large areas (0.25-43.53 ha within one or a few days. Habitat analyses of one B. hortorum queen at the landscape scale indicated that gardens within villages were used more often than expected from habitat availability. Detailed movement trajectories of this individual revealed that prominent landscape structures (e.g. trees and flower patches were repeatedly visited. However, we also observed long (i.e. >45 min resting periods between flights (B. hortorum and differences in flower-handling between bumblebees with and without transmitters (B. terrestris suggesting that the current weight of transmitters (200 mg may still impose significant energetic costs on the insects.Spatio-temporal movements of bumblebees can now be tracked with telemetry methods. Our measured flight distances exceed many previous estimates of bumblebee foraging ranges and suggest that travelling long distances to food resources may be common. However, even the smallest currently available transmitters still appear to compromise flower handling performance and cause an increase in resting behavior of bees. Future reductions of transmitter mass and size could open up new avenues for quantifying landscape-scale space use of insect pollinators and could provide novel insights into the behavior and requirements of bumblebees during critical life stages, e.g. when searching for

  19. Effects of field characteristics on abundance of bumblebees (Bombus spp.) and seed yield in red clover fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wermuth, Kirsten Haugaard; Dupont, Yoko L.

    2010-01-01

    Red clover is a key floral ressource for bumblebees (Bombus spp.).We here investigate variation within and among red clover fields in species richness and abundance of Bombus spp. in addition to Apis mellifera. Bumblebee individuals were grouped into the following functional groups, based on castes...... and tongue length: (1) all queens, (2) all workers, (3) short-tongued workers and (4) long-tongued workers. In 14 study fields, no spatial or diurnal within-field differences were found in abundances of bee groups. However, seasonal differences were detected. On average 6.3±0.6 Bombus spp. were observed...

  20. Quantitative historical change in bumblebee (Bombus spp. assemblages of red clover fields.

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    Yoko L Dupont

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Flower visiting insects provide a vitally important pollination service for many crops and wild plants. Recent decline of pollinating insects due to anthropogenic modification of habitats and climate, in particular from 1950's onwards, is a major and widespread concern. However, few studies document the extent of declines in species diversity, and no studies have previously quantified local abundance declines. We here make a quantitative assessment of recent historical changes in bumblebee assemblages by comparing contemporary and historical survey data. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We take advantage of detailed, quantitative historical survey data from the 1930's on bumblebee (Bombus spp. abundances and species composition in red clover (Trifolium pratense fields, an important floral resource and an attractant of all bumblebee species. We used the historical survey data as a pre-industrialization baseline, and repeated the same sampling protocol at nearly the same localities at present, hence setting up a historical experiment. We detected historical changes in abundances (bees/m(2 of both workers (the "pollinatory units" and queens (effective population size, in addition to species composition. In particular, long-tongued bumblebee species showed consistent and dramatic declines in species richness and abundances throughout the flowering season of red clover, while short-tongued species were largely unaffected. Of 12 Bombus species observed in the 1930's, five species were not observed at present. The latter were all long-tongued, late-emerging species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Because bumblebees are important pollinators, historical changes in local bumblebee assemblages are expected to severely affect plant reproduction, in particular long-tubed species, which are pollinated by long-tongued bumblebees.

  1. Olfactory learning and memory in the bumblebee Bombus occidentalis

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    Riveros, Andre J.; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2009-07-01

    In many respects, the behavior of bumblebees is similar to that of the closely related honeybees, a long-standing model system for learning and memory research. Living in smaller and less regulated colonies, bumblebees are physiologically more robust and thus have advantages in particular for indoor experiments. Here, we report results on Pavlovian odor conditioning of bumblebees using the proboscis extension reflex (PER) that has been successfully used in honeybee learning research. We examine the effect of age, body size, and experience on learning and memory performance. We find that age does not affect learning and memory ability, while body size positively correlates with memory performance. Foraging experience seems not to be necessary for learning to occur, but it may contribute to learning performance as bumblebees with more foraging experience on average were better learners. The PER represents a reliable tool for learning and memory research in bumblebees and allows examining interspecific similarities and differences of honeybee and bumblebee behavior, which we discuss in the context of social organization.

  2. Habitat and forage associations of a naturally colonising insect pollinator, the tree bumblebee Bombus hypnorum.

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    Liam P Crowther

    Full Text Available Bumblebees (Bombus species are major pollinators of commercial crops and wildflowers but factors affecting their abundance, including causes of recent population declines, remain unclear. Investigating the ecology of species with expanding ranges provides a potentially powerful means of elucidating these factors. Such species may also bring novel pollination services to their new ranges. We therefore investigated landscape-scale habitat use and foraging preferences of the Tree Bumblebee, B. hypnorum, a recent natural colonist that has rapidly expanded its range in the UK over the past decade. Counts of B. hypnorum and six other Bombus species were made in March-June 2012 within a mixed landscape in south-eastern Norfolk, UK. The extent of different landscape elements around each transect was quantified at three scales (250 m, 500 m and 1500 m. We then identified the landscape elements that best predicted the density of B. hypnorum and other Bombus species. At the best fitting scale (250 m, B. hypnorum density was significantly positively associated with extent of both urban and woodland cover and significantly negatively associated with extent of oilseed rape cover. This combination of landscape predictors was unique to B. hypnorum. Urban and woodland cover were associated with B. hypnorum density at three and two, respectively, of the three scales studied. Relative to other Bombus species, B. hypnorum exhibited a significantly higher foraging preference for two flowering trees, Crataegus monogyna and Prunus spinosa, and significantly lower preferences for Brassica napus, Glechoma hederacea and Lamium album. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for an association of B. hypnorum with urban and woodland landscape elements. Range expansion in B. hypnorum appears to depend, on exploitation of widespread habitats underutilised by native Bombus species, suggesting B. hypnorum will readily co-exist with these species. These findings suggest

  3. Habitat and forage associations of a naturally colonising insect pollinator, the tree bumblebee Bombus hypnorum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowther, Liam P; Hein, Pierre-Louis; Bourke, Andrew F G

    2014-01-01

    Bumblebees (Bombus species) are major pollinators of commercial crops and wildflowers but factors affecting their abundance, including causes of recent population declines, remain unclear. Investigating the ecology of species with expanding ranges provides a potentially powerful means of elucidating these factors. Such species may also bring novel pollination services to their new ranges. We therefore investigated landscape-scale habitat use and foraging preferences of the Tree Bumblebee, B. hypnorum, a recent natural colonist that has rapidly expanded its range in the UK over the past decade. Counts of B. hypnorum and six other Bombus species were made in March-June 2012 within a mixed landscape in south-eastern Norfolk, UK. The extent of different landscape elements around each transect was quantified at three scales (250 m, 500 m and 1500 m). We then identified the landscape elements that best predicted the density of B. hypnorum and other Bombus species. At the best fitting scale (250 m), B. hypnorum density was significantly positively associated with extent of both urban and woodland cover and significantly negatively associated with extent of oilseed rape cover. This combination of landscape predictors was unique to B. hypnorum. Urban and woodland cover were associated with B. hypnorum density at three and two, respectively, of the three scales studied. Relative to other Bombus species, B. hypnorum exhibited a significantly higher foraging preference for two flowering trees, Crataegus monogyna and Prunus spinosa, and significantly lower preferences for Brassica napus, Glechoma hederacea and Lamium album. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for an association of B. hypnorum with urban and woodland landscape elements. Range expansion in B. hypnorum appears to depend, on exploitation of widespread habitats underutilised by native Bombus species, suggesting B. hypnorum will readily co-exist with these species. These findings suggest that management

  4. Eumelanin and pheomelanin are predominant pigments in bumblebee (Apidae: Bombus pubescence

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    Carlo Polidori

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Background Bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus are well known for their important inter- and intra-specific variation in hair (or pubescence color patterns, but the chemical nature of the pigments associated with these patterns is not fully understood. For example, though melanization is believed to provide darker colors, it still unknown which types of melanin are responsible for each color, and no conclusive data are available for the lighter colors, including white. Methods By using dispersive Raman spectroscopy analysis on 12 species/subspecies of bumblebees from seven subgenera, we tested the hypothesis that eumelanin and pheomelanin, the two main melanin types occurring in animals, are largely responsible for bumblebee pubescence coloration. Results Eumelanin and pheomelanin occur in bumblebee pubescence. Black pigmentation is due to prevalent eumelanin, with visible signals of additional pheomelanin, while the yellow, orange, red and brown hairs clearly include pheomelanin. On the other hand, white hairs reward very weak Raman signals, suggesting that they are depigmented. Additional non-melanic pigments in yellow hair cannot be excluded but need other techniques to be detected. Raman spectra were more similar across similarly colored hairs, with no apparent effect of phylogeny and both melanin types appeared to be already used at the beginning of bumblebee radiation. Discussion We suggest that the two main melanin forms, at variable amounts and/or vibrational states, are sufficient in giving almost the whole color range of bumblebee pubescence, allowing these insects to use a single precursor instead of synthesizing a variety of chemically different pigments. This would agree with commonly seen color interchanges between body segments across Bombus species.

  5. The cephalic labial gland secretions of two socially parasitic bumblebees Bombus hyperboreus (Alpinobombus) and Bombus inexspectatus (Thoracobombus) question their inquiline strategy

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brasero, N.; Martinet, B.; Lecocq, T.; Lhomme, P.; Biella, Paolo; Valterová, Irena; Urbanová, Klára; Cornalba, M.; Hines, H.; Rasmont, P.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 1 (2018), s. 75-86 ISSN 1672-9609 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GP14-10035P Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:61388963 Keywords : bumblebees * Bombus hyperboreus * Bombus inexspectatus Subject RIV: ED - Physiology; CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation (UOCHB-X) OBOR OECD: Developmental biology; Analytical chemistry (UOCHB-X) Impact factor: 2.026, year: 2016 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1744-7917.12408/abstract

  6. Colony contact contributes to the diversity of gut bacteria in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Annelies Billiet; Ivan Meeus; Filip Van Nieuwerburgh; Dieter Deforce; Felix W(a)ckers; Guy Smagghe

    2017-01-01

    Social bees,like honeybees and bumblebees,have a close contact with nest mates of different developmental stages and generations.This could enhance bacterial transfer between nest mates and offers opportunities for direct transfer of symbionts from one generation to the next,resulting in a stable host specific gut microbiota.Gut symbionts of honeybees and bumblebees have been suggested to contribute in digestion and protection against parasites and pathogens.Here we studied the impact of contact with the bumblebee colony on the colonization potential of the bacterial families (i.e.,Neisseriaceae,Orbaceae,Lactobacillaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae) occurring in the gut of adult bumblebees (Bombus terrestris).Bacterial profiles of the gut microbiota of B.terrestris were determined based on the hypervariable V4 region of the 16S rRNA using paired-end Illumina sequencing.In our experiments,we created different groups in which we gradually reduced the contact with nest mates and hive material.We made 3 observations:(i) reducing the contact between the colony and the bumblebee during adult life resulted in a significant drop in the relative abundance of Lactobacillus bombicola and Lactobacillus bombi;(ii) Bifidobacteriaceae required contact with nest mates to colonize the gut of B.terrestris and a significant lower bacterial diversity was observed in bumblebees that were completely excluded from colony contact during the adult life;(iii) Snodgrassella and Gilliamella were able to colonize the gut of the adult bumblebee without any direct contact with nest mates in the adult life stage.These results indicate the impact of the colony life on the diversity of the characteristic bumblebee gut bacteria.

  7. Pollination of Greenhouse Tomatoes by the Mexican bumblebee Bombus ephippiatus (Hymenoptera: Apidae

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    Carlos Hernan Vergara

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The Mexican native bumblebee Bombus ephippiatus Say was evaluated as a potential pollinator of greenhouse tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicon L.. The experiments were performed at San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, from June to December 2004 in two 1 000 m2 greenhouses planted with tomatoes of the cultivar Mallory (Hazera ®. For the experiments, we used two colonies of Bombus ephippiatus, reared in the laboratory from queens captured in the field. Four treatments were applied to 20 study plants: pollination by bumble bees, manual pollination, pollination by mechanical vibration and no pollination (bagged flowers, no vibration. We measured percentage of flowers visited by bumble bees, number of seeds per fruit, maturing time, sugar content, fruit weight and fruit shape. All available flowers were visited by bumblebees, as measured by the degree of anther cone bruising. The number of seeds per fruit was higher for bumble bee-pollinated plants as compared with plants pollinated mechanically or not pollinated and was not significantly different between hand-pollinated and bumble bee-pollinated plants. Maturation time was significantly longer and sugar content, fresh weight and seed count were significantly higher for bumblebee pollinated flowers than for flowers pollinated manually or with no supplemental pollination, but did not differ with flowers pollinated mechanically.

  8. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moffat, Christopher; Pacheco, Joao Goncalves; Sharp, Sheila; Samson, Andrew J.; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey; Buckland, Stephen T.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2015-01-01

    The global decline in the abundance and diversity of insect pollinators could result from habitat loss, disease, and pesticide exposure. The contribution of the neonicotinoid insecticides (e.g., clothianidin and imidacloprid) to this decline is controversial, and key to understanding their risk is whether the astonishingly low levels found in the nectar and pollen of plants is sufficient to deliver neuroactive levels to their site of action: the bee brain. Here we show that bumblebees (Bombus terrestris audax) fed field levels [10 nM, 2.1 ppb (w/w)] of neonicotinoid accumulate between 4 and 10 nM in their brains within 3 days. Acute (minutes) exposure of cultured neurons to 10 nM clothianidin, but not imidacloprid, causes a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-dependent rapid mitochondrial depolarization. However, a chronic (2 days) exposure to 1 nM imidacloprid leads to a receptor-dependent increased sensitivity to a normally innocuous level of acetylcholine, which now also causes rapid mitochondrial depolarization in neurons. Finally, colonies exposed to this level of imidacloprid show deficits in colony growth and nest condition compared with untreated colonies. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the poor navigation and foraging observed in neonicotinoid treated bumblebee colonies.—Moffat, C., Pacheco, J. G., Sharp, S., Samson, A. J., Bollan, K. A., Huang, J., Buckland, S. T., Connolly, C. N. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). PMID:25634958

  9. Allele specific expression in worker reproduction genes in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

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    Harindra E. Amarasinghe

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Methylation has previously been associated with allele specific expression in ants. Recently, we found methylation is important in worker reproduction in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Here we searched for allele specific expression in twelve genes associated with worker reproduction in bees. We found allele specific expression in Ecdysone 20 monooxygenase and IMP-L2-like. Although we were unable to confirm a genetic or epigenetic cause for this allele specific expression, the expression patterns of the two genes match those predicted for imprinted genes.

  10. Workers dominate male production in the neotropical bumblebee Bombus wilmattae (Hymenoptera: Apidae

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    Vandame Rémy

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cooperation and conflict in social insects are closely linked to the genetic structure of the colony. Kin selection theory predicts conflict over the production of males between the workers and the queen and between the workers themselves, depending on intra-colonial relatedness but also on other factors like colony efficiency, sex ratios, cost of worker reproduction and worker dominance behaviour. In most bumblebee (Bombus species the queen wins this conflict and often dominates male production. However, most studies in bumblebees have been conducted with only a few selected, mostly single mated species from temperate climate regions. Here we study the genetic colony composition of the facultative polyandrous neotropical bumblebee Bombus wilmattae, to assess the outcome of the queen-worker conflict over male production and to detect potential worker policing. Results A total of 120 males from five colonies were genotyped with up to nine microsatellite markers to infer their parentage. Four of the five colonies were queen right at point of time of male sampling, while one had an uncertain queen status. The workers clearly dominated production of males with an average of 84.9% +/- 14.3% of males being worker sons. In the two doubly mated colonies 62.5% and 96.7% of the male offspring originated from workers and both patrilines participated in male production. Inferring the mother genotypes from the male offspring, between four to eight workers participated in the production of males. Conclusions In this study we show that the workers clearly win the queen-worker conflict over male production in B. wilmattae, which sets them apart from the temperate bumblebee species studied so far. Workers clearly dominated male production in the singly as well the doubly mated colonies, with up to eight workers producing male offspring in a single colony. Moreover no monopolization of reproduction by single workers occurred.

  11. Winter active bumblebees (Bombus terrestris achieve high foraging rates in urban Britain.

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    Ralph J Stelzer

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Foraging bumblebees are normally associated with spring and summer in northern Europe. However, there have been sightings of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris during the warmer winters in recent years in southern England. But what floral resources are they relying upon during winter and how much winter forage can they collect?To test if urban areas in the UK provide a rich foraging niche for bees we set up colonies of B. terrestris in the field during two late winter periods (2005/6 & 2006/7 in London, UK, and measured their foraging performance. Fully automatic radio-frequency identification (RFID technology was used in 2006/7 to enable us to record the complete foraging activity of individually tagged bees. The number of bumblebees present during winter (October 2007 to March 2008 and the main plants they visited were also recorded during transect walks. Queens and workers were observed throughout the winter, suggesting a second generation of bee colonies active during the winter months. Mass flowering shrubs such as Mahonia spp. were identified as important food resources. The foraging experiments showed that bees active during the winter can attain nectar and pollen foraging rates that match, and even surpass, those recorded during summer.B. terrestris in the UK are now able to utilise a rich winter foraging resource in urban parks and gardens that might at present still be under-exploited, opening up the possibility of further changes in pollinator phenology.

  12. Winter active bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) achieve high foraging rates in urban Britain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stelzer, Ralph J; Chittka, Lars; Carlton, Marc; Ings, Thomas C

    2010-03-05

    Foraging bumblebees are normally associated with spring and summer in northern Europe. However, there have been sightings of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris during the warmer winters in recent years in southern England. But what floral resources are they relying upon during winter and how much winter forage can they collect? To test if urban areas in the UK provide a rich foraging niche for bees we set up colonies of B. terrestris in the field during two late winter periods (2005/6 & 2006/7) in London, UK, and measured their foraging performance. Fully automatic radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology was used in 2006/7 to enable us to record the complete foraging activity of individually tagged bees. The number of bumblebees present during winter (October 2007 to March 2008) and the main plants they visited were also recorded during transect walks. Queens and workers were observed throughout the winter, suggesting a second generation of bee colonies active during the winter months. Mass flowering shrubs such as Mahonia spp. were identified as important food resources. The foraging experiments showed that bees active during the winter can attain nectar and pollen foraging rates that match, and even surpass, those recorded during summer. B. terrestris in the UK are now able to utilise a rich winter foraging resource in urban parks and gardens that might at present still be under-exploited, opening up the possibility of further changes in pollinator phenology.

  13. Flowering Plants Preferred by Bumblebees (Bombus Latr. in the Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants in Wrocław

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    Sikora Aneta

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to fewer bumblebees in rural areas these days, it is necessary to look for alternative habitats for the active protection of these very important pollinators. The research was carried out in The Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants, in Wrocław, Poland. In the garden, approximately 2000 plant species were cultivated, of which 185 were visited by bumblebees. Amongst them, 57 plant species were deemed very attractive and were determined to be indicators for 7 bumblebee species. Indicator species for bumblebees ranged between 6 for Bombus pratorum to up to 20 for B. pascuorum. Monarda didyma was an indicator plant to 6 recorded bumblebee species. Other indicator plant species for at least 4 bumblebees species were: Origanum vulgare, Lavandula angustifolia, Rhododendron catawbiense, Phacelia tanacetifolia, and Agastache rugosa. Three bumblebee species were found to forage the most on 11 of the flowering plant species. The biggest group of plants were those which were mostly visited by 1-2 bumblebee species. Amongst all recorded indicator plants, 32% were native species.

  14. Great Big Hairy Bees! Regulating the European Bumblebee, Bombus Terrestris L. What does it say about the Precautionary Principle?

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    Cameron Alastair Moore

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The previous Commonwealth Minister for the Environment, Mr Garrett, recently rejected a request to allow the importation of live bumblebees (Bombus terrestris L. to mainland Australia. New South Wales and Victoria had already listed the introduction of bumblebees as, respectively, a key threatening process and a potentially threatening process. The Commonwealth, however, had previously declined an application to list the introduction of bumblebees as a key threatening process, although its Threatened Species Scientific Committee urged ‘that extreme caution be shown in considering any proposal to introduce this species to the mainland.’ The potential threat from bumblebees would appear to beg the questions posed by the precautionary principle. Would the presence of bumblebees to mainland Australia pose a threat of serious or irreversible environmental damage? Should a lack of full scientific certainty be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation? This paper considers the role of the precautionary principle in regulatory approaches to the bumblebee. It seeks to establish the application of the precautionary principle to this particular potential environmental threat, including its relationship to the principle of conservation of biological diversity. It concludes that, despite widespread adoption of the precautionary principle in policy, legislation and case law in Australia, its impact on regulating bumblebees has not been consistent.

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

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    Hagai Shpigler

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

  16. Neonicotinoids and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris): effects on nectar consumption in individual workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Helen M; Wilkins, Selwyn; Harkin, Sarah; Milner, Sarah; Walters, Keith F A

    2015-07-01

    The objective of this study was to quantify whether the presence of three different neonicotinoid insecticides (imidacloprid, thiamethoxam or clothianidin) in sucrose solution results in antifeedant effects in individual worker bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), and, if so, whether this effect is reversible if bees are subsequently offered untreated feed. Bees exposed to imidacloprid displayed a significant dose-dependent reduction in consumption at 10 and 100 µg L(-1), which was reversed when untreated feed was offered. No consistent avoidance/antifeedant response to nectar substitute with thiamethoxam was detected at the more field-realistic dose rates of 1 and 10 µg L(-1), and exposure to the very high 100 µg L(-1) dose rate was followed by 100% mortality of experimental insects. No reduction in food intake was recorded at 1 µg clothianidin L(-1), reduced consumption was noted at 10 µg clothianidin L(-1) and 100% mortality occurred when bees were exposed to rates of 100 µg clothianidin L(-1). This study provides evidence of a direct antifeedant effect of imidacloprid and clothianidin in individual bumblebees but highlights that this may be a compound-specific effect. © 2014 Crown copyright. Pest Management Science © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  17. Chemical reproductive traits of diploid Bombus terrestris males: Consequences on bumblebee conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecocq, Thomas; Gérard, Maxence; Maebe, Kevin; Brasero, Nicolas; Dehon, Lauren; Smagghe, Guy; Valterová, Irena; De Meulemeester, Thibaut; Rasmont, Pierre; Michez, Denis

    2017-08-01

    The current bumblebee decline leads to inbreeding in populations that fosters a loss of allelic diversity and diploid male production. As diploid males are viable and their offspring are sterile, bumblebee populations can quickly fall in a vortex of extinction. In this article, we investigate for the first time a potential premating mechanism through a major chemical reproductive trait (male cephalic labial gland secretions) that could prevent monandrous virgin queens from mating with diploid males. We focus our study on the cephalic labial gland secretions of diploid and haploid males of Bombus terrestris (L.). Contrary to initial expectations, our results do not show any significant differentiation of cephalic labial gland secretions between diploid and haploid specimens. Queens seem therefore to be unable to avoid mating with diploid males based on their compositions of cephalic labial gland secretions. This suggests that the vortex of extinction of diploid males could not be stopped through premating avoidance based on the cephalic labial gland secretions but other mechanisms could avoid mating between diploid males and queens. © 2016 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  18. Differential expression pattern of Vago in bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), induced by virulent and avirulent virus infections.

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    Niu, Jinzhi; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy

    2016-09-29

    Viruses are one of the main drivers of the decline of domesticated and wild bees but the mechanisms of antiviral immunity in pollinators are poorly understood. Recent work has suggested that next to the small interfering RNA (siRNA) pathway other immune-related pathways play a role in the defense of the bee hosts against viral infection. In addition, Vago plays a role in the cross-talk between the innate immune pathways in Culex mosquito cells. Here we describe the Vago orthologue in bumblebees of Bombus terrestris, and investigated its role upon the infection of two different bee viruses, the virulent Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) and the avirulent slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV). Our results showed that BtVago was downregulated upon the infection of IAPV that killed all bumblebees, but not with SBPV where the workers survived the virus infection. Thus, for the first time, Vago/Vago-like expression appears to be associated with the virulence of virus and may act as a modulator of antiviral immunity.

  19. The Effects of Pollen Protein Content on Colony Development of the Bumblebee, Bombus Terrestris L.

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    Baloglu Güney Hikmet

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The effects of pollen protein content on the colony development of Bombus terrestris were investigated by feeding queens and queenright colonies with four different pollen diets. We used three kinds of commercially available pure pollen (Cistus spp. 11.9%, Papaver somniferum 21.4%, and Sinapis arvensis 21.8% crude protein. We also used a mixture which was made up of equal weights of these pure pollens (18.4 % crude protein. All queens and colonies were fed with sugar syrup and pollen diets ad libitum (28 ± 1 ℃, 65 ± 5% RH. Until there were 50 workers reached, colonies fed with the Cistus pollen diet (167.4 ± 28.9 g consumed significantly more pollen than colonies fed with the Papaver pollen diet (140.7 ± 15.7 g, the mixed pollen diet (136.2 ± 20.1 g or colonies fed with the Sinapis pollen diet (132.4 ± 22.6 g. The date when there were 50 workers reached was approximately one week later in the colonies fed with the Cistus, and colonies fed with the Papaver diet than in the colonies fed with the Sinapis diet, and for colonies fed with the mixed pollen diets. Considering 8 tested criteria, the best performances were observed using the Sinapis, and using the mixed pollen diets. The lowest performances were observed using the Cistus pollen diet. Results showed that pollen sources play an important role in commercial bumblebee rearing. Results also showed that the polyfloral pollen diets are more suitable for mass rearing of bumblebees than the unifloral pollen diets.

  20. Lethal and sublethal effects of azadirachtin on the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Wagner Faria; De Meyer, Laurens; Guedes, Raul Narciso C; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Azadirachtin is a biorational insecticide commonly reported as selective to a range of beneficial insects. Nonetheless, only few studies have been carried out with pollinators, usually emphasizing the honeybee Apis mellifera and neglecting other important pollinator species such as the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Here, lethal and sublethal effects of azadirachtin were studied on B. terrestris via oral exposure in the laboratory to bring out the potential risks of the compound to this important pollinator. The compound was tested at different concentrations above and below the maximum concentration that is used in the field (32 mg L(-1)). As most important results, azadirachtin repelled bumblebee workers in a concentration-dependent manner. The median repellence concentration (RC50) was estimated as 504 mg L(-1). Microcolonies chronically exposed to azadirachtin via treated sugar water during 11 weeks in the laboratory exhibited a high mortality ranging from 32 to 100 % with a range of concentrations between 3.2 and 320 mg L(-1). Moreover, no reproduction was scored when concentrations were higher than 3.2 mg L(-1). At 3.2 mg L(-1), azadirachtin significantly inhibited the egg-laying and, consequently, the production of drones during 6 weeks. Ovarian length decreased with the increase of the azadirachtin concentration. When azadirachtin was tested under an experimental setup in the laboratory where bumblebees need to forage for food, the sublethal effects were stronger as the numbers of drones were reduced already with a concentration of 0.64 mg L(-1). Besides, a negative correlation was found between the body mass of male offspring and azadirachtin concentration. In conclusion, our results as performed in the laboratory demonstrated that azadirachtin can affect B. terrestris with a range of sublethal effects. Taking into account that sublethal effects are as important as lethal effects for the development and survival of the colonies of B. terrestris

  1. Social interactions and their connection to aggression and ovarian development in orphaned worker bumblebees (Bombus impatiens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibbald, E D; Plowright, C M S

    2014-03-01

    This study examines the social dynamics of reproductive conflict. Orphaned worker bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) with comparatively high or low levels of social activity were paired to determine whether aggression and reproduction could be traced to earlier social interactions. The workers were paired according to their levels of social activity (a socially active+another socially active worker, socially active+socially inactive, and two socially inactive workers). The presence or absence of brood was also manipulated. The absence of brood increased both aggression and ovarian development, suggesting that aggression and reproduction are associated or that there is a third variable that affects both. Socially active pairs were significantly more aggressive: here, social activity can be taken as an early indicator of aggression. No such effect, however, was obtained on ovarian development as the socially active pairs did not differ on their degree of ovarian development compared to the others. Within the socially active+socially inactive pairs, the socially active worker did not have more developed ovaries and was not more aggressive than her socially inactive partner. Results highlight that environmental conditions (the absence of brood) can predict ovarian development and although social activity can be observed prior to aggression, differences in aggression do not translate into differences in ovarian development under these conditions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Recognition and identification of bumblebee species in the Bombus lucorum-complex (Hymenoptera, Apidae – A review and outlook

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    Silas Bossert

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The recognition of cryptic species represents one of the major challenges in current taxonomy and affects our understanding of global diversity. In practice, the process from discovery to acceptance in the scientific community can take an extensive length of time. A prime example is the traditionally difficult taxonomy of the cryptic bumblebee species belonging to the Bombus lucorum-complex. The status of the three European species in the group – Bombus lucorum and the closely related Bombus cryptarum and Bombus magnus – has recently become widely accepted, primarily due to investigations of nucleotide sequences and marking pheromones. In contrast, doubts prevail concerning the validity of species identification based on morphology. As a consequence, our knowledge of the species is muddled in a mire of unreliable and confusing literature data from a large number of authors over the centuries. To clarify this issue, this paper provides a recapitulation of the historical literature and highlights the milestones in the process of species recognition. Further, the possibility of a morphologically based species identification is discussed in the context of new molecular data. Finally, this review outlines the current challenges and provides directions for future issues.

  3. Odor Learning and Its Experience-Dependent Modulation in the South American Native Bumblebee Bombus atratus (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palottini, Florencia; Estravis Barcala, María C.; Farina, Walter M.

    2018-01-01

    Learning about olfactory stimuli is essential in bumblebees’ life since it is involved in orientation, recognition of nest sites, foraging efficiency and food yield for the colony as a whole. To evaluate associative learning abilities in bees under controlled environmental conditions, the proboscis extension response (PER) assay is a well-established method used in honey bees, stingless bees and successfully adapted to bumblebees of the genus Bombus. However, studies on the learning capacity of Bombus atratus (Hymenoptera: Apidae), one of the most abundant native species in South America, are non-existent. In this study, we examined the cognitive abilities of worker bees of this species, carrying out an olfactory PER conditioning experiment. Bumblebees were able to learn a pure odor when it was presented in paired association with sugared reward, but not when odor and reward were presented in an unpaired manner. Furthermore, if the bees were preexposed to the conditioned odor, the results differed depending on the presence of the scent either as a volatile in the rearing environment or diluted in the food. A decrement in learning performance results from the non-reinforced pre-exposure to the to-be-conditioned odor, showing a latent inhibition phenomenon. However, if the conditioned odor has been previously offered diluted in sugared reward, the food odor acts as a stimulus that improves the learning performance during PER conditioning. The native bumblebee B. atratus is thus a new hymenopteran species capable of being trained under controlled experimental conditions. Since it is an insect increasingly reared for pollination service, this knowledge could be useful in its management in crops. PMID:29755391

  4. Molecular and chemical characters to evaluate species status of two cuckoo bumblebees: Bombus barbutellus and Bombus maxillosus (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombini)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lecocq, T.; Lhomme, P.; Michez, D.; Dellicour, S.; Valterová, Irena; Rasmont, P.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 36, č. 3 (2011), s. 453-469 ISSN 0307-6970 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : cuckoo bumblebees * taxonomy * molecular biology * sexual marking pheromones Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.943, year: 2011

  5. Big city Bombus: using natural history and land-use history to find significant environmental drivers in bumble-bee declines in urban development.

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    Glaum, Paul; Simao, Maria-Carolina; Vaidya, Chatura; Fitch, Gordon; Iulinao, Benjamin

    2017-05-01

    Native bee populations are critical sources of pollination. Unfortunately, native bees are declining in abundance and diversity. Much of this decline comes from human land-use change. While the effects of large-scale agriculture on native bees are relatively well understood, the effects of urban development are less clear. Understanding urbanity's effect on native bees requires consideration of specific characteristics of both particular bee species and their urban landscape. We surveyed bumble-bee ( Bombus spp.) abundance and diversity in gardens across multiple urban centres in southeastern Michigan. There are significant declines in Bombus abundance and diversity associated with urban development when measured on scales in-line with Bombus flight ability. These declines are entirely driven by declines in females; males showed no response to urbanization. We hypothesize that this is owing to differing foraging strategies between the sexes, and it suggests reduced Bombus colony density in more urban areas. While urbanity reduced Bombus prevalence, results in Detroit imply that 'shrinking cities' potentially offer unique urban paradigms that must be considered when studying wild bee ecology. Results show previously unidentified differences in the effects of urbanity on female and male bumble-bee populations and suggest that urban landscapes can be managed to support native bee conservation.

  6. Analysis of a normalised expressed sequence tag (EST) library from a key pollinator, the bumblebee Bombus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadd, Ben M; Kube, Michael; Klages, Sven; Reinhardt, Richard; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2010-02-15

    The bumblebee, Bombus terrestris (Order Hymenoptera), is of widespread importance. This species is extensively used for commercial pollination in Europe, and along with other Bombus spp. is a key member of natural pollinator assemblages. Furthermore, the species is studied in a wide variety of biological fields. The objective of this project was to create a B. terrestris EST resource that will prove to be valuable in obtaining a deeper understanding of this significant social insect. A normalised cDNA library was constructed from the thorax and abdomen of B. terrestris workers in order to enhance the discovery of rare genes. A total of 29'428 ESTs were sequenced. Subsequent clustering resulted in 13'333 unique sequences. Of these, 58.8 percent had significant similarities to known proteins, with 54.5 percent having a "best-hit" to existing Hymenoptera sequences. Comparisons with the honeybee and other insects allowed the identification of potential candidates for gene loss, pseudogene evolution, and possible incomplete annotation in the honeybee genome. Further, given the focus of much basic research and the perceived threat of disease to natural and commercial populations, the immune system of bumblebees is a particularly relevant component. Although the library is derived from unchallenged bees, we still uncover transcription of a number of immune genes spanning the principally described insect immune pathways. Additionally, the EST library provides a resource for the discovery of genetic markers that can be used in population level studies. Indeed, initial screens identified 589 simple sequence repeats and 854 potential single nucleotide polymorphisms. The resource that these B. terrestris ESTs represent is valuable for ongoing work. The ESTs provide direct evidence of transcriptionally active regions, but they will also facilitate further functional genomics, gene discovery and future genome annotation. These are important aspects in obtaining a greater

  7. Methods for species delimitation in bumblebees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus): towards an integrative approach

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lecocq, T.; Dellicour, S.; Michez, D.; Dehon, M.; Dewulf, A.; De Meulemeester, T.; Brasero, N.; Valterová, Irena; Rasplus, J. Y.; Rasmont, P.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 44, č. 3 (2015), s. 281-297 ISSN 0300-3256 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : bumblebee taxonomy * genetic analysis * pheromone composition Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.733, year: 2015

  8. 16S rRNA Amplicon Sequencing Demonstrates that Indoor-Reared Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris Harbor a Core Subset of Bacteria Normally Associated with the Wild Host.

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    Ivan Meeus

    Full Text Available A MiSeq multiplexed 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of the gut microbiota of wild and indoor-reared Bombus terrestris (bumblebees confirmed the presence of a core set of bacteria, which consisted of Neisseriaceae (Snodgrassella, Orbaceae (Gilliamella, Lactobacillaceae (Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacteriaceae (Bifidobacterium. In wild B. terrestris we detected several non-core bacteria having a more variable prevalence. Although Enterobacteriaceae are unreported by non next-generation sequencing studies, it can become a dominant gut resident. Furthermore the presence of some non-core lactobacilli were associated with the relative abundance of bifidobacteria. This association was not observed in indoor-reared bumblebees lacking the non-core bacteria, but having a more standardized microbiota compared to their wild counterparts. The impact of the bottleneck microbiota of indoor-reared bumblebees when they are used in the field for pollination purpose is discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  10. Chemical reproductive traits of diploid Bombus terrestris males: Consequences on bumblebee conservation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lecocq, T.; Gérard, M.; Maebe, K.; Brasero, N.; Dehon, L.; Smagghe, G.; Valterová, Irena; De Meulemeester, T.; Rasmont, P.; Michez, D.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 4 (2017), s. 623-630 ISSN 1672-9609 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : bee decline * bumblebees * conservation * diploid male s * premating recognition * reproductive traits Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Entomology Impact factor: 2.026, year: 2016

  11. Leg tendon glands in male bumblebees (Bombus terrestris): structure, secretion chemistry, and possible functions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jarau, S.; Žáček, Petr; Šobotník, Jan; Vrkoslav, Vladimír; Hadravová, Romana; Coppée, Audrey; Vašíčková, Soňa; Jiroš, Pavel; Valterová, Irena

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 99, č. 12 (2012), s. 1039-1049 ISSN 0028-1042 R&D Projects: GA TA ČR TA01020969 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : bumblebee * hydrocarbons * leg tendon glands * sex specific secretion * wax esters Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.144, year: 2012

  12. Observational conditioning in flower choice copying by bumblebees (Bombus terrestris: influence of observer distance and demonstrator movement.

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    Aurore Avarguès-Weber

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bumblebees use information provided inadvertently by conspecifics when deciding between different flower foraging options. Such social learning might be explained by relatively simple associative learning mechanism: the bee may learn to associate conspecifics with nectar or pollen reward through previous experience of foraging jointly. However, in some studies, observers were guided by choices of 'demonstrators' viewed through a screen, so no reward was given to the observers at the time of seeing other bees' flowers choice and no demonstrator bee was present at the moment of decision. This behaviour, referred to observational conditioning, implies an additional associative step as the positive value of conspecific is transferred to the associated flower. Here we explore the role of demonstrator movement, and the distance between observers and demonstrators that is required for observation conditioning to take place. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We identify the conditions under which observational conditioning occurs in the widespread European species Bombus terrestris. The presence of artificial demonstrator bees leads to a significant change in individual colour preference toward the indicated colour if demonstrators were moving and observation distance was limited (15 cm, suggesting that observational conditioning could only influence relatively short-range foraging decisions. In addition, the movement of demonstrators is a crucial factor for observational conditioning, either due to the more life-like appearance of moving artificial bees or an enhanced detectability of moving demonstrators, and an increased efficiency at directing attention to the indicated flower colour. CONCLUSION: Bumblebees possess the capacity to learn the quality of a flower by distal observation of other foragers' choices. This confirms that social learning in bees involves more advanced processes than simple associative learning, and indicates that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  14. Photoreceptor processing speed and input resistance changes during light adaptation correlate with spectral class in the bumblebee, Bombus impatiens.

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    Peter Skorupski

    Full Text Available Colour vision depends on comparison of signals from photoreceptors with different spectral sensitivities. However, response properties of photoreceptor cells may differ in ways other than spectral tuning. In insects, for example, broadband photoreceptors, with a major sensitivity peak in the green region of the spectrum (>500 nm, drive fast visual processes, which are largely blind to chromatic signals from more narrowly-tuned photoreceptors with peak sensitivities in the blue and UV regions of the spectrum. In addition, electrophysiological properties of the photoreceptor membrane may result in differences in response dynamics of photoreceptors of similar spectral class between species, and different spectral classes within a species. We used intracellular electrophysiological techniques to investigate response dynamics of the three spectral classes of photoreceptor underlying trichromatic colour vision in the bumblebee, Bombus impatiens, and we compare these with previously published data from a related species, Bombus terrestris. In both species, we found significantly faster responses in green, compared with blue- or UV-sensitive photoreceptors, although all 3 photoreceptor types are slower in B. impatiens than in B. terrestris. Integration times for light-adapted B. impatiens photoreceptors (estimated from impulse response half-width were 11.3 ± 1.6 ms for green photoreceptors compared with 18.6 ± 4.4 ms and 15.6 ± 4.4 for blue and UV, respectively. We also measured photoreceptor input resistance in dark- and light-adapted conditions. All photoreceptors showed a decrease in input resistance during light adaptation, but this decrease was considerably larger (declining to about 22% of the dark value in green photoreceptors, compared to blue and UV (41% and 49%, respectively. Our results suggest that the conductances associated with light adaptation are largest in green photoreceptors, contributing to their greater temporal processing speed

  15. An immune response in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris leads to increased food consumption

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    Mallon Eamonn B

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The concept of a costly immune system that must be traded off against other important physiological systems is fundamental to the burgeoning field of ecological immunity. Bumblebees have become one of the central models in this field. Although previous work has demonstrated costs of immunity in numerous life history traits, estimates of the more direct costs of bumblebee immunity have yet to be made. Results Here we show a 7.5% increase in energy consumption in response to non-pathogenic immune stimulation. Conclusion This increase in energy consumption along with other results suggests that immunity is one of the most important physiological systems, with other systems being sacrificed for its continuing efficiency. This increased consumption and maintained activity contrasts with the sickness-induced anorexia and reduced activity found in vertebrates.

  16. Does the queen win it all? Queen-worker conflict over male production in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaux, Cédric; Savarit, Fabrice; Jaisson, Pierre; Hefetz, Abraham

    Social insects provide a useful model for studying the evolutionary balance between cooperation and conflict linked to genetic structure. We investigated the outcome of this conflict in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, whose annual colony life cycle is characterized by overt competition over male production. We established artificial colonies composed of a queen and unrelated workers by daily exchange of callow workers between colony pairs of distinct genetic make-up. Using microsatellite analysis, this procedure allowed an exact calculation of the proportion of worker-derived males. The development and social behavior of these artificial colonies were similar to those of normal colonies. Despite a high worker reproduction attempt (63.8% of workers had developed ovaries and 38.4% were egg-layers), we found that on average 95% of the males produced during the competition phase (CPh) were queen-derived. However, in four colonies, queen death resulted in a considerable amount of worker-derived male production. The different putative ultimate causes of this efficient control by the queen are discussed, and we suggest a possible scenario of an evolutionary arms race that may occur between these two female castes.

  17. Intraspecific variation in flight metabolic rate in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens: repeatability and functional determinants in workers and drones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darveau, Charles-A; Billardon, Fannie; Bélanger, Kasandra

    2014-02-15

    The evolution of flight energetics requires that phenotypes be variable, repeatable and heritable. We studied intraspecific variation in flight energetics in order to assess the repeatability of flight metabolic rate and wingbeat frequency, as well as the functional basis of phenotypic variation in workers and drones of the bumblebee species Bombus impatiens. We showed that flight metabolic rate and wingbeat frequency were highly repeatable in workers, even when controlling for body mass variation using residual analysis. We did not detect significant repeatability in drones, but a smaller range of variation might have prevented us from finding significant values in our sample. Based on our results and previous findings, we associated the high repeatability of flight phenotypes in workers to the functional links between body mass, thorax mass, wing size, wingbeat frequency and metabolic rate. Moreover, differences between workers and drones were as predicted from these functional associations, where drones had larger wings for their size, lower wingbeat frequency and lower flight metabolic rate. We also investigated thoracic muscle metabolic phenotypes by measuring the activity of carbohydrate metabolism enzymes, and we found positive correlations between mass-independent metabolic rate and the activity of all enzymes measured, but in workers only. When comparing workers and drones that differ in flight metabolic rate, only the activity of the enzymes hexokinase and trehalase showed the predicted differences. Overall, our study indicates that there should be correlated evolution among physiological phenotypes at multiple levels of organization and morphological traits associated with flight.

  18. The bumblebee Bombus hortorum is the main pollinating visitor to Digitalis purpurea (Common Foxglove in a U.K. population

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    Arthur Broadbent

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Specialization in plant-pollinator systems represents an important issue for both the ecological understanding and conservation of these systems. We investigated the extent to which the bumblebee Bombus hortorum (Linnaeus is the main potential pollinator of Common Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea L. Twenty D. purpurea patches were selected in North Yorkshire, U.K., ten each in woodland and garden or park habitat. All insects visiting D. purpurea within the patches were recorded over seventy 30-min bouts. The relative frequency of insect visitors to other flowering plant species within 15 m of each patch was also determined. B. hortorum and B. pascuorum were the two most frequent visitors to D. purpurea, accounting for 82 - 92% and 3 -17%, respectively, of all insect visits (n = 1682, depending on habitat. B. hortorum showed a significant preference for visiting D. purpurea relative to its frequency of visits to other available plant species. The relationship of D. purpurea with B. hortorum, which pollinates several plant species with long corollas, therefore represents a potential case of asymmetric specialization, albeit one that may vary spatially. Because D. purpurea reproduction appears dependent on insect pollination, B. hortorum and B. pascuorum may help underpin the viability of D. purpurea populations.

  19. Ovary activation does not correlate with pollen and nectar foraging specialization in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens

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    Meagan A. Simons

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Social insect foragers may specialize on certain resource types. Specialization on pollen or nectar among honeybee foragers is hypothesized to result from associations between reproductive physiology and sensory tuning that evolved in ancestral solitary bees (the Reproductive Ground-Plan Hypothesis; RGPH. However, the two non-honeybee species studied showed no association between specialization and ovary activation. Here we investigate the bumblebee B. impatiens because it has the most extensively studied pollen/nectar specialization of any bumblebee. We show that ovary size does not differ between pollen specialist, nectar specialist, and generalist foragers, contrary to the predictions of the RGPH. However, we also found mixed support for the second prediction of the RGPH, that sensory sensitivity, measured through proboscis extension response (PER, is greater among pollen foragers. We also found a correlation between foraging activity and ovary size, and foraging activity and relative nectar preference, but no correlation between ovary size and nectar preference. In one colony non-foragers had larger ovaries than foragers, supporting the reproductive conflict and work hypothesis, but in the other colony they did not.

  20. Ovary activation does not correlate with pollen and nectar foraging specialization in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Meagan A; Smith, Adam R

    2018-01-01

    Social insect foragers may specialize on certain resource types. Specialization on pollen or nectar among honeybee foragers is hypothesized to result from associations between reproductive physiology and sensory tuning that evolved in ancestral solitary bees (the Reproductive Ground-Plan Hypothesis; RGPH). However, the two non-honeybee species studied showed no association between specialization and ovary activation. Here we investigate the bumblebee B. impatiens because it has the most extensively studied pollen/nectar specialization of any bumblebee. We show that ovary size does not differ between pollen specialist, nectar specialist, and generalist foragers, contrary to the predictions of the RGPH. However, we also found mixed support for the second prediction of the RGPH, that sensory sensitivity, measured through proboscis extension response (PER), is greater among pollen foragers. We also found a correlation between foraging activity and ovary size, and foraging activity and relative nectar preference, but no correlation between ovary size and nectar preference. In one colony non-foragers had larger ovaries than foragers, supporting the reproductive conflict and work hypothesis, but in the other colony they did not.

  1. Leg tendon glands in male bumblebees ( Bombus terrestris): structure, secretion chemistry, and possible functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarau, Stefan; Žáček, Petr; Šobotník, Jan; Vrkoslav, Vladimír; Hadravová, Romana; Coppée, Audrey; Vašíčková, Soňa; Jiroš, Pavel; Valterová, Irena

    2012-12-01

    Among the large number of exocrine glands described in bees, the tarsal glands were thought to be the source of footprint scent marks. However, recent studies showed that the compounds used for marking by stingless bees are secreted by leg tendon instead of tarsal glands. Here, we report on the structure of leg tendon glands in males of Bombus terrestris, together with a description of the chemical composition of their secretions and respective changes of both during the males' lives. The ultrastructure of leg tendon glands shows that the secretory cells are located in three independent regions, separated from each other by unmodified epidermal cells: in the femur, tibia, and basitarsus. Due to the common site of secretion release, the organ is considered a single secretory gland. The secretion of the leg tendon glands of B. terrestris males differs in its composition from those of workers and queens, in particular by (1) having larger proportions of compounds with longer chain lengths, which we identified as wax esters; and (2) by the lack of certain hydrocarbons (especially long chain dienes). Other differences consist in the distribution of double bond positions in the unsaturated hydrocarbons that are predominantly located at position 9 in males but distributed at seven to nine different positions in the female castes. Double bond positions may change chemical and physical properties of a molecule, which can be recognized by the insects and, thus, may serve to convey specific information. The function of male-specific compounds identified from their tendon glands remains elusive, but several possibilities are discussed.

  2. Reduced cephalic labial glands in the male bumblebees of the subgenus Rhodobombus Dalla Torre (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus Latreille)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Terzo, M.; Coppens, P.; Valterová, Irena; Toubeau, G.; Rasmont, P.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 43, č. 4 (2007), s. 497-503 ISSN 0037-9271 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA4055403 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : Bombus mesomelas * Bombus terrestris * ultrastructure * sexual pheromones Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 0.823, year: 2007

  3. Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus Infection Leads to an Enhanced RNA Interference Response and Not Its Suppression in the Bumblebee Bombus terrestris

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    Kaat Cappelle

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available RNA interference (RNAi is the primary antiviral defense system in insects and its importance for pollinator health is indisputable. In this work, we examined the effect of Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV infection on the RNAi process in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, and whether the presence of possible functional viral suppressors could alter the potency of the host’s immune response. For this, a two-fold approach was used. Through a functional RNAi assay, we observed an enhancement of the RNAi system after IAPV infection instead of its suppression, despite only minimal upregulation of the genes involved in RNAi. Besides, the presence of the proposed suppressor 1A and the predicted OrfX protein in IAPV could not be confirmed using high definition mass spectrometry. In parallel, when bumblebees were infected with cricket paralysis virus (CrPV, known to encode a suppressor of RNAi, no increase in RNAi efficiency was seen. For both viruses, pre-infection with the one virus lead to a decreased replication of the other virus, indicating a major effect of competition. These results are compelling in the context of Dicistroviridae in multi-virus/multi-host networks as the effect of a viral infection on the RNAi machinery may influence subsequent virus infections.

  4. Social Learning in Bumblebees (Bombus impatiens: Worker Bumblebees Learn to Manipulate and Forage at Artificial Flowers by Observation and Communication within the Colony

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    Hamida B. Mirwan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Social learning occurs when one individual learns from another, mainly conspecific, often by observation, imitation, or communication. Using artificial flowers, we studied social learning by allowing test bumblebees to (a see dead bumblebees arranged in foraging positions or (b watch live bumblebees actually foraging or (c communicate with nestmates within their colony without having seen foraging. Artificial flowers made from 1.5 mL microcentrifuge tubes with closed caps were inserted through the centres of blue 7 cm plastic discs as optical signals through which the bees could not forage. The reinforcer reward syrup was accessible only through holes in the sides of the tubes beneath the blue discs. Two colonies (A and B were used in tandem along with control (C and D colonies. No bee that was not exposed (i.e., from the control colonies (C and D to social learning discovered the access holes. Inside colony B, we imprisoned a group of bees that were prevented from seeing or watching. Bees that saw dead bumblebees in foraging positions, those that watched nest-mates foraging, and those that had only in-hive communication with successful foragers all foraged successfully. The means of in-hive communication are not understood and warrant intense investigation.

  5. Dumb and Lazy? A Comparison of Color Learning and Memory Retrieval in Drones and Workers of the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, by Means of PER Conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichtenstein, Leonie; Sommerlandt, Frank M J; Spaethe, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    More than 100 years ago, Karl von Frisch showed that honeybee workers learn and discriminate colors. Since then, many studies confirmed the color learning capabilities of females from various hymenopteran species. Yet, little is known about visual learning and memory in males despite the fact that in most bee species males must take care of their own needs and must find rewarding flowers to obtain food. Here we used the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm to study the color learning capacities of workers and drones of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris. Light stimuli were paired with sucrose reward delivered to the insects' antennae and inducing a reflexive extension of the proboscis. We evaluated color learning (i.e. conditioned PER to color stimuli) in absolute and differential conditioning protocols and mid-term memory retention was measured two hours after conditioning. Different monochromatic light stimuli in combination with neutral density filters were used to ensure that the bumblebees could only use chromatic and not achromatic (e.g. brightness) information. Furthermore, we tested if bees were able to transfer the learned information from the PER conditioning to a novel discrimination task in a Y-maze. Both workers and drones were capable of learning and discriminating between monochromatic light stimuli and retrieved the learned stimulus after two hours. Drones performed as well as workers during conditioning and in the memory test, but failed in the transfer test in contrast to workers. Our data clearly show that bumblebees can learn to associate a color stimulus with a sugar reward in PER conditioning and that both workers and drones reach similar acquisition and mid-term retention performances. Additionally, we provide evidence that only workers transfer the learned information from a Pavlovian to an operant situation.

  6. Dumb and Lazy? A Comparison of Color Learning and Memory Retrieval in Drones and Workers of the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, by Means of PER Conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonie Lichtenstein

    Full Text Available More than 100 years ago, Karl von Frisch showed that honeybee workers learn and discriminate colors. Since then, many studies confirmed the color learning capabilities of females from various hymenopteran species. Yet, little is known about visual learning and memory in males despite the fact that in most bee species males must take care of their own needs and must find rewarding flowers to obtain food. Here we used the proboscis extension response (PER paradigm to study the color learning capacities of workers and drones of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris. Light stimuli were paired with sucrose reward delivered to the insects' antennae and inducing a reflexive extension of the proboscis. We evaluated color learning (i.e. conditioned PER to color stimuli in absolute and differential conditioning protocols and mid-term memory retention was measured two hours after conditioning. Different monochromatic light stimuli in combination with neutral density filters were used to ensure that the bumblebees could only use chromatic and not achromatic (e.g. brightness information. Furthermore, we tested if bees were able to transfer the learned information from the PER conditioning to a novel discrimination task in a Y-maze. Both workers and drones were capable of learning and discriminating between monochromatic light stimuli and retrieved the learned stimulus after two hours. Drones performed as well as workers during conditioning and in the memory test, but failed in the transfer test in contrast to workers. Our data clearly show that bumblebees can learn to associate a color stimulus with a sugar reward in PER conditioning and that both workers and drones reach similar acquisition and mid-term retention performances. Additionally, we provide evidence that only workers transfer the learned information from a Pavlovian to an operant situation.

  7. Scent of a break-up: phylogeography and reproductive trait divergences in the red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lecocq, T.; Dellicour, S.; Michez, D.; Lhomme, P.; Vanderplanck, M.; Valterová, Irena; Rasplus, J. Y.; Rasmont, P.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 13, č. 263 (2013), 263/1-263/17 ISSN 1471-2148 Grant - others:Seventh Framework Programme(XE) FP7-244090 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : phylogeography * reproductive traits * genetic differentiation * bumblebees Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 3.407, year: 2013 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/13/263

  8. The effect of antagonistic micro-organisms on the brood of honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) 2003

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

    Several plant pathogenic fungi enter the plant trough open flowers. Spores of antagonistic micro-organisms present on the flowers can successfully compete with the possible pathogens. Honeybees and bumblebees can be used for transporting these antagonistic micro-organisms from the hive into flowers

  9. Gene Expression Dynamics in Major Endocrine Regulatory Pathways along the Transition from Solitary to Social Life in a Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

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    Pavel Jedlička

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the social evolution leading to insect eusociality requires, among other, a detailed insight into endocrine regulatory mechanisms that have been co-opted from solitary ancestors to play new roles in the complex life histories of eusocial species. Bumblebees represent well-suited models of a relatively primitive social organization standing on the mid-way to highly advanced eusociality and their queens undergo both, a solitary and a social phase, separated by winter diapause.In the present paper, we characterize the gene expression levels of major endocrine regulatory pathways across tissues, sexes, and life-stages of the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, with special emphasis on critical stages of the queen’s transition from solitary to social life. We focused on fundamental genes of three pathways: (1 Forkhead box protein O and insulin/insulin-like signaling, (2 Juvenile hormone signaling, and (3 Adipokinetic hormone signaling. Virgin queens were distinguished by higher expression of forkhead box protein O and downregulated insulin-like peptides and juvenile hormone (JH signaling, indicated by low expression of methyl farnesoate epoxidase (MFE and transcription factor Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1. Diapausing queens showed the expected downregulation of JH signaling in terms of low MFE and vitellogenin (Vg expressions, but an unexpectedly high expression of Kr-h1. By contrast, reproducing queens revealed an upregulation of MFE and Vg together with insulin signaling. Surprisingly, the insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1 turned out to be a queen-specific hormone. Workers exhibited an expression pattern of MFE and Vg similar to that of reproducing queens. Males were characterized by high Kr-h1 expression and low Vg level. The tissue comparison unveiled an unexpected resemblance between the fat body and hypopharyngeal glands across all investigated genes, sexes, and life stages.

  10. Hitting an Unintended Target: Phylogeography of Bombus brasiliensis Lepeletier, 1836 and the First New Brazilian Bumblebee Species in a Century (Hymenoptera: Apidae.

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    José Eustáquio Santos Júnior

    Full Text Available This work tested whether or not populations of Bombus brasiliensis isolated on mountain tops of southeastern Brazil belonged to the same species as populations widespread in lowland areas in the Atlantic coast and westward along the Paraná-river valley. Phylogeographic and population genetic analyses showed that those populations were all conspecific. However, they revealed a previously unrecognized, apparently rare, and potentially endangered species in one of the most threatened biodiversity hotspots of the World, the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. This species is described here as Bombus bahiensis sp. n., and included in a revised key for the identification of the bumblebee species known to occur in Brazil. Phylogenetic analyses based on two mtDNA markers suggest this new species to be sister to B. brasiliensis, from which its workers and queens can be easily distinguished by the lack of a yellow hair-band on the first metasomal tergum. The results presented here are consistent with the hypothesis that B. bahiensis sp. n. may have originated from an ancestral population isolated in an evergreen-forest refuge (the so-called Bahia refuge during cold, dry periods of the Pleistocene. This refuge is also known as an important area of endemism for several animal taxa, including other bees. Secondary contact between B. bahiensis and B. brasiliensis may be presently prevented by a strip of semi-deciduous forest in a climate zone characterized by relatively long dry seasons. Considering the relatively limited range of this new species and the current anthropic pressure on its environment, attention should be given to its conservation status.

  11. A second generation genetic map of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758 reveals slow genome and chromosome evolution in the Apidae

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    Kube Michael

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The bumblebee Bombus terrestris is an ecologically and economically important pollinator and has become an important biological model system. To study fundamental evolutionary questions at the genomic level, a high resolution genetic linkage map is an essential tool for analyses ranging from quantitative trait loci (QTL mapping to genome assembly and comparative genomics. We here present a saturated linkage map and match it with the Apis mellifera genome using homologous markers. This genome-wide comparison allows insights into structural conservations and rearrangements and thus the evolution on a chromosomal level. Results The high density linkage map covers ~ 93% of the B. terrestris genome on 18 linkage groups (LGs and has a length of 2'047 cM with an average marker distance of 4.02 cM. Based on a genome size of ~ 430 Mb, the recombination rate estimate is 4.76 cM/Mb. Sequence homologies of 242 homologous markers allowed to match 15 B. terrestris with A. mellifera LGs, five of them as composites. Comparing marker orders between both genomes we detect over 14% of the genome to be organized in synteny and 21% in rearranged blocks on the same homologous LG. Conclusions This study demonstrates that, despite the very high recombination rates of both A. mellifera and B. terrestris and a long divergence time of about 100 million years, the genomes' genetic architecture is highly conserved. This reflects a slow genome evolution in these bees. We show that data on genome organization and conserved molecular markers can be used as a powerful tool for comparative genomics and evolutionary studies, opening up new avenues of research in the Apidae.

  12. Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and honeybees (Apis mellifera) prefer similar colours of higher spectral purity over trained colours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohde, Katja; Papiorek, Sarah; Lunau, Klaus

    2013-03-01

    Differences in the concentration of pigments as well as their composition and spatial arrangement cause intraspecific variation in the spectral signature of flowers. Known colour preferences and requirements for flower-constant foraging bees predict different responses to colour variability. In experimental settings, we simulated small variations of unicoloured petals and variations in the spatial arrangement of colours within tricoloured petals using artificial flowers and studied their impact on the colour choices of bumblebees and honeybees. Workers were trained to artificial flowers of a given colour and then given the simultaneous choice between three test colours: either the training colour, one colour of lower and one of higher spectral purity, or the training colour, one colour of lower and one of higher dominant wavelength; in all cases the perceptual contrast between the training colour and the additional test colours was similarly small. Bees preferred artificial test flowers which resembled the training colour with the exception that they preferred test colours with higher spectral purity over trained colours. Testing the behaviour of bees at artificial flowers displaying a centripetal or centrifugal arrangement of three equally sized colours with small differences in spectral purity, bees did not prefer any type of artificial flowers, but preferentially choose the most spectrally pure area for the first antenna contact at both types of artificial flowers. Our results indicate that innate preferences for flower colours of high spectral purity in pollinators might exert selective pressure on the evolution of flower colours.

  13. No transmission of Potato spindle tuber viroid shown in experiments with thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis, Thrips tabaci), honey bees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Steen Lykke; Enkegaard, Annie; Nicolaisen, Mogens

    2012-01-01

    and Thrips tabaci by leaf sucking. The F. occidentalis experiments also included feeding on pollen prior to feeding on PSTVd-infected leaf. No thrips-mediated transmission of PSTVd was recorded. The possibility of PSTVd transmission by Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris during their feeding...

  14. Traplining in bumblebees (Bombus impatiens): a foraging strategy's ontogeny and the importance of spatial reference memory in short-range foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleh, Nehal; Chittka, Lars

    2007-04-01

    To test the relative importance of long-term and working spatial memories in short-range foraging in bumblebees, we compared the performance of two groups of bees. One group foraged in a stable array of six flowers for 40 foraging bouts, thereby enabling it to establish a long-term memory of the array, and adjust its spatial movements accordingly. The other group was faced with an array that changed between (but not within) foraging bouts, and thus had only access to a working memory of the flowers that had been visited. Bees in the stable array started out sampling a variety of routes, but their tendency to visit flowers in a repeatable, stable order ("traplining") increased drastically with experience. These bees used shorter routes and converged on four popular paths. However, these routes were mainly formed through linking pairs of flowers by near-neighbour movements, rather than attempting to minimize overall travel distance. Individuals had variations to a primary sequence, where some bees used a major sequence most often, followed by a minor less used route, and others used two different routes with equal frequency. Even though bees foraging in the spatially randomized array had access to both spatial working memory and scent marks, this manipulation greatly disrupted foraging efficiency, mainly via an increase in revisitation to previously emptied flowers and substantially longer search times. Hence, a stable reference frame greatly improves foraging even for bees in relatively small arrays of flowers.

  15. Enzymatic oxidations of alcohols in biosynthesis of bumblebee pheromones

    OpenAIRE

    Bártová, Adéla

    2016-01-01

    Secretion of cephalic labial gland of Buff-tailed bumblebee males (Bombus terrestris) contains a mixture of terpene alcohols, aliphatic alcohols, esters and alkanes with small amount of aldehydes potentially biosynthetized of (S)-2,3-dihydrofarnesol and geranylcitronellol (major alcoholic compounds). This secretion acts as a marking and luring pheromone during patrolling. This study is focused on oxidation of terpene alcohols using enzymes of cephalic labial gland of a bumblebee. In vitro inc...

