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Sample records for honey bee colonies

  1. HONEY BEE COLONY PHEROMONES

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    M Dražić

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Pheromones are chemicals produced as liquids by specialised cells or glands and transmitted into the environment as liquids or gases. In contrary to hormones, which are excreted in organism and have effect exclusively on organism that produced them, pheromones are excreted outside organism and effect on different individuals of the same species. Pheromones mediate nearly all aspects of honeybee colony life including social defence, brood care, mating, orientation, foraging and reproduction. Pheromone investigation has high economic importance. With use of pheromones it is possible to manipulate with pest insects on crops or to direct honeybees during pollination on target plants.

  2. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

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    Cansu Ozge Tozkar

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World’s most important centers of apiculture, harboring 5 subspecies of Apis mellifera L., approximately 20% of the honey bee subspecies in the world. We use deep ILLUMINA-based RNA sequencing to capture RNA species for the honey bee and a sampling of all non-endogenous species carried by bees. After trimming and mapping these reads to the honey bee genome, approximately 10% of the sequences (9-10 million reads per library remained. These were then mapped to a curated set of public sequences containing ca. 60 megabase-pairs of sequence representing known microbial species associated with honey bees. Levels of key honey bee pathogens were confirmed using quantitative PCR screens. We contrast microbial matches across different sites in Turkey, showing new country recordings of Lake Sinai virus, two Spiroplasma bacterium species, symbionts Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi, Frischella perrara, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, Lactobacillus spp., neogregarines, and a trypanosome species. By using metagenomic analysis, this study also reveals deep molecular evidence for the presence of bacterial pathogens (Melissococcus plutonius, Paenibacillus larvae, Varroa destructor-1 virus, Sacbrood virus, Apis filamentous virus and fungi. Despite this effort we did not detect KBV, SBPV, Tobacco ringspot virus, VdMLV (Varroa Macula like virus, Acarapis spp., Tropilaeleps spp. and Apocephalus (phorid fly. We discuss possible impacts of management practices and honey bee subspecies on microbial retinues. The described workflow and curated microbial database will be generally useful for microbial surveys of healthy and declining honey bees.

  3. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World's most important centers of apiculture, harboring five subspecies of Apis mellifera L., approximately 20% of the honey bee subspecies in the world. We use deep ILLUMINA-based RNA sequencing to capture RNA species for the honey bee and a sampling of all non-endogenous species carried by bees. After trimming and mapping these reads to the honey bee genome, approximately 10% of the sequences (9–10 million reads per library) remained. These were then mapped to a curated set of public sequences containing ca. Sixty megabase-pairs of sequence representing known microbial species associated with honey bees. Levels of key honey bee pathogens were confirmed using quantitative PCR screens. We contrast microbial matches across different sites in Turkey, showing new country recordings of Lake Sinai virus, two Spiroplasma bacterium species, symbionts Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi, Frischella perrara, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, Lactobacillus spp.), neogregarines, and a trypanosome species. By using metagenomic analysis, this study also reveals deep molecular evidence for the presence of bacterial pathogens (Melissococcus plutonius, Paenibacillus larvae), Varroa destructor-1 virus, Sacbrood virus, and fungi. Despite this effort we did not detect KBV, SBPV, Tobacco ringspot virus, VdMLV (Varroa Macula like virus), Acarapis spp., Tropilaeleps spp. and Apocephalus (phorid fly). We discuss possible impacts of management practices and honey bee subspecies on microbial retinues. The described workflow and curated microbial database will be generally useful for microbial surveys of healthy and declining honey bees. PMID:25852743

  4. Pathogen Webs in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

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    Cornman, R. Scott; Tarpy, David R.; Chen, Yanping; Jeffreys, Lacey; Lopez, Dawn; Pettis, Jeffery S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Evans, Jay D.

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses in honey bee colonies are unusual in their severity, geographical distribution, and, in some cases, failure to present recognized characteristics of known disease. Domesticated honey bees face numerous pests and pathogens, tempting hypotheses that colony collapses arise from exposure to new or resurgent pathogens. Here we explore the incidence and abundance of currently known honey bee pathogens in colonies suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), otherwise weak colonies, and strong colonies from across the United States. Although pathogen identities differed between the eastern and western United States, there was a greater incidence and abundance of pathogens in CCD colonies. Pathogen loads were highly covariant in CCD but not control hives, suggesting that CCD colonies rapidly become susceptible to a diverse set of pathogens, or that co-infections can act synergistically to produce the rapid depletion of workers that characterizes the disorder. We also tested workers from a CCD-free apiary to confirm that significant positive correlations among pathogen loads can develop at the level of individual bees and not merely as a secondary effect of CCD. This observation and other recent data highlight pathogen interactions as important components of bee disease. Finally, we used deep RNA sequencing to further characterize microbial diversity in CCD and non-CCD hives. We identified novel strains of the recently described Lake Sinai viruses (LSV) and found evidence of a shift in gut bacterial composition that may be a biomarker of CCD. The results are discussed with respect to host-parasite interactions and other environmental stressors of honey bees. PMID:22927991

  5. Pathogen webs in collapsing honey bee colonies.

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    R Scott Cornman

    Full Text Available Recent losses in honey bee colonies are unusual in their severity, geographical distribution, and, in some cases, failure to present recognized characteristics of known disease. Domesticated honey bees face numerous pests and pathogens, tempting hypotheses that colony collapses arise from exposure to new or resurgent pathogens. Here we explore the incidence and abundance of currently known honey bee pathogens in colonies suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD, otherwise weak colonies, and strong colonies from across the United States. Although pathogen identities differed between the eastern and western United States, there was a greater incidence and abundance of pathogens in CCD colonies. Pathogen loads were highly covariant in CCD but not control hives, suggesting that CCD colonies rapidly become susceptible to a diverse set of pathogens, or that co-infections can act synergistically to produce the rapid depletion of workers that characterizes the disorder. We also tested workers from a CCD-free apiary to confirm that significant positive correlations among pathogen loads can develop at the level of individual bees and not merely as a secondary effect of CCD. This observation and other recent data highlight pathogen interactions as important components of bee disease. Finally, we used deep RNA sequencing to further characterize microbial diversity in CCD and non-CCD hives. We identified novel strains of the recently described Lake Sinai viruses (LSV and found evidence of a shift in gut bacterial composition that may be a biomarker of CCD. The results are discussed with respect to host-parasite interactions and other environmental stressors of honey bees.

  6. Predictive markers of honey bee colony collapse.

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    Benjamin Dainat

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

  7. Predictive markers of honey bee colony collapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dainat, Benjamin; Evans, Jay D; Chen, Yan Ping; Gauthier, Laurent; Neumann, Peter

    2012-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide critical pollination services and livelihood for small-holder farmers in Kenya, thus contributing to nutrition and food security. While honey bee colonies in North America and Europe are in decline due to parasites and pathogens, little is known about the status and effects of the honey bee ...

  9. Varroa-Virus Interaction in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Francis, Roy Mathew; Nielsen, Steen L.; Kryger, Per

    2013-01-01

    in honey bees and varroa mites from 23 colonies (15 apiaries) under three treatment conditions: Organic acids (11 colonies), pyrethroid (9 colonies) and untreated (3 colonies). Approximately 200 bees were sampled every month from April 2011 to October 2011, and April 2012. The 200 bees were split to 10...

  10. Profiling of honey bee viruses in Kenyan honey bee colonies ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Honey bee population worldwide is dwindling due to a number of interrelated factors among them pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and metazoan parasites. ... 454 pyro sequencing was performed on genome sequencer FLX system. The resultant single reads were analyzed using CLC Genomic workbench.

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

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

    2013-08-01

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

  12. Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-06-20

    thrips; ants; butterflies; moths; bats ; and hummingbirds and other birds. 2 Berenbaum, M.R., University of Illinois, Statement before the... vampire mite (Varroa destructor) and the tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi), and also colony declines due to the pathogen Paenibacillus larvae.12 Other reasons

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

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    Jerry J Bromenshenk

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

  14. Iridovirus and Microsporidian Linked to Honey Bee Colony Decline

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Honey Bee Colonies Remote Monitoring System

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    Sergio Gil-Lebrero

    2016-12-01

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

  16. Varroa-virus interaction in collapsing honey bee colonies.

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    Roy M Francis

    Full Text Available Varroa mites and viruses are the currently the high-profile suspects in collapsing bee colonies. Therefore, seasonal variation in varroa load and viruses (Acute-Kashmir-Israeli complex (AKI and Deformed Wing Virus (DWV were monitored in a year-long study. We investigated the viral titres in honey bees and varroa mites from 23 colonies (15 apiaries under three treatment conditions: Organic acids (11 colonies, pyrethroid (9 colonies and untreated (3 colonies. Approximately 200 bees were sampled every month from April 2011 to October 2011, and April 2012. The 200 bees were split to 10 subsamples of 20 bees and analysed separately, which allows us to determine the prevalence of virus-infected bees. The treatment efficacy was often low for both treatments. In colonies where varroa treatment reduced the mite load, colonies overwintered successfully, allowing the mites and viruses to be carried over with the bees into the next season. In general, AKI and DWV titres did not show any notable response to the treatment and steadily increased over the season from April to October. In the untreated control group, titres increased most dramatically. Viral copies were correlated to number of varroa mites. Most colonies that collapsed over the winter had significantly higher AKI and DWV titres in October compared to survivors. Only treated colonies survived the winter. We discuss our results in relation to the varroa-virus model developed by Stephen Martin.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    Perry, Clint J.; Myerscough, Mary R.; Barron, Andrew B.

    2015-01-01

    Many complex factors have been linked to the recent marked increase in honey bee colony failure, including pests and pathogens, agrochemicals, and nutritional stressors. It remains unclear, however, why colonies frequently react to stressors by losing almost their entire adult bee population in a short time, resulting in a colony population collapse. Here we examine the social dynamics underlying such dramatic colony failure. Bees respond to many stressors by foraging earlier in life. We manipulated the demography of experimental colonies to induce precocious foraging in bees and used radio tag tracking to examine the consequences of precocious foraging for their performance. Precocious foragers completed far fewer foraging trips in their life, and had a higher risk of death in their first flights. We constructed a demographic model to explore how this individual reaction of bees to stress might impact colony performance. In the model, when forager death rates were chronically elevated, an increasingly younger forager force caused a positive feedback that dramatically accelerated terminal population decline in the colony. This resulted in a breakdown in division of labor and loss of the adult population, leaving only brood, food, and few adults in the hive. This study explains the social processes that drive rapid depopulation of a colony, and we explore possible strategies to prevent colony failure. Understanding the process of colony failure helps identify the most effective strategies to improve colony resilience. PMID:25675508

  19. Sensitivity analysis for simulating pesticide impacts on honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods Regulatory agencies assess risks to honey bees from pesticides through a tiered process that includes predictive modeling with empirical toxicity and chemical data of pesticides as a line of evidence. We evaluate the Varroapop colony model, proposed by...

  20. Population dynamics of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in commercial honey bee colonies and implications for control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treatment schedules to maintain low levels of Varroa mites in honey bee colonies were tested in hives started from either package bees or splits of larger colonies. The schedules were developed based on predictions of Varroa population growth generated from a mathematical model of honey bee colony ...

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

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    Coby van Dooremalen

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

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

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    Andreja KANDOLF BOROVŠAK

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis vanEngelsdorp

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    MICHAEL HORSFALL

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

  7. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) and bee age impact honey bee pathophysiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies continue to experience high annual losses that remain poorly explained. Numerous interacting factors have been linked to colony declines. Understanding the pathways linking dysfunction with symptoms is an important step in understanding the mechanisms of disease. ...

  8. Queen introduction into the queenright honey bee colony

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonín Přidal

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the actual elementary biologic principles of the introduction of queen is that the recipient co­lo­ny has to be queenless. We accidentally found that a queen can be accepted also in queenright co­lo­ny with using of the queen excluder. Therefore, we conducted two experiments with the introduction of queen in queenright colony.Under defined conditions of the experiment and with application of the queen excluder as a separator of queens we successfully introduced queen in the queenright colony. This result is discussed in relation to the general principle that a queen should be introduced only in a queenless colony. It is possible that there are some exceptions advert to the existence of some unknown biologic patterns in the honey bee biology and pheromones.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolay D. Dobrynin

    2011-09-01

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

  10. Heat Shielding: A Novel Method of Colonial Thermoregulation in Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starks, Philip T.; Gilley, David C.

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, maintain constant colony temperatures throughout the year. Honey bees fan their wings to cool the colony, and often spread fluid in conjunction with this behavior to induce evaporative cooling. We present an additional, previously undescribed mechanism used by the honey bee to maintain constant colony temperature in response to localized temperature increases. Worker bees shield the comb from external heat sources by positioning themselves on hot interior regions of the hive's walls. Although honey comb and brood comb were both shielded, the temperature-sensitive brood received a greater number of heat shielders and was thus better protected from overheating. Heat shielding appears to be a context-dependent adaptive behavior performed by worker bees who would previously have been considered "unemployed."

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Propolis envelope in Apis mellifera colonies supports honey bees against the pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae

    OpenAIRE

    Borba, Renata S.; Spivak, Marla

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees have immune defenses both as individuals and as a colony (e.g., individual and social immunity). One form of honey bee social immunity is the collection of antimicrobial plant resins and the deposition of the resins as a propolis envelope within the nest. In this study, we tested the effects of the propolis envelope as a natural defense against Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB) disease. Using colonies with and without a propolis envelope, we quan...

  13. Dynamics of the Presence of Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus in Honey Bee Colonies with Colony Collapse Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Chunsheng Hou; Hadassah Rivkin; Yossi Slabezki; Nor Chejanovsky

    2014-01-01

    The determinants of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a particular case of collapse of honey bee colonies, are still unresolved. Viruses including the Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) were associated with CCD. We found an apiary with colonies showing typical CCD characteristics that bore high loads of IAPV, recovered some colonies from collapse and tested the hypothesis if IAPV was actively replicating in them and infectious to healthy bees. We found that IAPV was the dominant pathogen and ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steen, van der J.J.M.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Betti

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cameron J Jack

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. Varroa destructor infestation in untreated honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies selected for hygienic behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spivak, M; Reuter, G S

    2001-04-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies bred for hygienic behavior were tested in a large field trial to determine if they were able to resist the parasitic mite Varroa destructor better than unselected colonies of"Starline" stock. Colonies bred for hygienic behavior are able to detect, uncap, and remove experimentally infested brood from the nest, although the extent to which the behavior actually reduces the overall mite-load in untreated, naturally infested colonies needed further verification. The results indicate that hygienic colonies with queens mated naturally to unselected drones had significantly fewer mites on adult bees and within worker brood cells than Starline colonies for up to 1 yr without treatment in a commercial, migratory beekeeping operation. Hygienic colonies actively defended themselves against the mites when mite levels were relatively low. At high mite infestations (>15% of worker brood and of adult bees), the majority of hygienic colonies required treatment to prevent collapse. Overall, the hygienic colonies had similar adult populations and brood areas, produced as much honey, and had less brood disease than the Starline colonies. Thus, honey bees bred for hygienic behavior performed as well if not better than other commercial lines of bees and maintained lower mite loads for up to one year without treatment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The good wintering of honey bee colonies depends mainly on the wintering regions and beekeeping practices. To identify the suitable regions for colonies wintering at El-Behera governorate, different datasets were prepared and spatially analyzed by using ArcGIS. The input datasets were temperature, distance from roads, ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

    Transmission among colonies is a central feature for the epidemiology of honey bee pathogens. High colony abundance may promote transmission among colonies independently of apiary layout, making colony abundance a potentially important parameter determining pathogen prevalence in populations of honey bees. To test this idea, we sampled male honey bees (drones) from seven distinct drone congregation areas (DCA), and used their genotypes to estimate colony abundance at each site. A multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification assay (MLPA) was used to assess the prevalence of ten viruses, using five common viral targets, in individual drones. There was a significant positive association between colony abundance and number of viral infections. This result highlights the potential importance of high colony abundance for pathogen prevalence, possibly because high population density facilitates pathogen transmission. Pathogen prevalence in drones collected from DCAs may be a useful means of estimating the disease status of a population of honey bees during the mating season, especially for localities with a large number of wild or feral colonies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Naturally selected honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies resistant to Varroa destructor do not groom more intensively

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kruitwagen, Astrid; Langevelde, van Frank; Dooremalen, van Coby; Blacquière, Tjeerd

    2017-01-01

    The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is an important cause of high colony losses of the honey bee Apis mellifera. In The Netherlands, two resistant A. mellifera populations developed naturally after ceasing varroa control. As a result, mite infestation levels of the colonies of these populations

  4. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony health and pathogen composition in migratory beekeeping operations involved in California almond pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenny, William; Cavigli, Ian; Daughenbaugh, Katie F; Radford, Rosemarie; Kegley, Susan E; Flenniken, Michelle L

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops. Pathogens and other factors have been implicated in high annual losses of honey bee colonies in North America and some European countries. To further investigate the relationship between multiple factors, including pathogen prevalence and abundance and colony health, we monitored commercially managed migratory honey bee colonies involved in California almond pollination in 2014. At each sampling event, honey bee colony health was assessed, using colony population size as a proxy for health, and the prevalence and abundance of seven honey bee pathogens was evaluated using PCR and quantitative PCR, respectively. In this sample cohort, pathogen prevalence and abundance did not correlate with colony health, but did correlate with the date of sampling. In general, pathogen prevalence (i.e., the number of specific pathogens harbored within a colony) was lower early in the year (January-March) and was greater in the summer, with peak prevalence occurring in June. Pathogen abundance in individual honey bee colonies varied throughout the year and was strongly associated with the sampling date, and was influenced by beekeeping operation, colony health, and mite infestation level. Together, data from this and other observational cohort studies that monitor individual honey bee colonies and precisely account for sampling date (i.e., day of year) will lead to a better understanding of the influence of pathogens on colony mortality and the effects of other factors on these associations.

  5. Honey bee (Apis mellifera colony health and pathogen composition in migratory beekeeping operations involved in California almond pollination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Glenny

    Full Text Available Honey bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops. Pathogens and other factors have been implicated in high annual losses of honey bee colonies in North America and some European countries. To further investigate the relationship between multiple factors, including pathogen prevalence and abundance and colony health, we monitored commercially managed migratory honey bee colonies involved in California almond pollination in 2014. At each sampling event, honey bee colony health was assessed, using colony population size as a proxy for health, and the prevalence and abundance of seven honey bee pathogens was evaluated using PCR and quantitative PCR, respectively. In this sample cohort, pathogen prevalence and abundance did not correlate with colony health, but did correlate with the date of sampling. In general, pathogen prevalence (i.e., the number of specific pathogens harbored within a colony was lower early in the year (January-March and was greater in the summer, with peak prevalence occurring in June. Pathogen abundance in individual honey bee colonies varied throughout the year and was strongly associated with the sampling date, and was influenced by beekeeping operation, colony health, and mite infestation level. Together, data from this and other observational cohort studies that monitor individual honey bee colonies and precisely account for sampling date (i.e., day of year will lead to a better understanding of the influence of pathogens on colony mortality and the effects of other factors on these associations.

  6. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony health and pathogen composition in migratory beekeeping operations involved in California almond pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daughenbaugh, Katie F.; Radford, Rosemarie; Kegley, Susan E.

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops. Pathogens and other factors have been implicated in high annual losses of honey bee colonies in North America and some European countries. To further investigate the relationship between multiple factors, including pathogen prevalence and abundance and colony health, we monitored commercially managed migratory honey bee colonies involved in California almond pollination in 2014. At each sampling event, honey bee colony health was assessed, using colony population size as a proxy for health, and the prevalence and abundance of seven honey bee pathogens was evaluated using PCR and quantitative PCR, respectively. In this sample cohort, pathogen prevalence and abundance did not correlate with colony health, but did correlate with the date of sampling. In general, pathogen prevalence (i.e., the number of specific pathogens harbored within a colony) was lower early in the year (January—March) and was greater in the summer, with peak prevalence occurring in June. Pathogen abundance in individual honey bee colonies varied throughout the year and was strongly associated with the sampling date, and was influenced by beekeeping operation, colony health, and mite infestation level. Together, data from this and other observational cohort studies that monitor individual honey bee colonies and precisely account for sampling date (i.e., day of year) will lead to a better understanding of the influence of pathogens on colony mortality and the effects of other factors on these associations. PMID:28817641

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zlatko Puškadija

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Planting of neonicotinoid-coated corn raises honey bee mortality and sets back colony development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Samson-Robert

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Worldwide occurrences of honey bee colony losses have raised concerns about bee health and the sustainability of pollination-dependent crops. While multiple causal factors have been identified, seed coating with insecticides of the neonicotinoid family has been the focus of much discussion and research. Nonetheless, few studies have investigated the impacts of these insecticides under field conditions or in commercial beekeeping operations. Given that corn-seed coating constitutes the largest single use of neonicotinoid, our study compared honey bee mortality from commercial apiaries located in two different agricultural settings, i.e. corn-dominated areas and corn-free environments, during the corn planting season. Data was collected in 2012 and 2013 from 26 bee yards. Dead honey bees from five hives in each apiary were counted and collected, and samples were analyzed using a multi-residue LC-MS/MS method. Long-term effects on colony development were simulated based on a honey bee population dynamic model. Mortality survey showed that colonies located in a corn-dominated area had daily mortality counts 3.51 times those of colonies from corn crop-free sites. Chemical analyses revealed that honey bees were exposed to various agricultural pesticides during the corn planting season, but were primarily subjected to neonicotinoid compounds (54% of analysed samples contained clothianidin, and 31% contained both clothianidin and thiamethoxam. Performance development simulations performed on hive populations’ show that increased mortality during the corn planting season sets back colony development and bears contributions to collapse risk but, most of all, reduces the effectiveness and value of colonies for pollination services. Our results also have implications for the numerous large-scale and worldwide-cultivated crops that currently rely on pre-emptive use of neonicotinoid seed treatments.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Węgrzynowicz Paweł

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JEVROSIMA STEVANOVIC

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Lanting

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, which is an n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA, influences honey bee feed intake and longevity. The objective of this study was to research the effect of six dietary ALA levels on the growth and development of Apis mellifera ligustica colonies. In the early spring, a total of 36 honey bee colonies of equal size and queen quality were randomly allocated into 6 groups. The six groups of honey bees were fed a basal diet with supplementation of ALA levels at 0 (group A, 2 (group B, 4 (group C, 6 (group D, 8 (group E, and 10% (group F. In this study, there were significant effects of pollen substitute ALA levels on the feeding amounts of the bee colony, colony population, sealed brood amount, and weight of newly emerged workers (P<0.05. The workers’ midgut Lipase (LPS activity of group C was significantly lower than that of the other groups (P<0.01. The worker bees in groups B, C, and D had significantly longer lifespans than those in the other groups (P<0.05. However, when the diets had ALA concentrations of more than 6%, the mortality of the honey bees increased (P<0.01. These results indicate that ALA levels of 2 ~ 4% of the pollen substitute were optimal for maintaining the highest reproductive performance and the digestion and absorption of fatty acids in honey bees during the period of spring multiplication. Additionally, ALA levels of 2 ~ 6% of the pollen substitute, improved worker bee longevity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  13. Assessment of chronic sublethal effects of imidacloprid on honey bee colony health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Here we present results of a three-year study to determine the fate of imidacloprid residues in hive matrices and to assess chronic sublethal effects on whole honey bee colonies fed supplemental pollen diet containing imidacloprid at 5, 20 and 100 µg/kg over multiple brood cycles. Various endpoints ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  15. Changes in transcript abundance relating to colony collapse disorder in honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Reed M.; Evans, Jay D.; Robinson, Gene E.; Berenbaum, May R.

    2009-01-01

    Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a mysterious disappearance of honey bees that has beset beekeepers in the United States since late 2006. Pathogens and other environmental stresses, including pesticides, have been linked to CCD, but a causal relationship has not yet been demonstrated. Because the gut acts as a primary interface between the honey bee and its environment as a site of entry for pathogens and toxins, we used whole-genome microarrays to compare gene expression between guts of bees from CCD colonies originating on both the east and west coasts of the United States and guts of bees from healthy colonies sampled before the emergence of CCD. Considerable variation in gene expression was associated with the geographical origin of bees, but a consensus list of 65 transcripts was identified as potential markers for CCD status. Overall, elevated expression of pesticide response genes was not observed. Genes involved in immune response showed no clear trend in expression pattern despite the increased prevalence of viruses and other pathogens in CCD colonies. Microarray analysis revealed unusual ribosomal RNA fragments that were conspicuously more abundant in the guts of CCD bees. The presence of these fragments may be a possible consequence of picorna-like viral infection, including deformed wing virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus, and may be related to arrested translation. Ribosomal fragment abundance and presence of multiple viruses may prove to be useful diagnostic markers for colonies afflicted with CCD. PMID:19706391

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. Varroa jacobsoni infestation of adult Africanized and Italian honey bees (Apis mellifera in mixed colonies in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moretto Geraldo

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Different levels of infestation with the mite Varroa jacobsoni have been observed in the various Apis mellifera races. In general, bees of European races are more susceptible to the mite than African honey bees and their hybrids. In Brazil honey bee colonies are not treated against the mite, though apparently both climate and bee race influence the mite infestation. Six mixed colonies were made with Italian and Africanized honey bees. The percentage infestation by this parasite was found to be significantly lower in adult Africanized (1.69 ± 0.44 than Italian bees (2.79 ± 0.65. This ratio was similar to that found in Mexico, even though the Africanized bees tested there had not been in contact with varroa, compared to more than 20 years of the coexistence in Brazil. However, mean mite infestation in Brazil on both kinds of bees was only about a third of that found in Mexico.

  1. Effects of queen ages on Varroa (Varroa destructor infestation level in honey bee (Apis mellifera caucasica colonies and colony performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duran Özkök

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted to determine the effects of queen age on varroa population levels in hives and performance of honey bee (A. mellifera caucasica colonies. Levels of varroa infestation and performances of the colonies which had 0, 1- and 2-year-old queens were compared in mild climate conditions. Varroa numbers on adults and drone brood, number of frames covered with bees and brood areas were determined every month between 10 May and 10 October 2004. Overall average (± S.E. % infestation levels of varroa were found to be 5.96 ± 1.42, 11.58 ± 1.46 and 15.87 ± 1.39% on adult bees and 21.55 ± 1.43, 31.96 ± 1.44 and 37.55 ± 1.45% in drone brood cells for 0, 1- and 2-year-old queen colonies, respectively. The colonies which had 0, 1- and 2-year-old queens produced 2673.58 ± 39.69, 2711.75 ± 39.68, and 1815.08 ± 39.70 cm2 overall average (± S.E. sealed brood and 10.35 ± 0.24, 10.43 ± 0.26 and 7.51 ± 0.21 numbers of frame adult bees, respectively. Honey harvested from 0, 1- and 2-year-old queen colonies averaged 21.60 ± 5.25, 22.20 ± 6.55, and 14.70 ± 2.50 kg/colony, respectively. The colonies headed by young queens had a lower level of varroa infestation, a greater brood area, longer worker bee population and greater honey yield in comparison to colonies headed by old queens.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aranzazu Meana

    2017-04-01

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

  3. Seasonal benefits of a natural propolis envelope to honey bee immunity and colony health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borba, Renata S; Klyczek, Karen K; Mogen, Kim L; Spivak, Marla

    2015-11-01

    Honey bees, as social insects, rely on collective behavioral defenses that produce a colony-level immune phenotype, or social immunity, which in turn impacts the immune response of individuals. One behavioral defense is the collection and deposition of antimicrobial plant resins, or propolis, in the nest. We tested the effect of a naturally constructed propolis envelope within standard beekeeping equipment on the pathogen and parasite load of large field colonies, and on immune system activity, virus and storage protein levels of individual bees over the course of a year. The main effect of the propolis envelope was a decreased and more uniform baseline expression of immune genes in bees during summer and autumn months each year, compared with the immune activity in bees with no propolis envelope in the colony. The most important function of the propolis envelope may be to modulate costly immune system activity. As no differences were found in levels of bacteria, pathogens and parasites between the treatment groups, the propolis envelope may act directly on the immune system, reducing the bees' need to activate the physiologically costly production of humoral immune responses. Colonies with a natural propolis envelope had increased colony strength and vitellogenin levels after surviving the winter in one of the two years of the study, despite the fact that the biological activity of the propolis diminished over the winter. A natural propolis envelope acts as an important antimicrobial layer enshrouding the colony, benefiting individual immunity and ultimately colony health. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Functional flexibility of the honey bee hypopharyngeal gland in a dequeened colony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohashi, K; Sasaki, M; Sasagawa, H; Nakamura, J; Natori, S; Kubo, T

    2000-11-01

    The role of the worker honey bee Apis mellifera L. changes depending on age after eclosion (age polyethism): young workers (nurse bees) take care of their brood by synthesizing and secreting brood food (royal jelly), while older workers (foragers) forage for nectar and process it into honey. Previously, we showed that the major proteins synthesized in the hypopharyngeal gland of the worker change from brood food proteins to alpha-glucosidase at the single secretory cell level in parallel with this age polyethism [Kubo et al., J. Biochem. 119, 291-295 (1996); Ohashi et al., Eur. J. Biochem. 249, 797-802 (1997)]. Here, we examined whether the function of the hypopharyngeal gland has flexibility depending on the colony conditions, by creating a dequeened colony in which the older workers were compelled to feed the drone larvae. It was found that most of the older workers in the dequeened colony synthesized brood food proteins as did nurse bees. Furthermore, the percentage of workers that synthesized brood food proteins was maintained at 80-90% of the total workers for at least two months, as in a normal colony. These results indicate that the function of the hypopharyngeal gland cells of the worker has flexibility and can, if necessary, be maintained as that of the nurse bee, depending on the condition of the colony.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stevanovic Jevrosima

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Costa, Cecilia; Büchler, Ralph; Berg, Stefan

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Holistic screening of collapsing honey bee colonies in Spain: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cepero, Almudena; Ravoet, Jorgen; Gómez-Moracho, Tamara; Bernal, José Luis; Del Nozal, Maria J; Bartolomé, Carolina; Maside, Xulio; Meana, Aránzazu; González-Porto, Amelia V; de Graaf, Dirk C; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Higes, Mariano

    2014-09-15

    Here we present a holistic screening of collapsing colonies from three professional apiaries in Spain. Colonies with typical honey bee depopulation symptoms were selected for multiple possible factors to reveal the causes of collapse. Omnipresent were Nosema ceranae and Lake Sinai Virus. Moderate prevalences were found for Black Queen Cell Virus and trypanosomatids, whereas Deformed Wing Virus, Aphid Lethal Paralysis Virus strain Brookings and neogregarines were rarely detected. Other viruses, Nosema apis, Acarapis woodi and Varroa destructor were not detected. Palinologic study of pollen demonstrated that all colonies were foraging on wild vegetation. Consequently, the pesticide residue analysis was negative for neonicotinoids. The genetic analysis of trypanosomatids GAPDH gene, showed that there is a large genetic distance between Crithidia mellificae ATCC30254, an authenticated cell strain since 1974, and the rest of the presumed C. mellificae sequences obtained in our study or published. This means that the latter group corresponds to a highly differentiated taxon that should be renamed accordingly. The results of this study demonstrate that the drivers of colony collapse may differ between geographic regions with different environmental conditions, or with different beekeeping and agricultural practices. The role of other pathogens in colony collapse has to bee studied in future, especially trypanosomatids and neogregarines. Beside their pathological effect on honey bees, classification and taxonomy of these protozoan parasites should also be clarified.

  8. Propolis envelope in Apis mellifera colonies supports honey bees against the pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borba, Renata S; Spivak, Marla

    2017-09-12

    Honey bees have immune defenses both as individuals and as a colony (e.g., individual and social immunity). One form of honey bee social immunity is the collection of antimicrobial plant resins and the deposition of the resins as a propolis envelope within the nest. In this study, we tested the effects of the propolis envelope as a natural defense against Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB) disease. Using colonies with and without a propolis envelope, we quantified: 1) the antimicrobial activity of larval food fed to 1-2 day old larvae; and 2) clinical signs of AFB. Our results show that the antimicrobial activity of larval food was significantly higher when challenged colonies had a propolis envelope compared to colonies without the envelope. In addition, colonies with a propolis envelope had significantly reduced levels of AFB clinical signs two months following challenge. Our results indicate that the propolis envelope serves as an antimicrobial layer around the colony that helps protect the brood from bacterial pathogen infection, resulting in a lower colony-level infection load.

  9. Four Categories of Viral Infection Describe the Health Status of Honey Bee Colonies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esmaeil Amiri

    Full Text Available Honey bee virus prevalence data are an essential prerequisite for managing epidemic events in a population. A survey study was carried out for seven viruses in colonies representing a healthy Danish honey bee population. In addition, colonies from apiaries with high level Varroa infestation or high level of winter mortality were also surveyed. Results from RT-qPCR showed a considerable difference of virus levels between healthy and sick colonies. In the group of healthy colonies, no virus was detected in 36% of cases, while at least one virus was found in each of the sick colonies. Virus titers varied among the samples, and multiple virus infections were common in both groups with a high prevalence of Sacbrood virus (SBV, Black queen cell virus (BQCV and Deformed wing virus (DWV. Based on the distribution of virus titers, we established four categories of infection: samples free of virus (C = 0, samples with low virus titer (estimated number of virus copies 0 < C < 103, samples with medium virus titer (103 ≤ C < 107 and samples with high virus titer (C ≥ 107. This allowed us to statistically compare virus levels in healthy and sick colonies. Using categories to communicate virus diagnosis results to beekeepers may help them to reach an informed decision on management strategies to prevent further spread of viruses among colonies.

  10. Dynamics of the Presence of Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus in Honey Bee Colonies with Colony Collapse Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunsheng Hou

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The determinants of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD, a particular case of collapse of honey bee colonies, are still unresolved. Viruses including the Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV were associated with CCD. We found an apiary with colonies showing typical CCD characteristics that bore high loads of IAPV, recovered some colonies from collapse and tested the hypothesis if IAPV was actively replicating in them and infectious to healthy bees. We found that IAPV was the dominant pathogen and it replicated actively in the colonies: viral titers decreased from April to September and increased from September to December. IAPV extracted from infected bees was highly infectious to healthy pupae: they showed several-fold amplification of the viral genome and synthesis of the virion protein VP3. The health of recovered colonies was seriously compromised. Interestingly, a rise of IAPV genomic copies in two colonies coincided with their subsequent collapse. Our results do not imply IAPV as the cause of CCD but indicate that once acquired and induced to replication it acts as an infectious factor that affects the health of the colonies and may determine their survival. This is the first follow up outside the US of CCD-colonies bearing IAPV under natural conditions.

  11. Dynamics of the Presence of Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus in Honey Bee Colonies with Colony Collapse Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Chunsheng; Rivkin, Hadassah; Slabezki, Yossi; Chejanovsky, Nor

    2014-01-01

    The determinants of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a particular case of collapse of honey bee colonies, are still unresolved. Viruses including the Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) were associated with CCD. We found an apiary with colonies showing typical CCD characteristics that bore high loads of IAPV, recovered some colonies from collapse and tested the hypothesis if IAPV was actively replicating in them and infectious to healthy bees. We found that IAPV was the dominant pathogen and it replicated actively in the colonies: viral titers decreased from April to September and increased from September to December. IAPV extracted from infected bees was highly infectious to healthy pupae: they showed several-fold amplification of the viral genome and synthesis of the virion protein VP3. The health of recovered colonies was seriously compromised. Interestingly, a rise of IAPV genomic copies in two colonies coincided with their subsequent collapse. Our results do not imply IAPV as the cause of CCD but indicate that once acquired and induced to replication it acts as an infectious factor that affects the health of the colonies and may determine their survival. This is the first follow up outside the US of CCD-colonies bearing IAPV under natural conditions. PMID:24800677

  12. Assessment of chronic sublethal effects of imidacloprid on honey bee colony health.

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    Galen P Dively

    Full Text Available Here we present results of a three-year study to determine the fate of imidacloprid residues in hive matrices and to assess chronic sublethal effects on whole honey bee colonies fed supplemental pollen diet containing imidacloprid at 5, 20 and 100 μg/kg over multiple brood cycles. Various endpoints of colony performance and foraging behavior were measured during and after exposure, including winter survival. Imidacloprid residues became diluted or non-detectable within colonies due to the processing of beebread and honey and the rapid metabolism of the chemical. Imidacloprid exposure doses up to 100 μg/kg had no significant effects on foraging activity or other colony performance indicators during and shortly after exposure. Diseases and pest species did not affect colony health but infestations of Varroa mites were significantly higher in exposed colonies. Honey stores indicated that exposed colonies may have avoided the contaminated food. Imidacloprid dose effects was delayed later in the summer, when colonies exposed to 20 and 100 μg/kg experienced higher rates of queen failure and broodless periods, which led to weaker colonies going into the winter. Pooled over two years, winter survival of colonies averaged 85.7, 72.4, 61.2 and 59.2% in the control, 5, 20 and 100 μg/kg treatment groups, respectively. Analysis of colony survival data showed a significant dose effect, and all contrast tests comparing survival between control and treatment groups were significant, except for colonies exposed to 5 μg/kg. Given the weight of evidence, chronic exposure to imidacloprid at the higher range of field doses (20 to 100 μg/kg in pollen of certain treated crops could cause negative impacts on honey bee colony health and reduced overwintering success, but the most likely encountered high range of field doses relevant for seed-treated crops (5 μg/kg had negligible effects on colony health and are unlikely a sole cause of colony declines.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahreini, Rassol; Currie, Robert W

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  15. Stress-mediated Allee effects can cause the sudden collapse of honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booton, Ross D; Iwasa, Yoh; Marshall, James A R; Childs, Dylan Z

    2017-05-07

    The recent rapid decline in global honey bee populations could have significant implications for ecological systems, economics and food security. No single cause of honey bee collapse has yet to be identified, although pesticides, mites and other pathogens have all been shown to have a sublethal effect. We present a model of a functioning bee hive and introduce external stress to investigate the impact on the regulatory processes of recruitment to the forager class, social inhibition and the laying rate of the queen. The model predicts that constant density-dependent stress acting through an Allee effect on the hive can result in sudden catastrophic switches in dynamical behaviour and the eventual collapse of the hive. The model proposes that around a critical point the hive undergoes a saddle-node bifurcation, and that a small increase in model parameters can have irreversible consequences for the entire hive. We predict that increased stress levels can be counteracted by a higher laying rate of the queen, lower levels of forager recruitment or lower levels of natural mortality of foragers, and that increasing social inhibition can not maintain the colony under high levels of stress. We lay the theoretical foundation for sudden honey bee collapse in order to facilitate further experimental and theoretical consideration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. The effect of drone comb on a honey bee colony's production of honey

    OpenAIRE

    Seeley, Thomas

    2002-01-01

    International audience; This study examined the impact on a colony's honey production of providing it with a natural amount (20%) of drone comb. Over 3 summers, for the period mid May to late August, I measured the weight gains of 10 colonies, 5 with drone comb and 5 without it. Colonies with drone comb gained only 25.2 $\\pm$ 16.0 kg whereas those without drone comb gained 48.8 $\\pm$ 14.8 kg. Colonies with drone comb also had a higher mean rate of drone flights and a lower incidence of drone ...

  18. Fumagillin control of Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia:Nosematidae) infection in honey bee (Hymenoptera:Apidae) colonies in Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacobino, Agostina; Rivero, Rocio; Molineri, Ana Ines; Cagnolo, Natalia Bulacio; Merke, Julieta; Orellano, Emanuel; Salto, Cesar; Signorini, Marcelo

    2016-06-30

    Information on the long‑term consequences of Nosema ceranae to honey bee lifespan and effectiveness of Nosema control with fumagillin is scarce and not always consistent. Our objective in this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the antibiotic fumagillin to control N. ceranae in hives in East‑Central Argentina. Honey bee hives were assigned to 3 experimental treatments, a control group with un‑treated hives, a preventive strategy group with hives treated monthly, and a monitoring strategy group with hives treated according to a N. ceranae threshold level. Apiaries were monitored monthly during Fall‑Winter 2009 and 2010 and N. ceranae spore intensity and honey bee colony strength measures were estimated. Fumagillin‑treated colonies had reduced N. ceranae spores load in 2010 compared to control colonies. However, there was no significant difference between treated and control groups for colony strength measures including adult bee population, bee brood availability, honey, or pollen. Fumagillin treatment reduced N. ceranae intensities but had little effect on colonies. The bee population during Winter was reduced in treated as well as in control colonies. Our results clarify that fumagillin treatment should be at least reviewed and that further research should be conducted to acquire a more complete perspective of Nosemosis disease.

  19. An observation study on the effects of queen age on some characteristics of honey bee colonies

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    Ibrahim Çakmak

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted to determine the effects of the queen’s age on performance of the honeybee (A. mellifera anatoliaca colonies at nomad beekeeping conditions. Performances of the colonies, which had 0, 1, 2 and 3 year-old queens, were compared. The number of combs, brood areas, wintering ability survival rate and honey yield were determined as performance criteria. The average number of combs with bees throughout the experiment in Group I, Group II, Group III and Group IV was 10.92±0.78, 14.68±0.55, 10.10±0.60, 7.88±0.45 number combs/colony; the average of brood areas was 3078±372.5 cm2, 3668±460.3 cm2, 2215±294.0 cm2, 1665.38±241.8 cm2; the average of wintering ability was 84.3±2.9%, 88.0±3.7%, 46.6±19.0%, 26.8±16.5%; the survival rate was 100%, 100%, 60%, 40%; and the average of honey yields was 31.4±1.89 kg, 41.5±1.05 kg, 20.4±2.62 kg and 12.0±1.41 kg per colony, respectively. A significant and negative correlation between queen age and brood production (r=-80.2, colony strength (r=-62.5, wintering ability (r=-66 and honey yield (r=-75.6 were calculated (P<0.01. The colonies headed by young queens had more brood areas, longer worker colony population, better wintering ability and greater honey yield in comparison to colonies headed by old queens.

  20. Varroa destructor and viruses association in honey bee colonies under different climatic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacobino, Agostina; Molineri, Ana I; Pacini, Adriana; Fondevila, Norberto; Pietronave, Hernán; Rodríguez, Graciela; Palacio, Alejandra; Bulacio Cagnolo, Natalia; Orellano, Emanuel; Salto, César E; Signorini, Marcelo L; Merke, Julieta

    2016-06-01

    Honey bee colonies are threatened by multiple factors including complex interactions between environmental and diseases such as parasitic mites and viruses. We compared the presence of honeybee-pathogenic viruses and Varroa infestation rate in four apiaries: commercial colonies that received treatment against Varroa and non-treated colonies that did not received any treatment for the last 4 years located in temperate and subtropical climate. In addition, we evaluated the effect of climate and Varroa treatment on deformed wing virus (DWV) amounts. In both climates, DWV was the most prevalent virus, being the only present virus in subtropical colonies. Moreover, colonies from subtropical climate also showed reduced DWV amounts and lower Varroa infestation rates than colonies from temperate climate. Nevertheless, non-treated colonies in both climate conditions are able to survive several years. Environment appears as a key factor interacting with local bee populations and influencing colony survival beyond Varroa and virus presence. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Linking Measures of Colony and Individual Honey Bee Health to Survival among Apiaries Exposed to Varying Agricultural Land Use.

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    Matthew Smart

    Full Text Available We previously characterized and quantified the influence of land use on survival and productivity of colonies positioned in six apiaries and found that colonies in apiaries surrounded by more land in uncultivated forage experienced greater annual survival, and generally more honey production. Here, detailed metrics of honey bee health were assessed over three years in colonies positioned in the same six apiaries. The colonies were located in North Dakota during the summer months and were transported to California for almond pollination every winter. Our aim was to identify relationships among measures of colony and individual bee health that impacted and predicted overwintering survival of colonies. We tested the hypothesis that colonies in apiaries surrounded by more favorable land use conditions would experience improved health. We modeled colony and individual bee health indices at a critical time point (autumn, prior to overwintering and related them to eventual spring survival for California almond pollination. Colony measures that predicted overwintering apiary survival included the amount of pollen collected, brood production, and Varroa destructor mite levels. At the individual bee level, expression of vitellogenin, defensin1, and lysozyme2 were important markers of overwinter survival. This study is a novel first step toward identifying pertinent physiological responses in honey bees that result from their positioning near varying landscape features in intensive agricultural environments.

  2. Acaricide Treatment Affects Viral Dynamics in Varroa destructor-Infested Honey Bee Colonies via both Host Physiology and Mite Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsgren, Eva; Fries, Ingemar; de Miranda, Joachim R.

    2012-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies are declining, and a number of stressors have been identified that affect, alone or in combination, the health of honey bees. The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, honey bee viruses that are often closely associated with the mite, and pesticides used to control the mite population form a complex system of stressors that may affect honey bee health in different ways. During an acaricide treatment using Apistan (plastic strips coated with tau-fluvalinate), we analyzed the infection dynamics of deformed wing virus (DWV), sacbrood virus (SBV), and black queen cell virus (BQCV) in adult bees, mite-infested pupae, their associated Varroa mites, and uninfested pupae, comparing these to similar samples from untreated control colonies. Titers of DWV increased initially with the onset of the acaricide application and then slightly decreased progressively coinciding with the removal of the Varroa mite infestation. This initial increase in DWV titers suggests a physiological effect of tau-fluvalinate on the host's susceptibility to viral infection. DWV titers in adult bees and uninfested pupae remained higher in treated colonies than in untreated colonies. The titers of SBV and BQCV did not show any direct relationship with mite infestation and showed a variety of possible effects of the acaricide treatment. The results indicate that other factors besides Varroa mite infestation may be important to the development and maintenance of damaging DWV titers in colonies. Possible biochemical explanations for the observed synergistic effects between tau-fluvalinate and virus infections are discussed. PMID:22020517

  3. Viral diseases in honey bee queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Francis, Roy Mathew

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

  4. Evaluation of apicultural characteristics of first-year colonies initiated from packaged honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, James P; Calderone, Nicholas W

    2009-04-01

    We evaluated the performance of six named types of package honey bees, Apis mellifera L (Hymenoptera: Apidae), from four commercial producers. We examined the effects of levels of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, the endoparasitic mite Acarapis woodi (Rennie), the gut parasite Nosema (species not determined) in samples from bees in 48 packages, and levels of adult drones in the same packages on corresponding levels of those same traits in the fall in colonies that developed from those 48 packages. After package installation, we measured the rate of queen failure, the removal of freeze-killed brood (an assay to assess hygienic behavior), varroa-sensitive hygiene, and short-term weight gain in all colonies. We examined the correlations among these traits and the effect of initial package conditions and package-type on the expression of these traits. In general, differences among sources were not significant, except that we did observe significant differences in the proportion of mite infected worker brood in the fall. There was no significant difference in weight gain in colonies established from nosema-infected packages versus those established from noninfected packages. Freeze-killed hygienic behavior and varroa-sensitive hygienic behavior were positively correlated, suggesting that both traits could be selected simultaneously. Neither trait was correlated with colony weight gain, suggesting that both traits could be selected without compromising honey production.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Nosemosis caused by the microsporidia Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae are among the most common pathologies affecting adult honey bees. N. apis infection has been associated with a reduced lifespan of infected bees and increased winter mortality, and its negative impact on colony strength and productivity has been described in several studies. By contrast, when the effects of nosemosis type C, caused by N. ceranae infection, have been analysed at the colony level, these studies have largely focused on collapse as a response to infection without addressing the potential sub-clinical effects on colony strength and productivity. Given the spread and prevalence of N. ceranae worldwide, we set out here to characterize the sub-clinical and clinical signs of N. ceranae infection on colony strength and productivity. We evaluated the evolution of 50 honey bee colonies naturally infected by Nosema (mainly N. ceranae) over a one year period. Under our experimental conditions, N. ceranae infection was highly pathogenic for honey bee colonies, producing significant reductions in colony size, brood rearing and honey production. These deleterious effects at the colony level may affect beekeeping profitability and have serious consequences on pollination. Further research is necessary to identify possible treatments or beekeeping techniques that will limit the rapid spread of this dangerous emerging disease. PMID:23574888

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-10

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

  7. Assessing the health of colonies and individual honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in a commercial beekeeping operation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metrics of honey bee health were assessed every six weeks over three years in colonies owned by a migratory beekeeper. The colonies were located in six apiaries during the summer months in North Dakota and were transported to California for almond pollination every winter. We previously characteri...

  8. Population growth of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in honey bee colonies is affected by the number of foragers with mites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varroa mites are a serious pest of honey bees and the leading cause of colony losses. Varroa have relatively low reproductive rates, so populations should not increase rapidly, but often they do. Other factors might contribute to the growth of Varroa populations including mite migration into colonie...

  9. An Observational Study of Honey Bee Colony Winter Losses and Their Association with Varroa destructor, Neonicotinoids and Other Risk Factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zee, van der R.; Gray, A.; Rijk, de T.C.

    2015-01-01

    This article presents results of an analysis of honey bee losses over the winter of 2011-2012 in the Netherlands, from a sample of 86 colonies, located at 43 apiaries. The apiaries were selected using spatially stratified random sampling. Colony winter loss data were collected and related to various

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. Population growth of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in commercial honey bee colonies treated with beta plant acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Ahumada, Fabiana; Curry, Robert; Probasco, Gene; Schantz, Lloyd

    2014-10-01

    Varroa (Varroa destuctor Anderson and Trueman) populations in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies might be kept at low levels by well-timed miticide applications. HopGuard(®) (HG) that contains beta plant acids as the active ingredient was used to reduce mite populations. Schedules for applications of the miticide that could maintain low mite levels were tested in hives started from either package bees or splits of larger colonies. The schedules were developed based on defined parameters for efficacy of the miticide and predictions of varroa population growth generated from a mathematical model of honey bee colony-varroa population dynamics. Colonies started from package bees and treated with HG in the package only or with subsequent HG treatments in the summer had 1.2-2.1 mites per 100 bees in August. Untreated controls averaged significantly more mites than treated colonies (3.3 mites per 100 bees). By October, mite populations ranged from 6.3 to 15.0 mites per 100 bees with the lowest mite numbers in colonies treated with HG in August. HG applications in colonies started from splits in April reduced mite populations to 0.12 mites per 100 bees. In September, the treated colonies had significantly fewer mites than the untreated controls. Subsequent HG applications in September that lasted for 3 weeks reduced mite populations to levels in November that were significantly lower than in colonies that were untreated or had an HG treatment that lasted for 1 week. The model accurately predicted colony population growth and varroa levels until the fall when varroa populations measured in colonies established from package bees or splits were much greater than predicted. Possible explanations for the differences between actual and predicted mite populations are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagili, Ramesh R; Breece, Carolyn R

    2012-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortensen, Ashley N; Ellis, James D

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Approaches and Challenges to Managing Nosema (Microspora: Nosematidae) Parasites in Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Holly L; Grozinger, Christina M

    2016-08-01

    The microsporidia Nosema apis (Zander) and Nosema ceranae (Fries) are common intestinal parasites in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies. Though globally prevalent, there are mixed reports of Nosema infection costs, with some regions reporting high parasite virulence and colony losses, while others high Nosema prevalence but few costs. Basic and applied studies are urgently needed to help beekeepers effectively manage Nosema spp., ideally through an integrated pest management approach that allows beekeepers to deploy multiple strategies to control Nosema when Nosema is likely to cause damage to the colonies, rather than using prophylactic treatments. Beekeepers need practical and affordable technologies that facilitate disease diagnosis and science-backed guidelines that recommend when, if at all, to treat infections. In addition, new treatment methods are needed, as there are several problems associated with the chemical use of fumagillin (the only currently extensively studied, but not globally available treatment) to control Nosema parasites. Though selective breeding of Nosema-resistant or tolerant bees may offer a long-term, sustainable solution to Nosema management, other treatments are needed in the interim. Furthermore, the validation of alternative treatment efficacy in field settings is needed along with toxicology assays to ensure that treatments do not have unintended, adverse effects on honey bees or humans. Finally, given variation in Nosema virulence, development of regional management guidelines, rather than universal guidelines, may provide optimal and cost-effective Nosema management, though more research is needed before regional plans can be developed. © 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.

  15. Prevalence of Nosema and Virus in Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Colonies on Flowering Period of Acacia in Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, In-Pyo; Woo, Soon-Ok; Choi, Yong-Soo; Han, Sang-Mi; Kim, Nam-Suk; Kim, Hye-Kyung; Han, Sang-Hoon; Lee, Man-Young; Lee, Myeong-Lyeol; Byeon, Kyu-Ho

    2011-12-01

    Honey production from approximately 1.6 million colonies owned by about 199,000 Korean beekeepers was almost 23,000 metric tons in 2009. Nosema causes significant losses in honey production and the virus decreases population size. We initiated a survey of honey bee colonies on the blooming period of Acacia to determine the prevalence of Nosema and virus in 2011. Most Korean beekeepers have moved from the south to north of Korea to get Acacia nectar for 2 mon. This provided a valuable opportunity to sample bees originating from diverse areas in one location. Twenty hives owned by 18 beekeepers were sampled in this year. Nosema spore counts ranged from zero to 1,710,000 spores per bee. The average number of nosema spores per bee was 580,000. Approximately 95% of the colonies were infected with Nosema, based on the presence of spores in the flowering period of Acacia. This indicates that Nosema is the predominant species affecting honeybee colonies. Also, the seven most important honeybee viruses were investigated by reverse transcription-PCR. Among them, four different viruses were detected in samples. Black queen cell virus was present in all samples. Chronic bee paralysis virus was detected in 10% of samples. Deformed wing virus was present in only 5% of the samples. Prevalence of Sacbrood virus was 15%. However, Cloudy wing virus, Israel acute paralysis virus and kashmir bee virus were not detected in any of samples.

  16. Land use in the Northern Great Plains region of the U.S. influences the survival and productivity of honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, Matthew; Pettis, Jeff S.; Euliss, Ned H. Jr.; Spivak, Marla S.