  16. Serine protease from midgut of Bombus terrestris males

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brabcová, Jana; Kindl, Jiří; Valterová, Irena; Pichová, Iva; Zarevúcka, Marie; Brabcová, J.; Jágr, Michal; Mikšík, Ivan

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 82, č. 3 (2013), s. 117-128 ISSN 0739-4462 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/09/1446; GA TA ČR TA01020969 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 ; RVO:67985823 Keywords : Bombus terrestris * midgut * serine protease * bumblebee Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry; CE - Biochemistry (FGU-C) Impact factor: 1.160, year: 2013

  17. Spatial vision in Bombus terrestris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aravin eChakravarthi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Bombus terrestris is one of the most commonly used insect models to investigate visually guided behavior and spatial vision in particular. Two fundamental measures of spatial vision are spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. In this study, we report the threshold of spatial resolution in B. terrestris and characterize the contrast sensitivity function of the bumblebee visual system for a dual choice discrimination task. We trained bumblebees in a Y-maze experimental set-up to associate a vertical sinusoidal grating with a sucrose reward, and a horizontal grating with absence of a reward. Using a logistic psychometric function, we estimated a resolution threshold of 0.21 cycles deg-1 of visual angle. This resolution is in the same range but slightly lower than that found in honeybees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana and another bumblebee species (B. impatiens. We also found that the contrast sensitivity of B. terrestris was 1.57 for the spatial frequency 0.09 cycles deg-1 and 1.26. for 0.18 cycles deg-1.

  18. Sperm length, sperm storage and mating system characteristics in bumblebees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Høeg, Jens Thorvald

    2003-01-01

    -term storage of sperm, using three bumblebee species with different mating systems as models. We show that individual males produce only one size-class of sperm, but that sperm length is highly variable among brothers, among unrelated conspecific males, and among males of different species. Males of Bombus...

  19. Bumblebees exhibit the memory spacing effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toda, Nicholas R. T.; Song, Jeremy; Nieh, James C.

    2009-10-01

    Associative learning is key to how bees recognize and return to rewarding floral resources. It thus plays a major role in pollinator floral constancy and plant gene flow. Honeybees are the primary model for pollinator associative learning, but bumblebees play an important ecological role in a wider range of habitats, and their associative learning abilities are less well understood. We assayed learning with the proboscis extension reflex (PER), using a novel method for restraining bees (capsules) designed to improve bumblebee learning. We present the first results demonstrating that bumblebees exhibit the memory spacing effect. They improve their associative learning of odor and nectar reward by exhibiting increased memory acquisition, a component of long-term memory formation, when the time interval between rewarding trials is increased. Bombus impatiens forager memory acquisition (average discrimination index values) improved by 129% and 65% at inter-trial intervals (ITI) of 5 and 3 min, respectively, as compared to an ITI of 1 min. Memory acquisition rate also increased with increasing ITI. Encapsulation significantly increases olfactory memory acquisition. Ten times more foragers exhibited at least one PER response during training in capsules as compared to traditional PER harnesses. Thus, a novel conditioning assay, encapsulation, enabled us to improve bumblebee-learning acquisition and demonstrate that spaced learning results in better memory consolidation. Such spaced learning likely plays a role in forming long-term memories of rewarding floral resources.

  20. Intraspecific variation of the cephalic labial gland secretions in Bombus terrestris (L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Coppée, A.; Terzo, M.; Valterová, Irena; Rasmont, P.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 12 (2008), s. 2654-2661 ISSN 1612-1872 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : bumblebees * labial gland secretions * pheromones * male-marking pheromones * Bombus terrestris Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 1.659, year: 2008

  1. The effect of olfactory exposure to non-insecticidal agrochemicals on bumblebee foraging behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordanna D H Sprayberry

    Full Text Available Declines in bumblebee populations have led to investigations into potential causes - including agrochemical effects on bumblebee physiology. The indirect effects of agrochemicals (i.e. behavior modulation have been postulated, but rarely directly tested. Olfactory information is critical in mediating bumblebee-floral interactions. As agrochemicals emit volatiles, they may indirectly modify foraging behavior. We tested the effects of olfactory contamination of floral odor by agrochemical scent on foraging activity of Bombus impatiens using two behavioral paradigms: localization of food within a maze and forced-choice preference. The presence of a fungicide decreased bumblebees' ability to locate food within a maze. Additionally, bumblebees preferred to forage in non-contaminated feeding chambers when offered a choice between control and either fertilizer- or fungicide-scented chambers.

  2. The effect of olfactory exposure to non-insecticidal agrochemicals on bumblebee foraging behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprayberry, Jordanna D H; Ritter, Kaitlin A; Riffell, Jeffrey A

    2013-01-01

    Declines in bumblebee populations have led to investigations into potential causes - including agrochemical effects on bumblebee physiology. The indirect effects of agrochemicals (i.e. behavior modulation) have been postulated, but rarely directly tested. Olfactory information is critical in mediating bumblebee-floral interactions. As agrochemicals emit volatiles, they may indirectly modify foraging behavior. We tested the effects of olfactory contamination of floral odor by agrochemical scent on foraging activity of Bombus impatiens using two behavioral paradigms: localization of food within a maze and forced-choice preference. The presence of a fungicide decreased bumblebees' ability to locate food within a maze. Additionally, bumblebees preferred to forage in non-contaminated feeding chambers when offered a choice between control and either fertilizer- or fungicide-scented chambers.

  3. Bumblebee workers from different sire groups vary in susceptibility to parasite infection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2003-01-01

    is so far only supported indirectly. Here we tested this crucial assumption using data from a study on the bumblebee Bombus terrestris L. with queens inseminated with sperm of either one or several males that originated from different sire groups (i.e. groups of brothers). We found that, under field...

  4. Spatial reorientation by geometry in bumblebees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria Anna Sovrano

    Full Text Available Human and non-human animals are capable of using basic geometric information to reorient in an environment. Geometric information includes metric properties associated with spatial surfaces (e.g., short vs. long wall and left-right directionality or 'sense' (e.g. a long wall to the left of a short wall. However, it remains unclear whether geometric information is encoded by explicitly computing the layout of surface geometry or by matching images of the environment. View-based spatial encoding is generally thought to hold for insect navigation and, very recently, evidence for navigation by geometry has been reported in ants but only in a condition which does not allow the animals to use features located far from the goal. In this study we tested the spatial reorientation abilities of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris. After spatial disorientation, by passive rotation both clockwise and anticlockwise, bumblebees had to find one of the four exit holes located in the corners of a rectangular enclosure. Bumblebees systematically confused geometrically equivalent exit corners (i.e. corners with the same geometric arrangement of metric properties and sense, for example a short wall to the left of a long wall. However, when one wall of the enclosure was a different colour, bumblebees appeared to combine this featural information (either near or far from the goal with geometric information to find the correct exit corner. Our results show that bumblebees are able to use both geometric and featural information to reorient themselves, even when features are located far from the goal.

  5. First molecular detection of co-infection of honey bee viruses in asymptomatic Bombus atratus in South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FJ. Reynaldi

    Full Text Available Pollination is critical for food production and has the particularity of linking natural ecosystems with agricultural production systems. Recently, losses of bumblebee species have been reported worldwide. In this study, samples from a commercial exploitation of bumblebees of Argentina with a recent history of deaths were studied using a multiplex PCR for the detection of the honey bee viruses most frequently detected in South America. All samples analysed were positive for co-infections with Deformed wing virus, Black queen cell virus and Sacbrood virus. This is the first report of infection of Bombus atratus with honey bee viruses. A better understanding of viral infections in bumblebees and of the epidemiology of viruses could be of great importance as bumblebees can serve as possible viral reservoirs, resulting in pathogen spillover towards honey bees and native bumblebees.

  6. A comparison of techniques for assessing farmland bumblebee populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, T J; Holland, J M; Goulson, D

    2015-04-01

    Agri-environment schemes have been implemented across the European Union in order to reverse declines in farmland biodiversity. To assess the impact of these schemes for bumblebees, accurate measures of their populations are required. Here, we compared bumblebee population estimates on 16 farms using three commonly used techniques: standardised line transects, coloured pan traps and molecular estimates of nest abundance. There was no significant correlation between the estimates obtained by the three techniques, suggesting that each technique captured a different aspect of local bumblebee population size and distribution in the landscape. Bumblebee abundance as observed on the transects was positively influenced by the number of flowers present on the transect. The number of bumblebees caught in pan traps was positively influenced by the density of flowers surrounding the trapping location and negatively influenced by wider landscape heterogeneity. Molecular estimates of the number of nests of Bombus terrestris and B. hortorum were positively associated with the proportion of the landscape covered in oilseed rape and field beans. Both direct survey techniques are strongly affected by floral abundance immediately around the survey site, potentially leading to misleading results if attempting to infer overall abundance in an area or on a farm. In contrast, whilst the molecular method suffers from an inability to detect sister pairs at low sample sizes, it appears to be unaffected by the abundance of forage and thus is the preferred survey technique.

  7. Fibrin(ogen)olytic activity of bumblebee venom serine protease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qiu Yuling; Choo, Young Moo; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Jia Jingming; Cui Zheng; Wang Dong; Kim, Doh Hoon; Sohn, Hung Dae; Jin, Byung Rae

    2011-01-01

    Bee venom is a rich source of pharmacologically active components; it has been used as an immunotherapy to treat bee venom hypersensitivity, and venom therapy has been applied as an alternative medicine. Here, we present evidence that the serine protease found in bumblebee venom exhibits fibrin(ogen)olytic activity. Compared to honeybee venom, bumblebee venom contains a higher content of serine protease, which is one of its major components. Venom serine proteases from bumblebees did not cross-react with antibodies against the honeybee venom serine protease. We provide functional evidence indicating that bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) venom serine protease (Bt-VSP) acts as a fibrin(ogen)olytic enzyme. Bt-VSP activates prothrombin and directly degrades fibrinogen into fibrin degradation products. However, Bt-VSP is not a plasminogen activator, and its fibrinolytic activity is less than that of plasmin. Taken together, our results define roles for Bt-VSP as a prothrombin activator, a thrombin-like protease, and a plasmin-like protease. These findings offer significant insight into the allergic reaction sequence that is initiated by bee venom serine protease and its potential usefulness as a clinical agent in the field of hemostasis and thrombosis. - Graphical abstract: Display Omitted Highlights: → Bumblebee venom serine protease (Bt-VSP) is a fibrin(ogen)olytic enzyme. → Bt-VSP activates prothrombin. → Bt-VSP directly degrades fibrinogen into fibrin degradation products. → Bt-VSP is a hemostatically active protein that is a potent clinical agent.

  8. Is Bumblebee Foraging Efficiency Mediated by Morphological Correspondence to Flowers?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ikumi Dohzono

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Preference for certain types of flowers in bee species may be an adaptation for efficient foraging, and they often prefer flowers whose shape fits their mouthparts. However, it is unclear whether such flowers are truly beneficial for them. We address this issue by experimentally measuring foraging efficiency of bumblebees, the volume of sucrose solution consumed over handling time (μL/second, using long-tongued Bombus diversus Smith and short-tongued B. honshuensis Tkalcu that visit Clematis stans Siebold et Zuccarini. The corolla tube length of C. stans decreases during a flowering period, and male flowers are longer than female flowers. Long- and short-tongued bumblebees frequently visited longer and shorter flowers, respectively. Based on these preferences, we hypothesized that bumblebee foraging efficiency is higher when visiting flowers that show a good morphological fit between the proboscis and the corolla tube. Foraging efficiency of bumblebees was estimated using flowers for which nectar quality and quantity were controlled, in an experimental enclosure. We show that 1 the foraging efficiency of B. diversus was enhanced when visiting younger, longer flowers, and that 2 the foraging efficiency of B. honshuensis was higher when visiting shorter female flowers. This suggests that morphological correspondence between insects and flowers is important for insect foraging efficiency. However, in contradiction to our prediction, 3 short-tongued bumblebees B. honshuensis sucked nectar more efficiently when visiting younger, longer flowers, and 4 there was no significant difference in the foraging efficiency of B. diversus between flower sexes. These results suggest that morphological fit between the proboscis and the corolla tube is not a sole determinant of foraging efficiency. Bumblebees may adjust their sucking behavior in response to available rewards, and competition over rewards between bumblebee species might change visitation patterns

  9. Aspects of the use of honeybees and bumblebees as vector of antagonistic micro-organisms in plant diseas control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steen, van der J.J.M.; Langerak, C.J.; Tongeren, van C.A.M.; Dik, A.J.

    2003-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris L.) are used for pollination in agriculture and horticulture. The morphological and behavioural characteristics of bees make them good pollinators. Thanks to this, bees may also be used as vector of antagonistic micro-organisms for

  10. Bumblebees and solitary bees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Casper Christian I

    use as a proxy at four different scales (250, 500, 750 and 1000 m). In 2012, the effect of a four-fold larger area of organic arable fields in simple, homogeneous landscapes on bumblebees and solitary bees was investigated in eight circular landscapes (radius 1000 m). Bumblebees and solitary bees were......Summary: The effects of farming system, flower resources and semi-natural habitats on bumblebees and solitary bees in intensively cultivated landscapes in Denmark were investigated in two sets of studies, in 2011 and 2012. The pan trap colour preferences of bumblebees and solitary bees were also...... assessed. In 2011, bumblebees and solitary bees were trapped in road verges bordering 14 organic (organic sites) and 14 conventional (conventional sites) winter wheat fields. The quantity and quality of local flower resources in the road verge and adjacent field headland were estimated as overall density...

  11. High contrast sensitivity for visually guided flight control in bumblebees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravarthi, Aravin; Kelber, Almut; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie

    2017-12-01

    Many insects rely on vision to find food, to return to their nest and to carefully control their flight between these two locations. The amount of information available to support these tasks is, in part, dictated by the spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity of their visual systems. Here, we investigate the absolute limits of these visual properties for visually guided position and speed control in Bombus terrestris. Our results indicate that the limit of spatial vision in the translational motion detection system of B. terrestris lies at 0.21 cycles deg -1 with a peak contrast sensitivity of at least 33. In the perspective of earlier findings, these results indicate that bumblebees have higher contrast sensitivity in the motion detection system underlying position control than in their object discrimination system. This suggests that bumblebees, and most likely also other insects, have different visual thresholds depending on the behavioral context.

  12. Hydrocarbon footprints as a record of bumblebee flower visitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witjes, Sebastian; Eltz, Thomas

    2009-11-01

    Bumblebees leave traces of cuticular hydrocarbons on flowers they visit, with the amount deposited being positively related to the number of visits. We asked whether such footprint hydrocarbons are retained on flowers for sufficiently long periods of time so as to reflect bee visitation in pollination studies. In laboratory experiments, flower corollae (Primula veris, Digitalis grandiflora) visited by Bombus terrestris workers retained bee-derived nonacosenes (C(29)H(58)) in near-unchanged quantities for 24 hours, both at 15 and 25 degrees C. Additionally, synthetic (Z)-9-tricosene applied to flower corollae of the deadnettle Lamium maculatum was retained for 48 hours in an unchanged quantity. In a field survey, the amount of footprint alkenes on flowers of comfrey (Symphytum officinale) plants was positively correlated with the number of bumblebee visits that those plants had received during the day. Together, these data suggest that flowers retain a long-term quantitative record of bumblebee visitation. The analysis of petal extracts by gas chromatography could provide a cheap and reliable way of quantifying bumblebee visits in landscape scale studies of pollination.

  13. Different-but-Similar Judgments by Bumblebees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vicki Xu

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This study examines picture perception in an invertebrate. Two questions regarding possible picture-object correspondence are addressed for bumblebees (Bombus impatiens: (1 Do bees perceive the difference between an object and its corresponding picture even when they have not been trained to do so? (2 Do they also perceive the similarity? Twenty bees from each of four colonies underwent discrimination training of stimuli placed in a radial maze. Bees were trained to discriminate between two objects (artificial flowers in one group and between photos of those objects in another. Subsequent testing on unrewarding stimuli revealed, for both groups, a significant discrimination between the object and its photo: discrimination training was not necessary for bees to detect a difference between corresponding objects and pictures. We obtained not only object-to-picture transfer, as in previous research, but also the reverse: picture-to-object transfer. In the absence of the rewarding object, its photo, though never seen before by the bees, was accepted as a substitute. The reverse was also true. Bumblebees treated pictures as “different-but-similar” without having been trained to do so, which is in turn useful in floral categorization.

  14. Bee pathogens found in Bombus atratus from Colombia: A case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamboa, Viviana; Ravoet, Jorgen; Brunain, Marleen; Smagghe, Guy; Meeus, Ivan; Figueroa, Judith; Riaño, Diego; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-07-01

    Bombus atratus bumblebees from Colombia that were caught in the wild and from breeding programs were screened for a broad set of bee pathogens. We discovered for the first time Lake Sinai Virus and confirmed the infection by other common viruses. The prevalence of Apicystis bombi, Crithidia bombi and Nosema ceranae was remarkably high. According to other studies the former two could have been co-introduced in South America with exotic bumble bees as Bombus terrestris or Bombus ruderatus. Given the fact that none of these species occur in Colombia, our data puts a new light on the spread of these pathogens over the South American continent. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Comparative psychophysics of bumblebee and honeybee colour discrimination and object detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyer, Adrian G; Spaethe, Johannes; Prack, Sabina

    2008-07-01

    Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) discrimination of targets with broadband reflectance spectra was tested using simultaneous viewing conditions, enabling an accurate determination of the perceptual limit of colour discrimination excluding confounds from memory coding (experiment 1). The level of colour discrimination in bumblebees, and honeybees (Apis mellifera) (based upon previous observations), exceeds predictions of models considering receptor noise in the honeybee. Bumblebee and honeybee photoreceptors are similar in spectral shape and spacing, but bumblebees exhibit significantly poorer colour discrimination in behavioural tests, suggesting possible differences in spatial or temporal signal processing. Detection of stimuli in a Y-maze was evaluated for bumblebees (experiment 2) and honeybees (experiment 3). Honeybees detected stimuli containing both green-receptor-contrast and colour contrast at a visual angle of approximately 5 degrees , whilst stimuli that contained only colour contrast were only detected at a visual angle of 15 degrees . Bumblebees were able to detect these stimuli at a visual angle of 2.3 degrees and 2.7 degrees , respectively. A comparison of the experiments suggests a tradeoff between colour discrimination and colour detection in these two species, limited by the need to pool colour signals to overcome receptor noise. We discuss the colour processing differences and possible adaptations to specific ecological habitats.

  16. Determination of Flower Constancy in Bombus atratus Franklin and Bombus bellicosus Smith (Hymenoptera: Apidae) through Palynological Analysis of Nectar and Corbicular Pollen Loads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, N; Santos, E; Salvarrey, S; Arbulo, N; Invernizzi, C

    2015-12-01

    The flower constancy (the visit to a single plant species during a foraging trip) in pollinator insects is a theme widely discussed in behavioral ecology and has an important implication in the evolution of angiosperms. This behavior was studied in the bumblebees Bombus atratus Franklin and Bombus bellicosus Smith through palynological analysis of the nectar and pollen loads of individuals captured while foraging in a restricted area. In both species, there were more individuals with constant flights than with non-constant ones, although in the nectar loads of B. atratus there were no significant differences between individuals with each flight types. It was verified that the nectar loads of the individuals that made either constant or non-constant flights did not differ in the number of pollen grains they contained. Considering this measurement as an estimate for flight duration, the results would indicate that the probability of changing between plant species during nectar collection is independent of the foraging trip duration. In both species, most individuals who collected nectar and/or pollen from more than one plant species visited just two plant species. In these cases, the pollen of one plant species was predominant. In the bumblebees in which it was possible to analyze nectar and pollen loads, the botanical origin of both resources was the same or they shared the principal species (with the exception of two individuals), showing that bumblebees do not often use a botanical source in an exclusive way to collect nectar and another to collect pollen.

  17. Life-Long Radar Tracking of Bumblebees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph L Woodgate

    Full Text Available Insect pollinators such as bumblebees play a vital role in many ecosystems, so it is important to understand their foraging movements on a landscape scale. We used harmonic radar to record the natural foraging behaviour of Bombus terrestris audax workers over their entire foraging career. Every flight ever made outside the nest by four foragers was recorded. Our data reveal where the bees flew and how their behaviour changed with experience, at an unprecedented level of detail. We identified how each bee's flights fit into two categories-which we named exploration and exploitation flights-examining the differences between the two types of flight and how their occurrence changed over the course of the bees' foraging careers. Exploitation of learned resources takes place during efficient, straight trips, usually to a single foraging location, and is seldom combined with exploration of other areas. Exploration of the landscape typically occurs in the first few flights made by each bee, but our data show that further exploration flights can be made throughout the bee's foraging career. Bees showed striking levels of variation in how they explored their environment, their fidelity to particular patches, ratio of exploration to exploitation, duration and frequency of their foraging bouts. One bee developed a straight route to a forage patch within four flights and followed this route exclusively for six days before abandoning it entirely for a closer location; this second location had not been visited since her first exploratory flight nine days prior. Another bee made only rare exploitation flights and continued to explore widely throughout its life; two other bees showed more frequent switches between exploration and exploitation. Our data shed light on the way bumblebees balance exploration of the environment with exploitation of resources and reveal extreme levels of variation between individuals.

  18. Life-Long Radar Tracking of Bumblebees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Ka S.; Reynolds, Andrew M.; Chittka, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Insect pollinators such as bumblebees play a vital role in many ecosystems, so it is important to understand their foraging movements on a landscape scale. We used harmonic radar to record the natural foraging behaviour of Bombus terrestris audax workers over their entire foraging career. Every flight ever made outside the nest by four foragers was recorded. Our data reveal where the bees flew and how their behaviour changed with experience, at an unprecedented level of detail. We identified how each bee’s flights fit into two categories—which we named exploration and exploitation flights—examining the differences between the two types of flight and how their occurrence changed over the course of the bees’ foraging careers. Exploitation of learned resources takes place during efficient, straight trips, usually to a single foraging location, and is seldom combined with exploration of other areas. Exploration of the landscape typically occurs in the first few flights made by each bee, but our data show that further exploration flights can be made throughout the bee’s foraging career. Bees showed striking levels of variation in how they explored their environment, their fidelity to particular patches, ratio of exploration to exploitation, duration and frequency of their foraging bouts. One bee developed a straight route to a forage patch within four flights and followed this route exclusively for six days before abandoning it entirely for a closer location; this second location had not been visited since her first exploratory flight nine days prior. Another bee made only rare exploitation flights and continued to explore widely throughout its life; two other bees showed more frequent switches between exploration and exploitation. Our data shed light on the way bumblebees balance exploration of the environment with exploitation of resources and reveal extreme levels of variation between individuals. PMID:27490662

  19. Strain diversity and host specificity in a specialized gut symbiont of honeybees and bumblebees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Elijah; Ratnayeke, Nalin; Moran, Nancy A

    2016-09-01

    Host-restricted lineages of gut bacteria often include many closely related strains, but this fine-scale diversity is rarely investigated. The specialized gut symbiont Snodgrassella alvi has codiversified with honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus) for millions of years. Snodgrassella alvi strains are nearly identical for 16S rRNA gene sequences but have distinct gene repertoires potentially affecting host biology and community interactions. We examined S. alvi strain diversity within and between hosts using deep sequencing both of a single-copy coding gene (minD) and of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. We sampled workers from domestic and feral A. mellifera colonies and wild-caught Bombus representing 14 species. Conventional analyses of community profiles, based on the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene, failed to expose most strain variation. In contrast, the minD analysis revealed extensive strain variation within and between host species and individuals. Snodgrassella alvi strain diversity is significantly higher in A. mellifera than in Bombus, supporting the hypothesis that colony founding by swarms of workers enables retention of more diversity than colony founding by a single queen. Most Bombus individuals (72%) are dominated by a single S. alvi strain, whereas most A. mellifera (86%) possess multiple strains. No S. alvi strains are shared between A. mellifera and Bombus, indicating some host specificity. Among Bombus-restricted strains, some are restricted to a single host species or subgenus, while others occur in multiple subgenera. Findings demonstrate that strains diversify both within and between host species and can be highly specific or relatively generalized in their host associations. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. On Bombus senex Voll. (Hymenoptera Aculeata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ritsema Cz., C.

    1914-01-01

    In 1884 I published in vol. VI of the „Notes from the Leyden Museum” (p. 200) the observation that Bombus senex Voll. ¹) ought to be regarded as a variety of Bombus rufipes Lep. In 1888 Handlirsch ²) doubted of the correctness of this statement in the following sentence: „Bass Vollenhoven’s Bombus

  1. Bumblebee family lineage survival is enhanced in high-quality landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-23

    Insect pollinators such as bumblebees (Bombus spp.) are in global decline. A major cause of this decline is habitat loss due to agricultural intensification. A range of global and national initiatives aimed at restoring pollinator habitats and populations have been developed. However, the success of these initiatives depends critically upon understanding how landscape change affects key population-level parameters, such as survival between lifecycle stages, in target species. This knowledge is lacking for bumblebees, because of the difficulty of systematically finding and monitoring colonies in the wild. We used a combination of habitat manipulation, land-use and habitat surveys, molecular genetics and demographic and spatial modelling to analyse between-year survival of family lineages in field populations of three bumblebee species. Here we show that the survival of family lineages from the summer worker to the spring queen stage in the following year increases significantly with the proportion of high-value foraging habitat, including spring floral resources, within 250-1,000 m of the natal colony. This provides evidence for a positive impact of habitat quality on survival and persistence between successive colony cycle stages in bumblebee populations. These findings also support the idea that conservation interventions that increase floral resources at a landscape scale and throughout the season have positive effects on wild pollinators in agricultural landscapes.

  2. Radiative corrections in bumblebee electrodynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.V. Maluf

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available We investigate some quantum features of the bumblebee electrodynamics in flat spacetimes. The bumblebee field is a vector field that leads to a spontaneous Lorentz symmetry breaking. For a smooth quadratic potential, the massless excitation (Nambu–Goldstone boson can be identified as the photon, transversal to the vacuum expectation value of the bumblebee field. Besides, there is a massive excitation associated with the longitudinal mode and whose presence leads to instability in the spectrum of the theory. By using the principal-value prescription, we show that no one-loop radiative corrections to the mass term is generated. Moreover, the bumblebee self-energy is not transverse, showing that the propagation of the longitudinal mode cannot be excluded from the effective theory.

  3. Floral Sonication is an Innate Behaviour in Bumblebees that can be Fine-Tuned with Experience in Manipulating Flowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Tan; Whitehorn, Penelope; Lye, Gillian C; Vallejo-Marín, Mario

    Bumblebees demonstrate an extensive capacity for learning complex motor skills to maximise exploitation of floral rewards. This ability is well studied in nectar collection but its role in pollen foraging is less well understood. Floral sonication is used by bees to extract pollen from some plant species with anthers which must be vibrated (buzzed) to release pollen. Pollen removal is determined by sonication characteristics including frequency and amplitude, and thus the ability to optimise sonication should allow bees to maximise the pollen collection. We investigated the ability of the buff-tailed bumblebee ( Bombus terrestris ) to modify the frequency and amplitude of their buzzes with increasing experience manipulating flowers of the buzz-pollinated plant Solanum rostratum . We analysed flight and feeding vibrations generated by naïve workers across feeding bouts. Feeding buzzes were of a higher frequency and a lower amplitude than flight buzzes. Both flight and feeding buzzes had reduced amplitudes with increasing number of foraging trips. However, the frequency of their feeding buzzes was reduced significantly more than their flight buzzes as bumblebee workers gained experience manipulating flowers. These results suggest that bumblebees are able to modify the characteristics of their buzzes with experience manipulating buzz-pollinated flowers. We discuss our findings in the context of bumblebee learning, and the current understanding of the optimal sonication characteristics for releasing pollen in buzz-pollinated species. Our results present a tantalising insight into the potential role of learning in floral sonication, paving the way for future research in this area.

  4. Characterization of neutral lipase BT-1 isolated from the labial gland of Bombus terrestris males.

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    Jana Brabcová

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In addition to their general role in the hydrolysis of storage lipids, bumblebee lipases can participate in the biosynthesis of fatty acids that serve as precursors of pheromones used for sexual communication. RESULTS: We studied the temporal dynamics of lipolytic activity in crude extracts from the cephalic part of Bombus terrestris labial glands. Extracts from 3-day-old males displayed the highest lipolytic activity. The highest lipase gene expression level was observed in freshly emerged bumblebees, and both gene expression and lipase activity were lower in bumblebees older than 3 days. Lipase was purified from labial glands, further characterized and named as BT-1. The B. terrestris orthologue shares 88% sequence identity with B. impatiens lipase HA. The molecular weight of B. terrestris lipase BT-1 was approximately 30 kDa, the pH optimum was 8.3, and the temperature optimum was 50°C. Lipase BT-1 showed a notable preference for C8-C10 p-nitrophenyl esters, with the highest activity toward p-nitrophenyl caprylate (C8. The Michaelis constant (Km and maximum reaction rate (Vmax for p-nitrophenyl laurate hydrolysis were Km = 0.0011 mM and Vmax = 0.15 U/mg. CONCLUSION: This is the first report describing neutral lipase from the labial gland of B. terrestris. Our findings help increase understanding of its possible function in the labial gland.

  5. Colour patterns do not diagnose species: quantitative evaluation of a DNA barcoded cryptic bumblebee complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Carolan

    Full Text Available Cryptic diversity within bumblebees (Bombus has the potential to undermine crucial conservation efforts designed to reverse the observed decline in many bumblebee species worldwide. Central to such efforts is the ability to correctly recognise and diagnose species. The B. lucorum complex (Bombus lucorum, B. cryptarum and B. magnus comprises one of the most abundant and important group of wild plant and crop pollinators in northern Europe. Although the workers of these species are notoriously difficult to diagnose morphologically, it has been claimed that queens are readily diagnosable from morphological characters. Here we assess the value of colour-pattern characters in species identification of DNA-barcoded queens from the B. lucorum complex. Three distinct molecular operational taxonomic units were identified each representing one species. However, no uniquely diagnostic colour-pattern character state was found for any of these three molecular units and most colour-pattern characters showed continuous variation among the units. All characters previously deemed to be unique and diagnostic for one species were displayed by specimens molecularly identified as a different species. These results presented here raise questions on the reliability of species determinations in previous studies and highlights the benefits of implementing DNA barcoding prior to ecological, taxonomic and conservation studies of these important key pollinators.

  6. Breeding system and bumblebee drone pollination of an explosively pollen-releasing plant, Meliosma tenuis (Sabiaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong Sato, A A; Kato, M

    2018-05-01

    Explosive pollen release is a mechanism used by some angiosperms that serves to attach pollen to a pollinator's body. It is usually adopted by species with zygomorphic tubular flowers and pollinated by birds and bees. The tree genus Meliosma (Sabiaceae, Proteales) has unique disc-like flowers that are externally actinomorphic, but internally zygomorphic, and release pollen explosively. To elucidate the adaptive significance of explosive pollen release, we observed flowering behaviour, the breeding system and pollinator visits to flowers of the Japanese species Meliosma tenuis in a temperate forest. Flowers bloomed in June and were nectariferous and protandrous. Explosive pollen release was triggered by slight tactile stimuli to anther filaments or staminodes in male-stage flowers. Because pollen cannot come into contact with the pistils enclosed by staminodes, M. tenuis is functionally protandrous. Artificial pollination treatments revealed that M. tenuis is allogamous. The dominant flower visitors were nectar-seeking drones of the bumblebee species Bombus ardens (Apidae). The drones' behaviour, pollen attachment on their bodies and fruit set of visit-restricted flowers suggest that they are the only agent triggering the explosive pollen release mechanism, and are the main pollinator of M. tenuis. The finding that bumblebee workers rarely visit these flowers suggests that the explosive pollen release has another function, namely to discourage pollen-harvesting bumblebee workers. © 2018 German Society for Plant Sciences and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  7. Bumblebees are not deterred by ecologically relevant concentrations of nectar toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Stout, Jane C; Stevenson, Philip C; Wright, Geraldine A

    2014-05-01

    Bees visit flowers to collect nectar and pollen that contain nutrients and simultaneously facilitate plant sexual reproduction. Paradoxically, nectar produced to attract pollinators often contains deterrent or toxic plant compounds associated with herbivore defence. The functional significance of these nectar toxins is not fully understood, but they may have a negative impact on pollinator behaviour and health, and, ultimately, plant pollination. This study investigates whether a generalist bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, can detect naturally occurring concentrations of nectar toxins. Using paired-choice experiments, we identified deterrence thresholds for five compounds found in the nectar of bee-pollinated plants: quinine, caffeine, nicotine, amygdalin and grayanotoxin. The deterrence threshold was determined when bumblebees significantly preferred a sucrose solution over a sucrose solution containing the compound. Bumblebees had the lowest deterrence threshold for the alkaloid quinine (0.01 mmol l(-1)); all other compounds had higher deterrence thresholds, above the natural concentration range in floral nectar. Our data, combined with previous work using honeybees, suggest that generalist bee species have poor acuity for the detection of nectar toxins. The fact that bees do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of these compounds likely indicates that it is difficult for them to learn to associate floral traits with the presence of toxins, thus maintaining this trait in plant populations.

  8. Foraging in an unsteady world: bumblebee flight performance in field-realistic turbulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crall, J D; Chang, J J; Oppenheimer, R L; Combes, S A

    2017-02-06

    Natural environments are characterized by variable wind that can pose significant challenges for flying animals and robots. However, our understanding of the flow conditions that animals experience outdoors and how these impact flight performance remains limited. Here, we combine laboratory and field experiments to characterize wind conditions encountered by foraging bumblebees in outdoor environments and test the effects of these conditions on flight. We used radio-frequency tags to track foraging activity of uniquely identified bumblebee ( Bombus impatiens ) workers, while simultaneously recording local wind flows. Despite being subjected to a wide range of speeds and turbulence intensities, we find that bees do not avoid foraging in windy conditions. We then examined the impacts of turbulence on bumblebee flight in a wind tunnel. Rolling instabilities increased in turbulence, but only at higher wind speeds. Bees displayed higher mean wingbeat frequency and stroke amplitude in these conditions, as well as increased asymmetry in stroke amplitude-suggesting that bees employ an array of active responses to enable flight in turbulence, which may increase the energetic cost of flight. Our results provide the first direct evidence that moderate, environmentally relevant turbulence affects insect flight performance, and suggest that flying insects use diverse mechanisms to cope with these instabilities.

  9. No effect of low-level chronic neonicotinoid exposure on bumblebee learning and fecundity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saija Piiroinen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, many pollinators have declined in abundance and diversity worldwide, presenting a potential threat to agricultural productivity, biodiversity and the functioning of natural ecosystems. One of the most debated factors proposed to be contributing to pollinator declines is exposure to pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids, a widely used class of systemic insecticide. Also, newly emerging parasites and diseases, thought to be spread via contact with managed honeybees, may pose threats to other pollinators such as bumblebees. Compared to honeybees, bumblebees could be particularly vulnerable to the effects of stressors due to their smaller and more short-lived colonies. Here, we studied the effect of field-realistic, chronic clothianidin exposure and inoculation with the parasite Nosema ceranae on survival, fecundity, sugar water collection and learning using queenless Bombus terrestris audax microcolonies in the laboratory. Chronic exposure to 1 ppb clothianidin had no significant effects on the traits studied. Interestingly, pesticide exposure in combination with additional stress caused by harnessing bees for Proboscis Extension Response (PER learning assays, led to an increase in mortality. In contrast to previous findings, the bees did not become infected by N. ceranae after experimental inoculation with the parasite spores, suggesting variability in host resistance or parasite virulence. However, this treatment induced a slight, short-term reduction in sugar water collection, potentially through stimulation of the immune system of the bees. Our results suggest that chronic exposure to 1 ppb clothianidin does not have adverse effects on bumblebee fecundity or learning ability.

  10. A possible structural correlate of learning performance on a colour discrimination task in the brain of the bumblebee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Li; MaBouDi, HaDi; Egertová, Michaela; Elphick, Maurice R.

    2017-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is considered to be a basis for learning and memory. However, the relationship between synaptic arrangements and individual differences in learning and memory is poorly understood. Here, we explored how the density of microglomeruli (synaptic complexes) within specific regions of the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) brain relates to both visual learning and inter-individual differences in learning and memory performance on a visual discrimination task. Using whole-brain immunolabelling, we measured the density of microglomeruli in the collar region (visual association areas) of the mushroom bodies of the bumblebee brain. We found that bumblebees which made fewer errors during training in a visual discrimination task had higher microglomerular density. Similarly, bumblebees that had better retention of the learned colour-reward associations two days after training had higher microglomerular density. Further experiments indicated experience-dependent changes in neural circuitry: learning a colour-reward contingency with 10 colours (but not two colours) does result, and exposure to many different colours may result, in changes to microglomerular density in the collar region of the mushroom bodies. These results reveal the varying roles that visual experience, visual learning and foraging activity have on neural structure. Although our study does not provide a causal link between microglomerular density and performance, the observed positive correlations provide new insights for future studies into how neural structure may relate to inter-individual differences in learning and memory. PMID:28978727

  11. A possible structural correlate of learning performance on a colour discrimination task in the brain of the bumblebee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Li; MaBouDi, HaDi; Egertová, Michaela; Elphick, Maurice R; Chittka, Lars; Perry, Clint J

    2017-10-11

    Synaptic plasticity is considered to be a basis for learning and memory. However, the relationship between synaptic arrangements and individual differences in learning and memory is poorly understood. Here, we explored how the density of microglomeruli (synaptic complexes) within specific regions of the bumblebee ( Bombus terrestris ) brain relates to both visual learning and inter-individual differences in learning and memory performance on a visual discrimination task. Using whole-brain immunolabelling, we measured the density of microglomeruli in the collar region (visual association areas) of the mushroom bodies of the bumblebee brain. We found that bumblebees which made fewer errors during training in a visual discrimination task had higher microglomerular density. Similarly, bumblebees that had better retention of the learned colour-reward associations two days after training had higher microglomerular density. Further experiments indicated experience-dependent changes in neural circuitry: learning a colour-reward contingency with 10 colours (but not two colours) does result, and exposure to many different colours may result, in changes to microglomerular density in the collar region of the mushroom bodies. These results reveal the varying roles that visual experience, visual learning and foraging activity have on neural structure. Although our study does not provide a causal link between microglomerular density and performance, the observed positive correlations provide new insights for future studies into how neural structure may relate to inter-individual differences in learning and memory. © 2017 The Authors.

  12. Multimodal cues provide redundant information for bumblebees when the stimulus is visually salient, but facilitate red target detection in a naturalistic background

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcobado, Guadalupe; Trillo, Alejandro

    2017-01-01

    Our understanding of how floral visitors integrate visual and olfactory cues when seeking food, and how background complexity affects flower detection is limited. Here, we aimed to understand the use of visual and olfactory information for bumblebees (Bombus terrestris terrestris L.) when seeking flowers in a visually complex background. To explore this issue, we first evaluated the effect of flower colour (red and blue), size (8, 16 and 32 mm), scent (presence or absence) and the amount of training on the foraging strategy of bumblebees (accuracy, search time and flight behaviour), considering the visual complexity of our background, to later explore whether experienced bumblebees, previously trained in the presence of scent, can recall and make use of odour information when foraging in the presence of novel visual stimuli carrying a familiar scent. Of all the variables analysed, flower colour had the strongest effect on the foraging strategy. Bumblebees searching for blue flowers were more accurate, flew faster, followed more direct paths between flowers and needed less time to find them, than bumblebees searching for red flowers. In turn, training and the presence of odour helped bees to find inconspicuous (red) flowers. When bees foraged on red flowers, search time increased with flower size; but search time was independent of flower size when bees foraged on blue flowers. Previous experience with floral scent enhances the capacity of detection of a novel colour carrying a familiar scent, probably by elemental association influencing attention. PMID:28898287

  13. Potential increase in mating frequency of queens in feral colonies of Bombus terrestris introduced into Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, Maki N.; Saito, Fuki; Tsuchida, Koji; Goka, Koichi

    2012-10-01

    With the exception of several species, bumblebees are monandrous. We examined mating frequency in feral colonies of the introduced bumblebee Bombus terrestris in Japan . Using microsatellite markers, genotyping of sperm DNA stored in the spermatheca of nine queens detected multiple insemination paternities in one queen; the others were singly mated. The average effective paternity frequency estimated from the genotypes of queens and workers was 1.23; that estimated from the workers' genotype alone was 2.12. These values were greater than those of laboratory-reared colonies in the native ranges of B. terrestris. The genotypes of one or two workers did not match those of their queens or showed paternities different from those of their nestmates; this may have arisen from either queen takeover or drifting of workers. These alien workers were responsible for the heterogeneous genotype distribution within each B. terrestris colony, resulting in higher estimates of paternity frequency than of insemination frequency. The high mating frequency of introduced B. terrestris may have occurred by artificial selection through mass breeding for commercialization. Moreover, polyandrous queens may be selectively advantageous, because reproduction by such queens is less likely to be disturbed by interspecific mating than that by monandrous queens.

  14. Royal jelly-like protein localization reveals differences in hypopharyngeal glands buildup and conserved expression pattern in brains of bumblebees and honeybees

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    Štefan Albert

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Royal jelly proteins (MRJPs of the honeybee bear several open questions. One of them is their expression in tissues other than the hypopharyngeal glands (HGs, the site of royal jelly production. The sole MRJP-like gene of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris (BtRJPL, represents a pre-diversification stage of the MRJP gene evolution in bees. Here we investigate the expression of BtRJPL in the HGs and the brain of bumblebees. Comparison of the HGs of bumblebees and honeybees revealed striking differences in their morphology with respect to sex- and caste-specific appearance, number of cells per acinus, and filamentous actin (F-actin rings. At the cellular level, we found a temporary F-actin-covered meshwork in the secretory cells, which suggests a role for actin in the biogenesis of the end apparatus in HGs. Using immunohistochemical localization, we show that BtRJPL is expressed in the bumblebee brain, predominantly in the Kenyon cells of the mushroom bodies, the site of sensory integration in insects, and in the optic lobes. Our data suggest that a dual gland-brain function preceded the multiplication of MRJPs in the honeybee lineage. In the course of the honeybee evolution, HGs dramatically changed their morphology in order to serve a food-producing function.

  15. Conserved queen pheromones in bumblebees: a reply to Amsalem et al.

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    Luke Holman

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In a recent study, Amsalem, Orlova & Grozinger (2015 performed experiments with Bombus impatiens bumblebees to test the hypothesis that saturated cuticular hydrocarbons are evolutionarily conserved signals used to regulate reproductive division of labor in many Hymenopteran social insects. They concluded that the cuticular hydrocarbon pentacosane (C25, previously identified as a queen pheromone in a congeneric bumblebee, does not affect worker reproduction in B. impatiens. Here we discuss some shortcomings of Amsalem et al.’s study that make its conclusions unreliable. In particular, several confounding effects may have affected the results of both experimental manipulations in the study. Additionally, the study’s low sample sizes (mean n per treatment = 13.6, range: 4–23 give it low power, not 96–99% power as claimed, such that its conclusions may be false negatives. Inappropriate statistical tests were also used, and our reanalysis found that C25 substantially reduced and delayed worker egg laying in B. impatiens. We review the evidence that cuticular hydrocarbons act as queen pheromones, and offer some recommendations for future queen pheromone experiments.

  16. ADS Bumblebee comes of age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accomazzi, Alberto; Kurtz, Michael J.; Henneken, Edwin; Grant, Carolyn S.; Thompson, Donna M.; Chyla, Roman; McDonald, Steven; Shaulis, Taylor J.; Blanco-Cuaresma, Sergi; Shapurian, Golnaz; Hostetler, Timothy W.; Templeton, Matthew R.; Lockhart, Kelly E.

    2018-01-01

    The ADS Team has been working on a new system architecture and user interface named “ADS Bumblebee” since 2015. The new system presents many advantages over the traditional ADS interface and search engine (“ADS Classic”). A new, state of the art search engine features a number of new capabilities such as full-text search, advanced citation queries, filtering of results and scalable analytics for any search results. Its services are built on a cloud computing platform which can be easily scaled to match user demand. The Bumblebee user interface is a rich javascript application which leverages the features of the search engine and integrates a number of additional visualizations such as co-author and co-citation networks which provide a hierarchical view of research groups and research topics, respectively. Displays of paper analytics provide views of the basic article metrics (citations, reads, and age). All visualizations are interactive and provide ways to further refine search results. This new search system, which has been in beta for the past three years, has now matured to the point that it provides feature and content parity with ADS Classic, and has become the recommended way to access ADS content and services. Following a successful transition to Bumblebee, the use of ADS Classic will be discouraged starting in 2018 and phased out in 2019. You can access our new interface at https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu

  17. Lactobacillus bombi sp. nov., from the digestive tract of laboratory-reared bumblebee queens (Bombus terrestris)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Killer, Jiří; Votavová, A.; Valterová, Irena; Vlková, E.; Rada, V.; Hroncová, Z.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 64, č. 8 (2014), s. 2611-2617 ISSN 1466-5026 R&D Projects: GA TA ČR TA01020969; GA MZe(CZ) QJ1210047 Institutional support: RVO:67985904 ; RVO:61388963 Keywords : Lactobacillus bombi Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 2.511, year: 2014

  18. Divergent rules for pollen and nectar foraging bumblebees--a laboratory study with artificial flowers offering diluted nectar substitute and pollen surrogate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Konzmann

    Full Text Available Almost all bees collect nectar and pollen from flowers. Female bees collect pollen to provision their nest cells, whereas they use nectar for individual energy supply and nest cell provisioning. Bees fine-tune nectar foraging to the amount and to the concentration of nectar, but the individual bees' response to variability of amount and concentration of pollen reward has not yet been studied thoroughly in laboratory settings. We developed an experimental set-up in which bumblebees simultaneously collected sugar solution and pollen from artificial flowers; natural pollen was mixed with cellulose powder or glass powder as a pollen surrogate. Here we show that bumblebee (Bombus terrestris workers do not specialise in nectar or pollen collection, but regularly collect both rewards on the same day. When offered a fixed pollen reward and varied amounts and concentrations of sugar solution, the bumblebees fine-tuned sugar solution foraging dependent on both the volume and concentration, with strong preferences for the highest concentration and the greatest volume. In the reciprocal tests, when offered a fixed sugar reward and varied amounts and concentrations of pollen mixed with a nutrient-free pollen surrogate, the bumblebees follow more an all-or-none rule for pollen, accepting all amounts and concentrations except pure surrogate. It is discussed how the bumblebees' ability to sense sugar, and their apparent inability to sense the pollen protein content, shaped their foraging behaviour. It is argued that the rarity of nectar mimicry and the frequency of pollen mimicry in natural flowers might be interpreted in the context of divergent abilities of nectar and pollen recognition in bees.

  19. Nutrient enrichment is associated with altered nectar and pollen chemical composition in Succisa pratensis Moench and increased larval mortality of its pollinator Bombus terrestris L.

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    Tobias Ceulemans

    Full Text Available Pollinators are declining worldwide and possible underlying causes include disease, invasive pest species and large scale land use changes resulting in habitat loss and degradation. One particular cause of habitat degradation is the increased inflow of nutrients due to anthropogenic combustion processes and large scale application of agricultural fertilizers. This nutrient pollution has been shown to affect pollinators through the loss of nectar and pollen-providing plant species. However, it may also affect pollinators through altering the nectar and pollen chemical composition of plant species, hence influencing pollinator food quality. Here, we experimentally investigated the effect of nutrient enrichment on amino acid and sugar composition of nectar and pollen in the grassland plant Sucissa pratensis, and the subsequent colony size and larval mortality of the pollinating bumblebee Bombus terrestris. We found less of the essential amino acids glycine and arginine in the pollen of fertilized plants, and more arginine, ornithine and threonine in the pollen of control plants. Nectar glucose and pollen fructose levels were lower in fertilized plants as compared to control plants. Furthermore, bumblebee colonies visiting fertilized plants showed more dead larvae than colonies visiting control plants. Our results suggest that the fitness of bumblebees can be negatively affected by changes in their food quality following nutrient pollution. If similar patterns hold for other plant and pollinator species, this may have far reaching implications for the maintenance of pollination ecosystem services, as nutrient pollution continues to rise worldwide.

  20. Nutrient enrichment is associated with altered nectar and pollen chemical composition in Succisa pratensis Moench and increased larval mortality of its pollinator Bombus terrestris L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceulemans, Tobias; Hulsmans, Eva; Vanden Ende, Wim; Honnay, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Pollinators are declining worldwide and possible underlying causes include disease, invasive pest species and large scale land use changes resulting in habitat loss and degradation. One particular cause of habitat degradation is the increased inflow of nutrients due to anthropogenic combustion processes and large scale application of agricultural fertilizers. This nutrient pollution has been shown to affect pollinators through the loss of nectar and pollen-providing plant species. However, it may also affect pollinators through altering the nectar and pollen chemical composition of plant species, hence influencing pollinator food quality. Here, we experimentally investigated the effect of nutrient enrichment on amino acid and sugar composition of nectar and pollen in the grassland plant Sucissa pratensis, and the subsequent colony size and larval mortality of the pollinating bumblebee Bombus terrestris. We found less of the essential amino acids glycine and arginine in the pollen of fertilized plants, and more arginine, ornithine and threonine in the pollen of control plants. Nectar glucose and pollen fructose levels were lower in fertilized plants as compared to control plants. Furthermore, bumblebee colonies visiting fertilized plants showed more dead larvae than colonies visiting control plants. Our results suggest that the fitness of bumblebees can be negatively affected by changes in their food quality following nutrient pollution. If similar patterns hold for other plant and pollinator species, this may have far reaching implications for the maintenance of pollination ecosystem services, as nutrient pollution continues to rise worldwide.

  1. Specialization on pollen or nectar in bumblebee foragers is not associated with ovary size, lipid reserves or sensory tuning

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    Adam R. Smith

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Foraging specialization allows social insects to more efficiently exploit resources in their environment. Recent research on honeybees suggests that specialization on pollen or nectar among foragers is linked to reproductive physiology and sensory tuning (the Reproductive Ground-Plan Hypothesis; RGPH. However, our understanding of the underlying physiological relationships in non-Apis bees is still limited. Here we show that the bumblebee Bombus terrestris has specialist pollen and nectar foragers, and test whether foraging specialization in B. terrestris is linked to reproductive physiology, measured as ovarian activation. We show that neither ovary size, sensory sensitivity, measured through proboscis extension response (PER, or whole-body lipid stores differed between pollen foragers, nectar foragers, or generalist foragers. Body size also did not differ between any of these three forager groups. Non-foragers had significantly larger ovaries than foragers. This suggests that potentially reproductive individuals avoid foraging.

  2. Gilliamella intestini sp. nov., Gilliamella bombicola sp. nov., Gilliamella bombi sp. nov. and Gilliamella mensalis sp. nov.: Four novel Gilliamella species isolated from the bumblebee gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Praet, Jessy; Cnockaert, Margo; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; Vandamme, Peter

    2017-06-01

    Spectra of five isolates (LMG 28358 T , LMG 29879 T , LMG 29880 T , LMG 28359 T and R-53705) obtained from gut samples of wild bumblebees of Bombus pascuorum, Bombus lapidarius and Bombus terrestris were grouped into four MALDI-TOF MS clusters. RAPD analysis revealed an identical DNA fingerprint for LMG 28359 T and R-53705 which also grouped in the same MALDI-TOF MS cluster, while different DNA fingerprints were obtained for the other isolates. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis of the four different strains identified Gilliamella apicola NCIMB 14804 T as nearest neighbour species. Average nucleotide identity values of draft genome sequences of the four isolates and of G. apicola NCIMB 14804 T were below the 96% threshold value for species delineation and all four strains and G. apicola NCIMB 14804 T were phenotypically distinct. Together, the draft genome sequences and phylogenetic and phenotypic data indicate that the four strains represent four novel Gilliamella species for which we propose the names Gilliamella intestini sp. nov., with LMG 28358 T as the type strain, Gilliamella bombicola sp. nov., with LMG 28359 T as the type strain, Gilliamella bombi sp. nov., with LMG 29879 T as the type strain and Gilliamella mensalis sp. nov., with LMG 29880 T as the type strain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. Bifidobacteria in the digestive tract of bumblebees

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Killer, Jiří; Kopečný, Jan; Mrázek, Jakub; Rada, V.; Dubá, S.; Marounek, Milan

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 2 (2010), s. 165-170 ISSN 1075-9964 R&D Projects: GA ČR GD525/08/H060 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50450515 Keywords : Bifidobacteria * Bumblebee * Digestive tract Subject RIV: GM - Food Processing Impact factor: 2.448, year: 2010

  4. Nectar robbing, forager efficiency and seed set: Bumblebees foraging on the self incompatible plant Linaria vulgaris (Scrophulariaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Jane C.; Allen, John A.; Goulson, Dave

    2000-07-01

    In southern England, Linaria vulgaris (common yellow toadflax) suffers from high rates of nectar robbery by bumblebees. In a wild population of L. vulgaris we found that 96 % of open flowers were robbed. Five species of bumblebee were observed foraging on these flowers, although short-tongued species ( Bombus lapidarius, B. lucorum and B. terrestris) robbed nectar whilst longer-tongued ones behaved as legitimate pollinators ( B. hortorum and B. pascuorum). Nectar rewards were highly variable; on average there was less nectar in robbed than in unrobbed flowers, but this difference was not statistically significant. The proportion of flowers containing no nectar was significantly higher for robbed flowers compared with unrobbed flowers. Secondary robbers and legitimate pollinators had similar handling times on flowers and, assuming they select flowers at random to forage on, received approximately the same nectar profit per minute, largely because most flowers had been robbed. There was no significant difference in the number of seeds in pods of robbed flowers and in pods of flowers that were artificially protected against robbing. However, more of the robbed flowers set at least some seed than the unrobbed flowers, possibly as a consequence of the experimental manipulation. We suggest that nectar robbing has little effect on plant fecundity because legitimate foragers are present in the population, and that seed predation and seed abortion after fertilization may be more important factors in limiting seed production in this species.

  5. Seasonal Dynamics in the Chemistry and Structure of the Fat Bodies of Bumblebee Queens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alena Votavová

    Full Text Available Insects' fat bodies are responsible for nutrient storage and for a significant part of intermediary metabolism. Thus, it can be expected that the structure and content of the fat body will adaptively change, if an insect is going through different life stages. Bumblebee queens belong to such insects as they dramatically change their physiology several times over their lives in relation to their solitary overwintering, independent colony foundation stage, and during the colony life-cycle ending in the senescent stage. Here, we report on changes in the ultrastructure and lipid composition of the peripheral fat body of Bombus terrestris queens in relation to seasonal changes in the queens' activity. Six life stages are defined and evaluated in particular: pharate, callow, before and after hibernation, egg-laying, and senescence. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the fat body contained two main cell types-adipocytes and oenocytes. Only adipocytes reveal important changes related to the life phase, and mostly the ration between inclusion and cytoplasm volume varies among particular stages. Both electron microscopy and chemical analyses of lipids highlighted seasonal variability in the quantity of the stored lipids, which peaked prior to hibernation. Triacylglycerols appeared to be the main energy source during hibernation, while the amount of glycogen before and after hibernation remained unchanged. In addition, we observed that the representation of some fatty acids within the triacylglycerols change during the queen's life. Last but not least, we show that fat body cell membranes do not undergo substantial changes concerning phospholipid composition in relation to overwintering. This finding supports the hypothesis that the cold-adaptation strategy of bumblebee queens is more likely to be based on polyol accumulation than on the restructuring of lipid membranes.

  6. Genes Suggest Ancestral Colour Polymorphisms Are Shared across Morphologically Cryptic Species in Arctic Bumblebees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul H Williams

    Full Text Available Our grasp of biodiversity is fine-tuned through the process of revisionary taxonomy. If species do exist in nature and can be discovered with available techniques, then we expect these revisions to converge on broadly shared interpretations of species. But for the primarily arctic bumblebees of the subgenus Alpinobombus of the genus Bombus, revisions by some of the most experienced specialists are unusual for bumblebees in that they have all reached different conclusions on the number of species present. Recent revisions based on skeletal morphology have concluded that there are from four to six species, while variation in colour pattern of the hair raised questions as to whether at least seven species might be present. Even more species are supported if we accept the recent move away from viewing species as morphotypes to viewing them instead as evolutionarily independent lineages (EILs using data from genes. EILs are recognised here in practice from the gene coalescents that provide direct evidence for their evolutionary independence. We show from fitting both general mixed Yule/coalescent (GMYC models and Poisson-tree-process (PTP models to data for the mitochondrial COI gene that there is support for nine species in the subgenus Alpinobombus. Examination of the more slowly evolving nuclear PEPCK gene shows further support for a previously unrecognised taxon as a new species in northwestern North America. The three pairs of the most morphologically similar sister species are separated allopatrically and prevented from interbreeding by oceans. We also find that most of the species show multiple shared colour patterns, giving the appearance of mimicry among parts of the different species. However, reconstructing ancestral colour-pattern states shows that speciation is likely to have cut across widespread ancestral polymorphisms, without or largely without convergence. In the particular case of Alpinobombus, morphological, colour-pattern, and

  7. Higher order visual input to the mushroom bodies in the bee, Bombus impatiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulk, Angelique C; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2008-11-01

    To produce appropriate behaviors based on biologically relevant associations, sensory pathways conveying different modalities are integrated by higher-order central brain structures, such as insect mushroom bodies. To address this function of sensory integration, we characterized the structure and response of optic lobe (OL) neurons projecting to the calyces of the mushroom bodies in bees. Bees are well known for their visual learning and memory capabilities and their brains possess major direct visual input from the optic lobes to the mushroom bodies. To functionally characterize these visual inputs to the mushroom bodies, we recorded intracellularly from neurons in bumblebees (Apidae: Bombus impatiens) and a single neuron in a honeybee (Apidae: Apis mellifera) while presenting color and motion stimuli. All of the mushroom body input neurons were color sensitive while a subset was motion sensitive. Additionally, most of the mushroom body input neurons would respond to the first, but not to subsequent, presentations of repeated stimuli. In general, the medulla or lobula neurons projecting to the calyx signaled specific chromatic, temporal, and motion features of the visual world to the mushroom bodies, which included sensory information required for the biologically relevant associations bees form during foraging tasks.

  8. Ecological Variation in Response to Mass-Flowering Oilseed Rape and Surrounding Landscape Composition by Members of a Cryptic Bumblebee Complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dara A Stanley

    Full Text Available The Bombus sensu stricto species complex is a widespread group of cryptic bumblebee species which are important pollinators of many crops and wild plants. These cryptic species have, until now, largely been grouped together in ecological studies, and so little is known about their individual colony densities, foraging ranges or habitat requirements, which can be influenced by land use at a landscape scale. We used mass-flowering oilseed rape fields as locations to sample bees of this complex, as well as the second most common visitor to oilseed rape B. lapidarius, and molecular RFLP methods to distinguish between the cryptic species. We then used microsatellite genotyping to identify sisters and estimate colony densities, and related both proportions of cryptic species and their colony densities to the composition of the landscape surrounding the fields. We found B. lucorum was the most common member of the complex present in oilseed rape followed by B. terrestris. B. cryptarum was also present in all but one site, with higher proportions found in the east of the study area. High numbers of bumblebee colonies were estimated to be using oilseed rape fields as a forage resource, with B. terrestris colony numbers higher than previous estimates from non-mass-flowering fields. We also found that the cryptic species responded differently to surrounding landscape composition: both relative proportions of B. cryptarum in samples and colony densities of B. lucorum were negatively associated with the amount of arable land in the landscape, while proportions and colony densities of other species did not respond to landscape variables at the scale measured. This suggests that the cryptic species have different ecological requirements (which may be scale-dependent and that oilseed rape can be an important forage resource for many colonies of bumblebees. Given this, we recommend sustainable management of this crop to benefit bumblebees.

  9. How to know which food is good for you: bumblebees use taste to discriminate between different concentrations of food differing in nutrient content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruedenauer, Fabian A; Spaethe, Johannes; Leonhardt, Sara D

    2015-07-01

    In view of the ongoing pollinator decline, the role of nutrition in bee health has received increasing attention. Bees obtain fat, carbohydrates and protein from pollen and nectar. As both excessive and deficient amounts of these macronutrients are detrimental, bees would benefit from assessing food quality to guarantee an optimal nutrient supply. While bees can detect sucrose and use it to assess nectar quality, it is unknown whether they can assess the macronutrient content of pollen. Previous studies have shown that bees preferentially collect pollen of higher protein content, suggesting that differences in pollen quality can be detected either by individual bees or via feedback from larvae. In this study, we examined whether and, if so, how individuals of the buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) discriminate between different concentrations of pollen and casein mixtures and thus nutrients. Bumblebees were trained using absolute and differential conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER). As cues related to nutrient concentration could theoretically be perceived by either smell or taste, bees were tested on both olfactory and, for the first time, chemotactile perception. Using olfactory cues, bumblebees learned and discriminated between different pollen types and casein, but were unable to discriminate between different concentrations of these substances. However, when they touched the substances with their antennae, using chemotactile cues, they could also discriminate between different concentrations. Bumblebees are therefore able to discriminate between foods of different concentrations using contact chemosensory perception (taste). This ability may enable them to individually regulate the nutrient intake of their colonies. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  10. Portable digital video surveillance system for monitoring flower-visiting bumblebees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thorsdatter Orvedal Aase, Anne Lene

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available In this study we used a portable event-triggered video surveillance system for monitoring flower-visiting bumblebees. The system consist of mini digital recorder (mini-DVR with a video motion detection (VMD sensor which detects changes in the image captured by the camera, the intruder triggers the recording immediately. The sensitivity and the detection area are adjustable, which may prevent unwanted recordings. To our best knowledge this is the first study using VMD sensor to monitor flower-visiting insects. Observation of flower-visiting insects has traditionally been monitored by direct observations, which is time demanding, or by continuous video monitoring, which demands a great effort in reviewing the material. A total of 98.5 monitoring hours were conducted. For the mini-DVR with VMD, a total of 35 min were spent reviewing the recordings to locate 75 pollinators, which means ca. 0.35 sec reviewing per monitoring hr. Most pollinators in the order Hymenoptera were identified to species or group level, some were only classified to family (Apidae or genus (Bombus. The use of the video monitoring system described in the present paper could result in a more efficient data sampling and reveal new knowledge to pollination ecology (e.g. species identification and pollinating behaviour.

  11. The influence of pigmentation patterning on bumblebee foraging from flowers of Antirrhinum majus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, Heather M.; Milne, Georgina; Rands, Sean A.; Vignolini, Silvia; Martin, Cathie; Glover, Beverley J.

    2013-03-01

    Patterns of pigmentation overlying the petal vasculature are common in flowering plants and have been postulated to play a role in pollinator attraction. Previous studies report that such venation patterning is significantly more attractive to bee foragers in the field than ivory or white flowers without veins. To dissect the ways in which venation patterning of pigment can influence bumblebee behaviour, we investigated the response of flower-naïve individuals of Bombus terrestris to veined, ivory and red near-isogenic lines of Antirrhinum majus. We find that red venation shifts flower colour slightly, although the ivory background is the dominant colour. Bees were readily able to discriminate between ivory and veined flowers under differential conditioning but showed no innate preference when presented with a free choice of rewarding ivory and veined flowers. In contrast, both ivory and veined flowers were selected significantly more often than were red flowers. We conclude that advantages conferred by venation patterning might stem from bees learning of their use as nectar guides, rather than from any innate preference for striped flowers.

  12. Proteomic Characterization of the Venom of Five Bombus (Thoracobombus) Species

    OpenAIRE

    Barkan, Nezahat Pınar; Bayazit, Mustafa Bilal; Ozel Demiralp, Duygu

    2017-01-01

    Venomous animals use venom, a complex biofluid composed of unique mixtures of proteins and peptides, to act on vital systems of the prey or predator. In bees, venom is solely used for defense against predators. However, the venom composition of bumble bees (Bombus sp.) is largely unknown. The Thoracobombus subgenus of Bombus sp. is a diverse subgenus represented by 14 members across Turkey. In this study, we sought out to proteomically characterize the venom of five Thoracobombus species by u...

  13. A laboratory evaluation to determine the compatibility of microbiological control agents with the pollinator Bombus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mommaerts, Veerle; Sterk, Guido; Hoffmann, Lucien; Smagghe, Guy

    2009-09-01

    This study was undertaken to identify any potential adverse side effects of the use of seven microbiological control agents (MCAs) on the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris L., in the context of combined use in integrated pest management (IPM). AQ10 (Ampelomyces quisqualis), Binab-T-vector (Hypocrea parapilulifera + T. atroviride; 1/1), Prestop-Mix (Gliocladium catenulatum J1446), Serenade (Bacillus subtilis QST713), Trianum-P (Trichoderma harzianum T22), Botanigard (Beauveria bassiana GHA) and Granupom (Cydia pomonella granulovirus), comprising five biofungicides and two bioinsecticides, were investigated. Bumblebee workers were exposed under laboratory conditions to each MCA at its maximum field recommended concentration (MFRC) via three different routes of exposure: dermal contact and orally via either treated sugar water or pollen. The tested MCAs were found to be safe for workers of B. terrestris, with the exception of Botanigard and Serenade. Exposure to Botanigard via contact at its MFRC caused 92% mortality after 11 weeks, while the 1/10 MFRC killed 46% of exposed workers. For Serenade, topical contact and oral delivery via sugar water resulted in 88 and 100% worker mortality respectively. With lower concentrations (1/2, 1/5 and 1/10 MFRC) the toxicity decreased, but the effect depended on the route of exposure. In addition to lethal effects, nests were also evaluated for sublethal effects after treatment with the seven MCAs at their respective MFRCs over 11 weeks. In these bioassays, only Botanigard and Serenade gave rise to a significant (P drone production. Sublethal effects on foraging behaviour were also evaluated, and only Botanigard at its MFRC delivered via treated sugar water induced negative effects. The results demonstrated that most of the MCAs tested can be considered safe for use in combination with B. terrestris, based on the International Organisation for Biological Control of Noxious Animals and Plants (IOBC) classification. However, some can be

  14. Hygienic food to reduce pathogen risk to bumblebees

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graystock, P.; Jones, J.C.; Pamminger, T.; Parkinson, J.F.; Norman, V.; Blane, E.J.; Goulsona, D.; Hughesa, W.O.H.; Rothstein, L.; Wäckers, F.

    2016-01-01

    Bumblebees are ecologically and economically important pollinators, and the value of bumblebees for crop pollination has led to the commercial production and exportation/ importation of colonies on a global scale. Commercially produced bumblebee colonies can carry with them infectious parasites, which can both reduce the health of the colonies and spillover to wild bees, with potentially serious consequences. The presence of parasites in commercially produced bumblebee colonies is in part because colonies are reared on pollen collected from honey bees, which often contains a diversity of microbial parasites. In response to this threat, part of the industry has started to irradiate pollen used for bumblebee rearing. However, to date there is limited data published on the efficacy of this treatment. Here we examine the effect of gamma irradiation and an experimental ozone treatment on the presence and viability of parasites in honey bee pollen. While untreated pollen contained numerous viable parasites, we find that gamma irradiation reduced the viability of parasites in pollen, but did not eliminate parasites entirely. Ozone treatment appeared to be less effective than gamma irradiation, while an artificial pollen substitute was, as expected, entirely free of parasites. The results suggest that the irradiation of pollen before using it to rear bumblebee colonies is a sensible method which will help reduce the incidence of parasite infections in commercially produced bumblebee colonies, but that further optimisation, or the use of a nutritionally equivalent artificial pollen substitute, may be needed to fully eliminate this route of disease entry into factories. (author)

  15. Bumblebee pupae contain high levels of aluminium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exley, Christopher; Rotheray, Ellen; Goulson, David

    2015-01-01

    The causes of declines in bees and other pollinators remains an on-going debate. While recent attention has focussed upon pesticides, other environmental pollutants have largely been ignored. Aluminium is the most significant environmental contaminant of recent times and we speculated that it could be a factor in pollinator decline. Herein we have measured the content of aluminium in bumblebee pupae taken from naturally foraging colonies in the UK. Individual pupae were acid-digested in a microwave oven and their aluminium content determined using transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. Pupae were heavily contaminated with aluminium giving values between 13.4 and 193.4 μg/g dry wt. and a mean (SD) value of 51.0 (33.0) μg/g dry wt. for the 72 pupae tested. Mean aluminium content was shown to be a significant negative predictor of average pupal weight in colonies. While no other statistically significant relationships were found relating aluminium to bee or colony health, the actual content of aluminium in pupae are extremely high and demonstrate significant exposure to aluminium. Bees rely heavily on cognitive function and aluminium is a known neurotoxin with links, for example, to Alzheimer's disease in humans. The significant contamination of bumblebee pupae by aluminium raises the intriguing spectre of cognitive dysfunction playing a role in their population decline.

  16. Visual motion-sensitive neurons in the bumblebee brain convey information about landmarks during a navigational task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcel eMertes

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Bees use visual memories to find the spatial location of previously learnt food sites. Characteristic learning flights help acquiring these memories at newly discovered foraging locations where landmarks - salient objects in the vicinity of the goal location - can play an important role in guiding the animal’s homing behavior. Although behavioral experiments have shown that bees can use a variety of visual cues to distinguish objects as landmarks, the question of how landmark features are encoded by the visual system is still open. Recently, it could be shown that motion cues are sufficient to allow bees localizing their goal using landmarks that can hardly be discriminated from the background texture. Here, we tested the hypothesis that motion sensitive neurons in the bee’s visual pathway provide information about such landmarks during a learning flight and might, thus, play a role for goal localization. We tracked learning flights of free-flying bumblebees (Bombus terrestris in an arena with distinct visual landmarks, reconstructed the visual input during these flights, and replayed ego-perspective movies to tethered bumblebees while recording the activity of direction-selective wide-field neurons in their optic lobe. By comparing neuronal responses during a typical learning flight and targeted modifications of landmark properties in this movie we demonstrate that these objects are indeed represented in the bee’s visual motion pathway. We find that object-induced responses vary little with object texture, which is in agreement with behavioral evidence. These neurons thus convey information about landmark properties that are useful for view-based homing.

  17. Immune gene expression in Bombus terrestris: signatures of infection despite strong variation among populations, colonies, and sister workers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska S Brunner

    Full Text Available Ecological immunology relies on variation in resistance to parasites. Colonies of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris vary in their susceptibility to the trypanosome gut parasite Crithidia bombi, which reduces colony fitness. To understand the possible origin of this variation in resistance we assayed the expression of 28 immunologically important genes in foraging workers. We deliberately included natural variation of the host "environment" by using bees from colonies collected in two locations and sampling active foraging workers that were not age controlled. Immune gene expression patterns in response to C. bombi showed remarkable variability even among genetically similar sisters. Nevertheless, expression varied with parasite exposure, among colonies and, perhaps surprisingly, strongly among populations (collection sites. While only the antimicrobial peptide abaecin is universally up regulated upon exposure, linear discriminant analysis suggests that the overall exposure effect is driven by a combination of several immune pathways and further immune functions such as ROS regulation. Also, the differences among colonies in their immune gene expression profiles provide clues to the mechanistic basis of well-known inter-colony variation in susceptibility to this parasite. Our results show that transcriptional responses to parasite exposure can be detected in ecologically heterogeneous groups despite strong background noise.

  18. Male scent-marking pheromone of Bombus ardens ardens (Hymenoptera; Apidae) attracts both conspecific queens and males

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubo, Ryohei; Harano, Ken-ichi; Ono, Masato

    2017-10-01

    To explore the role of the volatiles emitted from male labial gland (LG) of the bumblebee Bombus ardens ardens, we investigated the responses of virgin queens and males to volatiles using a gas chromatography-electroantennographic detector (GC-EAD) system and Y-tube olfactometer. GC-EAD analysis revealed that citronellol, the main compound detected in the male LG, caused clear electrophysiological responses in the antennae of B. a. ardens virgin queens and males although two minor compounds elicited antennal responses when applied in a high concentration. Behavioral tests using a Y-tube olfactometer showed that queens and males were significantly attracted to both LG extracts and citronellol more than to the solvent alone. This is the first study to demonstrate that citronellol as a major compound of male scent-marking pheromone in B. a. ardens functions as a sex attractant for queens. The results also suggest that this compound has another function as a trail marker used by males.

  19. Inter-tegular span and head width as estimators of fresh and dry body mass in bumblebees (Bombus spp.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hagen, Melanie; Dupont, Yoko

    2013-01-01

    Adult body mass is a strong correlate of many important life history traits of bees, and thus, has been used as a proxy for these traits in ecological studies. However, body mass is difficult to measure on live specimens in the field, and impossible to measure non-destructively on dry museum spec...

  20. The genomes of two key bumblebee species with primitive eusocial organization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sadd, Ben M.; Barribeau, Seth M.; Bloch, Guy

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The shift from solitary to social behavior is one of the major evolutionary transitions. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolution of highly eusocial insect societies. Bumblebees are also invaluable natural and agricultural pollinators, and there ...

  1. The relationship between managed bees and the prevalence of parasites in bumblebees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graystock, Peter; Goulson, Dave; Hughes, William O H

    2014-01-01

    Honey bees and, more recently, bumblebees have been domesticated and are now managed commercially primarily for crop pollination, mixing with wild pollinators during foraging on shared flower resources. There is mounting evidence that managed honey bees or commercially produced bumblebees may affect the health of wild pollinators such as bumblebees by increasing competition for resources and the prevalence of parasites in wild bees. Here we screened 764 bumblebees from around five greenhouses that either used commercially produced bumblebees or did not, as well as bumblebees from 10 colonies placed at two sites either close to or far from a honey bee apiary, for the parasites Apicystis bombi, Crithidia bombi, Nosema bombi, N. ceranae, N. apis and deformed wing virus. We found that A. bombi and C. bombi were more prevalent around greenhouses using commercially produced bumblebees, while C. bombi was 18% more prevalent in bumblebees at the site near to the honey bee apiary than those at the site far from the apiary. Whilst these results are from only a limited number of sites, they support previous reports of parasite spillover from commercially produced bumblebees to wild bumblebees, and suggest that the impact of stress from competing with managed bees or the vectoring of parasites by them on parasite prevalence in wild bees needs further investigation. It appears increasingly likely that the use of managed bees comes at a cost of increased parasites in wild bumblebees, which is not only a concern for bumblebee conservation, but which may impact other pollinators as well.

  2. The relationship between managed bees and the prevalence of parasites in bumblebees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Graystock

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees and, more recently, bumblebees have been domesticated and are now managed commercially primarily for crop pollination, mixing with wild pollinators during foraging on shared flower resources. There is mounting evidence that managed honey bees or commercially produced bumblebees may affect the health of wild pollinators such as bumblebees by increasing competition for resources and the prevalence of parasites in wild bees. Here we screened 764 bumblebees from around five greenhouses that either used commercially produced bumblebees or did not, as well as bumblebees from 10 colonies placed at two sites either close to or far from a honey bee apiary, for the parasites Apicystis bombi, Crithidia bombi, Nosema bombi, N. ceranae, N. apis and deformed wing virus. We found that A. bombi and C. bombi were more prevalent around greenhouses using commercially produced bumblebees, while C. bombi was 18% more prevalent in bumblebees at the site near to the honey bee apiary than those at the site far from the apiary. Whilst these results are from only a limited number of sites, they support previous reports of parasite spillover from commercially produced bumblebees to wild bumblebees, and suggest that the impact of stress from competing with managed bees or the vectoring of parasites by them on parasite prevalence in wild bees needs further investigation. It appears increasingly likely that the use of managed bees comes at a cost of increased parasites in wild bumblebees, which is not only a concern for bumblebee conservation, but which may impact other pollinators as well.

  3. Higher iridescent-to-pigment optical effect in flowers facilitates learning, memory and generalization in foraging bumblebees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Premorel, Géraud; Giurfa, Martin; Andraud, Christine; Gomez, Doris

    2017-10-25

    Iridescence-change of colour with changes in the angle of view or of illumination-is widespread in the living world, but its functions remain poorly understood. The presence of iridescence has been suggested in flowers where diffraction gratings generate iridescent colours. Such colours have been suggested to serve plant-pollinator communication. Here we tested whether a higher iridescence relative to corolla pigmentation would facilitate discrimination, learning and retention of iridescent visual targets. We conditioned bumblebees ( Bombus terrestris ) to discriminate iridescent from non-iridescent artificial flowers and we varied iridescence detectability by varying target iridescent relative to pigment optical effect. We show that bees rewarded on targets with higher iridescent relative to pigment effect required fewer choices to complete learning, showed faster generalization to novel targets exhibiting the same iridescence-to-pigment level and had better long-term memory retention. Along with optical measurements, behavioural results thus demonstrate that bees can learn iridescence-related cues as bona fide signals for flower reward. They also suggest that floral advertising may be shaped by competition between iridescence and corolla pigmentation, a fact that has important evolutionary implications for pollinators. Optical measurements narrow down the type of cues that bees may have used for learning. Beyond pollinator-plant communication, our experiments help understanding how receivers influence the evolution of iridescence signals generated by gratings. © 2017 The Author(s).

  4. The genotypic structure of a multi-host bumblebee parasite suggests a role for ecological niche overlap.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahel M Salathé

    Full Text Available The genotypic structure of parasite populations is an important determinant of ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-parasite interactions with consequences for pest management and disease control. Genotypic structure is especially interesting where multiple hosts co-exist and share parasites. We here analyze the natural genotypic distribution of Crithidia bombi, a trypanosomatid parasite of bumblebees (Bombus spp., in two ecologically different habitats over a time period of three years. Using an algorithm to reconstruct genotypes in cases of multiple infections, and combining these with directly identified genotypes from single infections, we find a striking diversity of infection for both data sets, with almost all multi-locus genotypes being unique, and are inferring that around half of the total infections are resulting from multiple strains. Our analyses further suggest a mixture of clonality and sexuality in natural populations of this parasite species. Finally, we ask whether parasite genotypes are associated with host species (the phylogenetic hypothesis or whether ecological factors (niche overlap in flower choice shape the distribution of parasite genotypes (the ecological hypothesis. Redundancy analysis demonstrates that in the region with relatively high parasite prevalence, both host species identity and niche overlap are equally important factors shaping the distribution of parasite strains, whereas in the region with lower parasite prevalence, niche overlap more strongly contributes to the distribution observed. Overall, our study underlines the importance of ecological factors in shaping the natural dynamics of host-parasite systems.

  5. Imidacloprid intensifies its impact on honeybee and bumblebee cellular immune response when challenged with LPS (lippopolysacharide) of Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walderdorff, Louise; Laval-Gilly, Philippe; Bonnefoy, Antoine; Falla-Angel, Jaïro

    2018-05-16

    Insect hemocytes play an important role in insects' defense against environmental stressors as they are entirely dependent on their innate immune system for pathogen defense. In recent years a dramatic decline of pollinators has been reported in many countries. The drivers of this declines appear to be associated with pathogen infections like viruses, bacteria or fungi in combination with pesticide exposure. The aim of this study was thus to investigate the impact of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, on the cellular immune response of two pollinators (Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris) during simultaneous immune activation with LPS (lipopolysaccharide) of Escherichia coli. For this purpose the phagocytosis capacity as well as the production of H 2 O 2 and NO of larval hemocytes, exposed to five different imidacloprid concentrations in vitro, was measured. All used pesticide concentrations showed a weakening effect on phagocytosis with but also without LPS activation. Imidacloprid decreased H 2 O 2 and increased NO production in honeybees. Immune activation by LPS clearly reinforced the effect of imidacloprid on the immune response of hemocytes in all three immune parameters tested. Bumblebee hemocytes appeared more sensitive to imidacloprid during phagocytosis assays while imidacloprid showed a greater impact on honeybee hemocytes during H 2 O 2 and NO production. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. No trade-off between learning speed and associative flexibility in bumblebees: a reversal learning test with multiple colonies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigel E Raine

    Full Text Available Potential trade-offs between learning speed and memory-related performance could be important factors in the evolution of learning. Here, we test whether rapid learning interferes with the acquisition of new information using a reversal learning paradigm. Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris were trained to associate yellow with a floral reward. Subsequently the association between colour and reward was reversed, meaning bees then had to learn to visit blue flowers. We demonstrate that individuals that were fast to learn yellow as a predictor of reward were also quick to reverse this association. Furthermore, overnight memory retention tests suggest that faster learning individuals are also better at retaining previously learned information. There is also an effect of relatedness: colonies whose workers were fast to learn the association between yellow and reward also reversed this association rapidly. These results are inconsistent with a trade-off between learning speed and the reversal of a previously made association. On the contrary, they suggest that differences in learning performance and cognitive (behavioural flexibility could reflect more general differences in colony learning ability. Hence, this study provides additional evidence to support the idea that rapid learning and behavioural flexibility have adaptive value.

  7. Feeding frequency and caste differentiation in Bombus terrestris larvae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ribeiro, M.F.; Velthuis, H.H.W.; Duchateau, Marie José; Tweel, I. van der

    1998-01-01

    The frequency with which bumble bee larvae are fed during their development was studied using video-recordings. The behaviour of the workers while feeding worker, male and queen larvae of Bombus terrestris was recorded. At the beginning of development, female larvae of both castes were fed at a

  8. Chemical compounds of the foraging recruitment pheromone in bumblebees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granero, Angeles Mena; Sanz, José M. Guerra; Gonzalez, Francisco J. Egea; Vidal, José L. Martinez; Dornhaus, Anna; Ghani, Junaid; Serrano, Ana Roldán; Chittka, Lars

    2005-08-01

    When the frenzied and irregular food-recruitment dances of bumblebees were first discovered, it was thought that they might represent an evolutionary prototype to the honeybee waggle dance. It later emerged that the primary function of the bumblebee dance was the distribution of an alerting pheromone. Here, we identify the chemical compounds of the bumblebee recruitment pheromone and their behaviour effects. The presence of two monoterpenes and one sesquiterpene (eucalyptol, ocimene and farnesol) in the nest airspace and in the tergal glands increases strongly during foraging. Of these, eucalyptol has the strongest recruitment effect when a bee nest is experimentally exposed to it. Since honeybees use terpenes for marking food sources rather than recruiting foragers inside the nest, this suggests independent evolutionary roots of food recruitment in these two groups of bees.

  9. Climate change impacts on bumblebees converge across continents

    Science.gov (United States)

    For many species, geographical ranges are expanding toward the poles in response to climate change, while remaining stable along range edges nearest the equator. Using long term observations across Europe and North America over 110 years, we test for climate change-related range shifts in bumblebee ...

  10. Iron-based granules in body of bumblebees

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jandacka, P.; Kasparova, B.; Jirásková, Yvonna; Dedkova, K.; Mamulová-Kutláková, K.; Kukutschová, J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 28, č. 1 (2015), s. 89-99 ISSN 0966-0844 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP108/11/1350 Institutional support: RVO:68081723 Keywords : Magnetoreception * Bumblebee * Biomineralisation * Iron granules Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 2.134, year: 2015

  11. Regulation of Isoprenoid Pheromone Biosynthesis in Bumblebee Males

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Prchalová, Darina; Buček, Aleš; Brabcová, Jana; Žáček, Petr; Kindl, Jiří; Valterová, Irena; Pichová, Iva

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 3 (2016), s. 260-267 ISSN 1439-4227 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LO1302; GA ČR GA15-06569S Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : biosynthesis * Bombus spp. * gene expression * isoprenoid s * pheromones * transcriptional regulation Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 2.847, year: 2016

  12. Proteomic Characterization of the Venom of Five Bombus (Thoracobombus Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nezahat Pınar Barkan

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Venomous animals use venom, a complex biofluid composed of unique mixtures of proteins and peptides, to act on vital systems of the prey or predator. In bees, venom is solely used for defense against predators. However, the venom composition of bumble bees (Bombus sp. is largely unknown. The Thoracobombus subgenus of Bombus sp. is a diverse subgenus represented by 14 members across Turkey. In this study, we sought out to proteomically characterize the venom of five Thoracobombus species by using bottom-up proteomic techniques. We have obtained two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel (2D-PAGE images of each species’ venom sample. We have subsequently identified the protein spots by using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS. We have identified 47 proteins for Bombus humilis, 32 for B. pascuorum, 60 for B. ruderarius, 39 for B. sylvarum, and 35 for B. zonatus. Moreover, we illustrated that intensities of 2DE protein spots corresponding to putative venom toxins vary in a species-specific manner. Our analyses provide the primary proteomic characterization of five bumble bee species’ venom composition.

  13. Proteomic Characterization of the Venom of Five Bombus (Thoracobombus) Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkan, Nezahat Pınar; Bayazit, Mustafa Bilal; Ozel Demiralp, Duygu

    2017-11-11

    Venomous animals use venom, a complex biofluid composed of unique mixtures of proteins and peptides, to act on vital systems of the prey or predator. In bees, venom is solely used for defense against predators. However, the venom composition of bumble bees ( Bombus sp.) is largely unknown. The Thoracobombus subgenus of Bombus sp. is a diverse subgenus represented by 14 members across Turkey. In this study, we sought out to proteomically characterize the venom of five Thoracobombus species by using bottom-up proteomic techniques. We have obtained two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel (2D-PAGE) images of each species' venom sample. We have subsequently identified the protein spots by using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). We have identified 47 proteins for Bombus humilis , 32 for B. pascuorum , 60 for B. ruderarius , 39 for B. sylvarum , and 35 for B. zonatus . Moreover, we illustrated that intensities of 2DE protein spots corresponding to putative venom toxins vary in a species-specific manner. Our analyses provide the primary proteomic characterization of five bumble bee species' venom composition.

  14. Chronic exposure of imidacloprid and clothianidin reduce queen survival, foraging, and nectar storing in colonies of Bombus impatiens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamison Scholer

    Full Text Available In an 11-week greenhouse study, caged queenright colonies of Bombus impatiens Cresson, were fed treatments of 0 (0 ppb actual residue I, imidacloprid; C, clothianidin, 10 (14 I, 9 C, 20 (16 I, 17C, 50 (71 I, 39 C and 100 (127 I, 76 C ppb imidacloprid or clothianidin in sugar syrup (50%. These treatments overlapped the residue levels found in pollen and nectar of many crops and landscape plants, which have higher residue levels than seed-treated crops (less than 10 ppb, corn, canola and sunflower. At 6 weeks, queen mortality was significantly higher in 50 ppb and 100 ppb and by 11 weeks in 20 ppb-100 ppb neonicotinyl-treated colonies. The largest impact for both neonicotinyls starting at 20 (16 I, 17 C ppb was the statistically significant reduction in queen survival (37% I, 56% C ppb, worker movement, colony consumption, and colony weight compared to 0 ppb treatments. Bees at feeders flew back to the nest box so it appears that only a few workers were collecting syrup in the flight box and returning the syrup to the nest. The majority of the workers sat immobilized for weeks on the floor of the flight box without moving to fed at sugar syrup feeders. Neonicotinyl residues were lower in wax pots in the nest than in the sugar syrup that was provided. At 10 (14 ppb I and 50 (39 ppb C, fewer males were produced by the workers, but queens continued to invest in queen production which was similar among treatments. Feeding on imidacloprid and clothianidin can cause changes in behavior (reduced worker movement, consumption, wax pot production, and nectar storage that result in detrimental effects on colonies (queen survival and colony weight. Wild bumblebees depending on foraging workers can be negatively impacted by chronic neonicotinyl exposure at 20 ppb.

  15. Chronic exposure of imidacloprid and clothianidin reduce queen survival, foraging, and nectar storing in colonies of Bombus impatiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholer, Jamison; Krischik, Vera

    2014-01-01

    In an 11-week greenhouse study, caged queenright colonies of Bombus impatiens Cresson, were fed treatments of 0 (0 ppb actual residue I, imidacloprid; C, clothianidin), 10 (14 I, 9 C), 20 (16 I, 17C), 50 (71 I, 39 C) and 100 (127 I, 76 C) ppb imidacloprid or clothianidin in sugar syrup (50%). These treatments overlapped the residue levels found in pollen and nectar of many crops and landscape plants, which have higher residue levels than seed-treated crops (less than 10 ppb, corn, canola and sunflower). At 6 weeks, queen mortality was significantly higher in 50 ppb and 100 ppb and by 11 weeks in 20 ppb-100 ppb neonicotinyl-treated colonies. The largest impact for both neonicotinyls starting at 20 (16 I, 17 C) ppb was the statistically significant reduction in queen survival (37% I, 56% C) ppb, worker movement, colony consumption, and colony weight compared to 0 ppb treatments. Bees at feeders flew back to the nest box so it appears that only a few workers were collecting syrup in the flight box and returning the syrup to the nest. The majority of the workers sat immobilized for weeks on the floor of the flight box without moving to fed at sugar syrup feeders. Neonicotinyl residues were lower in wax pots in the nest than in the sugar syrup that was provided. At 10 (14) ppb I and 50 (39) ppb C, fewer males were produced by the workers, but queens continued to invest in queen production which was similar among treatments. Feeding on imidacloprid and clothianidin can cause changes in behavior (reduced worker movement, consumption, wax pot production, and nectar storage) that result in detrimental effects on colonies (queen survival and colony weight). Wild bumblebees depending on foraging workers can be negatively impacted by chronic neonicotinyl exposure at 20 ppb.

  16. Chronic Exposure of Imidacloprid and Clothianidin Reduce Queen Survival, Foraging, and Nectar Storing in Colonies of Bombus impatiens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholer, Jamison; Krischik, Vera

    2014-01-01

    In an 11-week greenhouse study, caged queenright colonies of Bombus impatiens Cresson, were fed treatments of 0 (0 ppb actual residue I, imidacloprid; C, clothianidin), 10 (14 I, 9 C), 20 (16 I, 17C), 50 (71 I, 39 C) and 100 (127 I, 76 C) ppb imidacloprid or clothianidin in sugar syrup (50%). These treatments overlapped the residue levels found in pollen and nectar of many crops and landscape plants, which have higher residue levels than seed-treated crops (less than 10 ppb, corn, canola and sunflower). At 6 weeks, queen mortality was significantly higher in 50 ppb and 100 ppb and by 11 weeks in 20 ppb–100 ppb neonicotinyl-treated colonies. The largest impact for both neonicotinyls starting at 20 (16 I, 17 C) ppb was the statistically significant reduction in queen survival (37% I, 56% C) ppb, worker movement, colony consumption, and colony weight compared to 0 ppb treatments. Bees at feeders flew back to the nest box so it appears that only a few workers were collecting syrup in the flight box and returning the syrup to the nest. The majority of the workers sat immobilized for weeks on the floor of the flight box without moving to fed at sugar syrup feeders. Neonicotinyl residues were lower in wax pots in the nest than in the sugar syrup that was provided. At 10 (14) ppb I and 50 (39) ppb C, fewer males were produced by the workers, but queens continued to invest in queen production which was similar among treatments. Feeding on imidacloprid and clothianidin can cause changes in behavior (reduced worker movement, consumption, wax pot production, and nectar storage) that result in detrimental effects on colonies (queen survival and colony weight). Wild bumblebees depending on foraging workers can be negatively impacted by chronic neonicotinyl exposure at 20 ppb. PMID:24643057

  17. Patterns of Genetic and Reproductive Traits Differentiation in Mainland vs. Corsican Populations of Bumblebees

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lecocq, T.; Vereecken, N. J.; Michez, D.; Dellicour, S.; Lhomme, P.; Valterová, Irena; Rasplus, J. Y.; Rasmont, P.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 6 (2013), e65642/1-e65642/14 E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : Bombus terrestris * Bombus lucorum * Bombus vestalis * genetic variations * male sex pheromone Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 3.534, year: 2013 http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0065642

  18. Fatty Acids from Pool Lipids as Possible Precursors of the Male Marking Pheromone in Bumblebees

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kofroňová, Edita; Nekola, Adam; Cvačka, Josef; Kindl, Jiří; Valterová, Irena

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 19, č. 2 (2014), s. 2330-2343 ISSN 1420-3049 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/09/1446; GA TA ČR TA01020969 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : Bombus ruderatus * Bombus campestris * Bombus bohemicus * fat body * labial gland secretion * pheromone biosynthesis Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.416, year: 2014

  19. De Novo Biosynthesis of Sexual Pheromone in the Labial Gland of Bumblebee Males

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žáček, Petr; Prchalová-Horňáková, Darina; Tykva, Richard; Kindl, Jiří; Vogel, H.; Svatoš, Aleš; Pichová, Iva; Valterová, Irena

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 14, č. 3 (2013), s. 361-371 ISSN 1439-4227 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/09/1446 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : labial gland * Bombus lucorum * Bombus terrestris * fat bodies * gene expression Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.060, year: 2013

  20. Changes in composition of triacylglycerols in the fat body of bumblebee males during their lifetime

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jiroš, Pavel; Cvačka, Josef; Hanus, Robert; Kindl, Jiří; Kofroňová, Edita; Valterová, Irena

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 46, č. 9 (2011), s. 863-871 ISSN 0024-4201 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP502/10/1734 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : bombus terrestris * bombus lucorum * fat body * lipids * LC/APCI-MS Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.129, year: 2011

  1. Use of primary cultures of Kenyon cells from bumblebee brains to assess pesticide side effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Daniel E; Velarde, Rodrigo A; Fahrbach, Susan E; Mommaerts, Veerle; Smagghe, Guy

    2013-09-01

    Bumblebees are important pollinators in natural and agricultural ecosystems. The latter results in the frequent exposure of bumblebees to pesticides. We report here on a new bioassay that uses primary cultures of neurons derived from adult bumblebee workers to evaluate possible side-effects of the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid. Mushroom bodies (MBs) from the brains of bumblebee workers were dissected and dissociated to produce cultures of Kenyon cells (KCs). Cultured KCs typically extend branched, dendrite-like processes called neurites, with substantial growth evident 24-48 h after culture initiation. Exposure of cultured KCs obtained from newly eclosed adult workers to 2.5 parts per billion (ppb) imidacloprid, an environmentally relevant concentration of pesticide, did not have a detectable effect on neurite outgrowth. By contrast, in cultures prepared from newly eclosed adult bumblebees, inhibitory effects of imidacloprid were evident when the medium contained 25 ppb imidacloprid, and no growth was observed at 2,500 ppb. The KCs of older workers (13-day-old nurses and foragers) appeared to be more sensitive to imidacloprid than newly eclosed adults, as strong effects on KCs obtained from older nurses and foragers were also evident at 2.5 ppb imidacloprid. In conclusion, primary cultures using KCs of bumblebee worker brains offer a tool to assess sublethal effects of neurotoxic pesticides in vitro. Such studies also have the potential to contribute to the understanding of mechanisms of plasticity in the adult bumblebee brain. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Polyphenism in social insects: insights from a transcriptome-wide analysis of gene expression in the life stages of the key pollinator, Bombus terrestris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colgan Thomas J

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding polyphenism, the ability of a single genome to express multiple morphologically and behaviourally distinct phenotypes, is an important goal for evolutionary and developmental biology. Polyphenism has been key to the evolution of the Hymenoptera, and particularly the social Hymenoptera where the genome of a single species regulates distinct larval stages, sexual dimorphism and physical castes within the female sex. Transcriptomic analyses of social Hymenoptera will therefore provide unique insights into how changes in gene expression underlie such complexity. Here we describe gene expression in individual specimens of the pre-adult stages, sexes and castes of the key pollinator, the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Results cDNA was prepared from mRNA from five life cycle stages (one larva, one pupa, one male, one gyne and two workers and a total of 1,610,742 expressed sequence tags (ESTs were generated using Roche 454 technology, substantially increasing the sequence data available for this important species. Overlapping ESTs were assembled into 36,354 B. terrestris putative transcripts, and functionally annotated. A preliminary assessment of differences in gene expression across non-replicated specimens from the pre-adult stages, castes and sexes was performed using R-STAT analysis. Individual samples from the life cycle stages of the bumblebee differed in the expression of a wide array of genes, including genes involved in amino acid storage, metabolism, immunity and olfaction. Conclusions Detailed analyses of immune and olfaction gene expression across phenotypes demonstrated how transcriptomic analyses can inform our understanding of processes central to the biology of B. terrestris and the social Hymenoptera in general. For example, examination of immunity-related genes identified high conservation of important immunity pathway components across individual specimens from the life cycle stages while

  3. Polyphenism in social insects: Insights from a transcriptome-wide analysis of gene expression in the life stages of the key pollinator, Bombus terrestris

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Colgan, Thomas J

    2011-12-20

    Abstract Background Understanding polyphenism, the ability of a single genome to express multiple morphologically and behaviourally distinct phenotypes, is an important goal for evolutionary and developmental biology. Polyphenism has been key to the evolution of the Hymenoptera, and particularly the social Hymenoptera where the genome of a single species regulates distinct larval stages, sexual dimorphism and physical castes within the female sex. Transcriptomic analyses of social Hymenoptera will therefore provide unique insights into how changes in gene expression underlie such complexity. Here we describe gene expression in individual specimens of the pre-adult stages, sexes and castes of the key pollinator, the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Results cDNA was prepared from mRNA from five life cycle stages (one larva, one pupa, one male, one gyne and two workers) and a total of 1,610,742 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated using Roche 454 technology, substantially increasing the sequence data available for this important species. Overlapping ESTs were assembled into 36,354 B. terrestris putative transcripts, and functionally annotated. A preliminary assessment of differences in gene expression across non-replicated specimens from the pre-adult stages, castes and sexes was performed using R-STAT analysis. Individual samples from the life cycle stages of the bumblebee differed in the expression of a wide array of genes, including genes involved in amino acid storage, metabolism, immunity and olfaction. Conclusions Detailed analyses of immune and olfaction gene expression across phenotypes demonstrated how transcriptomic analyses can inform our understanding of processes central to the biology of B. terrestris and the social Hymenoptera in general. For example, examination of immunity-related genes identified high conservation of important immunity pathway components across individual specimens from the life cycle stages while olfactory

  4. Bombus brasiliensis Lepeletier (Hymenoptera, Apidae infected with Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Plischuk

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Heavy infections caused by a microsporidium were detected in midgut epithelium cells of two adult workers of the bumble bee Bombus brasiliensis Lepeletier collected near Puerto Iguazú, Misiones province, Argentina. Microsporidium rRNA (16S small subunit was amplified by 218MITOC primers and produced amplicons indicating presence of Nosema ceranae Fries et al., a virulent pathogen of more than 20 bee species, possibly involved in Apis mellifera L. Colony Collapse Disorder. Campaigns in search of B. brasiliensis between 2008 and 2015 have revealed a possible narrower range in the southeastern area of its known distribution. Effects of N. ceranae infections could be modulating their populations and should not be overlooked. In addition, the wide host range of this microsporidium makes it a potential threat to several endemic bees such as stingless (Meliponini and orchid bees (Euglossini.

  5. Bumblebees perform well-controlled landings in dim light

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Therese Reber

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available To make a smooth touchdown when landing, an insect must be able to reliably control its approach speed as well as its body and leg position – behaviors that are thought to be regulated primarily by visual information. Bumblebees forage and land under a broad range of light intensities and while their behavior during the final moments of landing has been described in detail in bright light, little is known about how this is affected by decreasing light intensity. Here, we investigate this by characterizing the performance of bumblebees, B. terrestris, landing on a flat platform at two different orientations (horizontal and vertical and at four different light intensities (ranging from 600 lx down to 19 lx. As light intensity decreased, the bees modified their body position and the distance at which they extended their legs, suggesting that the control of landing in these insects is visually mediated. Nevertheless, the effect of light intensity was small and the landings were still well controlled, even in the dimmest light. We suggest that the changes in landing behavior that occurred in dim light might represent adaptations that allow the bees to perform smooth landings across the broad range of light intensities at which they are active.

  6. Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumblebees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Dara A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Wickens, Jennifer B.; Wickens, Victoria J.; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2015-12-01

    Recent concern over global pollinator declines has led to considerable research on the effects of pesticides on bees. Although pesticides are typically not encountered at lethal levels in the field, there is growing evidence indicating that exposure to field-realistic levels can have sublethal effects on bees, affecting their foraging behaviour, homing ability and reproductive success. Bees are essential for the pollination of a wide variety of crops and the majority of wild flowering plants, but until now research on pesticide effects has been limited to direct effects on bees themselves and not on the pollination services they provide. Here we show the first evidence to our knowledge that pesticide exposure can reduce the pollination services bumblebees deliver to apples, a crop of global economic importance. Bumblebee colonies exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide provided lower visitation rates to apple trees and collected pollen less often. Most importantly, these pesticide-exposed colonies produced apples containing fewer seeds, demonstrating a reduced delivery of pollination services. Our results also indicate that reduced pollination service delivery is not due to pesticide-induced changes in individual bee behaviour, but most likely due to effects at the colony level. These findings show that pesticide exposure can impair the ability of bees to provide pollination services, with important implications for both the sustained delivery of stable crop yields and the functioning of natural ecosystems.

  7. Bumblebees Perform Well-Controlled Landings in Dim Light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reber, Therese; Dacke, Marie; Warrant, Eric; Baird, Emily

    2016-01-01

    To make a smooth touchdown when landing, an insect must be able to reliably control its approach speed as well as its body and leg position-behaviors that are thought to be regulated primarily by visual information. Bumblebees forage and land under a broad range of light intensities and while their behavior during the final moments of landing has been described in detail in bright light, little is known about how this is affected by decreasing light intensity. Here, we investigate this by characterizing the performance of bumblebees, B. terrestris, landing on a flat platform at two different orientations (horizontal and vertical) and at four different light intensities (ranging from 600 lx down to 19 lx). As light intensity decreased, the bees modified their body position and the distance at which they extended their legs, suggesting that the control of landing in these insects is visually mediated. Nevertheless, the effect of light intensity was small and the landings were still well controlled, even in the dimmest light. We suggest that the changes in landing behavior that occurred in dim light might represent adaptations that allow the bees to perform smooth landings across the broad range of light intensities at which they are active.

  8. Seasonal Dynamics in the Chemistry and Structure of the Fat Bodies of Bumblebee Queens

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Votavová, A.; Tomčala, Aleš; Kofroňová, E.; Kudzejová, M.; Šobotník, J.; Jiroš, P.; Komzáková, O.; Valterová, I.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 11 (2015), e0142261 E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : male labial gland * Bombus terrestris * functional differentiation Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015

  9. Big city Bombus: using natural history and land-use history to find significant environmental drivers in bumble-bee declines in urban development

    OpenAIRE

    Glaum, Paul; Simao, Maria-Carolina; Vaidya, Chatura; Fitch, Gordon; Iulinao, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Native bee populations are critical sources of pollination. Unfortunately, native bees are declining in abundance and diversity. Much of this decline comes from human land-use change. While the effects of large-scale agriculture on native bees are relatively well understood, the effects of urban development are less clear. Understanding urbanity's effect on native bees requires consideration of specific characteristics of both particular bee species and their urban landscape. We surveyed bumb...

  10. A scent shield to survive: identification of the repellent compounds secreted by the male offspring of the cuckoo bumblebee Bombus vestalis

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lhomme, P.; Ayasse, M.; Valterová, Irena; Lecocq, T.; Rasmont, P.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 157, č. 3 (2015), s. 263-270 ISSN 0013-8703 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : Hymenoptera * Apidae * Psithyrus * social parasitism * repellent * GC-EAD * chemical camouflage Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.442, year: 2015

  11. Distribution patterns of the cold adapted bumblebee Bombus alpinus in the Alps and hints of an uphill shift (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Biella, Paolo; Bogliani, G.; Cornalba, M.; Manino, A.; Neumayer, J.; Porporato, M.; Rasmont, P.; Milanesi, P.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 21, č. 2 (2017), s. 357-366 ISSN 1366-638X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GP14-10035P Grant - others:GA JU(CZ) 152/2016/P Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : climate change * specialist * rare species Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 1.462, year: 2016 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10841-017-9983-1

  12. Gene Expression Dynamics in Major Endocrine Regulatory Pathways along the Transition from Solitary to Social Life in a Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jedlička, Pavel; Ernst, Ulrich R.; Votavová, A.; Hanus, Robert; Valterová, Irena

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, Nov 24 (2016), č. článku 574. ISSN 1664-042X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-04291S; GA MŠk LD15102 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : social insects * social evolution * diapause * reproduction * caste differentiation Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 4.134, year: 2016 http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fphys.2016.00574/full

  13. The effects of aluminum and nickel in nectar on the foraging behavior of bumblebees

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meindl, George A.; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2013-01-01

    Metals in soil are known to negatively affect the health of many groups of organisms, but it is unclear whether they can affect plant-pollinator interactions, and whether pollinators that visit plants growing on contaminated soils are at risk of ingesting potentially toxic resources. We address whether the presence of metals in nectar alters foraging behavior by bumblebees by manipulating nectar with one of two common soil contaminants (Al or Ni) in flowers of Impatiens capensis (Balsaminaceae). While the presence of Al in nectar did not influence foraging patterns by bumblebees, flowers containing Ni nectar solutions were visited for shorter time periods relative to controls, and discouraged bees from visiting nearby Ni-contaminated flowers. However, because bumblebees still visited these flowers, they likely ingested a potentially toxic resource. Our findings suggest that soil metals could cascade to negatively affect pollinators in metal contaminated environments. -- Highlights: ► We address whether metals in nectar alter foraging behavior by bumblebees. ► Al in nectar did not influence foraging patterns by bumblebees. ► Ni nectar solutions were visited for shorter time periods relative to controls. ► Ni nectar solutions discouraged bees from visiting nearby Ni-contaminated flowers. ► Our findings suggest soil metals could cascade to negatively affect pollinators. -- We extend current understanding of the effects of plant chemistry on plant-pollinator interactions by describing the effects of metals in nectar on bee foraging

  14. Novel multiplex PCR reveals multiple trypanosomatid species infecting North American bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crithidia bombi and Crithidia expoeki (Trypanosomatidae) are common parasites of bumble bees (Bombus spp.). Crithidia bombi was described in the 1980s, and C. expoeki was recently discovered using molecular tools. Both species have cosmopolitan distributions among their bumble bee hosts, but there h...

  15. Cross infectivity of Nosema bombi, transmission and impact on bumble bee colonies (Bombus terrestris)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steen, van der J.J.M.

    2005-01-01

    The project "Biodiversity, impact and control of microsporidia in bumble bee (bombus spp.) pollinators" (acronim "Pollinator parasites") within Key Action 5 of the Fifth framework R&D Programme Quality of LIfe and Management of Living Resources was initiated January 1, 2003 and terminates

  16. Age-dependent attractivity of males’ sexual pheromones in Bombus terrestris (L.) [Hymenoptera, Apidae

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Coppée, Audrey; Mathy, T.; Cammaerts, M.; Verheggen, F. J.; Terzo, M.; Iserbyt, S.; Valterová, Irena; Rasmont, P.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 21, č. 2 (2011), s. 75-82 ISSN 0937-7409 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/09/1446 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : Bombus terrestris * sexual pheromones * age-dependent variation * behavioural tests Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 1.556, year: 2011

  17. Dispersal of solitary bees and bumblebees in a winter oilseed rape field

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Calabuig, Isabel

    2000-01-01

    Dispersal distributions of solitary bees and bumblebees were studied in a winter oilseed rape field. Window-traps were placed in the rape field along a line transect perpendicular to the field edge. 19 species of solitary bees were recorded and all but four species are polylectic, including...... Brassicaceae as host-plant family. Through non-linear regression, the decline in solitary bee individuals versus distance from field edge significantly fitted a steep two-parameter exponential decay function. Activity of solitary bees was clearly highest within 30 metres from the field edge. Apparently......, solitary bees do not play any noteworthy role in the pollination of winter oilseed rape in Denmark. The traps yielded ten species of bumblebees, and a significant linear correlation was found between numbers of individuals and distance from the field edge. This result is attributed to bumblebee foraging...

  18. An integrative taxonomic approach to assess the status of Corsican bumblebees: implications for conservation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lecocq, T.; Brasero, N.; De Meulemeester, T.; Michez, D.; Dellicour, S.; Lhomme, P.; de Jonghe, R.; Valterová, Irena; Urbanová, Klára; Rasmont, P.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 18, č. 3 (2015), s. 236-248 ISSN 1367-9430 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : Bayesian * bumblebees * endemic * evolutionarily significant unit * genetic marker * insular Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.788, year: 2015

  19. The alien's identity: consequences of taxonomic status for the international bumblebee trade regulations

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lecocq, T.; Coppée, A.; Michez, D.; Brasero, N.; Rasplus, J. Y.; Valterová, Irena; Rasmont, P.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 195, Mar (2016), s. 169-176 ISSN 0006-3207 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-04291S Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : alien taxa * evolutionary significant units * integrative taxonomy * species international trade * bumblebee Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.022, year: 2016

  20. Impact of pollen resources drift on common bumblebees in NW Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roger, Nathalie; Moerman, Romain; Carvalheiro, Luísa Gigante; Aguirre-Guitiérrez, Jesús; Jacquemart, Anne Laure; Kleijn, David; Lognay, Georges; Moquet, Laura; Quinet, Muriel; Rasmont, Pierre; Richel, Aurore; Vanderplanck, Maryse; Michez, Denis

    2017-01-01

    Several bee species are experiencing significant population declines. As bees exclusively rely on pollen for development and survival, such declines could be partly related to changes in their host plant abundance and quality. Here, we investigate whether generalist bumblebee species, with stable

  1. The role of desaturases in the biosynthesis of marking pheromones in bumblebee males

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Buček, Aleš; Vogel, H.; Matoušková, Petra; Prchalová, Darina; Žáček, Petr; Vrkoslav, Vladimír; Šebesta, Petr; Svatoš, Aleš; Jahn, Ullrich; Valterová, Irena; Pichová, Iva

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 43, č. 8 (2013), s. 724-731 ISSN 0965-1748 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/09/1446 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : fatty acid desaturase * bumblebee * Hymenoptera * pheromone * RNA-seq * functional expression Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.420, year: 2013

  2. Analysis of triacylglycerols in fat body of bumblebees by chromatographic methods

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cvačka, Josef; Hovorka, Oldřich; Jiroš, Pavel; Kindl, Jiří; Stránský, Karel; Valterová, Irena

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 1101, č. 1/2 (2006), s. 226-237 ISSN 0021-9673 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA4055403 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation * bumblebees * silver ion chromatography * triglycerides Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 3.554, year: 2006

  3. Early flowers of Bartsia alpina (Scrophulariaceae) and the visitation by bumblebees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kwak, MM; Bergman, P

    Phenology and insect visitation of early flowers of Bartsia alpina, a perennial herb, in a subalpine population in northern Sweden, were investigated to find causes for low seed set in early flowers. Bumblebees are the only visitors of B. alpina; they collect pollen and nectar. Flower phenologies of

  4. Exploring complex pheromone biosynthetic processes in the bumblebee male labial gland by RNA sequencing

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Buček, Aleš; Brabcová, Jana; Vogel, H.; Prchalová, Darina; Kindl, Jiří; Valterová, Irena; Pichová, Iva

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 3 (2016), s. 295-314 ISSN 0962-1075 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LO1302; GA ČR GA15-06569S Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : RNA-seq * transcriptome * Bombus terrestris * labial gland * marking pheromone biosynthesis * apoptosis Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.844, year: 2016

  5. Characterization of Neutral Lipase BT-1 Isolated from the Labial Gland of Bombus terrestris Males

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brabcová, Jana; Prchalová, Darina; Demianova, Zuzana; Bučánková, A.; Vogel, H.; Valterová, Irena; Pichová, Iva; Zarevúcka, Marie

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 11 (2013), e80066/1-e80066/11 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA TA ČR TA01020969; GA ČR GA203/09/1446 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : lipase * labial gland * Bombus terrestris Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 3.534, year: 2013 http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0080066

  6. A scientific note on Bombus (Psithyrus) insularis invasions of bumble bee nests and honey bee hives in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumble bees (genus Bombus) are critical pollinators of flowering plants, yet some species are obligate social parasites that do little pollinating and reduce the fitness of the colonies they invade. In 2012 we observed an outbreak of the parasitic Bombus insularis in the Cache Valley of Northern Ut...

  7. RICA: a reliable and image configurable arena for cyborg bumblebee based on CAN bus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Fan; Zheng, Nenggan; Xue, Lei; Xu, Kedi; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we designed a reliable and image configurable flight arena, RICA, for developing cyborg bumblebees. To meet the spatial and temporal requirements of bumblebees, the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus is adopted to interconnect the LED display modules to ensure the reliability and real-time performance of the arena system. Easily-configurable interfaces on a desktop computer implemented by python scripts are provided to transmit the visual patterns to the LED distributor online and configure RICA dynamically. The new arena system will be a power tool to investigate the quantitative relationship between the visual inputs and induced flight behaviors and also will be helpful to the visual-motor research in other related fields.

  8. Estimating species richness and status of solitary bees and bumblebees in agricultural semi-natural habitats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Calabuig, Isabel

    2000-01-01

    Estimation of Western Europe number of bee species varies between 2000 and 4500 (Williams 1995) but there are substantial indications of a decline in bee species in Europe and other regions. In Denmark, wild bee species richness, distribution, and abundance have not been studied in detail for about...... 75 years, and nothing is known about which species are potentially vulnerable or endangered. A rough estimate of solitary bees and bumblebees includes approximately 238 species (26 genera) and 29 species respectively. In a pan-trap survey of six kilometres of semi-natural habitats in a Danish...... agricultural landscape, 72 solitary bee species and 19 species of bumblebees were recorded, several of which are considered vulnerable or endangered in neighbouring countries. Nesting conditions for rare cavity-nesting species and the possible role of the semi-natural habitats as corridors for species...

  9. The interplay of climate and land use change affects the distribution of EU bumblebees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Leon; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Rasmont, Pierre; Vereecken, Nicolas J; Dvorak, Libor; Fitzpatrick, Una; Francis, Frédéric; Neumayer, Johann; Ødegaard, Frode; Paukkunen, Juho P T; Pawlikowski, Tadeusz; Reemer, Menno; Roberts, Stuart P M; Straka, Jakub; Vray, Sarah; Dendoncker, Nicolas

    2018-01-01

    Bumblebees in Europe have been in steady decline since the 1900s. This decline is expected to continue with climate change as the main driver. However, at the local scale, land use and land cover (LULC) change strongly affects the occurrence of bumblebees. At present, LULC change is rarely included in models of future distributions of species. This study's objective is to compare the roles of dynamic LULC change and climate change on the projected distribution patterns of 48 European bumblebee species for three change scenarios until 2100 at the scales of Europe, and Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg (BENELUX). We compared three types of models: (1) only climate covariates, (2) climate and static LULC covariates and (3) climate and dynamic LULC covariates. The climate and LULC change scenarios used in the models include, extreme growth applied strategy (GRAS), business as might be usual and sustainable European development goals. We analysed model performance, range gain/loss and the shift in range limits for all bumblebees. Overall, model performance improved with the introduction of LULC covariates. Dynamic models projected less range loss and gain than climate-only projections, and greater range loss and gain than static models. Overall, there is considerable variation in species responses and effects were most pronounced at the BENELUX scale. The majority of species were predicted to lose considerable range, particularly under the extreme growth scenario (GRAS; overall mean: 64% ± 34). Model simulations project a number of local extinctions and considerable range loss at the BENELUX scale (overall mean: 56% ± 39). Therefore, we recommend species-specific modelling to understand how LULC and climate interact in future modelling. The efficacy of dynamic LULC change should improve with higher thematic and spatial resolution. Nevertheless, current broad scale representations of change in major land use classes impact modelled future distribution patterns.

  10. Chronic neonicotinoid pesticide exposure and parasite stress differentially affects learning in honeybees and bumblebees

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Learning and memory are crucial functions which enable insect pollinators to efficiently locate and extract floral rewards. Exposure to pesticides or infection by parasites may cause subtle but ecologically important changes in cognitive functions of pollinators. The potential interactive effects of these stressors on learning and memory have not yet been explored. Furthermore, sensitivity to stressors may differ between species, but few studies have compared responses in different species. Here, we show that chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid clothianidin impaired olfactory learning acquisition in honeybees, leading to potential impacts on colony fitness, but not in bumblebees. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae slightly impaired learning in honeybees, but no interactive effects were observed. Nosema did not infect bumblebees (3% infection success). Nevertheless, Nosema-treated bumblebees had a slightly lower rate of learning than controls, but faster learning in combination with neonicotinoid exposure. This highlights the potential for complex interactive effects of stressors on learning. Our results underline that one cannot readily extrapolate findings from one bee species to others. This has important implications for regulatory risk assessments which generally use honeybees as a model for all bees. PMID:27053744

  11. Chronic neonicotinoid pesticide exposure and parasite stress differentially affects learning in honeybees and bumblebees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piiroinen, Saija; Goulson, Dave

    2016-04-13

    Learning and memory are crucial functions which enable insect pollinators to efficiently locate and extract floral rewards. Exposure to pesticides or infection by parasites may cause subtle but ecologically important changes in cognitive functions of pollinators. The potential interactive effects of these stressors on learning and memory have not yet been explored. Furthermore, sensitivity to stressors may differ between species, but few studies have compared responses in different species. Here, we show that chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid clothianidin impaired olfactory learning acquisition in honeybees, leading to potential impacts on colony fitness, but not in bumblebees. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae slightly impaired learning in honeybees, but no interactive effects were observed. Nosema did not infect bumblebees (3% infection success). Nevertheless, Nosema-treated bumblebees had a slightly lower rate of learning than controls, but faster learning in combination with neonicotinoid exposure. This highlights the potential for complex interactive effects of stressors on learning. Our results underline that one cannot readily extrapolate findings from one bee species to others. This has important implications for regulatory risk assessments which generally use honeybees as a model for all bees. © 2016 The Author(s).

  12. Notes sur les bourdons pyrénéens du genre Bombus dans les collections néerlandaises

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kruseman, G.

    1958-01-01

    Comme plusieurs collections néerlandaises contiennent des bourdons pyrénéens, j’ai pensé, en étudiant le genre Bombus en général, qu’il était utile de publier à part ces quelques notes sur les espèces pyrénéennes de ce genre. La plupart des sous-espèces du genre Bombus ont déjà été décrites par

  13. Secretory cycle of the Dufour's gland in workers of the Bumble bee Bombus terrestrisL. (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombini)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abdalla, Fábio Camargo; Velthuis, Hayo; Duchateau, Marie José; Cruz-Landim, Carminda da

    1999-01-01

    The Dufour's gland of Bombus terrestris workers, of different ages and with varying degrees of ovary development, was studied with the aim to verify its involvement in reproduction. Measurements of the diameter and the length of the gland were made using an ocular micrometer adapted to a

  14. Infection and transmission of Nosema bombi in Bombus terrestris colonies and its effect on hibernation, mating and colony founding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steen, van der J.J.M.

    2008-01-01

    The impact of the microsporidium Nosema bombi on Bombus terrestris was studied by recording mating, hibernation success, protein titre in haemolymph, weight change during hibernation, and colony founding of queens that were inoculated with N. bombi in the larval phase. Infection with N. bombi was

  15. Forewings match the formation of leading-edge vortices and dominate aerodynamic force production in revolving insect wings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Di; Kolomenskiy, Dmitry; Nakata, Toshiyuki; Liu, Hao

    2017-10-20

    In many flying insects, forewings and hindwings are coupled mechanically to achieve flapping flight synchronously while being driven by action of the forewings. How the forewings and hindwings as well as their morphologies contribute to aerodynamic force production and flight control remains unclear yet. Here we demonstrate that the forewings can produce most of the aerodynamic forces even with the hindwings removed through a computational fluid dynamic study of three revolving insect wing models, which are identical to the wing morphologies and Reynolds numbers of hawkmoth (Manduca sexta), bumblebee (Bombus ignitus) and fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster). We find that the forewing morphologies match the formation of leading-edge vortices (LEV) and are responsible for generating sufficient lift forces at the mean angles of attack and the Reynolds numbers where the three representative insects fly. The LEV formation and pressure loading keep almost unchanged with the hindwing removed, and even lead to some improvement in power factor and aerodynamic efficiency. Moreover, our results indicate that the size and strength of the LEVs can be well quantified with introduction of a conical LEV angle, which varies remarkably with angles of attack and Reynolds numbers but within the forewing region while showing less sensitivity to the wing morphologies. This implies that the forewing morphology very likely plays a dominant role in achieving low-Reynolds number aerodynamic performance in natural flyers as well as in revolving and/or flapping micro air vehicles. © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunice Vieira da Silva-Matos

    2000-06-01

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

  17. Effects of clothianidin on Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colony health and foraging ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Michelle T; Winston, Mark L; Morandin, Lora A

    2004-04-01

    We conducted laboratory experiments to investigate the lethal and sublethal effects of clothianidin on bumble bee, Bombus impatiens Cresson, colony health and foraging ability. Bumble bee colonies were exposed to 6 ppb clothianidin, representing the highest residue levels found in field studies on pollen, and a higher dose of 36 ppb clothianidin in pollen. Clothianidin did not effect pollen consumption, newly emerged worker weights, amount of brood or the number of workers, males, and queens at either dose. The foraging ability of worker bees tested on an artificial array of complex flowers also did not differ among treatments. These results suggest that clothianidin residues found in seed-treated canola and possibly other crops will not adversely affect the health of bumble bee colonies or the foraging ability of workers.

  18. Composition and Electrophysiological Activity of Constituents Identified in Male Wing Gland Secretion of Bumblebee Parasite Aphomia sociella

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kalinová, Blanka; Kindl, Jiří; Jiroš, Pavel; Žáček, Petr; Vašíčková, Soňa; Buděšínský, Miloš; Valterová, Irena

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 72, č. 1 (2009), s. 8-13 ISSN 0163-3864 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 2B06007 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : bee wax moth * electroantennography * bumblebees Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 3.159, year: 2009

  19. BUMBLEBEE VISITATION AND SEEDSET IN MELAMPYRUM-PRATENSE AND VISCARIA-VULGARIS - HETEROSPECIFIC POLLEN AND POLLEN LIMITATION

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    KWAK, MM; JENNERSTEN, O

    1991-01-01

    Fruiting and seed set in two bumblebee-pollinated herbs, Melampyrum pratense L. (annual, Scrophulariaceae) and Viscaria vulgaris Bernh. (perennial, Caryophyllaceae) were studied on a dry meadow in south-western Sweden in June 1986 and 1988. Both species produced seeds by self-fertilization. In

  20. The ontogeny of bumblebee flight trajectories: from naïve explorers to experienced foragers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliet L Osborne

    Full Text Available Understanding strategies used by animals to explore their landscape is essential to predict how they exploit patchy resources, and consequently how they are likely to respond to changes in resource distribution. Social bees provide a good model for this and, whilst there are published descriptions of their behaviour on initial learning flights close to the colony, it is still unclear how bees find floral resources over hundreds of metres and how these flights become directed foraging trips. We investigated the spatial ecology of exploration by radar tracking bumblebees, and comparing the flight trajectories of bees with differing experience. The bees left the colony within a day or two of eclosion and flew in complex loops of ever-increasing size around the colony, exhibiting Lévy-flight characteristics constituting an optimal searching strategy. This mathematical pattern can be used to predict how animals exploring individually might exploit a patchy landscape. The bees' groundspeed, maximum displacement from the nest and total distance travelled on a trip increased significantly with experience. More experienced bees flew direct paths, predominantly flying upwind on their outward trips although forage was available in all directions. The flights differed from those of naïve honeybees: they occurred at an earlier age, showed more complex looping, and resulted in earlier returns of pollen to the colony. In summary bumblebees learn to find home and food rapidly, though phases of orientation, learning and searching were not easily separable, suggesting some multi-tasking.

  1. Neonicotinoids target distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurons, leading to differential risks to bumblebees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moffat, Christopher; Buckland, Stephen T.; Samson, Andrew J.; McArthur, Robin; Chamosa Pino, Victor; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey T.-J.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2016-04-01

    There is growing concern over the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoid insecticides and the long-term consequences of reduced numbers of insect pollinators to essential ecosystem services and food security. Our knowledge of the risk of neonicotinoids to bees is based on studies of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and these findings are extrapolated to clothianidin based on its higher potency at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This study addresses the specificity and consequences of all three neonicotinoids to determine their relative risk to bumblebees at field-relevant levels (2.5 ppb). We find compound-specific effects at all levels (individual cells, bees and whole colonies in semi-field conditions). Imidacloprid and clothianidin display distinct, overlapping, abilities to stimulate Kenyon cells, indicating the potential to differentially influence bumblebee behavior. Bee immobility was induced only by imidacloprid, and an increased vulnerability to clothianidin toxicity only occurred following chronic exposure to clothianidin or thiamethoxam. At the whole colony level, only thiamethoxam altered the sex ratio (more males present) and only clothianidin increased queen production. Finally, both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused deficits in colony strength, while no detrimental effects of clothianidin were observed. Given these findings, neonicotinoid risk needs to be considered independently for each compound and target species.