    2016-01-01

    The Northern Great Plains region of the US annually hosts a large portion of commercially managed U.S. honey bee colonies each summer. Changing land use patterns over the last several decades have contributed to declines in the availability of bee forage across the region, and the future sustainability of the region to support honey bee colonies is unclear. We examined the influence of varying land use on the survivorship and productivity of honey bee colonies located in six apiaries within the Northern Great Plains state of North Dakota, an area of intensive agriculture and high density of beekeeping operations. Land use surrounding the apiaries was quantified over three years, 2010–2012, and survival and productivity of honey bee colonies were determined in response to the amount of bee forage land within a 3.2-km radius of each apiary. The area of uncultivated forage land (including pasture, USDA conservation program fields, fallow land, flowering woody plants, grassland, hay land, and roadside ditches) exerted a positive impact on annual apiary survival and honey production. Taxonomic diversity of bee-collected pollen and pesticide residues contained therein varied seasonally among apiaries, but overall were not correlated to large-scale land use patterns or survival and honey production. The predominant flowering plants utilized by honey bee colonies for pollen were volunteer species present in unmanaged (for honey bees), and often ephemeral, lands; thus placing honey bee colonies in a precarious situation for acquiring forage and nutrients over the entire growing season. We discuss the implications for land management, conservation, and beekeeper site selection in the Northern Great Plains to adequately support honey bee colonies and insure long term security for pollinator-dependent crops across the entire country.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine Jacques

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genersch, Elke

    2010-06-01

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

  1. The effect of induced queen replacement on Nosema spp. infection in honey bee (Apis mellifera iberiensis) colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botías, Cristina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Días, Joyce; García-Palencia, Pilar; Matabuena, María; Juarranz, Angeles; Barrios, Laura; Meana, Aránzazu; Nanetti, Antonio; Higes, Mariano

    2012-04-01

    Microsporidiosis of adult honeybees caused by Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae is a common worldwide disease with negative impacts on colony strength and productivity. Few options are available to control the disease at present. The role of the queen in bee population renewal and the replacement of bee losses due to Nosema infection is vital to maintain colony homeostasis. Younger queens have a greater egg laying potential and they produce a greater proportion of uninfected newly eclosed bees to compensate for adult bee losses; hence, a field study was performed to determine the effect of induced queen replacement on Nosema infection in honey bee colonies, focusing on colony strength and honey production. In addition, the impact of long-term Nosema infection of a colony on the ovaries and ventriculus of the queen was evaluated. Queen replacement resulted in a remarkable decrease in the rates of Nosema infection, comparable with that induced by fumagillin treatment. However, detrimental effects on the overall colony state were observed due to the combined effects of stressors such as the queenless condition, lack of brood and high infection rates. The ovaries and ventriculi of queens in infected colonies revealed no signs of Nosema infection and there were no lesions in ovarioles or epithelial ventricular cells. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Effects of Wintering Environment and Parasite-Pathogen Interactions on Honey Bee Colony Loss in North Temperate Regions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suresh D Desai

    Full Text Available Extreme winter losses of honey bee colonies are a major threat to beekeeping but the combinations of factors underlying colony loss remain debatable. We monitored colonies in two environments (colonies wintered indoors or outdoors and characterized the effects of two parasitic mites, seven viruses, and Nosema on honey bee colony mortality and population loss over winter. Samples were collected from two locations within hives in fall, mid-winter and spring of 2009/2010. Although fall parasite and pathogen loads were similar in outdoor and indoor-wintered colonies, the outdoor-wintered colonies had greater relative reductions in bee population score over winter. Seasonal patterns in deformed wing virus (DWV, black queen cell virus (BQCV, and Nosema level also differed with the wintering environment. DWV and Nosema levels decreased over winter for indoor-wintered colonies but BQCV did not. Both BQCV and Nosema concentration increased over winter in outdoor-wintered colonies. The mean abundance of Varroa decreased and concentration of Sacbrood virus (SBV, Kashmir bee virus (KBV, and Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV increased over winter but seasonal patterns were not affected by wintering method. For most viruses, either entrance or brood area samples were reasonable predictors of colony virus load but there were significant season*sample location interactions for Nosema and BQCV, indicating that care must be taken when selecting samples from a single location. For Nosema spp., the fall entrance samples were better predictors of future infestation levels than were fall brood area samples. For indoor-wintered colonies, Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV concentration was negatively correlated with spring population size. For outdoor-wintered hives, spring Varroa abundance and DWV concentration were positively correlated with bee loss and negatively correlated with spring population size. Multivariate analyses for fall collected samples indicated

  3. Inducible versus constitutive immunity: Examining effects of colony infection on glucose oxidase and Defensin-1 production in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bees use a variety of defense mechanisms to reduce disease infection and spread throughout the colony. Many of these defenses rely on the collective action of multiple individuals to prevent, reduce or eradicate pathogens—often referred as 'social immunity'. Glucose oxidase (GOX) and some anti...

  4. Sublethal effects of Imidacloprid on honey bee colony growth and activity at three sites in the U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field experiments in southern Arizona, central Arkansas and southern Mississippi were conducted to evaluate the effects of sublethal concentrations (0, 5, 20 and 100 ppb) of imidacloprid in sugar syrup on honey bee colony growth and activity. Response variables included discrete data from hive inspe...

  5. The effect of oxalic acid applied by sublimation on honey bee colony fitness: a comparison with amitraz

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivana Papežíková

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxalic acid is one of the organic acids used for controlling Varroa destructor, a mite parasitizing the honey bee (Apis mellifera. The aim of this work was to examine the effect of oxalic acid applied by sublimation on honey bee colony fitness, and to compare it with the effect of amitraz, a routinely used synthetic acaricide. Bee colonies of equal strength were randomly divided into two groups. In December 2014, one group was treated with amitraz in the form of aerosol, and the second group was treated with oxalic acid applied by sublimation. The colonies were monitored over winter. Dead bees found at the bottom of the hive were counted regularly and examined microscopically for infection with Nosema sp. (Microsporidia. At the end of March 2015, living foragers from each hive were sampled and individually examined for Nosema sp. infection. Colony strength was evaluated at the beginning of April. No adverse effect of oxalic acid on colony strength was observed despite the fact that the total number of dead bees was non-significantly higher in the oxalic acid-treated group. Examination of dead bees for Nosema infection did not reveal significant differences in spore numbers between the experimental groups. There was a substantial difference in living individuals, however, with a significantly higher amount of spores per bee found in the amitraz-treated colonies compared to the oxalic acid-treated colonies. Compared to amitraz, oxalic acid applied by sublimation showed no adverse effects on bee colony fitness or on successful overwintering.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  7. Environment or beekeeping management: What explains better the prevalence of honey bee colonies with high levels of Varroa destructor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacobino, Agostina; Pacini, Adriana; Molineri, Ana; Bulacio Cagnolo, N; Merke, J; Orellano, E; Bertozzi, E; Masciangelo, G; Pietronave, H; Signorini, M

    2017-06-01

    Varroa destructor is one of the major threats to honey bee colonies. The mite abundance in the colonies is affected by environmental conditions as well as by beekeeping management. The aim of this study was to recognize the main drivers associated with autumn V. destructor infestation in honey bee colonies when different regions from Argentina are compared. A total of 361 colonies distributed in five Argentinean eco-regions were examined to evaluate Varroa mite infestation rate during autumn and Nosema sp. presence. Regions were different regarding annual temperature, precipitation and especially vegetation landscape. In addition, beekeeping management practices were obtained from a checklist questionnaire answered by the beekeepers. The prevalence of colonies with high infestation level was lower in semi-arid Chaco followed by humid and transition Chaco regions. Also, colonies that were positive for Nosema sp. showed a higher Varroa infestation rate. The "environmental" effect was stronger compared with the influence of secondary drivers associated with beekeeping activities. As well, a significant association between V. destructor infestation rates and Nosema presence was identified. Under contrasting natural conditions, environment seems a predominant driver on Varroa destructor infestation level in honey bee colonies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Sublethal Effects of Imidacloprid on Honey Bee Colony Growth and Activity at Three Sites in the U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meikle, William G; Adamczyk, John J; Weiss, Milagra; Gregorc, Ales; Johnson, Don R; Stewart, Scott D; Zawislak, Jon; Carroll, Mark J; Lorenz, Gus M

    2016-01-01

    Imidacloprid is a neonicotinoid pesticide heavily used by the agricultural industry and shown to have negative impacts on honey bees above certain concentrations. We evaluated the effects of different imidacloprid concentrations in sugar syrup using cage and field studies, and across different environments. Honey bee colonies fed sublethal concentrations of imidicloprid (0, 5, 20 and 100 ppb) over 6 weeks in field trials at a desert site (Arizona), a site near intensive agriculture (Arkansas) and a site with little nearby agriculture but abundant natural forage (Mississippi) were monitored with respect to colony metrics, such as adult bee and brood population sizes, as well as pesticide residues. Hive weight and internal hive temperature were monitored continuously over two trials in Arizona. Colonies fed 100 ppb imidacloprid in Arizona had significantly lower adult bee populations, brood surface areas and average frame weights, and reduced temperature control, compared to colonies in one or more of the other treatment groups, and consumption rates of those colonies were lower compared to other colonies in Arizona and Arkansas, although no differences in capped brood or average frame weight were observed among treatments in Arkansas. At the Mississippi site, also rich in alternative forage, colonies fed 5 ppb imidacloprid had less capped brood than control colonies, but contamination of control colonies was detected. In contrast, significantly higher daily hive weight variability among colonies fed 5 ppb imidacloprid in Arizona suggested greater foraging activity during a nectar flow post treatment, than any other treatment group. Imidacloprid concentrations in stored honey corresponded well with the respective syrup concentrations fed to the colonies and remained stable within the hive for at least 7 months after the end of treatment.

  9. Pteridine levels and head weights are correlated with age and colony task in the honey bee, Apis mellifera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank D. Rinkevich

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Background. The age of an insect strongly influences many aspects of behavior and reproduction. The interaction of age and behavior is epitomized in the temporal polyethism of honey bees in which young adult bees perform nurse and maintenance duties within the colony, while older bees forage for nectar and pollen. Task transition is dynamic and driven by colony needs. However, an abundance of precocious foragers or overage nurses may have detrimental effects on the colony. Additionally, honey bee age affects insecticide sensitivity. Therefore, determining the age of a set of individual honey bees would be an important measurement of colony health. Pteridines are purine-based pigment molecules found in many insect body parts. Pteridine levels correlate well with age, and wild caught insects may be accurately aged by measuring pteridine levels. The relationship between pteridines and age varies with a number of internal and external factors among many species. Thus far, no studies have investigated the relationship of pteridines with age in honey bees. Methods. We established single-cohort colonies to obtain age-matched nurse and forager bees. Bees of known ages were also sampled from colonies with normal demographics. Nurses and foragers were collected every 3–5 days for up to 42 days. Heads were removed and weighed before pteridines were purified and analyzed using previously established fluorometric methods. Results. Our analysis showed that pteridine levels significantly increased with age in a linear manner in both single cohort colonies and colonies with normal demography. Pteridine levels were higher in foragers than nurses of the same age in bees from single cohort colonies. Head weight significantly increased with age until approximately 28-days of age and then declined for both nurse and forager bees in single cohort colonies. A similar pattern of head weight in bees from colonies with normal demography was observed but head weight was

  10. Insemination of Honey Bee Queens

    OpenAIRE

    SOJKOVÁ, Lada

    2013-01-01

    Instrumental insemination honey bee queen is in Czech Republic only possibility, how make controlled mating bees. Main significance lies in expanding desirable feature in the bee colony. Instrumental inseminations are thus obtained the required feature, that are the mildness of bees, sitting on the comb, or resistance to disease. Insemination must precede controlled breeding drones and controlled breeding queens. That drones were sexually mature at the time of insemination must be breeding dr...

  11. Sub-lethal effects of dietary neonicotinoid insecticide exposure on honey bee queen fecundity and colony development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu-Smart, Judy; Spivak, Marla

    2016-08-01

    Many factors can negatively affect honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) health including the pervasive use of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides. Through direct consumption of contaminated nectar and pollen from treated plants, neonicotinoids can affect foraging, learning, and memory in worker bees. Less well studied are the potential effects of neonicotinoids on queen bees, which may be exposed indirectly through trophallaxis, or food-sharing. To assess effects on queen productivity, small colonies of different sizes (1500, 3000, and 7000 bees) were fed imidacloprid (0, 10, 20, 50, and 100 ppb) in syrup for three weeks. We found adverse effects of imidacloprid on queens (egg-laying and locomotor activity), worker bees (foraging and hygienic activities), and colony development (brood production and pollen stores) in all treated colonies. Some effects were less evident as colony size increased, suggesting that larger colony populations may act as a buffer to pesticide exposure. This study is the first to show adverse effects of imidacloprid on queen bee fecundity and behavior and improves our understanding of how neonicotinoids may impair short-term colony functioning. These data indicate that risk-mitigation efforts should focus on reducing neonicotinoid exposure in the early spring when colonies are smallest and queens are most vulnerable to exposure.

  12. How Honey Bee Colonies Survive in the Wild: Testing the Importance of Small Nests and Frequent Swarming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Carter Loftus

    Full Text Available The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, and the viruses that it transmits, kill the colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera kept by beekeepers unless the bees are treated with miticides. Nevertheless, there exist populations of wild colonies of European honey bees that are persisting without being treated with miticides. We hypothesized that the persistence of these wild colonies is due in part to their habits of nesting in small cavities and swarming frequently. We tested this hypothesis by establishing two groups of colonies living either in small hives (42 L without swarm-control treatments or in large hives (up to 168 L with swarm-control treatments. We followed the colonies for two years and compared the two groups with respect to swarming frequency, Varroa infesttion rate, disease incidence, and colony survival. Colonies in small hives swarmed more often, had lower Varroa infestation rates, had less disease, and had higher survival compared to colonies in large hives. These results indicate that the smaller nest cavities and more frequent swarming of wild colonies contribute to their persistence without mite treatments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  14. Sampling Error, Effective Paternity, and Estimating the Genetic Structure of Honey Bee Colonies (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    David R. Tarpy; DavidI. Nielsen

    2002-01-01

    Abstract Multiple mating by social Hymenopteran queens significantly lowers the average genetic relatedness among female nestmates, which subsequently affects a wide range of social behaviors. Honey bees (Apis spp...

  15. Using colony monitoring devices to evaluate the impacts of land use and nutritional value of forage on honey bee health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, Matthew; Otto, Clint R.; Cornman, Robert S.; Iwanowicz, Deborah

    2018-01-01

    Colony monitoring devices used to track and assess the health status of honey bees are becoming more widely available and used by both beekeepers and researchers. These devices monitor parameters relevant to colony health at frequent intervals, often approximating real time. The fine-scale record of hive condition can be further related to static or dynamic features of the landscape, such as weather, climate, colony density, land use, pesticide use, vegetation class, and forage quality. In this study, we fit commercial honey bee colonies in two apiaries with pollen traps and digital scales to monitor floral resource use, pollen quality, and honey production. One apiary was situated in low-intensity agriculture; the other in high-intensity agriculture. Pollen traps were open for 72 h every two weeks while scales recorded weight every 15 min throughout the growing season. From collected pollen, we determined forage quantity per day, species identity using DNA sequencing, pesticide residues, amino acid content, and total protein content. From scales, we determined the accumulated hive weight change over the growing season, relating to honey production and final colony weight going into winter. Hive scales may also be used to identify the occurrence of environmental pollen and nectar dearth, and track phenological changes in plant communities. We provide comparisons of device-derived data between two apiaries over the growing season and discuss the potential for employing apiary monitoring devices to infer colony health in the context of divergent agricultural land use conditions.

  16. Optimizing Drone Fertility With Spring Nutritional Supplements to Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousseau, Andrée; Giovenazzo, Pierre

    2016-03-27

    Supplemental feeding of honey bee (Apis melliferaL., Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies in spring is essential for colony buildup in northern apicultural regions. The impact of pollen and syrup feeding on drone production and sperm quality is not well-documented, but may improve fecundation of early-bred queens. We measured the impact of feeding sucrose syrup, and protein supplements to colonies in early spring in eastern Canada. Drones were reared under different nutritional regimes, and mature individuals were then assessed in regard to size, weight, and semen quality (semen volume, sperm count, and viability). Results showed significant increases in drone weight and abdomen size when colonies were fed sucrose and a protein supplement. Colonies receiving no additional nourishment had significantly less semen volume per drone and lower sperm viability. Our study demonstrates that feeding honey bee colonies in spring with sucrose syrup and a protein supplement is important to enhance drone reproductive quality. RÉSUMÉ: L'administration de suppléments alimentaires aux colonies de l'abeille domestique (Apis melliferaL., Hymenoptera: Apidae) au printemps est essentielle pour le bon développement des colonies dans les régions apicoles nordiques. L'impact de la supplémentation des colonies en pollen et en sirop sur la production des faux-bourdons et la qualité du sperme demeure peu documenté mais pourrait résulter en une meilleure fécondation des reines produites tôt en saison. Nous avons mesuré l'impact de la supplémentation en sirop et/ou en supplément de pollen sur les colonies d'abeilles tôt au printemps dans l'est du Canada. Les faux-bourdons ont été élevé sous différents régimes alimentaires et les individus matures ont ensuite été évalués pour leur taille, leur poids ainsi que la qualité de leur sperme (volume de sperme, nombre et viabilité des spermatozoïdes. Les résultats montrent une augmentation significative du poids et de la taille

  17. New insights into honey bee (Apis mellifera pheromone communication. Is the queen mandibular pheromone alone in colony regulation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Plettner Erika

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In social insects, the queen is essential to the functioning and homeostasis of the colony. This influence has been demonstrated to be mediated through pheromone communication. However, the only social insect for which any queen pheromone has been identified is the honey bee (Apis mellifera with its well-known queen mandibular pheromone (QMP. Although pleiotropic effects on colony regulation are accredited to the QMP, this pheromone does not trigger the full behavioral and physiological response observed in the presence of the queen, suggesting the presence of additional compounds. We tested the hypothesis of a pheromone redundancy in honey bee queens by comparing the influence of queens with and without mandibular glands on worker behavior and physiology. Results Demandibulated queens had no detectable (E-9-oxodec-2-enoic acid (9-ODA, the major compound in QMP, yet they controlled worker behavior (cell construction and queen retinue and physiology (ovary inhibition as efficiently as intact queens. Conclusions We demonstrated that the queen uses other pheromones as powerful as QMP to control the colony. It follows that queens appear to have multiple active compounds with similar functions in the colony (pheromone redundancy. Our findings support two hypotheses in the biology of social insects: (1 that multiple semiochemicals with synonymous meaning exist in the honey bee, (2 that this extensive semiochemical vocabulary exists because it confers an evolutionary advantage to the colony.

  18. Mitochondrial DNA diversity of honey bees (Apis mellifera) from unmanaged colonies and swarms in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnus, Roxane M; Tripodi, Amber D; Szalanski, Allen L

    2014-06-01

    To study the genetic diversity of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) from unmanaged colonies in the United States, we sequenced a portion of the mitochondrial DNA COI-COII region. From the 530 to 1,230 bp amplicon, we observed 23 haplotypes from 247 samples collected from 12 states, representing three of the four A. mellifera lineages known to have been imported into the United States (C, M, and O). Six of the 13 C lineage haplotypes were not found in previous queen breeder studies in the United States. The O lineage accounted for 9% of unmanaged colonies which have not yet been reported in queen breeder studies. The M lineage accounted for a larger portion of unmanaged samples (7%) than queen breeder samples (3%). Based on our mitochondrial DNA data, the genetic diversity of unmanaged honey bees in the United States differs significantly from that of queen breeder populations (p < 0.00001). The detection of genetically distinct maternal lineages of unmanaged honey bees suggests that these haplotypes may have existed outside the managed honey bee population for a long period.

  19. Powdered sugar shake to monitor and oxalic acid treatments to control varroa mites (Parasitiformes: Varroidae) in honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Effective monitoring and alternative strategies to control the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor Anderson and Truemann (Parasitiformes: Varroidae), (varroa) are crucial for determining when to apply effective treatments to honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), colonies. Using simpl...

  20. Weight of evidence evaluation of a network of adverse outcome pathways linking activaiton of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in honey bees to colony death

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Ongoing honey bee colony losses are of significant international concern because of the essential role these insects play in pollinating many high nutrient crops,...

  1. A survey of honey bee colony losses in the U.S., fall 2007 to spring 2008.

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    Dennis van Engelsdorp

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Honey bees are an essential component of modern agriculture. A recently recognized ailment, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD, devastates colonies, leaving hives with a complete lack of bees, dead or alive. Up to now, estimates of honey bee population decline have not included losses occurring during the wintering period, thus underestimating actual colony mortality. Our survey quantifies the extent of colony losses in the United States over the winter of 2007-2008. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Surveys were conducted to quantify and identify management factors (e.g. operation size, hive migration that contribute to high colony losses in general and CCD symptoms in particular. Over 19% of the country's estimated 2.44 million colonies were surveyed. A total loss of 35.8% of colonies was recorded; an increase of 11.4% compared to last year. Operations that pollinated almonds lost, on average, the same number of colonies as those that did not. The 37.9% of operations that reported having at least some of their colonies die with a complete lack of bees had a total loss of 40.8% of colonies compared to the 17.1% loss reported by beekeepers without this symptom. Large operations were more likely to have this symptom suggesting that a contagious condition may be a causal factor. Sixty percent of all colonies that were reported dead in this survey died without dead bees, and thus possibly suffered from CCD. In PA, losses varied with region, indicating that ambient temperature over winter may be an important factor. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Of utmost importance to understanding the recent losses and CCD is keeping track of losses over time and on a large geographic scale. Given that our surveys are representative of the losses across all beekeeping operations, between 0.75 and 1.00 million honey bee colonies are estimated to have died in the United States over the winter of 2007-2008. This article is an extensive survey of U.S. beekeepers

  2. A Survey of Honey Bee Colony Losses in the U.S., Fall 2007 to Spring 2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Hayes, Jerry; Underwood, Robyn M.; Pettis, Jeffery

    2008-01-01

    Background Honey bees are an essential component of modern agriculture. A recently recognized ailment, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), devastates colonies, leaving hives with a complete lack of bees, dead or alive. Up to now, estimates of honey bee population decline have not included losses occurring during the wintering period, thus underestimating actual colony mortality. Our survey quantifies the extent of colony losses in the United States over the winter of 2007–2008. Methodology/Principal Findings Surveys were conducted to quantify and identify management factors (e.g. operation size, hive migration) that contribute to high colony losses in general and CCD symptoms in particular. Over 19% of the country's estimated 2.44 million colonies were surveyed. A total loss of 35.8% of colonies was recorded; an increase of 11.4% compared to last year. Operations that pollinated almonds lost, on average, the same number of colonies as those that did not. The 37.9% of operations that reported having at least some of their colonies die with a complete lack of bees had a total loss of 40.8% of colonies compared to the 17.1% loss reported by beekeepers without this symptom. Large operations were more likely to have this symptom suggesting that a contagious condition may be a causal factor. Sixty percent of all colonies that were reported dead in this survey died without dead bees, and thus possibly suffered from CCD. In PA, losses varied with region, indicating that ambient temperature over winter may be an important factor. Conclusions/Significance Of utmost importance to understanding the recent losses and CCD is keeping track of losses over time and on a large geographic scale. Given that our surveys are representative of the losses across all beekeeping operations, between 0.75 and 1.00 million honey bee colonies are estimated to have died in the United States over the winter of 2007–2008. This article is an extensive survey of U.S. beekeepers across the continent

  3. Phenotypic and genetic analyses of the varroa sensitive hygienic trait in Russian honey bee (hymenoptera: apidae colonies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria J Kirrane

    Full Text Available Varroa destructor continues to threaten colonies of European honey bees. General hygiene, and more specific Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH, provide resistance towards the Varroa mite in a number of stocks. In this study, 32 Russian (RHB and 14 Italian honey bee colonies were assessed for the VSH trait using two different assays. Firstly, colonies were assessed using the standard VSH behavioural assay of the change in infestation of a highly infested donor comb after a one-week exposure. Secondly, the same colonies were assessed using an "actual brood removal assay" that measured the removal of brood in a section created within the donor combs as a potential alternative measure of hygiene towards Varroa-infested brood. All colonies were then analysed for the recently discovered VSH quantitative trait locus (QTL to determine whether the genetic mechanisms were similar across different stocks. Based on the two assays, RHB colonies were consistently more hygienic toward Varroa-infested brood than Italian honey bee colonies. The actual number of brood cells removed in the defined section was negatively correlated with the Varroa infestations of the colonies (r2 = 0.25. Only two (percentages of brood removed and reproductive foundress Varroa out of nine phenotypic parameters showed significant associations with genotype distributions. However, the allele associated with each parameter was the opposite of that determined by VSH mapping. In this study, RHB colonies showed high levels of hygienic behaviour towards Varroa -infested brood. The genetic mechanisms are similar to those of the VSH stock, though the opposite allele associates in RHB, indicating a stable recombination event before the selection of the VSH stock. The measurement of brood removal is a simple, reliable alternative method of measuring hygienic behaviour towards Varroa mites, at least in RHB stock.

  4. The Effects of Mixture of Plant Extracts and Oils are Added to Syrup on Honey Bee Colony Development and Honey Yield

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Bekret

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This study during the spring of 2014, effects of plant extract and oil mixture obtained from various plants added to the syrup given to the forces equalized bee on physiological characteristics of the colonies were examined. Bee colonies (10 colonies in each group were randomly divided into two groups. When the first group feed syrup and plant extract oil mixture, at the same rate with feed syrup only test group to control group (1/1 sucrose-water was applied. According to the research results, the plant extract-oil mixture was not effective on the number of frames and hive weight. The mixture although numerically increased the amount of brood rearing area, this effect was not statistically significant. However, provided statistically significant increase in honey production. We concluded that, while the plant extract-oil mixture tested is not effective in brood production, is effective on honey production.

  5. Key management practices to prevent high infestation levels of Varroa destructor in honey bee colonies at the beginning of the honey yield season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacobino, Agostina; Molineri, Ana; Bulacio Cagnolo, Natalia; Merke, Julieta; Orellano, Emanuel; Bertozzi, Ezequiel; Masciangelo, Germán; Pietronave, Hernán; Pacini, Adriana; Salto, Cesar; Signorini, Marcelo

    2016-09-01

    Varroa destructor is considered one of the main threats to worldwide apiculture causing a variety of physiological effects at individual and colony level. Also, Varroa mites are often associated with several honey bee viruses presence. Relatively low levels of Varroa during the spring, at the beginning of the honey yield season, can have a significant economic impact on honey production and colony health. Winter treatments against Varroa and certain management practices may delay mite population growth during following spring and summer improving colonies performance during the honey yield season. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors associated with the presence of Varroa destructor in late spring in apiaries from temperate climate. A longitudinal study was carried out in 48 apiaries, randomly selected to evaluate V. destructor infestation level throughout the year. The percentage of infestation with V. destructor was assessed four times during one year and the beekeepers answered a survey concerning all management practices applied in the colonies. We used a generalized linear mixed model to determine association between risk of achieving 2% infestation on adult bees at the beginning of the honey yield season and all potential explanatory variables. The complete dataset was scanned to identify colonies clusters with a higher probability of achieving damage thresholds throughout the year. Colonies that achieved ≥2% of infestation with V. destructor during spring were owned by less experienced beekeepers. Moreover, as Varroa populations increase exponentially during spring and summer, if the spring sampling time is later this growth remains unobserved. Monitoring and winter treatment can be critical for controlling mite population during the honey production cycle. Spatial distribution of colonies with a higher risk of achieving high Varroa levels seems to be better explained by management practices than a geographical condition. Copyright © 2016

  6. Nutritional aspects of honey bee-collected pollen and constraints on colony development in the eastern Mediterranean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avni, Dorit; Hendriksma, Harmen P; Dag, Arnon; Uni, Zehava; Shafir, Sharoni

    2014-10-01

    Pollen is the main protein and lipid source for honey bees (Apis mellifera), and nutritionally impoverished landscapes pose a threat to colony development. To determine colony nutritional demands, we analyzed a yearly cycle of bee-collected pollen from colonies in the field and compared it to colony worker production and honey bee body composition, for the first time in social insects. We monitored monthly bee production in ten colonies at each of seven sites throughout Israel, and trapped pollen bi-monthly in five additional colonies at each of four of these sites. Pollen mixtures from each sampling date and site were analyzed for weight, total protein, total fatty acids (FAs), and FA composition. Compared to more temperate climates, the eastern Mediterranean allows a relatively high yearly colony growth of ca. 300,000-400,000 bees. Colonies at higher elevation above sea level showed lower growth rates. Queen egg-laying rate did not seem to limit growth, as peaks in capped brood areas showed that queens lay a prolific 2000 eggs a day on average, with up to 3300 eggs in individual cases. Pollen uptake varied significantly among sites and seasons, with an overall annual mean total 16.8kg per colony, containing 7.14kg protein and 677g fat. Overall mean pollen protein content was high (39.8%), and mean total FA content was 3.8%. Production cost, as expressed by the amount of nutrient used per bee, was least variable for linoleic acid and protein, suggesting these as the best descriptive variables for total number of bees produced. Linolenic acid levels in pollen during the autumn were relatively low, and supplementing colonies with this essential FA may mitigate potential nutritional deficiency. The essentiality of linoleic and linolenic acids was consistent with these FAs' tendency to be present at higher levels in collected pollen than in the expected nutrients in bee bodies, demonstrating a well-developed adjustment between pollinator nutritional demands and the

  7. Honey Bee Inhibitory Signaling Is Tuned to Threat Severity and Can Act as a Colony Alarm Signal

    OpenAIRE

    Ken Tan; Shihao Dong; Xinyu Li; Xiwen Liu; Chao Wang; Jianjun Li; Nieh, James C

    2016-01-01

    Alarm communication is a key adaptation that helps social groups resist predation and rally defenses. In Asia, the world's largest hornet, Vespa mandarinia, and the smaller hornet, Vespa velutina, prey upon foragers and nests of the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana. We attacked foragers and colony nest entrances with these predators and provide the first evidence, in social insects, of an alarm signal that encodes graded danger and attack context. We show that, like Apis mellifera, A. cerana poss...