  2. Biosynthetic Studies of the Male Marking Pheromone in Bumblebees by Using Labelled Fatty Acids and Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography with Mass Detection

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žáček, Petr; Kindl, Jiří; Frišonsová, K.; Průchová, Markéta; Votavová, A.; Hovorka, Oldřich; Kovalczuk, T.; Valterová, Irena

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 80, č. 5 (2015), s. 839-850 ISSN 2192-6506 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : biosynthesis * bumblebees * fatty acids * gas chromatography * pheromones Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.836, year: 2015

  3. Quantifying exposure of wild bumblebees to mixtures of agrochemicals in agricultural and urban landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botías, Cristina; David, Arthur; Hill, Elizabeth M; Goulson, Dave

    2017-03-01

    The increased use of pesticides has caused concern over the possible direct association of exposure to combinations of these compounds with bee health problems. There is growing proof that bees are regularly exposed to mixtures of agrochemicals, but most research has been focused on managed bees living in farmland, whereas little is known about exposure of wild bees, both in farmland and urban habitats. To determine exposure of wild bumblebees to pesticides in agricultural and urban environments through the season, specimens of five different species were collected from farms and ornamental urban gardens in three sampling periods. Five neonicotinoid insecticides, thirteen fungicides and a pesticide synergist were analysed in each of the specimens collected. In total, 61% of the 150 individuals tested had detectable levels of at least one of the compounds, with boscalid being the most frequently detected (35%), followed by tebuconazole (27%), spiroxamine (19%), carbendazim (11%), epoxiconazole (8%), imidacloprid (7%), metconazole (7%) and thiamethoxam (6%). Quantifiable concentrations ranged from 0.17 to 54.4 ng/g (bee body weight) for individual pesticides. From all the bees where pesticides were detected, the majority (71%) had more than one compound, with a maximum of seven pesticides detected in one specimen. Concentrations and detection frequencies were higher in bees collected from farmland compared to urban sites, and pesticide concentrations decreased through the season. Overall, our results show that wild bumblebees are exposed to multiple pesticides when foraging in agricultural and urban landscapes. Such mixtures are detected in bee tissues not just during the crop flowering period, but also later in the season. Therefore, contact with these combinations of active compounds might be more prolonged in time and widespread in the environment than previously assumed. These findings may help to direct future research and pesticide regulation strategies to

  4. Assessment of the foraging and nesting conditions for solitary bees and bumblebees, and their distribution in a Danish agricultural landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Calabuig, Isabel

    2000-01-01

    In a survey April through November 1997, a total of 72 solitary bee species and 19 bumblebee species were recorded in the semi-natural habitats of a Danish conventional agricultural landscape. The majority of the solitary non-inquiline bee species (59) were polylectic, but four oligoleges of Salix...... all ones that may sustain a species rich but polylecticly dominated bee fauna. Abundance of solitary bees and bumblebees were correlated with mellitophilous plant coverage in south-facing areas, whereas no correlation was found for honeybees. Furthermore, abundance of honeybees was not correlated...... with abundance of other bees. Bee species richness could not be explained by plant species richness or coverage in a multiple regression. Habitat parameters in a generalised linear model were able to predict abundance of males and inquilines, a measure of nest abundances in the habitats....

  5. Lateralization in the invertebrate brain: left-right asymmetry of olfaction in bumble bee, Bombus terrestris.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianfranco Anfora

    Full Text Available Brain and behavioural lateralization at the population level has been recently hypothesized to have evolved under social selective pressures as a strategy to optimize coordination among asymmetrical individuals. Evidence for this hypothesis have been collected in Hymenoptera: eusocial honey bees showed olfactory lateralization at the population level, whereas solitary mason bees only showed individual-level olfactory lateralization. Here we investigated lateralization of odour detection and learning in the bumble bee, Bombus terrestris L., an annual eusocial species of Hymenoptera. By training bumble bees on the proboscis extension reflex paradigm with only one antenna in use, we provided the very first evidence of asymmetrical performance favouring the right antenna in responding to learned odours in this species. Electroantennographic responses did not reveal significant antennal asymmetries in odour detection, whereas morphological counting of olfactory sensilla showed a predominance in the number of olfactory sensilla trichodea type A in the right antenna. The occurrence of a population level asymmetry in olfactory learning of bumble bee provides new information on the relationship between social behaviour and the evolution of population-level asymmetries in animals.

  6. Tubulinosema pampeana sp. n. (Microsporidia, Tubulinosematidae), a pathogen of the South American bumble bee Bombus atratus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plischuk, Santiago; Sanscrainte, Neil D; Becnel, James J; Estep, Alden S; Lange, Carlos E

    2015-03-01

    An undescribed microsporidium was detected and isolated from the South American bumble bee Bombus atratus collected in the Pampas region of Argentina. Infection intensity in workers averaged 8.2 × 10(7)spores/bee. The main site of infection was adipose tissue where hypertrophy of adipocytes resulted in cyst-like body formation. Mature spores were ovoid and monomorphic. They measured 4.00 μm × 2.37 μm (fresh) or 3.98 μm × 1.88 μm (fixed). All stages were diplokariotic and developed in direct contact with host cytoplasm. Isofilar polar filament was arranged in 16 coils in one or, posteriorly, two layers. Coiling angle was variable, between perpendicular and almost parallel to major spore axis. Late meronts and sporogonial stages were surrounded by vesicles of approximately 60 nm in diameter. Based on both new and already designed primers, a 1827 bp (SSUrRNA, ITS, LSUrRNA) sequence was obtained. Data analyses suggest that this microsporidium is a new species of the genus Tubulinosema. The name Tubulinosema pampeana sp. n. is proposed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa J Evans

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

  8. Survey of bumble bee (Bombus) pathogens and parasites in Illinois and selected areas of northern California and southern Oregon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kissinger, Christina N; Cameron, Sydney A; Thorp, Robbin W; White, Brendan; Solter, Leellen F

    2011-07-01

    Pathogens have been implicated as potential factors in the recent decline of some North American bumble bee (Bombus) species, but little information has been reported about the natural enemy complex of bumble bees in the United States. We targeted bumble bee populations in a state-wide survey in Illinois and several sites in California and Oregon where declines have been reported to determine presence and prevalence of natural enemies. Based on our observations, most parasites and pathogens appear to be widespread generalists among bumble bee species, but susceptibility to some natural enemies appeared to vary. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Detoxification and stress response genes expressed in a western North American bumble bee, Bombus huntii (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Junhuan; Strange, James P; Welker, Dennis L; James, Rosalind R

    2013-12-12

    The Hunt bumble bee (Bombus huntii Greene, Hymenoptera: Apidae) is a holometabolous, social insect important as a pollinator in natural and agricultural ecosystems in western North America. Bumble bees spend a significant amount of time foraging on a wide variety of flowering plants, and this activity exposes them to both plant toxins and pesticides, posing a threat to individual and colony survival. Little is known about what detoxification pathways are active in bumble bees, how the expression of detoxification genes changes across life stages, or how the number of detoxification genes expressed in B. huntii compares to other insects. We found B. huntii expressed at least 584 genes associated with detoxification and stress responses. The expression levels of some of these genes, such as those encoding the cytochrome P450s, glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) and glycosidases, vary among different life stages to a greater extent than do other genes. We also found that the number of P450s, GSTs and esterase genes expressed by B. huntii is similar to the number of these genes found in the genomes of other bees, namely Bombus terrestris, Bombus impatiens, Apis mellifera and Megachile rotundata, but many fewer than are found in the fly Drosophila melanogaster. Bombus huntii has transcripts for a large number of detoxification and stress related proteins, including oxidation and reduction enzymes, conjugation enzymes, hydrolytic enzymes, ABC transporters, cadherins, and heat shock proteins. The diversity of genes expressed within some detoxification pathways varies among the life stages and castes, and we typically identified more genes in the adult females than in larvae, pupae, or adult males, for most pathways. Meanwhile, we found the numbers of detoxification and stress genes expressed by B. huntii to be more similar to other bees than to the fruit fly. The low number of detoxification genes, first noted in the honey bee, appears to be a common phenomenon among bees

  10. Larval development of Physocephala (Diptera, Conopidae in the bumble bee Bombus morio (Hymenoptera, Apidae

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    Fábio C Abdalla

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Larval development of Physocephala (Diptera, Conopidae in the bumble bee Bombus morio (Hymenoptera, Apidae. In the summer of 2012, a high incidence of conopid larvae was observed in a sample of female B. morio collected in remaining fragments of semidecidual forest and Cerrado, in the municipality of Sorocaba, state of São Paulo, Brazil. The larval development of conopid flies was studied, beginning at the larval instars (LO to L3 and PUP, until the emergence of the imago under laboratory conditions and inside the host. At the first instar, or LO, the microtype larvae measured less than 1 mm in length. During the transition from L1 to L3, the larvae grew in length. At L3, the larvae doubled their length (4 mm and then started to develop both in length and width, reaching the PUP stage with 10 mm in length and 7 mm in width. The main characteristic that differentiates L3 from the early instars is the larger body size and the beginning of posterior spiracle development. The development from PUP to puparium took less than 24h. The bees died ten days after the fly oviposition, or just before full PUP development. The early development stages (egg-LO to L1 were critical for larva survival. The pupa was visible between the intersegmental sternites and, 32 days after pupation, a female imago of Physocephala sp. emerged from one bee. The puparium and the fly measured approximately 10 mm in length. In a single day of collection, up to 45% of the bumble bees collected were parasitized by conopid flies.

  11. Novel multiplex PCR reveals multiple trypanosomatid species infecting North American bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripodi, Amber D; Szalanski, Allen L; Strange, James P

    2018-03-01

    Crithidia bombi and Crithidia expoeki (Trypanosomatidae) are common parasites of bumble bees (Bombus spp.). Crithidia bombi was described in the 1980s, and C. expoeki was recently discovered using molecular tools. Both species have cosmopolitan distributions among their bumble bee hosts, but there have been few bumble bee studies that have identified infections to species since the original description of C. expoeki in 2010. Morphological identification of species is difficult due to variability within each stage of their complex lifecycles, although they can be easily differentiated through DNA sequencing. However, DNA sequencing can be expensive, particularly with many samples to diagnose. In order to reliably and inexpensively distinguish Crithidia species for a large-scale survey, we developed a multiplex PCR protocol using species-specific primers with a universal trypanosomatid primer set to detect unexpected relatives. We applied this method to 356 trypanosomatid-positive bumble bees from North America as a first-look at the distribution and host range of each parasite in the region. Crithidia bombi was more common (90.2%) than C. expoeki (21.3%), with most C. expoeki-positive samples existing as co-infections with C. bombi (13.8%). This two-step detection method also revealed that 2.2% samples were positive for trypanosmatids that were neither C. bombi nor C. expoeki. Sequencing revealed that two individuals were positive for C. mellificae, one for Lotmaria passim, and three for two unclassified trypanosomatids. This two-step method is effective in diagnosing known bumble bee infecting Crithidia species, and allowing for the discovery of unknown potential symbionts. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  14. High Elevation Refugia for Bombus terricola (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Conservation and Wild Bees of the White Mountain National Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Erika M; Rehan, Sandra M

    2017-01-01

    Many wild bee species are in global decline, yet much is still unknown about their diversity and contemporary distributions. National parks and forests offer unique areas of refuge important for the conservation of rare and declining species populations. Here we present the results of the first biodiversity survey of the bee fauna in the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF). More than a thousand specimens were collected from pan and sweep samples representing 137 species. Three species were recorded for the first time in New England and an additional seven species were documented for the first time in the state of New Hampshire. Four introduced species were also observed in the specimens collected. A checklist of the species found in the WMNF, as well as those found previously in Strafford County, NH, is included with new state records and introduced species noted as well as a map of collecting locations. Of particular interest was the relatively high abundance of Bombus terricola Kirby 1837 found in many of the higher elevation collection sites and the single specimen documented of Bombus fervidus (Fabricius 1798). Both of these bumble bee species are known to have declining populations in the northeast and are categorized as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  15. Colony Development and Reproductive Success of Bumblebees in an Urban Gradient

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    Chatura Vaidya

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Approximately 35% of all crop production is dependent on animal-mediated pollination. Many wild bee species are declining rapidly across North America and Europe, a potential consequence of land-use change driven by agricultural intensification and urbanization. In this study we assessed the impact of urbanization on the reproductive success and population growth rate of bumblebees in an urbanization gradient. We placed experimental nests in ten sites; all except one were community gardens, ranging from a 0–99% degree of urbanization. Reproductive success and colony size were positively correlated with cumulative weight gain of the nests (p < 0.05. We did not find an effect of urbanization on the population growth rate of the nests or on forager activity (p > 0.05. Growth rate was strongly negatively affected by the abundance of wax moth larvae (p < 0.05 and positively correlated with parasite diversity (p < 0.05 and the number of foragers entering the nest (p < 0.01. With this study we show that not only bottom-up but also top-down effects are equally important for pollinator population dynamics.

  16. Managed bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) caged with blueberry bushes at high density did not increase fruit set or fruit weight compared to open pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. W. Campbell; J. O' Brien; J. H. Irvin; C. B. Kimmel; J. C. Daniels; J. D. Ellis

    2017-01-01

    Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) is an important crop grown throughout Florida. Currently, most blueberry growers use honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to provide pollination services for highbush blueberries even though bumble bees (Bombus spp.) have been shown to be more efficient at pollinating blueberries on a per bee basis. In general, contribution of...

  17. Characterisation of Acetyl-CoA Thiolase: The First Enzyme in the Biosynthesis of Terpenic Sex Pheromone Components in the Labial Gland of Bombus terrestris

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brabcová, Jana; Demianová, Z.; Kindl, Jiří; Pichová, Iva; Valterová, Irena; Zarevúcka, Marie

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 7 (2015), s. 1047-1051 ISSN 1439-4227 R&D Projects: GA TA ČR TA01020969 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : acetyl-CoA thiolase * biosynthesis * Bombus terrestris * labial gland * pheromones * terpenoids Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 2.850, year: 2015

  18. Changes in the morphology and ultrastructure in the Dufour's gland during the life cycle of the Bumble bee queen, Bombus terrestris L.(Hymenoptera: Bombini)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abdalla, Fábio Camargo; Velthuis, Hayo; Cruz-Landim, Carminda da; Duchateau, Marie José

    1999-01-01

    The Dufour's gland is found closely associated with the sting apparatus of all female hymenopterans, playing multiple roles among bees. In some species of Bombus the gland may be involved in production of nestmate recognition pheromones, but in B. terrestris its function is not certain yet. The

  19. Scientific Opinion on the science behind the development of a risk assessment of Plant Protection Products on bees (Apis mellifera, Bombus spp. and solitary bees)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Luttik, R.; Arnold, G.; Boesten, J.J.T.I.; Cresswell, J.; Hart, A.; Pistorius, J.; Sgolastra, F.; Delso, N.S.; Steurbaut, W.; Thompson, H.

    2012-01-01

    The PPR Panel was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the science behind the development of a risk assessment of plant protection products on bees (Apis mellifera, Bombus spp. and solitary bees). Specific protection goals options were suggested based on the ecosystem services approach. The

  20. Long term effects of aversive reinforcement on colour discrimination learning in free-flying bumblebees.

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    Miguel A Rodríguez-Gironés

    Full Text Available The results of behavioural experiments provide important information about the structure and information-processing abilities of the visual system. Nevertheless, if we want to infer from behavioural data how the visual system operates, it is important to know how different learning protocols affect performance and to devise protocols that minimise noise in the response of experimental subjects. The purpose of this work was to investigate how reinforcement schedule and individual variability affect the learning process in a colour discrimination task. Free-flying bumblebees were trained to discriminate between two perceptually similar colours. The target colour was associated with sucrose solution, and the distractor could be associated with water or quinine solution throughout the experiment, or with one substance during the first half of the experiment and the other during the second half. Both acquisition and final performance of the discrimination task (measured as proportion of correct choices were determined by the choice of reinforcer during the first half of the experiment: regardless of whether bees were trained with water or quinine during the second half of the experiment, bees trained with quinine during the first half learned the task faster and performed better during the whole experiment. Our results confirm that the choice of stimuli used during training affects the rate at which colour discrimination tasks are acquired and show that early contact with a strongly aversive stimulus can be sufficient to maintain high levels of attention during several hours. On the other hand, bees which took more time to decide on which flower to alight were more likely to make correct choices than bees which made fast decisions. This result supports the existence of a trade-off between foraging speed and accuracy, and highlights the importance of measuring choice latencies during behavioural experiments focusing on cognitive abilities.

  1. USBombus, a database of contemporary survey data for North American Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) distributed in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Jonathan B; Lozier, Jeffrey; Strange, James P; Ikerd, Harold; Griswold, Terry; Cordes, Nils; Solter, Leellen; Stewart, Isaac; Cameron, Sydney A

    2015-01-01

    Bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombus) are pollinators of wild and economically important flowering plants. However, at least four bumble bee species have declined significantly in population abundance and geographic range relative to historic estimates, and one species is possibly extinct. While a wealth of historic data is now available for many of the North American species found to be in decline in online databases, systematic survey data of stable species is still not publically available. The availability of contemporary survey data is critically important for the future monitoring of wild bumble bee populations. Without such data, the ability to ascertain the conservation status of bumble bees in the United States will remain challenging. This paper describes USBombus, a large database that represents the outcomes of one of the largest standardized surveys of bumble bee pollinators (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) globally. The motivation to collect live bumble bees across the United States was to examine the decline and conservation status of Bombus affinis, B. occidentalis, B. pensylvanicus, and B. terricola. Prior to our national survey of bumble bees in the United States from 2007 to 2010, there have only been regional accounts of bumble bee abundance and richness. In addition to surveying declining bumble bees, we also collected and documented a diversity of co-occuring bumble bees. However we have not yet completely reported their distribution and diversity onto a public online platform. Now, for the first time, we report the geographic distribution of bumble bees reported to be in decline (Cameron et al. 2011), as well as bumble bees that appeared to be stable on a large geographic scale in the United States (not in decline). In this database we report a total of 17,930 adult occurrence records across 397 locations and 39 species of Bombus detected in our national survey. We summarize their abundance and distribution across the United States and

  2. Extracting the Behaviorally Relevant Stimulus: Unique Neural Representation of Farnesol, a Component of the Recruitment Pheromone of Bombus terrestris.

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    Martin F Strube-Bloss

    Full Text Available To trigger innate behavior, sensory neural networks are pre-tuned to extract biologically relevant stimuli. Many male-female or insect-plant interactions depend on this phenomenon. Especially communication among individuals within social groups depends on innate behaviors. One example is the efficient recruitment of nest mates by successful bumblebee foragers. Returning foragers release a recruitment pheromone in the nest while they perform a 'dance' behavior to activate unemployed nest mates. A major component of this pheromone is the sesquiterpenoid farnesol. How farnesol is processed and perceived by the olfactory system, has not yet been identified. It is much likely that processing farnesol involves an innate mechanism for the extraction of relevant information to trigger a fast and reliable behavioral response. To test this hypothesis, we used population response analyses of 100 antennal lobe (AL neurons recorded in alive bumblebee workers under repeated stimulation with four behaviorally different, but chemically related odorants (geraniol, citronellol, citronellal and farnesol. The analysis identified a unique neural representation of the recruitment pheromone component compared to the other odorants that are predominantly emitted by flowers. The farnesol induced population activity in the AL allowed a reliable separation of farnesol from all other chemically related odor stimuli we tested. We conclude that the farnesol induced population activity may reflect a predetermined representation within the AL-neural network allowing efficient and fast extraction of a behaviorally relevant stimulus. Furthermore, the results show that population response analyses of multiple single AL-units may provide a powerful tool to identify distinct representations of behaviorally relevant odors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, James P

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Anti-Diabetic Effects of Dung Beetle Glycosaminoglycan on db Mice and Gene Expression Profiling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Mi Young; Kim, Ban Ji; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Hwang, Jae Sam; Park, Kun-Koo

    2018-04-01

    Anti-diabetes activity of Catharsius molossus (Ca, a type of dung beetle) glycosaminoglycan (G) was evaluated to reduce glucose, creatinine kinase, triglyceride and free fatty acid levels in db mice. Diabetic mice in six groups were administrated intraperitoneally: Db heterozygous (Normal), Db homozygous (CON), Heuchys sanguinea glycosaminoglycan (HEG, 5 mg/kg), dung beetle glycosaminoglycan (CaG, 5 mg/kg), bumblebee ( Bombus ignitus ) queen glycosaminoglycan (IQG, 5 mg/kg) and metformin (10 mg/kg), for 1 month. Biochemical analyses in the serum were evaluated to determine their anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory actions in db mice after 1 month treatment with HEG, CaG or IQG treatments. Blood glucose level was decreased by treatment with CaG. CaG produced significant anti-diabetic actions by inhiting creatinine kinase and alkaline phosphatase levels. As diabetic parameters, serum glucose level, total cholesterol and triglyceride were significantly decreased in CaG5-treated group compared to the controls. Dung beetle glycosaminoglycan, compared to the control, could be a potential therapeutic agent with anti-diabetic activity in diabetic mice. CaG5-treated group, compared to the control, showed the up-regulation of 48 genes including mitochondrial yen coded tRNA lysine (mt-TK), cytochrome P450, family 8/2, subfamily b, polypeptide 1 (Cyp8b1), and down-regulation of 79 genes including S100 calcium binding protein A9 (S100a9) and immunoglobulin kappa chain complex (Igk), and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoenzymeAsynthase1 (Hmgcs1). Moreover, mitochondrial thymidine kinase (mt-TK), was up-regulated, and calgranulin A (S100a9) were down-regulated by CaG5 treatment, indicating a potential therapeutic use for anti-diabetic agent.

  5. Comparison of HPLC/MS and MALDI-MS for characterizing triacylglycerols in insects: Specie-specific composition of lipids in fat bodies of bumblebee males

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kofroňová, Edita; Cvačka, Josef; Vrkoslav, Vladimír; Hanus, Robert; Jiroš, Pavel; Kindl, Jiří; Hovorka, Oldřich; Valterová, Irena

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 877, č. 30 (2009), s. 3878-3884 ISSN 1570-0232 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/09/0139; GA ČR GA203/09/1446; GA MŠk 2B06007 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : Bumblebee * fat body * triacylglycerols * HPLC/APCI-MS * MALDI-MS Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.777, year: 2009

  6. Analysis of pollen and nectar of Arbutus unedo as a food source for Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmont, Pierre; Regali, Ariane; Ings, Thomas C; Lognay, Georges; Baudart, Evelyne; Marlier, Michel; Delcarte, Emile; Viville, Pascal; Marot, Cécile; Falmagne, Pol; Verhaeghe, Jean-Claude; Chittka, Lars

    2005-06-01

    The mineral, total amino acid, and sterol compositions of pollen collected by Apis mellifera L. were compared with the pollen of a plant consumed by Bombus terrestris (L.): Arbutus unedo L. This plant provides the predominant food resource for the main autumn generation of B. terrestris in southern France. Honey bees also forage on this plant, although only for nectar. The mineral composition of 30 pollen samples collected by honey bees is close to the presently known requirements of A. mellifera, except for Cu and Mn, which are substantially lower. The total amino acid mean composition of a set of 54 pollen samples fits the basic requirements of honey bees except for valine, isoleucine, and methionine, which are present in lower concentrations in all the samples. For pollen of A. unedo, the amino acid balance is not very different from that of the survey. The main sterolic component in pollen of A. unedo, beta-sitosterol, is known to have antifeedant effects on A. mellifera. Honey bees cannot dealkylate C29 sterols like beta-sitosterol or delta5-avenasterol to obtain C27 cholesterol and ecdysteroids. Because these phytosterols as well as cholesterol are nearly absent from pollen of A. unedo, the metabolic capabilities of Apis seem unadapted to this plant. On the contrary, pollen of A. unedo is freely consumed by B. terrestris, which develops huge autumn populations solely on this food. These data indicate that the sterolic metabolisms of B. terrestris and A. mellifera differ, allowing separation in foraging activity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian Laycock

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

  8. Bee Community of Commercial Potato Fields in Michigan and Bombus impatiens Visitation to Neonicotinoid-Treated Potato Plants

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    Amanda L. Buchanan

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a bee survey in neonicotinoid-treated commercial potato fields using bowl and vane traps in the 2016 growing season. Traps were placed outside the fields, at the field edges, and 10 and 30 m into the fields. We collected 756 bees representing 58 species, with Lasioglossum spp. comprising 73% of all captured bees. We found seven Bombus spp., of which B. impatiens was the only known visitor of potato flowers in our region. The majority of the bees (68% were collected at the field edges and in the field margins. Blue vane traps caught almost four-times as many bees and collected 30% more species compared to bowl traps. Bee communities did not differ across trap locations but they were different among trap types. We tested B. impatiens visitation to neonicotinoid treated and untreated potato flowers in field enclosures. The amount of time bees spent at flowers and the duration of visits were not significantly different between the two treatments. Our results demonstrate that a diverse assemblage of bees is associated with an agroecosystem dominated by potatoes despite the apparent lack of pollinator resources provided by the crop. We found no difference in B. impatiens foraging behavior on neonicotinoid-treated compared to untreated plants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laycock, Ian; Cresswell, James E.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia M. Bernauer

    2015-06-01

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

  11. A new threat to bees? Entomopathogenic nematodes used in biological pest control cause rapid mortality in Bombus terrestris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandrea Dutka

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available There is currently a great deal of concern about population declines in pollinating insects. Many potential threats have been identified which may adversely affect the behaviour and health of both honey bees and bumble bees: these include pesticide exposure, and parasites and pathogens. Whether biological pest control agents adversely affect bees has been much less well studied: it is generally assumed that biological agents are safer for wildlife than chemical pesticides. The aim of this study was to test whether entomopathogenic nematodes sold as biological pest control products could potentially have adverse effects on the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. One product was a broad spectrum pest control agent containing both Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp., the other product was specifically for weevil control and contained only Steinernema kraussei. Both nematode products caused ≥80% mortality within the 96 h test period when bees were exposed to soil containing entomopathogenic nematodes at the recommended field concentration of 50 nematodes per cm2 soil. Of particular concern is the fact that nematodes from the broad spectrum product could proliferate in the carcasses of dead bees, and therefore potentially infect a whole bee colony or spread to the wider environment.

  12. Following the cold: geographical differentiation between interglacial refugia and speciation in the arcto-alpine species complex Bombus monticola (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Martinet, B.; Lecocq, T.; Brasero, N.; Biella, Paolo; Urbanová, Klára; Valterová, Irena; Cornalba, M.; Gjershaugh, J. O.; Michez, D.; Rasmont, P.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 43, č. 1 (2018), s. 200-217 ISSN 0307-6970 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GP14-10035P Grant - others:GA JU(CZ) 152/2016/P Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:61388963 Keywords : Bombus monticola * geographical differentiation * Hymenoptera Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation (UOCHB-X) OBOR OECD: Ecology; Analytical chemistry (UOCHB-X) Impact factor: 4.474, year: 2016 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/syen.12268/full

  13. Pollination services provided by bees in pumpkin fields supplemented with either Apis mellifera or Bombus impatiens or not supplemented.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Jessica D; Reiners, Stephen; Nault, Brian A

    2013-01-01

    Pollinators provide an important service in many crops. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are used to supplement pollination services provided by wild bees with the assumption that they will enhance pollination, fruit set and crop yield beyond the levels provided by the wild bees. Recent declines in managed honey bee populations have stimulated interest in finding alternative managed pollinators to service crops. In the eastern U.S., managed hives of the native common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) may be an excellent choice. To examine this issue, a comprehensive 2-yr study was conducted to compare fruit yield and bee visits to flowers in pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) fields that were either supplemented with A. mellifera hives, B. impatiens hives or were not supplemented. We compared pumpkin yield, A. mellifera flower visitation frequency and B. impatiens flower visitation frequency between treatments. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with either A. mellifera or B. impatiens hives did not increase their visitation to pumpkin flowers or fruit yield compared with those that were not supplemented. Next, the relationship between frequency of pumpkin flower visitation by the most prominent bee species (Peponapis pruinosa (Say), B. impatiens and A. mellifera) and fruit yield was determined across all pumpkin fields sampled. Fruit yield increased as the frequency of flower visits by A. mellifera and B. impatiens increased in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These results suggest that supplementation with managed bees may not improve pumpkin production and that A. mellifera and B. impatiens are important pollinators of pumpkin in our system.

  14. Pollination services provided by bees in pumpkin fields supplemented with either Apis mellifera or Bombus impatiens or not supplemented.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica D Petersen

    Full Text Available Pollinators provide an important service in many crops. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera L. are used to supplement pollination services provided by wild bees with the assumption that they will enhance pollination, fruit set and crop yield beyond the levels provided by the wild bees. Recent declines in managed honey bee populations have stimulated interest in finding alternative managed pollinators to service crops. In the eastern U.S., managed hives of the native common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson may be an excellent choice. To examine this issue, a comprehensive 2-yr study was conducted to compare fruit yield and bee visits to flowers in pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L. fields that were either supplemented with A. mellifera hives, B. impatiens hives or were not supplemented. We compared pumpkin yield, A. mellifera flower visitation frequency and B. impatiens flower visitation frequency between treatments. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with either A. mellifera or B. impatiens hives did not increase their visitation to pumpkin flowers or fruit yield compared with those that were not supplemented. Next, the relationship between frequency of pumpkin flower visitation by the most prominent bee species (Peponapis pruinosa (Say, B. impatiens and A. mellifera and fruit yield was determined across all pumpkin fields sampled. Fruit yield increased as the frequency of flower visits by A. mellifera and B. impatiens increased in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These results suggest that supplementation with managed bees may not improve pumpkin production and that A. mellifera and B. impatiens are important pollinators of pumpkin in our system.

  15. The behaviour of Bombus impatiens (Apidae, Bombini on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill., Solanaceae flowers: pollination and reward perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Kevan

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The foraging behaviour of pollinators can influence their efficiency in pollinating certain plant species. Improving our understanding of this behaviour can contribute to an improvement of management techniques to avoid pollination deficits. We investigated the relationship between the number of visits of bumble bees (Bombus impatiensto tomato flowers (Lycopersicon esculentum and two variables related to the quality of the resulting fruits (weight, number of seeds, as well as the relationship between foragers’ thoracic weights, physical characteristics of thoracic vibrations (main frequency, velocity amplitude, amount of pollen removed from flowers, and the quality-related variables. In addition, we studied the capability of foragers to assess the availability of pollen in flowers. Tomato weight and seed number did not increase with the number of bee visits, neither were they correlated with the foragers’ thorax weight. Thorax weight also did not correlate with the amount of pollen removed from the flowers nor with the physical characteristics of vibration. Vibration characteristics did not change in response to the amount of pollen available on tomato flowers. Instead, foragers adjusted the time spent visiting the flowers, spending fewer time on flowers from which some pollen had already been removed on previous visits. The quantity and the production-related variables of tomatoes are not dependent on the number of bee visits (usually one visit suffices for full pollination; bigger foragers are not more efficient in pollinating tomato flowers than smaller ones; and B. impatiens foragers are capable of evaluating the amount of pollen on a flower while foraging and during pollination.

  16. Dynamics of immune system gene expression upon bacterial challenge and wounding in a social insect (Bombus terrestris.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvio Erler

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The innate immune system which helps individuals to combat pathogens comprises a set of genes representing four immune system pathways (Toll, Imd, JNK and JAK/STAT. There is a lack of immune genes in social insects (e.g. honeybees when compared to Diptera. Potentially, this might be compensated by an advanced system of social immunity (synergistic action of several individuals. The bumble bee, Bombus terrestris, is a primitively eusocial species with an annual life cycle and colonies headed by a single queen. We used this key pollinator to study the temporal dynamics of immune system gene expression in response to wounding and bacterial challenge.Antimicrobial peptides (AMP (abaecin, defensin 1, hymenoptaecin were strongly up-regulated by wounding and bacterial challenge, the latter showing a higher impact on the gene expression level. Sterile wounding down-regulated TEP A, an effector gene of the JAK/STAT pathway, and bacterial infection influenced genes of the Imd (relish and JNK pathway (basket. Relish was up-regulated within the first hour after bacterial challenge, but decreased strongly afterwards. AMP expression following wounding and bacterial challenge correlates with the expression pattern of relish whereas correlated expression with dorsal was absent. Although expression of AMPs was high, continuous bacterial growth was observed throughout the experiment.Here we demonstrate for the first time the temporal dynamics of immune system gene expression in a social insect. Wounding and bacterial challenge affected the innate immune system significantly. Induction of AMP expression due to wounding might comprise a pre-adaptation to accompanying bacterial infections. Compared with solitary species this social insect exhibits reduced immune system efficiency, as bacterial growth could not be inhibited. A negative feedback loop regulating the Imd-pathway is suggested. AMPs, the end product of the Imd-pathway, inhibited the up-regulation of the

  17. . ﻃﻨﺎن ﻧﺤﻞ ﺗﺴﻤﻢ؛ ؛ ﺗﻴﺒﻮﻓﻴﻨﻮزﻳﺪ ؛ دﻳﻔﻠﻮﺑﻨﺰﻳﻮن ؛ ﻧﻤﻮ اﻟ

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    TEBUFENOZIDE IN POLLINATING BUMBLEBEES BOMBUS. TERRESTRIS. Guy Smagghe1,2, Sofie Reynders1, Inge Maurissen1, Jana Boulet1, Xavier ..... effects of the microbial insecticide ... regulators on honey bees and non-apis bees ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-10

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

  19. Managed Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Caged With Blueberry Bushes at High Density Did Not Increase Fruit Set or Fruit Weight Compared to Open Pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, J W; O'Brien, J; Irvin, J H; Kimmel, C B; Daniels, J C; Ellis, J D

    2017-04-01

    Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) is an important crop grown throughout Florida. Currently, most blueberry growers use honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to provide pollination services for highbush blueberries even though bumble bees (Bombus spp.) have been shown to be more efficient at pollinating blueberries on a per bee basis. In general, contribution of bumble bees to the pollination of commercial highbush blueberries in Florida is unknown. Herein, we determined if managed bumble bees could contribute to highbush blueberry pollination. There were four treatments in this study: two treatments of caged commercial bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) colonies (low and high weight hives), a treatment excluding all pollinators, and a final treatment which allowed all pollinators (managed and wild pollinators) in the area have access to the plot. All treatments were located within a highbush blueberry field containing two cultivars of blooming plants, 'Emerald' and 'Millennia', with each cage containing 16 mature blueberry plants. We gathered data on fruit set, berry weight, and number of seeds produced per berry. When pollinators were excluded, fruit set was significantly lower in both cultivars (58%). Berry weight was not significantly different among the treatments, and the number of seeds per berry did not show a clear response. This study emphasizes the importance of bumble bees as an effective pollinator of blueberries and the potential beneficial implications of the addition of bumble bees in commercial blueberry greenhouses or high tunnels. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Rarely reported, widely distributed, and unexpectedly diverse: molecular characterization of mermithid nematodes (Nematoda: Mermithidae) infecting bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus) in the USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripodi, Amber D; Strange, James P

    2018-03-16

    Mermithid nematodes (Nematoda: Mermithida: Mermithidae) parasitize a wide range of both terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate hosts, yet are recorded in bumble bees (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus) only six times historically. Little is known about the specific identity of these parasites. In a single-season nationwide survey of internal parasites of 3646 bumble bees, we encountered six additional instances of mermithid parasitism in four bumble bee species and genetically characterized them using two regions of 18S to identify the specific host-parasite relationships. Three samples from the northeastern USA are morphologically and genetically identified as Mermis nigrescens, whereas three specimens collected from a single agricultural locality in the southeast USA fell into a clade with currently undescribed species. Nucleotide sequences of the V2-V6 region of 18S from the southeastern specimens were 2.6-3.0% divergent from one another, and 2.2-4.0% dissimilar to the nearest matches to available data. The dearth of available data prohibits positive identification of this parasite and its affinity for specific bumble bee hosts. By doubling the records of mermithid parasitism of bumble bee hosts and providing genetic data, this work will inform future investigations of this rare phenomenon.

  1. Synergistic interactions between a variety of insecticides and an ergosterol biosynthesis inhibitor fungicide in dietary exposures of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raimets, Risto; Karise, Reet; Mänd, Marika; Kaart, Tanel; Ponting, Sally; Song, Jimao; Cresswell, James E

    2018-03-01

    In recent years, concern has been raised over honey bee colony losses, and also among wild bees there is evidence for extinctions and range contractions in Europe and North America. Pesticides have been proposed as a potential cause of this decline. Bees are exposed simultaneously to a variety of agrochemicals, which may cause synergistically detrimental impacts, which are incompletely understood. We investigated the toxicity of the fungicide imazalil in mixture with four common insecticides: fipronil (phenylpyrazoid), cypermethrin (pyrethroid), thiamethoxam, and imidacloprid (neonicotinoids). Ergosterol biosynthesis inhibitor (EBI) fungicides like imazalil can inhibit P450 detoxification systems in insects and therefore fungicide - insecticide co-occurrence might produce synergistic toxicity in bees. We assessed the impact of dietary fungicide - insecticide mixtures on the mortality and feeding rates of laboratory bumble bees (Bombus terrestris L.). Regarding mortality, imazalil synergised the toxicity of fipronil, cypermethrin and thiamethoxam, but not imidacloprid. We found no synergistic effects on feeding rates. Our findings suggest that P450-based detoxification processes are differentially important in mitigating the toxicity of certain insecticides, even those of the same chemical class. Our evidence that cocktail effects can arise in bumble bees should extend concern about the potential impacts of agrochemical mixtures to include wild bee species in farmland. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  2. Comparison of buckwheat, red clover, and purple tansy as potential surrogate plants for use in semi-field pesticide risk assessments with Bombus impatiens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela E. Gradish

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background. Bumble bees (Bombus spp. are important wild and managed pollinators. There is increased interest in incorporating data on bumble bees into risk assessments for pesticides, but standardized methods for assessing hazards of pesticides in semi-field and field settings have not yet been established for bumble bees. During semi-field studies, colonies are caged with pesticide-treated flowering surrogate plants, which must be attractive to foragers to ensure colony exposure to the test compound, and must produce an ample nectar and pollen to sustain colonies during testing. However, it is not known which plant(s are suitable for use in semi-field studies with bumble bees. Materials and Methods. We compared B. impatiens foraging activity and colony development on small plots of flowering buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum, var. common, red clover (Trifolium pratense, and purple tansy (Phacelia tanacetifolia under semi-field conditions to assess their suitability as surrogate plants for pesticide risk assessment studies with bumble bees. We also compared the growth characteristics and input requirements of each plant type. Results. All three plant types generally established and grew well. Red clover and purple tansy experienced significant weed pressure and/or insect pest damage. In contrast, pest pressure was extremely low in buckwheat. Overall, B. impatiens foraging activity was significantly greater on buckwheat plots than red clover or purple tansy, but plant type had no effect on number of individuals produced per colony or colony weight. Discussion. Because of the consistently high foraging activity and successful colony development observed on buckwheat plots, combined with its favourable growth characteristics and low maintenance requirements, we recommend buckwheat as a surrogate plant for use in semi-field pesticide toxicity assessments with B. impatiens.

  3. Large-scale monitoring of effects of clothianidin-dressed OSR seeds on pollinating insects in Northern Germany: effects on large earth bumble bees (Bombus terrestris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterk, Guido; Peters, Britta; Gao, Zhenglei; Zumkier, Ulrich

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Elado ® -dressed winter oilseed rape (OSR, 10 g clothianidin & 2 g beta-cyfluthrin/kg seed) on the development, reproduction and behaviour of large earth bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) as part of a large-scale monitoring field study in Northern Germany, where OSR is usually cultivated at 25-33 % of the arable land. Both reference and test sites comprised 65 km 2 in which no other crops attractive to pollinating insects were present. Six study locations were selected per site and 10 bumble bee hives were placed at each location. At each site, three locations were directly adjacent to OSR fields and three locations were situated 400 m distant from the nearest OSR field. The development of colonies was monitored from the beginning of OSR flowering in April until June 2014. Pollen from returning foragers was analysed for its composition. An average of 44 % of OSR pollen was found in pollen loads of bumble bees indicating that OSR was a major resource for the colonies. At the end of OSR flowering, hives were transferred to a nature reserve until the end of the study. Colony development in terms of hive weight and the number of workers showed a typical course with no statistically significant differences between the sites. Reproductive output was comparatively high and not negatively affected by the exposure to treated OSR. In summary, Elado ® -dressed OSR did not cause any detrimental effects on the development or reproduction of bumble bee colonies.

  4. [Acute lethal effect of the commercial formulation of the insecticides Imidacloprid, Spinosad y Thiocyclam hidrogenoxalate in Bombus atratus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) workers].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riaño Jiménez, Diego; Cure, José Ricardo

    2016-12-01

    The effect of insecticides on bees has gained great attention, however, there are few studies that explore this issue on Neotropical bees. Bombus atratus is a neotropical species broadly distributed in Colombia and is considered an important pollinator of both Andean ecosystems and agroecosystems. However, as for many wild bees species, the effect of insecticides on B. atratus is unknow. In this study we determined the acute median lethal dose (LD50) of commercial formulations of insecticides Imidacloprid, Spinosad and Thiocyclam hydrogen oxalate, widely used in Colombia to control several pests of important crops. The LD50 was carried out by oral and contact routes, following and modifying the EPPO and OECD guidelines to perform LD50 on A. mellifera. We evaluated five doses for each route and insecticide, in a total of 25 medium-size workers for each dose by duplicate. Mortality was registered at 24, 48 and 72 hours after the experiment; and data were analyzed with the Probit regression model. For Imidacloprid, contacts and oral LD50 were 0.048 µg/bee and 0.010 µg/bee, respectively. For Thiocyclam hydrogen oxalate, topical and oral LD50 were 0.244 µg/bee and 0.056 µg/bee, respectively. For Spinosad, the oral LD50 corresponded to 0.28 µg/bee; it was not possible to establish the LD50 for the contact route. The Hazard Quotient (HQ) and Index of Relative Toxicity indicated that all three active ingredients are highly toxic. We discussed the risk of the insecticides use on B. atratus, considering their chemical nature.

  5. Effect of low oxygen partial pressure to the bumblebee respiration; Naruhanabachi ni okeru taikichu sanso bun'atsu henka no kokyu ni oyobosu eikyo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Komai, Y. [Japan Science and Technology Corp., Tokyo (Japan)

    1999-06-25

    Insects augment oxygen supply using convective transport during flight in two ways: with deforming tracheae by surrounding muscles movement (muscle pumping) and with contracting air sacs by exoskeleton movement (abdominal or thoracic pumping). However, because induced flow inside tracheae is difficult to measure, it is not known how the convective transport actually contributes. By comparison between direct measurement of oxygen partial pressure in a flight muscle based on electrochemical method and flight/ventilation activities in a bumblebee, Bumbus hypocrita hypocruta, a method was developed for estimating gas transport efficiency. Oxygen partial pressure, P{sub 02}, in the bee periodically fluctuated with discontinuous abdominal movement in normal air. While the P{sub 02} strongly varied among individuals in normal air, the P{sub 02} took a unique value in oxygen poor air ({<=}8%). By enhancing ventilation, the bee could respire in an oxygen poor atmosphere up to 2%. Furthermore, the bee could fly in an atmosphere of 6%, in which the P{sub 02} decreased to 0.7%. Estimated efficiency of the gas transport increases with atmospheric oxygen concentration decreases. (author)

  6. Tropilaelaps of bees - epizootiological picture with special emphasis on the first description of the parasite in bumblebees and bees in Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manić Marija

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees are the most significant pollinators of plants worlwide. Importance of plant pollination widely exceeds all other economic benefits of modern beekeeping such as production of honey, Royal jelly, propolis, beeswax, honeybee venom etc. The issues concerning bees diseases are of extreme importance in modern commercial beekeeping. That especially regards to the fact that the number of disease agents in bees has considerably increased in recent decades. Using international transport, export or import of bees and their products, the possibility of entering various agents (parasites, bacterias, viruses and fungi into bee colonies. In recent years one of the biggest problems in beekeeping in Asia has become tropilaelaps - ectoparasitic bee disease caused by mites of the genus Tropilaelaps. But because of prevalent interest in parasites Varroa destructor and Acarapis woodi, the threat of mites from Tropileaps family has not been familiar for a long period of time. Today, Tropilaelaps is on the list of diseases endangering the whole world, made by OIE. There is a real risk of its spreading, mostly through trade, that is import of bees, swarms, queen bees, bee products and equipment. In the Republic of Serbia, this disease was described for the first time in April-May 1981 in bumblebees and bees in which a mass infestation with until then unknown parasites was detected. By additional analysis there was found out that the parasite in question was from Laelapidae (Mesostigmata family, Tropilaelaps.

  7. The study of preference of flower-visiting bumblebees in Changbai Mountain Region%长白山地区熊蜂的访花偏爱性研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    任炳忠; 尚利娜; 陈新; 韩叶; 徐燕

    2012-01-01

    对长白山地区7种熊蜂访问的主要蜜源植物的花形、花色、花味及花粉的形态结构进行了研究,总结出了熊蜂偏爱访问的蜜源植物的花部特征.结果表明:熊蜂偏爱访问具有圆锥花序、总状花序和聚伞花序的花,对于单生花,通常花形较大;访问的花冠类型以辐射对称和两侧对称为主;花多具有蜜腺,分泌花蜜;色泽艳丽,常为黄色或蓝紫色;花粉粒较大,形状多为长球形,具三孔沟,表面具网状纹饰;花的气味成分主要为酸类和酯类化合物,其中含有较高浓度的羟基丙酮、乙酸、甲酸、苯酚和9,12-十八碳二烯酸乙酯.%This paper studied the flower shape,color,scent and pollen morphology of main nectar plants visited by seven bumblebees in Changbai Mountain Region, and drew the conclusion of the floral characteristics preferred by bumblebees. Bumblebees preference for a visit of flowers with panicles, raceme and cyme,and for a single flower,usually with a larger flower-shaped;corolla types are mainly radial symmetry and bilateral symmetry; mostly with nectary to secret nectar; colorful, and often yellow or blue purple; pollen large, mostly prolate shape, with three colporates, reticulate surface; flower scent was mainly acids and esters, which contained a higher concentration of l-hydroxy-2-propanone,acetic acid, formic acid, phenol and 9 ,12-octadecadienoic acid, ethyl ester. This study will provide the basic material for bumblebee pollination and the application of new agents to lure pollinating insects.

  8. Efecto de Bombus atratus (Hymenoptera: Apidae sobre la productividad de tomate (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. bajo invernadero en la Sabana de Bogotá, Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cure José Ricardo

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available

    En varios países se utilizan con éxito especies de abejorros del género Bombus para la polinización de tomate, reportándose incrementos de productividad hasta del 40%. En la Sabana de Bogotá existen varias especies nativas del género, por lo que se planteó examinar su potencial, desde el punto de vista de su cría en cautiverio y de su utilización como polinizadores de tomate y otras solanáceas. En este trabajo se evaluó el potencial de la especie nativa Bombus atratus como polinizador de tomate, mediante la introducción al cultivo de colonias criadas en cautiverio. Se comparó la autopolinización espontánea de la planta, frente a la obtenida con ayuda de las obreras de B. atratus. Los frutos visitados por ellas presentaron incrementos significativos para las variables ‘peso fresco del fruto’ (40,9%, ‘número de semillas’ (103,3%, ‘diámetro ecuatorial’ (14,3% y ‘proporción de lóculos bien desarrollados’ (42,2%. La relativa facilidad para la cría de esta especie en cautiverio, y el potencial demostrado en el aumento de productividad del tomate bajo invernadero, muestran la necesidad de profundizar en estos estudios en Colombia.

  9. Eficiencia de polinización de colonias huérfanas del abejorro nativo Bombus atratus (Hymenoptera: Apidae en dos cultivares de fresa (Fragaria x ananassa sembrados bajo cubierta en la sabana de Bogotá

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alberto Poveda Coronel

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available En Colombia la fresa se ha convertido en un cultivo de interés económico debido a la creciente demanda en el mercado extranjero en la última década. La mayoría de plantaciones son a campo abierto y no usan esquemas de polinización para mejorar la calidad de producción. La polinización con abejorros mejora la calidad de los frutos, aunque estos se producen mediante polinización espontánea. La especie nativa Bombus atratus ha sido reconocida como un polinizador eficiente de cultivos hortofrutícolas colombianos bajo invernadero. El presente estudio evaluó la eficiencia de polinización de dos colonias huérfanas en la calidad de los frutos de las variedades camino real y ventana sembrados bajo invernadero en Cajicá-Colombia. Se embolsaron los botones para obtener los frutos producidos espontáneamente y ser comparados con los frutos provenientes de la visita de obreras de B. atratus. Se encontró que la visita de las obreras mejoró la calidad de los frutos en las variables, calibre (35 % y 31 %, longitud (28 % y 19 %, peso fresco (103 % y 90 %, peso seco (126 % y 145 % y número de semillas (55 % y 81 % para las variedades Camino Real y Ventana respectivamente. A partir de las observaciones realizadas, se determinó que el recurso floral utilizado por las obreras de B. atratus fue el néctar y se hacen recomendaciones sobre su uso en este cultivo.

  10. Influence of Pollination Technique on Greenhouse Tomato Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.K. Nazer

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available An experiment was carried out to study the effects of four pollination techniques; Bumblebees (Bombus terrerstris L., plant growth bioregulator (PGB (Parachlorophenoxy acetic acid, hand vibration, and control (natural pollination on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill production in greenhouses. Bumblebees showed no problem in visiting flowers at a temperature range of 17-42°C during the day and 2-14°C at night. Bumblebee pollinated plants produced a yield per plant which was significantly higher than plants treated with PGB, vibration and the control, respectively. Fruit set of tomato flowers over 10 clusters was 99.1, 96.7, 76.7, and 65.7% for bumblebee treatment, PGB application, vibration and the control, respectively. In the bumblebee pollinated flowers, the quality of fruits was superior. The fruits were hard, with more seeds, and had a high specific gravity and better appearance. The average fruit weight was 100.3, 80.5, 84.1, and 70.6 g for the bumblebee, PGB, vibration and the control, respectively. The PGB treatment produced bigger sized but puffy fruits (108.4 ml. While fruit size in the vibration treatment was the highest (126.8 ml, followed by the bumblebee and the control which were 99.3 and 98.5 ml, respectively. Fruit specific gravity in the bumblebee treatment was significantly higher than other treatments, with no significant differences between the PGB and the vibration treatments. The least dense fruits were in the control treatment. Regarding the firmness of fruits, the bumblebee treatment gave the hardest fruits, while the PGB and the vibration treatments were intermediate and the control was the least. Average seed number per fruit was 177.0, 86.5, 61.8, and 89.8 for bumblebee, vibration, PGB and the control, respectively.

  11. MORPHOLOGICAL CONSTRAINTS AND NECTAR ROBBING IN THREE ANDEAN BUMBLE BEE SPECIES (HYMENOPTERA, APIDAE, BOMBINI

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    RIVEROS ANDRE J.

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available We report differences in foraging behavior of three Andean bumblebee species onflowers of Digitalis purpurea (Scrophulariaceae. Bombus atratus was a potentialpollinator while B. hortulanus and B. rubicundus collected nectar by robbing throughholes. We attribute behavioral differences to physical constraints. B. atratus has alonger glossa and a larger body size and is able to reach the nectaries, whereas B.hortulanus and B. rubicundus have shorter glossae and smaller bodies and probablymust rob nectar through holes at the base of flowers.

  12. Experience in Rearing Common Carder Bees (Bombus pascuorum Scop., with Some Notes on Three Similar Species: Shrill Carder Bee (B. sylvarum L., Red-shanked Carder Bee (B. ruderarius Müll., and Brown-banded Carder Bee (B. humilis Ill. (Hymenoptera: Apidae

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    Vladimír Ptáček

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The rearing method under controlled conditions known for Bombus terrestris was successful in initiating egg-laying for 83% of B. pascuorum queens. After larvae had hatched, fresh pollen pellets needed to be inserted into brood pockets daily. After the first workers had emerged, colony development was advanced by placing them outdoors and supplying them with a sugar solution and pollen. The bees were able to use tightly pressed pollen from small plastic pots inserted near the brood. This feeding resulted in large colonies that produced dozens of young queens. In contrast, colonies managed in the laboratory were unable to utilize pollen in a similar manner. They raised only a few workers and several queens. Mating young queens was easy. It was stimulated by daylight, but in the case of B. humilis by direct sunshine. Several B. pascuorum and B. sylvarum queens were overwintered and began the new generation under artificial conditions. However, a lack of fresh pollen limited the development of colonies outside of the vegetation period.

  13. Flower specialisation: the occluded corolla of snapdragons (Antirrhinum) exhibits two pollinator niches of large long-tongued bees.

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    Vargas, P; Liberal, I; Ornosa, C; Gómez, J M

    2017-09-01

    Flower specialisation of angiosperms includes the occluded corollas of snapdragons (Antirrhinum and some relatives), which have been postulated to be one of the most efficient structures to physical limit access to pollinators. The Iberian Peninsula harbours the highest number of species (18 Iberian of the 20 species of Antirrhinum) that potentially share similar pollinator fauna. Crossing experiments with 18 Iberian species from this study and literature revealed a general pattern of self-incompatibility (SI) - failure in this SI system has been also observed in a few plants - which indicates the need for pollinator agents in Antirrhinum pollination. Field surveys in natural conditions (304 h) found flower visitation (>85%) almost exclusively by 11 species of bee (Anthophora fulvitarsis, Anthophora plumipes, Anthidium sticticum, Apis mellifera, Bombus hortorum, Bombus pascuorum, Bombus ruderatus, Bombus terrestris, Chalicodoma lefebvrei, Chalicodoma pyrenaica and Xylocopa violacea). This result covering the majority of Antirrhinum species suggests that large bees of the two long-tongued bee families (Megachilidae, Apidae) are the major pollinators of Antirrhinum. A bipartite modularity analysis revealed two pollinator systems of long-tongued bees: (i) the long-studied system of bumblebees (Bombus spp.) associated with nine primarily northern species of Antirrhinum; and (ii) a newly proposed pollinator system involving other large bees associated with seven species primarily distributed in southern Mediterranean areas. © 2017 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  14. Pervasiveness of parasites in pollinators.

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    Sophie E F Evison

    Full Text Available Many pollinator populations are declining, with large economic and ecological implications. Parasites are known to be an important factor in the some of the population declines of honey bees and bumblebees, but little is known about the parasites afflicting most other pollinators, or the extent of interspecific transmission or vectoring of parasites. Here we carry out a preliminary screening of pollinators (honey bees, five species of bumblebee, three species of wasp, four species of hoverfly and three genera of other bees in the UK for parasites. We used molecular methods to screen for six honey bee viruses, Ascosphaera fungi, Microsporidia, and Wolbachia intracellular bacteria. We aimed simply to detect the presence of the parasites, encompassing vectoring as well as actual infections. Many pollinators of all types were positive for Ascosphaera fungi, while Microsporidia were rarer, being most frequently found in bumblebees. We also detected that most pollinators were positive for Wolbachia, most probably indicating infection with this intracellular symbiont, and raising the possibility that it may be an important factor in influencing host sex ratios or fitness in a diversity of pollinators. Importantly, we found that about a third of bumblebees (Bombus pascuorum and Bombus terrestris and a third of wasps (Vespula vulgaris, as well as all honey bees, were positive for deformed wing virus, but that this virus was not present in other pollinators. Deformed wing virus therefore does not appear to be a general parasite of pollinators, but does interact significantly with at least three species of bumblebee and wasp. Further work is needed to establish the identity of some of the parasites, their spatiotemporal variation, and whether they are infecting the various pollinator species or being vectored. However, these results provide a first insight into the diversity, and potential exchange, of parasites in pollinator communities.

  15. Focal Plant Observations as a Standardised Method for Pollinator Monitoring: Opportunities and Limitations for Mass Participation Citizen Science.

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    Helen E Roy

    Full Text Available Recently there has been increasing focus on monitoring pollinating insects, due to concerns about their declines, and interest in the role of volunteers in monitoring pollinators, particularly bumblebees, via citizen science.The Big Bumblebee Discovery was a one-year citizen science project run by a partnership of EDF Energy, the British Science Association and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology which sought to assess the influence of the landscape at multiple scales on the diversity and abundance of bumblebees. Timed counts of bumblebees (Bombus spp.; identified to six colour groups visiting focal plants of lavender (Lavendula spp. were carried out by about 13 000 primary school children (7-11 years old from over 4000 schools across the UK. 3948 reports were received totalling 26 868 bumblebees. We found that while the wider landscape type had no significant effect on reported bumblebee abundance, the local proximity to flowers had a significant effect (fewer bumblebees where other flowers were reported to be >5m away from the focal plant. However, the rate of mis-identifcation, revealed by photographs uploaded by participants and a photo-based quiz, was high.Our citizen science results support recent research on the importance of local flocal resources on pollinator abundance. Timed counts of insects visiting a lure plant is potentially an effective approach for standardised pollinator monitoring, engaging a large number of participants with a simple protocol. However, the relatively high rate of mis-identifications (compared to reports from previous pollinator citizen science projects highlights the importance of investing in resources to train volunteers. Also, to be a scientifically valid method for enquiry, citizen science data needs to be sufficiently high quality, so receiving supporting evidence (such as photographs would allow this to be tested and for records to be verified.

  16. A depauperate immune repertoire precedes evolution of sociality in bees.

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    Barribeau, Seth M; Sadd, Ben M; du Plessis, Louis; Brown, Mark J F; Buechel, Severine D; Cappelle, Kaat; Carolan, James C; Christiaens, Olivier; Colgan, Thomas J; Erler, Silvio; Evans, Jay; Helbing, Sophie; Karaus, Elke; Lattorff, H Michael G; Marxer, Monika; Meeus, Ivan; Näpflin, Kathrin; Niu, Jinzhi; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Smagghe, Guy; Waterhouse, Robert M; Yu, Na; Zdobnov, Evgeny M; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2015-04-24

    Sociality has many rewards, but can also be dangerous, as high population density and low genetic diversity, common in social insects, is ideal for parasite transmission. Despite this risk, honeybees and other sequenced social insects have far fewer canonical immune genes relative to solitary insects. Social protection from infection, including behavioral responses, may explain this depauperate immune repertoire. Here, based on full genome sequences, we describe the immune repertoire of two ecologically and commercially important bumblebee species that diverged approximately 18 million years ago, the North American Bombus impatiens and European Bombus terrestris. We find that the immune systems of these bumblebees, two species of honeybee, and a solitary leafcutting bee, are strikingly similar. Transcriptional assays confirm the expression of many of these genes in an immunological context and more strongly in young queens than males, affirming Bateman's principle of greater investment in female immunity. We find evidence of positive selection in genes encoding antiviral responses, components of the Toll and JAK/STAT pathways, and serine protease inhibitors in both social and solitary bees. Finally, we detect many genes across pathways that differ in selection between bumblebees and honeybees, or between the social and solitary clades. The similarity in immune complement across a gradient of sociality suggests that a reduced immune repertoire predates the evolution of sociality in bees. The differences in selection on immune genes likely reflect divergent pressures exerted by parasites across social contexts.

  17. Reconstructing the pollinator community and predicting seed set from hydrocarbon footprints on flowers.

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    Witjes, Sebastian; Witsch, Kristian; Eltz, Thomas

    2011-05-01

    The measurement of insect visits to flowers is essential in basic and applied pollination ecology studies but often fraught with difficulty. Floral visitation is highly variable, and observational studies are limited in scope due to the considerable time necessary to acquire reliable data. The aim of our study was to investigate whether the analysis of hydrocarbon residues (footprints) deposited by insects during flower visits would allow reconstruction of the visitor community and prediction of seed set for large numbers of plants. In 3 consecutive years, we recorded bumblebee visitation to wild plants of comfrey, Symphytum officinale, and later used gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to quantify bumblebee-derived unsaturated hydrocarbons (UHCs) extracted from flowers. We found that the UHCs washed from corollas were most similar to the tarsal UHC profile of the most abundant bumblebee species, Bombus pascuorum, in all 3 years. The species composition of the bumblebee communities estimated from UHCs on flowers were also similar to those actually observed. There was a significant positive correlation between the observed number of visits by each of three bumblebee species (contributing 3-68% of flower visits) and the estimated number of visits based on UHC profiles. Furthermore, significant correlations were obtained separately for workers and drones of two of the study species. Seed set of comfrey plants was positively correlated to overall bumblebee visitation and the total amount of UHCs on flowers, suggesting the potential for pollen limitation. We suggest that quantifying cumulative footprint hydrocarbons provides a novel way to assess floral visitation by insects and can be used to predict seed set in pollen-limited plants.

  18. Potential host number in cuckoo bees (Psithyrus subgen. increases toward higher elevations

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    Jean-Nicolas Pradervand

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In severe and variable conditions, specialized resource selection strategies should be less frequent because extinction risks increase for species that depend on a single and unstable resource. Psithyrus (Bombus subgenus Psithyrus are bumblebee parasites that usurp Bombus nests and display inter‐specific variation in the number of hosts they parasitize. Using a phylogenetic comparative framework, we show that Psithyrus species at higher elevations display a higher number of hosts species compared with species restricted to lower elevations. Species inhabiting high elevations also cover a larger temperature range, suggesting that species able to occur in colder conditions may benefit from recruitment from populations occurring in warmer conditions. Our results provide evidence for an ‘altitudinal niche breadth hypothesis’ in parasitic species, showing a decrease in the parasites’ specialization along the elevational gradient, and also suggesting that Rapoport’s rule might apply to Psithyrus. 

  19. Bumble bees (Bombus spp along a gradient of increasing urbanization.

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    Karin Ahrné

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bumble bees and other wild bees are important pollinators of wild flowers and several cultivated crop plants, and have declined in diversity and abundance during the last decades. The main cause of the decline is believed to be habitat destruction and fragmentation associated with urbanization and agricultural intensification. Urbanization is a process that involves dramatic and persistent changes of the landscape, increasing the amount of built-up areas while decreasing the amount of green areas. However, urban green areas can also provide suitable alternative habitats for wild bees. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied bumble bees in allotment gardens, i.e. intensively managed flower rich green areas, along a gradient of urbanization from the inner city of Stockholm towards more rural (periurban areas. Keeping habitat quality similar along the urbanization gradient allowed us to separate the effect of landscape change (e.g. proportion impervious surface from variation in habitat quality. Bumble bee diversity (after rarefaction to 25 individuals decreased with increasing urbanization, from around eight species on sites in more rural areas to between five and six species in urban allotment gardens. Bumble bee abundance and species composition were most affected by qualities related to the management of the allotment areas, such as local flower abundance. The variability in bumble bee visits between allotment gardens was higher in an urban than in a periurban context, particularly among small and long-tongued bumble bee species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that allotment gardens and other urban green areas can serve as important alternatives to natural habitats for many bumble bee species, but that the surrounding urban landscape influences how many species that will be present. The higher variability in abundance of certain species in the most urban areas may indicate a weaker reliability of the ecosystem service pollination in areas strongly influenced by human activity.

  20. Improving Mitochondrial Function Protects Bumblebees from Neonicotinoid Pesticides.

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    Michael B Powner

    Full Text Available Global pollination is threatened by declining insect pollinator populations that may be linked to neonicotinoid pesticide use. Neonicotinoids over stimulate neurons and depolarize their mitochondria, producing immobility and death. However, mitochondrial function can be improved by near infrared light absorbed by cytochrome c oxidase in mitochondrial respiration. In flies, daily exposure to 670nm light throughout life increases average lifespan and aged mobility, and reduces systemic inflammation. Here we treat bumble bees with Imidacloprid a common neonicotinoid. This undermined ATP and rapidly induced immobility and reduced visual function and survival. Bees exposed to insecticide and daily to 670nm light showed corrected ATP levels and significantly improved mobility allowing them to feed. Physiological recordings from eyes revealed that light exposure corrected deficits induced by the pesticide. Overall, death rates in bees exposed to insecticide but also given 670nm light were indistinguishable from controls. When Imidacloprid and light exposure were withdrawn, survival was maintained. Bees and insects generally cannot see deep red light so it does not disturb their behaviour. Hence, we show that deep red light exposure that improves mitochondrial function, reverses the sensory and motor deficits induced by Imidacloprid. These results may have important implications as light delivery is economic and can be placed in hives/colonies.

  1. Pollination services enhanced with urbanization despite increasing pollinator parasitism

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    Radzevičiūtė, Rita; Murray, Tomás E.

    2016-01-01

    Animal-mediated pollination is required for the reproduction of the majority of angiosperms, and pollinators are therefore essential for ecosystem functioning and the economy. Two major threats to insect pollinators are anthropogenic land-use change and the spread of pathogens, whose effects may interact to impact pollination. Here, we investigated the relative effects on the ecosystem service of pollination of (i) land-use change brought on by agriculture and urbanization as well as (ii) the prevalence of pollinator parasites, using experimental insect pollinator-dependent plant species in natural pollinator communities. We found that pollinator habitat (i.e. availability of nesting resources for ground-nesting bees and local flower richness) was strongly related to flower visitation rates at the local scale and indirectly influenced plant pollination success. At the landscape scale, pollination was positively related to urbanization, both directly and indirectly via elevated visitation rates. Bumblebees were the most abundant pollinator group visiting experimental flowers. Prevalence of trypanosomatids, such as the common bumblebee parasite Crithidia bombi, was higher in urban compared with agricultural areas, a relationship which was mediated through higher Bombus abundance. Yet, we did not find any top-down, negative effects of bumblebee parasitism on pollination. We conclude that urban areas can be places of high transmission of both pollen and pathogens. PMID:27335419

  2. Flight control and landing precision in the nocturnal bee Megalopta is robust to large changes in light intensity

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    Emily eBaird

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Like its diurnal relatives, Megalopta genalis use visual information to control flight. Unlike their diurnal relatives, however, they do this at extremely low light intensities. Although Megalopta has developed optical specialisations to increase visual sensitivity, theoretical studies suggest that this enhanced sensitivity does not enable them to capture enough light to use visual information to reliably control flight in the rainforest at night. It has been proposed that Megalopta gain extra sensitivity by summing visual information over time. While enhancing the reliability of vision, this strategy would decrease the accuracy with which they can detect image motion - a crucial cue for flight control. Here, we test this temporal summation hypothesis by investigating how Megalopta’s flight control and landing precision is affected by light intensity and compare our findings with the results of similar experiments performed on the diurnal bumblebee Bombus terrestris, to explore the extent to which Megalopta’s adaptations to dim light affect their precision. We find that, unlike Bombus, light intensity does not affect flight and landing precision in Megalopta. Overall, we find little evidence that Megalopta uses a temporal summation strategy in dim light, while we find strong support for the use of this strategy in Bombus.

  3. Flight control and landing precision in the nocturnal bee Megalopta is robust to large changes in light intensity.

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    Baird, Emily; Fernandez, Diana C; Wcislo, William T; Warrant, Eric J

    2015-01-01

    Like their diurnal relatives, Megalopta genalis use visual information to control flight. Unlike their diurnal relatives, however, they do this at extremely low light intensities. Although Megalopta has developed optical specializations to increase visual sensitivity, theoretical studies suggest that this enhanced sensitivity does not enable them to capture enough light to use visual information to reliably control flight in the rainforest at night. It has been proposed that Megalopta gain extra sensitivity by summing visual information over time. While enhancing the reliability of vision, this strategy would decrease the accuracy with which they can detect image motion-a crucial cue for flight control. Here, we test this temporal summation hypothesis by investigating how Megalopta's flight control and landing precision is affected by light intensity and compare our findings with the results of similar experiments performed on the diurnal bumblebee Bombus terrestris, to explore the extent to which Megalopta's adaptations to dim light affect their precision. We find that, unlike Bombus, light intensity does not affect flight and landing precision in Megalopta. Overall, we find little evidence that Megalopta uses a temporal summation strategy in dim light, while we find strong support for the use of this strategy in Bombus.

  4. Worldwide Alien Invasion: A Methodological Approach to Forecast the Potential Spread of a Highly Invasive Pollinator.

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    André L Acosta

    Full Text Available The ecological impacts of alien species invasion are a major threat to global biodiversity. The increasing number of invasion events by alien species and the high cost and difficulty of eradicating invasive species once established require the development of new methods and tools for predicting the most susceptible areas to invasion. Invasive pollinators pose serious threats to biodiversity and human activity due to their close relationship with many plants (including crop species and high potential competitiveness for resources with native pollinators. Although at an early stage of expansion, the bumblebee species Bombus terrestris is becoming a representative case of pollinator invasion at a global scale, particularly given its high velocity of invasive spread and the increasing number of reports of its impacts on native bees and crops in many countries. We present here a methodological framework of habitat suitability modeling that integrates new approaches for detecting habitats that are susceptible to Bombus terrestris invasion at a global scale. Our approach did not include reported invaded locations in the modeling procedure; instead, those locations were used exclusively to evaluate the accuracy of the models in predicting suitability over regions already invaded. Moreover, a new and more intuitive approach was developed to select the models and evaluate different algorithms based on their performance and predictive convergence. Finally, we present a comprehensive global map of susceptibility to Bombus terrestris invasion that highlights priority areas for monitoring.

  5. Partial cytochrome b sequences for six Hymenoptera of the eastern United States.

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    Collins, A M; Gardner, L M

    2001-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes have been commonly used to determine honeybee subspecies relationships. To see if these markers would also be useful for comparisons of other Hymenoptera, we collected workers of six local species: Vespa crabro, the European hornet; Bombus impatiens, a bumblebee; Vespula germanica, the German yellow jacket; Polistes fuscatus, a paper wasp; Halictus ligatus, an alkali bee; and an unspecified Megachile, a leafcutting bee. MtDNA was isolated and digested with six endonucleases (AvaI, BglII, EcoRI, HindIII, HinfI, XbaI). The digested DNA was electrophoresed and visualized on agarose gels with comparison to a standard fragment marker and similarly treated honeybee mtDNA. The fragments obtained were also purified and sequenced. Phylogenetic relationships between six wasp and bee species, Apis mellifera, and several other similar aculeate Hymenoptera were determined. Newly defined DNA sequences were posted to GenBank (AF281169-AF281174).

  6. Bees do not use nearest-neighbour rules for optimization of multi-location routes.

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    Lihoreau, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Le Comber, Steven C; Raine, Nigel E

    2012-02-23

    Animals collecting patchily distributed resources are faced with complex multi-location routing problems. Rather than comparing all possible routes, they often find reasonably short solutions by simply moving to the nearest unvisited resources when foraging. Here, we report the travel optimization performance of bumble-bees (Bombus terrestris) foraging in a flight cage containing six artificial flowers arranged such that movements between nearest-neighbour locations would lead to a long suboptimal route. After extensive training (80 foraging bouts and at least 640 flower visits), bees reduced their flight distances and prioritized shortest possible routes, while almost never following nearest-neighbour solutions. We discuss possible strategies used during the establishment of stable multi-location routes (or traplines), and how these could allow bees and other animals to solve complex routing problems through experience, without necessarily requiring a sophisticated cognitive representation of space.

  7. Reproductive biology and nectar secretion dynamics of Penstemon gentianoides (Plantaginaceae: a perennial herb with a mixed pollination system?

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    Lucía Salas-Arcos

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Background In many plant species, pollination syndromes predict the most effective pollinator. However, other floral visitors may also offer effective pollination services and promote mixed pollination systems. Several species of the species-rich Penstemon (Plantaginaceae exhibit a suite of floral traits that suggest adaptation for pollination by both hymenopterans and hummingbirds. Transitions from the ancestral hymenopteran pollination syndrome to more derived hummingbird pollination syndrome may be promoted if the quantity or quality of visits by hummingbirds is increased and if the ancestral pollinator group performs less efficiently. The quantification of such shifts in pollination systems in the group is still limited. We aimed to investigate floral traits linked to this pollination syndrome in Penstemon gentianoides with flowers visited by bumblebees and hummingbirds. Methods We investigated the floral biology, pollinator assemblages, breeding system and nectar production patterns ofP. gentianoides inhabiting a temperate montane forest in central Mexico. Pollination experiments were also conducted to assess the pollinator effectiveness of bumblebees and hummingbirds. Results P. gentianoides flowers are protandrous, with 8-d male phase (staminate flowers, followed by the ∼1–7 d female phase (pistillate phase. Flowers display traits associated with hymenopteran pollination, including purple flowers abruptly ampliate-ventricose to a broad throat with anthers and stigmas included, and long lifespans. However, the nectar available in the morning hours was abundant and dilute, traits linked to flowers with a hummingbird pollination syndrome. Two hummingbird species made most of the visits to flowers, Selasphorus platycercus (30.3% of all visits, followed by Archilochus colubris (11.3%. Bumblebees (Bombus ephippiatus, B. huntii and B. weisi accounted for 51.8% of all recorded visits, but their foraging activity was restricted to the warmer

  8. Exploring miniature insect brains using micro-CT scanning techniques

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    Smith, Dylan B.; Bernhardt, Galina; Raine, Nigel E.; Abel, Richard L.; Sykes, Dan; Ahmed, Farah; Pedroso, Inti; Gill, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    The capacity to explore soft tissue structures in detail is important in understanding animal physiology and how this determines features such as movement, behaviour and the impact of trauma on regular function. Here we use advances in micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) technology to explore the brain of an important insect pollinator and model organism, the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). Here we present a method for accurate imaging and exploration of insect brains that keeps brain tissue free from trauma and in its natural stereo-geometry, and showcase our 3D reconstructions and analyses of 19 individual brains at high resolution. Development of this protocol allows relatively rapid and cost effective brain reconstructions, making it an accessible methodology to the wider scientific community. The protocol describes the necessary steps for sample preparation, tissue staining, micro-CT scanning and 3D reconstruction, followed by a method for image analysis using the freeware SPIERS. These image analysis methods describe how to virtually extract key composite structures from the insect brain, and we demonstrate the application and precision of this method by calculating structural volumes and investigating the allometric relationships between bumblebee brain structures. PMID:26908205

  9. Seasonal Food Scarcity Prompts Long-Distance Foraging by a Wild Social Bee.

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    Pope, Nathaniel S; Jha, Shalene

    2018-01-01

    Foraging is an essential process for mobile animals, and its optimization serves as a foundational theory in ecology and evolution; however, drivers of foraging are rarely investigated across landscapes and seasons. Using a common bumblebee species from the western United States (Bombus vosnesenskii), we ask whether seasonal decreases in food resources prompt changes in foraging behavior and space use. We employ a unique integration of population genetic tools and spatially explicit foraging models to estimate foraging distances and rates of patch visitation for wild bumblebee colonies across three study regions and two seasons. By mapping the locations of 669 wild-caught individual foragers, we find substantial variation in colony-level foraging distances, often exhibiting a 60-fold difference within a study region. Our analysis of visitation rates indicates that foragers display a preference for destination patches with high floral cover and forage significantly farther for these patches, but only in the summer, when landscape-level resources are low. Overall, these results indicate that an increasing proportion of long-distance foraging bouts take place in the summer. Because wild bees are pollinators, their foraging dynamics are of urgent concern, given the potential impacts of global change on their movement and services. The behavioral shift toward long-distance foraging with seasonal declines in food resources suggests a novel, phenologically directed approach to landscape-level pollinator conservation and greater consideration of late-season floral resources in pollinator habitat management.

  10. Microbial communities of three sympatric Australian stingless bee species.

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    Sara D Leonhardt

    Full Text Available Bacterial symbionts of insects have received increasing attention due to their prominent role in nutrient acquisition and defense. In social bees, symbiotic bacteria can maintain colony homeostasis and fitness, and the loss or alteration of the bacterial community may be associated with the ongoing bee decline observed worldwide. However, analyses of microbiota associated with bees have been largely confined to the social honeybees (Apis mellifera and bumblebees (Bombus spec., revealing--among other taxa--host-specific lactic acid bacteria (LAB, genus Lactobacillus that are not found in solitary bees. Here, we characterized the microbiota of three Australian stingless bee species (Apidae: Meliponini of two phylogenetically distant genera (Tetragonula and Austroplebeia. Besides common plant bacteria, we find LAB in all three species, showing that LAB are shared by honeybees, bumblebees and stingless bees across geographical regions. However, while LAB of the honeybee-associated Firm4-5 clusters were present in Tetragonula, they were lacking in Austroplebeia. Instead, we found a novel clade of likely host-specific LAB in all three Australian stingless bee species which forms a sister clade to a large cluster of Halictidae-associated lactobacilli. Our findings indicate both a phylogenetic and geographical signal of host-specific LAB in stingless bees and highlight stingless bees as an interesting group to investigate the evolutionary history of the bee-LAB association.

  11. The bee, the flower and the electric field

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    Robert Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Insects use several different senses to forage on flowers, and detect floral cues such as color, shape, pattern, humidity and chemical volatiles. This presentation will present our discovery of a previously unappreciated sensory capacity in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris: the detection of floral electric fields. We show that these floral fields act as informational cues, and that they can be affected by the visit of naturally electrically charged bees. Like visual cues, floral electric fields exhibit variations in pattern and structure, which can be discriminated by bumblebees. We also show that such electric field information contributes to the complex array of floral cues that together improve a pollinator’s memory of floral rewards. Floral electric fields arise from complex interactions with the surrounding atmosphere, an interaction between plants and their environment that not well understood. Because floral electric fields can change within seconds, this new sensory modality - electrostatic field detection- may facilitate rapid and dynamic communication between flowers and their pollinators.

  12. Control of self-motion in dynamic fluids: fish do it differently from bees.

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    Scholtyssek, Christine; Dacke, Marie; Kröger, Ronald; Baird, Emily

    2014-05-01

    To detect and avoid collisions, animals need to perceive and control the distance and the speed with which they are moving relative to obstacles. This is especially challenging for swimming and flying animals that must control movement in a dynamic fluid without reference from physical contact to the ground. Flying animals primarily rely on optic flow to control flight speed and distance to obstacles. Here, we investigate whether swimming animals use similar strategies for self-motion control to flying animals by directly comparing the trajectories of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) moving through the same experimental tunnel. While moving through the tunnel, black and white patterns produced (i) strong horizontal optic flow cues on both walls, (ii) weak horizontal optic flow cues on both walls and (iii) strong optic flow cues on one wall and weak optic flow cues on the other. We find that the mean speed of zebrafish does not depend on the amount of optic flow perceived from the walls. We further show that zebrafish, unlike bumblebees, move closer to the wall that provides the strongest visual feedback. This unexpected preference for strong optic flow cues may reflect an adaptation for self-motion control in water or in environments where visibility is limited. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Microbial Communities of Three Sympatric Australian Stingless Bee Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonhardt, Sara D.; Kaltenpoth, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial symbionts of insects have received increasing attention due to their prominent role in nutrient acquisition and defense. In social bees, symbiotic bacteria can maintain colony homeostasis and fitness, and the loss or alteration of the bacterial community may be associated with the ongoing bee decline observed worldwide. However, analyses of microbiota associated with bees have been largely confined to the social honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus spec.), revealing – among other taxa – host-specific lactic acid bacteria (LAB, genus Lactobacillus) that are not found in solitary bees. Here, we characterized the microbiota of three Australian stingless bee species (Apidae: Meliponini) of two phylogenetically distant genera (Tetragonula and Austroplebeia). Besides common plant bacteria, we find LAB in all three species, showing that LAB are shared by honeybees, bumblebees and stingless bees across geographical regions. However, while LAB of the honeybee-associated Firm4–5 clusters were present in Tetragonula, they were lacking in Austroplebeia. Instead, we found a novel clade of likely host-specific LAB in all three Australian stingless bee species which forms a sister clade to a large cluster of Halictidae-associated lactobacilli. Our findings indicate both a phylogenetic and geographical signal of host-specific LAB in stingless bees and highlight stingless bees as an interesting group to investigate the evolutionary history of the bee-LAB association. PMID:25148082

  14. Effect of acute pesticide exposure on bee spatial working memory using an analogue of the radial-arm maze

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuelson, Elizabeth E. W.; Chen-Wishart, Zachary P.; Gill, Richard J.; Leadbeater, Ellouise

    2016-12-01

    Pesticides, including neonicotinoids, typically target pest insects by being neurotoxic. Inadvertent exposure to foraging insect pollinators is usually sub-lethal, but may affect cognition. One cognitive trait, spatial working memory, may be important in avoiding previously-visited flowers and other spatial tasks such as navigation. To test this, we investigated the effect of acute thiamethoxam exposure on spatial working memory in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris, using an adaptation of the radial-arm maze (RAM). We first demonstrated that bumblebees use spatial working memory to solve the RAM by showing that untreated bees performed significantly better than would be expected if choices were random or governed by stereotyped visitation rules. We then exposed bees to either a high sub-lethal positive control thiamethoxam dose (2.5 ng-1 bee), or one of two low doses (0.377 or 0.091 ng-1) based on estimated field-realistic exposure. The high dose caused bees to make more and earlier spatial memory errors and take longer to complete the task than unexposed bees. For the low doses, the negative effects were smaller but statistically significant, and dependent on bee size. The spatial working memory impairment shown here has the potential to harm bees exposed to thiamethoxam, through possible impacts on foraging efficiency or homing.

  15. The corbiculate bees arose from New World oil-collecting bees: implications for the origin of pollen baskets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Aline C; Melo, Gabriel A R; Renner, Susanne S

    2014-11-01

    The economically most important group of bees is the "corbiculates", or pollen basket bees, some 890 species of honeybees (Apis), bumblebees (Bombus), stingless bees (Meliponini), and orchid bees (Euglossini). Molecular studies have indicated that the corbiculates are closest to the New World genera Centris, with 230 species, and Epicharis, with 35, albeit without resolving the precise relationships. Instead of concave baskets, these bees have hairy hind legs on which they transport pollen mixed with floral oil, collected with setae on the anterior and middle legs. We sampled two-thirds of all Epicharis, a third of all Centris, and representatives of the four lineages of corbiculates for four nuclear gene regions, obtaining a well-supported phylogeny that has the corbiculate bees nested inside the Centris/Epicharis clade. Fossil-calibrated molecular clocks, combined with a biogeographic reconstruction incorporating insights from the fossil record, indicate that the corbiculate clade arose in the New World and diverged from Centris 84 (72-95)mya. The ancestral state preceding corbiculae thus was a hairy hind leg, perhaps adapted for oil transport as in Epicharis and Centris bees. Its replacement by glabrous, concave baskets represents a key innovation, allowing efficient transport of plant resins and large pollen/nectar loads and freeing the corbiculate clade from dependence on oil-offering flowers. The transformation could have involved a novel function of Ubx, the gene known to change hairy into smooth pollen baskets in Apis and Bombus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Virus Infection of Plants Alters Pollinator Preference: A Payback for Susceptible Hosts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davey, Matthew P.; Bruce, Toby J. A.; Caulfield, John C.; Furzer, Oliver J.; Reed, Alison; Robinson, Sophie I.; Miller, Elizabeth; Davis, Christopher N.; Pickett, John A.; Whitney, Heather M.; Glover, Beverley J.; Carr, John P.

    2016-01-01

    Plant volatiles play important roles in attraction of certain pollinators and in host location by herbivorous insects. Virus infection induces changes in plant volatile emission profiles, and this can make plants more attractive to insect herbivores, such as aphids, that act as viral vectors. However, it is unknown if virus-induced alterations in volatile production affect plant-pollinator interactions. We found that volatiles emitted by cucumber mosaic virus (CMV)-infected tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and Arabidopsis thaliana plants altered the foraging behaviour of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris). Virus-induced quantitative and qualitative changes in blends of volatile organic compounds emitted by tomato plants were identified by gas chromatography-coupled mass spectrometry. Experiments with a CMV mutant unable to express the 2b RNA silencing suppressor protein and with Arabidopsis silencing mutants implicate microRNAs in regulating emission of pollinator-perceivable volatiles. In tomato, CMV infection made plants emit volatiles attractive to bumblebees. Bumblebees pollinate tomato by ‘buzzing’ (sonicating) the flowers, which releases pollen and enhances self-fertilization and seed production as well as pollen export. Without buzz-pollination, CMV infection decreased seed yield, but when flowers of mock-inoculated and CMV-infected plants were buzz-pollinated, the increased seed yield for CMV-infected plants was similar to that for mock-inoculated plants. Increased pollinator preference can potentially increase plant reproductive success in two ways: i) as female parents, by increasing the probability that ovules are fertilized; ii) as male parents, by increasing pollen export. Mathematical modeling suggested that over a wide range of conditions in the wild, these increases to the number of offspring of infected susceptible plants resulting from increased pollinator preference could outweigh underlying strong selection pressures favoring pathogen resistance

  17. Virus Infection of Plants Alters Pollinator Preference: A Payback for Susceptible Hosts?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon C Groen

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Plant volatiles play important roles in attraction of certain pollinators and in host location by herbivorous insects. Virus infection induces changes in plant volatile emission profiles, and this can make plants more attractive to insect herbivores, such as aphids, that act as viral vectors. However, it is unknown if virus-induced alterations in volatile production affect plant-pollinator interactions. We found that volatiles emitted by cucumber mosaic virus (CMV-infected tomato (Solanum lycopersicum and Arabidopsis thaliana plants altered the foraging behaviour of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris. Virus-induced quantitative and qualitative changes in blends of volatile organic compounds emitted by tomato plants were identified by gas chromatography-coupled mass spectrometry. Experiments with a CMV mutant unable to express the 2b RNA silencing suppressor protein and with Arabidopsis silencing mutants implicate microRNAs in regulating emission of pollinator-perceivable volatiles. In tomato, CMV infection made plants emit volatiles attractive to bumblebees. Bumblebees pollinate tomato by 'buzzing' (sonicating the flowers, which releases pollen and enhances self-fertilization and seed production as well as pollen export. Without buzz-pollination, CMV infection decreased seed yield, but when flowers of mock-inoculated and CMV-infected plants were buzz-pollinated, the increased seed yield for CMV-infected plants was similar to that for mock-inoculated plants. Increased pollinator preference can potentially increase plant reproductive success in two ways: i as female parents, by increasing the probability that ovules are fertilized; ii as male parents, by increasing pollen export. Mathematical modeling suggested that over a wide range of conditions in the wild, these increases to the number of offspring of infected susceptible plants resulting from increased pollinator preference could outweigh underlying strong selection pressures favoring pathogen

  18. Pollinators shift to nectar robbers when florivory occurs, with effects on reproductive success in Iris bulleyana (Iridaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Z-M; Jin, X-F; Wang, Q-F; Yang, C-F; Inouye, D W

    2017-09-01

    Studies have indicated that florivory and nectar robbing may reduce reproductive success of host plants. However, whether and how these effects might interact when plants are simultaneously attacked by both florivores and nectar robbers still needs further investigation. We used Iris bulleyana to detect the interactions among florivory, nectar robbing and pollination, and moreover, their effects on plant reproductive success. Field investigations and hand-pollination treatments were conducted on two experimental plots from a natural population, in which Experimental plot was protected from florivores and Control plot was not manipulated. The flower calyx was bitten by sawflies to consume the nectary, and three bumblebee species were pollinators. In addition, the short-tongued pollinator, Bombus friseanus, was the only robber when there was a hole made by a sawfly. The bumblebee had significantly shortened flower handling time when robbing, as compared to legitimate visits. Pollinator visitation and seed production decreased significantly in damaged flowers. However, seed production per flower after supplementary hand-pollination did not differ significantly between damaged and undamaged flowers. Compared to the Experimental plot, bumblebees visited fewer flowers per plant in a foraging bout in the Control plot. The flowers damaged by florivory allowed B. friseanus to shift to a nectar robber. Florivory and nectar robbing collectively decreased plant reproductive success by consuming nectar resources, which may reduce attractiveness to pollinators of the damaged flowers. However, the changes in pollinator behaviour might be beneficial to the plant by reducing the risk of geitonogamous mating. © 2017 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  19. Natural islands and habitat islands as refuges of vegetation cover and wild bees. The case of the Lednica Landscape Park in western Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Banaszak Józef

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The study has contributed to the identification of the apifauna of central Wielkopolska. The study identified 161 bee species, accounting for 34.2% of the Polish bee fauna. The highest contribution (28.7% of the fauna comes from four species, namely Andrena haemorrhoa, A. helvola, Evylaeus calceatus and Osmia rufa, while Bombus terrestris and Evylaeus pauxillus are two subdominants. The assemblages of Apiformes in the study area are characterised by a significant contribution of spring-associated species, which is probably an effect of the presence of numerous willow thickets offering abundant host plants (mainly Salix sp. div.. Both the islands and the surroundings of the lake have a unique species composition, and there are differences in the proportions of the individual dominant species. The overall abundance of bees varies greatly, with mean seasonal density figures on Ostrów Lednicki Island being more than twice as high as that on the mainland grassland, with a distinct predominance of bumblebees. The exceptional richness of Apiformes, including bumblebees, on Ostrów Lednicki should be regarded as the basis for treating this island as a life refuge for bumblebees and including it and its environs in the list of sites of Community importance (SCI. A simultaneous study of the vegetation cover contributed significant data on the vascular plant flora and plant communities of the Lednica Landscape Park. For example, it was the first such investigation of Mewia Island. The study revealed the importance of marginal habitats (natural islands and habitat islands for the preservation of protected and endangered plant species and plant communities receding from an agricultural landscape.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pat Willmer

    2014-09-01

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

  1. Subspecific differentiation in male reproductive traits and virgin queen preferences, in Bombus terrestris

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lecocq, T.; Coppée, A.; Mathy, T.; Lhomme, P.; Cammaerts-Tricot, M. C.; Urbanová, Klára; Valterová, Irena; Rasmont, P.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 46, č. 5 (2015), s. 595-605 ISSN 0044-8435 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-04291S Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : mate preference * reproductive traits * cephalic labial gland secretions * male marking pheromone * subspecies * olfactometer Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 1.655, year: 2015

  2. Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris use mechanosensory hairs to detect electric fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sutton Gregory

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Bees and flowers have an intricate relationship which benefits both organisms. Plants provide nectar bees, in turn, distribute pollen to fertilize plants. To make pollination work, flowers need a mechanism to incentivize individual bees to visit only a single species of flower. Flowers, like modern advertising agencies, use multiple senses to create a floral ‘brand’ that is easily recognized. Size, smell, colour, touch, and even temperature are used to allow bees to differentiate between flower species. Recently, a new sense has been found that is usable by bees to differentiate flowers, an ‘electric sense’: they can identify flowers based only on the flower’s electric field. This new sense provides a novel example of how flowers differentiate themselves to bees and has obvious implications for how bees and flowers interact with the electrical world around us. Bumble bees detect this electric field by using their body hairs, which bend in the presence of electric charge.

  3. Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris) use mechanosensory hairs to detect electric fields

    OpenAIRE

    Sutton Gregory; Whitney Heather; Clarke Dominic; Robert Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Bees and flowers have an intricate relationship which benefits both organisms. Plants provide nectar bees, in turn, distribute pollen to fertilize plants. To make pollination work, flowers need a mechanism to incentivize individual bees to visit only a single species of flower. Flowers, like modern advertising agencies, use multiple senses to create a floral ‘brand’ that is easily recognized. Size, smell, colour, touch, and even temperature are used to allow bees to differentiate between flow...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Thomson

    2010-11-01

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

  5. Initial recommendations for higher-tier risk assessment protocols for bumble bees, Bombus spp. (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cabrera, A.R.; Almanza, M.T.; Cutler, G.C.; Fischer, D.L.; Hinarejos, S.; Lewis, G.; Nigro, D.; Olmstead, A.; Overmyer, J.; Potter, D.A.; Raine, N.E.; Stanley-Stahr, C.; Thompson, H.; Steen, van der J.J.M.

    2016-01-01

    Global declines of bumble bees and other pollinator populations are of concern because of their critical role for crop production and maintenance of wild plant biodiversity. Although the consensus among scientists is that the interaction of many factors, including habitat loss, forage scarcity,

  6. Survival after anaphylaxis induced by a bumblebee sting in a dog.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Emily; Mandell, Deborah C; Waddell, Lori S

    2013-01-01

    A 3.5 yr old castrated male miniature schnauzer was referred with a history of collapse after a bee sting to the left hind limb. At the time of presentation, 14 hr after the sting, the dog was hypotensive, comatose, seizuring, and had a brief period of cardiac arrest. Over the following 48 hr, the dog developed azotemia, severely elevated liver enzyme levels, hypertension, hematochezia, hematemesis, and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). The dog's neurologic status improved slowly, but significant behavioral abnormalities remained. The dog was discharged after 7 days with ongoing polyuria, polydipsia, and behavioral changes. The polydipsia and polyuria resolved within a few days, but the behavioral changes continued for 6 wk. Reports of anaphylaxis from any cause are sparse in the veterinary literature. This is the first report of suspected anaphylaxis following a bee sting. There are no previous reports of behavioral changes after physical recovery from anaphylaxis.

  7. Variability in Sexual Pheromones Questions their Role in Bumblebee Pre-Mating Recognition System

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brasero, N.; Lecocq, T.; Martinet, B.; Valterová, Irena; Urbanová, K.; de Jonghe, R.; Rasmont, P.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 44, č. 1 (2018), s. 9-17 ISSN 0098-0331 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : courtship behavior * pheromones * cephalic glands * social insect * pollinator Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation OBOR OECD: Analytical chemistry Impact factor: 2.385, year: 2016

  8. Bifidobacterium actinocoloniiforme sp nov and Bifidobacterium bohemicum sp nov., from the bumblebee digestive tract

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Killer, Jiří; Kopečný, Jan; Mrázek, Jakub; Koppová, Ingrid; Havlík, J.; Benada, Oldřich; Kott, T.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 61, č. 6 (2011), s. 1315-1321 ISSN 1466-5026 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA523/08/1091; GA ČR GD525/08/H060 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50450515; CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Keywords : ACID HOMOLOGY RELATIONSHIPS * HAMSTER DENTAL PLAQUE * HSP60 GENE-SEQUENCES Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 2.268, year: 2011

  9. Seasonal Dynamics in the Chemistry and Structure of the Fat Bodies of Bumblebee Queens

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Votavová, A.; Tomčala, Aleš; Kofroňová, Edita; Kudzejová, Michaela; Šobotník, J.; Jiroš, Pavel; Komzáková, O.; Valterová, Irena

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 11 (2015), e0142261/1-e0142261/14 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-04291S Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : transmission electron microscopy * triacylglycerols * phospholipids * fat ty acid composition * glycogen Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0142261

  10. Females of the Bumblebee Parasite, Aphomia sociella, Excite Males Using a Courtship Pheromone

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kindl, Jiří; Jiroš, Pavel; Kalinová, Blanka; Žáček, Petr; Valterová, Irena

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 38, č. 4 (2012), s. 400-407 ISSN 0098-0331 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 2B06007 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : 6,10,14-Trimethylpentadecan-2-ol * ultrasonic signaling * Galleriinae Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 2.462, year: 2012

  11. The flight of the bumblebee: solutions from a vector-induced spontaneous Lorentz symmetry breaking model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertolami, Orfeu; Paramos, Jorge

    2006-01-01

    The vacuum solutions arising from a spontaneous breaking of Lorentz symmetry due to the acquisition of a vacuum expectation value by a vector field are derived. These include the purely radial Lorentz symmetry breaking (LSB), radial/temporal LSB and axial/temporal LSB scenarios. It is found that the purely radial LSB case gives rise to new black hole solutions. Whenever possible. Parametrized Post-Newtonian (PPN) parameters are computed and compared to observational bounds, in order to constrain the Lorentz symmetry breaking scale

  12. The role of bumblebees in the pollination and variation of some Rhinanthoideae (Scrophulariaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kwak, Manja Marion

    1979-01-01

    The present investigation is a comparative study of the pollination mechanisms of some large-flowered Rhinanthoideae and of their significance for the origin and maintenance of the inter- and intraspecific variability. Five species, present in the north of the Netherlands, have been included:

  13. Bifidobacterium bombi sp. nov., a new bifidobacterium from the bumblebee digestive tract

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Killer, Jiří; Kopečný, Jan; Mrázek, Jakub; Rada, V.; Benada, Oldřich; Koppová, Ingrid; Havlík, J.; Straka, J.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 59, č. 8 (2009), s. 2020-2024 ISSN 1466-5026 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR 1QS500200572 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50450515; CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Keywords : bifidobacterium bombi * anaerobic bacteria Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 2.113, year: 2009

  14. Critical electrolyte concentration of spermatozoal chromatin containing histone H1 variants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.R.P. Falco

    1999-06-01

    Full Text Available The critical electrolyte concentrations (CEC of sperm chromatin from animal species known or suspected to contain histone H1 variants were compared by examining the affinity of their DNA-protein complexes for toluidine blue in the presence of Mg2+. Bullfrog, sea urchin, bee and bumblebee spermatozoa were studied. The CEC for Rana catesbeiana and two sea urchin species were similar to that of histone H5-containing chromatin from chicken erythrocytes, thus confirming the biochemical and structural similarities of these DNA-protein complexes. The CEC for bees and the bumblebee, Bombus atratus, showed no particular phylogenetic relationship. We concluded that the CEC of histone H1-containing sperm cell chromatin is a useful indicator of variability in DNA-protein complexes but is of little phylogenetic value.Valores de concentração crítica de eletrólitos (CEC da cromatina de espermatozóides de espécies conhecidas ou suspeitas de apresentarem variantes da histona H1 foram comparados entre si. O objetivo foi estabelecer semelhanças ou diferenças nos complexos DNA-proteína de espermatozóides dessas espécies em nível citoquímico. A afinidade por moléculas de azul de toluidina em condições de competição com íons Mg2+ foi investigada nos espermatozóides do sapo boi e de ouriços do mar, abelhas e mamangava. Uma íntima relação entre os valores de CEC de Rana catesbeiana e de duas espécies de ouriço do mar com os da cromatina de eritrócitos de frango, que contém a histona H5, foi vista estar de acordo com certas semelhanças bioquímicas e estruturais entre seus complexos DNA-proteína. Quanto aos dados para abelhas e para a mamangava Bombus atratus, não se pôde associar a variabilidade em valores de CEC com a posição das espécies na respectiva árvore filogenética. Conclui-se, portanto, que a CEC de cromatina de espermatozóides que contêm histona H1 é um indicador útil da influência de variantes de H1 na organiza

  15. 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.

  16. EFSA Guidance Document on the risk assessment of plant protection products on bees (Apis mellifera, Bombus spp. and solitary bees)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arnold, G.; Boesten, J.J.T.I.; Clook, M.

    2013-01-01

    The Guidance Document is intended to provide guidance for notifiers and authorities in the context of the review of plant protection products (PPPs) and their active substances under Regulation (EC) 1107/2009. The scientific opinion on the science behind the development of a risk assessment of plant

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret J. Couvillon

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly Stoner

    2016-12-01

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

  19. Highly polytypic taxon complex: interspecific and intraspecific integrative taxonomic assessment of the widespread pollinator Bombus pascuorum Scopoli 1763 (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lecocq, T.; Brasero, N.; Martinet, B.; Valterová, Irena; Rasmont, P.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 40, č. 4 (2015), s. 881-890 ISSN 0307-6970 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : integrative taxonomic approach * labial gland secretions * genetic markers * colour pattern Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 3.343, year: 2015

  20. Flowering biology of three taxa of the genus Scilla L. (Hyacinthaceae and flower visitation by pollinating insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beata Żuraw

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Squill of the family Hyacinthaceae is a small bulb perennial. The present study on flowering and pollination of Scilla sibirica Andr., S. sibirica 'Alba', and S. bifolia L. was conducted in the years 1995, 1997, and 1999 in the Botanical Garden of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. The plants flowered from the end of March until the middle of May. The duration of flowering of individual taxa was similar and it averaged 20 days (Scilla sibirica, 21 days (S. sibirica 'Alba', and 23 days (S. bifolia. The opening of flower buds always started around 9.00 am and lasted, depending on the taxon, until 3.00 pm (Scilla sibirica 'Alba', 4.00 pm (S. bifolia, and 5.00 pm (S. sibirica. The flowers were visited by bees (Apoidea, primarily the honey bee (Apis mellifera L., bumblebee (Bombus L., and solitary bees. Numerous honey bee foragers were observed; they bit through the anther walls and even attempted to open still closed flower buds in order to reach the pollen.

  1. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Sébastien C.; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-05-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

  2. Are Isomeric Alkenes Used in Species Recognition among Neo-Tropical Stingless Bees (Melipona Spp).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Stephen J; Shemilt, Sue; da S Lima, Cândida B; de Carvalho, Carlos A L

    2017-12-01

    Our understanding of the role of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC) in recognition is based largely on temperate ant species and honey bees. The stingless bees remain relatively poorly studied, despite being the largest group of eusocial bees, comprising more than 400 species in some 60 genera. The Meliponini and Apini diverged between 80-130 Myr B.P. so the evolutionary trajectories that shaped the chemical communication systems in ants, honeybees and stingless bees may be very different. The aim of this study was to study if a unique species CHC signal existed in Neotropical stingless bees, as has been shown for many temperate species, and what compounds are involved. This was achieved by collecting CHC data from 24 colonies belonging to six species of Melipona from North-Eastern Brazil and comparing the results with previously published CHC studies on Melipona. We found that each of the eleven Melipona species studied so far each produced a unique species CHC signal based around their alkene isomer production. A remarkable number of alkene isomers, up to 25 in M. asilvai, indicated the diversification of alkene positional isomers among the stingless bees. The only other group to have really diversified in alkene isomer production are the primitively eusocial Bumblebees (Bombus spp), which are the sister group of the stingless bees. Furthermore, among the eleven Neotropical Melipona species we could detect no effect of the environment on the proportion of alkane production as has been suggested for some other species.

  3. Insect antimicrobial peptides act synergistically to inhibit a trypanosome parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marxer, Monika; Vollenweider, Vera; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2016-05-26

    The innate immune system provides protection from infection by producing essential effector molecules, such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that possess broad-spectrum activity. This is also the case for bumblebees, Bombus terrestris, when infected by the trypanosome, Crithidia bombi Furthermore, the expressed mixture of AMPs varies with host genetic background and infecting parasite strain (genotype). Here, we used the fact that clones of C. bombi can be cultivated and kept as strains in medium to test the effect of various combinations of AMPs on the growth rate of the parasite. In particular, we used pairwise combinations and a range of physiological concentrations of three AMPs, namely Abaecin, Defensin and Hymenoptaecin, synthetized from the respective genomic sequences. We found that these AMPs indeed suppress the growth of eight different strains of C. bombi, and that combinations of AMPs were typically more effective than the use of a single AMP alone. Furthermore, the most effective combinations were rarely those consisting of maximum concentrations. In addition, the AMP combination treatments revealed parasite strain specificity, such that strains varied in their sensitivity towards the same mixtures. Hence, variable expression of AMPs could be an alternative strategy to combat highly variable infections.This article is part of the themed issue 'Evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. Drifting behaviour as an alternative reproductive strategy for social insect workers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blacher, Pierre; Yagound, Boris; Lecoutey, Emmanuel; Devienne, Paul; Chameron, Stéphane; Châline, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Restricted reproduction is traditionally posited as the defining feature of eusocial insect workers. The discovery of worker reproduction in foreign colonies challenges this view and suggests that workers’ potential to pursue selfish interests may be higher than previously believed. However, whether such reproductive behaviour truly relies on a reproductive decision is still unknown. Workers’ reproductive decisions thus need to be investigated to assess the extent of workers’ reproductive options. Here, we show in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris that drifting is a distinct strategy by which fertile workers circumvent competition in their nest and reproduce in foreign colonies. By monitoring workers’ movements between colonies, we show that drifting is a remarkably dynamic behaviour, widely expressed by both fertile and infertile workers. We demonstrate that a high fertility is, however, central in determining the propensity of workers to enter foreign colonies as well as their subsequent reproduction in host colonies. Moreover, our study shows that the drifting of fertile workers reflects complex decision-making processes associated with in-nest reproductive competition. This novel finding therefore adds to our modern conception of cooperation by showing the previously overlooked importance of alternative strategies which enable workers to assert their reproductive interests. PMID:24068358

  5. A low-cost, computer-controlled robotic flower system for behavioral experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuusela, Erno; Lämsä, Juho

    2016-04-01

    Human observations during behavioral studies are expensive, time-consuming, and error prone. For this reason, automatization of experiments is highly desirable, as it reduces the risk of human errors and workload. The robotic system we developed is simple and cheap to build and handles feeding and data collection automatically. The system was built using mostly off-the-shelf components and has a novel feeding mechanism that uses servos to perform refill operations. We used the robotic system in two separate behavioral studies with bumblebees (Bombus terrestris): The system was used both for training of the bees and for the experimental data collection. The robotic system was reliable, with no flight in our studies failing due to a technical malfunction. The data recorded were easy to apply for further analysis. The software and the hardware design are open source. The development of cheap open-source prototyping platforms during the recent years has opened up many possibilities in designing of experiments. Automatization not only reduces workload, but also potentially allows experimental designs never done before, such as dynamic experiments, where the system responds to, for example, learning of the animal. We present a complete system with hardware and software, and it can be used as such in various experiments requiring feeders and collection of visitation data. Use of the system is not limited to any particular experimental setup or even species.

  6. Effects of Soil Quality Enhancement on Pollinator-Plant Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasmin J. Cardoza

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Both biotic and abiotic factors can affect soil quality, which can significantly impact plant growth, productivity, and resistance to pests. However, the effects of soil quality on the interactions of plants with beneficial arthropods, such as pollinators, have not been extensively examined. We studied the effects of vermicompost (earthworm compost, VC soil amendment on behavioral and physiological responses of pollinators to flowers and floral resources, using cucumbers, Cucumis sativus, as our model system. Results from experiments conducted over three field seasons demonstrated that, in at least two out of three years, VC amendment significantly increased visit length, while reducing the time to first discovery. Bumblebee (Bombus impatiens workers that fed on flowers from VC-amended plants had significantly larger and more active ovaries, a measure of nutritional quality. Pollen fractions of flowers from VC-grown plants had higher protein compared to those of plants grown in chemically fertilized potting soil. Nectar sugar content also tended to be higher in flowers from VC-grown plants, but differences were not statistically significant. In conclusion, soil quality enhancement, as achieved with VC amendment in this study, can significantly affect plant-pollinator interactions and directly influences pollinator nutrition and overall performance.

  7. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Sébastien; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-05-07

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

  8. First Chemical Analysis and Characterization of the Male Species-Specific Cephalic Labial-Gland Secretions of South American Bumblebees

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brasero, N.; Martinet, B.; Urbanová, Klára; Valterová, Irena; Torres, A.; Hoffmann, W.; Rasmont, P.; Lecocq, T.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 10 (2015), s. 1535-1546 ISSN 1612-1872 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : male marking pheromone * labial gland secretions * Thoracobombus * Cullumanobombus Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 1.444, year: 2015

  9. Craddock House, Craddockstown Road, Naas, Kildare.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Colgan, Thomas J

    2011-12-20

    Abstract Background Understanding polyphenism, the ability of a single genome to express multiple morphologically and behaviourally distinct phenotypes, is an important goal for evolutionary and developmental biology. Polyphenism has been key to the evolution of the Hymenoptera, and particularly the social Hymenoptera where the genome of a single species regulates distinct larval stages, sexual dimorphism and physical castes within the female sex. Transcriptomic analyses of social Hymenoptera will therefore provide unique insights into how changes in gene expression underlie such complexity. Here we describe gene expression in individual specimens of the pre-adult stages, sexes and castes of the key pollinator, the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Results cDNA was prepared from mRNA from five life cycle stages (one larva, one pupa, one male, one gyne and two workers) and a total of 1,610,742 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated using Roche 454 technology, substantially increasing the sequence data available for this important species. Overlapping ESTs were assembled into 36,354 B. terrestris putative transcripts, and functionally annotated. A preliminary assessment of differences in gene expression across non-replicated specimens from the pre-adult stages, castes and sexes was performed using R-STAT analysis. Individual samples from the life cycle stages of the bumblebee differed in the expression of a wide array of genes, including genes involved in amino acid storage, metabolism, immunity and olfaction. Conclusions Detailed analyses of immune and olfaction gene expression across phenotypes demonstrated how transcriptomic analyses can inform our understanding of processes central to the biology of B. terrestris and the social Hymenoptera in general. For example, examination of immunity-related genes identified high conservation of important immunity pathway components across individual specimens from the life cycle stages while olfactory

  10. Onderzoek naar de invloed van diëten met stuifmeel en stuifmeelvervangingsmiddelen op de ontwikkeling van hommelvolken en individuele hommels (Bombus terrestris L)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steen, van der J.J.M.

    2003-01-01

    Het, door honigbijen verzameld, stuifmeel dat in de hommelteelt gebruikt als eiwit, vet en mineralen voeding heeft een duidelijke invloed op de fysiologie van individuele hommels en op de ontwikkeling van hommelvolken. In de hommelteelt bestaat behoefte aan voedsel van een meer constante kwaliteit

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Honey bees are the dominant diurnal pollinator of native milkweed in a large urban park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIvor, James Scott; Roberto, Adriano N; Sodhi, Darwin S; Onuferko, Thomas M; Cadotte, Marc W

    2017-10-01

    In eastern North America, the field milkweed, Asclepias syriaca L. (Asclepiadaceae), is used in planting schemes to promote biodiversity conservation for numerous insects including the endangered monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus (Linnaeus) (Nymphalidae). Less is known about its pollinators, and especially in urban habitats where it is planted often despite being under increasing pressure from invasive plant species, such as the related milkweed, the dog-strangling vine (DSV), Vincetoxicum rossicum (Kleopow) Barbar. (Asclepiadaceae). During the A. syriaca flowering period in July 2016, we surveyed bees in open habitats along a DSV invasion gradient and inspected 433 individuals of 25 bee species in 12 genera for pollinia: these were affixed to bees that visited A. syriaca for nectar and contain pollen packets that are vectored (e.g., transferred) between flowers. Of all bees sampled, pollinia were found only on the nonindigenous honeybee, Apis mellifera (43% of all bees identified), as well as one individual bumblebee, Bombus impatiens Cresson. Pollinia were recorded from 45.2% of all honeybees collected. We found no relationship between biomass of DSV and biomass of A. syriaca per site. There was a significant positive correlation between A. syriaca biomass and the number of pollinia, and the proportion vectored. No relationship with DSV biomass was detected for the number of pollinia collected by bees but the proportion of vectored pollinia declined with increasing DSV biomass. Although we find no evidence of DSV flowers attracting potential pollinators away from A. syriaca and other flowering plants, the impacts on native plant-pollinator mutualisms relate to its ability to outcompete native plants. As wild bees do not appear to visit DSV flowers, it could be altering the landscape to one which honeybees are more tolerant than native wild bees.

  13. Merging of long-term memories in an insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Kathryn L; Chittka, Lars

    2015-03-16

    Research on comparative cognition has largely focused on successes and failures of animals to solve certain cognitive tasks, but in humans, memory errors can be more complex than simple failures to retrieve information [1, 2]. The existence of various types of "false memories," in which individuals remember events that they have never actually encountered, are now well established in humans [3, 4]. We hypothesize that such systematic memory errors may be widespread in animals whose natural lifestyle involves the processing and recollection of memories for multiple stimuli [5]. We predict that memory traces for various stimuli may "merge," such that features acquired in distinct bouts of training are combined in an animal's mind, so that stimuli that have never been viewed before, but are a combination of the features presented in training, may be chosen during recall. We tested this using bumblebees, Bombus terrestris. When individuals were first trained to a solid single-colored stimulus followed by a black and white (b/w)-patterned stimulus, a subsequent preference for the last entrained stimulus was found in both short-term- and long-term-memory tests. However, when bees were first trained to b/w-patterned stimuli followed by solid single-colored stimuli and were tested in long-term-memory tests 1 or 3 days later, they only initially preferred the most recently rewarded stimulus, and then switched their preference to stimuli that combined features from the previous color and pattern stimuli. The observed merging of long-term memories is thus similar to the memory conjunction error found in humans [6]. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Pollen Foraging Differences Among Three Managed Pollinators in the Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) Agroecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobiwash, Kyle; Uriel, Yonathan; Elle, Elizabeth

    2018-02-09

    Highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum (Gray), production in British Columbia is dependent upon insect pollination for fruit yield with particular cultivars demonstrating low yields due to poor pollination. New managed species of pollinators are being developed to provide farmers with managed pollinator options beyond Apis mellifera (Linnaeus). Pollinators in highbush blueberry agricultural systems encounter a variety of nontarget floral resources that may affect the pollination received by the crop. Our study analyzed the differences in pollen foraging of honey bees and two species of managed bumblebees across nine farm sites. Corbicular pollen loads from pollen foraging workers were removed and identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible. Of the three managed pollinators, the corbicular pollen loads of Bombus huntii (Greene) contained the most blueberry pollen (52.1%), three times as much as the two other managed bee species. Fifteen morphotypes of pollen were identified from all foraging workers with Rosaceae being the most frequently gathered overall pollen type (n = 74). The noncrop pollen identified in our samples derived from plant species not common as weedy species in the agroecosystem suggesting that floral resource diversity outside of the farm boundaries is important to pollinators. The three managed species in our blueberry fields utilized floral resources differentially underscoring the importance of pollinator species' characteristics and large-scale floral resource landscape in developing new managed pollinators and pollination strategies. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Absence of ancient DNA in sub-fossil insect inclusions preserved in 'Anthropocene' Colombian copal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Penney

    Full Text Available Insects preserved in copal, the sub-fossilized resin precursor of amber, have potential value in molecular ecological studies of recently-extinct species and of extant species that have never been collected as living specimens. The objective of the work reported in this paper was therefore to determine if ancient DNA is present in insects preserved in copal. We prepared DNA libraries from two stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini: Trigonisca ameliae preserved in 'Anthropocene' Colombian copal, dated to 'post-Bomb' and 10,612±62 cal yr BP, respectively, and obtained sequence reads using the GS Junior 454 System. Read numbers were low, but were significantly higher for DNA extracts prepared from crushed insects compared with extracts obtained by a non-destructive method. The younger specimen yielded sequence reads up to 535 nucleotides in length, but searches of these sequences against the nucleotide database revealed very few significant matches. None of these hits was to stingless bees though one read of 97 nucleotides aligned with two non-contiguous segments of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene of the East Asia bumblebee Bombus hypocrita. The most significant hit was for 452 nucleotides of a 470-nucleotide read that aligned with part of the genome of the root-nodulating bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum. The other significant hits were to proteobacteria and an actinomycete. Searches directed specifically at Apidae nucleotide sequences only gave short and insignificant alignments. All of the reads from the older specimen appeared to be artefacts. We were therefore unable to obtain any convincing evidence for the preservation of ancient DNA in either of the two copal inclusions that we studied, and conclude that DNA is not preserved in this type of material. Our results raise further doubts about claims of DNA extraction from fossil insects in amber, many millions of years older than copal.

  16. BEEtag: A Low-Cost, Image-Based Tracking System for the Study of Animal Behavior and Locomotion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James D Crall

    Full Text Available A fundamental challenge common to studies of animal movement, behavior, and ecology is the collection of high-quality datasets on spatial positions of animals as they change through space and time. Recent innovations in tracking technology have allowed researchers to collect large and highly accurate datasets on animal spatiotemporal position while vastly decreasing the time and cost of collecting such data. One technique that is of particular relevance to the study of behavioral ecology involves tracking visual tags that can be uniquely identified in separate images or movie frames. These tags can be located within images that are visually complex, making them particularly well suited for longitudinal studies of animal behavior and movement in naturalistic environments. While several software packages have been developed that use computer vision to identify visual tags, these software packages are either (a not optimized for identification of single tags, which is generally of the most interest for biologists, or (b suffer from licensing issues, and therefore their use in the study of animal behavior has been limited. Here, we present BEEtag, an open-source, image-based tracking system in Matlab that allows for unique identification of individual animals or anatomical markers. The primary advantages of this system are that it (a independently identifies animals or marked points in each frame of a video, limiting error propagation, (b performs well in images with complex backgrounds, and (c is low-cost. To validate the use of this tracking system in animal behavior, we mark and track individual bumblebees (Bombus impatiens and recover individual patterns of space use and activity within the nest. Finally, we discuss the advantages and limitations of this software package and its application to the study of animal movement, behavior, and ecology.

  17. 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.

  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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Gisder

    Full Text Available 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. Flower Iridescence Increases Object Detection in the Insect Visual System without Compromising Object Identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, Heather M; Reed, Alison; Rands, Sean A; Chittka, Lars; Glover, Beverley J

    2016-03-21

    Iridescence is a form of structural coloration, produced by a range of structures, in which hue is dependent on viewing angle [1-4]. One of these structures, the diffraction grating, is found both in animals (for example, beetles [2]) and in plants (on the petals of some animal pollinated flowers [5]). The behavioral impacts of floral iridescence and its potential ecological significance are unknown [6-9]. Animal-pollinated flowers are described as "sensory billboards" [10], with many floral features contributing to a conspicuous display that filters prospective pollinators. Yet floral iridescence is more subtle to the human eye than that of many animal displays because the floral diffraction grating is not perfectly regular [5-9]. This presents a puzzle: if the function of petals is to attract pollinators, then flowers might be expected to optimize iridescence to increase showiness. On the other hand, pollinators memorize floral colors as consistent advertisements of reward quality, and iridescence might corrupt flower color identity. Here we tested the trade-off between flower detectability and recognition, requiring bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) to identify artificial flowers that varied in pigmentation and degree of iridescence. We find that iridescence does increase target detectability but that "perfect" iridescence (produced by an artificial diffraction grating) corrupts target identity and bees make many mistakes. However, "imperfect" floral iridescence does not lead to mistaken target identity, while still benefitting flower detectability. We hypothesize that similar trade-offs might be found in the many naturally "imperfect" iridescence-producing structures found in animal-animal, as well as other plant-animal, interactions. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  20. Experimental evidence that wildflower strips increase pollinator visits to crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feltham, Hannah; Park, Kirsty; Minderman, Jeroen; Goulson, Dave

    2015-08-01

    Wild bees provide a free and potentially diverse ecosystem service to farmers growing pollination-dependent crops. While many crops benefit from insect pollination, soft fruit crops, including strawberries are highly dependent on this ecosystem service to produce viable fruit. However, as a result of intensive farming practices and declining pollinator populations, farmers are increasingly turning to commercially reared bees to ensure that crops are adequately pollinated throughout the season. Wildflower strips are a commonly used measure aimed at the conservation of wild pollinators. It has been suggested that commercial crops may also benefit from the presence of noncrop flowers; however, the efficacy and economic benefits of sowing flower strips for crops remain relatively unstudied. In a study system that utilizes both wild and commercial pollinators, we test whether wildflower strips increase the number of visits to adjacent commercial strawberry crops by pollinating insects. We quantified this by experimentally sowing wildflower strips approximately 20 meters away from the crop and recording the number of pollinator visits to crops with, and without, flower strips. Between June and August 2013, we walked 292 crop transects at six farms in Scotland, recording a total of 2826 pollinators. On average, the frequency of pollinator visits was 25% higher for crops with adjacent flower strips compared to those without, with a combination of wild and commercial bumblebees (Bombus spp.) accounting for 67% of all pollinators observed. This effect was independent of other confounding effects, such as the number of flowers on the crop, date, and temperature. Synthesis and applications. This study provides evidence that soft fruit farmers can increase the number of pollinators that visit their crops by sowing inexpensive flower seed mixes nearby. By investing in this management option, farmers have the potential to increase and sustain pollinator populations over time.

  1. Nocturnal insects use optic flow for flight control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, Emily; Kreiss, Eva; Wcislo, William; Warrant, Eric; Dacke, Marie

    2011-08-23

    To avoid collisions when navigating through cluttered environments, flying insects must control their flight so that their sensory systems have time to detect obstacles and avoid them. To do this, day-active insects rely primarily on the pattern of apparent motion generated on the retina during flight (optic flow). However, many flying insects are active at night, when obtaining reliable visual information for flight control presents much more of a challenge. To assess whether nocturnal flying insects also rely on optic flow cues to control flight in dim light, we recorded flights of the nocturnal neotropical sweat bee, Megalopta genalis, flying along an experimental tunnel when: (i) the visual texture on each wall generated strong horizontal (front-to-back) optic flow cues, (ii) the texture on only one wall generated these cues, and (iii) horizontal optic flow cues were removed from both walls. We find that Megalopta increase their groundspeed when horizontal motion cues in the tunnel are reduced (conditions (ii) and (iii)). However, differences in the amount of horizontal optic flow on each wall of the tunnel (condition (ii)) do not affect the centred position of the bee within the flight tunnel. To better understand the behavioural response of Megalopta, we repeated the experiments on day-active bumble-bees (Bombus terrestris). Overall, our findings demonstrate that despite the limitations imposed by dim light, Megalopta-like their day-active relatives-rely heavily on vision to control flight, but that they use visual cues in a different manner from diurnal insects. This journal is © 2011 The Royal Society

  2. A survey of bees (hymenoptera: Apoidea) of the Indiana dunes and Northwest Indiana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grundel, R.; Jean, R.P.; Frohnapple, K.J.; Gibbs, J.; Glowacki, G.A.; Pavlovic, N.B.

    2011-01-01

    The Indiana Dunes, and nearby natural areas in northwest Indiana, are floristically rich Midwest U.S. locales with many habitat types. We surveyed bees along a habitat gradient ranging from grasslands to forests in these locales, collecting at least 175 bee species along this gradient plus 29 additional species in other nearby habitats. About 25% of all species were from the genus Lasioglossum and 12% of the species were associated with sandy soils. Several bumblebee (Bombus) species of conservation concern that should occur in this region were not collected during our surveys. Similarity of the northwest Indiana bee fauna to other published U.S. faunas decreased about 1.3% per 100 km distance from northwest Indiana. Thirty percent of bees netted from flowers were males. Males and females differed significantly in their frequency of occurrence on different plant species. For bees collected in bowl traps, the percentage captured in fluorescent yellow traps declined and in fluorescent blue traps increased from spring to late summer. Capture rates for different bee genera varied temporally, with about a quarter of the genera being captured most frequently in late spring and a quarter in late summer. Capture rates for most genera were higher in more open than in more closed canopy habitats. The maximum number of plant species on which a single bee species was captured plateaued at 24, on average. Forty-nine percent of bee species known to occur in Indiana were found at these northwest Indiana sites. Having this relatively high proportion of the total Indiana bee fauna is consistent with Indiana Dunes existing at a biogeographic crossroads where grassland and forest biomes meet in a landscape whose climate and soils are affected by proximity to Lake Michigan. The resulting habitat, plant, edaphic, and climatic diversity likely produces the diverse bee community documented.

  3. Measuring the sugar consumption of larvae in bumblebee micro-colonies: a promising new method for tracking food economics in bees

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Řehoř, Ivan; Macháčková, L.; Bučánková, A.; Matějková, Stanislava; Černá, K.; Straka, J.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 45, č. 1 (2014), s. 116-128 ISSN 0044-8435 R&D Projects: GA TA ČR TA01020969 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/10/0403 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : marking technique * lanthanide * carbohydrate * insect * ICP-OES Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.676, year: 2014

  4. Interspecific geographic distribution and variation of the pathogens Nosema bombi and Crithidia species in United States bumble bee populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordes, Nils; Huang, Wei-Fone; Strange, James P; Cameron, Sydney A; Griswold, Terry L; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Solter, Leellen F

    2012-02-01

    Several bumble bee (Bombus) species in North America have undergone range reductions and rapid declines in relative abundance. Pathogens have been suggested as causal factors, however, baseline data on pathogen distributions in a large number of bumble bee species have not been available to test this hypothesis. In a nationwide survey of the US, nearly 10,000 specimens of 36 bumble bee species collected at 284 sites were evaluated for the presence and prevalence of two known Bombus pathogens, the microsporidium Nosema bombi and trypanosomes in the genus Crithidia. Prevalence of Crithidia was ≤10% for all host species examined but was recorded from 21% of surveyed sites. Crithidia was isolated from 15 of the 36 Bombus species screened, and were most commonly recovered from Bombus bifarius, Bombus bimaculatus, Bombus impatiens and Bombus mixtus. Nosema bombi was isolated from 22 of the 36 US Bombus species collected. Only one species with more than 50 sampled bees, Bombus appositus, was free of the pathogen; whereas, prevalence was highest in Bombus occidentalis and Bombus pensylvanicus, two species that are reportedly undergoing population declines in North America. A variant of a tetranucleotide repeat in the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the N. bombi rRNA gene, thus far not reported from European isolates, was isolated from ten US Bombus hosts, appearing in varying ratios in different host species. Given the genetic similarity of the rRNA gene of N. bombi sampled in Europe and North America to date, the presence of a unique isolate in US bumble could reveal one or more native North American strains and indicate that N. bombi is enzootic across the Holarctic Region, exhibiting some genetic isolation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Whole-Genome Sequence Analysis of Bombella intestini LMG 28161T, a Novel Acetic Acid Bacterium Isolated from the Crop of a Red-Tailed Bumble Bee, Bombus lapidarius.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leilei Li

    Full Text Available The whole-genome sequence of Bombella intestini LMG 28161T, an endosymbiotic acetic acid bacterium (AAB occurring in bumble bees, was determined to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying its metabolic capabilities. The draft genome sequence of B. intestini LMG 28161T was 2.02 Mb. Metabolic carbohydrate pathways were in agreement with the metabolite analyses of fermentation experiments and revealed its oxidative capacity towards sucrose, D-glucose, D-fructose and D-mannitol, but not ethanol and glycerol. The results of the fermentation experiments also demonstrated that the lack of effective aeration in small-scale carbohydrate consumption experiments may be responsible for the lack of reproducibility of such results in taxonomic studies of AAB. Finally, compared to the genome sequences of its nearest phylogenetic neighbor and of three other insect associated AAB strains, the B. intestini LMG 28161T genome lost 69 orthologs and included 89 unique genes. Although many of the latter were hypothetical they also included several type IV secretion system proteins, amino acid transporter/permeases and membrane proteins which might play a role in the interaction with the bumble bee host.

  6. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-PHAM-01-1493 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-PHAM-01-1493 ref|YP_002519420.1| NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 [Bombus hypocrita... sapporoensis] gb|ABY75171.1| NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 [Bombus hypocrita sapporoensis] YP_002519420.1 0.13 22% ...

  7. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-OPRI-01-1140 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-OPRI-01-1140 ref|YP_002519420.1| NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 [Bombus hypocrita... sapporoensis] gb|ABY75171.1| NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 [Bombus hypocrita sapporoensis] YP_002519420.1 0.30 22% ...