  8. Nutritional Physiology and Ecology of Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Geraldine A; Nicolson, Susan W; Shafir, Sharoni

    2018-01-07

    Honey bees feed on floral nectar and pollen that they store in their colonies as honey and bee bread. Social division of labor enables the collection of stores of food that are consumed by within-hive bees that convert stored pollen and honey into royal jelly. Royal jelly and other glandular secretions are the primary food of growing larvae and of the queen but are also fed to other colony members. Research clearly shows that bees regulate their intake, like other animals, around specific proportions of macronutrients. This form of regulation is done as individuals and at the colony level by foragers.

  9. Fearful foragers: honey bees tune colony and individual foraging to multi-predator presence and food quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Tan

    Full Text Available Fear can have strong ecosystem effects by giving predators a role disproportionate to their actual kill rates. In bees, fear is shown through foragers avoiding dangerous food sites, thereby reducing the fitness of pollinated plants. However, it remains unclear how fear affects pollinators in a complex natural scenario involving multiple predator species and different patch qualities. We studied hornets, Vespa velutina (smaller and V. tropica (bigger preying upon the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana in China. Hornets hunted bees on flowers and were attacked by bee colonies. Bees treated the bigger hornet species (which is 4 fold more massive as more dangerous. It received 4.5 fold more attackers than the smaller hornet species. We tested bee responses to a three-feeder array with different hornet species and varying resource qualities. When all feeders offered 30% sucrose solution (w/w, colony foraging allocation, individual visits, and individual patch residence times were reduced according to the degree of danger. Predator presence reduced foraging visits by 55-79% and residence times by 17-33%. When feeders offered different reward levels (15%, 30%, or 45% sucrose, colony and individual foraging favored higher sugar concentrations. However, when balancing food quality against multiple threats (sweeter food corresponding to higher danger, colonies exhibited greater fear than individuals. Colonies decreased foraging at low and high danger patches. Individuals exhibited less fear and only decreased visits to the high danger patch. Contrasting individual with emergent colony-level effects of fear can thus illuminate how predators shape pollination by social bees.

  10. Fearful foragers: honey bees tune colony and individual foraging to multi-predator presence and food quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ken; Hu, Zongwen; Chen, Weiwen; Wang, Zhengwei; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C

    2013-01-01

    Fear can have strong ecosystem effects by giving predators a role disproportionate to their actual kill rates. In bees, fear is shown through foragers avoiding dangerous food sites, thereby reducing the fitness of pollinated plants. However, it remains unclear how fear affects pollinators in a complex natural scenario involving multiple predator species and different patch qualities. We studied hornets, Vespa velutina (smaller) and V. tropica (bigger) preying upon the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana in China. Hornets hunted bees on flowers and were attacked by bee colonies. Bees treated the bigger hornet species (which is 4 fold more massive) as more dangerous. It received 4.5 fold more attackers than the smaller hornet species. We tested bee responses to a three-feeder array with different hornet species and varying resource qualities. When all feeders offered 30% sucrose solution (w/w), colony foraging allocation, individual visits, and individual patch residence times were reduced according to the degree of danger. Predator presence reduced foraging visits by 55-79% and residence times by 17-33%. When feeders offered different reward levels (15%, 30%, or 45% sucrose), colony and individual foraging favored higher sugar concentrations. However, when balancing food quality against multiple threats (sweeter food corresponding to higher danger), colonies exhibited greater fear than individuals. Colonies decreased foraging at low and high danger patches. Individuals exhibited less fear and only decreased visits to the high danger patch. Contrasting individual with emergent colony-level effects of fear can thus illuminate how predators shape pollination by social bees.

  11. Stress indicator gene expression profiles, colony dynamics and tissue development of honey bees exposed to sub-lethal doses of imidacloprid in laboratory and field experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ioannidis, Pavlos; Hamamtzoglou, Anna; Schoonvaere, Karel; Francis, Frédéric; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; de Graaf, Dirk C.

    2017-01-01

    In this study, different context-dependent effects of imidacloprid exposure on the honey bee response were studied. Honey bees were exposed to different concentrations of imidacloprid during a time period of 40 days. Next to these variables, a laboratory-field comparison was conducted. The influence of the chronic exposure on gene expression levels was determined using an in-house developed microarray targeting different immunity-related and detoxification genes to determine stress-related gene expression changes. Increased levels of the detoxification genes encoding, CYP9Q3 and CYT P450, were detected in imidacloprid-exposed honey bees. The different context-dependent effects of imidacloprid exposure on honey bees were confirmed physiologically by decreased hypopharyngeal gland sizes. Honey bees exposed to imidacloprid in laboratory cages showed a general immunosuppression and no detoxification mechanisms were triggered significantly, while honey bees in-field showed a resilient response with an immune stimulation at later time points. However, the treated colonies had a brood and population decline tendency after the first brood cycle in the field. In conclusion, this study highlighted the different context-dependent effects of imidacloprid exposure on the honey bee response. These findings warn for possible pitfalls concerning the generalization of results based on specific experiments with short exposure times. The increased levels of CYT P450 and CYP9Q3 combined with an immune response reaction can be used as markers for bees which are exposed to pesticides in the field. PMID:28182641

  12. Autumn invasion rates of Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) into honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies and the resulting increase in mite populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Eva; Rosenkranz, Peter

    2014-04-01

    The honey bee parasite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman can disperse and invade honey bee colonies by attaching to "drifting" and "robbing" honey bees that move into nonnatal colonies. We quantified the weekly invasion rates and the subsequent mite population growth from the end of July to November 2011 in 28 honey bee colonies kept in two apiaries that had high (HBD) and low (LBD) densities of neighboring colonies. At each apiary, half (seven) of the colonies were continuously treated with acaricides to kill all Varroa mites and thereby determine the invasion rates. The other group of colonies was only treated before the beginning of the experiment and then left untreated to record Varroa population growth until a final treatment in November. The numbers of bees and brood cells of all colonies were estimated according to the Liebefeld evaluation method. The invasion rates varied among individual colonies but revealed highly significant differences between the study sites. The average invasion rate per colony over the entire 3.5-mo period ranged from 266 to 1,171 mites at the HBD site compared with only 72 to 248 mites at the LBD apiary. In the untreated colonies, the Varroa population reached an average final infestation in November of 2,082 mites per colony (HBD) and 340 mites per colony (LBD). All colonies survived the winter; however, the higher infested colonies lost about three times more bees compared with the lower infested colonies. Therefore, mite invasion and late-year population growth must be considered more carefully for future treatment concepts in temperate regions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahreini, Rassol; Currie, Robert W

    2015-10-01

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

  15. Associations of parameters related to the fall of Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) in Russian and Italian honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderer, Thomas E; De Guzman, Lilia I; Frake, Amanda M

    2013-04-01

    Varroa destructor (Anderson and Truman) trapped on bottom boards were assessed as indirect measurements of colony mite populations and mite fall in colonies of Russian and Italian honey bees using 29 candidate measurements. Measurements included damaged and nondamaged younger mites, damaged and nondamaged older mites, fresh mites and all mites, each as a proportion of total mites in the colonies and as a proportion of all trapped mites or all trapped fresh mites. Regression analyses were used to determine the relationships of these candidate measurements to the number of mites in the colonies. The largest positive regressions were found for trapped younger mites (Y) and trapped fresh mites (F). Measurments of Y and F across time could be used to estimate mite population growth for the purposes of selective breeding. The largest negative regressions with colony mites were observed for: trapped older mites/trapped mites (O/T), trapped older mites/trapped younger mites (O/Y), and trapped injured older mites/injured mites (IO/I). O/T and O/Y are significantly higher for Russian honey bee colonies suggesting that they are related to at least some of the mechanisms used by Russian honey bee to resist Varroa population growth. O/T and O/Y have strong negative relationships with colony mites for both Russian honey bee and Italian colonies suggesting that both strains possibly could be selected for reduced colony mites using O/T or O/Y.

  16. Queen Quality and the Impact of Honey Bee Diseases on Queen Health: Potential for Interactions between Two Major Threats to Colony Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esmaeil Amiri

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Western honey bees, Apis mellifera, live in highly eusocial colonies that are each typically headed by a single queen. The queen is the sole reproductive female in a healthy colony, and because long-term colony survival depends on her ability to produce a large number of offspring, queen health is essential for colony success. Honey bees have recently been experiencing considerable declines in colony health. Among a number of biotic and abiotic factors known to impact colony health, disease and queen failure are repeatedly reported as important factors underlying colony losses. Surprisingly, there are relatively few studies on the relationship and interaction between honey bee diseases and queen quality. It is critical to understand the negative impacts of pests and pathogens on queen health, how queen problems might enable disease, and how both factors influence colony health. Here, we review the current literature on queen reproductive potential and the impacts of honey bee parasites and pathogens on queens. We conclude by highlighting gaps in our knowledge on the combination of disease and queen failure to provide a perspective and prioritize further research to mitigate disease, improve queen quality, and ensure colony health.

  17. Are dispersal mechanisms changing the host-parasite relationship and increasing the virulence of Varroa destructor [Acari:Varroidae] in managed honey bee [Hymenoptera: Apidae] colonies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varroa mites are the most serious pest of honey bees worldwide, and difficult to control in managed colonies. We show in a longitudinal study that even with multiple miticide treatments in the summer and fall, mite numbers remained high and colony losses exceeded 55%. Furthermore, large heavily infe...

  18. Chemical Manipulation of Honey Bee Behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Larson, Nicholas Ryan

    2017-01-01

    The loss of managed honey bee colonies, resulting from their unintentional exposure to pesticides, is a topic of concern for the agricultural and apicultural industry. Current methods for reducing pesticide exposure to bees involve the application of pesticides before crop bloom or in the evening when foraging bees are less likely to be exposed to these applications. There is an urgent need for additional protection procedures to reduce the annual losses of managed bee colonies. Another met...

  19. Thermoregulation in colonies of africanized and hybrids with Caucasian, Italian and Carniolan Apis mellifera honey bees

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    Vagner de Alencar Arnaut de Toledo

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available This experiment was carried out to study the internal temperature regulation of a colony of Africanized honey bees (AFR, compared with hybrid Caucasian (CAU, Italian (ITA, and Carniolan (CAR bees, during the period of one year and different size hives located in a sub-tropical region. The instant internal temperature, 33.7 ± 1.5° C for the AFR, 33.5 ± 1.4° C for the CAU, 33.7 ± 1.5° C for the ITA and 33.8 ± 1.4° C for the CAR, did not show any significant difference (P>0.05. The maximum temperature (36.1 ± 2.3° C was statistically different (P0.05 in the mean internal temperature, between the nucleus (31.7 ± 6.3° C and the brood nest (32.1 ± 5.3° C measured between two and four o'clock in the afternoon.Este experimento teve como objetivos verificar a regulação da temperatura interna da colônia de abelhas africanizadas (AFR comparada com abelhas híbridas de caucasianas (CAU, italianas (ITA e cárnicas (CAR, no decorrer de um ano e, em colméias de tamanhos diferentes, em região com clima subtropical. Na primeira etapa, a temperatura interna do momento não apresentou diferença significativa (P>0,05 entre os híbridos estudados e foi de 33,7 ± 1,5°C, para as AFR; 33,5 ± 1,4°C, para as CAU; 33,7 ± 1,5°C, para as ITA e 33,8 ± 1,4°C, para as CAR. Na segunda etapa, a temperatura máxima (36,1 ± 2,3°C foi diferente estatisticamente (P>0,05 da mínima (27,6 ± 5,3°C. Não houve diferença (P>0,05, na temperatura interna média, entre núcleo (31,7 ± 6,3°C e ninho (32,1 ± 5,3°C, medida das 14 às 16 horas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    Hygienic behaviour in the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is the uncapping and removal of dead, diseased or infected brood from sealed cells by worker bees. We determined the effect of hygienic behaviour on varroa population growth and incidence of deformed wing virus (DWV), which can be transmitted...... by varroa. We treated 42 broodless honey bee colonies with oxalic acid in early January 2013 to reduce varroa populations to low levels, which we quantified by extracting mites from a sample of worker bees. We quantified varroa levels, again when the colonies were broodless, 48 weeks later. During...... the summer the hygienic behaviour in each colony was quantified four times using the Freeze Killed Brood (FKB) removal assay, and ranged from 27.5 % to 100 %. Varroa population increased greatly over the season, and there was a significant negative correlation between varroa increase and FKB removal...

  2. Nosema ceranae is an old resident of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in Mexico, causing infection levels of one million spores per bee or higher during summer and fall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero-Molina, Cristina; Correa-Benítez, Adriana; Hamiduzzaman, Mollah Md; Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto

    2016-11-01

    This study was conducted to identify Nosema spp. and to determine their infection levels in honey bee (Apis mellifera) samples collected in Mexico in 1995-1996. Samples of historical surveys from different countries are of particular interest to support or challenge the hypothesis that the microsporidium Nosema ceranae is a new parasite of A. mellifera that has recently dispersed across the world. We demonstrate that N. ceranae has parasitized honey bees in Mexico since at least 1995 and that the infection levels of this parasite during summer and fall, exceed the threshold at which treatment of honey bee colonies is recommended. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  4. Evaluation of spring organic treatments against Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in honey bee Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies in eastern Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giovenazzo, Pierre; Dubreuil, Pascal

    2011-09-01

    The objective of this study was to measure the efficacy of two organic acid treatments, formic acid (FA) and oxalic acid (OA) for the spring control of Varroa destructor (Anderson and Trueman) in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies. Forty-eight varroa-infested colonies were randomly distributed amongst six experimental groups (n = 8 colonies per group): one control group (G1); two groups tested applications of different dosages of a 40 g OA/l sugar solution 1:1 trickled on bees (G2 and G3); three groups tested different applications of FA: 35 ml of 65% FA in an absorbent Dri-Loc(®) pad (G4); 35 ml of 65% FA poured directly on the hive bottom board (G5) and MiteAwayII™ (G6). The efficacy of treatments (varroa drop), colony development, honey yield and hive survival were monitored from May until September. Five honey bee queens died during this research, all of which were in the FA treated colonies (G4, G5 and G6). G6 colonies had significantly lower brood build-up during the beekeeping season. Brood populations at the end of summer were significantly higher in G2 colonies. Spring honey yield per colony was significantly lower in G6 and higher in G1. Summer honey flow was significantly lower in G6 and higher in G3 and G5. During the treatment period, there was an increase of mite drop in all the treated colonies. Varroa daily drop at the end of the beekeeping season (September) was significantly higher in G1 and significantly lower in G6. The average number of dead bees found in front of hives during treatment was significantly lower in G1, G2 and G3 versus G4, G5 and G6. Results suggest that varroa control is obtained from all spring treatment options. However, all groups treated with FA showed slower summer hive population build-up resulting in reduced honey flow and weaker hives at the end of summer. FA had an immediate toxic effect on bees that resulted in queen death in five colonies. The OA treatments that were tested have minimal toxic impacts on the

  5. Summary of winter honey bee colony losses in Slovakia between the years 2009 and 2015

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    Róbert Chlebo

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Between the seasons 2009/2010 and 2014/2015 was evaluated 1305 questionnaires in total, received from Slovak beekeepers. Standard questionnaires of COST working group COLOSS were used with sets of questions related to overwintering of bee colonies and possible reasons of its losses. In season 2009/2010 winter losses in Slovakia reached 7.10 %, subsequently in 2010/2011 - 5.96 %, 2011/2012 - 9.70 %, 2012/2013 - 9.50 %, 2013/2014 - 8.84 %, 2014/2015 - 10.00 %. Expected causes of winter mortality (starvation, poor queen´s quality, parasitism, robbery were evaluated in the study to detect the presence of depopulation syndrome of bee colonies - CCD (colony collapse disorder reported from some North American and European areas. As acceptable level of winter losses is generally considered level 10 %, which was not exceeded in any season, thereby Slovakia ranks among countries with the lowest winter mortality of bee colonies worldwide. Possible reason of this situation is most probably multiple Varroa treatment throughout the year, but other reasons are discussed as well in the study.

  6. The Effects of Age of Grafted Larvae and of Supplemental Feeding on Performance of Iranian Honey Bee Colonies (Apis Mellifera Meda

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    Mahbobi Ali

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The performance of bee colonies greatly depends on the quality of the queens. The current research was conducted at the apiary of the Faculty of Agriculture, Zanjan University, in Zanjan, Iran. Together, 24 rearing colonies were assigned to 4 grafting larvae age groups: 1-day-old, 2-day-old, 3-day-old, and emergency queens. Two feeding groups, fed and not fed, were created. The effects of reared queens on biological characteristics and performance of honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera meda headed by those queens were measured. Age of grafted larvae significantly influenced the results. The performance ratios of the most efficient colonies headed by queens reared from 1-day-old larvae compared with the least-efficient queens reared from 3-day-old larvae were 118% in brood production, 140% in bee population, and 154% in honey production. However, the age of grafted larvae did not affect colony defense behavior. Supplemental feeding of rearing colonies increased brood production to 111%, bee population to 116%, and honey production to 115%. A combination of the effect of age of larvae and supplemental feeding resulted in twice as much honey (12 kg produced by colonies with queens reared from 1-day-old larvae in fed rearing colonies compared to those with queens raised from 3-day-old larvae in unfed rearing colonies.

  7. Population growth of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in honey bee colonies is affected by the number of foragers with mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Ahumada, Fabiana; Zazueta, Victor; Chambers, Mona; Hidalgo, Geoffrey; deJong, Emily Watkins

    2016-05-01

    Varroa mites are a serious pest of honey bees and the leading cause of colony losses. Varroa have relatively low reproductive rates, so populations should not increase rapidly, but often they do. Other factors might contribute to the growth of varroa populations including mite migration into colonies on foragers from other hives. We measured the proportion of foragers carrying mites on their bodies while entering and leaving hives, and determined its relationship to the growth of varroa populations in those hives at two apiary sites. We also compared the estimates of mite population growth with predictions from a varroa population dynamics model that generates estimates of mite population growth based on mite reproduction. Samples of capped brood and adult bees indicated that the proportion of brood cells infested with mites and adult bees with phoretic mites was low through the summer but increased sharply in the fall especially at site 1. The frequency of capturing foragers with mites on their bodies while entering or leaving hives also increased in the fall. The growth of varroa populations at both sites was not significantly related to our colony estimates of successful mite reproduction, but instead to the total number of foragers with mites (entering and leaving the colony). There were more foragers with mites at site 1 than site 2, and mite populations at site 1 were larger especially in the fall. The model accurately estimated phoretic mite populations and infested brood cells until November when predictions were much lower than those measured in colonies. The rapid growth of mite populations particularly in the fall being a product of mite migration rather than mite reproduction only is discussed.

  8. Sublethal doses of the pesticide imidacloprid alter honey bee (Apis mellifera) response threshold and navigation, potentially affecting colony health

    OpenAIRE

    Eiri, Daren

    2011-01-01

    Much attention on honey bee declines has focused on the sublethal effects the pesticide, imidacloprid, has on honey bee behavior. How it affects individual foragers and their preference for nectar or their ability to navigate to communicated food sources is unknown. We use the proboscis extension reflex (PER) assay to test an individual's response threshold. Bees treated with the pesticide have higher response thresholds and respond less often to high concentrations of sucrose than control be...

  9. The acaricidal effect of flumethrin, oxalic acid and amitraz against Varroa destructor in honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica colonies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Ivana Smodiš Škerl

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available During 2007 and 2008, natural mite mortality was recorded in honey bee colonies. These colonies were then treated with various acaricides against Varroa destructor and acaricide efficacies were evaluated. In 2007, experimental colonies were treated with flumethrin and/or oxalic acid and in 2008 the same colonies were treated with flumethrin, oxalic acid or amitraz. The efficacy of flumethrin in 2007 averaged 73.62% compared to 70.12% for three oxalic acid treatments. In 2008, a reduction of 12.52% in mite numbers was found 4 weeks after flumethrin application, while 4 oxalic acid applications produced significantly higher (P < 0.05 mite mortality, an average of 24.13%. Four consecutive amitraz fumigations produced a 93.82% reduction on average in final mite numbers and thus ensure normal colony development and overwintering. The study is important in order to demonstrate that synthetic acaricides should be constantly re-evaluated and the use of flumethrin at low efficacies need to be superseded by appropriate organic treatments to increase the efficacy of mite control in highly-infested colonies during the period of brood rearing.

  10. Brood removal or queen caging combined with oxalic acid treatment to control varroa mites (Varroa destructor) in honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Few studies of honey bee colonies exist where varroa mite control is achieved by integrating broodless conditions, through either total brood removal or queen caging, in combination with oxalic acid (OA) applications. We observed significant varroa mortality after applications of OA in obtaining bro...

  11. Internal hive temperature as a means of monitoring honey bee colony health in a migratory beekeeping operation before and during winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Internal temperatures of honey bee hives kept at different sites in North Dakota were monitored before and during winter to evaluate the effects of treatment, in the form of exposure to commercial pollination, and location on colony health. In October, hives exposed to commercial pollination durin...

  12. Using an adverse outcome pathway network to describe the weight of evidence linking nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activation to honey bee colony failure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Significant and unsustainable losses of managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies have been documented over recent years, which have led to scientific investigation to determine the contributing factors. Evidence suggests that both chemical and non-chemical stressors play a rol...

  13. Weight of evidence evaluation of a network of adverse outcome pathways linking activation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in honey bees to colony death

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ongoing honey bee colony losses are of significant international concern because of the essential role these insects play in pollinating many high nutrient crops, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Both chemical and non-chemical stressors have been implicated as possible cont...

  14. Evaluation of pollen collected by honey bee, Apis mellifera L. colonies at Fayoum Governorate, Egypt. Part 1: Botanical origin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdel-Halim M. Ismail

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The present work is the 1st part of 3-part study carried out at Fayoum Governorate, Egypt to evaluate the pollen species collected by honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colonies during two successive years, 2009 and 2010. Obtained results showed that, in 2009, total amount of trapped pollen (fresh weight was 2354.89 g/colony/year (mean 588.72 g/colony/season, with peaks in summer and spring, while declined in autumn and winter. Correlation between mean maximum and minimum temperatures and weekly pollen weights was highly positive, while it was insignificant for relative humidity. In 2010, total amount of trapped pollen decreased to 1635.36 g/colony/year (mean 408.84 g/colony/season. The largest amounts were collected in summer followed by winter then spring, while least ones were in autumn. Correlation was highly positive between weekly mean of pollen weights and maximum temperature, while it was insignificant for minimum temperature or relative humidity. There were 24 plant species of 16 botanical families from which bees collected pollen. These sources were ranked according to their predominant quantities in the 1st and 2nd years by two numbers, respectively as the following: sesame 1 and 1, maize 2 and 2, clover 3 and 7, sunflower 4 and 8, wild mustard 5 and 3, casuarina 6 and 13, olive 7 and 11, eucalyptus 8 and 4, pumpkin 9 and 9, cocklebur 10 and 5, date palm 11 and 10, chamomile 12 and 12, field bindweed 13 and 6, pepper 14 and 20, coriander 15 and 16, acacia 16 and 24, citrus 17 and 0, marigold 18 and 0, common red 19 and 17, Christ’s thorn 20 and 22, tooth pick 21 and 21, brood bean 22 and 15, belladonna 23 and 23, pea 0 and 14, marjoram 0 and 18 and fennel 0 and 19. The 1st five plants seem to be the main pollen sources for honey bee colonies and consequently pollen producing during the whole year in the tested region. These sources represented 75.61% and 66.95% of the total annual yield in the two surveyed years, respectively.

  15. Honey Bee Colonies Headed by Hyperpolyandrous Queens Have Improved Brood Rearing Efficiency and Lower Infestation Rates of Parasitic Varroa Mites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith S Delaplane

    Full Text Available A honey bee queen mates on wing with an average of 12 males and stores their sperm to produce progeny of mixed paternity. The degree of a queen's polyandry is positively associated with measures of her colony's fitness, and observed distributions of mating number are evolutionary optima balancing risks of mating flights against benefits to the colony. Effective mating numbers as high as 40 have been documented, begging the question of the upper bounds of this behavior that can be expected to confer colony benefit. In this study we used instrumental insemination to create three classes of queens with exaggerated range of polyandry--15, 30, or 60 drones. Colonies headed by queens inseminated with 30 or 60 drones produced more brood per bee and had a lower proportion of samples positive for Varroa destructor mites than colonies whose queens were inseminated with 15 drones, suggesting benefits of polyandry at rates higher than those normally obtaining in nature. Our results are consistent with two hypotheses that posit conditions that reward such high expressions of polyandry: (1 a queen may mate with many males in order to promote beneficial non-additive genetic interactions among subfamilies, and (2 a queen may mate with many males in order to capture a large number of rare alleles that regulate resistance to pathogens and parasites in a breeding population. Our results are unique for identifying the highest levels of polyandry yet detected that confer colony-level benefit and for showing a benefit of polyandry in particular toward the parasitic mite V. destructor.

  16. Honey Bee Colonies Headed by Hyperpolyandrous Queens Have Improved Brood Rearing Efficiency and Lower Infestation Rates of Parasitic Varroa Mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaplane, Keith S; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Brown, Mike A; Budge, Giles E

    2015-01-01

    A honey bee queen mates on wing with an average of 12 males and stores their sperm to produce progeny of mixed paternity. The degree of a queen's polyandry is positively associated with measures of her colony's fitness, and observed distributions of mating number are evolutionary optima balancing risks of mating flights against benefits to the colony. Effective mating numbers as high as 40 have been documented, begging the question of the upper bounds of this behavior that can be expected to confer colony benefit. In this study we used instrumental insemination to create three classes of queens with exaggerated range of polyandry--15, 30, or 60 drones. Colonies headed by queens inseminated with 30 or 60 drones produced more brood per bee and had a lower proportion of samples positive for Varroa destructor mites than colonies whose queens were inseminated with 15 drones, suggesting benefits of polyandry at rates higher than those normally obtaining in nature. Our results are consistent with two hypotheses that posit conditions that reward such high expressions of polyandry: (1) a queen may mate with many males in order to promote beneficial non-additive genetic interactions among subfamilies, and (2) a queen may mate with many males in order to capture a large number of rare alleles that regulate resistance to pathogens and parasites in a breeding population. Our results are unique for identifying the highest levels of polyandry yet detected that confer colony-level benefit and for showing a benefit of polyandry in particular toward the parasitic mite V. destructor.