  8. The abundance and pollen foraging behaviour of bumble bees in relation to population size of whortleberry (Vaccinium uliginosum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolin Mayer

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation can have severe effects on plant pollinator interactions, for example changing the foraging behaviour of pollinators. To date, the impact of plant population size on pollen collection by pollinators has not yet been investigated. From 2008 to 2010, we monitored nine bumble bee species (Bombus campestris, Bombus hortorum s.l., Bombus hypnorum, Bombus lapidarius, Bombus pascuorum, Bombus pratorum, Bombus soroensis, Bombus terrestris s.l., Bombus vestalis s.l. on Vaccinium uliginosum (Ericaceae in up to nine populations in Belgium ranging in size from 80 m(2 to over 3.1 ha. Bumble bee abundance declined with decreasing plant population size, and especially the proportion of individuals of large bumble bee species diminished in smaller populations. The most remarkable and novel observation was that bumble bees seemed to switch foraging behaviour according to population size: while they collected both pollen and nectar in large populations, they largely neglected pollen collection in small populations. This pattern was due to large bumble bee species, which seem thus to be more likely to suffer from pollen shortages in smaller habitat fragments. Comparing pollen loads of bumble bees we found that fidelity to V. uliginosum pollen did not depend on plant population size but rather on the extent shrub cover and/or openness of the site. Bumble bees collected pollen only from three plant species (V.uliginosum, Sorbus aucuparia and Cytisus scoparius. We also did not discover any pollination limitation of V. uliginosum in small populations. We conclude that habitat fragmentation might not immediately threaten the pollination of V. uliginosum, nevertheless, it provides important nectar and pollen resources for bumble bees and declining populations of this plant could have negative effects for its pollinators. The finding that large bumble bee species abandon pollen collection when plant populations become small is of interest when

  9. Book review: Bumble bees of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Dell, Samuel

    2015-01-01

    Bumblebee identification is generally considered straightforward, yet mistakes often are made due to the degree of similarity between the color patterns of different species. Bumble Bees of North America aims to improve the accuracy of identifications by both casual observers and professionals through the use of intuitive diagrams, descriptions, and the more technical dichotomous keys. In addition to providing the first complete field guide to North American bumblebees, the authors make efficient use of the reader’s attention by summarizing taxonomic history, favored food plants, and environmental issues concerning bumblebees.

  10. Generalist bees pollinate red-flowered Penstemon eatonii: duality in the hummingbird pollination syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    The red tubular flowers of Penstemon eatonii (Plantaginaceae, formerly Scrophulariaceae) conform to the classic pollination syndrome for hummingbirds. This could be problematic when farming this wildflower for rangeland restoration seed. By some models and experiments with nectaring bumblebees at ...

  11. Floral reward in Ranunculaceae species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bożena Denisow

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Floral reward is important in ecological and evolutionary perspectives and essential in pollination biology. For example, floral traits, nectar and pollen features are essential for understanding the functional ecology, the dynamics of pollen transport, competition for pollinator services, and patterns of specialization and generalization in plant–pollinator interactions. We believe to present a synthetic description in the field of floral reward in Ranunculaceae family important in pollination biology and indicating connections between ecological and evolutionary approaches. The links between insect visitors’ behaviour and floral reward type and characteristics exist. Ranunculaceae is a family of aboot 1700 species (aboot 60 genera, distributed worldwide, however the most abundant representatives are in temperate and cool regions of the northern and southern hemispheres. The flowers are usually radially symmetric (zygomorphic and bisexual, but in Aconitum, Aquilegia are bilaterally symmetric (zygomorphic. Most Ranunculaceae flowers offer no nectar, only pollen (e.g., Ranunculus, Adonis vernalis, Thalictrum, but numerous species create trophic niches for different wild pollinators (e.g. Osmia, Megachile, Bombus, Andrena (Denisow et al. 2008. Pollen is a source of protein, vitamins, mineral salts, organic acids and hormones, but the nutritional value varies greatly between different plant species. The pollen production can differ significantly between Ranunculacea species. The mass of pollen produced in anthers differ due to variations in the number of developed anthers. For example, interspecies differences are considerable, 49 anthers are noted in Aquilegia vulgaris, 70 anthers in Ranunculus lanuginosus, 120 in Adonis vernalis. A significant intra-species differences’ in the number of anthers are also noted (e.g. 41 to 61 in Aquilegia vulgaris, 23-45 in Ranunculus cassubicus. Pollen production can be up to 62 kg per ha for Ranunculus acer

  12. Tõsõ mu maailman : [luuletused] / Häniläne, pseud.

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Häniläne,, pseud.

    2008-01-01

    Sisu: Bombus lucorum (maakimalane) ; Podiceps auritus (sarvikpütt) ; Malus domestica (aed-õunapuu) ; Felis catus domesticus (kodukass) ; Inachis io (päevapaabusilm) ; Lacerta vivipara (arusisalik) ; Canis familiaris (kodukoer) ; Clangula hyemalis (aul)

  13. Distribution and ecology of bees on the Polish Baltic coast (Hymenoptera, Apoidea, Apiformes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Banaszak Józef

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The present study provides data on the distribution of 128 bee species on the Polish Baltic coast. This brings the total number of species of Apiformes in this region to 164, including those that I reported earlier. The bee fauna of the Polish coast is characterized by a very high proportion of bumblebees and cuckoo bees (locally up to 70-80% of the total catch, and the dominant proportion of Megachilidae, especially Megachile species. The species diversity and dominance structure of the Apiformes differ between the western coast (a very high proportion of bumblebees and the eastern coast (a large number of dominant species. These results confirm my earlier hypothesis regarding the maritime-continental gradient of bumblebee abundance, indicating that the densities of these insects are higher in NW Poland. This study is the first to assess bee densities on coastal dunes in Poland.

  14. Spatial structure of an individual-based plant–pollinator network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dupont, Yoko Luise; Nielsen, Kristian Trøjelsgaard; Hagen, Melanie

    2014-01-01

    The influence of space on the structure (e.g. modularity) of complex ecological networks remains largely unknown. Here, we sampled an individual-based plant–pollinator network by following the movements and flower visits of marked bumblebee individuals within a population of thistle plants...... for which the identities and spatial locations of stems were mapped in a 50  50 m study plot. The plant–pollinator network was dominated by parasitic male bumblebees and had a significantly modular structure, with four identified modules being clearly separated in space. This indicated that individual....... This demonstrated that individual-based plant–pollinator networks are influenced by both the spatial structure of plant populations and individual-specific plant traits. Additionally, bumblebee individuals with long observation times were important for both the connectivity between and within modules. The latter...

  15. Local bumble bee decline linked to recovery of honey bees, drought effects on floral resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Diane M

    2016-10-01

    Time series of abundances are critical for understanding how abiotic factors and species interactions affect population dynamics, but are rarely linked with experiments and also scarce for bee pollinators. This gap is important given concerns about declines in some bee species. I monitored honey bee (Apis mellifera) and bumble bee (Bombus spp.) foragers in coastal California from 1999, when feral A. mellifera populations were low due to Varroa destructor, until 2014. Apis mellifera increased substantially, except between 2006 and 2011, coinciding with declines in managed populations. Increases in A. mellifera strongly correlated with declines in Bombus and reduced diet overlap between them, suggesting resource competition consistent with past experimental results. Lower Bombus numbers also correlated with diminished floral resources. Declines in floral abundances were associated with drought and reduced spring rainfall. These results illustrate how competition with an introduced species may interact with climate to drive local decline of native pollinators. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  16. Bumble bee nest abundance, foraging distance, and host-plant reproduction: implications for management and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geib, Jennifer C; Strange, James P; Galenj, Candace

    2015-04-01

    Recent reports of global declines in pollinator species imply an urgent need to assess the abundance of native pollinators and density-dependent benefits for linked plants. In this study, we investigated (1) pollinator nest distributions and estimated colony abundances, (2) the relationship between abundances of foraging workers and the number of nests they represent, (3) pollinator foraging ranges, and (4) the relationship between pollinator abundance and plant reproduction. We examined these questions in an alpine ecosystem in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, focusing on four alpine bumble bee species (Bombus balteatus, B. flavifrons, B. bifarius, and B. sylvicola), and two host plants that differ in their degrees of pollinator specialization (Trifolium dasyphyllum and T. parryi). Using microsatellites, we found that estimated colony abundances among Bombus species ranged from ~18 to 78 colonies/0.01 km2. The long-tongued species B. balteatus was most common, especially high above treeline, but the subalpine species B. bifarius was unexpectedly abundant for this elevation range. Nests detected among sampled foragers of each species were correlated with the number of foragers caught. Foraging ranges were smaller than expected for all Bombus species, ranging from 25 to 110 m. Fruit set for the specialized plant, Trifolium parryi, was positively related to the abundance of its Bombus pollinator. In contrast, fruit set for the generalized plant, T. dasyphyllum, was related to abundance of all Bombus species. Because forager abundance was related to nest abundance of each Bombus species and was an equally effective predictor of plant fecundity, forager inventories are probably suitable for assessing the health of outcrossing plant populations. However, nest abundance, rather than forager abundance, better reflects demographic and genetic health in populations of eusocial pollinators such as bumble bees. Development of models incorporating the parameters we have measured

  17. Predicting Sets and Lists: Theory and Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    rover has a front facing PlayStation Eye color camera (640×480 at 30Hz) which is also used as the front facing camera on the UAV. A Bumblebee color...IMU Microstrain 3DM-GX3-25 PlayStation Eye camera (640x480 @ 30Hz) Onboard ARM-based Linux computer PlayStation Eye camera (640x480 @ 30Hz) Bumblebee...cameras: one facing downwards for real time pose estimation ( PlayStation Eye color camera, 320× 240 at 120Hz) and one facing forward (PointGrey Chameleon

  18. Effectiveness of managed populations of wild and honey bees as supplemental pollinators of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) under different climatic conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansted, Lise; Grout, Brian William Wilson; Toldam-Andersen, Torben Bo

    2015-01-01

    Managed populations of Apis mellifera, Bombus terrestris and Osmia have been investigated rufa as sour cherry pollinators in two flowering seasons with different weather patterns. Flight activity of the three bee species during the pollination-receptive period of the cultivar ‘Stevnsbaer’ was rec......Managed populations of Apis mellifera, Bombus terrestris and Osmia have been investigated rufa as sour cherry pollinators in two flowering seasons with different weather patterns. Flight activity of the three bee species during the pollination-receptive period of the cultivar ‘Stevnsbaer...

  19. 78 FR 64446 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-29

    ... solitary bees, which have shorter foraging distances than wild social bees such as bumblebees, are likely... (primary constituent elements (PCEs) such as roost sites, nesting grounds, seasonal wetlands, water quality.... Annual Diplacus species have a variety of visitors, including insects, bees, and butterflies. Although no...

  20. Animal cognition: an insect's sense of time?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skorupski, Peter; Chittka, Lars

    2006-10-10

    For Immanuel Kant, time was the very form of the inner sense, the bedrock of our consciousness and also the origin of arithmetic ability. New research on bumblebees has shown that even an invertebrate with a brain the size of a pinhead can actively sense the passage of elapsed time, allowing it to predict when certain salient events will occur in the future.

  1. Variations in pollinator density and impacts on large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb. crop yield in Sikkim Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kailash S. Gaira

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb., a perennial cash crop, cultivated under an agroforestry system in the eastern Himalaya of India, is well recognized as a pollination-dependent crop. Observations on pollinator abundance in Mamlay watershed of Sikkim Himalaya were collected during the blooming season to evaluate the pollinator abundance across sites and time frames, and impact of pollinator abundance on crop yield from 2010 to 2012. The results revealed that the bumblebees and honeybees are most frequent visitors of large cardamom flowers. The abundance of honeybees, however, varied between sites for the years 2010–2012, while that of bumblebees varied for the years 2011 and 2012. The abundance of honeybees resulted in a variation within time frames for 2010 and 2011, while that of bumblebees varied for 2010 and 2012 (p<0.01. The density of pollinators correlated positively with the number of flowers of the target crop. The impact of pollinator abundance revealed that the increasing bumblebee visitation resulted in a higher yield of the crop (i.e. 17–41 g/plant and the increasing abundance of all bees (21–41 g/plant was significant (p<0.03. Therefore, the study concluded that the large cardamom yield is sensitive to pollinator abundance and there is a need for adopting the best pollinator conservation and management practices toward sustaining the yield of large cardamom.

  2. Born in an Alien Nest : How Do Social Parasite Male Offspring Escape from Host Aggression?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lhomme, P.; Ayasse, M.; Valterová, Irena; Lecocq, T.; Rasmont, P.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 9 (2012), e43053/1-e43053/9 E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : cuckoo bumblebees * head extract * male repellent odor Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 3.730, year: 2012

  3. Bumble bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) community structure on two sagebrush steppe sites in southern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen P. Cook; Sara M. Birch; Frank W. Merickel; Carrie Caselton Lowe; Deborah Page-Dumroese

    2011-01-01

    Although sagebrush, Artemisia spp., does not require an insect pollinator, there are several native species of bumble bees, Bombus spp. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), that are present in sagebrush steppe ecosystems where they act as pollinators for various forbs and shrubs. These native pollinators contribute to plant productivity and reproduction. We captured 12 species of...

  4. Learning about larceny: experience can bias bumble bees to rob nectar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barker, Jessica Livia; Dornhaus, Anna; Bronstein, Judith

    2018-01-01

    switch between these behaviors. We investigated whether the tendency to rob nectar through previously-made holes (secondary robbing) is influenced by prior foraging experience. In a laboratory experiment, we trained groups of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) either to visit artificial flowers legitimately...

  5. Refugia, biodiversity, and pollination roles of bumble bees in the Madrean Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justin O. Schmidt; Robert S. Jacobson

    2005-01-01

    Eight species of bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus) are present within five major Sky Island mountains of southern Arizona. Another four species exist in the nearby large mountainous region stretching from the Arizona White Mountains to Flagstaff. The distribution and number of bumble bee species within the individual Sky Island mountains varies from six in the...

  6. From silkworms to bees: Diseases of beneficial insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    The diseases of the silkworm (Bombyx mori) and managed bees, including the honey bee (Apis mellifera), bumbles bees (Bombus spp.), the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata), and mason bees (Osmia spp.) are reviewed, with diagnostic descriptions and a summary of control methods for production...

  7. Pollinators and pesticides

    Science.gov (United States)

    As part of the Bee-Fungicide Workshop at NACREW, there will be updates on the latest evidence characterizing how fungicides may cause colony declines in native bee species. Findings will cover recent work with Bombus impatiens and Osmia lignaria. Discussions will be focusing on how the US cranberry ...

  8. 76 FR 56381 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Franklin...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-13

    ... distributions of any bumble bee in the world (Williams 1998, as cited in the petition (p. 6)). The original... To List the Franklin's Bumble Bee as Endangered AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION... Service (Service), announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list the Franklin's bumble bee (Bombus...

  9. "Microsporidia in bumble bee rearing - significance and control"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steen, van der J.J.M.; Fries, I.

    2005-01-01

    The project "Biodiversity, impact and control of microsporidia in bumble bee (bombus spp.) pollinators" (acronim "Pollinator parasites") within Key Action 5 of the Fifth framework R&D Programme Quality of LIfe and Management of Living Resources was initiated January 1, 2003 and terminates

  10. The role of pollinators in maintaining variation in flower colour in the Rocky Mountain columbine, Aquilegia coerulea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thairu, Margaret W; Brunet, Johanne

    2015-05-01

    Flower colour varies within and among populations of the Rocky Mountain columbine, Aquilegia coerulea, in conjunction with the abundance of its two major pollinators, hawkmoths and bumble-bees. This study seeks to understand whether the choice of flower colour by these major pollinators can help explain the variation in flower colour observed in A. coerulea populations. Dual choice assays and experimental arrays of blue and white flowers were used to determine the preference of hawkmoths and bumble-bees for flower colour. A test was made to determine whether a differential preference for flower colour, with bumble-bees preferring blue and hawkmoths white flowers, could explain the variation in flower colour. Whether a single pollinator could maintain a flower colour polymorphism was examined by testing to see if preference for a flower colour varied between day and dusk for hawkmoths and whether bumble-bees preferred novel or rare flower colour morphs. Hawkmoths preferred blue flowers under both day and dusk light conditions. Naïve bumble-bees preferred blue flowers but quickly learned to forage randomly on the two colour morphs when similar rewards were presented in the flowers. Bees quickly learned to associate a flower colour with a pollen reward. Prior experience affected the choice of flower colour by bees, but they did not preferentially visit novel flower colours or rare or common colour morphs. Differences in flower colour preference between the two major pollinators could not explain the variation in flower colour observed in A. coerulea. The preference of hawkmoths for flower colour did not change between day and dusk, and bumble-bees did not prefer a novel or a rare flower colour morph. The data therefore suggest that factors other than pollinators may be more likely to affect the flower colour variation observed in A. coerulea. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government

  11. Sensitivity of commercial pumpkin yield to potential decline among different groups of pollinating bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckerter, Philipp W.; Schirmel, Jens; Cresswell, James E.; Entling, Martin H.

    2017-01-01

    The yield of animal-pollinated crops is threatened by bee declines, but its precise sensitivity is poorly known. We therefore determined the yield dependence of Hokkaido pumpkin in Germany on insect pollination by quantifying: (i) the relationship between pollen receipt and fruit set and (ii) the cumulative pollen deposition of each pollinator group. We found that approximately 2500 pollen grains per flower were needed to maximize fruit set. At the measured rates of flower visitation, we estimated that bumblebees (21 visits/flower lifetime, 864 grains/visit) or honeybees (123 visits, 260 grains) could individually achieve maximum crop yield, whereas halictid bees are ineffective (11 visits, 16 grains). The pollinator fauna was capable of delivering 20 times the necessary amount of pollen. We therefore estimate that pumpkin yield was not pollination-limited in our study region and that it is currently fairly resilient to single declines of honeybees or wild bumblebees. PMID:28573019

  12. Sensitivity of commercial pumpkin yield to potential decline among different groups of pollinating bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfister, Sonja C; Eckerter, Philipp W; Schirmel, Jens; Cresswell, James E; Entling, Martin H

    2017-05-01

    The yield of animal-pollinated crops is threatened by bee declines, but its precise sensitivity is poorly known. We therefore determined the yield dependence of Hokkaido pumpkin in Germany on insect pollination by quantifying: (i) the relationship between pollen receipt and fruit set and (ii) the cumulative pollen deposition of each pollinator group. We found that approximately 2500 pollen grains per flower were needed to maximize fruit set. At the measured rates of flower visitation, we estimated that bumblebees (21 visits/flower lifetime, 864 grains/visit) or honeybees (123 visits, 260 grains) could individually achieve maximum crop yield, whereas halictid bees are ineffective (11 visits, 16 grains). The pollinator fauna was capable of delivering 20 times the necessary amount of pollen. We therefore estimate that pumpkin yield was not pollination-limited in our study region and that it is currently fairly resilient to single declines of honeybees or wild bumblebees.

  13. Unsupervised Neural Network Quantifies the Cost of Visual Information Processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orbán, Levente L; Chartier, Sylvain

    2015-01-01

    Untrained, "flower-naïve" bumblebees display behavioural preferences when presented with visual properties such as colour, symmetry, spatial frequency and others. Two unsupervised neural networks were implemented to understand the extent to which these models capture elements of bumblebees' unlearned visual preferences towards flower-like visual properties. The computational models, which are variants of Independent Component Analysis and Feature-Extracting Bidirectional Associative Memory, use images of test-patterns that are identical to ones used in behavioural studies. Each model works by decomposing images of floral patterns into meaningful underlying factors. We reconstruct the original floral image using the components and compare the quality of the reconstructed image to the original image. Independent Component Analysis matches behavioural results substantially better across several visual properties. These results are interpreted to support a hypothesis that the temporal and energetic costs of information processing by pollinators served as a selective pressure on floral displays: flowers adapted to pollinators' cognitive constraints.

  14. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Gisder

    2015-10-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Constraints and stability in vector theories with spontaneous Lorentz violation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bluhm, Robert; Gagne, Nolan L.; Potting, Robertus; Vrublevskis, Arturs

    2008-01-01

    Vector theories with spontaneous Lorentz violation, known as bumblebee models, are examined in flat spacetime using a Hamiltonian constraint analysis. In some of these models, Nambu-Goldstone modes appear with properties similar to photons in electromagnetism. However, depending on the form of the theory, additional modes and constraints can appear that have no counterparts in electromagnetism. An examination of these constraints and additional degrees of freedom, including their nonlinear effects, is made for a variety of models with different kinetic and potential terms, and the results are compared with electromagnetism. The Hamiltonian constraint analysis also permits an investigation of the stability of these models. For certain bumblebee theories with a timelike vector, suitable restrictions of the initial-value solutions are identified that yield ghost-free models with a positive Hamiltonian. In each case, the restricted phase space is found to match that of electromagnetism in a nonlinear gauge

  17. Rare insects of the Oka Reserve recommended for inclusion in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna M. Nikolaeva

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents data on nine rare insect species of the Oka State Nature Biosphere Reserve recommended for inclusion in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation (Animals. These are Dytiscus latissimus, Carabus menetriesi, Calosoma sycophanta, Osmoderma barnabita, Protaetia speciosissima, P. fieberi, Bombus armeniacus, Parnopes grandior and Parnassius apollo. Carabus menetriesi, Osmoderma barnabita, Parnopes grandior are few in number. But these species are consistently observed in the Oka Reserve. Some species have not been registered in the Oka Reserve for a long time: Protaetia speciosissima and P. fieberi (either not since 1998, Bombus armeniacus (not since 1985, Parnassius apollo (not since 1998, Dytiscus latissimus (not since 2009. Calosoma sycophanta's existence is known only on the base of literature data.

  18. Male moth songs tempt females to accept mating: The role of acoustic and pheromonal communication in reproductive behaviour of Aphomia sociella

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kindl, Jiří; Kalinová, Blanka; Červenka, M.; Jilek, Milan; Valterová, Irena

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 10 (2011), e26476/1-e26476/8 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 2B06007 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506; CEZ:AV0Z50390512 Keywords : bumble-bee wax moth * sexual communication * courtship Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 4.092, year: 2011

  19. Effects of golf courses on local biodiversity.

    OpenAIRE

    Gange, A.C.; Tanner, R.A.

    2005-01-01

    There are approximately 2600 golf courses in the UK, occupying 0.7% of the total land cover. However, it is unknown whether these represent a significant resource, in terms of biodiversity conservation, or if they are significantly less diverse than the surrounding habitats. The diversity of vegetation (tree and herbaceous species) and three indicator taxa (birds, ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) and bumblebees (Hymenoptera, Apidae)) was studied on nine golf courses and nine adja...

  20. Mechanisms of visual memory formation in bees: About immediate early genes and synaptic plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Sommerlandt, Frank M. J.

    2016-01-01

    Animals form perceptual associations through processes of learning, and retain that information through mechanisms of memory. Honeybees and bumblebees are classic models for insect perception and learning, and despite their small brains with about one million neurons, they are organized in highly social colonies and possess an astonishing rich behavioral repertoire including navigation, communication and cognition. Honeybees are able to harvest hundreds of morphologically divergent flower typ...

  1. Analysis of insect triacylglycerols using liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kofroňová, Edita; Cvačka, Josef; Jiroš, Pavel; Sýkora, D.; Valterová, Irena

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 111, č. 5 (2009), s. 519-525 ISSN 1438-7697 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA4055403; GA MŠk 2B06007 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : atmospheric pressure chemical ionization * bumblebees * fat body * NARP-HPLC Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 1.831, year: 2009

  2. Triglyceridy extrahované z tukových těles čmeláků

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krafková, Edita; Cvačka, Josef; Kindl, Jiří; Hovorka, Oldřich; Jiroš, Pavel; Valterová, Irena

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 99, č. 11 (2005), s. 852 ISSN 0009-2770. [Pokroky v organické, bioorganické a farmaceutické chemii /40./. 18.11.2005-20.11.2005, Nymburk] R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA4055403 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z4055905 Keywords : triacylglycerols * bumblebee males Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry

  3. Plasticity of the worker bumble bee brain in relation to age and rearing environment

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, Beryl M.; Leonard, Anne S.; Papaj, Daniel R.; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2013-01-01

    The environment experienced during development can dramatically affect the brain, with possible implications for sensory processing, learning and memory. Although the effects of single sensory modalities on brain development have been repeatedly explored, the additive or interactive effects of multiple modalities have been less thoroughly investigated. We asked how experience with multisensory stimuli affected brain development in the bumble bee, Bombus impatiens. First, to establish the time...

  4. Does pathogen spillover from commercially reared bumble bees threaten wild pollinators?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael C Otterstatter

    Full Text Available The conservation of insect pollinators is drawing attention because of reported declines in bee species and the 'ecosystem services' they provide. This issue has been brought to a head by recent devastating losses of honey bees throughout North America (so called, 'Colony Collapse Disorder'; yet, we still have little understanding of the cause(s of bee declines. Wild bumble bees (Bombus spp. have also suffered serious declines and circumstantial evidence suggests that pathogen 'spillover' from commercially reared bumble bees, which are used extensively to pollinate greenhouse crops, is a possible cause. We constructed a spatially explicit model of pathogen spillover in bumble bees and, using laboratory experiments and the literature, estimated parameter values for the spillover of Crithidia bombi, a destructive pathogen commonly found in commercial Bombus. We also monitored wild bumble bee populations near greenhouses for evidence of pathogen spillover, and compared the fit of our model to patterns of C. bombi infection observed in the field. Our model predicts that, during the first three months of spillover, transmission from commercial hives would infect up to 20% of wild bumble bees within 2 km of the greenhouse. However, a travelling wave of disease is predicted to form suddenly, infecting up to 35-100% of wild Bombus, and spread away from the greenhouse at a rate of 2 km/wk. In the field, although we did not observe a large epizootic wave of infection, the prevalences of C. bombi near greenhouses were consistent with our model. Indeed, we found that spillover has allowed C. bombi to invade several wild bumble bee species near greenhouses. Given the available evidence, it is likely that pathogen spillover from commercial bees is contributing to the ongoing decline of wild Bombus in North America. Improved management of domestic bees, for example by reducing their parasite loads and their overlap with wild congeners, could diminish or even

  5. Spontaneous Lorentz and diffeomorphism violation, massive modes, and gravity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bluhm, Robert; Fung Shuhong; Kostelecky, V. Alan

    2008-01-01

    Theories with spontaneous local Lorentz and diffeomorphism violation contain massless Nambu-Goldstone modes, which arise as field excitations in the minimum of the symmetry-breaking potential. If the shape of the potential also allows excitations above the minimum, then an alternative gravitational Higgs mechanism can occur in which massive modes involving the metric appear. The origin and basic properties of the massive modes are addressed in the general context involving an arbitrary tensor vacuum value. Special attention is given to the case of bumblebee models, which are gravitationally coupled vector theories with spontaneous local Lorentz and diffeomorphism violation. Mode expansions are presented in both local and spacetime frames, revealing the Nambu-Goldstone and massive modes via decomposition of the metric and bumblebee fields, and the associated symmetry properties and gauge fixing are discussed. The class of bumblebee models with kinetic terms of the Maxwell form is used as a focus for more detailed study. The nature of the associated conservation laws and the interpretation as a candidate alternative to Einstein-Maxwell theory are investigated. Explicit examples involving smooth and Lagrange-multiplier potentials are studied to illustrate features of the massive modes, including their origin, nature, dispersion laws, and effects on gravitational interactions. In the weak static limit, the massive mode and Lagrange-multiplier fields are found to modify the Newton and Coulomb potentials. The nature and implications of these modifications are examined.

  6. Historical changes in northeastern US bee pollinators related to shared ecological traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Ascher, John S; Gibbs, Jason; Danforth, Bryan N; Wagner, David L; Hedtke, Shannon M; Winfree, Rachael

    2013-03-19

    Pollinators such as bees are essential to the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. However, despite concerns about a global pollinator crisis, long-term data on the status of bee species are limited. We present a long-term study of relative rates of change for an entire regional bee fauna in the northeastern United States, based on >30,000 museum records representing 438 species. Over a 140-y period, aggregate native species richness weakly decreased, but richness declines were significant only for the genus Bombus. Of 187 native species analyzed individually, only three declined steeply, all of these in the genus Bombus. However, there were large shifts in community composition, as indicated by 56% of species showing significant changes in relative abundance over time. Traits associated with a declining relative abundance include small dietary and phenological breadth and large body size. In addition, species with lower latitudinal range boundaries are increasing in relative abundance, a finding that may represent a response to climate change. We show that despite marked increases in human population density and large changes in anthropogenic land use, aggregate native species richness declines were modest outside of the genus Bombus. At the same time, we find that certain ecological traits are associated with declines in relative abundance. These results should help target conservation efforts focused on maintaining native bee abundance and diversity and therefore the important ecosystems services that they provide.

  7. Differential pollinator effectiveness and importance in a milkweed (Asclepias, Apocynaceae) hybrid zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoepler, Teresa M; Edge, Andrea; Steel, Anna; O'Quinn, Robin L; Fishbein, Mark

    2012-03-01

    Exceptions to the ideal of complete reproductive isolation between species are commonly encountered in diverse plant, animal, and fungal groups, but often the causative ecological processes are poorly understood. In flowering plants, the outcome of hybridization depends in part on the effectiveness of pollinators in interspecific pollen transport. In the Asclepias exaltata and A. syriaca (Apocynaceae) hybrid zone in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, extensive introgression has been documented. The objectives of this study were to (1) determine the extent of pollinator overlap among A. exaltata, A. syriaca, and their hybrids and (2) identify the insect taxa responsible for hybridization and introgression. We observed focal plants of parental species and hybrids to measure visitation rate, visit duration, and per-visit pollinia removal and deposition, and we calculated pollinator effectiveness and importance. Visitation rates varied significantly between the 2 yr of the study. Overall, Apis mellifera, Bombus sp., and Epargyreus clarus were the most important pollinators. However, Bombus sp. was the only visitor that was observed to both remove and insert pollinia for both parent species as well as hybrids. We conclude that Bombus may be a key agent of hybridization and introgression in these sympatric milkweed populations, and hybrids are neither preferred nor selected against by pollinators. Thus, we have identified a potential mechanism for how hybrids act as bridges to gene flow between A. exaltata and A. syriaca. These results provide insights into the breakdown of prezygotic isolating mechanisms.

  8. Born in an alien nest: how do social parasite male offspring escape from host aggression?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Lhomme

    Full Text Available Social parasites exploit the colony resources of social insects. Some of them exploit the host colony as a food resource or as a shelter whereas other species also exploit the brood care behavior of their social host. Some of these species have even lost the worker caste and rely completely on the host's worker force to rear their offspring. To avoid host defenses and bypass their recognition code, these social parasites have developed several sophisticated chemical infiltration strategies. These infiltration strategies have been highly studied in several hymenopterans. Once a social parasite has successfully entered a host nest and integrated its social system, its emerging offspring still face the same challenge of avoiding host recognition. However, the strategy used by the offspring to survive within the host nest without being killed is still poorly documented. In cuckoo bumblebees, the parasite males completely lack the morphological and chemical adaptations to social parasitism that the females possess. Moreover, young parasite males exhibit an early production of species-specific cephalic secretions, used as sexual pheromones. Host workers might thus be able to recognize them. Here we used a bumblebee host-social parasite system to test the hypothesis that social parasite male offspring exhibit a chemical defense strategy to escape from host aggression during their intranidal life. Using behavioral assays, we showed that extracts from the heads of young cuckoo bumblebee males contain a repellent odor that prevents parasite males from being attacked by host workers. We also show that social parasitism reduces host worker aggressiveness and helps parasite offspring acceptance.

  9. The influence of heterostyly, pollination method and hormonization on eggplant's (Solanum melongena L. flowering and fruiting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grażyna Kowalska

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The experiment was carried out in a three unheated plastic tunnels in 1998-2000. The aim of this study was to estimate the effects of flower's heterostyly and two methods of flower pollination (self-pollination and using bumble-bee as well as flower hormonization on the flowering and fruiting of three varieties of aubergine - 'Black Beauty', 'Solara F1 and Epic F1' The analysis of results showed that the eggplants formed more flowers in object with self-pollination and flower hormonization than those pollinated by bumble-bee. Regardless of the pollination way and flower hormonization, eggplants formed the highest number of flowers with long pistil and much less - with medium and short pistil. It was shown that the tendency to formation the flowers with particular type of pistil is the variety trait of eggplants. The highest number of flowers with long pistil was observed in varieties 'Solara F1' and 'Epic F1' and those with medium pistil - in 'Black Beauty' variety. Heterostyly phenomenon occurring in eggplant's flowers affected the plant's fruiting. The most fruits were set from flowers with long pistils than from those with medium and short ones. Fruits formed from long pistil flowers were characterized with significantly greater mean weight and size, than those formed from medium and short pistil ones. No significant influence of pollination method on eggplant fruit quality was found in three years of study. Fruits achieved due to three pollination methods were characterized with similar mean weight and diameter. Fruits with significantly larger mean length were achieved from flowers pollinated by bumble-bees than from self - pollinated ones.

  10. Self-pollination rate and floral-display size in Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) with regard to floral-visitor taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Aaron F; Barrows, Edward M

    2014-06-23

    Animals fertilize thousands of angiosperm species whose floral-display sizes can significantly influence pollinator behavior and plant reproductive success. Many studies have measured the interactions among pollinator behavior, floral-display size, and plant reproductive success, but few studies have been able to separate the effects of pollinator behavior and post-pollination processes on angiosperm sexual reproduction. In this study, we utilized the highly self-incompatible pollinium-pollination system of Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) to quantify how insect visitors influenced male reproductive success measured as pollen removal, female reproductive success measured as pollen deposition, and self-pollination rate. We also determined how floral-display size impacts both visitor behavior and self-pollination rate. Four insect taxonomic orders visited A. syriaca: Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera. We focused on three groups of visitor taxa within two orders (Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera) with sample sizes large enough for quantitative analysis: Apis mellifera (Western Honey Bee), Bombus spp. (bumble bees) and lepidopterans (butterflies and moths). Qualitatively, lepidopterans had the highest pollinator importance values, but the large variability in the lepidopteran data precluded meaningful interpretation of much of their behavior. The introduced A. mellifera was the most effective and most important diurnal pollinator with regard to both pollen removal and pollen deposition. However, when considering the self-incompatibility of A. syriaca, A. mellifera was not the most important pollinator because of its high self-pollination rate as compared to Bombus spp. Additionally, the rate of self-pollination increased more rapidly with the number of flowers per inflorescence in A. mellifera than in the native Bombus spp. Apis mellifera's high rate of self-pollination may have significant negative effects on both male and female reproductive successes

  11. Study of the Metatranscriptome of Eight Social and Solitary Wild Bee Species Reveals Novel Viruses and Bee Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoonvaere, Karel; Smagghe, Guy; Francis, Frédéric; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2018-01-01

    Bees are associated with a remarkable diversity of microorganisms, including unicellular parasites, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The application of next-generation sequencing approaches enables the identification of this rich species composition as well as the discovery of previously unknown associations. Using high-throughput polyadenylated ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequencing, we investigated the metatranscriptome of eight wild bee species ( Andrena cineraria, Andrena fulva, Andrena haemorrhoa, Bombus terrestris, Bombus cryptarum, Bombus pascuorum, Osmia bicornis , and Osmia cornuta ) sampled from four different localities in Belgium. Across the RNA sequencing libraries, 88-99% of the taxonomically informative reads were of the host transcriptome. Four viruses with homology to insect pathogens were found including two RNA viruses (belonging to the families Iflaviridae and Tymoviridae that harbor already viruses of honey bees), a double stranded DNA virus (family Nudiviridae ) and a single stranded DNA virus (family Parvoviridae ). In addition, we found genomic sequences of 11 unclassified arthropod viruses (related to negeviruses, sobemoviruses, totiviruses, rhabdoviruses, and mononegaviruses), seven plant pathogenic viruses, and one fungal virus. Interestingly, nege-like viruses appear to be widespread, host-specific, and capable of attaining high copy numbers inside bees. Next to viruses, three novel parasite associations were discovered in wild bees, including Crithidia pragensis and a tubulinosematid and a neogregarine parasite. Yeasts of the genus Metschnikowia were identified in solitary bees. This study gives a glimpse of the microorganisms and viruses associated with social and solitary wild bees and demonstrates that their diversity exceeds by far the subset of species first discovered in honey bees.

  12. Study of the Metatranscriptome of Eight Social and Solitary Wild Bee Species Reveals Novel Viruses and Bee Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karel Schoonvaere

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Bees are associated with a remarkable diversity of microorganisms, including unicellular parasites, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The application of next-generation sequencing approaches enables the identification of this rich species composition as well as the discovery of previously unknown associations. Using high-throughput polyadenylated ribonucleic acid (RNA sequencing, we investigated the metatranscriptome of eight wild bee species (Andrena cineraria, Andrena fulva, Andrena haemorrhoa, Bombus terrestris, Bombus cryptarum, Bombus pascuorum, Osmia bicornis, and Osmia cornuta sampled from four different localities in Belgium. Across the RNA sequencing libraries, 88–99% of the taxonomically informative reads were of the host transcriptome. Four viruses with homology to insect pathogens were found including two RNA viruses (belonging to the families Iflaviridae and Tymoviridae that harbor already viruses of honey bees, a double stranded DNA virus (family Nudiviridae and a single stranded DNA virus (family Parvoviridae. In addition, we found genomic sequences of 11 unclassified arthropod viruses (related to negeviruses, sobemoviruses, totiviruses, rhabdoviruses, and mononegaviruses, seven plant pathogenic viruses, and one fungal virus. Interestingly, nege-like viruses appear to be widespread, host-specific, and capable of attaining high copy numbers inside bees. Next to viruses, three novel parasite associations were discovered in wild bees, including Crithidia pragensis and a tubulinosematid and a neogregarine parasite. Yeasts of the genus Metschnikowia were identified in solitary bees. This study gives a glimpse of the microorganisms and viruses associated with social and solitary wild bees and demonstrates that their diversity exceeds by far the subset of species first discovered in honey bees.

  13. A Man with No Name, or Too Many Names if You Think About it

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Danvir

    2014-01-01

    Danvir. Jimmy. Danny V. Danny V & the Bumblebees. Danny Valentine. Double D. Deezus. D Weezy. DJ Takeover. Or ahh forget it. From lowly beginnings as a Window cleaner in Tin Pan Alley-era New York City singing "hello hello Tokio" to an "inn-keeper" in the countryside waxing rhapsodically about his famous battles while those around him push his buttons, this man with numerous names has had the opportunity to experience multiple worlds and the challenges that each of these bring up for the acto...

  14. Experiencing mathematics what do we do, when we do mathematics?

    CERN Document Server

    Hersh, Reuben

    2014-01-01

    The question "What am I doing?" haunts many creative people, researchers, and teachers. Mathematics, poetry, and philosophy can look from the outside sometimes as ballet en pointe, and at other times as the flight of the bumblebee. Reuben Hersh looks at mathematics from the inside; he collects his papers written over several decades, their edited versions, and new chapters in his book Experiencing Mathematics, which is practical, philosophical, and in some places as intensely personal as Swann's madeleine. -Yuri Manin, Max Planck Institute, Bonn, Germany What happens when mid-career a mathemat

  15. Blueberry pollination in southern Brazil and their influence on fruit quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Madruga Telesca da Silveira

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Blueberry (Vaccinium ashei is a relatively new crop in cultivation under Southern Brazil conditions. The first collection introduced in the area was formed by rabbiteye cultivars which need insect pollinators and also pollinizers. The aim of this work was to observe if there were differences between pollinizers on fruit quality of the commercial cultivar and also to observe the most effective and frequent insect pollinators, under natural conditions. It was concluded that pollen source has an effect on quality of blueberry fruits. Bumblebees are the most efficient pollinators; however the species found in southern Brazil are different from the ones mentioned in the U.S. literature.

  16. Pollinator diversity (Hymenoptera and Diptera in semi-natural habitats in Serbia during summer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mudri-Stojnić Sonja

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assess species diversity and population abundance of the two main orders of pollinating insects, Hymenoptera and Diptera. The survey was conducted in 16 grassland fragments within agro-ecosystems in Vojvodina, as well as in surrounding fields with mass-flowering crops. Pollinators were identified and the Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index was used to measure their diversity. Five families, 7 subfamilies, 26 genera and 63 species of insects were recorded. All four big pollinator groups investigated were recorded; hoverflies were the most abundant with 32% of the total number of individuals, followed by wild bees - 29%, honeybees - 23% and bumblebees with 16%.

  17. An Early Miocene bumble bee from northern Bohemia (Hymenoptera, Apidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakub Prokop

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A new species of fossil bumble bee (Apinae: Bombini is described and figured from Early Miocene (Burdigalian deposits of the Most Basin at the Bílina Mine, Czech Republic. Bombus trophonius sp. n., is placed within the subgenus Cullumanobombus Vogt and distinguished from the several species groups therein. The species is apparently most similar to the Nearctic B. (Cullumanobombus rufocinctus Cresson, the earliest-diverging species within the clade and the two may be related only by symplesiomorphies. The age of the fossil is in rough accordance with divergence estimations for Cullumanobombus.

  18. Observaciones antecológicas sobre recolección de polen por vibración

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osorno-Mesa Hermano

    1947-12-01

    Full Text Available Este articulo trata del notable método de recolección de polen por vibración, muy generalizado entre los Bombus, Xylocopidae y otras familias de Hymenoptera. Posiblemente no lo practican las abejas del género Apis, por desempeñar papel importante en dicho método la capa vellosa y amplitud de la región ventro abdominal, que son muy exiguas en las abejas (Apis. En la literatura apícola disponible, no se hace mención de su empleo por las abejas y nunca lo hemos observado en estos himenópteros.

  19. Eufriesea nigrescens y E. Pretiosa (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Euglossini: un caso de oportunismo o simbiosis?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    González B. Victor Hugo

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available Una colonia mixta se forma cuando un nido es ocupado por más de una especie (Michener 1974. En Bombus, este tipo de colonias son muy comunes de manera natural; la reina de una especie invade el nido de otra, mata a la reina hospedera y pone sus propias crías (Michener 1974. Este tipo de relaciones interespecíficas son raras en otros apidos y han sido registradas una sola vez entre dos especies de Meliponini: Melipona fuliginosa y M. panamica (= M. fasciata (Roubik 1981, Roubik, como pers., y dos especies de Euglossini: Eulaema cingulata y E. polychroma (Roubik 1990.

  20. The thermal properties of beeswaxes: unexpected findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchwald, Robert; Breed, Michael D; Greenberg, Alan R

    2008-01-01

    Standard melting point analyses only partially describe the thermal properties of eusocial beeswaxes. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) revealed that thermal phase changes in wax are initiated at substantially lower temperatures than visually observed melting points. Instead of a sharp, single endothermic peak at the published melting point of 64 degrees C, DSC analysis of Apis mellifera Linnaeus wax yielded a broad melting curve that showed the initiation of melting at approximately 40 degrees C. Although Apis beeswax retained a solid appearance at these temperatures, heat absorption and initiation of melting could affect the structural characteristics of the wax. Additionally, a more complete characterization of the thermal properties indicated that the onset of melting, melting range and heat of fusion of beeswaxes varied significantly among tribes of social bees (Bombini, Meliponini, Apini). Compared with other waxes examined, the relatively malleable wax of bumblebees (Bombini) had the lowest onset of melting and lowest heat of fusion but an intermediate melting temperature range. Stingless bee (Meliponini) wax was intermediate between bumblebee and honeybee wax (Apini) in heat of fusion, but had the highest onset of melting and the narrowest melting temperature range. The broad melting temperature range and high heat of fusion in the Apini may be associated with the use of wax comb as a free-hanging structural material, while the Bombini and Meliponini support their wax structures with exogenous materials.

  1. Spring foraging resources and the behaviour of pollinating insects in fixed dune ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aoife T. O'Rourke

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available In temperate climates, foraging resources for pollinating insects are especially important in early spring when animals emerge from hibernation and initiate annual life cycles. One habitat, protected under EU law, which provides resources for a range of pollinating insects, but has received little research attention, is fixed (grey dunes. Fixed dunes often contain creeping willow (Salix repens, Salicaceae, which may be an important early season resource for obligate flower visitors. We examined the springtime activity of flower visitors in fixed dune ecosystems in relation to sugar concentration and composition in nectar, composition of essential amino acids in pollen, and floral abundance. We also investigated whether the presence or absence of S. repens influenced the abundance and species richness of three obligate flower visiting guilds (solitary bees, bumblebees and hoverflies in eight sites along the eastern and southern coasts of Ireland. Higher insect visitation rates were observed to species whose nectar contained greater concentrations of glucose and fructose. Solitary bee visitation rates were related to % Essential Amino Acid (EAA in pollen and floral species richness. Ulex europeaus, and S. repens were the most abundant flowering species, but visitation rates were not related to floral abundance. Higher abundances of bumblebees and hoverflies were discovered at sites where S. repens was present. This study raises further questions about the nutritional requirements and preferences of obligate flower visitors in fixed dune ecosystems in spring time.

  2. Unsupervised Neural Network Quantifies the Cost of Visual Information Processing.

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    Levente L Orbán

    Full Text Available Untrained, "flower-naïve" bumblebees display behavioural preferences when presented with visual properties such as colour, symmetry, spatial frequency and others. Two unsupervised neural networks were implemented to understand the extent to which these models capture elements of bumblebees' unlearned visual preferences towards flower-like visual properties. The computational models, which are variants of Independent Component Analysis and Feature-Extracting Bidirectional Associative Memory, use images of test-patterns that are identical to ones used in behavioural studies. Each model works by decomposing images of floral patterns into meaningful underlying factors. We reconstruct the original floral image using the components and compare the quality of the reconstructed image to the original image. Independent Component Analysis matches behavioural results substantially better across several visual properties. These results are interpreted to support a hypothesis that the temporal and energetic costs of information processing by pollinators served as a selective pressure on floral displays: flowers adapted to pollinators' cognitive constraints.

  3. Do abundance and proximity of the alien Impatiens glandulifera affect pollination and reproductive success of two sympatric co-flowering native species?

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    Anne-Laure Jacquemart

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In invasion ecology, potential impacts of aliens on native flora are still under debate. Our aim was to determine the pollinator mediated effects of both proximity and abundance of an alien species on the reproductive success of natives. We chose the highly invasive Impatiens glandulifera and two native species: Epilobium angustifolium and Aconitum napellus ssp. lusitanicum. These species share characteristics allowing for pollination interactions: similar biotopes, overlapping flowering periods and same main pollinators. The effects of abundance (5, 25 and 100 individuals and proximity (0 and 15 m of the alien on visitation rate, insect behaviour, pollen deposition and reproductive success of both natives were investigated during 2 flowering seasons. We used centred visitation rates as they can be directly interpreted as a positive or negative effect of the invasive.Both abundance and proximity of the alien increased bumblebee visitation rates to both natives. On the other hand, abundance of the exotic species had a slight negative effect on honeybee visits to natives while its proximity had no effect. The behaviour of bumblebees changed as visitors left significantly more often the native plants for I. glandulifera when its abundance increased. As a consequence of this “inconstancy”, bees deposited considerable quantities of alien pollen on native stigmas. Nevertheless, this interspecific pollen transfer did not decrease seed set in natives. Self-compatibility and high attractiveness of both native species probably alleviate the risk of altered pollinator services and reproductive success due to the invader in natural populations.

  4. Spiders do not evoke greater early posterior negativity in the event-related potential as snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hongshen; Kubo, Kenta; Kawai, Nobuyuki

    2014-09-10

    It has been long believed that both snakes and spiders are archetypal fear stimuli for humans. Furthermore, snakes have been assumed as stronger threat cues for nonhuman primates. However, it is still unclear whether spiders hold a special status in human perception. The current study explored to what extent spider pictures draw early visual attention [as assessed with early posterior negativity (EPN)] when compared with insects similar to spiders. To measure the EPN, participants watched a random rapid serial presentation of pictures, which consisted of two conditions: spider condition (spider, wasp, bumblebee, beetle) and snake condition (snake, bird). EPN amplitudes revealed no significant difference between spider, wasp, bumblebee, and beetle pictures, whereas EPN amplitudes were significantly larger for snake pictures relative to bird pictures. In addition, EPN amplitudes were significantly larger for snake pictures relative to spider pictures. These results suggest that the early visual attentional capture of animate objects is stronger for snakes, whereas spiders do not appear to hold special early attentional value.

  5. Native Bee Diversity and Pollen Foraging Specificity in Cultivated Highbush Blueberry (Ericaceae: Vaccinium corymbosum) in Rhode Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Zachary; Ginsberg, Howard S; Alm, Steven R

    2016-12-01

    We identified 41 species of native bees from a total of 1,083 specimens collected at cultivated highbush blueberry plantings throughout Rhode Island in 2014 and 2015. Andrena spp., Bombus spp., and Xylocopa virginica (L.) were collected most often. Bombus griseocollis (DeGeer), B. impatiens Cresson, B. bimaculatus Cresson, B. perplexus Cresson, and Andrena vicina Smith collected the largest mean numbers of blueberry pollen tetrads. The largest mean percent blueberry pollen loads were carried by the miner bees Andrena bradleyi Viereck (91%), A. carolina Viereck (90%), and Colletes validus Cresson (87%). The largest mean total pollen grain loads were carried by B. griseocollis (549,844), B. impatiens (389,558), X. virginica (233,500), and B. bimaculatus (193,132). Xylocopa virginica was the fourth and fifth most commonly collected bee species in 2014 and 2015, respectively. They exhibit nectar robbing and females carried relatively low blueberry pollen loads (mean 33%). Overall, we found 10 species of bees to be the primary pollinators of blueberries in Rhode Island. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Differences in pollination success between local and foreign flower color phenotypes: a translocation experiment with Gentiana lutea (Gentianaceae)

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    Sobral, Mar; Veiga, Tania; Guitián, Pablo; Guitián, José M.

    2017-01-01

    Background The adaptive maintenance of flower color variation is frequently attributed to pollinators partly because they preferentially visit certain flower phenotypes. We tested whether Gentiana lutea—which shows a flower color variation (from orange to yellow) in the Cantabrian Mountains range (north of Spain)—is locally adapted to the pollinator community. Methods We transplanted orange-flowering individuals to a population with yellow-flowering individuals and vice versa, in order to assess whether there is a pollination advantage in the local morph by comparing its visitation rate with the foreign morph. Results Our reciprocal transplant experiment did not show clear local morph advantage in overall visitation rate: local orange flowers received more visits than foreign yellow flowers in the orange population, while both local and foreign flowers received the same visits in the yellow population; thus, there is no evidence of local adaptation in Gentiana lutea to the pollinator assemblage. However, some floral visitor groups (such as Bombus pratorum, B. soroensis ancaricus and B. lapidarius decipiens) consistently preferred the local morph to the foreign morph whereas others (such as Bombus terrestris) consistently preferred the foreign morph. Discussion We concluded that there is no evidence of local adaptation to the pollinator community in each of the two G. lutea populations studied. The consequences for local adaptation to pollinator on G. lutea flower color would depend on the variation along the Cantabrian Mountains range in morph frequency and pollinator community composition. PMID:28194308

  7. Differences in pollination success between local and foreign flower color phenotypes: a translocation experiment with Gentiana lutea (Gentianaceae

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    Javier A. Guitián

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Background The adaptive maintenance of flower color variation is frequently attributed to pollinators partly because they preferentially visit certain flower phenotypes. We tested whether Gentiana lutea—which shows a flower color variation (from orange to yellow in the Cantabrian Mountains range (north of Spain—is locally adapted to the pollinator community. Methods We transplanted orange-flowering individuals to a population with yellow-flowering individuals and vice versa, in order to assess whether there is a pollination advantage in the local morph by comparing its visitation rate with the foreign morph. Results Our reciprocal transplant experiment did not show clear local morph advantage in overall visitation rate: local orange flowers received more visits than foreign yellow flowers in the orange population, while both local and foreign flowers received the same visits in the yellow population; thus, there is no evidence of local adaptation in Gentiana lutea to the pollinator assemblage. However, some floral visitor groups (such as Bombus pratorum, B. soroensis ancaricus and B. lapidarius decipiens consistently preferred the local morph to the foreign morph whereas others (such as Bombus terrestris consistently preferred the foreign morph. Discussion We concluded that there is no evidence of local adaptation to the pollinator community in each of the two G. lutea populations studied. The consequences for local adaptation to pollinator on G. lutea flower color would depend on the variation along the Cantabrian Mountains range in morph frequency and pollinator community composition.

  8. Visitantes florais de Lagerstroemia speciosa Pers: (Lythraceae Floral visitors in Lagerstroemia speciosa Pers: (Lythraceae

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    Maria de Jesus Vitali-Veiga

    1999-06-01

    Full Text Available Studies were carried out with Lagerstroemia speciosa Pers. on floral reproductive systems, diversity and constancy of visiting insects at different hours of day, the behaviour of these insects at the flowers and the influence of these environmental factors in relation to their visits. The fenology, anthesis and others particularity of this vegetal species was studied. A great diversity of insects was verified visiting the flowers with the predominance of bees. The most frequent and constant species encountered were: Nannotrigona testaceicornis (Lepeletier, 1836 (40,2%, Tetragonisca angustula (Latreille, 1811 (16,9%, Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758 (11,8%, Plebeia droryana (Friese, 1900 (9,1 % e Exomalopsis fulvofasciata (Smith, 1879 (8,5%. The blossoms possessis features of melittophily syndrome and diurnal anthesis. The environmental factors influence the insects foraging activity, mainly temperature, light, time of day, humidity and wind speed. The effective pollinators were the large insects like Bombus morio (Swederus, 1787, Bombus atratus (Franklin, 1913, Centris tarsata (Smith, 1874, Centris flavifrons Fabricius, 1775, Xylocopa suspecta Camargo & Moure, 1988, Xylocopa frontalis (Olivier, 1789 and Eulaema nigrita Lepeletier, 1841.

  9. A contribution to the pollination ecology of Tabebuia pulcherrima (Bignoniaceae in a sandbank area of the south of Santa Catarina State, Brazil

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    Afonso Inácio Orth

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Studies on pollination mechanisms in Bignoniaceae have show some evidence of co-evolution with its pollen vectors. Floral biology and flower visitors of Tabebuia pulcherrima were investigated in a sandbank area. Flower phenology, the nectar production, pollen/ovule ratio, and identification of the flower visitors, as well as their behavior, were studied. Tabebuia pulcherrima displays typical melitophilous flowers, due to its morphology, diurnal anthesis and day-long nectar secretion. In the morning, the nectar volume is smaller, which is associated with a higher frequency of visitors. The pollen/ovule ratio indicates facultative xenogamy. We collected 88 insects on the flowers, 52% of which were bees; the rest were wasps, flies, ants end beetles. The most abundant species were Niltonia virgilii (42%, Bombus morio (20% and Xylocopa brasilianorum (18%. According to their frequency, abundance and visiting behavior, Bombus morio and Niltonia virgilii were considered to be the potencial pollinators of T. pulcherrima and Epicharis dejeanii, a secondary pollinator. The carpenter bee Xylocopa brasilianorum is a nectar robber of T. pulcherrima. The flowers of T. pulcherrima are an important food source for the entomofauna of the restinga, offering nectar and pollen as floral rewards.

  10. Melanic variation underlies aposematic color variation in two hymenopteran mimicry systems.

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    Heather M Hines

    Full Text Available The stinging hymenopteran velvet ants (Mutillidae and bumble bees (Apidae: Bombus spp. have both undergone extensive diversification in aposematic color patterns, including yellow-red hues and contrasting dark-light body coloration, as a result of Müllerian mimicry. Understanding the genetic and developmental mechanisms underlying shifts in these mimetic colors requires characterization of their pigmentation. In this study, a combination of solubility, spectrophotometry, and melanin degradation analysis are applied to several color forms and species of these lineages to determine that orange-red colors in both lineages are comprised of primarily dopamine-derived pheomelanins. Until a few recent studies, pheomelanins were thought not to occur in insects. These results support their potential to occur across insects and particularly among the Hymenoptera. Shifts between black and orange-red colors, such as between mimetic color forms of bumble bee Bombus melanopygus, are inferred to involve modification of the ratios of dark eumelanins to red pheomelanins, thus implicating the melanin pathway in mimetic diversification. This discovery highlights the need to focus on how pheomelanins are synthesized in the insect melanin pathway and the potential for new pigments to be found even in some of our most well-known insect systems.

  11. Pollinator guild organization and its consequences for reproduction in three synchronopatric species of Tibouchina (Melastomataceae

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    Ana Maria Franco

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Pollinator guild organization and its consequences for reproduction in three synchronopatric species of Tibouchina (Melastomataceae. In co-flowering plant species, pollinator sharing can result in interspecific pollen transfer and fecundity reduction. Competition will be relaxed whenever there is a large amount of initial pollen supply or if each plant species occupies different habitat patches. Reproduction in Tibouchina cerastifolia (Naudin Cogn., T. clinopodifolia (DC. Cogn. and T. gracilis (Bonpl. Cogn. was studied in an area of Atlantic rainforest to examine whether synchronopatry induces time partitioning among pollinator species. Eleven bee species comprised the pollinator guild. Among pollinators, there were overlaps in bee species composition and in flower visitation time. Direct competition for pollen in Tibouchina Aubl. at the study site seems to lead to different activity periods among the bee species, in which Bombus pauloensis Friese,1913 was most active earlier, while the other species were active later in the day. Bombus pauloensis, the largest bee species recorded on Tibouchina flowers, was the most important and efficient pollinator. This species harvested pollen before the other species and had the shortest handling time. The plants reproduced sexually by selfing or outcrossing, and hybridization was not avoided by incompatibility reactions at the style. The avoidance of direct competition for pollen and no pollinator partitioning among the synchronopatric species of Tibouchina may reflect a facilitative interaction among these pioneer plants.

  12. Differences in pollination success between local and foreign flower color phenotypes: a translocation experiment with Gentiana lutea (Gentianaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guitián, Javier A; Sobral, Mar; Veiga, Tania; Losada, María; Guitián, Pablo; Guitián, José M

    2017-01-01

    The adaptive maintenance of flower color variation is frequently attributed to pollinators partly because they preferentially visit certain flower phenotypes. We tested whether Gentiana lutea -which shows a flower color variation (from orange to yellow) in the Cantabrian Mountains range (north of Spain)-is locally adapted to the pollinator community. We transplanted orange-flowering individuals to a population with yellow-flowering individuals and vice versa, in order to assess whether there is a pollination advantage in the local morph by comparing its visitation rate with the foreign morph. Our reciprocal transplant experiment did not show clear local morph advantage in overall visitation rate: local orange flowers received more visits than foreign yellow flowers in the orange population, while both local and foreign flowers received the same visits in the yellow population; thus, there is no evidence of local adaptation in Gentiana lutea to the pollinator assemblage. However, some floral visitor groups (such as Bombus pratorum , B. soroensis ancaricus and B. lapidarius decipiens ) consistently preferred the local morph to the foreign morph whereas others (such as Bombus terrestris ) consistently preferred the foreign morph. We concluded that there is no evidence of local adaptation to the pollinator community in each of the two G. lutea populations studied. The consequences for local adaptation to pollinator on G. lutea flower color would depend on the variation along the Cantabrian Mountains range in morph frequency and pollinator community composition.

  13. Annual dynamics of wild bee densities: attractiveness and productivity effects of oilseed rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedinger, Verena; Mitesser, Oliver; Hovestadt, Thomas; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Holzschuh, Andrea

    2015-05-01

    Mass-flowering crops may affect long-term population dynamics, but effects on pollinators have never been studied across several years. We monitored wild bees in oilseed rape fields in 16 landscapes in Germany in two consecutive years. Effects on bee densities of landscape oilseed rape cover in the years of monitoring and in the previous years were evaluated with landscape data from three consecutive years. We fit empirical data to a mechanistic model to provide estimates for oilseed rape attractiveness and its effect on bee productivity in comparison to the rest of the landscape, and we evaluated consequences for pollinator densities in consecutive years. Our results show that high oilseed rape cover in the previous year enhances current densities of wild bees (except for bumble bees). Moreover, we show a strong attractiveness of and dilution on (i.e., decreasing bee densities with increasing landscape oilseed rape cover) oilseed rape for bees during flowering in the current year, modifying the effect of the previous year's oilseed rape cover in the case of wild bees (excluding Bombus). As long as other factors such as nesting sites or natural enemies do not limit bee reproduction, our findings suggest long-term positive effects of mass-flowering crops on bee populations, at least for non-Bombus generalists, which possibly help to maintain crop pollination services even when crop area increases. Similar effects are conceivable for other organisms providing ecosystem services in annual crops and should be considered in future studies.

  14. Biología floral y sistema reproductivo dePhaseolus vulgaris var. aborigineus (Fabaceae

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    Patricia S. Hoc

    1999-06-01

    Full Text Available Las observaciones realizadas sobre la biología floral y los experimentos realizados para conocer el sistema reproductivo permiten concluir que: 1. la antesis dura de 9-13 horas y pueden reconocerse dos fases florales, en la segunda el estigma no está receptivo; 2. el estigma se encuentra receptivo en los capullos, cuando las anteras no están dehiscentes, por lo tanto las flores son protóginas; 3. el néctar es secretado durante la fase 1; 4. la composición del néctar reúne las características de las plantas melitófilas; 5. ni la lluvia ni la llovizna afectan la composición del néctar o la viabilidad polínica debido a que se encuentran protegidos, pero afectan el trabajo de los polinizadores; 6. las flores son papilionadas, están adaptadas a himenópteros medianos y la transferencia polínica es nototriba; ell polen es presentado en los tricomas estilares, 7. los valores obtenidos del ISI y del RRS muestran que la variedad es parcialmente autocompatible, por lo tanto su éxito reperoductivo aumenta si trabajan los polinizadores; 8. individuos de Centris sp. y una casta de Bombus atratus son los visitantes legítimos más importantes, porque trabajan en todas las plantas conespecíficas y liban néctar en pocas flores (en fase 1 por planta durante cada visita, mientras que individuos de Bombus opifex, otra casta de Bombus atratus y Megachile spp., aunque son visitantes legítimos, trabajan con menor frecuencia y constancia; 9. algunos lepidópteros son ladrones de néctar porque liban pero no desencadenan el mecanismo de transferencia polínica.Observations made in Salta, northern Argentina, for a complete flowering season of five plants from several patches, allowed the authors to conclude: 1. anthesis lasts 9-13 hours and consists of two floral phases, in the last of which the stigma is not receptive; 2. stigma is receptive in the bud when anthers are not dehiscent, hence the flowers are protogynous; 3. nectar is secreted during

  15. Flowering, nectar production and insects visits in two cultivars of Cucurbita maxima Duch. flowers

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    Marta Dmitruk

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted on experimental plots in the conditions of Lublin. In the years 1998-2000 flowering, nectar secretion and insect visitation of male and female flowers of two winter squash (Cucurbita maxima Duch. cultivars: 'Ambar' and 'Amazonka', were studied. The plants flowered from July to October. The flower life span was within the range of 7-10 hours. Female flowers of cv. Ambar were marked by the most abundant nectar secretion (129 mg. The nectar sugar content can be estimated as average (25%-35%. Winter squash nectar contained 84% of sucrose as well as 8-9% of fructose and 7%-8% of glucose. Flowers of the studied taxa were frequently foraged by the honey bee (66%-98% of total insects and bumblebees (1%-30%.

  16. The neonicotinoid clothianidin interferes with navigation of the solitary bee Osmia cornuta in a laboratory test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Nanxiang; Klein, Simon; Leimig, Fabian; Bischoff, Gabriela; Menzel, Randolf

    2015-09-01

    Pollinating insects provide a vital ecosystem service to crops and wild plants. Exposure to low doses of neonicotinoid insecticides has sub-lethal effects on social pollinators such as bumblebees and honeybees, disturbing their navigation and interfering with their development. Solitary Hymenoptera are also very important ecosystem service providers, but the sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids have not yet been studied well in those animals. We analyzed the ability of walking Osmia to remember a feeding place in a small environment and found that Osmia remembers the feeding place well after 4 days of training. Uptake of field-realistic amounts of the neonicotinoid clothianidin (0.76 ng per bee) altered the animals' sensory responses to the visual environment and interfered with the retrieval of navigational memory. We conclude that the neonicotinoid clothianidin compromises visual guidance and the use of navigational memory in the solitary bee Osmia cornuta. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Lift and Power Required for Flapping Wing Hovering Flight on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohly, Jeremy; Sridhar, Madhu; Bluman, James; Kang, Chang-Kwon; Landrum, D. Brian; Fahimi, Farbod; Aono, Hikaru; Liu, Hao

    2017-11-01

    Achieving flight on Mars is challenging due to the ultra-low density atmosphere. Bio-inspired flapping motion can generate sufficient lift if bumblebee-inspired wings are scaled up between 2 and 4 times their nominal size. However, due to this scaling, the inertial power required to sustain hover increases and dominates over the aerodynamic power. Our results show that a torsional spring placed at the wing root can reduce the flapping power required for hover by efficiently storing and releasing energy while operating at its resonance frequency. The spring assisted reduction in flapping power is demonstrated with a well-validated, coupled Navier-Stokes and flight dynamics solver. The total power is reduced by 79%, whereas the flapping power is reduced by 98%. Such a reduction in power paves the way for an efficient, realizable micro air vehicle capable of vertical takeoff and landing as well as sustained flight on Mars. Alabama Space Grant Consortium Fellowship.

  18. Impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, Ben A.; Isaac, Nicholas J. B.; Bullock, James M.; Roy, David B.; Garthwaite, David G.; Crowe, Andrew; Pywell, Richard F.

    2016-08-01

    Wild bee declines have been ascribed in part to neonicotinoid insecticides. While short-term laboratory studies on commercially bred species (principally honeybees and bumblebees) have identified sub-lethal effects, there is no strong evidence linking these insecticides to losses of the majority of wild bee species. We relate 18 years of UK national wild bee distribution data for 62 species to amounts of neonicotinoid use in oilseed rape. Using a multi-species dynamic Bayesian occupancy analysis, we find evidence of increased population extinction rates in response to neonicotinoid seed treatment use on oilseed rape. Species foraging on oilseed rape benefit from the cover of this crop, but were on average three times more negatively affected by exposure to neonicotinoids than non-crop foragers. Our results suggest that sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids could scale up to cause losses of bee biodiversity. Restrictions on neonicotinoid use may reduce population declines.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Graystock

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Ecological and evolutionary drivers of the elevational gradient of diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laiolo, Paola; Pato, Joaquina; Obeso, José Ramón

    2018-05-02

    Ecological, evolutionary, spatial and neutral theories make distinct predictions and provide distinct explanations for the mechanisms that control the relationship between diversity and the environment. Here, we test predictions of the elevational diversity gradient focusing on Iberian bumblebees, grasshoppers and birds. Processes mediated by local abundance and regional diversity concur in explaining local diversity patterns along elevation. Effects expressed through variation in abundance were similar among taxa and point to the overriding role of a physical factor, temperature. This determines how energy is distributed among individuals and ultimately how the resulting pattern of abundance affects species incidence. Effects expressed through variation in regional species pools depended instead on taxon-specific evolutionary history, and lead to diverging responses under similar environmental pressures. Local filters and regional variation also explain functional diversity gradients, in line with results from species richness that indicate an (local) ecological and (regional) historical unfolding of diversity-elevation relationships. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. [Importance of competition for pollination in formation of the entomophylous plants complex structure].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dlusskiĭ, G M

    2013-01-01

    Many species of entomophylous plants have a wide range of pollinators, and the same insects visit flowers of many plants. The competition for pollination leads to decreasing in seed production of competing species. However, there exists a variety of adaptations that allow plants to reduce the intensity of competition. A comparative analysis of pollinators spectra has allowed to designate groups (subcomplexes) of plants with regard to dominance of various groups of pollinators: myiophylous (flies from the superfamily Muscomorha dominate), syphidophylous (flies from the family Syrphidae dominate), psychophylous (butterflies dominate), cantharophylous (beetles dominate), nonspecialized and specialized melittophylous (Apidae, mainly bumblebees, dominate). The belonging of plants to a specific subcomplex is defined mainly by the structure of flowers and inflorescences. Modes of mechanical and attractive isolation are discussed that lead to restriction of pollinators composition. Competition abatement between species with similar spectra of pollinators and belonging to the same subcomplex is achieved mainly by spatial (ecological) and temporal (different timing of flowering) isolation.

  3. Do bees like Van Gogh's Sunflowers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chittka, Lars; Walker, Julian

    2006-06-01

    Flower colours have evolved over 100 million years to address the colour vision of their bee pollinators. In a much more rapid process, cultural (and horticultural) evolution has produced images of flowers that stimulate aesthetic responses in human observers. The colour vision and analysis of visual patterns differ in several respects between humans and bees. Here, a behavioural ecologist and an installation artist present bumblebees with reproductions of paintings highly appreciated in Western society, such as Van Gogh's Sunflowers. We use this unconventional approach in the hope to raise awareness for between-species differences in visual perception, and to provoke thinking about the implications of biology in human aesthetics and the relationship between object representation and its biological connotations.

  4. Treating hummingbirds as feathered bees: a case of ethological cross-pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritchard, D J; Tello Ramos, M C; Muth, F; Healy, S D

    2017-12-01

    Hummingbirds feed from hundreds of flowers every day. The properties of these flowers provide these birds with a wealth of information about colour, space and time to guide how they forage. To understand how hummingbirds might use this information, researchers have adapted established laboratory paradigms for use in the field. In recent years, however, experimental inspiration has come less from other birds, and more from looking at other nectar-feeders, particularly honeybees and bumblebees, which have been models for foraging behaviour and cognition for over a century. In a world in which the cognitive abilities of bees regularly make the news, research on the influence of ecology and sensory systems on bee behaviour is leading to novel insights in hummingbird cognition. As methods designed to study insects in the laboratory are being applied to hummingbirds in the field, converging methods can help us identify and understand convergence in cognition, behaviour and ecology. © 2017 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  6. Colour learning when foraging for nectar and pollen: bees learn two colours at once.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muth, Felicity; Papaj, Daniel R; Leonard, Anne S

    2015-09-01

    Bees are model organisms for the study of learning and memory, yet nearly all such research to date has used a single reward, nectar. Many bees collect both nectar (carbohydrates) and pollen (protein) on a single foraging bout, sometimes from different plant species. We tested whether individual bumblebees could learn colour associations with nectar and pollen rewards simultaneously in a foraging scenario where one floral type offered only nectar and the other only pollen. We found that bees readily learned multiple reward-colour associations, and when presented with novel floral targets generalized to colours similar to those trained for each reward type. These results expand the ecological significance of work on bee learning and raise new questions regarding the cognitive ecology of pollination. © 2015 The Author(s).

  7. Permanent genetic resources added to Molecular Ecology Resources Database 1 December 2011-31 January 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias, M C; Arnoux, E; Bell, James J; Bernadou, Abel; Bino, Giorgia; Blatrix, R; Bourguet, Denis; Carrea, Cecilia; Clamens, Anne-Laure; Cunha, Haydée A; d'Alençon, E; Ding, Yi; Djieto-Lordon, C; Dubois, M P; Dumas, P; Eraud, C; Faivre, B; Francisco, F O; Françoso, E; Garcia, M; Gardner, Jonathan P A; Garnier, S; Gimenez, S; Gold, John R; Harris, D J; He, Guangcun; Hellemans, B; Hollenbeck, Christopher M; Jing, Shengli; Kergoat, G J; Liu, Bingfang; McDowell, Jan R; McKey, D; Miller, Terrence L; Newton, Erica; Pagenkopp Lohan, Katrina M; Papetti, Chiara; Paterson, Ian; Peccoud, J; Peng, Xinxin; Piatscheck, F; Ponsard, Sergine; Reece, Kimberly S; Reisser, Céline M O; Renshaw, Mark A; Ruzzante, Daniel E; Sauve, M; Shields, Jeffrey D; Solé-Cava, Antonio; Souche, E L; Van Houdt, J K J; Vasconcellos, Anderson; Volckaert, F A M; Wang, Shuzhen; Xiao, Jie; Yu, Hangjin; Zane, Lorenzo; Zannato, Barbara; Zemlak, Tyler S; Zhang, Chunxiao; Zhao, Yan; Zhou, Xi; Zhu, Lili

    2012-05-01

    This article documents the addition of 473 microsatellite marker loci and 71 pairs of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) sequencing primers to the Molecular Ecology Resources Database. Loci were developed for the following species: Barteria fistulosa, Bombus morio, Galaxias platei, Hematodinium perezi, Macrocentrus cingulum Brischke (a.k.a. M. abdominalis Fab., M. grandii Goidanich or M. gifuensis Ashmead), Micropogonias furnieri, Nerita melanotragus, Nilaparvata lugens Stål, Sciaenops ocellatus, Scomber scombrus, Spodoptera frugiperda and Turdus lherminieri. These loci were cross-tested on the following species: Barteria dewevrei, Barteria nigritana, Barteria solida, Cynoscion acoupa, Cynoscion jamaicensis, Cynoscion leiarchus, Cynoscion nebulosus, Cynoscion striatus, Cynoscion virescens, Macrodon ancylodon, Menticirrhus americanus, Nilaparvata muiri and Umbrina canosai. This article also documents the addition of 116 sequencing primer pairs for Dicentrarchus labrax. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. Variance-based selection may explain general mating patterns in social insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueppell, Olav; Johnson, Nels; Rychtár, Jan

    2008-06-23

    Female mating frequency is one of the key parameters of social insect evolution. Several hypotheses have been suggested to explain multiple mating and considerable empirical research has led to conflicting results. Building on several earlier analyses, we present a simple general model that links the number of queen matings to variance in colony performance and this variance to average colony fitness. The model predicts selection for multiple mating if the average colony succeeds in a focal task, and selection for single mating if the average colony fails, irrespective of the proximate mechanism that links genetic diversity to colony fitness. Empirical support comes from interspecific comparisons, e.g. between the bee genera Apis and Bombus, and from data on several ant species, but more comprehensive empirical tests are needed.

  9. Neonicotinoid pesticide reduces bumble bee colony growth and queen production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehorn, Penelope R; O'Connor, Stephanie; Wackers, Felix L; Goulson, Dave

    2012-04-20

    Growing evidence for declines in bee populations has caused great concern because of the valuable ecosystem services they provide. Neonicotinoid insecticides have been implicated in these declines because they occur at trace levels in the nectar and pollen of crop plants. We exposed colonies of the bumble bee Bombus terrestris in the laboratory to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, then allowed them to develop naturally under field conditions. Treated colonies had a significantly reduced growth rate and suffered an 85% reduction in production of new queens compared with control colonies. Given the scale of use of neonicotinoids, we suggest that they may be having a considerable negative impact on wild bumble bee populations across the developed world.

  10. Pollinator guild organization and its consequences for reproduction in three synchronopatric species of Tibouchina (Melastomataceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Maria Franco

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Pollinator guild organization and its consequences for reproduction in three synchronopatric species of Tibouchina (Melastomataceae. In co-flowering plant species, pollinator sharing can result in interspecific pollen transfer and fecundity reduction. Competition will be relaxed whenever there is a large amount of initial pollen supply or if each plant species occupies different habitat patches. Reproduction in Tibouchina cerastifolia (Naudin Cogn., T. clinopodifolia (DC. Cogn. and T. gracilis (Bonpl. Cogn. was studied in an area of Atlantic rainforest to examine whether synchronopatry induces time partitioning among pollinator species. Eleven bee species comprised the pollinator guild. Among pollinators, there were overlaps in bee species composition and in flower visitation time. Direct competition for pollen in Tibouchina Aubl. at the study site seems to lead to different activity periods among the bee species, in which Bombus pauloensis Friese,1913 was most active earlier, while the other species were active later in the day. Bombus pauloensis, the largest bee species recorded on Tibouchina flowers, was the most important and efficient pollinator. This species harvested pollen before the other species and had the shortest handling time. The plants reproduced sexually by selfing or outcrossing, and hybridization was not avoided by incompatibility reactions at the style. The avoidance of direct competition for pollen and no pollinator partitioning among the synchronopatric species of Tibouchina may reflect a facilitative interaction among these pioneer plants.Organização da guilda de polinizadores e sua consequência para reprodução em três espécies sincropátricas de Tibouchina (Melastomataceae. Em espécies de plantas que co-florescem, a partilha de polinizadores pode resultar em transferência interespecífica de pólen e redução da fecundidade. A competição pode ser relaxada quando existe uma grande quantidade de suprimento de p

  11. Spatial fidelity of workers predicts collective response to disturbance in a social insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crall, James D; Gravish, Nick; Mountcastle, Andrew M; Kocher, Sarah D; Oppenheimer, Robert L; Pierce, Naomi E; Combes, Stacey A

    2018-04-03

    Individuals in social insect colonies cooperate to perform collective work. While colonies often respond to changing environmental conditions by flexibly reallocating workers to different tasks, the factors determining which workers switch and why are not well understood. Here, we use an automated tracking system to continuously monitor nest behavior and foraging activity of uniquely identified workers from entire bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) colonies foraging in a natural outdoor environment. We show that most foraging is performed by a small number of workers and that the intensity and distribution of foraging is actively regulated at the colony level in response to forager removal. By analyzing worker nest behavior before and after forager removal, we show that spatial fidelity of workers within the nest generates uneven interaction with relevant localized information sources, and predicts which workers initiate foraging after disturbance. Our results highlight the importance of spatial fidelity for structuring information flow and regulating collective behavior in social insect colonies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-30

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

  13. Trait-specific responses of wild bee communities to landscape composition, configuration and local factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Hopfenmüller

    Full Text Available Land-use intensification and loss of semi-natural habitats have induced a severe decline of bee diversity in agricultural landscapes. Semi-natural habitats like calcareous grasslands are among the most important bee habitats in central Europe, but they are threatened by decreasing habitat area and quality, and by homogenization of the surrounding landscape affecting both landscape composition and configuration. In this study we tested the importance of habitat area, quality and connectivity as well as landscape composition and configuration on wild bees in calcareous grasslands. We made detailed trait-specific analyses as bees with different traits might differ in their response to the tested factors. Species richness and abundance of wild bees were surveyed on 23 calcareous grassland patches in Southern Germany with independent gradients in local and landscape factors. Total wild bee richness was positively affected by complex landscape configuration, large habitat area and high habitat quality (i.e. steep slopes. Cuckoo bee richness was positively affected by complex landscape configuration and large habitat area whereas habitat specialists were only affected by the local factors habitat area and habitat quality. Small social generalists were positively influenced by habitat area whereas large social generalists (bumblebees were positively affected by landscape composition (high percentage of semi-natural habitats. Our results emphasize a strong dependence of habitat specialists on local habitat characteristics, whereas cuckoo bees and bumblebees are more likely affected by the surrounding landscape. We conclude that a combination of large high-quality patches and heterogeneous landscapes maintains high bee species richness and communities with diverse trait composition. Such diverse communities might stabilize pollination services provided to crops and wild plants on local and landscape scales.

  14. Apple Pollination: Demand Depends on Variety and Supply Depends on Pollinator Identity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M P D Garratt

    Full Text Available Insect pollination underpins apple production but the extent to which different pollinator guilds supply this service, particularly across different apple varieties, is unknown. Such information is essential if appropriate orchard management practices are to be targeted and proportional to the potential benefits pollinator species may provide. Here we use a novel combination of pollinator effectiveness assays (floral visit effectiveness, orchard field surveys (flower visitation rate and pollinator dependence manipulations (pollinator exclusion experiments to quantify the supply of pollination services provided by four different pollinator guilds to the production of four commercial varieties of apple. We show that not all pollinators are equally effective at pollinating apples, with hoverflies being less effective than solitary bees and bumblebees, and the relative abundance of different pollinator guilds visiting apple flowers of different varieties varies significantly. Based on this, the taxa specific economic benefits to UK apple production have been established. The contribution of insect pollinators to the economic output in all varieties was estimated to be £92.1M across the UK, with contributions varying widely across taxa: solitary bees (£51.4M, honeybees (£21.4M, bumblebees (£18.6M and hoverflies (£0.7M. This research highlights the differences in the economic benefits of four insect pollinator guilds to four major apple varieties in the UK. This information is essential to underpin appropriate investment in pollination services management and provides a model that can be used in other entomolophilous crops to improve our understanding of crop pollination ecology.

  15. Trait-specific responses of wild bee communities to landscape composition, configuration and local factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopfenmüller, Sebastian; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Holzschuh, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Land-use intensification and loss of semi-natural habitats have induced a severe decline of bee diversity in agricultural landscapes. Semi-natural habitats like calcareous grasslands are among the most important bee habitats in central Europe, but they are threatened by decreasing habitat area and quality, and by homogenization of the surrounding landscape affecting both landscape composition and configuration. In this study we tested the importance of habitat area, quality and connectivity as well as landscape composition and configuration on wild bees in calcareous grasslands. We made detailed trait-specific analyses as bees with different traits might differ in their response to the tested factors. Species richness and abundance of wild bees were surveyed on 23 calcareous grassland patches in Southern Germany with independent gradients in local and landscape factors. Total wild bee richness was positively affected by complex landscape configuration, large habitat area and high habitat quality (i.e. steep slopes). Cuckoo bee richness was positively affected by complex landscape configuration and large habitat area whereas habitat specialists were only affected by the local factors habitat area and habitat quality. Small social generalists were positively influenced by habitat area whereas large social generalists (bumblebees) were positively affected by landscape composition (high percentage of semi-natural habitats). Our results emphasize a strong dependence of habitat specialists on local habitat characteristics, whereas cuckoo bees and bumblebees are more likely affected by the surrounding landscape. We conclude that a combination of large high-quality patches and heterogeneous landscapes maintains high bee species richness and communities with diverse trait composition. Such diverse communities might stabilize pollination services provided to crops and wild plants on local and landscape scales.

  16. Proximity to Woodland and Landscape Structure Drive Pollinator Visitation in Apple Orchard Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neelendra K Joshi

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Landscapes of farms and adjacent areas are known to influence abundance of various arthropods such as pollinators in commercial agricultural ecosystems. In this context, we examined the effect of heterogeneous landscapes surrounding and including commercial apple orchards on pollinator visitation and foraging distance during bloom period from 2011 to 2013 in Pennsylvania. Our results showed that the frequency of feral honeybees and solitary bee visits within an apple orchard depends on the proximity of the orchard to an unmanaged habitat (primarily comprised of forest. At the landscape scale, we found that the Mean Proximity Index, the Largest Patch Index and the Number of Patches positively correlated with the visitation rate of dominant bee taxa (Apis mellifera, Bombus spp. and solitary bees visiting apple flowers at low spatial scales (up to 500 m around the orchards. The Mean Proximity Index at 500 m was related to bee visitation patterns, especially for solitary bees and A. mellifera. Bees in all our study sites preferred to forage in areas with large homogenous patches up to 500 m around an apple orchard. This effect can be attributed to the mass flowering of apples that formed the largest proportion of the 500 m spatial scale. The Number of Patches at 250 m spatial scale was positively correlated with bee visitation, especially Bombus spp., probably because these areas had more habitats and more resources required by these bees. We conclude that retaining unmanaged habitats closer to commercial apple orchards will maintain biodiversity within the landscapes and insure pollination services to apples.

  17. Colony-level variation in pollen collection and foraging preferences among wild-caught bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saifuddin, Mustafa; Jha, Shalene

    2014-04-01

    Given that many pollinators have exhibited dramatic declines related to habitat destruction, an improved understanding of pollinator resource collection across human-altered landscapes is essential to conservation efforts. Despite the importance of bumble bees (Bombus spp.) as global pollinators, little is known regarding how pollen collection patterns vary between individuals, colonies, and landscapes. In this study, Vosnesensky bumble bees (Bombus vosnesenskii Radoszkowski) were collected from a range of human-altered and natural landscapes in northern California. Extensive vegetation surveys and Geographic Information System (GIS)-based habitat classifications were conducted at each site, bees were genotyped to identify colony mates, and pollen loads were examined to identify visited plants. In contrast to predictions based on strong competitive interactions, pollen load composition was significantly more similar for bees captured in a shared study region compared with bees throughout the research area but was not significantly more similar for colony mates. Preference analyses revealed that pollen loads were not composed of the most abundant plant species per study region. The majority of ranked pollen preference lists were significantly correlated for pairwise comparisons of colony mates and individuals within a study region, whereas the majority of pairwise comparisons of ranked pollen preference lists between individuals located at separate study regions were uncorrelated. Results suggest that pollen load composition and foraging preferences are similar for bees throughout a shared landscape regardless of colony membership. The importance of native plant species in pollen collection is illustrated through preference analyses, and we suggest prioritization of specific rare native plant species for enhanced bumble bee pollen collection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  19. Hepato-Nephrocitic System: A Novel Model of Biomarkers for Analysis of the Ecology of Stress in Environmental Biomonitoring.

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    Fábio Camargo Abdalla

    Full Text Available Bombus presents a serious global decline of populations and even loss of species. This phenomenon is complex and multifactorial: environmental degradation due to increasing cultivation and grazing areas, indiscriminate use of agrochemicals, and a plethora of xenobiotics daily discharged in the environment. We proposed that bees have an integrated cell system, which ensures protection against chemical stressors up to a certain limit. Therefore, this hypothesis was tested, exposing workers of Bombus morio to cadmium, a harmful trace metal nowadays widespread in our society. The workers were kept in BOD (26°C, RH 70%, in the dark, fed ad libitum, and divided into a control group (n = 20 and an experimental group (n = 20. For the first group, we offered 2 mL of distilled water; for the experimental groups, 2 mL of cadmium at 1 ppb. In relation to the control group, exposed bees showed that their fat body and hemocytes responded in synchronization with pericardial cells in a topographical and temporal cascade of events, where the fat body is the first barrier against xenobiotics, followed by pericardial cells. The immune cells participate throughout the process. To this system, we proposed the name of hepato-nephrocitic system (HNS, which may explain many phenomena that remain unclear in similar research with Apis mellifera and other species of bees, as shown in this paper. The bee's HNS is a system of highly responsive cells to toxicants, considered a novel parameter for the study of the ecology of stress applied in environmental management.

  20. Insect-flower interaction network structure is resilient to a temporary pulse of floral resources from invasive Rhododendron ponticum.

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    Erin Jo Tiedeken

    Full Text Available Invasive alien plants can compete with native plants for resources, and may ultimately decrease native plant diversity and/or abundance in invaded sites. This could have consequences for native mutualistic interactions, such as pollination. Although invasive plants often become highly connected in plant-pollinator interaction networks, in temperate climates they usually only flower for part of the season. Unless sufficient alternative plants flower outside this period, whole-season floral resources may be reduced by invasion. We hypothesized that the cessation of flowering of a dominant invasive plant would lead to dramatic, seasonal compositional changes in plant-pollinator communities, and subsequent changes in network structure. We investigated variation in floral resources, flower-visiting insect communities, and interaction networks during and after the flowering of invasive Rhododendron ponticum in four invaded Irish woodland sites. Floral resources decreased significantly after R. ponticum flowering, but the magnitude of the decrease varied among sites. Neither insect abundance nor richness varied between the two periods (during and after R. ponticum flowering, yet insect community composition was distinct, mostly due to a significant reduction in Bombus abundance after flowering. During flowering R. ponticum was frequently visited by Bombus; after flowering, these highly mobile pollinators presumably left to find alternative floral resources. Despite compositional changes, however, network structural properties remained stable after R. ponticum flowering ceased: generality increased, but quantitative connectance, interaction evenness, vulnerability, H'2 and network size did not change. This is likely because after R. ponticum flowering, two to three alternative plant species became prominent in networks and insects increased their diet breadth, as indicated by the increase in network-level generality. We conclude that network structure

  1. Unbiased RNA Shotgun Metagenomics in Social and Solitary Wild Bees Detects Associations with Eukaryote Parasites and New Viruses.

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    Karel Schoonvaere

    Full Text Available The diversity of eukaryote organisms and viruses associated with wild bees remains poorly characterized in contrast to the well-documented pathosphere of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Using a deliberate RNA shotgun metagenomic sequencing strategy in combination with a dedicated bioinformatics workflow, we identified the (micro-organisms and viruses associated with two bumble bee hosts, Bombus terrestris and Bombus pascuorum, and two solitary bee hosts, Osmia cornuta and Andrena vaga. Ion Torrent semiconductor sequencing generated approximately 3.8 million high quality reads. The most significant eukaryote associations were two protozoan, Apicystis bombi and Crithidia bombi, and one nematode parasite Sphaerularia bombi in bumble bees. The trypanosome protozoan C. bombi was also found in the solitary bee O. cornuta. Next to the identification of three honey bee viruses Black queen cell virus, Sacbrood virus and Varroa destructor virus-1 and four plant viruses, we describe two novel RNA viruses Scaldis River bee virus (SRBV and Ganda bee virus (GABV based on their partial genomic sequences. The novel viruses belong to the class of negative-sense RNA viruses, SRBV is related to the order Mononegavirales whereas GABV is related to the family Bunyaviridae. The potential biological role of both viruses in bees is discussed in the context of recent advances in the field of arthropod viruses. Further, fragmentary sequence evidence for other undescribed viruses is presented, among which a nudivirus in O. cornuta and an unclassified virus related to Chronic bee paralysis virus in B. terrestris. Our findings extend the current knowledge of wild bee parasites in general and addsto the growing evidence of unexplored arthropod viruses in valuable insects.

  2. Evaluación de germoplasma de achiote Bixa orellana L.: estudios básicos sobre asociaciones fenotípicas y biología floral

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    Vallejo Cabrera Franco Alirio

    1991-12-01

    Full Text Available 150 Bixa genetic resources was collected by National University of Colombia for purposes of conservation, evaluation and utilization in genetic breeding program. 21 accessions was evaluated for color production, seed production per plant and color porcentaje. B-Col 12, B-Col 16 and B-Co156 accessions showed highest values for seed production per plant and color percentaje. The achiote flower is hermafrodite, regular, calix formed by 5 sepales, coro le formed by 5 petales, numerous estames, superior and unilocular ovary. Antesis is 5:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. range. Protandria is present in achiote: Bombus atratus, Euglossa fasciata and Trigona sp. are the pollinizator insects. A methodoly for controlled polinization was carried out.En la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, seccional de Palmira se formó una colección de achiote Bixa orellana L. con 70 introducciones nacionales y 80 extranjeras. En 21 introducciones se encontró amplia variación fenotípica para los caracteres rendimiento de colorante por árbol y rendimiento de semilla por árbol. La variabilidad del carácter porcentaje de colorante fue menor. Las introducciones B-Col 12, B-Col 16 y B-Col 56 presentaron valores altos para los caracteres rendimiento de semilla por árbol y porcentaje de colorante. La flor del achiote es hermafrodita, regular, cáliz compuesto de cinco sépalos, corola por cinco pétalos libres, numerosos estambres, gineceo constituido por un ovario súpero unilocular. La antesis floral ocurre entre las 5:30 a.m. y las 8:00 a.m. Se presenta el fenómeno de protandria. Los principales insectos polinizadores son: Bombus atratus, Euglossa fasciata y Trigona sp. Se determinó una metodología para efectuar hibridación artificial en achiote.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-15

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

  4. Unbiased RNA Shotgun Metagenomics in Social and Solitary Wild Bees Detects Associations with Eukaryote Parasites and New Viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoonvaere, Karel; De Smet, Lina; Smagghe, Guy; Vierstraete, Andy; Braeckman, Bart P; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2016-01-01

    The diversity of eukaryote organisms and viruses associated with wild bees remains poorly characterized in contrast to the well-documented pathosphere of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Using a deliberate RNA shotgun metagenomic sequencing strategy in combination with a dedicated bioinformatics workflow, we identified the (micro-)organisms and viruses associated with two bumble bee hosts, Bombus terrestris and Bombus pascuorum, and two solitary bee hosts, Osmia cornuta and Andrena vaga. Ion Torrent semiconductor sequencing generated approximately 3.8 million high quality reads. The most significant eukaryote associations were two protozoan, Apicystis bombi and Crithidia bombi, and one nematode parasite Sphaerularia bombi in bumble bees. The trypanosome protozoan C. bombi was also found in the solitary bee O. cornuta. Next to the identification of three honey bee viruses Black queen cell virus, Sacbrood virus and Varroa destructor virus-1 and four plant viruses, we describe two novel RNA viruses Scaldis River bee virus (SRBV) and Ganda bee virus (GABV) based on their partial genomic sequences. The novel viruses belong to the class of negative-sense RNA viruses, SRBV is related to the order Mononegavirales whereas GABV is related to the family Bunyaviridae. The potential biological role of both viruses in bees is discussed in the context of recent advances in the field of arthropod viruses. Further, fragmentary sequence evidence for other undescribed viruses is presented, among which a nudivirus in O. cornuta and an unclassified virus related to Chronic bee paralysis virus in B. terrestris. Our findings extend the current knowledge of wild bee parasites in general and addsto the growing evidence of unexplored arthropod viruses in valuable insects.

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

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    Gail A. Langellotto

    2009-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

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    Evan C Palmer-Young

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

  8. Abelhas (Hymenoptera: Apoidea visitantes das flores de urucum em Vitória da Conquista, BA Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea visitors of the annatto flowers in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia State, Brazil

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    Augusto Jorge Cavalcante Costa

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available O urucum é um arbusto da família Bixaceae, utilizado na fabricação de corantes naturais para a indústria alimentícia e cosmética. No Brasil, somente nos últimos 15 anos, houve maior interesse pelo cultivo, pois se tornou uma alternativa agrícola promissora. O presente trabalho teve por objetivo identificar as abelhas visitantes das flores do urucuzeiro em Vitória da Conquista, BA. O trabalho foi conduzido no campo experimental da UESB, em uma lavoura do tipo cultivado Peruana Paulista. A coleta das abelhas visitantes foi feita na época principal de floração do urucueiro: março/abril, das 6h às 18h. Foram coletadas 3019 abelhas de 22 espécies, com predominância na visitação das 8h às 14h em relação ao número de indivíduos e número de espécies capturadas. As espécies mais freqüentes foram: Trigona spinipes (Fabricius, Apis mellifera L., Schwarziana quadripunctata (Lepeletier e Tetragonisca angustula (Latreille. Espécies de maior porte, como Xylocopa frontalis (Olivier, Bombus morio (Swederus e Eulaema nigrita Lepeletier, consideradas como eficientes na polinização da cultura do urucum, não foram abundantes neste estudo.Annatto is a shrub from Bixaceae family, which natural pigment (annatto is widely used in food and cosmetic industries. In Brazil, the interest for this crop started in the last fifteen years, once it became a promising agricultural alternative. This study was aimed at identifing visitor bees of annatto flowers at the agriculture region of Vitória da Conquista (BA. The research was carried out in the experimental field of UESB, in an experimental plot planted with the cv. Peruana Paulista. The visitor bees were collected during the main blooming period: March/April, between 6:00h and 18:00h. A total of 3,019 bees from 22 species was collected, with higher visitation during the period from 8:00 to 14:00h, regarding the number of individuals and species. The species most frequent were Trigona spinipes

  9. A comunidade de abelhas (Hymenoptera, Apidae s. l. em uma área restrita de campo natural no Parque Estadual de Vila Velha, Paraná: diversidade, fenologia e fontes florais de alimento The bee community (Hymenoptera, Apidae s. l. in a restricted area of native grassland in the Vila Velha State Park, Paraná: diversity, phenology and food plants

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    Rodrigo B. Gonçalves

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Coletas sistemáticas de abelhas em uma área restrita no Parque Estadual de Vila Velha, Paraná, no período de outubro de 2002 a outubro de 2003, resultaram em 1552 espécimes pertencentes a 181 espécies. Estas espécies estão distribuídas em 58 gêneros, 24 tribos e 5 subfamílias. As plantas visitadas correspondem a 113 espécies, em 72 gêneros e 38 famílias. Megachile com 20 espécies foi o gênero mais rico e Ceratina o gênero mais abundante dentre os gêneros nativos. Apis mellifera foi a espécie mais coletada, correspondendo a 28% do total de indivíduos, e Bombus atratus foi a espécie mais abundante dentre as abelhas nativas. A riqueza e a equitabilidade nos meses foram variáveis, sendo março o mais rico e novembro o de maior equitabilidade. Apesar de tradicionalmente considerados parte das estepes sulinas, os campos de Vila Velha apresentam uma fauna de abelhas contendo várias espécies típicas de cerrado. O igual número de espécies entre as subfamílias Apinae e Halictinae também apontam para uma peculiaridade de sua fauna. Listas de abelhas e plantas coletadas são apresentadas em anexo.A standardized survey of bees visiting blooming plants in an area covered by natural grasslands in the Vila Velha State Park was conducted from October, 2002, to October, 2003. A total of 1552 specimens belonging to 181 species were collected. These species are distributed in 58 genera, 24 tribes and 5 subfamilies. The visited plants belong to 113 species, in 72 genera and 38 families. Megachile, with 20 species, was the richest genus, while Ceratina was the most abundant native genus. Apis mellifera was the most abundant species, with 28% of all bees collected. Among the native species, Bombus atratus was the most abundant. Monthly richness and equitability varied along the year, March being the richest, and November, the most equitable. Despite being traditionally placed within the southern steppes, the open grasslands of Vila Velha

  10. Diatomáceas epífitas em Galaxaura rugosa (J. Ellis & Solander J.V. Lamouroux (Rhodophyta no Arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha, PE, Nordeste do Brasil Epiphytic diatoms on Galaxaura rugosa (J. Ellis & Solander J.V. Lamouroux (Rhodophyta in Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Pernambuco State, Northeast Brazil

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    Manoel Messias da Silva Costa

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Exemplares de Galaxaura rugosa (J. Ellis & Solander J.V. Lamouroux foram coletados nos meses de junho/2006 e junho/2007, em três localidades do Arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha (Atalaia, Porto e Cagarras, com o objetivo de identificar a flora das diatomáceas epífitas que habita o talo da alga. Foram identificados 52 táxons distribuídos nas classes: Coscinodiscophyceae (19%, Fragilariophyceae (21% e Bacillariophyceae (60% denotando uma dominância de indivíduos com simetria bilateral, os quais corresponderam a 81% da flora identificada. As seguintes espécies caracterizaram a estrutura florística das diatomáceas, pois foram encontradas em mais de 70% das amostras analisadas: Amphora sp., Biddulphia biddulphiana (J.E. Smith Boyer, Cocconeis scutellum Ehrenberg, Diploneis bombus Ehrenberg, Grammatophora marina (Lyngbye Kützing, Mastogloia binotata (Grunow Cleve, Navicula longa Grunow, Nitzschia sp., Psammodiscus nitidus (Gregory Round in Mann, Rhabdonema adriaticum Kützing, Trachyneis aspera (Ehrenberg Cleve e Tryblionella coarctata (Grunow Mann. A diversidade específica variou entre média à alta, com os menores valores correspondendo aos florescimentos de Amphora sp. (49,3%, Mastogloia binotata (42,1% e Nitzschia sp. (62,5%.Specimens of Galaxaura rugosa (J. Ellis & Solander J.V. Lamouroux were collected in June 2006 and June 2007 at three localities in Fernando de Noronha Archipelago (Atalaia, Porto and Cagarras, aiming to identify the epiphytic diatom flora that inhabits the algae thallus. A total of 52 taxa were identified, distributed in the classes Coscinodiscophyceae (19%, Fragilariophyceae (21% and Bacillariophyceae (60% with 81% dominance of individuals with pinnate symmetry. The following species characterized the floristic diatom structure being considered very frequent: Amphora sp., Biddulphia biddulphiana (J.E. Smith Boyer, Cocconeis scutellum Ehrenberg, Diploneis bombus Ehrenberg, Grammatophora marina (Lyngbye K

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Do Insects Have Emotions? Some Insights from Bumble Bees.

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    Baracchi, David; Lihoreau, Mathieu; Giurfa, Martin

    2017-01-01

    While our conceptual understanding of emotions is largely based on human subjective experiences, research in comparative cognition has shown growing interest in the existence and identification of "emotion-like" states in non-human animals. There is still ongoing debate about the nature of emotions in animals (especially invertebrates), and certainly their existence and the existence of certain expressive behaviors displaying internal emotional states raise a number of exciting and challenging questions. Interestingly, at least superficially, insects (bees and flies) seem to fulfill the basic requirements of emotional behavior. Yet, recent works go a step further by adopting terminologies and interpretational frameworks that could have been considered as crude anthropocentrism and that now seem acceptable in the scientific literature on invertebrate behavior and cognition. This change in paradigm requires, therefore, that the question of emotions in invertebrates is reconsidered from a cautious perspective and with parsimonious explanations. Here we review and discuss this controversial topic based on the recent finding that bumblebees experience positive emotions while experiencing unexpected sucrose rewards, but also incorporating a broader survey of recent literature in which similar claims have been done for other invertebrates. We maintain that caution is warranted before attributing emotion-like states to honey bees and bumble bees as some experimental caveats may undermine definitive conclusions. We suggest that interpreting many of these findings in terms of motivational drives may be less anthropocentrically biased and more cautious, at least until more careful experiments warrant the use of an emotion-related terminology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  14. Sequence recombination and conservation of Varroa destructor virus-1 and deformed wing virus in field collected honey bees (Apis mellifera.

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    Hui Wang

    Full Text Available We sequenced small (s RNAs from field collected honeybees (Apis mellifera and bumblebees (Bombuspascuorum using the Illumina technology. The sRNA reads were assembled and resulting contigs were used to search for virus homologues in GenBank. Matches with Varroadestructor virus-1 (VDV1 and Deformed wing virus (DWV genomic sequences were obtained for A. mellifera but not B. pascuorum. Further analyses suggested that the prevalent virus population was composed of VDV-1 and a chimera of 5'-DWV-VDV1-DWV-3'. The recombination junctions in the chimera genomes were confirmed by using RT-PCR, cDNA cloning and Sanger sequencing. We then focused on conserved short fragments (CSF, size > 25 nt in the virus genomes by using GenBank sequences and the deep sequencing data obtained in this study. The majority of CSF sites confirmed conservation at both between-species (GenBank sequences and within-population (dataset of this study levels. However, conserved nucleotide positions in the GenBank sequences might be variable at the within-population level. High mutation rates (Pi>10% were observed at a number of sites using the deep sequencing data, suggesting that sequence conservation might not always be maintained at the population level. Virus-host interactions and strategies for developing RNAi treatments against VDV1/DWV infections are discussed.

  15. Evidence of trapline foraging in honeybees.

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    Buatois, Alexis; Lihoreau, Mathieu

    2016-08-15

    Central-place foragers exploiting floral resources often use multi-destination routes (traplines) to maximise their foraging efficiency. Recent studies on bumblebees have showed how solitary foragers can learn traplines, minimising travel costs between multiple replenishing feeding locations. Here we demonstrate a similar routing strategy in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), a major pollinator known to recruit nestmates to discovered food resources. Individual honeybees trained to collect sucrose solution from four artificial flowers arranged within 10 m of the hive location developed repeatable visitation sequences both in the laboratory and in the field. A 10-fold increase of between-flower distances considerably intensified this routing behaviour, with bees establishing more stable and more efficient routes at larger spatial scales. In these advanced social insects, trapline foraging may complement cooperative foraging for exploiting food resources near the hive (where dance recruitment is not used) or when resources are not large enough to sustain multiple foragers at once. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  16. Dependency on floral resources determines the animals' responses to floral scents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junker, Robert R; Blüthgen, Nico

    2010-08-01

    Animal-pollinated angiosperms either depend on cross-pollination or may also reproduce after self-pollination - the former are thus obligately, the latter facultatively dependent on the service of animal-pollinators. Analogously, flower visitors either solely feed on floral resources or complement their diet with these, and are hence dependent or not on the flowers they visit. We assume that obligate flower visitors evolved abilities that enable them to effectively forage on flowers including mechanisms to bypass or tolerate floral defences such as morphological barriers and repellent / deterrent secondary metabolites. Facultative flower visitors, in contrast, are supposed to lack these adaptations and are often prevented to consume floral resources by defence mechanisms. In cases where obligate flower visitors are mutualists and facultative ones are antagonists, this dichotomy provides a solution for the plants' dilemma to attract pollinators and simultaneously repel exploiters. In a meta-analysis, we recently supported this hypothesis: obligate flower visitors are attracted to floral scents, while facultative ones are repelled. Here, we add empirical evidence to these results: bumblebees and ants, obligate and facultative flower visitors, respectively, responded as predicted by the results of the meta-analysis to synthetic floral scent compounds.

  17. Dosage-dependent impacts of a floral volatile compound on pollinators, larcenists, and the potential for floral evolution in the alpine skypilot Polemonium viscosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galen, Candace; Kaczorowski, Rainee; Todd, Sadie L; Geib, Jennifer; Raguso, Robert A

    2011-02-01

    All volatile organic compounds (VOCs) vary quantitatively, yet how such variation affects their ecological roles is unknown. Because floral VOCs are cues for both pollinators and floral antagonists, variation in emission may have major consequences for costs and benefits in plant-pollinator interactions. In Polemonium viscosum, the emission rate for the floral VOC 2-phenylethanol (2PE) spans more than two orders of magnitude. We investigated the ecological and evolutionary impacts of this immense phenotypic variation. The emission rate of 2PE varies independently of nectar rewards and thus is uninformative of profitability. Emission is elevated in flowers that are morphologically vulnerable to ant larcenists, suggesting that chemical deterrence may compensate for weak physical barriers. In nature, plants emitting more 2PE than their neighbors escape ant damage. Flower-damaging ants die when exposed to 2PE in the laboratory, and they avoid high 2PE emitters in the field. High 2PE also reduces bumblebee visitation and pollination, suggesting an ecological cost of defense in pollinator service. However, at more moderate emission rates, 2PE enhances the amount of nectar left in flowers, at no pollination cost. In conclusion, repellency of 2PE is highly sensitive to dosage, giving it a key role in shaping ecological interactions between skypilot plants and their floral visitors.

  18. Food for honeybees? Pollinators and seed set of Anthyllis barba-jovis L. (Fabaceae in arid coastal areas of the Mediterranean basin

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    Giovanni Benelli

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Abundance and diversity of insect pollinators are declining in many ecosystems worldwide. The abundance and diversity of wild and managed bees are related to the availability of continuous floral resources. In particular, in Mediterranean basin countries, the presence of wildflower spots enhances the establishment of social Apoidea, since coastal regions are usually characterized by pollen and nectar shortage in early spring and late summer. Anthyllis barba-jovis produces both nectar and pollen as important food source for bees helping them to overcome early spring period food shortage. We investigated flowering, seed set, and pollinator diversity of A. barba-jovis in arid coastal environments of the Mediterranean basin. Pollinator abundance reached a maximum in early April. Honeybees were the most common pollinators followed by bumblebees and solitary bees. Plants prevented from entomophilous pollination showed inbreeding depression with a strong decrease in seed-set. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on pollination ecology of A. barba-jovis.

  19. Reproductive Ecology of Rhynchanthus beesianus W. W. Smith (Zingiberaceae) in South Yunnan, China: A Ginger with Bird Pollination Syndrome

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jiang-Yun Gao; Zi-Hui Yang; Pan-Yu Ren; Qing-Jun Li

    2006-01-01

    Rhynchanthus beesianus W. W. Smith (Zingiberaceae) is an epiphytic tropical ginger with a very conspicuous floral display, but almost no fruit set under field conditions. The reproductive ecology encompassing phenology, floral biology, and pollination and breeding systems was investigated in an evergreen broad-leaved forest in Yunnan Province, Southwest China. The flowers possess a typical bird pollination syndrome,but no effective pollinators were observed during 138 h of observation. Female Black-breasted Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata) and bumblebees visited R. beesianus regularly, but they all played roles as nectar robbers. No fruit was found in the bagging treatment, and fruit set following manual self-pollination ((57.55 ± 4.08)%) was comparable with cross-pollination ((64.32 ± 4.42)%), suggesting that R. beesianus is self-compatible but spontaneous self-pollination in this species does not occur. Seed set of open-pollination ((26.42 ± 3.11)%) was significantly lower than manual self-pollination ((73.41 ± 4.16)%) and cross-pollination ((75.56 ± 4.52)%), confirming that R. beesianus was dependent on animals for fertilization and suffered a serious pollinator-limitation.

  20. Experimental evidence that honeybees depress wild insect densities in a flowering crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindström, Sandra A M; Herbertsson, Lina; Rundlöf, Maj; Bommarco, Riccardo; Smith, Henrik G

    2016-11-30

    While addition of managed honeybees (Apis mellifera) improves pollination of many entomophilous crops, it is unknown if it simultaneously suppresses the densities of wild insects through competition. To investigate this, we added 624 honeybee hives to 23 fields of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) over 2 years and made sure that the areas around 21 other fields were free from honeybee hives. We demonstrate that honeybee addition depresses the densities of wild insects (bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, marchflies, other flies, and other flying and flower-visiting insects) even in a massive flower resource such as oilseed rape. The effect was independent of the complexity of the surrounding landscape, but increased with the size of the crop field, which suggests that the effect was caused by spatial displacement of wild insects. Our results have potential implications both for the pollination of crops (if displacement of wild pollinators offsets benefits achieved by adding honeybees) and for conservation of wild insects (if displacement results in negative fitness consequences). © 2016 The Author(s).

  1. Innate colour preferences of the Australian native stingless bee Tetragonula carbonaria Sm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyer, Adrian G; Boyd-Gerny, Skye; Shrestha, Mani; Lunau, Klaus; Garcia, Jair E; Koethe, Sebastian; Wong, Bob B M

    2016-10-01

    Innate preferences promote the capacity of pollinators to find flowers. Honeybees and bumblebees have strong preferences for 'blue' stimuli, and flowers of this colour typically present higher nectar rewards. Interestingly, flowers from multiple different locations around the world independently have the same distribution in bee colour space. Currently, however, there is a paucity of data on the innate colour preferences of stingless bees that are often implicated as being key pollinators in many parts of the world. In Australia, the endemic stingless bee Tetragonula carbonaria is widely distributed and known to be an efficient pollinator of both native plants and agricultural crops. In controlled laboratory conditions, we tested the innate colour responses of naïve bees using standard broadband reflectance stimuli representative of common flower colours. Colorimetric analyses considering hymenopteran vision and a hexagon colour space revealed a difference between test colonies, and a significant effect of green contrast and an interaction effect of green contrast with spectral purity on bee choices. We also observed colour preferences for stimuli from the blue and blue-green categorical regions of colour space. Our results are discussed in relation to the similar distribution of flower colours observed from bee pollination around the world.

  2. Point and interval estimation of pollinator importance: a study using pollination data of Silene caroliniana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Richard J; Fenster, Charles B

    2008-05-01

    Pollinator importance, the product of visitation rate and pollinator effectiveness, is a descriptive parameter of the ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions. Naturally, sources of its variation should be investigated, but the SE of pollinator importance has never been properly reported. Here, a Monte Carlo simulation study and a result from mathematical statistics on the variance of the product of two random variables are used to estimate the mean and confidence limits of pollinator importance for three visitor species of the wildflower, Silene caroliniana. Both methods provided similar estimates of mean pollinator importance and its interval if the sample size of the visitation and effectiveness datasets were comparatively large. These approaches allowed us to determine that bumblebee importance was significantly greater than clearwing hawkmoth, which was significantly greater than beefly. The methods could be used to statistically quantify temporal and spatial variation in pollinator importance of particular visitor species. The approaches may be extended for estimating the variance of more than two random variables. However, unless the distribution function of the resulting statistic is known, the simulation approach is preferable for calculating the parameter's confidence limits.

  3. Phenotypic selection on flowering phenology and pollination efficiency traits between Primula populations with different pollinator assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yun; Li, Qing-Jun

    2017-10-01

    Floral traits have largely been attributed to phenotypic selection in plant-pollinator interactions. However, the strength of this link has rarely been ascertained with real pollinators. We conducted pollinator observations and estimated selection through female fitness on flowering phenology and floral traits between two Primula secundiflora populations. We quantified pollinator-mediated selection by subtracting estimates of selection gradients of plants receiving supplemental hand pollination from those of plants receiving open pollination. There was net directional selection for an earlier flowering start date at populations where the dominant pollinators were syrphid flies, and flowering phenology was also subjected to stabilized quadratic selection. However, a later flowering start date was significantly selected at populations where the dominant pollinators were legitimate (normal pollination through the corolla tube entrance) and illegitimate bumblebees (abnormal pollination through nectar robbing hole which located at the corolla tube), and flowering phenology was subjected to disruptive quadratic selection. Wider corolla tube entrance diameter was selected at both populations. Furthermore, the strength of net directional selection on flowering start date and corolla tube entrance diameter was stronger at the population where the dominant pollinators were syrphid flies. Pollinator-mediated selection explained most of the between-population variations in the net directional selection on flowering phenology and corolla tube entrance diameter. Our results suggested the important influence of pollinator-mediated selection on floral evolution. Variations in pollinator assemblages not only resulted in variation in the direction of selection but also the strength of selection on floral traits.

  4. Efficiency in pollen foraging by honey bees: Time, motion and pollen depletion on flowers of Sisyrinchium palmifolium Linnaeus (Asparagales: Iridaceae

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    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.

  5. Disorder in convergent floral nanostructures enhances signalling to bees

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    Moyroud, Edwige; Wenzel, Tobias; Middleton, Rox; Rudall, Paula J.; Banks, Hannah; Reed, Alison; Mellers, Greg; Killoran, Patrick; Westwood, M. Murphy; Steiner, Ullrich; Vignolini, Silvia; Glover, Beverley J.

    2017-10-01

    Diverse forms of nanoscale architecture generate structural colour and perform signalling functions within and between species. Structural colour is the result of the interference of light from approximately regular periodic structures; some structural disorder is, however, inevitable in biological organisms. Is this disorder functional and subject to evolutionary selection, or is it simply an unavoidable outcome of biological developmental processes? Here we show that disordered nanostructures enable flowers to produce visual signals that are salient to bees. These disordered nanostructures (identified in most major lineages of angiosperms) have distinct anatomies but convergent optical properties; they all produce angle-dependent scattered light, predominantly at short wavelengths (ultraviolet and blue). We manufactured artificial flowers with nanoscale structures that possessed tailored levels of disorder in order to investigate how foraging bumblebees respond to this optical effect. We conclude that floral nanostructures have evolved, on multiple independent occasions, an effective degree of relative spatial disorder that generates a photonic signature that is highly salient to insect pollinators.

  6. Seed coating with a neonicotinoid insecticide negatively affects wild bees.

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    Rundlöf, Maj; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Fries, Ingemar; Hederström, Veronica; Herbertsson, Lina; Jonsson, Ove; Klatt, Björn K; Pedersen, Thorsten R; Yourstone, Johanna; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-05-07

    Understanding the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees is vital because of reported declines in bee diversity and distribution and the crucial role bees have as pollinators in ecosystems and agriculture. Neonicotinoids are suspected to pose an unacceptable risk to bees, partly because of their systemic uptake in plants, and the European Union has therefore introduced a moratorium on three neonicotinoids as seed coatings in flowering crops that attract bees. The moratorium has been criticized for being based on weak evidence, particularly because effects have mostly been measured on bees that have been artificially fed neonicotinoids. Thus, the key question is how neonicotinoids influence bees, and wild bees in particular, in real-world agricultural landscapes. Here we show that a commonly used insecticide seed coating in a flowering crop can have serious consequences for wild bees. In a study with replicated and matched landscapes, we found that seed coating with Elado, an insecticide containing a combination of the neonicotinoid clothianidin and the non-systemic pyrethroid β-cyfluthrin, applied to oilseed rape seeds, reduced wild bee density, solitary bee nesting, and bumblebee colony growth and reproduction under field conditions. Hence, such insecticidal use can pose a substantial risk to wild bees in agricultural landscapes, and the contribution of pesticides to the global decline of wild bees may have been underestimated. The lack of a significant response in honeybee colonies suggests that reported pesticide effects on honeybees cannot always be extrapolated to wild bees.

  7. Characteristics of blooming, floral nectaries and nectar of Malus sargentii Rehd.

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    Elżbieta Weryszko-Chmielewska

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In the years 2007-2008, the flowering biology of Malus sargentii, an ornamental apple tree native to Japan, was studied in the conditions of Lublin (Poland. The daily rate of flower opening, flowering duration and flower visitation by insects were determined. The amount of nectar produced per flower and sugar content in the nectar were investigated. The size of nectaries and the micromorphology of their surface were examined using light and scanning electron microscopy. It was found that the greatest amount of flowers opened between 11.00 and 13.00. During this time, the largest number of insects was observed in the flowers. Bees (90% were predominant among the insects, with a much smaller number of bumblebees (6% and butterflies (4%. The flower life span was 5 days. Over this period, the flower produced, on the average, 0.71 mg of nectar with an average sugar content of 32%. The nectaries of Malus sargentii are orange-yellow coloured and they represent the hypanthial type. Due to the protrusion of the nectariferous tissue, they are classified as automorphic nectaries. The surface of the epidermal cells of the nectary was distinguished by distinct cuticle folds. A small number of stomata were located only in the basal part of the nectary. At the beginning of flowering, all stomata were closed, but secretion traces were observed near well-developed outer cuticular ledges.

  8. Farmers' Interest in Nature and Its Relation to Biodiversity in Arable Fields

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    J. Ahnström

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity declines in farmland have been attributed to intensification of farming at the field level and loss of heterogeneity at the landscape level. However, farmers are not solely optimizing production; their actions are also influenced by social factors, tradition and interest in nature, which indirectly influence biodiversity but rarely are incorporated in studies of farmland biodiversity. We used social science methods to quantify farmers' interest in nature on 16 farms with winter wheat fields in central Sweden, and combined this with biodiversity inventories of five organism groups (weeds, carabid beetles, bumblebees, solitary bees, and birds and estimates of landscape composition and management intensity at the field level. Agricultural intensity, measured as crop density, and farmers' interest in nature explained variation in biodiversity, measured as the proportion of the regional species richness found on single fields. Interest in nature seemed to incorporate many actions taken by farmers and appeared to be influenced by both physical factors, for example, the surrounding landscape, and social factors, for example, social motivations. This study indicates that conservation of biodiversity in farmland, and design of new agri-environmental subsidy systems, would profit from taking farmers' interest in nature and its relation to agricultural practices into account.

  9. Herbivore-Induced DNA Demethylation Changes Floral Signalling and Attractiveness to Pollinators in Brassica rapa.

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    Roman T Kellenberger

    Full Text Available Plants have to fine-tune their signals to optimise the trade-off between herbivore deterrence and pollinator attraction. An important mechanism in mediating plant-insect interactions is the regulation of gene expression via DNA methylation. However, the effect of herbivore-induced DNA methylation changes on pollinator-relevant plant signalling has not been systematically investigated. Here, we assessed the impact of foliar herbivory on DNA methylation and floral traits in the model crop plant Brassica rapa. Methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism (MSAP analysis showed that leaf damage by the caterpillar Pieris brassicae was associated with genome-wide methylation changes in both leaves and flowers of B. rapa as well as a downturn in flower number, morphology and scent. A comparison to plants with jasmonic acid-induced defence showed similar demethylation patterns in leaves, but both the floral methylome and phenotype differed significantly from P. brassicae infested plants. Standardised genome-wide demethylation with 5-azacytidine in five different B. rapa full-sib groups further resulted in a genotype-specific downturn of floral morphology and scent, which significantly reduced the attractiveness of the plants to the pollinator bee Bombus terrestris. These results suggest that DNA methylation plays an important role in adjusting plant signalling in response to changing insect communities.

  10. Weather during bloom affects pollination and yield of highbush blueberry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuell, Julianna K; Isaacs, Rufus

    2010-06-01

    Weather plays an important role in spring-blooming fruit crops due to the combined effects on bee activity, flower opening, pollen germination, and fertilization. To determine the effects of weather on highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum L., productivity, we monitored bee activity and compared fruit set, weight, and seed number in a field stocked with honey bees, Apis mellifera L., and common eastern bumble bees, Bombus impatiens (Cresson). Flowers were subjected to one of five treatments during bloom: enclosed, open, open during poor weather only, open during good weather only, or open during poor and good weather. Fewer bees of all types were observed foraging and fewer pollen foragers returned to colonies during poor weather than during good weather. There were also changes in foraging community composition: honey bees dominated during good weather, whereas bumble bees dominated during poor weather. Berries from flowers exposed only during poor weather had higher fruit set in 1 yr and higher berry weight in the other year compared with enclosed clusters. In both years, clusters exposed only during good weather had > 5 times as many mature seeds, weighed twice as much, and had double the fruit set of those not exposed. No significant increase over flowers exposed during good weather was observed when clusters were exposed during good and poor weather. Our results are discussed in terms of the role of weather during bloom on the contribution of bees adapted to foraging during cool conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  12. Complementary crops and landscape features sustain wild bee communities.

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    Martins, Kyle T; Albert, Cécile H; Lechowicz, Martin J; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2018-06-01

    Wild bees, which are important for commercial pollination, depend on floral and nesting resources both at farms and in the surrounding landscape. Mass-flowering crops are only in bloom for a few weeks and unable to support bee populations that persist throughout the year. Farm fields and orchards that flower in succession potentially can extend the availability of floral resources for pollinators. However, it is unclear whether the same bee species or genera will forage from one crop to the next, which bees specialize on particular crops, and to what degree inter-crop visitation patterns will be mediated by landscape context. We therefore studied local- and landscape-level drivers of bee diversity and species turnover in apple orchards, blueberry fields, and raspberry fields that bloom sequentially in southern Quebec, Canada. Despite the presence of high bee species turnover, orchards and small fruit fields complemented each other phenologically by supporting two bee genera essential to their pollination: mining bees (Andrena spp.) and bumble bees (Bombus spp.). A number of bee species specialized on apple, blueberry, or raspberry blossoms, suggesting that all three crops could be used to promote regional bee diversity. Bee diversity (rarefied richness, wild bee abundance) was highest across crops in landscapes containing hedgerows, meadows, and suburban areas that provide ancillary nesting and floral resources throughout the spring and summer. Promoting phenological complementarity in floral resources at the farmstead and landscape scales is essential to sustaining diverse wild bee populations. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  13. Resource diversity and landscape-level homogeneity drive native bee foraging.

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    Jha, Shalene; Kremen, Claire

    2013-01-08

    Given widespread declines in pollinator communities and increasing global reliance on pollinator-dependent crops, there is an acute need to develop a mechanistic understanding of native pollinator population and foraging biology. Using a population genetics approach, we determine the impact of habitat and floral resource distributions on nesting and foraging patterns of a critical native pollinator, Bombus vosnesenskii. Our findings demonstrate that native bee foraging is far more plastic and extensive than previously believed and does not follow a simple optimal foraging strategy. Rather, bumble bees forage further in pursuit of species-rich floral patches and in landscapes where patch-to-patch variation in floral resources is less, regardless of habitat composition. Thus, our results reveal extreme foraging plasticity and demonstrate that floral diversity, not density, drives bee foraging distance. Furthermore, we find a negative impact of paved habitat and a positive impact of natural woodland on bumble bee nesting densities. Overall, this study reveals that natural and human-altered landscapes can be managed for increased native bee nesting and extended foraging, dually enhancing biodiversity and the spatial extent of pollination services.

  14. Cytochrome c oxidase I primers for corbiculate bees: DNA barcode and mini-barcode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Françoso, E; Arias, M C

    2013-09-01

    Bees (Apidae), of which there are more than 19 900 species, are extremely important for ecosystem services and economic purposes, so taxon identity is a major concern. The goal of this study was to optimize the DNA barcode technique based on the Cytochrome c oxidase (COI) mitochondrial gene region. This approach has previously been shown to be useful in resolving taxonomic inconsistencies and for species identification when morphological data are poor. Specifically, we designed and tested new primers and standardized PCR conditions to amplify the barcode region for bees, focusing on the corbiculate Apids. In addition, primers were designed to amplify small COI amplicons and tested with pinned specimens. Short barcode sequences were easily obtained for some Bombus century-old museum specimens and shown to be useful as mini-barcodes. The new primers and PCR conditions established in this study proved to be successful for the amplification of the barcode region for all species tested, regardless of the conditions of tissue preservation. We saw no evidence of Wolbachia or numts amplification by these primers, and so we suggest that these new primers are of broad value for corbiculate bee identification through DNA barcode. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. An analysis of the energetic reward offered by field bean (Vicia faba) flowers: Nectar, pollen, and operative force.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailes, Emily J; Pattrick, Jonathan G; Glover, Beverley J

    2018-03-01

    Global consumption of crops with a yield that is dependent on animal pollinators is growing, with greater areas planted each year. However, the floral traits that influence pollinator visitation are not usually the focus of breeding programmes, and therefore, it is likely that yield improvements may be made by optimizing floral traits to enhance pollinator visitation rates. We investigated the variation present in the floral reward of the bee-pollinated crop Vicia faba (field bean). We examined the genetic potential for breeding flowers with a greater reward into current commercial varieties and used bee behavioral experiments to gain insight into the optimal nectar concentration to maximize bee preference. There was a large range of variation in the amount of pollen and nectar reward of flowers in the genotypes investigated. Bee behavioral experiments using nectar sugar concentrations found in V. faba lines suggest that Bombus terrestris prefers 55% w/w sugar solution over 40% w/w, but has no preference between 55% w/w and 68% w/w sugar solution. We provide a first indication of the force required to open V. faba flowers. Our results provide a valuable starting point toward breeding for varieties with optimized floral reward. Field studies are now needed to verify whether the genetic potential for breeding more rewarding flowers can translate into higher yield and yield stability.

  16. Fruit Set and Single Visit Stigma Pollen Deposition by Managed Bumble Bees and Wild Bees in Citrullus lanatus (Cucurbitales: Cucurbitaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Joshua W; Daniels, Jaret C; Ellis, James D

    2018-04-02

    Pollinators provide essential services for watermelon, Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.; Cucurbitales: Cucurbitaceae). Managed bumble bees, Bombus impatiens (Cresson; Hymenoptera: Apidae), have been shown to be a useful watermelon pollinator in some areas. However, the exact contribution bumble bees make to watermelon pollination and how their contribution compares to that of other bees is unclear. We used large cages (5.4 × 2.5 × 2.4 m) to confine bumble bee hives to watermelon plants and compared fruit set in those cages to cages containing watermelons but no pollinators, and to open areas of field next to cages (allows all pollinators). We also collected data on single visit pollen deposition onto watermelon stigmas by managed bumble bees, honey bees, and wild bees. Overall, more fruit formed within the open cages than in cages of the other two treatment groups. B. impatiens and Melissodes spp. deposited the most pollen onto watermelon stigmas per visit, but all bee species observed visiting watermelon flowers were capable of depositing ample pollen to watermelon stigmas. Although B. impatiens did deposit large quantities of pollen to stigmas, they were not common within the field (i.e., outside the cages) as they were readily drawn to flowering plants outside of the watermelon field. Overall, bumble bees can successfully pollinate watermelon, but may be useful in greenhouses or high tunnels where watermelon flowers have no competition from other flowering plants that could draw bumble bees away from watermelon.