  17. New Miticides for Integrated Pest Management of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in Honey Bee Colonies on the Canadian Prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandervalk, L P; Nasr, M E; Dosdall, L M

    2014-12-01

    Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman 2000 (Acari: Varroidae) is an ectoparasitic mite of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Honey bee colonies require extensive management to prevent mortality caused by varroa mites and the viruses they vector. New miticides (Thymovar and HopGuard) to manage varroa mites were evaluated during the spring and fall treatment windows of the Canadian prairies to determine their effectiveness as part of an integrated management strategy. Thymovar and HopGuard were evaluated alongside the currently used industry standards: Apivar and formic acid. Results demonstrated that Apivar and formic acid remain effective V. destructor management options under spring and fall conditions. Applications of Thymovar during spring were associated with a reduction in brood area, and therefore should be limited to the fall season. The miticide HopGuard was not effective in managing V. destructor, and alteration of the current delivery system is necessary. This study demonstrates the potential for new effective treatment options to supplement currently used V. destructor integrated pest management systems. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.

  18. Honey bee toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Reed M

    2015-01-07

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

  19. Honey Bee Inhibitory Signaling Is Tuned to Threat Severity and Can Act as a Colony Alarm Signal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ken; Dong, Shihao; Li, Xinyu; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Chao; Li, Jianjun; Nieh, James C

    2016-03-01

    Alarm communication is a key adaptation that helps social groups resist predation and rally defenses. In Asia, the world's largest hornet, Vespa mandarinia, and the smaller hornet, Vespa velutina, prey upon foragers and nests of the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana. We attacked foragers and colony nest entrances with these predators and provide the first evidence, in social insects, of an alarm signal that encodes graded danger and attack context. We show that, like Apis mellifera, A. cerana possesses a vibrational "stop signal," which can be triggered by predator attacks upon foragers and inhibits waggle dancing. Large hornet attacks were more dangerous and resulted in higher bee mortality. Per attack at the colony level, large hornets elicited more stop signals than small hornets. Unexpectedly, stop signals elicited by large hornets (SS large hornet) had a significantly higher vibrational fundamental frequency than those elicited by small hornets (SS small hornet) and were more effective at inhibiting waggle dancing. Stop signals resulting from attacks upon the nest entrance (SS nest) were produced by foragers and guards and were significantly longer in pulse duration than stop signals elicited by attacks upon foragers (SS forager). Unlike SS forager, SS nest were targeted at dancing and non-dancing foragers and had the common effect, tuned to hornet threat level, of inhibiting bee departures from the safe interior of the nest. Meanwhile, nest defenders were triggered by the bee alarm pheromone and live hornet presence to heat-ball the hornet. In A. cerana, sophisticated recruitment communication that encodes food location, the waggle dance, is therefore matched with an inhibitory/alarm signal that encodes information about the context of danger and its threat level.

  20. Honey Bee Inhibitory Signaling Is Tuned to Threat Severity and Can Act as a Colony Alarm Signal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Tan

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Alarm communication is a key adaptation that helps social groups resist predation and rally defenses. In Asia, the world's largest hornet, Vespa mandarinia, and the smaller hornet, Vespa velutina, prey upon foragers and nests of the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana. We attacked foragers and colony nest entrances with these predators and provide the first evidence, in social insects, of an alarm signal that encodes graded danger and attack context. We show that, like Apis mellifera, A. cerana possesses a vibrational "stop signal," which can be triggered by predator attacks upon foragers and inhibits waggle dancing. Large hornet attacks were more dangerous and resulted in higher bee mortality. Per attack at the colony level, large hornets elicited more stop signals than small hornets. Unexpectedly, stop signals elicited by large hornets (SS large hornet had a significantly higher vibrational fundamental frequency than those elicited by small hornets (SS small hornet and were more effective at inhibiting waggle dancing. Stop signals resulting from attacks upon the nest entrance (SS nest were produced by foragers and guards and were significantly longer in pulse duration than stop signals elicited by attacks upon foragers (SS forager. Unlike SS forager, SS nest were targeted at dancing and non-dancing foragers and had the common effect, tuned to hornet threat level, of inhibiting bee departures from the safe interior of the nest. Meanwhile, nest defenders were triggered by the bee alarm pheromone and live hornet presence to heat-ball the hornet. In A. cerana, sophisticated recruitment communication that encodes food location, the waggle dance, is therefore matched with an inhibitory/alarm signal that encodes information about the context of danger and its threat level.

  1. A Bio-Economic Case Study of Canadian Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies: Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS) in Queen Breeding Affects Beekeeper Profits

    OpenAIRE

    Bixby, Miriam; Baylis, Kathy; Hoover, Shelley E.; Currie, Rob W.; Melathopoulos, Andony P; Pernal, Stephen F.; Foster, Leonard J.; Guarna, M. Marta

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Over the past decade in North America and Europe, winter losses of honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies have increased dramatically. Scientific consensus attributes these losses to multifactorial causes including altered parasite and pathogen profiles, lack of proper nutrition due to agricultural monocultures, exposure to pesticides, management, and weather. One method to reduce colony loss and increase productivity is through selective breeding of queens to produce disease-, pat...

  2. Resource overlap and possible competition between honey bees and wild bees in central Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffan-Dewenter, I; Tscharntke, T

    2000-02-01

    Evidence for interspecific competition between honey bees and wild bees was studied on 15 calcareous grasslands with respect to: (1) foraging radius of honey bees, (2) overlap in resource use, and (3) possible honey bee effects on species richness and abundance of flower-visiting, ground-nesting and trap-nesting wild bees. The grasslands greatly differed in the number of honey bee colonies within a radius of 2 km and were surrounded by agricultural habitats. The number of flower-visiting honey bees on both potted mustard plants and small grassland patches declined with increasing distance from the nearest apiary and was almost zero at a distance of 1.5-2.0 km. Wild bees were observed visiting 57 plant species, whereas honey bees visited only 24 plant species. Percentage resource overlap between honey bees and wild bees was 45.5%, and Hurlbert's index of niche overlap was 3.1. In total, 1849 wild bees from 98 species were recorded on the calcareous grasslands. Neither species richness nor abundance of wild bees were negatively correlated with the density of honey bee colonies (within a radius of 2 km) or the density of flower-visiting honey bees per site. Abundance of flower- visiting wild bees was correlated only with the percentage cover of flowering plants. In 240 trap nests, 1292 bee nests with 6066 brood cells were found. Neither the number of bee species nor the number of brood cells per grassland was significantly correlated with the density of honey bees. Significant correlations were found only between the number of brood cells and the percentage cover of shrubs. The number of nest entrances of ground-nesting bees per square metre was not correlated with the density of honey bees but was negatively correlated with the cover of vegetation. Interspecific competition by honey bees for food resources was not shown to be a significant factor determining abundance and species richness of wild bees.

  3. The Plight of the Honey Bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hockridge, Emma

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Propolis Counteracts Some Threats to Honey Bee Health

    OpenAIRE

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Borba, Renata S.; Wilson, Michael; Spivak, Marla

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are constantly dealing with threats from pathogens, pests, pesticides and poor nutrition. It is critically important to understand how honey bees? natural immune responses (individual immunity) and collective behavioral defenses (social immunity) can improve bee health and productivity. One form of social immunity in honey bee colonies is the collection of antimicrobial plant resins and their use in the nest architecture as propolis. We review research on the const...

  5. A Bio-Economic Case Study of Canadian Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies: Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS) in Queen Breeding Affects Beekeeper Profits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bixby, Miriam; Baylis, Kathy; Hoover, Shelley E; Currie, Rob W; Melathopoulos, Andony P; Pernal, Stephen F; Foster, Leonard J; Guarna, M Marta

    2017-06-01

    Over the past decade in North America and Europe, winter losses of honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies have increased dramatically. Scientific consensus attributes these losses to multifactorial causes including altered parasite and pathogen profiles, lack of proper nutrition due to agricultural monocultures, exposure to pesticides, management, and weather. One method to reduce colony loss and increase productivity is through selective breeding of queens to produce disease-, pathogen-, and mite-resistant stock. Historically, the only method for identifying desirable traits in honey bees to improve breeding was through observation of bee behavior. A team of Canadian scientists have recently identified markers in bee antennae that correspond to behavioral traits in bees and can be tested for in a laboratory. These scientists have demonstrated that this marker-assisted selection (MAS) can be used to produce hygienic, pathogen-resistant honey bee colonies. Based on this research, we present a beekeeping case study where a beekeeper's profit function is used to evaluate the economic impact of adopting colonies selected for hygienic behavior using MAS into an apiary. Our results show a net profit gain from an MAS colony of between 2% and 5% when Varroa mites are effectively treated. In the case of ineffective treatment, MAS generates a net profit benefit of between 9% and 96% depending on the Varroa load. When a Varroa mite population has developed some treatment resistance, we show that MAS colonies generate a net profit gain of between 8% and 112% depending on the Varroa load and degree of treatment resistance. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  6. A Bio-Economic Case Study of Canadian Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies: Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS) in Queen Breeding Affects Beekeeper Profits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baylis, Kathy; Hoover, Shelley E.; Currie, Rob W.; Melathopoulos, Andony P.; Pernal, Stephen F.; Foster, Leonard J.; Guarna, M. Marta

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Over the past decade in North America and Europe, winter losses of honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies have increased dramatically. Scientific consensus attributes these losses to multifactorial causes including altered parasite and pathogen profiles, lack of proper nutrition due to agricultural monocultures, exposure to pesticides, management, and weather. One method to reduce colony loss and increase productivity is through selective breeding of queens to produce disease-, pathogen-, and mite-resistant stock. Historically, the only method for identifying desirable traits in honey bees to improve breeding was through observation of bee behavior. A team of Canadian scientists have recently identified markers in bee antennae that correspond to behavioral traits in bees and can be tested for in a laboratory. These scientists have demonstrated that this marker-assisted selection (MAS) can be used to produce hygienic, pathogen-resistant honey bee colonies. Based on this research, we present a beekeeping case study where a beekeeper’s profit function is used to evaluate the economic impact of adopting colonies selected for hygienic behavior using MAS into an apiary. Our results show a net profit gain from an MAS colony of between 2% and 5% when Varroa mites are effectively treated. In the case of ineffective treatment, MAS generates a net profit benefit of between 9% and 96% depending on the Varroa load. When a Varroa mite population has developed some treatment resistance, we show that MAS colonies generate a net profit gain of between 8% and 112% depending on the Varroa load and degree of treatment resistance. PMID:28334400

  7. Multiyear survey targeting disease incidence in US honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  8. Virus Status, Varroa Levels, and Survival of 20 Managed Honey Bee Colonies Monitored in Luxembourg Between the Summer of 2011 and the Spring of 2013

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    Clermont Antoine

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Twenty managed honey bee colonies, split between 5 apiaries with 4 hives each, were monitored between the summer of 2011 and spring of 2013. Living bees were sampled in July 2011, July 2012, and August 2012. Twenty-five, medium-aged bees, free of varroa mites, were pooled per colony and date, to form one sample. Unlike in France and Belgium, Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV has not been found in Luxembourg. Slow Bee Paralysis Virus (SBPV and Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV levels were below detection limits. Traces of Kashmir Bee Virus (KBV were amplified. Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV, Varroa destructor Virus-1 (VDV-1, and SacBrood Virus (SBV were detected in all samples and are reported from Luxembourg for the first time. Varroa destructor Macula- Like Virus (VdMLV, Deformed Wing Virus (DWV, and Acute Bee Paralysis Virus (ABPV were detected at all locations, and in most but not all samples. There was a significant increase in VDV-1 and DWV levels within the observation period. A principal component analysis was unable to separate the bees of colonies that survived the following winter from bees that died, based on their virus contents in summer. The number of dead varroa mites found below colonies was elevated in colonies that died in the following winter. Significant positive relationships were found between the log-transformed virus levels of the bees and the log-transformed number of mites found below the colonies per week, for VDV-1 and DWV. Sacbrood virus levels were independent of varroa levels, suggesting a neutral or competitive relationship between this virus and varroa.

  9. Review of field and monitoring studies investigating the role of nitro-substituted neonicotinoid insecticides in the reported losses of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmuck, Richard; Lewis, Gavin

    2016-11-01

    The nitro-substituted neonicotinoid insecticides, which include imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin, are widely used to control a range of important agricultural pests both by foliar applications and also as seed dressings and by soil application. Since they exhibit systemic properties, exposure of bees may occur as a result of residues present in the nectar and/or pollen of seed- or soil-treated crop plants and so they have been the subject of much debate about whether they cause adverse effects in pollinating insects under field conditions. Due to these perceived concerns, the use of the three neonicotinoids imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam has been temporarily suspended in the European Union for seed treatment, soil application and foliar treatment in crops attractive to bees. Monitoring data from a number of countries are available to assess the presence of neonicotinoid residues in honey bee samples and possible impacts at the colony level and these are reviewed here together with a number of field studies which have looked at the impact of clothiandin on honey bees in relation to specific crop use and in particular with oilseed rape. Currently there is considerable uncertainty with regards to the regulatory testing requirements for field studies. Accordingly, a testing protocol was developed to address any acute and chronic risks from oilseed rape seeds containing a coating with 10 g clothianidin and 2 g beta-cyfluthrin per kg seeds (Elado ® ) for managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies, commercially bred bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) colonies and red mason bees (Osmia bicornis) as a representative solitary bee species. This is described here together with a summary of the results obtained as an introduction to the study details given in the following papers in this issue.

  10. Risk factors associated with the presence of Varroa destructor in honey bee colonies from east-central Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacobino, A; Bulacio Cagnolo, N; Merke, J; Orellano, E; Bertozzi, E; Masciangelo, G; Pietronave, H; Salto, C; Signorini, M

    2014-08-01

    Varroa destructor is considered one of the major threats for worldwide apiculture. Damage caused by varroa mite includes body weight loss, malformation and weakening of the bees. It was also suggested as the main cause associated with colony winter mortality and as an important vector for several honey bee viruses. Little is known about multiple factors and their interaction affecting V. destructor prevalence in apiaries from South America. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors associated with V. destructor prevalence in east-central Argentina. Parasitic mite infestation level and colony strength measures were evaluated in 63 apiaries distributed in 4 different regions in east-central Argentina in a cross sectional study. Data regarding management practices in each apiary were collected by means of a questionnaire. A mixed-effects logistic regression model was constructed to associate management variables with the risk of achieving mite infestation higher than 3%. Colonies owned by beekeepers who indicated that they did not monitor colonies after mite treatment (OR=2.305; 95% CI: 0.944-5.629) nor disinfect hives woodenware material (OR=2.722; 95% CI: 1.380-5.565) were associated with an increased risk of presenting high intensity infestation with V. destructor (>3%). On the other hand, beekeepers who reported replacing more than 50% of the queens in their operation (OR=0.305; 95% CI: 0.107-0.872), feeding colonies protein substitute containing natural pollen (OR=0.348; 95% CI: 0.129-0.941) and feeding colonies High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) (OR=0.108; 95% CI: 0.032-0.364), had colonies that were less likely to have V. destructor infestations above 3%, than beekeepers who did not report using these management practices. Further research should be conducted considering that certain management practices were associated to mite infestation level in order to improve the sanitary condition in the colonies. Epidemiological studies provide key information to

  11. Metal contaminant accumulation in the hive: Consequences for whole-colony health and brood production in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hladun, Kristen R; Di, Ning; Liu, Tong-Xian; Trumble, John T

    2016-02-01

    Metal pollution has been increasing rapidly over the past century, and at the same time, the human population has continued to rise and produce contaminants that may negatively impact pollinators. Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) forage over large areas and can collect contaminants from the environment. The primary objective of the present study was to determine whether the metal contaminants cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and selenium (Se) can have a detrimental effect on whole-colony health in the managed pollinator A. mellifera. The authors isolated small nucleus colonies under large cages and fed them an exclusive diet of sugar syrup and pollen patty spiked with Cd, Cu, Pb, and Se or a control (no additional metal). Treatment levels were based on concentrations in honey and pollen from contaminated hives around the world. They measured whole-colony health including wax, honey, and brood production; colony weight; brood survival; and metal accumulation in various life stages. Colonies treated with Cd or Cu contained more dead pupae within capped cells compared with control, and Se-treated colonies had lower total worker weights compared to control. Lead had a minimal effect on colony performance, although many members of the hive accumulated significant quantities of the metal. By examining the honey bee as a social organism through whole-colony assessments of toxicity, the authors found that the distribution of toxicants throughout the colony varied from metal to metal, some caste members were more susceptible to certain metals, and the colony's ability to grow over time may have been reduced in the presence of Se. Apiaries residing near metal-contaminated areas may be at risk and can suffer changes in colony dynamics and survival. © 2015 SETAC.

  12. An evaluation of the associations of parameters related to the fall of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) from commercial honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies as tools for selective breeding for mite resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderer, Thomas E; De Guzman, Lilia I; Frake, Amanda M; Tarver, Matthew R; Khongphinitbunjong, Kitiphong

    2014-04-01

    Varroa destructor (Anderson and Trueman) trapped on bottom boards were assessed as indirect measurements of colony mite population differences and potential indicators of mite resistance in commercial colonies of Russian and Italian honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) by using 35 candidate measurements. Measurements included numbers of damaged and nondamaged younger mites, nymphs, damaged and nondamaged older mites, fresh mites, and all mites, each as a proportion of total mites in the colonies and as a proportion of all trapped mites or all trapped fresh mites. Several measurements differed strongly between the stocks, suggesting that the detailed characteristics of trapped mites may reflect the operation of resistance mechanisms in the Russian honey bees. Regression analyses were used to determine the relationships of these candidate measurements with the number of mites in the colonies. The largest positive regressions differed for the two stocks (Italian honey bees: trapped mites and trapped younger mites; Russian honey bees: trapped younger mites and trapped fresh mites). Also, the regressions for Italian honey bees were substantially stronger. The largest negative regressions with colony mites for both stocks were for the proportion of older mites out of all trapped mites. Although these regressions were statistically significant and consistent with those previously reported, they were weaker than those previously reported. The numbers of mites in the colonies were low, especially in the Russian honey bee colonies, which may have negatively influenced the precision of the regressions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berna Emsen

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

  16. Colony Failure Linked to Low Sperm Viability in Honey Bee (Apis mellifera Queens and an Exploration of Potential Causative Factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffery S Pettis

    Full Text Available Queen health is closely linked to colony performance in honey bees as a single queen is normally responsible for all egg laying and brood production within the colony. In the U. S. in recent years, queens have been failing at a high rate; with 50% or greater of queens replaced in colonies within 6 months when historically a queen might live one to two years. This high rate of queen failure coincides with the high mortality rates of colonies in the US, some years with >50% of colonies dying. In the current study, surveys of sperm viability in US queens were made to determine if sperm viability plays a role in queen or colony failure. Wide variation was observed in sperm viability from four sets of queens removed from colonies that beekeepers rated as in good health (n = 12; average viability = 92%, were replacing as part of normal management (n = 28; 57%, or where rated as failing (n = 18 and 19; 54% and 55%. Two additional paired set of queens showed a statistically significant difference in viability between colonies rated by the beekeeper as failing or in good health from the same apiaries. Queens removed from colonies rated in good health averaged high viability (ca. 85% while those rated as failing or in poor health had significantly lower viability (ca. 50%. Thus low sperm viability was indicative of, or linked to, colony performance. To explore the source of low sperm viability, six commercial queen breeders were surveyed and wide variation in viability (range 60-90% was documented between breeders. This variability could originate from the drones the queens mate with or temperature extremes that queens are exposed to during shipment. The role of shipping temperature as a possible explanation for low sperm viability was explored. We documented that during shipment queens are exposed to temperature spikes ( 40°C and these spikes can kill 50% or more of the sperm stored in queen spermathecae in live queens. Clearly low sperm viability is

  17. Colony Failure Linked to Low Sperm Viability in Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queens and an Exploration of Potential Causative Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettis, Jeffery S; Rice, Nathan; Joselow, Katie; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Chaimanee, Veeranan

    2016-01-01

    Queen health is closely linked to colony performance in honey bees as a single queen is normally responsible for all egg laying and brood production within the colony. In the U. S. in recent years, queens have been failing at a high rate; with 50% or greater of queens replaced in colonies within 6 months when historically a queen might live one to two years. This high rate of queen failure coincides with the high mortality rates of colonies in the US, some years with >50% of colonies dying. In the current study, surveys of sperm viability in US queens were made to determine if sperm viability plays a role in queen or colony failure. Wide variation was observed in sperm viability from four sets of queens removed from colonies that beekeepers rated as in good health (n = 12; average viability = 92%), were replacing as part of normal management (n = 28; 57%), or where rated as failing (n = 18 and 19; 54% and 55%). Two additional paired set of queens showed a statistically significant difference in viability between colonies rated by the beekeeper as failing or in good health from the same apiaries. Queens removed from colonies rated in good health averaged high viability (ca. 85%) while those rated as failing or in poor health had significantly lower viability (ca. 50%). Thus low sperm viability was indicative of, or linked to, colony performance. To explore the source of low sperm viability, six commercial queen breeders were surveyed and wide variation in viability (range 60-90%) was documented between breeders. This variability could originate from the drones the queens mate with or temperature extremes that queens are exposed to during shipment. The role of shipping temperature as a possible explanation for low sperm viability was explored. We documented that during shipment queens are exposed to temperature spikes ( 40°C) and these spikes can kill 50% or more of the sperm stored in queen spermathecae in live queens. Clearly low sperm viability is linked to

  18. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie F. Daughenbaugh

    2015-06-01

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

  19. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-23

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

  20. Parasite Pressures on Feral Honey Bees (Apis mellifera sp.)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Feral honey bee populations have been reported to be in decline due to the spread of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite that when left uncontrolled leads to virus build-up and colony death. While pests and diseases are known causes of large-scale managed honey bee colony losses, no studies to date have considered the wider pathogen burden in feral colonies, primarily due to the difficulty in locating and sampling colonies, which often nest in inaccessible locations such as church spires and tree tops. In addition, little is known about the provenance of feral colonies and whether they represent a reservoir of Varroa tolerant material that could be used in apiculture. Samples of forager bees were collected from paired feral and managed honey bee colonies and screened for the presence of ten honey bee pathogens and pests using qPCR. Prevalence and quantity was similar between the two groups for the majority of pathogens, however feral honey bees contained a significantly higher level of deformed wing virus than managed honey bee colonies. An assessment of the honey bee race was completed for each colony using three measures of wing venation. There were no apparent differences in wing morphometry between feral and managed colonies, suggesting feral colonies could simply be escapees from the managed population. Interestingly, managed honey bee colonies not treated for Varroa showed similar, potentially lethal levels of deformed wing virus to that of feral colonies. The potential for such findings to explain the large fall in the feral population and the wider context of the importance of feral colonies as potential pathogen reservoirs is discussed. PMID:25126840

  1. Effects of sublethal doses of crop protection agents on honey bee (Apis mellifera) global colony vitality and its potential link with aberrant foraging activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beliën, T; Kellers, J; Heylen, K; Keulemans, W; Billen, J; Arckens, L; Huybrechts, R; Gobin, B

    2009-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the most economically valuable pollinators of fruit crops worldwide. Taking into account bees' contributions to other flowering agricultural crops, about one-third of our total diet comes directly or indirectly from bee-pollinated plants. However, in recent years there increasingly have been worrisome alarm sounds on serious bee mortalities and mysterious disappearance of bees from beehives. Among several environmental factors (e.g. climate and bee pathogens), stress factors arising from agricultural practices can potentially play a role in bee losses. Detailed knowledge on the effects of plant protection products is essential to improve usage with minimal risks. In order to identify potential medium- and long-term effects, we followed up various sublethal contaminated hives during the prolongation of the fruit-growing season. More specifically, a large-scale experiment was conducted in which at four distinct locations (in the Limburg region of Belgium) four different bee colonies (representing three different contaminations -imidacloprid, fenoxycarb, indoxacarb- and a non-contaminated control hive) were thoroughly monitored every 2-7 days. Our observations point towards decays of overall colony vitality for several hives a couple of weeks after treatment, as indicated by a set of carefully assessed parameters including the total amount of active and dead bees, total surface of capped brood and overall colony weight. These outcomes could be linked to subtle differences in foraging activity between distinct hives. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of potential short-term and long-term consequences of disturbed foraging ability triggered by exaggerated exposure to sublethal doses of crop protection chemicals, and its potential impact on colony health.

  2. Population Growth of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in Colonies of Russian and Unselected Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Stocks as Related to Numbers of Foragers With Mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Ahumada, Fabiana; Danka, Robert; Chambers, Mona; DeJong, Emily Watkins; Hidalgo, Geoff

    2017-06-01

    Varroa (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) is an external parasite of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) and a leading cause of colony losses worldwide. Varroa populations can be controlled with miticides, but mite-resistant stocks such as the Russian honey bee (RHB) also are available. Russian honey bee and other mite-resistant stocks limit Varroa population growth by affecting factors that contribute to mite reproduction. However, mite population growth is not entirely due to reproduction. Numbers of foragers with mites (FWM) entering and leaving hives also affect the growth of mite populations. If FWM significantly contribute to Varroa population growth, mite numbers in RHB colonies might not differ from unselected lines (USL). Foragers with mites were monitored at the entrances of RHB and USL hives from August to November, 2015, at two apiary sites. At site 1, RHB colonies had fewer FWM than USL and smaller phoretic mite populations. Russian honey bee also had fewer infested brood cells and lower percentages with Varroa offspring than USL. At site 2, FWM did not differ between RHB and USL, and phoretic mite populations were not significantly different. At both sites, there were sharp increases in phoretic mite populations from September to November that corresponded with increasing numbers of FWM. Under conditions where FWM populations are similar between RHB and USL, attributes that contribute to mite resistance in RHB may not keep Varroa population levels below that of USL. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  3. Differential performance of honey bee colonies selected for bee-pollen production through instrumental insemination and free-mating technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.M. de Mattos

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The use of bee-pollen as a nutritional supplement or as a production-enhancing agent in livestock has increased the demand for this product worldwide. Despite the current importance of this niche within the apiculture industry, few studies have addressed the pollen production. We tested the performance of free-mated (FM and instrumentally inseminated queens (IQ in order to establish the effect of different breeding systems on pollen production. The F1 generation of IQ queens produced 153.95±42.83g/day, showing a significant improvement on the pollen production (2.74 times when compared to the parental generation (51.83±7.84g/day. The F1 generation of free-mated queens produced 100.07±8.23 g/day, which increased by 1.78 times when compared to the parental generation. Furthermore, we observed a statistically significant difference between the pollen production between colonies from the IQ and FM treatments. This study suggests that inseminated queens should be considered by beekeepers that aim to increase pollen production.

  4. Polychlorinated biphenyls in honey bees

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1987-02-01

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

  5. Infestation of Japanese native honey bees by tracheal mite and virus from non-native European honey bees in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojima, Yuriko; Toki, Taku; Morimoto, Tomomi; Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2011-11-01

    Invasion of alien species has been shown to cause detrimental effects on habitats of native species. Insect pollinators represent such examples; the introduction of commercial bumble bee species for crop pollination has resulted in competition for an ecological niche with native species, genetic disturbance caused by mating with native species, and pathogen spillover to native species. The European honey bee, Apis mellifera, was first introduced into Japan for apiculture in 1877, and queen bees have been imported from several countries for many years. However, its effects on Japanese native honey bee, Apis cerana japonica, have never been addressed. We thus conducted the survey of honey bee viruses and Acarapis mites using both A. mellifera and A. c. japonica colonies to examine their infestation in native and non-native honey bee species in Japan. Honey bee viruses, Deformed wing virus (DWV), Black queen cell virus (BQCV), Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), and Sacbrood virus (SBV), were found in both A. mellifera and A. c. japonica colonies; however, the infection frequency of viruses in A. c. japonica was lower than that in A. mellifera colonies. Based on the phylogenies of DWV, BQCV, and SBV isolates from A. mellifera and A. c. japonica, DWV and BQCV may infect both honey bee species; meanwhile, SBV has a clear species barrier. For the first time in Japan, tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi) was specifically found in the dead honey bees from collapsing A. c. japonica colonies. This paper thus provides further evidence that tracheal-mite-infested honey bee colonies can die during cool winters with no other disease present. These results demonstrate the infestation of native honey bees by parasite and pathogens of non-native honey bees that are traded globally.

  6. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Clint R.; Roth, Cali; Carlson, Benjamin; Smart, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes.

  7. Are Dispersal Mechanisms Changing the Host-Parasite Relationship and Increasing the Virulence of Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) in Managed Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Ahumada, Fabiana; Graham, Henry

    2017-08-01

    Varroa (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) are a serious pest of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.), and difficult to control in managed colonies. In our 11-mo longitudinal study, we applied multiple miticide treatments, yet mite numbers remained high and colony losses exceeded 55%. High mortality from varroa in managed apiaries is a departure from the effects of the mite in feral colonies where bees and varroa can coexist. Differences in mite survival strategies and dispersal mechanisms may be contributing factors. In feral colonies, mites can disperse through swarming. In managed apiaries, where swarming is reduced, mites disperse on foragers robbing or drifting from infested hives. Using a honey bee-varroa population model, we show that yearly swarming curtails varroa population growth, enabling colony survival for >5 yr. Without swarming, colonies collapsed by the third year. To disperse, varroa must attach to foragers that then enter other hives. We hypothesize that stress from parasitism and virus infection combined with effects that viruses have on cognitive function may contribute to forager drift and mite and virus dispersal. We also hypothesize that drifting foragers with mites can measurably increase mite populations. Simulations initialized with field data indicate that low levels of drifting foragers with mites can create sharp increases in mite populations in the fall and heavily infested colonies in the spring. We suggest new research directions to investigate factors leading to mite dispersal on foragers, and mite management strategies with consideration of varroa as a migratory pest. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  8. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura M. Brutscher

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Coordination Between the Sexes Constrains the Optimization of Reproductive Timing in Honey Bee Colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemanski, Natalie J; Fefferman, Nina H

    2017-06-01

    Honeybees are an excellent model system for examining how trade-offs shape reproductive timing in organisms with seasonal environments. Honeybee colonies reproduce two ways: producing swarms comprising a queen and thousands of workers or producing males (drones). There is an energetic trade-off between producing workers, which contribute to colony growth, and drones, which contribute only to reproduction. The timing of drone production therefore determines both the drones' likelihood of mating and when colonies reach sufficient size to swarm. Using a linear programming model, we ask when a colony should produce drones and swarms to maximize reproductive success. We find the optimal behavior for each colony is to produce all drones prior to swarming, an impossible solution on a population scale because queens and drones would never co-occur. Reproductive timing is therefore not solely determined by energetic trade-offs but by the game theoretic problem of coordinating the production of reproductives among colonies.

  10. Removal of Varroa jacobsoni infested brood in honey bee colonies with differing pollen stores

    OpenAIRE

    Janmaat, Alida; Winston, Mark

    2000-01-01

    International audience; The effects of high or low pollen storage on Apis mellifera L. brood removal behavior and Varroa jacobsoni reproduction were examined. High pollen storage colonies removed 49% of the infested larvae compared to 33% removal by the low pollen storage colonies. No difference was found in the proportion of fertile mites between those reared in high or low pollen storage colonies, although mite fertility appeared to decrease from mid to late summer in British Columbia, Cana...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. ECOBEE: a tool for long-term honey bee colony monitoring at the landscape in West European intensive agroecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Aupinel, Pierrick; Gateff, Sophie; Requier, Fabrice; Henry, Mickaël; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    In Central Western France, as in many other areas, traditional apiculture has been replaced by more intensive practices to compensate for colony losses andcurrent decreasing honey yields. One neglected aspect concerns the choice by professional beekeepers of apiary sites in intensive agrosystems, with regard to landscape features, a choice which appears to be largely empirical. ECOBEE is a colony monitoring scheme specifically intended to provide beekeepers and researchers with basic ecologic...

  14. Honey bee lines selected for high propolis production also have superior hygienic behavior and increased honey and pollen stores

    OpenAIRE

    Nicodemo, D. [UNESP; De Jong, D.; Couto, R. H. N. [UNESP; Malheiros, B. [UNESP

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees use propolis to defend against invaders and disease organisms. As some colonies produce much more propolis than others, we investigated whether propolis collecting is associated with disease resistance traits, including hygienic behavior and resistance to the parasitic bee mite, Varroa destructor. The three highest (HP) and three lowest propolis-producing (LP) colonies among 36 Africanized honey bee colonies were initially selected. Queens and drones from these colonies were crosse...

  15. Nosema ceranae in European honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, Ingemar

    2010-01-01

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian parasite described from the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana. The parasite is cross-infective with the European honey bee, Apis mellifera. It is not known when or where N. ceranae first infected European bees, but N. ceranae has probably been infecting European bees for at least two decades. N. ceranae appears to be replacing Nosema apis, at least in some populations of European honey bees. This replacement is an enigma because the spores of the new parasite are less durable than those of N. apis. Virulence data at both the individual bee and at the colony level are conflicting possibly because the impact of this parasite differs in different environments. The recent advancements in N. ceranae genetics, with a draft assembly of the N. ceranae genome available, are discussed and the need for increased research on the impacts of this parasite on European honey bees is emphasized. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. A review of methods used in some European countries for assessing the quality of honey bee queens through their physical characters and the performance of their colonies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hatjina, Fani; Bienkowska, Malgorzata; Charistos, Leonidas

    2014-01-01

    The term “quality” in relation to queens and drones refers to certain quantitative physical and / or behavioural characters. It is generally believed that a high quality queen should have the following physical characteristics: high live weight; high number of ovarioles; large size of spermatheca......; high number of spermatozoa in spermatheca; and be free from diseases and pests. It is, however, also known that the performance of a honey bee colony is the result of its queen’s function as well as of that of the drones that mated with her. These two approaches are often considered together and give...

  17. Differential performance of honey bee colonies selected for bee-pollen production through instrumental insemination and free-mating technique

    OpenAIRE

    Mattos,I.M. de; Souza, J.; A. E. E. Soares

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The use of bee-pollen as a nutritional supplement or as a production-enhancing agent in livestock has increased the demand for this product worldwide. Despite the current importance of this niche within the apiculture industry, few studies have addressed the pollen production. We tested the performance of free-mated (FM) and instrumentally inseminated queens (IQ) in order to establish the effect of different breeding systems on pollen production. The F1 generation of IQ queens produc...

  18. Impacts of Austrian Climate Variability on Honey Bee Mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Brood removal influences fall of Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) in honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    The hygienic removal of brood infested with Varroa destructor by Apis mellifera disrupts the reproduction of the infesting mites and exposes the foundress mites to potential removal from the colony by grooming. Using brood deliberately infested with marked Varroa, we investigated the association bet...

  20. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab...... micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data showing that N. ceranae infection significantly accelerated the age polyethism of young bees, causing...

  1. ABC Assay: Method Development and Application to Quantify the Role of Three DWV Master Variants in Overwinter Colony Losses of European Honey Bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica L. Kevill

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Deformed wing virus (DWV is one of the most prevalent honey bee viral pathogens in the world. Typical of many RNA viruses, DWV is a quasi-species, which is comprised of a large number of different variants, currently consisting of three master variants: Type A, B, and C. Little is known about the impact of each variant or combinations of variants upon the biology of individual hosts. Therefore, we have developed a new set of master variant-specific DWV primers and a set of standards that allow for the quantification of each of the master variants. Competitive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR experimental design confirms that each new DWV primer set is specific to the retrospective master variant. The sensitivity of the ABC assay is dependent on whether DNA or RNA is used as the template and whether other master variants are present in the sample. Comparison of the overall proportions of each master variant within a sample of known diversity, as confirmed by next-generation sequence (NGS data, validates the efficiency of the ABC assay. The ABC assay was used on archived material from a Devon overwintering colony loss (OCL 2006–2007 study; further implicating DWV type A and, for the first time, possibly C in the untimely collapse of honey bee colonies. Moreover, in this study DWV type B was not associated with OCL. The use of the ABC assay will allow researchers to quickly and cost effectively pre-screen for the presence of DWV master variants in honey bees.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  4. Propolis Counteracts Some Threats to Honey Bee Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Borba, Renata S; Wilson, Michael; Spivak, Marla

    2017-04-29

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are constantly dealing with threats from pathogens, pests, pesticides and poor nutrition. It is critically important to understand how honey bees' natural immune responses (individual immunity) and collective behavioral defenses (social immunity) can improve bee health and productivity. One form of social immunity in honey bee colonies is the collection of antimicrobial plant resins and their use in the nest architecture as propolis. We review research on the constitutive benefits of propolis on the honey bee immune system, and its known therapeutic, colony-level effects against the pathogens Paenibacillus larvae and Ascosphaera apis. We also review the limited research on the effects of propolis against other pathogens, parasites and pests (Nosema, viruses, Varroa destructor, and hive beetles) and how propolis may enhance bee products such as royal jelly and honey. Although propolis may be a source of pesticide contamination, it also has the potential to be a detoxifying agent or primer of detoxification pathways, as well as increasing bee longevity via antioxidant-related pathways. Throughout this paper, we discuss opportunities for future research goals and present ways in which the beekeeping community can promote propolis use in standard colonies, as one way to improve and maintain colony health and resiliency.

  5. Combined effects of waggle dance communication and landscape heterogeneity on nectar and pollen uptake in honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Härtel, Stephan

    2017-01-01

    The instructive component of waggle dance communication has been shown to increase resource uptake of Apis mellifera colonies in highly heterogeneous resource environments, but an assessment of its relevance in temperate landscapes with different levels of resource heterogeneity is currently lacking. We hypothesized that the advertisement of resource locations via dance communication would be most relevant in highly heterogeneous landscapes with large spatial variation of floral resources. To test our hypothesis, we placed 24 Apis mellifera colonies with either disrupted or unimpaired instructive component of dance communication in eight Central European agricultural landscapes that differed in heterogeneity and resource availability. We monitored colony weight change and pollen harvest as measure of foraging success. Dance disruption did not significantly alter colony weight change, but decreased pollen harvest compared to the communicating colonies by 40%. There was no general effect of resource availability on nectar or pollen foraging success, but the effect of landscape heterogeneity on nectar uptake was stronger when resource availability was high. In contrast to our hypothesis, the effects of disrupted bee communication on nectar and pollen foraging success were not stronger in landscapes with heterogeneous compared to homogenous resource environments. Our results indicate that in temperate regions intra-colonial communication of resource locations benefits pollen foraging more than nectar foraging, irrespective of landscape heterogeneity. We conclude that the so far largely unexplored role of dance communication in pollen foraging requires further consideration as pollen is a crucial resource for colony development and health. PMID:28603677

  6. Combined effects of waggle dance communication and landscape heterogeneity on nectar and pollen uptake in honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nürnberger, Fabian; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Härtel, Stephan

    2017-01-01

    The instructive component of waggle dance communication has been shown to increase resource uptake of Apis mellifera colonies in highly heterogeneous resource environments, but an assessment of its relevance in temperate landscapes with different levels of resource heterogeneity is currently lacking. We hypothesized that the advertisement of resource locations via dance communication would be most relevant in highly heterogeneous landscapes with large spatial variation of floral resources. To test our hypothesis, we placed 24 Apis mellifera colonies with either disrupted or unimpaired instructive component of dance communication in eight Central European agricultural landscapes that differed in heterogeneity and resource availability. We monitored colony weight change and pollen harvest as measure of foraging success. Dance disruption did not significantly alter colony weight change, but decreased pollen harvest compared to the communicating colonies by 40%. There was no general effect of resource availability on nectar or pollen foraging success, but the effect of landscape heterogeneity on nectar uptake was stronger when resource availability was high. In contrast to our hypothesis, the effects of disrupted bee communication on nectar and pollen foraging success were not stronger in landscapes with heterogeneous compared to homogenous resource environments. Our results indicate that in temperate regions intra-colonial communication of resource locations benefits pollen foraging more than nectar foraging, irrespective of landscape heterogeneity. We conclude that the so far largely unexplored role of dance communication in pollen foraging requires further consideration as pollen is a crucial resource for colony development and health.

  7. Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae in Costa Rica: population dynamics and its influence on the colony condition of Africanized honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael A Calderón

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The development of Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Mesostigmata: Varroidae population dynamics in Africanized honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae colonies was monitored from February to July 2004 in Atenas, Costa Rica. A correlation between the mite infestation level and the colony condition was evaluated. For each colony, infestation of varroa in adult bees was measured twice a month. Sticky boards were placed on the bottom boards of each colony to collect fallen mites. The condition of the colonies was evaluated by measuring the amount of brood and adult bees. Our results consistently showed that mite infestation on adult bees increased significantly in the experimental colonies, rising to 10.0% by the end of the experiment. In addition, the mean mite fall increased significantly over the course of the study in the treated (R= 0.72, PLa dinámica poblacional del ácaro Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Mesostigmata: Varroidae en abejas africanizadas, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae fue monitoreada de febrero a julio 2004, en Atenas, Costa Rica. Asimismo, se analizó la relación entre el nivel de infestación de varroa y la condición de la colmena. La infestación del ácaro V. destructor fue evaluada en abejas adultas dos veces al mes. Además, se colocaron trampas adhesivas en el fondo de la colmena para recoger los ácaros que caen naturalmente. La condición de la colmena fue determinada midiendo la cantidad de cría y la población de abejas adultas. La infestación del ácaro V. destructor en abejas adultas aumentó significativamente durante el estudio hasta alcanzar un 10.0%. Igualmente, la caída natural de ácaros se incrementó, tanto en colmenas que fueron tratadas previa-mente con un acaricida químico (R= 0.72, P<0.05 como en colmenas sin tratamiento (R= 0.74, P<0.05, hasta llegar a 63.8 y 73.5 ácaros por día, respectivamente. El aumento de la infestación en las colmenas coincidió con una

  8. Propolis Counteracts Some Threats to Honey Bee Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Borba, Renata S.; Wilson, Michael; Spivak, Marla

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are constantly dealing with threats from pathogens, pests, pesticides and poor nutrition. It is critically important to understand how honey bees’ natural immune responses (individual immunity) and collective behavioral defenses (social immunity) can improve bee health and productivity. One form of social immunity in honey bee colonies is the collection of antimicrobial plant resins and their use in the nest architecture as propolis. We review research on the constitutive benefits of propolis on the honey bee immune system, and its known therapeutic, colony-level effects against the pathogens Paenibacillus larvae and Ascosphaera apis. We also review the limited research on the effects of propolis against other pathogens, parasites and pests (Nosema, viruses, Varroa destructor, and hive beetles) and how propolis may enhance bee products such as royal jelly and honey. Although propolis may be a source of pesticide contamination, it also has the potential to be a detoxifying agent or primer of detoxification pathways, as well as increasing bee longevity via antioxidant-related pathways. Throughout this paper, we discuss opportunities for future research goals and present ways in which the beekeeping community can promote propolis use in standard colonies, as one way to improve and maintain colony health and resiliency. PMID:28468244

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Effects of various sugar feeding choices on survival and tolerance of honey bee workers to low temperatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.F. Abou-Shaara

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Beekeepers usually supply their colonies with alternatives to nectar (i.e. sugar feeding during dearth periods of the year, especially cold times of winter. The objective of the study was to determine the best substances to feed bees to enhance the tolerance and survival of honey bees (Apis mellifera L. to low temperatures. Seven feeding choices were compared under laboratory conditions. These feeding choices were: sugar syrup, liquid honey, creamed honey, honey candy, sugar candy, honey jelly, and honey/sugarcane juice jelly. The results showed that the number of bees attracted to each feeding choice was influenced significantly by feeding type. Worker bees were attracted to all feeding choices and showed a high preference to creamed honey, honey jelly or honey/juice jelly. The tolerance of honey bees to low temperature was enhanced when bees were fed on creamed honey, sugar syrup or honey candy. The mean time at which 50% of bees were able to survive ranged from 3 days (unfed bees to 15.8 days (honey candy group. The survival rate of worker bees was highest when they fed on honey candy, creamed honey or sugar candy. In light of this study, creamed honey or honey candy can be considered the best feeding choices for bee colonies during winter to enhance their survival and tolerance to low temperatures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Resin collection and social immunity in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone, Michael; Evans, Jay D; Spivak, Marla

    2009-11-01

    Diverse animals have evolved an ability to collect antimicrobial compounds from the environment as a means of reducing infection risk. Honey bees battle an extensive assemblage of pathogens with both individual and "social" defenses. We determined if the collection of resins, complex plant secretions with diverse antimicrobial properties, acts as a colony-level immune defense by honey bees. Exposure to extracts from two sources of honey bee propolis (a mixture of resins and wax) led to a significantly lowered expression of two honey bee immune-related genes (hymenoptaecin and AmEater in Brazilian and Minnesota propolis, respectively) and to lowered bacterial loads in the Minnesota (MN) propolis treated colonies. Differences in immune expression were also found across age groups (third-instar larvae, 1-day-old and 7-day-old adults) irrespective of resin treatment. The finding that resins within the nest decrease investment in immune function of 7-day-old bees may have implications for colony health and productivity. This is the first direct evidence that the honey bee nest environment affects immune-gene expression.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Differential sensitivity of honey bees and bumble bees to a dietary insecticide (imidacloprid).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cresswell, James E; Page, Christopher J; Uygun, Mehmet B; Holmbergh, Marie; Li, Yueru; Wheeler, Jonathan G; Laycock, Ian; Pook, Christopher J; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel; Smirnoff, Nick; Tyler, Charles R

    2012-12-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and the sustainability of pollination services. One potential threat to bees is the unintended impact of systemic insecticides, which are ingested by bees in the nectar and pollen from flowers of treated crops. To establish whether imidacloprid, a systemic neonicotinoid and insect neurotoxin, harms individual bees when ingested at environmentally realistic levels, we exposed adult worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), and honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), to dietary imidacloprid in feeder syrup at dosages between 0.08 and 125μg l(-1). Honey bees showed no response to dietary imidacloprid on any variable that we measured (feeding, locomotion and longevity). In contrast, bumble bees progressively developed over time a dose-dependent reduction in feeding rate with declines of 10-30% in the environmentally relevant range of up to 10μg l(-1), but neither their locomotory activity nor longevity varied with diet. To explain their differential sensitivity, we speculate that honey bees are better pre-adapted than bumble bees to feed on nectars containing synthetic alkaloids, such as imidacloprid, by virtue of their ancestral adaptation to tropical nectars in which natural alkaloids are prevalent. We emphasise that our study does not suggest that honey bee colonies are invulnerable to dietary imidacloprid under field conditions, but our findings do raise new concern about the impact of agricultural neonicotinoids on wild bumble bee populations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. Hologenome theory and the honey bee pathosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiguo Li

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

  1. Nosema ceranae Winter Control: Study of the Effectiveness of Different Fumagillin Treatments and Consequences on the Strength of Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Y; Diaz-Cetti, S; Ramallo, G; Santos, E; Porrini, M; Invernizzi, C

    2017-02-01

    In Uruguay, colonies of honey bees moving to Eucalyptus grandis plantation in autumn habitually become infected with the microsporidian Nosema ceranae , a parasite that attacks the digestive system of bees. Beekeepers attributed to N. ceranae depopulation of the colonies that often occurs at the end of the blooming period, and many use the antibiotic fumagillin to reduce the level of infection. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of four different fumagillin treatments and determine how this antibiotic affects the strength of the colonies during the winter season. The colonies treated with fumagillin in July showed less spore load at the end of applications, being the most effective the following treatments: the four applications sprayed over bees of 30 mg of fumagillin in 100 ml of sugar syrup 1:1, and four applications of 90 mg of fumagillin in 250 ml of sugar syrup 1:1 using a feeder. However, 2 month after the treatment applications, the colonies treated with fumagillin were the same size as the untreated colonies. In September, the colonies treated and not treated with fumagillin did not differ in colony strength (adult bee population and brood area) or spores abundance. Our study demonstrates that fumagillin treatment temporarily decreased the spore load of N. ceranae , but this was not reflected in either the size of the colonies or the probability of surviving the winter regardless of the dose or the administration strategy applied. Given the results obtained, we suggest to not perform the pharmacological treatment under the conditions described in the experiment. En Uruguay las colonias de abejas melíferas que se trasladan a las forestaciones de Eucalyptus grandis en otoño indefectiblemente se infectan con el microsporido Nosema ceranae , parásito que ataca el sistema digestivo de las abejas. Los apicultores atribuyen a N. ceranae el despoblamiento de las colonias que ocurre con frecuencia al terminar el periodo de floraci

  2. Prevalence of Nosema species in a feral honey bee population: a 20-year survey

    OpenAIRE

    Rangel, Juliana; Baum, Kristen; Rubink, William L.; Coulson, Robert N.; Johnston, J. Spencer; Traver, Brenna E.

    2016-01-01

    International audience; AbstractNosema spp. are microsporidian pathogens of honey bees that cause nosemosis, a disease implicated in colony losses worldwide. Few studies have measured Nosema spp. levels in feral honey bees. We evaluated the presence and infection intensity of Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae in a feral Africanized honey bee population in south Texas from 1991 to 2001 and in 2013. Overall, less than 6 % of samples had Nosema spp. spores. N. apis was only found in samples from 19...

  3. Honey Bees, Satellites and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esaias, W.

    2008-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  7. western honey bee management for crop pollination abstract résumé

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ACSS

    2018-02-09

    Feb 9, 2018 ... The Western honey bee is used to pollinate 66 commodities on all continents, except Antarctica. A controlled use of Western honey bee for pollination ..... The Varroa mite. (Varroa destructor), which jumped from Apis cerana to managed colonies of A. mellifera. (Rosenkranz et al., 2010) leading to a dramatic.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  9. A modified scout bee for artificial bee colony algorithm and its performance on optimization problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syahid Anuar

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The artificial bee colony (ABC is one of the swarm intelligence algorithms used to solve optimization problems which is inspired by the foraging behaviour of the honey bees. In this paper, artificial bee colony with the rate of change technique which models the behaviour of scout bee to improve the performance of the standard ABC in terms of exploration is introduced. The technique is called artificial bee colony rate of change (ABC-ROC because the scout bee process depends on the rate of change on the performance graph, replace the parameter limit. The performance of ABC-ROC is analysed on a set of benchmark problems and also on the effect of the parameter colony size. Furthermore, the performance of ABC-ROC is compared with the state of the art algorithms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

    Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) is an important fruit tree in West African parklands, and its successful pollination is a requirement for fruit production. Size-based pollinator exclusion experiments combined with visual observations showed that presence of honey bees (Apis mellifera jemenitica......) was important for pollination and thereby the production of fruits and seeds. Smaller insects, mainly species of stingless bees (Hypotrigona spp. and Liotrigona cf. bottegoi) and solitary bees (Compsomelissa borneri) could partly compensate pollination in absence of honey bees, but fertilisation and fruit yield...... was reduced. A positive correlation between fertilisation percentage and number of honey bee colonies within radii of 900 m and 1,000 m was observed. The percentage of fertilisation and number of mature fruits per fascicle were higher in trees with colonies of stingless bees in the trunk when honey bees were...

  12. Physiology and biochemistry of honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. Mechanistic modeling of pesticide exposure: The missing keystone of honey bee toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sponsler, Douglas B; Johnson, Reed M

    2017-04-01

    The role of pesticides in recent honey bee losses is controversial, partly because field studies often fail to detect effects predicted by laboratory studies. This dissonance highlights a critical gap in the field of honey bee toxicology: there exists little mechanistic understanding of the patterns and processes of exposure that link honey bees to pesticides in their environment. The authors submit that 2 key processes underlie honey bee pesticide exposure: 1) the acquisition of pesticide by foraging bees, and 2) the in-hive distribution of pesticide returned by foragers. The acquisition of pesticide by foraging bees must be understood as the spatiotemporal intersection between environmental contamination and honey bee foraging activity. This implies that exposure is distributional, not discrete, and that a subset of foragers may acquire harmful doses of pesticide while the mean colony exposure would appear safe. The in-hive distribution of pesticide is a complex process driven principally by food transfer interactions between colony members, and this process differs importantly between pollen and nectar. High priority should be placed on applying the extensive literature on honey bee biology to the development of more rigorously mechanistic models of honey bee pesticide exposure. In combination with mechanistic effects modeling, mechanistic exposure modeling has the potential to integrate the field of honey bee toxicology, advancing both risk assessment and basic research. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:871-881. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Awad Mohamed Awad

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

  15. The Honey Bee Parasite Nosema ceranae: Transmissible via Food Exchange?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smith, M.L.

    2012-01-01

    Nosema ceranae, a newly introduced parasite of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is contributing to worldwide colony losses. Other Nosema species, such as N. apis, tend to be associated with increased defecation and spread via a fecal-oral pathway, but because N. ceranae does not induce defecation, it

  16. Propolis counteracts some threats to honey bee health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations in North America and Europe are currently experiencing high and unsustainable annual losses. It is critically important to understand the impact of individual stressors and the interactions among stressors in order to develop solutions to increase colony health...

  17. Patterns of viral infection in honey bee queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    The well-being of a colony and replenishment of the workers depends on a healthy queen. Diseases in queens are seldom reported, and our knowledge on viral infection in queens is limited. In this study, 86 honey bee queens were collected from beekeepers in Denmark. All queens were tested separately...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Core

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

  19. Non-specific dsRNA-mediated antiviral response in the honey bee.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle L Flenniken

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-28

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

  1. The ontogeny of immunity: development of innate immune strength in the honey bee (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson-Rich, Noah; Dres, Stephanie T; Starks, Philip T

    2008-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are of vital economic and ecological importance. These eusocial animals display temporal polyethism, which is an age-driven division of labor. Younger adult bees remain in the hive and tend to developing brood, while older adult bees forage for pollen and nectar to feed the colony. As honey bees mature, the types of pathogens they experience also change. As such, pathogen pressure may affect bees differently throughout their lifespan. We provide the first direct tests of honey bee innate immune strength across developmental stages. We investigated immune strength across four developmental stages: larvae, pupae, nurses (1-day-old adults), and foragers (22-30 days old adults). The immune strength of honey bees was quantified using standard immunocompetence assays: total hemocyte count, encapsulation response, fat body quantification, and phenoloxidase activity. Larvae and pupae had the highest total hemocyte counts, while there was no difference in encapsulation response between developmental stages. Nurses had more fat body mass than foragers, while phenoloxidase activity increased directly with honey bee development. Immune strength was most vigorous in older, foraging bees and weakest in young bees. Importantly, we found that adult honey bees do not abandon cellular immunocompetence as has recently been proposed. Induced shifts in behavioral roles may increase a colony's susceptibility to disease if nurses begin foraging activity prematurely.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    Animals living in social communities typically harbor a characteristic gut microbiota important for nutrition and pathogen defense. Accordingly, in the gut of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, a distinctive microbial community, composed of a taxonomically restricted set of species specific to social bees, has been identified. Despite the ecological and economical importance of honey bees and the increasing concern about population declines, the role of their gut symbionts for colony health and n...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-30

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

  4. BEES, HONEY AND HEALTH IN ANTIQUITY

    OpenAIRE

    L. Cilliers; Retief, F.P.

    2012-01-01

    In antiquity bees and honey had a very special significance. Honey was indeed considered to drip from heaven as the food of the gods. As an infant Zeus was fed on honey in the cave of Dicte, by bees and the beautiful Melissa, whose name became the Greek word for “bee”. When the ancient Romans wished you luck they said “May honey drip on you!” and for the Israelites Palestine was a “land of milk and honey” (Forbes 1957:85-87). In his Georgics Vergil likened the inhabitants of the new ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Smith

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

  6. An artificial bee colony algorithm for the capacitated vehicle routing problem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Szeto, W.Y.; Wu, Yongzhong; Ho, Sin C.