  17. Patch size has no effect on insect visitation rate per unit area in garden-scale flower patches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garbuzov, Mihail; Madsen, Andy; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies investigating the effect of flower patch size on insect flower visitation rate have compared relatively large patches (10-1000s m2) and have generally found a negative relationship per unit area or per flower. Here, we investigate the effects of patch size on insect visitation in patches of smaller area (range c. 0.1-3.1 m2), which are of particular relevance to ornamental flower beds in parks and gardens. We studied two common garden plant species in full bloom with 6 patch sizes each: borage (Borago officinalis) and lavender (Lavandula × intermedia 'Grosso'). We quantified flower visitation by insects by making repeated counts of the insects foraging at each patch. On borage, all insects were honey bees (Apis mellifera, n = 5506 counts). On lavender, insects (n = 737 counts) were bumble bees (Bombus spp., 76.9%), flies (Diptera, 22.4%), and butterflies (Lepidoptera, 0.7%). On both plant species we found positive linear effects of patch size on insect numbers. However, there was no effect of patch size on the number of insects per unit area or per flower and, on lavender, for all insects combined or only bumble bees. The results show that it is possible to make unbiased comparisons of the attractiveness of plant species or varieties to flower-visiting insects using patches of different size within the small scale range studied and make possible projects aimed at comparing ornamental plant varieties using existing garden flower patches of variable area.

  18. A Survey of Bee Species Found Pollinating Watermelons in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas

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    C. S. Henne

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Using a combination of flower traps and visual observations, we surveyed three watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb. Matsum. & Nakai fields in the Lower Rio Grande Valley to determine what bees inhabit this crop in this region. No managed honey bee (Apis mellifera L. hives were in any of the fields; however, two contained managed hives of the common eastern bumble bee, Bombus impatiens (Cresson. A total of 15 species were collected or observed from all three fields combined. Of these species, only four were found to be very abundant: Agapostemon angelicus Cockerell/texanus Cresson, A. mellifera, Lasioglossum coactum (Cresson, and Melissodes thelypodii Cockerell. Apis mellifera comprised 46% of all bees collected from all three fields combined and was highly abundant in two of the three fields. In the third field, however, A. mellifera and Agapostemon angelicus/texanus were equally abundant. Surprisingly, B. impatiens comprised only 1% of the total bees surveyed in all three fields combined, despite two of the fields having several managed hives each. As B. impatiens is not native to this region, it was not surprising that none were collected or observed in the field with no managed hives.

  19. Towards the comparative ecotoxicology of bees: the response-response relationship

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    Cresswell, James E.

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: When an ecological system is exposed to an anthropogenic toxin, each species has an idiosyncratic sensitivity, but it is reasonable to expect some generality in response, especially among related species such as bees. If two species are similarly sensitive to a toxin their dose-response relationships will be similar. We propose a method to facilitate comparison between dose-response relationships, namely the response-response relationship, which can be applied to any biomarkers whose responses to the same pollutant are measured across a similar range of doses. We apply the method to bumble bees (Bombus terrestris and honey bees (Apis mellifera exposed to a dietary pesticide, imidacloprid, and we investigate both lethal and sublethal biomarkers.Results: We found cross-species similarity in dose-dependent responses, but only in certain sublethal biomarkers. In honey bees, sublethal biomarkers were more sensitive than mortality. In bumble bees, fecundity was the most sensitive biomarker.Conclusion: Our results provisionally suggest the existence of cross-species generalities. The greater sensitivity of sublethal biomarkers than mortality suggests that testing protocols which are overly focussed on mortality may underestimate the ecological impacts of toxic pollutants.

  20. Flowering, nectar secretion, pollen shed and insect foraging on Aquilegia vulgaris L. (Ranunculaceae

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    Bożena Denisow

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This study on blooming biology, nectar secretion, pollen production and insect visitation of Aquilegia vulgaris L. was carried out in 2009 and 2011 in Lublin. The peak of flower opening during the day was between 5.00 and 7.00 (GMT +2. The flowers are protandrous with the female phase beginning approx. on the 3rd day of anthesis. The dynamics of nectar secretion and pollen shed from anthers (progressing from the central part of the androecium outwards support the reproductive system. The amount of nectar accumulated in the spurs increased from the bud stage and was the highest in the phase with approx. ¾ of dehisced anthers, usually on the 3rd day of flower life. Then, towards the end of anthesis, the amount of secreted and accumulated nectar decreased. The number of anthers developed per flower varied from 41 to 61 (mean = 49.1. The mass of pollen per 100 anthers averaged 6.7 mg. Pollen production per flower (mean = 3.28 mg slightly varied between years and was mainly correlated with the number of developed anthers. Estimated pollen yield was 1.69 g per m2 and sugar yield 1.22 g per m2. Species from the genus Bombus were the main flower visitors, with B. terrestris being the most frequent forager.

  1. Floral nectar guide patterns discourage nectar robbing by bumble bees.

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    Anne S Leonard

    Full Text Available Floral displays are under selection to both attract pollinators and deter antagonists. Here we show that a common floral trait, a nectar guide pattern, alters the behavior of bees that can act opportunistically as both pollinators and as antagonists. Generally, bees access nectar via the floral limb, transporting pollen through contact with the plant's reproductive structures; however bees sometimes extract nectar from a hole in the side of the flower that they or other floral visitors create. This behavior is called "nectar robbing" because bees may acquire the nectar without transporting pollen. We asked whether the presence of a symmetric floral nectar guide pattern on artificial flowers affected bumble bees' (Bombus impatiens propensity to rob or access nectar "legitimately." We discovered that nectar guides made legitimate visits more efficient for bees than robbing, and increased the relative frequency of legitimate visits, compared to flowers lacking nectar guides. This study is the first to show that beyond speeding nectar discovery, a nectar guide pattern can influence bees' flower handling in a way that could benefit the plant.

  2. Nectar yeasts in the tall Larkspur Delphinium barbeyi (Ranunculaceae and effects on components of pollinator foraging behavior.

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    Robert N Schaeffer

    Full Text Available Microorganisms frequently colonize the nectar of angiosperm species. Though capable of altering a suite of traits important for pollinator attraction, few studies exist that test the degree to which they mediate pollinator foraging behavior. The objective of our study was to fill this gap by assessing the abundance and diversity of yeasts associated with the perennial larkspur Delphinium barbeyi (Ranunculaceae and testing whether their presence affected components of pollinator foraging behavior. Yeasts frequently colonized D. barbeyi nectar, populating 54-77% of flowers examined depending on site. Though common, the yeast community was species-poor, represented by a single species, Metschnikowia reukaufii. Female-phase flowers of D. barbeyi were more likely to have higher densities of yeasts in comparison to male-phase flowers. Pollinators were likely vectors of yeasts, as virgin (unvisited flowers rarely contained yeasts compared to flowers open to pollinator visitation, which were frequently colonized. Finally, pollinators responded positively to the presence of yeasts. Bombus foragers both visited and probed more flowers inoculated with yeasts in comparison to uninoculated controls. Taken together, our results suggest that variation in the occurrence and density of nectar-inhabiting yeasts have the potential to alter components of pollinator foraging behavior linked to pollen transfer and plant fitness.

  3. Pollen loads and specificity of native pollinators of lowbush blueberry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moisan-Deserres, J; Girard, M; Chagnon, M; Fournier, V

    2014-06-01

    The reproduction of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) is closely tied to insect pollination, owing to self-incompatibility. Many species are known to have greater pollination efficiency than the introduced Apis mellifera L., commonly used for commercial purposes. In this study, we measured the pollen loads of several antophilous insect species, mostly Apoidea and Syrphidae, present in four lowbush blueberry fields in Lac-St-Jean, Québec. To measure pollen loads and species specificity toward V. angustifolium, we net-collected 627 specimens of pollinators, retrieved their pollen loads, identified pollen taxa, and counted pollen grains. We found that the sizes of pollen loads were highly variable among species, ranging from a few hundred to more than 118,000 pollen grains per individual. Bombus and Andrena species in particular carried large amounts of Vaccinium pollen and thus may have greater pollination efficiency. Also, two species (Andrena bradleyi Viereck and Andrena carolina Viereck) showed nearly monolectic behavior toward lowbush blueberry. Finally, we identified alternative forage plants visited by native pollinators, notably species of Acer, Rubus, Ilex mucronata, Ledum groenlandicum, and Taraxacum. Protecting these flowering plants should be part of management practices to maintain healthy pollinator communities in a lowbush blueberry agroecosystem.

  4. Insect immunity shows specificity in protection upon secondary pathogen exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadd, Ben M; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2006-06-20

    Immunological memory in vertebrates, conferring lasting specific protection after an initial pathogen exposure, has implications for a broad spectrum of evolutionary, epidemiological, and medical phenomena . However, the existence of specificity in protection upon secondary pathogen exposure in invertebrates remains controversial . To separate this functional phenomenon from a particular mechanism, we refer to it as specific immune priming. We investigate the presence of specific immune priming in workers of the social insect Bombus terrestris. Using three bacterial pathogens, we test whether a prior homologous pathogen exposure gives a benefit in terms of long-term protection against a later challenge, over and above a heterologous combination. With a reciprocally designed initial and second-exposure protocol (i.e., all combinations of bacteria were tested), we demonstrate, even several weeks after the clearance of a first exposure, increased protection and narrow specificity upon secondary exposure. This demonstrates that the invertebrate immune system is functionally capable of unexpectedly specific and durable induced protection. Ultimately, despite general broad differences between vertebrates and invertebrates, the ability of both immune systems to show specificity in protection suggests that their immune defenses have found comparable solutions to similar selective pressures over evolutionary time.

  5. Synergistic mortality between a neonicotinoid insecticide and an ergosterol-biosynthesis-inhibiting fungicide in three bee species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgolastra, Fabio; Medrzycki, Piotr; Bortolotti, Laura; Renzi, Maria Teresa; Tosi, Simone; Bogo, Gherardo; Teper, Dariusz; Porrini, Claudio; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Bosch, Jordi

    2017-06-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides have been identified as an important factor contributing to bee diversity declines. Nonetheless, uncertainties remain about their impact under field conditions. Most studies have been conducted on Apis mellifera and tested single compounds. However, in agricultural environments, bees are often exposed to multiple pesticides. We explore the synergistic mortality between a neonicotinoid (clothianidin) and an ergosterol-biosynthesis-inhibiting fungicide (propiconazole) in three bee species (A. mellifera, Bombus terrestris, Osmia bicornis) following oral exposure in the laboratory. We developed a new approach based on the binomial proportion test to analyse synergistic interactions. We estimated uptake of clothianidin per foraging bout in honey bees foraging on seed-coated rapeseed fields. We found significant synergistic mortality in all three bee species exposed to non-lethal doses of propiconazole and their respective LD 10 of clothianidin. Significant synergism was only found at the first assessment times in A. mellifera (4 and 24 h) and B. terrestris (4 h), but persisted throughout the experiment (96 h) in O. bicornis. O. bicornis was also the most sensitive species to clothianidin. Our results underscore the importance to test pesticide combinations likely to occur in agricultural environments, and to include several bee species in environmental risk assessment schemes. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  6. Applying geographic profiling used in the field of criminology for predicting the nest locations of bumble bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki-Ohno, Yukari; Inoue, Maki N; Ohno, Kazunori

    2010-07-21

    We tested whether geographic profiling (GP) can predict multiple nest locations of bumble bees. GP was originally developed in the field of criminology for predicting the area where an offender most likely resides on the basis of the actual crime sites and the predefined probability of crime interaction. The predefined probability of crime interaction in the GP model depends on the distance of a site from an offender's residence. We applied GP for predicting nest locations, assuming that foraging and nest sites were the crime sites and the offenders' residences, respectively. We identified the foraging and nest sites of the invasive species Bombus terrestris in 2004, 2005, and 2006. We fitted GP model coefficients to the field data of the foraging and nest sites, and used GP with the fitting coefficients. GP succeeded in predicting about 10-30% of actual nests. Sensitivity analysis showed that the predictability of the GP model mainly depended on the coefficient value of buffer zone, the distance at the mode of the foraging probability. GP will be able to predict the nest locations of bumble bees in other area by using the fitting coefficient values measured in this study. It will be possible to further improve the predictability of the GP model by considering food site preference and nest density. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Nectar Yeasts in the Tall Larkspur Delphinium barbeyi (Ranunculaceae) and Effects on Components of Pollinator Foraging Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, Robert N.; Phillips, Cody R.; Duryea, M. Catherine; Andicoechea, Jonathan; Irwin, Rebecca E.

    2014-01-01

    Microorganisms frequently colonize the nectar of angiosperm species. Though capable of altering a suite of traits important for pollinator attraction, few studies exist that test the degree to which they mediate pollinator foraging behavior. The objective of our study was to fill this gap by assessing the abundance and diversity of yeasts associated with the perennial larkspur Delphinium barbeyi (Ranunculaceae) and testing whether their presence affected components of pollinator foraging behavior. Yeasts frequently colonized D. barbeyi nectar, populating 54–77% of flowers examined depending on site. Though common, the yeast community was species-poor, represented by a single species, Metschnikowia reukaufii. Female-phase flowers of D. barbeyi were more likely to have higher densities of yeasts in comparison to male-phase flowers. Pollinators were likely vectors of yeasts, as virgin (unvisited) flowers rarely contained yeasts compared to flowers open to pollinator visitation, which were frequently colonized. Finally, pollinators responded positively to the presence of yeasts. Bombus foragers both visited and probed more flowers inoculated with yeasts in comparison to uninoculated controls. Taken together, our results suggest that variation in the occurrence and density of nectar-inhabiting yeasts have the potential to alter components of pollinator foraging behavior linked to pollen transfer and plant fitness. PMID:25272164

  8. Floral Nectar Guide Patterns Discourage Nectar Robbing by Bumble Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Anne S.; Brent, Joshua; Papaj, Daniel R.; Dornhaus, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Floral displays are under selection to both attract pollinators and deter antagonists. Here we show that a common floral trait, a nectar guide pattern, alters the behavior of bees that can act opportunistically as both pollinators and as antagonists. Generally, bees access nectar via the floral limb, transporting pollen through contact with the plant’s reproductive structures; however bees sometimes extract nectar from a hole in the side of the flower that they or other floral visitors create. This behavior is called “nectar robbing” because bees may acquire the nectar without transporting pollen. We asked whether the presence of a symmetric floral nectar guide pattern on artificial flowers affected bumble bees’ (Bombus impatiens) propensity to rob or access nectar “legitimately.” We discovered that nectar guides made legitimate visits more efficient for bees than robbing, and increased the relative frequency of legitimate visits, compared to flowers lacking nectar guides. This study is the first to show that beyond speeding nectar discovery, a nectar guide pattern can influence bees’ flower handling in a way that could benefit the plant. PMID:23418475

  9. Yeasts in nectar of an early-blooming herb: sought by bumble bees, detrimental to plant fecundity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Carlos M; Pozo, María I; Medrano, Mónica

    2013-02-01

    Through their effects on physicochemical features of floral nectar, nectar-dwelling yeasts can alter pollinator behavior, but the effect of such changes on pollination success and plant reproduction is unknown. We present results of experiments testing the effects of nectar yeasts on foraging patterns of captive and free-ranging bumble bees, and also on pollination success and fecundity of the early-blooming, bumble bee-pollinated Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae). Under controlled experimental conditions, inexperienced Bombus terrestris workers responded positively to the presence of yeasts in artificial sugar solutions mimicking floral nectar by visiting proportionally more yeast-containing artificial flowers. Free-ranging bumble bees also preferred yeast-containing nectar in the field. Experiments conducted in two different years consistently showed that natural and artificial nectars containing yeasts were more thoroughly removed than nectars without yeasts. Experimental yeast inoculation of the nectar of H. foetidus flowers was significantly associated with reductions in number of pollen tubes in the style, fruit set, seed set, and mass of individual seeds produced. These results provide the first direct evidence to date that nectar yeasts can modify pollinator foraging patterns, pollination success, and the quantity and quality of seeds produced by insect-pollinated plants.

  10. Estratégia Reprodutiva de Cucurbita moschata Poir (Cucurbitaceae e Atividades de Forrageio dos seus Visitantes Florais

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Abreu Tavares

    2015-04-01

    Abstract. An essential factor in maintaining agricultural productivity is pollination. Among the various pollinators, the insects are considered the main active agents in pollination of most cultures. The work aimed to understand the reproductive strategy of Cucurbita moschata Poir (Cucurbitaceae through analysis of the pollination methods used by the plant and the record of the diversity and behavior of floral visitors. To assess the efficiency of pollinators, 10 flowers of C. moschata were labeled to check the formation of fruit under natural conditions. Other 10 flowers were wrapped in waterproof bags to prevent contact with visiting insects. The insects were collected directly in the flowers, from 07:00 to 11:15 am, during 15 minutes of every hour, recording the values of temperature, luminosity, relative humidity and wind speed. The reproductive success of C. moschata depends on pollinators, since the reproductive isolation of the flowers did not allow the formation of fruit. The most abundant order was Diptera, followed by Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera and Lepidoptera. The effective pollinators of C. moschata were represented by species of bees of large body size: Apis mellifera Linnaeus, Centris sp., Oxaea flavescens Klug and Bombus sp. These species visited the flowers to collect nectar and pollen. The abiotic factors had little influence on foraging activities of floral visitors.

  11. Visitation by wild and managed bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) to eastern U.S. native plants for use in conservation programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuell, Julianna K; Fiedler, Anna K; Landis, Douglas; Isaacs, Rufus

    2008-06-01

    Addition of floral resources to agricultural field margins has been shown to increase abundance of beneficial insects in crop fields, but most plants recommended for this use are non-native annuals. Native perennial plants with different bloom periods can provide floral resources for bees throughout the growing season for use in pollinator conservation projects. To identify the most suitable plants for this use, we examined the relative attractiveness to wild and managed bees of 43 eastern U.S. native perennial plants, grown in a common garden setting. Floral characteristics were evaluated for their ability to predict bee abundance and taxa richness. Of the wild bees collected, the most common species (62%) was Bombus impatiens Cresson. Five other wild bee species were present between 3 and 6% of the total: Lasioglossum admirandum (Sandhouse), Hylaeus affinis (Smith), Agapostemon virescens (F.), Halictus ligatus Say, and Ceratina calcarata/dupla Robertson/Say. The remaining wild bee species were present at wild bees; 9 were highly attractive, and 20 were moderately attractive. Honey bees visited 24 of the 43 plant species at least once. Floral area was the only measured factor accounting for variation in abundance and richness of wild bees but did not explain variation in honey bee abundance. Results of this study can be used to guide selection of flowering plants to provide season-long forage for conservation of wild bees.

  12. The importance of bee pollination of the sour cherry (Prunus cerasus Cultivar ‘Stevnsbaer’ in Denmark

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lise Hansted

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Low fruit set, despite normally-developed flowers, is often a significant contributor to poor yield of the self-fertile sour cherry (Prunus cerasus cultivar ‘Stevnsbaer’ in Denmark. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of insect, and particularly, bee pollination on the fruit set of this cultivar, in order to provide orchard management information for both Danish ‘Stevnsbaer’ growers and beekeepers. Visits to cherry flowers by honey bees (Apis mellifera, Bombus species and solitary bees, were recorded during the flowering of ‘Stevnsbaer’ in five separate Danish orchards. The results indicate that there is a significantly higher fruit set on open pollinated branches when compared to caged branches, where bees and other pollinating insects where excluded. The results were qualitatively consistent over three different seasons (2007, 2009 and 2010. A period of prolonged cold, humid weather before and during early flowering probably reduced fruit set significantly in 2010 compared to 2009. Regarding the apparent benefits of bee pollination on fruit set and subsequent implications for yield, we recommend placing honeybees in ‘Stevnsbaer’ orchards during flowering to sustain commercially viable production. Another valuable management strategy would be to improve foraging and nesting conditions to support both honey and wild bees in and around the orchards.

  13. A comparative analysis of colour preferences in temperate and tropical social bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balamurali, G. S.; Nicholls, Elizabeth; Somanathan, Hema; Hempel de Ibarra, Natalie

    2018-02-01

    The spontaneous occurrence of colour preferences without learning has been demonstrated in several insect species; however, the underlying mechanisms are still not understood. Here, we use a comparative approach to investigate spontaneous and learned colour preferences in foraging bees of two tropical and one temperate species. We hypothesised that tropical bees utilise different sets of plants and therefore might differ in their spontaneous colour preferences. We tested colour-naive bees and foragers from colonies that had been enclosed in large flight cages for a long time. Bees were shortly trained with triplets of neutral, UV-grey stimuli placed randomly at eight locations on a black training disk to induce foraging motivation. During unrewarded tests, the bees' responses to eight colours were video-recorded. Bees explored all colours and displayed an overall preference for colours dominated by long or short wavelengths, rather than a single colour stimulus. Naive Apis cerana and Bombus terrestris showed similar choices. Both inspected long-wavelength stimuli more than short-wavelength stimuli, whilst responses of the tropical stingless bee Tetragonula iridipennis differed, suggesting that resource partitioning could be a determinant of spontaneous colour preferences. Reward on an unsaturated yellow colour shifted the bees' preference curves as predicted, which is in line with previous findings that brief colour experience overrides the expression of spontaneous preferences. We conclude that rather than determining foraging behaviour in inflexible ways, spontaneous colour preferences vary depending on experimental settings and reflect potential biases in mechanisms of learning and decision-making in pollinating insects.

  14. Positive and Negative Impacts of Non-Native Bee Species around the World.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Laura

    2016-11-28

    Though they are relatively understudied, non-native bees are ubiquitous and have enormous potential economic and environmental impacts. These impacts may be positive or negative, and are often unquantified. In this manuscript, I review literature on the known distribution and environmental and economic impacts of 80 species of introduced bees. The potential negative impacts of non-native bees include competition with native bees for nesting sites or floral resources, pollination of invasive weeds, co-invasion with pathogens and parasites, genetic introgression, damage to buildings, affecting the pollination of native plant species, and changing the structure of native pollination networks. The potential positive impacts of non-native bees include agricultural pollination, availability for scientific research, rescue of native species, and resilience to human-mediated disturbance and climate change. Most non-native bee species are accidentally introduced and nest in stems, twigs, and cavities in wood. In terms of number of species, the best represented families are Megachilidae and Apidae, and the best represented genus is Megachile . The best studied genera are Apis and Bombus , and most of the species in these genera were deliberately introduced for agricultural pollination. Thus, we know little about the majority of non-native bees, accidentally introduced or spreading beyond their native ranges.

  15. Positive and Negative Impacts of Non-Native Bee Species around the World

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Russo

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Though they are relatively understudied, non-native bees are ubiquitous and have enormous potential economic and environmental impacts. These impacts may be positive or negative, and are often unquantified. In this manuscript, I review literature on the known distribution and environmental and economic impacts of 80 species of introduced bees. The potential negative impacts of non-native bees include competition with native bees for nesting sites or floral resources, pollination of invasive weeds, co-invasion with pathogens and parasites, genetic introgression, damage to buildings, affecting the pollination of native plant species, and changing the structure of native pollination networks. The potential positive impacts of non-native bees include agricultural pollination, availability for scientific research, rescue of native species, and resilience to human-mediated disturbance and climate change. Most non-native bee species are accidentally introduced and nest in stems, twigs, and cavities in wood. In terms of number of species, the best represented families are Megachilidae and Apidae, and the best represented genus is Megachile. The best studied genera are Apis and Bombus, and most of the species in these genera were deliberately introduced for agricultural pollination. Thus, we know little about the majority of non-native bees, accidentally introduced or spreading beyond their native ranges.

  16. Pollination of Cypripedium plectrochilum (Orchidaceae) by Lasioglossum spp. (Halictidae): the roles of generalist attractants versus restrictive floral architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, P; Luo, Y; Bernhardt, P; Kou, Y; Perner, H

    2008-03-01

    The pollination of Cypripedium plectrochilum Franch. was studied in the Huanglong Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China. Although large bees (Bombus, Apis), small bees (Ceratina, Lasioglossum), ants (Formica sp.), true flies (Diptera) and a butterfly were all found to visit the flowers, only small bees, including three Lasioglossum spp. (L. viridiclaucum, L. sichuanense and L. sp.; Halictidae) and one Ceratina sp., carried the flower's pollen and contacted the receptive stigma. Measurements of floral architecture showed that interior floral dimensions best fit the exterior dimensions of Lasioglossum spp., leading to the consistent deposition and stigmatic reception of dorsally-placed, pollen smears. The floral fragrance was dominated by one ketone, 3-methyl-Decen-2-one. The conversion rate of flowers into capsules in open (insect) pollinated flowers at the site was more than 38%. We conclude that, while pigmentation patterns and floral fragrance attracted a wide variety of insect foragers, canalization of interior floral dimensions ultimately determined the spectrum of potential pollinators in this generalist, food-mimic flower. A review of the literature showed that the specialised mode of pollination-by-deceit in C. plectrochilum, limiting pollinators to a narrow and closely related guild of 'dupes' is typical for other members of this genus.

  17. Busy Bees: Variation in Insect Flower-Visiting Rates across Multiple Plant Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret J. Couvillon

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We quantified insect visitation rates by counting how many flowers/inflorescences were probed per unit time for five plant species (four native and one garden: California lilac, bramble, ragwort, wild marjoram, and ivy growing in Sussex, United Kingdom, by following individual insects (n=2987 from nine functional groups (honey bees (Apis mellifera, bumble bees (Bombus spp., hoverflies, flies, butterflies, beetles, wasps, non-Apidae bees, and moths. Additionally, we made a census of the insect diversity on the studied plant species. Overall we found that insect groups differed greatly in their rate of flower visits (P<2.2e-16, with bumble bees and honey bees visiting significantly more flowers per time (11.5 and 9.2 flowers/minute, resp. than the other insect groups. Additionally, we report on a within-group difference in the non-Apidae bees, where the genus Osmia, which is often suggested as an alternative to honey bees as a managed pollinator, was very speedy (13.4 flowers/minute compared to the other non-Apidae bees (4.3 flowers/minute. Our census showed that the plants attracted a range of insects, with the honey bee as the most abundant visitor (34%. Therefore, rate differences cannot be explained by particular specializations. Lastly, we discuss potential implications of our conclusions for pollination.

  18. Deep sequencing and ecological characterization of gut microbial communities of diverse bumble bee species.

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    Haw Chuan Lim

    Full Text Available Gut bacterial communities of bumble bees are correlated with defense against pathogens. Further understanding this host-microbe association is vitally important as bumble bees are currently experiencing global population declines, potentially due in part to emergent diseases. In this study, we used pyrosequencing and community fingerprinting (ARISA to characterize the gut microbial communities of nine bumble species from across the Bombus phylogeny. Overall, we delimited 74 bacterial taxa (operational taxonomic units or OTUs belonging to Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Bacilli, Actinobacteria, Flavobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. Each bacterial community was taxonomically simple, containing an average of 1.9 common (relative abundance per sample > 5% bacterial OTUs. The most abundant and prevalent (occurring in 92% of the samples bacterial OTU, based on 16S rRNA sequences, closely matched that of the previously described Betaproteobacteria species Snodgrassella alvi. Bacteria that were first described in bee-related external environments dominated a number of gut bacterial communities, suggesting that they are not strictly dependent on the internal gut environment. The ARISA data showed a correlation between bacterial community structures and the geographic locations where the bees were sampled, suggesting that at least a subset of the bacterial species may be transmitted environmentally. Using light and fluorescent microscopy, we demonstrated that the gut bacteria form a biofilm on the internal epithelial surface of the ileum, corroborating results obtained from Apis mellifera.

  19. Effect of Three Entomopathogenic Fungi on Three Species of Stingless Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Under Laboratory Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toledo-Hernández, R A; Ruíz-Toledo, J; Toledo, J; Sánchez, D

    2016-05-04

    Development of alternative strategies for pest control with reduced effect on beneficial organisms is a priority given the increasing global loss of biodiversity. Biological control with entomopathogenic fungi arises as a viable option to control insect pests. However, few studies have focused on the consequences of using these organisms on pollinators other than the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) or bumble bees (Bombus spp). We evaluated the pathogenicity of commercial formulations of three widely used entomopathogenic fungi, Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin, Beauveria bassiana Vuillemin, and Isaria fumosorosea (Wize), to three species of stingless bees: Tetragonisca angustula Latreille, Scaptotrigona mexicana Guérin-Meneville, and Melipona beecheii Bennett. Bioassays consisted of exposing groups of bees to the recommended field concentration of each fungus using a microspray tower under laboratory conditions. Susceptibility to fungi varied greatly among species. Isaria fumosorosea (strain Ifu-lu 01) and the two formulations of B. bassiana (Bea-TNK and BotanicGard) caused entomopathogenic fungi on stingless bees, further field studies are required to support this finding. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Evolution of polyploidy and the diversification of plant-pollinator interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, John N; Merg, Kurt F

    2008-08-01

    One of the major mechanisms of plant diversification has been the evolution of polyploid populations that differ from their diploid progenitors in morphology, physiology, and environmental tolerances. Recent studies have indicated that polyploidy may also have major effects on ecological interactions with herbivores and pollinators. We evaluated pollination of sympatric diploid and tetraploid plants of the rhizomatous herb Heuchera grossulariifolia (Saxifragaceae) along the Selway and Salmon Rivers of northern Idaho, USA, during four consecutive years. Previous molecular and ecological analyses had indicated that the tetraploid populations along these two river systems are independently derived and differ from each other in multiple traits. In each region, we evaluated floral visitation rate by all insect visitors, pollination efficacy of all major visitors, and relative contribution of all major pollinators to seed set. In both regions, diploid and tetraploid plants attracted different suites of floral visitors. Most pollination was attributable to several bee species and the moth Greya politella. Lasioglossum bees preferentially visited diploid plants at Lower Salmon but not at Upper Selway, queen Bombus centralis preferentially visited tetraploids at both sites, and worker B. centralis differed between sites in their cytotype preference. Hence, diploid and autotetraploid H. grossulariifolia plants act essentially as separate ecological species and may experience partial reproductive isolation through differential visitation and pollination by their major floral visitors. Overall the results, together with recent results from other studies, suggest that the repeated evolution of polyploidy in plants may contribute importantly to the structure and diversification of ecological interactions in terrestrial communities.

  1. Invasive plants as potential food resource for native pollinators: A case study with two invasive species and a generalist bumble bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drossart, Maxime; Michez, Denis; Vanderplanck, Maryse

    2017-11-24

    It is now well established that invasive plants may induce drifts in the quantity and/or quality of floral resources. They are then often pointed out as a potential driver of bee decline. However, their impact on bee population remains quite unclear and still controversial, as bee responses are highly variable among species. Here, we compared the amino acid composition of pollen from three native and two invasive plant species included in diets of common pollinators in NW Europe. Moreover, the nutritional intake (i.e., pollen and amino acid intakes) of Bombus terrestris colonies and the pollen foraging behaviour of workers (i.e., visiting rate, number of foraging trips, weight of pollen loads) were considered. We found significant differences in pollen nutrients among the studied species according to the plant invasive behaviour. We also found significant differences in pollen foraging behaviour according to the plant species, from few to several foraging trips carrying small or large pollen loads. Such behavioural differences directly impacted the pollen intake but depended more likely on plant morphology rather than on plant invasive behaviour. These results suggest that common generalist bumble bees might not always suffer from plant invasions, depending on their behavioural plasticity and nutritional requirements.

  2. Long-term prevalence of the protists Crithidia bombi and Apicystis bombi and detection of the microsporidium Nosema bombi in invasive bumble bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plischuk, Santiago; Antúnez, Karina; Haramboure, Marina; Minardi, Graciela M; Lange, Carlos E

    2017-04-01

    An initial survey in 2009 carried out at a site in northwestern Patagonia region, Argentina, revealed for the first time in South America the presence of the flagellate Crithidia bombi and the neogregarine Apicystis bombi, two pathogens associated with the Palaearctic invasive bumble bee Bombus terrestris. In order to determine the long-term persistence and dynamics of this microparasite complex, four additional collections at the same site (San Carlos de Bariloche) were conducted along the following seven years. Both protists were detected in all collections: prevalence was 2%-21.6% for C. bombi and 1.2%-14% for A. bombi. In addition, the microsporidium Nosema bombi was recorded for the first time in the country in the last two collections, at prevalences of 12.4% and 2.4% and unusually high infection intensities (Average = 6.56 × 10 7 spores per individual). Due to the exceptional dispersal ability of the exotic B. terrestris, these three multihost pathogens should be considered as potential threats to South American native bumble bees. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. A comparative analysis of colour preferences in temperate and tropical social bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balamurali, G S; Nicholls, Elizabeth; Somanathan, Hema; Hempel de Ibarra, Natalie

    2018-01-02

    The spontaneous occurrence of colour preferences without learning has been demonstrated in several insect species; however, the underlying mechanisms are still not understood. Here, we use a comparative approach to investigate spontaneous and learned colour preferences in foraging bees of two tropical and one temperate species. We hypothesised that tropical bees utilise different sets of plants and therefore might differ in their spontaneous colour preferences. We tested colour-naive bees and foragers from colonies that had been enclosed in large flight cages for a long time. Bees were shortly trained with triplets of neutral, UV-grey stimuli placed randomly at eight locations on a black training disk to induce foraging motivation. During unrewarded tests, the bees' responses to eight colours were video-recorded. Bees explored all colours and displayed an overall preference for colours dominated by long or short wavelengths, rather than a single colour stimulus. Naive Apis cerana and Bombus terrestris showed similar choices. Both inspected long-wavelength stimuli more than short-wavelength stimuli, whilst responses of the tropical stingless bee Tetragonula iridipennis differed, suggesting that resource partitioning could be a determinant of spontaneous colour preferences. Reward on an unsaturated yellow colour shifted the bees' preference curves as predicted, which is in line with previous findings that brief colour experience overrides the expression of spontaneous preferences. We conclude that rather than determining foraging behaviour in inflexible ways, spontaneous colour preferences vary depending on experimental settings and reflect potential biases in mechanisms of learning and decision-making in pollinating insects.

  4. The innate responses of bumble bees to flower patterns: separating the nectar guide from the nectary changes bee movements and search time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodale, Eben; Kim, Edward; Nabors, Annika; Henrichon, Sara; Nieh, James C.

    2014-06-01

    Nectar guides can enhance pollinator efficiency and plant fitness by allowing pollinators to more rapidly find and remember the location of floral nectar. We tested if a radiating nectar guide around a nectary would enhance the ability of naïve bumble bee foragers to find nectar. Most experiments that test nectar guide efficacy, specifically radiating linear guides, have used guides positioned around the center of a radially symmetric flower, where nectaries are often found. However, the flower center may be intrinsically attractive. We therefore used an off-center guide and nectary and compared "conjunct" feeders with a nectar guide surrounding the nectary to "disjunct" feeders with a nectar guide separated from the nectary. We focused on the innate response of novice bee foragers that had never previously visited such feeders. We hypothesized that a disjunct nectar guide would conflict with the visual information provided by the nectary and negatively affect foraging. Approximately, equal numbers of bumble bees ( Bombus impatiens) found nectar on both feeder types. On disjunct feeders, however, unsuccessful foragers spent significantly more time (on average 1.6-fold longer) searching for nectar than any other forager group. Successful foragers on disjunct feeders approached these feeders from random directions unlike successful foragers on conjunct feeders, which preferentially approached the combined nectary and nectar guide. Thus, the nectary and a surrounding nectar guide can be considered a combination of two signals that attract naïve foragers even when not in the floral center.

  5. Blackawton bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackawton, P S; Airzee, S; Allen, A; Baker, S; Berrow, A; Blair, C; Churchill, M; Coles, J; Cumming, R F-J; Fraquelli, L; Hackford, C; Hinton Mellor, A; Hutchcroft, M; Ireland, B; Jewsbury, D; Littlejohns, A; Littlejohns, G M; Lotto, M; McKeown, J; O'Toole, A; Richards, H; Robbins-Davey, L; Roblyn, S; Rodwell-Lynn, H; Schenck, D; Springer, J; Wishy, A; Rodwell-Lynn, T; Strudwick, D; Lotto, R B

    2011-04-23

    Real science has the potential to not only amaze, but also transform the way one thinks of the world and oneself. This is because the process of science is little different from the deeply resonant, natural processes of play. Play enables humans (and other mammals) to discover (and create) relationships and patterns. When one adds rules to play, a game is created. the process of playing with rules that enables one to reveal previously unseen patterns of relationships that extend our collective understanding of nature and human nature. When thought of in this way, science education becomes a more enlightened and intuitive process of asking questions and devising games to address those questions. But, because the outcome of all game-playing is unpredictable, supporting this 'messyness', which is the engine of science, is critical to good science education (and indeed creative education generally). Indeed, we have learned that doing 'real' science in public spaces can stimulate tremendous interest in children and adults in understanding the processes by which we make sense of the world. The present study (on the vision of bumble-bees) goes even further, since it was not only performed outside my laboratory (in a Norman church in the southwest of England), but the 'games' were themselves devised in collaboration with 25 8- to 10-year-old children. They asked the questions, hypothesized the answers, designed the games (in other words, the experiments) to test these hypotheses and analysed the data. They also drew the figures (in coloured pencil) and wrote the paper. Their headteacher (Dave Strudwick) and I devised the educational programme (we call 'i,scientist'), and I trained the bees and transcribed the childrens' words into text (which was done with smaller groups of children at the school's local village pub). So what follows is a novel study (scientifically and conceptually) in 'kids speak' without references to past literature, which is a challenge. Although the

  6. Entomofauna asociada a flores de berenjena y su papel en la producción de los frutos Insects associated with eggplant flowers and their role in fruit production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julianne Milléo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available El papel de los insectos polinizadores despierta interés, principalmente, en la reproducción de plantas tales como la berenjena. Este trabajo de recolección de la entomofauna asociada a las flores de Solanum melongena tuvo como objetivos identificar posibles agentes polinizadores locales y analizar el beneficio de los insectos antófilos a esta planta. Las observaciones y la colecta de los insectos visitantes de las flores fueron realizadas en febrero de 2008, entre las 7:00 y 17:15 horas, cada 45 minutos y en un área de 27 m². El experimento para el análisis y la comparación entre autofecundación espontánea y polinización por medio de agentes bióticos fue realizado en el mismo sitio, de febrero a marzo de 2009. Fueron colectados 631 insectos que visitaban las flores de berenjena, se destacaron los coleópteros de los géneros Colaspis Fabricius, Astylus Laporte, Harmonia Mulsant, Epitrix Foudras y Diabrotica Chevrolat; y los himenópteros del género Bombus Latreille. El pico de visitación en Solanum melongena ocurrió entre las 9:00 y 11:00 horas y corresponde al 36% del muestreo. De las flores sometidas al test de autofecundación espontánea, el 39% formaron frutos, mientras que apenas el 11% de las flores emasculadas y expuestas al proceso de acción por medio de agentes bióticos fructificaron.The interest in the role of insect pollination is growing, mainly in the reproduction of plants of economic interest, such as the eggplant. This study about the entomofauna associated with flowers of Solanum melongena has as objectives to identify possible pollinators' agents and to analyze the benefit of the anthophile insects to this plant. The observations and the survey of the flower visitors' insects were made in February 2008, between 7:00 am and 5:15 pm, every 45 minutes, in an area of 27 m². The experiment for analysis and comparison between spontaneous self pollination and by biological agents was made at the same place, from

  7. Reproduction, pollination and seed predation of Senna multijuga (Fabaceae in two protected areas in the Brazilian Atlantic forest

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    Marina Wolowski

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available One important subject is to determine the effectiveness of conservation areas, where different management categories are being applied, to maintain effective sexual reproduction in plants and their interactions with animal groups. To evaluate this issue, we compared the phenology, reproductive success, pollination and pre-dispersal seed predation of the legume tree Senna multijuga in two differently managed protected areas in Southeastern Brazil: the Itatiaia National Park and the Environmental Protection Area of Serrinha do Alambari, from December 2007 to December 2008. Vegetative and reproductive phenodinamycs were registered monthly in 80 individuals; other evaluations included 104 observation hours for pollination (March-May 2008 in 51 inflorescences; besides, fruit counts, fecundity and seed predation. Sexual reproduction of S. multijuga depends on the transfer of pollen by large bees (Bombus, Centris, Epicharis and Xylocopa, as the species is self-incompatible. Bruchidae species of the genus Acanthoscelides and Sennius predate seeds. Vegetative and reproductive phenodynamics differed among sites. Our results indicated that ecological interactions were lower at the protected area, but the reproductive processes in S. multijuga were not ruptured or critically degraded. This reinforces the idea that landscape areas with intermediate levels of protection, such as environmental protection areas, are suitable as buffer zones, and thus, relevant to the conservation of ecological processes when associated with more strictly protected areas. Rev. Biol. Trop. 59 (4: 1939-1948. Epub 2011 December 01Es importante determinar la eficacia de las áreas de conservación cuando se están implementando diferentes categorías de manejo, y una forma de hacerlo es conociendo si se mantiene una reproducción sexual efectiva en las especies de plantas y sus interacciones con grupos de animales. Para evaluar esta cuestión, se comparó la fenología, el

  8. Plantas ornamentais e seus recursos para abelhas no campus da Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Estado de São Paulo, Brasil Resources of ornamental plants for bee on campus of the State University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil

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    Kayna Agostini

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Este trabalho apresenta um estudo florístico e fenológico das plantas ornamentais arbóreas e arbustivas, visitadas por abelhas no campus da Universidade Estadual de Campinas, São Paulo. Os registros sobre as plantas foram feitos de maio de 1999 a abril de 2000, obtendo-se 42 espécies de plantas. Cerca de 43% apresentou pico de floração no período úmido, 33% no período seco e 24% em ambos os períodos, não havendo sazonalidade marcada. A maioria das espécies, cerca de 72%, apresentou padrão de floração anual. As famílias mais representativas foram Leguminosae e Bombacaceae com 13 e 5 espécies respectivamente. Dentre as espécies estudadas predominaram flores brancas e o tipo floral aberto. As observações sobre as abelhas que visitavam as flores foram feitas de maio de 2000 a fevereiro de 2001, tendo sido registradas 17 espécies de abelhas. Essas abelhas podiam realizar visitas legítimas e/ou ilegítimas às flores. Os recursos utilizados pelas abelhas foram, principalmente, pólen e néctar e, na maioria das espécies de plantas, ambas as substâncias foram utilizadas. Apis mellifera, Trigona spinipes e Tetragonisca angustula, abelhas consideradas generalistas e Xylocopa frontalis e Bombus morio, consideradas mais especializadas, foram as cinco espécies que visitaram as flores de maior quantidade de espécies de plantas. Essas informações podem ser úteis para a elaboração de planos de manejo em ambientes urbanos visando à utilização de plantas ornamentais adequadas para atender maior diversidade de abelhas.A floristic and phenological study of ornamental, arboreal and shrubby species visited by bees was carried out on the campus of the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, São Paulo. Data on the species were recorded from May 1999 to April 2000. During this period 42 flowering species in flower were evaluated, of these 43% flowered in the wet season, 33% in the dry season and 24% in both seasons, without marked

  9. Produção de néctar e visitas por abelhas em duas espécies cultivadas de Passiflora L. (Passifloraceae Nectar production and bee visits in two cultivated species of Passiflora L. (Passifloraceae

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    Isabela Galarda Varassin

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available A atividade dos polinizadores é afetada pela disponibilidade de recursos. Flores que produzem mais néctar podem ser mais visitadas e assim apresentar maior produção de frutos. O efeito da produção de néctar na atividade dos polinizadores foi testado em duas espécies cultivadas de maracujá, Passiflora alata Curtis e Passiflora edulis Sims, em Morretes, Paraná. Botões foram ensacados e o néctar acumulado das flores foi coletado em intervalos de 1 h. Em P. alata o volume e a concentração de solutos no néctar aumentaram durante o período de antese, associados com o aumento da temperatura. Em P. edulis, o volume aumentou durante o período diurno da antese, e decresceu após as 18 horas. A concentração de solutos no néctar permaneceu constante. A taxa média de visitação de Xylocopa frontalis (Olivier em P. alata foi de 1,7 visitas/100flores/hora e em P. edulis foi de 6,6 visitas/100flores/hora, sendo constante durante a antese. A taxa média de visitação de Bombus morio (Swederus em P. alata foi de 5,8 visitas/100flores/hora, sendo mais alta no início da antese. A constância das visitas de X. frontalis deve estar associada à produção contínua de néctar em ambas as espécies de maracujazeiros. Como as espécies são xenogâmicas, a manutenção das visitas é importante para propiciar o fluxo de pólen entre indivíduos e assim garantir boa produção de frutos.Pollinator activity is affected by resource availability. Flowers that produce more nectar are visited more, which results in a greater fruit set. The effect of nectar production on pollinator activity was tested in two cultivated species of passion fruit, Passiflora alata Curtis and Passiflora edulis Sims, in Morretes, Paraná. Flower buds were bagged and the accumulated nectar of flowers was collected hourly. The volume and concentration of nectar of P. alata increased during anthesis, which was associated with rising temperatures. The volume of nectar of P

  10. Floral biology of Stachytarpheta maximiliani Scham. (Verbenaceae and its floral visitors Biologia floral de Stachytarpheta maximiliani Scham. (Verbenaceae e seus visitantes florais

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    Ivana de Freitas Barbola

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the reproductive system of Stachytarpheta maximiliani (Verbenaceae, including its floral biology, nectar and pollen availability and insect foraging patterns, identifying whose species act as pollinators. It was carried out in a Brazilian Atlantic rain forest site. Observations on the pollination biology of the Verbenaceae S. maximiliani indicate that their flowering period extends from September through May. Anthesis occurs from 5:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and nectar and pollen are available during all the anthesis. Many species of beetles, hemipterans, flies, wasps, bees and butterflies visit their flowers, but bees and butterflies are the most frequent visitors. The flowers are generally small, gathered in dense showy inflorescences. A complex of floral characteristcs, such as violet-blue color of flowers, long floral tubes, without scents, nectar not exposed, high concentration of sugar in nectar (about 32%, allowed identification of floral syndromes (melittophily and psicophily and function for each visitor. The bees, Bombus morio, B. atratus, Trigonopedia ferruginea, Xylocopa brasilianorum and Apis mellifera and the butterflies Corticea mendica mendica, Corticea sp., Vehilius clavicula, Urbanus simplicius, U. teleus and Heraclides thoas brasiliensis, are the most important pollinators.Este estudo descreve alguns aspectos do sistema reprodutivo de Stachytarpheta maximiliani (Verbenaceae, incluindo características da flor, disponibilidade de néctar e pólen e o padrão de forrageio dos insetos visitantes florais, em uma área de Floresta Atlântica, no sul do Brasil. Observações sobre sua biologia floral indicam que esta espécie tem um período de floração que se estende de setembro a maio, antese diurna (das 5:30h às 17:00h e oferta de néctar e pólen praticamente durante todo o período de antese. Suas flores são visitadas por diferentes espécies de coleópteros, dípteros, hemípteros, himenópteros e lepid

  11. Biologia floral e sistema reprodutivo de Byrsonima coccolobifolia (Kunth em uma savana amazônica Floral Biology and the reproductive system of Byrsonima coccolobifolia (Kunth in an amazonian savanna

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    Rosa Mª Cordovil Benezar

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available A biologia reprodutiva de Byrsonima coccolobifolia, foi avaliada em uma população de savana do Estado de Roraima. A espécie é constituída de arbustos e arvoretas com altura inferior a 3m, de flores hermafroditas zigomorfas, pentâmeras, reunidas em inflorescências do tipo racemo terminal, produzidos em brotações novas, o cálice é composto por cinco sépalas, que apresentam um par de glândulas produtoras de óleo. A corola é formada por cinco pétalas albo-róseas e unguiculadas, o androceu é composto por dez estames com anteras de coloração amarela. A antese pode ser noturna ou diurna, estende-se por um período médio de 12 horas e as flores costumam ficar abertas e vistosas por um período adicional de 15 horas, quando se inicia a senescência. Foram registrados dois episódios de floração e o fogo parece ser um fator ambiental estimulador desta fenofase. Os visitantes florais predominantes foram abelhas das famílias Anthophoridae (Centris sp. e Xylocopa sp. e Apidae (Apis mellifera e Bombus sp.. Os resultados das polinizações controladas e o cálculo do índice de auto-incompatibilidade (ISI indicam que a espécie apresenta comportamento protogínico e é autocompatível, produzindo frutos em todos os tratamentos de autopolinização em proporções semelhantes à polinização natural, não sendo confirmada a produção de frutos apomíticos. Entretanto, os percentuais de frutos formados nos tratamentos de xenogamia foram significativamente superiores aos tratamentos de autofertilização, indicando que B. coccolobifolia apresenta um sistema reprodutivo misto com níveis elevados de alogamia e autogamia.The reproductive biology of Byrsonima coccolobifolia was evaluated in a savanna area of State of Roraima, Brazil. This is a woody species of bushes and small trees 3m tall. The flowers are hermaphrodite, pentamerous, zygomorphic, arranged in a terminal inflorescence, produced in new sprouts. Five sepals form the calyx

  12. Species-specific diagnostics of Apis mellifera trypanosomatids: A nine-year survey (2007-2015) for trypanosomatids and microsporidians in Serbian honey bees.

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    Stevanovic, Jevrosima; Schwarz, Ryan S; Vejnovic, Branislav; Evans, Jay D; Irwin, Rebecca E; Glavinic, Uros; Stanimirovic, Zoran

    2016-09-01

    In this study, honey bees collected in Serbia over 9 consecutive years (2007-2015) were retrospectively surveyed to determine the prevalence of eukaryotic gut parasites by molecular screening of archival DNA samples. We developed species-specific primers for PCR to detect the two known honey bee trypanosomatid species, Crithidia mellificae and the recently described Lotmaria passim. These primers were validated for target specificity under single and mixed-species conditions as well as against the bumblebee trypanosomatid Crithidia bombi. Infections by Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) were also determined using PCR. Samples from 162 colonies (18 from each year) originating from 57 different localities were surveyed. L. passim was detected in every year with an overall frequency of 62.3% and annual frequencies ranging from 38.9% to 83.3%. This provides the earliest confirmed record to date for L. passim and the first report of this species in Serbia. N. ceranae was ubiquitous, occurring in every year and at 95.7% overall frequency, ranging annually from 83.3% to 100%. The majority of colonies (60.5%) were co-infected with L. passim and N. ceranae, but colony infections by each species were statistically independent of one another over the nine years. Although C. mellificae and N. apis have both been reported recently at low frequency in Europe, neither of these species was detected in Serbia. These results support the hypothesis that L. passim has predominated over C. mellificae in A. mellifera during the past decade. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Pollination success of Lotus corniculatus (L.) in an urban context

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    Pellissier, Vincent; Muratet, Audrey; Verfaillie, Fabien; Machon, Nathalie

    2012-02-01

    Most anthropogenic activities are known to have deleterious effects on pollinator communities. However, little is known about the influence of urbanization on pollination ecosystem services. Here, we assessed the pollination service on Lotus corniculatus (L.), a self-sterile, strictly entogamous Fabaceae commonly observed in urban and suburban areas. We assessed the pollination success of artificial Lotus corniculatus populations at three levels: at large scale, along an urbanization gradient; at intermediate scale, based on landscape fragmentation within a 250 m radius and at local scale based on floral resource abundance and local habitat type. The main findings were that the pollination success, when assessed with the number of fruit produced per inflorescence, was lower in urban areas than in suburban ones, and was negatively affected by the number of impervious spaces in the neighborhood. The relationship between the number of fruits and the distance to the nearest impervious space was either positive or negative, depending on the gray/green ratio (low vs. high). Finally, on a local scale, floral resource abundance had a negative effect on pollination success when L. corniculatus populations were located in paved courtyards, and a positive one when they were located in parks. Pollination success seems to be explained by two intertwined gradients: landscape fragmentation estimated by the number of impervious spaces in a 250 m radius around L. corniculatus populations, and the behavior of bumblebees toward birdsfoot trefoil and floral displays, which appears to differ depending on whether a neighborhood is densely or sparsely urbanized. An abundance of attracting floral resources seems to enhance pollination success for L. corniculatus if it is not too isolated from other green spaces. These results have important implications for the sustainability of pollination success in towns by identifying local and landscape factors that influence reproductive success of

  14. Plant pollinator networks along a gradient of urbanisation.

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    Geslin, Benoît; Gauzens, Benoit; Thébault, Elisa; Dajoz, Isabelle

    2013-01-01

    Habitat loss is one of the principal causes of the current pollinator decline. With agricultural intensification, increasing urbanisation is among the main drivers of habitat loss. Consequently studies focusing on pollinator community structure along urbanisation gradients have increased in recent years. However, few studies have investigated how urbanisation affects plant-pollinator interaction networks. Here we assessed modifications of plant-pollinator interactions along an urbanisation gradient based on the study of their morphological relationships. Along an urbanisation gradient comprising four types of landscape contexts (semi-natural, agricultural, suburban, urban), we set up experimental plant communities containing two plant functional groups differing in their morphological traits ("open flowers" and "tubular flowers"). Insect visitations on these communities were recorded to build plant-pollinator networks. A total of 17 857 interactions were recorded between experimental plant communities and flower-visitors. The number of interactions performed by flower-visitors was significantly lower in urban landscape context than in semi-natural and agricultural ones. In particular, insects such as Syrphidae and solitary bees that mostly visited the open flower functional group were significantly impacted by urbanisation, which was not the case for bumblebees. Urbanisation also impacted the generalism of flower-visitors and we detected higher interaction evenness in urban landscape context than in agricultural and suburban ones. Finally, in urban context, these modifications lowered the potential reproductive success of the open flowers functional group. Our findings show that open flower plant species and their specific flower-visitors are especially sensitive to increasing urbanisation. These results provide new clues to improve conservation measures within urbanised areas in favour of specialist flower-visitors. To complete this functional approach, studies

  15. Insects, birds and lizards as pollinators of the largest-flowered Scrophularia of Europe and Macaronesia.

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    Ortega-Olivencia, Ana; Rodríguez-Riaño, Tomás; Pérez-Bote, José L; López, Josefa; Mayo, Carlos; Valtueña, Francisco J; Navarro-Pérez, Marisa

    2012-01-01

    It has traditionally been considered that the flowers of Scrophularia are mainly pollinated by wasps. We studied the pollination system of four species which stand out for their large and showy flowers: S. sambucifolia and S. grandiflora (endemics of the western Mediterranean region), S. trifoliata (an endemic of the Tyrrhenian islands) and S. calliantha (an endemic of the Canary Islands). Our principal aim was to test whether these species were pollinated by birds or showed a mixed pollination system between insects and birds. Censuses and captures of insects and birds were performed to obtain pollen load transported and deposited on the stigmas. Also, a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the flowers and inflorescences was carried out. Flowers were visited by Hymenoptera and by passerine birds. The Canarian species was the most visited by birds, especially by Phylloscopus canariensis, and its flowers were also accessed by juveniles of the lizard Gallotia stehlini. The most important birds in the other three species were Sylvia melanocephala and S. atricapilla. The most important insect-functional groups in the mixed pollination system were: honey-bees and wasps in S. sambucifolia; bumble-bees and wasps in S. grandiflora; wasps in S. trifoliata; and a small bee in S. calliantha. The species studied show a mixed pollination system between insects and passerine birds. In S. calliantha there is, in addition, a third agent (juveniles of Gallotia stehlini). The participation of birds in this mixed pollination system presents varying degrees of importance because, while in S. calliantha they are the main pollinators, in the other species they interact to complement the insects which are the main pollinators. A review of different florae showed that the large showy floral morphotypes of Scrophularia are concentrated in the western and central Mediterranean region, Macaronesia and USA (New Mexico).

  16. Effects of neonicotinoids and fipronil on non-target invertebrates.

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    Pisa, L W; Amaral-Rogers, V; Belzunces, L P; Bonmatin, J M; Downs, C A; Goulson, D; Kreutzweiser, D P; Krupke, C; Liess, M; McField, M; Morrissey, C A; Noome, D A; Settele, J; Simon-Delso, N; Stark, J D; Van der Sluijs, J P; Van Dyck, H; Wiemers, M

    2015-01-01

    We assessed the state of knowledge regarding the effects of large-scale pollution with neonicotinoid insecticides and fipronil on non-target invertebrate species of terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. A large section of the assessment is dedicated to the state of knowledge on sublethal effects on honeybees (Apis mellifera) because this important pollinator is the most studied non-target invertebrate species. Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), Lumbricidae (earthworms), Apoidae sensu lato (bumblebees, solitary bees) and the section "other invertebrates" review available studies on the other terrestrial species. The sections on freshwater and marine species are rather short as little is known so far about the impact of neonicotinoid insecticides and fipronil on the diverse invertebrate fauna of these widely exposed habitats. For terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate species, the known effects of neonicotinoid pesticides and fipronil are described ranging from organismal toxicology and behavioural effects to population-level effects. For earthworms, freshwater and marine species, the relation of findings to regulatory risk assessment is described. Neonicotinoid insecticides exhibit very high toxicity to a wide range of invertebrates, particularly insects, and field-realistic exposure is likely to result in both lethal and a broad range of important sublethal impacts. There is a major knowledge gap regarding impacts on the grand majority of invertebrates, many of which perform essential roles enabling healthy ecosystem functioning. The data on the few non-target species on which field tests have been performed are limited by major flaws in the outdated test protocols. Despite large knowledge gaps and uncertainties, enough knowledge exists to conclude that existing levels of pollution with neonicotinoids and fipronil resulting from presently authorized uses frequently exceed the lowest observed adverse effect concentrations and are thus likely to have large

  17. Pterandra pyroidea: a case of pollination shift within Neotropical Malpighiaceae

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    Cappellari, Simone C.; Haleem, Muhammad A.; Marsaioli, Anita J.; Tidon, Rosana; Simpson, Beryl B.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Most Neotropical species of Malpighiaceae produce floral fatty oils in calyx glands to attract pollinating oil-collecting bees, which depend on this resource for reproduction. This specialized type of pollination system tends to be lost in members of the family that occur outside the geographic distribution (e.g. Africa) of Neotropical oil-collecting bees. This study focused on the pollination ecology, chemical ecology and reproductive biology of an oil flower species, Pterandra pyroidea (Malpighiaceae) from the Brazilian Cerrado. Populations of this species consist of plants with oil-secreting (glandular) flowers, plants with non-oil-secreting flowers (eglandular) or a mix of both plant types. This study specifically aims to clarify the role of eglandular morphs in this species. Methods Data on pollinators were recorded by in situ observations. Breeding system experiments were conducted by isolating inflorescences and by enzymatic reactions. Floral resources, pollen and floral oils offered by this species were analysed by staining and a combination of various spectroscopic methods. Key Results Eglandular flowers of P. pyroidea do not act as mimics of their oil-producing conspecifics to attract pollinators. Instead, both oil-producing and oil-free flowers depend on pollen-collecting bees for reproduction, and their main pollinators are bumble-bees. Floral oils produced by glandular flowers are less complex than those described in closely related genera. Conclusions Eglandular flowers represent a shift in the pollination system in which oil is being lost and pollen is becoming the main reward of P. pyroidea flowers. Pollination shifts of this kind have hitherto not been demonstrated empirically within Neotropical Malpighiaceae and this species exhibits an unusual transition from a specialized towards a generalized pollination system in an area considered the hotspot of oil-collecting bee diversity in the Neotropics. Transitions of this type

  18. Evaluation of Deutzia x carnea (Lem. Rehd. as a food source to urban bees

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    Marzena Masierowska

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This 3-year study examined the flowering phenology, to- tal floral display, nectar and pollen production as well as bee visitation to the ornamental shrub Deutzia x carnea (Lem. Rehd. D. x carnea bloomed from early June until the middle of July. The total flower display reached 47927 flowers per plant. The number of developed flowers strongly depended on weather conditions before and during the flowering period and fluctuated significantly during the years of study. The flower of D. x carnea lived 5 days and the persistence of an inflorescence was 11 days. Nectar productivity per 10 flowers differed significantly between the years of study and ranged between 15.7 and 40.14 mg. Mean sugar content in nectar was 39.7%. The total sugar mass in nectar per 10 flowers averaged 9.91 mg (range: 3.81 – 18.91 mg. Pollen mass per 10 flowers was 16.89 mg. The estimated sugar and pollen productivity per plant was 36.8 g and 40 g, respectively. Among bees (Apoidea, honey bees were principal visitors on Deutzia flowers. The peak of daily activity of honey bees and bumblebees occurred between 11.00 and 15.00 hrs, whereas the presence of other wild bees was noted in the morning and in the late afternoon. All bees gathered mainly nectar, but pollen collectors were also noted. The mean daily visiting rate was 0.0809 visits per flower × min-1. The use of this shrub in gardens and parks should be encouraged in order to enrich food pasture for urban Apoidea. However, its cultivation is limited to areas of mild climate and adequate water supply.

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

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

    2009-10-01

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

  20. Two bee-pollinated plant species show higher seed production when grown in gardens compared to arable farmland.

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    John Cussans

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Insect pollinator abundance, in particular that of bees, has been shown to be high where there is a super-abundance of floral resources; for example in association with mass-flowering crops and also in gardens where flowering plants are often densely planted. Since land management affects pollinator numbers, it is also likely to affect the resultant pollination of plants growing in these habitats. We hypothesised that the seed or fruit set of two plant species, typically pollinated by bumblebees and/or honeybees might respond in one of two ways: 1 pollination success could be reduced when growing in a floriferous environment, via competition for pollinators, or 2 pollination success could be enhanced because of increased pollinator abundance in the vicinity.We compared the pollination success of experimental plants of Glechoma hederacea L. and Lotus corniculatus L. growing in gardens and arable farmland. On the farms, the plants were placed either next to a mass-flowering crop (oilseed rape, Brassica napus L. or field beans, Vicia faba L. or next to a cereal crop (wheat, Triticum spp.. Seed set of G. hederacea and fruit set of L. corniculatus were significantly higher in gardens compared to arable farmland. There was no significant difference in pollination success of G. hederacea when grown next to different crops, but for L. corniculatus, fruit set was higher in the plants growing next to oilseed rape when the crop was in flower.The results show that pollination services can limit fruit set of wild plants in arable farmland, but there is some evidence that the presence of a flowering crop can facilitate their pollination (depending on species and season. We have also demonstrated that gardens are not only beneficial to pollinators, but also to the process of pollination.