    2011-01-01

    This paper introduces an artificial bee colony heuristic for solving the capacitated vehicle routing problem. The artificial bee colony heuristic is a swarm-based heuristic, which mimics the foraging behavior of a honey bee swarm. An enhanced version of the artificial bee colony heuristic is also...... proposed to improve the solution quality of the original version. The performance of the enhanced heuristic is evaluated on two sets of standard benchmark instances, and compared with the original artificial bee colony heuristic. The computational results show that the enhanced heuristic outperforms...

  7. Biocide contamination of honey bees, honey and pollen

    OpenAIRE

    Özaslan, Emre; Akbaba, Muhsin; Demirhindi, Hakan

    2018-01-01

     Honeyis a natural product that is widely used for nutritional purposes. Honey likeother foods is prone to various types of contaminations and adulterations.There are two major sources of honey bee pesticide contaminations: 1- Directapplication of pesticides in bee hives 2- Environmental contamination whichconsist of four different pathways: a) Direct contact with crop protectionpesticide used in plants and soils or encounter with direct pesticide spraydrift. b) Consumption of contam...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nancy L Burritt

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sponsler, D B; Johnson, R M

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Yan Y.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    In a study replicated across two states and two years, we tested the sublethal effects on honey bees of the miticides Apistan (tau fluvalinate) and Check Mite+ (coumaphos) and the wood preservative copper naphthenate applied at label rates in field conditions. A continuous covariate, a colony Varroa mite index, helped us disambiguate the effects of the chemicals on bees while adjusting for a presumed benefit of controlling mites. Mite levels in colonies treated with Apistan or Check Mite+ were not different from levels in non-treated controls. Experimental chemicals significantly decreased 3-day brood survivorship and increased construction of queen supercedure cells compared to non-treated controls. Bees exposed to Check Mite+ as immatures had higher legacy mortality as adults relative to non-treated controls, whereas bees exposed to Apistan had improved legacy mortality relative to non-treated controls. Relative to non-treated controls, Check Mite+ increased adult emergence weight. Although there was a treatment effect on a test of associative learning, it was not possible to statistically separate the treatment means, but bees treated with Apistan performed comparatively well. And finally, there were no detected effects of bee hive chemical on colony bee population, amount of brood, amount of honey, foraging rate, time required for marked released bees to return to their nest, percentage of released bees that return to the nest, and colony Nosema spore loads. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine sublethal effects of bee hive chemicals applied at label rates under field conditions while disambiguating the results from mite control benefits realized from the chemicals. Given the poor performance of the miticides at reducing mites and their inconsistent effects on the host, these results defend the use of bee health management practices that minimize use of exotic hive chemicals.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A Berry

    Full Text Available In a study replicated across two states and two years, we tested the sublethal effects on honey bees of the miticides Apistan (tau fluvalinate and Check Mite+ (coumaphos and the wood preservative copper naphthenate applied at label rates in field conditions. A continuous covariate, a colony Varroa mite index, helped us disambiguate the effects of the chemicals on bees while adjusting for a presumed benefit of controlling mites. Mite levels in colonies treated with Apistan or Check Mite+ were not different from levels in non-treated controls. Experimental chemicals significantly decreased 3-day brood survivorship and increased construction of queen supercedure cells compared to non-treated controls. Bees exposed to Check Mite+ as immatures had higher legacy mortality as adults relative to non-treated controls, whereas bees exposed to Apistan had improved legacy mortality relative to non-treated controls. Relative to non-treated controls, Check Mite+ increased adult emergence weight. Although there was a treatment effect on a test of associative learning, it was not possible to statistically separate the treatment means, but bees treated with Apistan performed comparatively well. And finally, there were no detected effects of bee hive chemical on colony bee population, amount of brood, amount of honey, foraging rate, time required for marked released bees to return to their nest, percentage of released bees that return to the nest, and colony Nosema spore loads. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine sublethal effects of bee hive chemicals applied at label rates under field conditions while disambiguating the results from mite control benefits realized from the chemicals. Given the poor performance of the miticides at reducing mites and their inconsistent effects on the host, these results defend the use of bee health management practices that minimize use of exotic hive chemicals.

  15. Evaluation of Mite-Away-II for fall control of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in colonies of the honey bee Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in the northeastern USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderone, Nicholas W

    2010-02-01

    Mite-Away II, a recently-registered product with a proprietary formulation of formic acid, was evaluated under field conditions in commercial apiaries in upstate New York (USA) for the fall control of Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman in colonies of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. Ambient temperatures during the treatment period were in the lower half of the range recommended on the label, but were typical for early fall in upstate New York. Average mite mortality was 60.2 +/- 2.2% in the Mite-Away II group and 23.3 +/- 2.6% in the untreated control group. These means were significantly different from each other, but the level of control was only moderate. These results demonstrate that Mite-Away II may not always provide an adequate level of control even when the temperature at the time of application falls within the recommended range stated on the product's label. To make the best use of temperature-sensitive products, I suggest that the current, single-value, economic treatment threshold be replaced with an economic treatment range. The limits for this range are specified by two pest density values. The lower limit is the usual pest density that triggers a treatment. The upper limit is the maximum pest density that one can expect to reduce to a level below the lower limit given the temperatures expected during the treatment period. When the actual pest density exceeds the upper limit, the product should not be recommended; or, a warning should be included indicating that acceptable control may not be achieved.

  16. Hydroxymethylfurfural: a possible emergent cause of honey bee mortality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zirbes, Lara; Nguyen, Bach Kim; de Graaf, Dirk C; De Meulenaer, Bruno; Reybroeck, Wim; Haubruge, Eric; Saegerman, Claude

    2013-12-11

    Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a common product of hexose degradation occurring during the Maillard reaction and caramelization, has been found toxic for rats and mice. It could cause a potential health risk for humans due to its presence in many foods, sometimes exceeding 1 g/kg (in certain dried fruits and caramel products), although the latter still is controversial. HMF can also be consumed by honey bees through bad production batches of sugar syrups that are offered as winter feeding. In Belgium, abnormal losses of honey bee colonies were observed in colonies that were fed with syrup of inverted beet sugar containing high concentrations of HMF (up to 475 mg/kg). These losses suggest that HMF could be implicated in bee mortality, a topic that so far has received only little attention. This paper reviews the current knowledge of the presence of HMF in honey bee environment and possible consequences on bee mortality. Some lines of inquiry for further toxicological analysis are likewise proposed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-16

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J Ciarlo

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Barrett Anthony; Stiegler, Martin; Klein, Arno; Tautz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns.

  20. Chalkbrood disease in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronstein, K A; Murray, K D

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Differences Among Commonly Sprayed Orchard Fungicides in Targeting the Beneficial Fungi Associated with Honey Bee Colony and Bee Bread Provisions (In Vitro)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Our studies evaluated the effects of representative fungicides, boscalid and pyraclostrobin, propiconazole, and chlorothalonil, alone and in combination, on 12 fungi species isolated from bee bread. Chlorothalonil was fungicidal (slowed growth without killing) and was least effective on Aspergillus...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudewenz, Anika; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2015-11-01

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

  3. Dynamics of persistent and acute deformed wing virus infections in honey bees, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prisco, Gennaro Di; Zhang, Xuan; Pennacchio, Francesco; Caprio, Emilio; Li, Jilian; Evans, Jay D; Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Hamilton, Michele; Chen, Yan Ping

    2011-12-01

    The dynamics of viruses are critical to our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Using honey bee Deformed wing virus (DWV) as a model, we conducted field and laboratory studies to investigate the roles of abiotic and biotic stress factors as well as host health conditions in dynamics of virus replication in honey bees. The results showed that temperature decline could lead to not only significant decrease in the rate for pupae to emerge as adult bees, but also an increased severity of the virus infection in emerged bees, partly explaining the high levels of winter losses of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, around the world. By experimentally exposing adult bees with variable levels of parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we showed that the severity of DWV infection was positively correlated with the density and time period of Varroa mite infestation, confirming the role of Varroa mites in virus transmission and activation in honey bees. Further, we showed that host conditions have a significant impact on the outcome of DWV infection as bees that originate from strong colonies resist DWV infection and replication significantly better than bee originating from weak colonies. The information obtained from this study has important implications for enhancing our understanding of host‑pathogen interactions and can be used to develop effective disease control strategies for honey bees.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay D. Evans

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The dynamics of viruses are critical to our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Using honey bee Deformed wing virus (DWV as a model, we conducted field and laboratory studies to investigate the roles of abiotic and biotic stress factors as well as host health conditions in dynamics of virus replication in honey bees. The results showed that temperature decline could lead to not only significant decrease in the rate for pupae to emerge as adult bees, but also an increased severity of the virus infection in emerged bees, partly explaining the high levels of winter losses of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, around the world. By experimentally exposing adult bees with variable levels of parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we showed that the severity of DWV infection was positively correlated with the density and time period of Varroa mite infestation, confirming the role of Varroa mites in virus transmission and activation in honey bees. Further, we showed that host conditions have a significant impact on the outcome of DWV infection as bees that originate from strong colonies resist DWV infection and replication significantly better than bee originating from weak colonies. The information obtained from this study has important implications for enhancing our understanding of host‑pathogen interactions and can be used to develop effective disease control strategies for honey bees.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. High Humidity in the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Brood Nest Limits Reproduction of the Parasitic Mite Varroa jacobsoni Oud.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraus, B.; Velthuis, H.H.W.

    1997-01-01

    Factors influencing reproduction of the parasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni have become a central theme of honey bee pathology. In large parts of the world the mite has made it impossible for colonies of the honey bee Apis mellifera to survive if no measures of treatment are applied [1].

  7. Behavioral Modulation of Infestation by Varroa destructor in Bee Colonies. Implications for Colony Stability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joyce de Figueiró Santos

    Full Text Available Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD has become a global problem for beekeepers and for the crops that depend on bee pollination. While many factors are known to increase the risk of colony collapse, the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is considered to be the most serious one. Although this mite is unlikely to cause the collapse of hives itself, it is the vector for many viral diseases which are among the likely causes for Colony Collapse Disorder. The effects of V. destructor infestation differ from one part of the world to another, with greater morbidity and higher colony losses in European honey bees (EHB in Europe, Asia and North America. Although this mite has been present in Brazil for many years, there have been no reports of colony losses amongst Africanized Honey Bees (AHB. Studies carried out in Mexico have highlighted different behavioral responses by the AHB to the presence of the mite, notably as far as grooming and hygienic behavior are concerned. Could these explain why the AHB are less susceptible to Colony Collapse Disorder? In order to answer this question, we have developed a mathematical model of the infestation dynamics to analyze the role of resistance behavior by bees in the overall health of the colony, and as a consequence, its ability to face epidemiological challenges.

  8. Behavioral Modulation of Infestation by Varroa destructor in Bee Colonies. Implications for Colony Stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Figueiró Santos, Joyce; Coelho, Flávio Codeço; Bliman, Pierre-Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has become a global problem for beekeepers and for the crops that depend on bee pollination. While many factors are known to increase the risk of colony collapse, the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is considered to be the most serious one. Although this mite is unlikely to cause the collapse of hives itself, it is the vector for many viral diseases which are among the likely causes for Colony Collapse Disorder. The effects of V. destructor infestation differ from one part of the world to another, with greater morbidity and higher colony losses in European honey bees (EHB) in Europe, Asia and North America. Although this mite has been present in Brazil for many years, there have been no reports of colony losses amongst Africanized Honey Bees (AHB). Studies carried out in Mexico have highlighted different behavioral responses by the AHB to the presence of the mite, notably as far as grooming and hygienic behavior are concerned. Could these explain why the AHB are less susceptible to Colony Collapse Disorder? In order to answer this question, we have developed a mathematical model of the infestation dynamics to analyze the role of resistance behavior by bees in the overall health of the colony, and as a consequence, its ability to face epidemiological challenges.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vries, Han de; Biesmeijer, J.C.

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, H; Biesmeijer, JC

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam G Dolezal

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Budiaman

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsevegmid, Khaliunaa; Neumann, Peter; Yañez, Orlando

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaliunaa Tsevegmid

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armstrong Tamieka-Nicole

    2006-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa A.Y. Oddie

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Intraspecific Aggression in Giant Honey Bees (Apis dorsata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Weihmann

    2014-09-01

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

  19. Application of the artificial bee colony algorithm for solving the set covering problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Broderick; Soto, Ricardo; Cuesta, Rodrigo; Paredes, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    The set covering problem is a formal model for many practical optimization problems. In the set covering problem the goal is to choose a subset of the columns of minimal cost that covers every row. Here, we present a novel application of the artificial bee colony algorithm to solve the non-unicost set covering problem. The artificial bee colony algorithm is a recent swarm metaheuristic technique based on the intelligent foraging behavior of honey bees. Experimental results show that our artificial bee colony algorithm is competitive in terms of solution quality with other recent metaheuristic approaches for the set covering problem.

  20. Deformed wing virus can be transmitted during natural mating in honey bees and infect the queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amiri, Esmaeil; Meixner, Marina D.; Kryger, Per

    2016-01-01

    Deformed wing virus is an important contributor to honey bee colony losses. Frequently queen failure is reported as a cause for colony loss. Here we examine whether sexual transmission during multiple matings of queens is a possible way of virus infection in queens. In an environment with high...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  2. EFFECTS OF CHRONIC EXPOSURE TO FLUPYRADIFURONE AND LOW-QUALITY SUCROSE ON HONEY BEE FLIGHT AND MORTALITY

    OpenAIRE

    Tong, Linda

    2017-01-01

    Insecticides pose a major health concern for honey bee colonies, particularly those involved in crop pollination. Flupyradifurone (commercially known as Sivanto) is a new butenolide insecticide that has been marketed as bee-safe, and is especially used in cases where pest insects have evolved resistance to neonicotinoid pesticides. In addition to insecticides, honey bee health is also affected by decreases in food source diversity and quality, as can happen in agricultural monocultures. We te...

  3. A Clustering Approach Using Cooperative Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenping Zou

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Artificial Bee Colony (ABC is one of the most recently introduced algorithms based on the intelligent foraging behavior of a honey bee swarm. This paper presents an extended ABC algorithm, namely, the Cooperative Article Bee Colony (CABC, which significantly improves the original ABC in solving complex optimization problems. Clustering is a popular data analysis and data mining technique; therefore, the CABC could be used for solving clustering problems. In this work, first the CABC algorithm is used for optimizing six widely used benchmark functions and the comparative results produced by ABC, Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO, and its cooperative version (CPSO are studied. Second, the CABC algorithm is used for data clustering on several benchmark data sets. The performance of CABC algorithm is compared with PSO, CPSO, and ABC algorithms on clustering problems. The simulation results show that the proposed CABC outperforms the other three algorithms in terms of accuracy, robustness, and convergence speed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-27

    We investigated the effect of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor on the immunological and nutritional condition of honey bees, Apis mellifera, from the perspective of the individual bee and the colony. Pupae, newly-emerged adults and foraging adults were sampled from honey bee colonies at one site in S. Texas, USA. Varroa‑infested bees displayed elevated titer of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), suggestive of depressed capacity to limit viral replication. Expression of genes coding three anti-microbial peptides (defensin1, abaecin, hymenoptaecin) was either not significantly different between Varroa-infested and uninfested bees or was significantly elevated in Varroa-infested bees, varying with sampling date and bee developmental age. The effect of Varroa on nutritional indices of the bees was complex, with protein, triglyceride, glycogen and sugar levels strongly influenced by life-stage of the bee and individual colony. Protein content was depressed and free amino acid content elevated in Varroa-infested pupae, suggesting that protein synthesis, and consequently growth, may be limited in these insects. No simple relationship between the values of nutritional and immune-related indices was observed, and colony-scale effects were indicated by the reduced weight of pupae in colonies with high Varroa abundance, irrespective of whether the individual pupa bore Varroa.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

    Populations of honey bees are declining throughout the world, with US beekeepers losing 30% of their colonies each winter. Though multiple factors are driving these colony losses, it is increasingly clear that viruses play a major role. However, information about the molecular mechanisms mediating antiviral immunity in honey bees is surprisingly limited. Here, we examined the transcriptional and epigenetic (DNA methylation) responses to viral infection in honey bee workers. One-day old worker honey bees were fed solutions containing Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), a virus which causes muscle paralysis and death and has previously been associated with colony loss. Uninfected control and infected, symptomatic bees were collected within 20-24 hours after infection. Worker fat bodies, the primary tissue involved in metabolism, detoxification and immune responses, were collected for analysis. We performed transcriptome- and bisulfite-sequencing of the worker fat bodies to identify genome-wide gene expression and DNA methylation patterns associated with viral infection. There were 753 differentially expressed genes (FDRcharacteristics of these sets of genes were quite distinct. Our results indicate that honey bees have two distinct molecular pathways, mediated by transcription and methylation, that modulate protein levels and/or function in response to viral infections.

  6. Testing Honey Bees' Avoidance of Predators

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. A Look into the Cell: Honey Storage in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyer, Michael; Neumann, Peter; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees, Apis species, obtain carbohydrates from nectar and honeydew. These resources are ripened into honey in wax cells that are capped for long-term storage. These stores are used to overcome dearth periods when foraging is not possible. Despite the economic and ecological importance of honey, little is known about the processes of its production by workers. Here, we monitored the usage of storage cells and the ripening process of honey in free-flying A. mellifera colonies. We provided the colonies with solutions of different sugar concentrations to reflect the natural influx of nectar with varying quality. Since the amount of carbohydrates in a solution affects its density, we used computer tomography to measure the sugar concentration of cell content over time. The data show the occurrence of two cohorts of cells with different provisioning and ripening dynamics. The relocation of the content of many cells before final storage was part of the ripening process, because sugar concentration of the content removed was lower than that of content deposited. The results confirm the mixing of solutions of different concentrations in cells and show that honey is an inhomogeneous matrix. The last stage of ripening occurred when cell capping had already started, indicating a race against water absorption. The storage and ripening processes as well as resource use were context dependent because their dynamics changed with sugar concentration of the food. Our results support hypotheses regarding honey production proposed in earlier studies and provide new insights into the mechanisms involved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  9. Invasion of Varroa mites into honey bee brood cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boot, W.J.

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Reducing honey bee defensive responses and social wasp colonization with methyl anthranilate.

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    Pankiw, Tanya

    2009-07-01

    Human victims of a massive number of stings have been steadily increasing since the invasion of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera) to the United States in 1990. Multiple honey bee stings may result in venom toxicity, leading to renal failure and even death. Here we tested the efficacy of methyl anthranilate as a honey bee repellent during a massive defensive response by Africanized honey bees. An aerosolized solution of 10% methyl anthranilate reduced the number of defensive bee hits to a retreating victim by 95% compared with a water control. One hundred fifty milliliters of the 10% methyl anthranilate solution sprayed onto stationary foam balls covered with black suede leather located 2 m from provoked Africanized colonies received 80% fewer stings than targets treated with water. Methyl anthranilate (100%) delivered through a UV blocking 3 mil polyethylene pouch was 100% effective in preventing Polistes colonization in wildlife observation huts and from the roof overhang of home patios. Although methyl anthranilate was not 100% effective in preventing honey bee stinging, it seemed to reduce number of stings below the average human LD50, indicative of a promising tool for preventing honey bee venom toxicity and wasp colonization.

  12. Season and landscape composition affect pollen foraging distances and habitat use of honey bees.

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    Danner, Nadja; Molitor, Anna Maria; Schiele, Susanne; Härtel, Stephan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2016-09-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) show a large variation in foraging distances and use a broad range of plant species as pollen resources, even in regions with intensive agriculture. However, it is unknown how increasing areas of mass-flowering crops like oilseed rape (Brassica napus; OSR) or a decrease of seminatural habitats (SNH) change the temporal and spatial availability of pollen resources for honey bee colonies, and thus foraging distances and frequency in different habitat types. We studied pollen foraging of honey bee colonies in 16 agricultural landscapes with independent gradients of OSR and SNH area within 2 km and used waggle dances and digital geographic maps with major land cover types to reveal the distance and visited habitat type on a landscape level. Mean pollen foraging distance of 1347 decoded bee dances was 1015 m (± 26 m; SEM). In spring, increasing area of flowering OSR within 2 km reduced mean pollen foraging distances from 1324 m to only 435 m. In summer, increasing cover of SNH areas close to the colonies (within 200 m radius) reduced mean pollen foraging distances from 846 to 469 m. Frequency of pollen foragers per habitat type, measured as the number of dances per hour and hectare, was equally high for SNH, grassland, and OSR fields, but lower for other crops and forests. In landscapes with a small proportion of SNH a significantly higher density of pollen foragers on SNH was observed, indicating that pollen resources in such simple agricultural landscapes are more limited. Overall, we conclude that SNH and mass-flowering crops can reduce foraging distances of honey bee colonies at different scales and seasons with possible benefits for the performance of honey bee colonies. Further, mixed agricultural landscapes with a high proportion of SNH reduce foraging densities of honey bees in SNH and thus possible competition for pollen resources. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

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

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    Navajas, M; Migeon, A; Alaux, C; Martin-Magniette, ML; Robinson, GE; Evans, JD; Cros-Arteil, S; Crauser, D; Le Conte, Y

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Assessing the Role of Environmental Conditions on Efficacy Rates of Heterorhabditis indica (Nematoda: Heterorhabditidae) for Controlling Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) in Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies: a Citizen Science Approach.

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    Hill, Elizabeth S; Smythe, Ashleigh B; Delaney, Deborah A

    2016-02-01

    Certain species of entomopathogenic nematodes, such as Heterorhabditis indica Poinar, Karunakar & David, have the potential to be effective controls for Aethina tumida (Murray), or small hive beetles, when applied to the soil surrounding honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) hives. Despite the efficacy of H. indica, beekeepers have struggled to use them successfully as a biocontrol. It is believed that the sensitivity of H. indica to certain environmental conditions is the primary reason for this lack of success. Although research has been conducted to explore the impact of specific environmental conditions--such as soil moisture or soil temperature-on entomopathogenic nematode infectivity, no study to date has taken a comprehensive approach that considers the impact of multiple environmental conditions simultaneously. In exploring this, a multivariate logistic regression model was used to determine what environmental conditions resulted in reductions of A. tumida populations in honey bee colonies. To obtain the sample sizes necessary to run a multivariate logistic regression, this study utilized citizen scientist beekeepers and their hives from across the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Results suggest that soil moisture, soil temperatures, sunlight exposure, and groundcover contribute to the efficacy of H. indica in reducing A. tumida populations in A. mellifera colonies. The results of this study offer direction for future research on the environmental preferences of H. indica and can be used to educate beekeepers about methods for better utilizing H. indica as a biological control. © 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shan, Liu; Liuhao, Wang; Jun, Guo; Yujie, Tang; Yanping, Chen; Jie, Wu; Jilian, Li

    2017-11-01

    Chinese Sacbrood virus (CSBV) is a positive-stranded RNAvirus that infects both the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) and the Asian honey bee (A. cerana). However, CSBV has much more devastating effects on Asian honey bees than on European honey bees, posing a serious threat to the agricultural and natural ecosystems that rely on A. cerana for pollination service. Using quantitative RT-PCR method, we conducted studies to examine the CSBV infection in Asian honey bee colonies and immune responses of individual bees in response to CSBV infection. Our study showed that CSBV could cause infection in different developmental stages of workers including eggs, larvae, pupae, newly emerged workers, and foraging workers. In addition, evaluating the tissue tropism and transmission of CSBV in infected bees showed that CSBV was detected in the ovaries, spermatheca, and feces of queens as well as semen of drones of the same colonies, suggesting an existence of vertical transmission of CSBV in Asian honey bees. Further, the detection of CSBV in colony food suggests that healthy bees could pick the infection by the virus-contaminated food, and therefore, a possible existence of a food-borne transmission pathway of CSBV in Asian bee colonies. The expression analysis of transcripts (defensin, abaecin, apidaecin, and hymenoptaecin) involving innate antiviral immune pathways showed that CSBV infection could induce significant immune responses in infected bees. However, the immune responses to CSBV infection varied among different development stages with eggs exhibiting the lowest level of immune expression and forager workers exhibiting the highest level of immune gene expression. The results obtained in the study yield important insights into the mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis of CSBV infections in Asian honey bees and provide valuable information for a rational design of disease control measures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  17. Comparative chronic toxicity of three neonicotinoids on New Zealand packaged honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozii, Ivanna V.; Koziy, Roman V.; Epp, Tasha; Simko, Elemir

    2018-01-01

    Background Thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and imidacloprid are the most commonly used neonicotinoid insecticides on the Canadian prairies. There is widespread contamination of nectar and pollen with neonicotinoids, at concentrations which are sublethal for honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus). Objective We compared the effects of chronic, sublethal exposure to the three most commonly used neonicotinoids on honey bee colonies established from New Zealand packaged bees using colony weight gain, brood area, and population size as measures of colony performance. Methods From May 7 to July 29, 2016 (12 weeks), sixty-eight colonies received weekly feedings of sugar syrup and pollen patties containing 0 nM, 20 nM (median environmental dose), or 80 nM (high environmental dose) of one of three neonicotinoids (thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and imidacloprid). Colonies were weighed at three-week intervals. Brood area and population size were determined from digital images of colonies at week 12. Statistical analyses were performed by ANOVA and mixed models. Results There was a significant negative effect (-30%, p80%) statistical power to detect an effect. Conclusions Chronic exposure of honey bees to high environmental doses of neonicotinoids has negative effects on honey production. Brood area appears to be less sensitive to detect sublethal effects of neonicotinoids. PMID:29293609

  18. A Method for Distinctly Marking Honey Bees, Apis mellifera, Originating from Multiple Apiary Locations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagler, James; Mueller, Shannon; Teuber, Larry R.; Deynze, Allen Van; Martin, Joe

    2011-01-01

    Inexpensive and non-intrusive marking methods are essential to track natural behavior of insects for biological experiments. An inexpensive, easy to construct, and easy to install bee marking device is described in this paper. The device is mounted at the entrance of a standard honey bee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) hive and is fitted with a removable tube that dispenses a powdered marker. Marking devices were installed on 80 honey bee colonies distributed in nine separate apiaries. Each device held a tube containing one of five colored fluorescent powders, or a combination of a fluorescent powder (either green or magenta) plus one of two protein powders, resulting in nine unique marks. The powdered protein markers included egg albumin from dry chicken egg whites and casein from dry powdered milk. The efficacy of the marking procedure for each of the unique markers was assessed on honey bees exiting each apiary. Each bee was examined, first by visual inspection for the presence of colored fluorescent powder and then by egg albumin and milk casein specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Data indicated that all five of the colored fluorescent powders and both of the protein powders were effective honey bee markers. However, the fluorescent powders consistently yielded more reliable marks than the protein powders. In general, there was less than a 1% chance of obtaining a false positive colored or protein-marked bee, but the chance of obtaining a false negative marked bee was higher for “protein-marked” bees. PMID:22236037

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien J Démares

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

  20. Deformed wing virus associated with Tropilaelaps mercedesae infesting European honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsgren, Eva; de Miranda, Joachim R; Isaksson, Mats; Wei, Shi; Fries, Ingemar

    2009-02-01

    Mites in the genus Tropilaelaps (Acari: Laelapidae) are ectoparasites of the brood of honey bees (Apis spp.). Different Tropilaelaps subspecies were originally described from Apis dorsata, but a host switch occurred to the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, for which infestations can rapidly lead to colony death. Tropilaelaps is hence considered more dangerous to A. mellifera than the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. Honey bees are also infected by many different viruses, some of them associated with and vectored by V. destructor. In recent years, deformed wing virus (DWV) has become the most prevalent virus infection in honey bees associated with V. destructor. DWV is distributed world-wide, and found wherever the Varroa mite is found, although low levels of the virus can also be found in Varroa free colonies. The Varroa mite transmits viral particles when feeding on the haemolymph of pupae or adult bees. Both the Tropilaelaps mite and the Varroa mite feed on honey bee brood, but no observations of DWV in Tropilaelaps have so far been reported. In this study, quantitative real-time RT-PCR was used to show the presence of DWV in infested brood and Tropilaelaps mercedesae mites collected in China, and to demonstrate a close quantitative association between mite-infested pupae of A. mellifera and DWV infections. Phylogenetic analysis of the DWV sequences recovered from matching pupae and mites revealed considerable DWV sequence heterogeneity and polymorphism. These polymorphisms appeared to be associated with the individual brood cell, rather than with a particular host.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddie-Jeanne Richard

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

  3. The incidence of honey bee pests and diseases in England and Wales.

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    Wilkins, Selwyn; Brown, Mike A; Cuthbertson, Andrew G S

    2007-11-01

    The Central Science Laboratory (CSL) National Bee Unit (NBU) has been responsible for maintaining the Integrated Bee Health Programme in England and Wales since the early 1990s. The role of the Bee Health Programme is to protect the honey bee, a major pollinator of agricultural and horticultural crops and wild flora, and to provide up-to-date technical support to beekeepers. The Bee Health Programme is funded in England by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and in Wales by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG). The work includes inspection of honey bee colonies, disease and pest diagnosis, development of contingency plans for emerging threats, minimising the risk of introduction of potentially serious exotic pests and diseases through importation by import risk analysis and related extension work and consultancy services to both government and industry. There is also an underpinning programme of research and development.

  4. Field application of menthol for Japanese honey bees, Apis cerana japonica (Hymenoptera: Apidae), to control tracheal mites, Acarapis woodi (Acari: Tarsonemidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeda, Taro; Sakamoto, Yoshiko

    2016-11-01

    The first record of tracheal mites, Acarapis woodi, in Japan was made in 2010. These mites have since caused serious damage to the colonies of Japanese honey bees, Apis cerana japonica. In the present study, to control the mites on Japanese honey bees with l-menthol, an agent used for European honey bees, Apis mellifera, we investigated (1) the seasonality of menthol efficacy, (2) the overwintering mortality of menthol-treated colonies, and (3) the menthol residue in honey under field conditions in cooperation with private beekeepers of Japanese honey bees. Seasonal menthol efficacy was tested by applying 30 g of l-menthol for 1 month in different seasons. Mite prevalence was measured by dissecting the honey bee thorax. Overwintering mortality was monitored during winter after checking the mite prevalence in autumn, and was compared with that of untreated colonies reported in our previous study. The residual level of menthol in honey was measured by GC-MS. The results showed that the menthol-treated colonies had a smaller rate of increase in mite prevalence than the untreated colonies. The effects of menthol were highest in March and April. The winter mortality was depressed by menthol treatment. Honey samples extracted from the menthol-treated colonies included 0.4 ppm of menthol residue on average. Our findings suggest that menthol treatment is effective for controlling the tracheal mites on Japanese honey bees.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-15

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

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

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    Frank D Rinkevich

    Full Text Available The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While much research has been conducted on insecticides and bees, there have been very limited studies to elucidate the role that bee genotype and age has on the toxicity of these insecticides. The goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in insecticide sensitivity between honey bees of different genetic backgrounds (Carniolan, Italian, and Russian stocks and assess if insecticide sensitivity varies with age. We found that Italian bees were the most sensitive of these stocks to insecticides, but variation was largely dependent on the class of insecticide tested. There were almost no differences in organophosphate bioassays between honey bee stocks (<1-fold, moderate differences in pyrethroid bioassays (1.5 to 3-fold, and dramatic differences in neonicotinoid bioassays (3.4 to 33.3-fold. Synergism bioassays with piperonyl butoxide, amitraz, and coumaphos showed increased phenothrin sensitivity in all stocks and also demonstrated further physiological differences between stocks. In addition, as bees aged, the sensitivity to phenothrin significantly decreased, but the sensitivity to naled significantly increased. These results demonstrate the variation arising from the genetic background and physiological transitions in honey bees as they age. This information can be used to determine risk assessment, as well as establishing baseline data for future comparisons to explain the variation in toxicity differences for honey bees reported in the

  7. Solving Multiobjective Optimization Problems Using Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm

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    Wenping Zou

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Multiobjective optimization has been a difficult problem and focus for research in fields of science and engineering. This paper presents a novel algorithm based on artificial bee colony (ABC to deal with multi-objective optimization problems. ABC is one of the most recently introduced algorithms based on the intelligent foraging behavior of a honey bee swarm. It uses less control parameters, and it can be efficiently used for solving multimodal and multidimensional optimization problems. Our algorithm uses the concept of Pareto dominance to determine the flight direction of a bee, and it maintains nondominated solution vectors which have been found in an external archive. The proposed algorithm is validated using the standard test problems, and simulation results show that the proposed approach is highly competitive and can be considered a viable alternative to solve multi-objective optimization problems.

  8. What's in that package? An evaluation of quality of package honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) shipments in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, James P; Cicciarelli, Richard P; Calderone, Nicholas W

    2008-06-01

    To replace deceased colonies or to increase the colony numbers, beekeepers often purchase honey bees, Apis mellifera L., in a package, which is composed of 909-1,364 g (2-3 lb) of worker bees and a mated queen. Packages are typically produced in warm regions of the United States in spring and shipped throughout the United States to replace colonies that perished during winter. Although the package bee industry is effective in replacing colonies lost in winter, packages also can be an effective means of dispersing diseases, parasites, and undesirable stock to beekeepers throughout the United States. To evaluate the quality of packages, we examined 48 packages representing six lines of bees purchased in the spring 2006. We estimated levels of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman and the percentage of drone (male) honey bees received in packages. We surveyed for presence of the tracheal honey bee mite, Acarapis woodi (Rennie), and a microsporidian parasite, Nosema spp., in the shipped bees. We found significant differences in both the mean Varroa mite per bee ratios (0.004-0.054) and the average percentage of drones (0.04-5.1%) in packages from different producers. We found significant differences in the number of Nosema-infected packages (0.0-75.0%) among the six lines. No packages contained detectable levels ofA. woodi. Considering the observed variability among honey bee packages, beekeepers should be aware of the potential for pest and disease infestations and high drone levels in packages.

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

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    James C Fleming

    Full Text Available Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L. populations face declines commonly attributed to pesticide, pathogen, and parasite stress. One way beekeepers combat these stressors is by providing supplemental protein diets to honey bee colonies to ensure adequate colony nutrition. However Nosema spp., a microsporidian parasite of the honey bee, is thought to be associated closely with a colony's nutritional intake, thus possibly negating any benefit the bees otherwise would have received from a nutritional supplement. Through three objectives, we examined how adult bees' consumption of wildflower pollen or commercial pollen substitute diets affected Nosema levels in the bees' midguts. For our first objective, we investigated how method of inoculation with Nosema affects infection levels in inoculated bees. Bees were infected with spores of Nosema four days after emergence. On day 15, bees were collected from the cages and Nosema spores were quantified. We found that inoculation through the pollen diet resulted in the highest Nosema levels in inoculated bees. In our second and third objectives, we provided the test diets to caged, newly emerged bees for a period of 15 days. Bees consuming pollen and a sucrose solution had more Nosema in their midguts than did bees consuming the sucrose solution alone (control. The overall volume of diet consumed by the bees did not correlate with the level of Nosema in their midguts. The level of Nosema was higher in bees fed certain commercial pollen substitute diets than in bees fed wildflower pollen. Our study illustrates how providing nutritional supplements to adult honey bees can impact the intensity of Nosema in their midguts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations face declines commonly attributed to pesticide, pathogen, and parasite stress. One way beekeepers combat these stressors is by providing supplemental protein diets to honey bee colonies to ensure adequate colony nutrition. However Nosema spp., a microsporidian parasite of the honey bee, is thought to be associated closely with a colony's nutritional intake, thus possibly negating any benefit the bees otherwise would have received from a nutritional supplement. Through three objectives, we examined how adult bees' consumption of wildflower pollen or commercial pollen substitute diets affected Nosema levels in the bees' midguts. For our first objective, we investigated how method of inoculation with Nosema affects infection levels in inoculated bees. Bees were infected with spores of Nosema four days after emergence. On day 15, bees were collected from the cages and Nosema spores were quantified. We found that inoculation through the pollen diet resulted in the highest Nosema levels in inoculated bees. In our second and third objectives, we provided the test diets to caged, newly emerged bees for a period of 15 days. Bees consuming pollen and a sucrose solution had more Nosema in their midguts than did bees consuming the sucrose solution alone (control). The overall volume of diet consumed by the bees did not correlate with the level of Nosema in their midguts. The level of Nosema was higher in bees fed certain commercial pollen substitute diets than in bees fed wildflower pollen. Our study illustrates how providing nutritional supplements to adult honey bees can impact the intensity of Nosema in their midguts.

  11. Taxonomy Icon Data: honey bee [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available honey bee Apis mellifera Arthropoda Apis_mellifera_L.png Apis_mellifera_NL.png Apis_mellife...ra_S.png Apis_mellifera_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Apis+mellifera&t=L h...ttp://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Apis+mellifera&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Apis+mellife...ra&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Apis+mellifera&t=NS ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Liu

    2016-06-01

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

  13. General Stress Responses in the Honey Bee

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    Naïla Even

    2012-12-01

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

  14. General Stress Responses in the Honey Bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Even, Naïla; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Barron, Andrew B.

    2012-01-01

    The biological concept of stress originated in mammals, where a “General Adaptation Syndrome” describes a set of common integrated physiological responses to diverse noxious agents. Physiological mechanisms of stress in mammals have been extensively investigated through diverse behavioral and physiological studies. One of the main elements of the stress response pathway is the endocrine hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which underlies the “fight-or-flight” response via a hormonal cascade of catecholamines and corticoid hormones. Physiological responses to stress have been studied more recently in insects: they involve biogenic amines (octopamine, dopamine), neuropeptides (allatostatin, corazonin) and metabolic hormones (adipokinetic hormone, diuretic hormone). Here, we review elements of the physiological stress response that are or may be specific to honey bees, given the economical and ecological impact of this species. This review proposes a hypothetical integrated honey bee stress pathway somewhat analogous to the mammalian HPA, involving the brain and, particularly, the neurohemal organ corpora cardiaca and peripheral targets, including energy storage organs (fat body and crop). We discuss how this system can organize rapid coordinated changes in metabolic activity and arousal, in response to adverse environmental stimuli. We highlight physiological elements of the general stress responses that are specific to honey bees, and the areas in which we lack information to stimulate more research into how this fascinating and vital insect responds to stress. PMID:26466739

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elliud Muli

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stindl, Reinhard; Stindl, Wolfgang

    2010-10-01

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

  17. Temporal analysis of the honey bee microbiome reveals four novel viruses and seasonal prevalence of known viruses, Nosema, and Crithidia.

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    Charles Runckel

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis mellifera play a critical role in global food production as pollinators of numerous crops. Recently, honey bee populations in the United States, Canada, and Europe have suffered an unexplained increase in annual losses due to a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD. Epidemiological analysis of CCD is confounded by a relative dearth of bee pathogen field studies. To identify what constitutes an abnormal pathophysiological condition in a honey bee colony, it is critical to have characterized the spectrum of exogenous infectious agents in healthy hives over time. We conducted a prospective study of a large scale migratory bee keeping operation using high-frequency sampling paired with comprehensive molecular detection methods, including a custom microarray, qPCR, and ultra deep sequencing. We established seasonal incidence and abundance of known viruses, Nosema sp., Crithidia mellificae, and bacteria. Ultra deep sequence analysis further identified four novel RNA viruses, two of which were the most abundant observed components of the honey bee microbiome (∼10(11 viruses per honey bee. Our results demonstrate episodic viral incidence and distinct pathogen patterns between summer and winter time-points. Peak infection of common honey bee viruses and Nosema occurred in the summer, whereas levels of the trypanosomatid Crithidia mellificae and Lake Sinai virus 2, a novel virus, peaked in January.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jiang-Li; Zhou, Chun-Xue; Wu, Peng-Jie; Xu, Jin; Guo, Yue-Qin; Xue, Fei; Getachew, Awraris; Xu, Shu-Fa

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang-Li Wu

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

  20. Honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) of African origin exist in non-africanized areas of the southern United States: evidence from mitochondrial DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.A. Pinto; W.S. Sheppard; J.S. Johnston; W.L. Rubink; R.N. Coulson; N.M. Schiff; I. Kandemir; J.C. Patton

    2007-01-01

    Descendents of Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Apidae) (the Africanized honey bee) arrived in the United States in 1990. Whether this was the first introduction is uncertain. A survey of feral honey bees from non-Africanized areas of the southern United States revealed three colonies (from Georgia, Texas, and New Mexico) with a...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Multi Dimensional Honey Bee Foraging Algorithm Based on Optimal Energy Consumption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saritha, R.; Vinod Chandra, S. S.

    2017-08-01

    In this paper a new nature inspired algorithm is proposed based on natural foraging behavior of multi-dimensional honey bee colonies. This method handles issues that arise when food is shared from multiple sources by multiple swarms at multiple destinations. The self organizing nature of natural honey bee swarms in multiple colonies is based on the principle of energy consumption. Swarms of multiple colonies select a food source to optimally fulfill the requirements of its colonies. This is based on the energy requirement for transporting food between a source and destination. Minimum use of energy leads to maximizing profit in each colony. The mathematical model proposed here is based on this principle. This has been successfully evaluated by applying it on multi-objective transportation problem for optimizing cost and time. The algorithm optimizes the needs at each destination in linear time.

  3. Multi Dimensional Honey Bee Foraging Algorithm Based on Optimal Energy Consumption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saritha, R.; Vinod Chandra, S. S.

    2017-10-01

    In this paper a new nature inspired algorithm is proposed based on natural foraging behavior of multi-dimensional honey bee colonies. This method handles issues that arise when food is shared from multiple sources by multiple swarms at multiple destinations. The self organizing nature of natural honey bee swarms in multiple colonies is based on the principle of energy consumption. Swarms of multiple colonies select a food source to optimally fulfill the requirements of its colonies. This is based on the energy requirement for transporting food between a source and destination. Minimum use of energy leads to maximizing profit in each colony. The mathematical model proposed here is based on this principle. This has been successfully evaluated by applying it on multi-objective transportation problem for optimizing cost and time. The algorithm optimizes the needs at each destination in linear time.

  4. Elucidating the mechanisms underlying the beneficial health effects of dietary pollen on honey bees (Apis mellifera) infested by Varroa mite ectoparasites

    OpenAIRE

    Annoscia, Desiderato; Zanni, Virginia; Galbraith, David; Quirici, Anna; Grozinger, Christina; Bortolomeazzi, Renzo; Nazzi, Francesco

    2017-01-01

    Parasites and pathogens of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) are key factors underlying colony losses, which are threatening the beekeeping industry and agriculture as a whole. To control the spread and development of pathogen infections within the colony, honey bees use plant resins with antibiotic activity, but little is known about the properties of other substances, that are mainly used as a foodstuff, for controlling possible diseases both at the individual and colony level. In this study, ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Rodríguez

    2014-04-01

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

  6. Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus: Epidemiology, Pathogenesis and Implications for Honey Bee Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yan Ping; Pettis, Jeffery S.; Corona, Miguel; Chen, Wei Ping; Li, Cong Jun; Spivak, Marla; Visscher, P. Kirk; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Boncristiani, Humberto; Zhao, Yan; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Delaplane, Keith; Solter, Leellen; Drummond, Francis; Kramer, Matthew; Lipkin, W. Ian; Palacios, Gustavo; Hamilton, Michele C.; Smith, Barton; Huang, Shao Kang; Zheng, Huo Qing; Li, Ji Lian; Zhang, Xuan; Zhou, Ai Fen; Wu, Li You; Zhou, Ji Zhong; Lee, Myeong-L.; Teixeira, Erica W.; Li, Zhi Guo; Evans, Jay D.

    2014-01-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a widespread RNA virus of honey bees that has been linked with colony losses. Here we describe the transmission, prevalence, and genetic traits of this virus, along with host transcriptional responses to infections. Further, we present RNAi-based strategies for limiting an important mechanism used by IAPV to subvert host defenses. Our study shows that IAPV is established as a persistent infection in honey bee populations, likely enabled by both horizontal and vertical transmission pathways. The phenotypic differences in pathology among different strains of IAPV found globally may be due to high levels of standing genetic variation. Microarray profiles of host responses to IAPV infection revealed that mitochondrial function is the most significantly affected biological process, suggesting that viral infection causes significant disturbance in energy-related host processes. The expression of genes involved in immune pathways in adult bees indicates that IAPV infection triggers active immune responses. The evidence that silencing an IAPV-encoded putative suppressor of RNAi reduces IAPV replication suggests a functional assignment for a particular genomic region of IAPV and closely related viruses from the Family Dicistroviridae, and indicates a novel therapeutic strategy for limiting multiple honey bee viruses simultaneously and reducing colony losses due to viral diseases. We believe that the knowledge and insights gained from this study will provide a new platform for continuing studies of the IAPV–host interactions and have positive implications for disease management that will lead to mitigation of escalating honey bee colony losses worldwide. PMID:25079600

  7. Coevolution of honey bee and flower ing plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. Gasanov

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available High adaptive ability of honey bee allow them notoney to settle versions ecological niches but to in flucuce favorably on their stability and productivity as a result of mutual coadaption honey bee and flowering plants.

  8. A honey bee can threat ear: Sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Düzenli, Ufuk; Bozan, Nazım; Ayral, Abdurrahman; Yalınkılıç, Abdülaziz; Kıroğlu, Ahmet Faruk

    2017-11-01

    Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is an otologic emergency. Many etiological factors can lead to this pathology. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) sting may lead to local and systemic reactions due to sensitization of the patient. In this paper we described a sudden sensorineural hearing loss occurred after honey bee sting. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Stingless Bee Honey, the Natural Wound Healer: A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abd Jalil, Mohd Azri; Kasmuri, Abdul Razak; Hadi, Hazrina

    2017-01-01

    The stingless bee is a natural type of bee that exists in almost every continent. The honey produced by this bee has been widely used across time and space. The distinctive feature of this honey is that it is stored naturally in the pot (cerumen), thus contributing to its beneficial properties, especially in the wound healing process. In this article, several studies on stingless bee honey that pointed out the numerous therapeutic profiles of this honey in terms of its antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, as well as moisturizing properties are reviewed. All of these therapeutic properties are related to wound healing properties. Antioxidant in stingless bee honey could break the chain of free radicals that cause a detrimental effect to the wounded area. Furthermore, the antimicrobial properties of stingless bee honey could overcome the bacterial contamination and thus improve the healing rate. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory attribute in this honey could protect the tissue from highly toxic inflammatory mediators. The moisturizing properties of the honey could improve wound healing by promoting angiogenesis and oxygen circulation. The application of honey to the wound has been widely used since ancient times. As a result, it is essential to understand the pharmacological mechanism of the honey towards the physiology of the wounded skin in order to optimize the healing rate in the future. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Patrick; Grozinger, Christina M.

    2008-08-01

    Most animals can modulate nutrient storage pathways according to changing environmental conditions, but in honey bees nutrient storage is also modulated according to changing behavioral tasks within a colony. Specifically, bees involved in brood care (nurses) have higher lipid stores in their abdominal fat bodies than forager bees. Pheromone communication plays an important role in regulating honey bee behavior and physiology. In particular, queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) slows the transition from nursing to foraging. We tested the effects of QMP exposure on starvation resistance, lipid storage, and gene expression in the fat bodies of worker bees. We found that indeed QMP-treated bees survived much longer compared to control bees when starved and also had higher lipid levels. Expression of vitellogenin RNA, which encodes a yolk protein that is found at higher levels in nurses than foragers, was also higher in the fat bodies of QMP-treated bees. No differences were observed in expression of genes involved in insulin signaling pathways, which are associated with nutrient storage and metabolism in a variety of species; thus, other mechanisms may be involved in increasing the lipid stores. These studies demonstrate that pheromone exposure can modify nutrient storage pathways and fat body gene expression in honey bees and suggest that chemical communication and social interactions play an important role in altering metabolic pathways.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Corby-Harris

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Maes, Patrick; Anderson, Kirk E

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Lithium chloride effectively kills the honey bee parasite Varroa destructor by a systemic mode of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegelmann, Bettina; Abele, Elisabeth; Hannus, Stefan; Beitzinger, Michaela; Berg, Stefan; Rosenkranz, Peter

    2018-01-12

    Honey bees are increasingly important in the pollination of crops and wild plants. Recent reports of the weakening and periodical high losses of managed honey bee colonies have alarmed beekeeper, farmers and scientists. Infestations with the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor in combination with its associated viruses have been identified as a crucial driver of these health problems. Although yearly treatments are required to prevent collapses of honey bee colonies, the number of effective acaricides is small and no new active compounds have been registered in the past 25 years. RNAi-based methods were proposed recently as a promising new tool. However, the application of these methods according to published protocols has led to a surprising discovery. Here, we show that the lithium chloride that was used to precipitate RNA and other lithium compounds is highly effective at killing Varroa mites when fed to host bees at low millimolar concentrations. Experiments with caged bees and brood-free artificial swarms consisting of a queen and several thousand bees clearly demonstrate the potential of lithium as miticidal agent with good tolerability in worker bees providing a promising basis for the development of an effective and easy-to-apply control method for mite treatment.

  1. Infectivity and virulence of Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis in commercially available North American honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei-Fone; Solter, Leellen; Aronstein, Katherine; Huang, Zachary

    2015-01-01

    Nosema ceranae infection is ubiquitous in western honey bees, Apis mellifera, in the United States and the pathogen has apparently replaced Nosema apis in colonies nationwide. Displacement of N. apis suggests that N. ceranae has competitive advantages but N. ceranae was significantly less infective and less virulent than N. apis in commercially available lineages of honey bees in studies conducted in Illinois and Texas. At 5 days post eclosion, the most susceptible age of adult bees tested, the mean ID50 for N. apis was 359 spores compared to 3217 N. ceranae spores, a nearly 9-fold difference. Infectivity of N. ceranae was also lower than N. apis for 24-h and 14-day worker bees. N. ceranae was less infective than reported in studies using European strains of honey bees, while N. apis infectivity, tested in the same cohort of honey bees, corresponded to results reported globally from 1972 to 2010. Mortality of worker bees was similar for both pathogens at a dosage of 50 spores and was not different from the uninfected controls, but was significantly higher for N. apis than N. ceranae at dosages ⩾500 spores. Our results provide comparisons for evaluating research using different ages of bees and pathogen dosages and clarify some controversies. In addition, comparisons among studies suggest that the mixed lineages of US honey bees may be less susceptible to N. ceranae infections than are European bees or that the US isolates of the pathogen are less infective and less virulent than European isolates. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    David A Galbraith

    2015-03-01

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

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

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    Brock A Harpur

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Honey bee lines selected for high propolis production also have superior hygienic behavior and increased honey and pollen stores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicodemo, D; De Jong, D; Couto, R H N; Malheiros, E B

    2013-12-19

    Honey bees use propolis to defend against invaders and disease organisms. As some colonies produce much more propolis than others, we investigated whether propolis collecting is associated with disease resistance traits, including hygienic behavior and resistance to the parasitic bee mite, Varroa destructor. The three highest (HP) and three lowest propolis-producing (LP) colonies among 36 Africanized honey bee colonies were initially selected. Queens and drones from these colonies were crossed through artificial insemination to produce five colonies of each of the following crosses: HP♀ X HP♂, LP♀ X HP♂, HP♀ X LP♂, and LP♀ X LP♂. Colonies headed by HP♀ X HP♂ queens produced significantly more propolis than those with HP♀ X LP♂ and LP♀ X HP♂ queens and these in turn produced significantly more propolis than those headed by LP♀ X LP♂ queens. The brood cell uncapping rate of the high-propolis-producing colonies in the hygienic behavior test was significantly superior to that of the other groups. The LP X LP group was significantly less hygienic than the two HP X LP crosses, based on the evaluation of the rate of removal of pin-killed pupae. The HP X HP colonies were significantly more hygienic than the other crosses. No significant differences were found in mite infestation rates among the groups of colonies; although overall, colony infestation rates were quite low (1.0 to 3.2 mites per 100 brood cells), which could have masked such effects. Honey and pollen stores were significantly and positively correlated with propolis production.

  6. In Vitro Infection of Pupae with Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus Suggests Disturbance of Transcriptional Homeostasis in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boncristiani, Humberto F.; Evans, Jay D.; Chen, Yanping; Pettis, Jeff; Murphy, Charles; Lopez, Dawn L.; Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Strand, Micheline; Tarpy, David R.; Rueppell, Olav

    2013-01-01

    The ongoing decline of honey bee health worldwide is a serious economic and ecological concern. One major contributor to the decline are pathogens, including several honey bee viruses. However, information is limited on the biology of bee viruses and molecular interactions with their hosts. An experimental protocol to test these systems was developed, using injections of Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) into honey bee pupae reared ex-situ under laboratory conditions. The infected pupae developed pronounced but variable patterns of disease. Symptoms varied from complete cessation of development with no visual evidence of disease to rapid darkening of a part or the entire body. Considerable differences in IAPV titer dynamics were observed, suggesting significant variation in resistance to IAPV among and possibly within honey bee colonies. Thus, selective breeding for virus resistance should be possible. Gene expression analyses of three separate experiments suggest IAPV disruption of transcriptional homeostasis of several fundamental cellular functions, including an up-regulation of the ribosomal biogenesis pathway. These results provide first insights into the mechanisms of IAPV pathogenicity. They mirror a transcriptional survey of honey bees afflicted with Colony Collapse Disorder and thus support the hypothesis that viruses play a critical role in declining honey bee health. PMID:24039938

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humberto F Boncristiani

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

  8. Radionuclide Concentrations in Honey Bees from Area G at TA-54 during 1999

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    T. K. Haarmann; P. R. Fresquez

    2000-06-01

    Honey bees were collected from two colonies located at Los Alamos National Laboratory's Area G, Technical Area 54, and from one control (background) colony located near Jemez Springs, NM. Samples were analyzed for various radionuclides. Area G sample results from both colonies were higher than the upper (95%) level background concentration for {sup 3}H. Sample results from one colony were higher than the upper (95%) level background concentration for total uranium, while sample results from the other colony were higher than the upper (95%) level background concentration for {sup 90}Sr.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zavodna Lucie Sara

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  11. Honey bee foraging ecology: Season but not landscape diversity shapes the amount and diversity of collected pollen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danner, Nadja; Keller, Alexander; Härtel, Stephan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2017-01-01

    The availability of pollen in agricultural landscapes is essential for the successful growth and reproduction of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera L.). The quantity and diversity of collected pollen can influence the growth and health of honey bee colonies, but little is known about the influence of landscape structure on pollen diet. In a field experiment, we rotated 16 honey bee colonies across 16 agricultural landscapes, used traps to collect samples of collected pollen and observed intra-colonial dance communication to gain information about foraging distances. DNA metabarcoding was applied to analyze mixed pollen samples. Neither the amount of collected pollen nor pollen diversity was related to landscape diversity. However, we found a strong seasonal variation in the amount and diversity of collected pollen in all sites independent of landscape diversity. The observed increase in foraging distances with decreasing landscape diversity suggests that honey bees compensated for lower landscape diversity by increasing their pollen foraging range in order to maintain pollen amount and diversity. Our results underscore the importance of a diverse pollen diet for honey bee colonies. Agri-environmental schemes aiming to support pollinators should focus on possible spatial and temporal gaps in pollen availability and diversity in agricultural landscapes.

  12. Honey bee foraging ecology: Season but not landscape diversity shapes the amount and diversity of collected pollen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadja Danner

    Full Text Available The availability of pollen in agricultural landscapes is essential for the successful growth and reproduction of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera L.. The quantity and diversity of collected pollen can influence the growth and health of honey bee colonies, but little is known about the influence of landscape structure on pollen diet. In a field experiment, we rotated 16 honey bee colonies across 16 agricultural landscapes, used traps to collect samples of collected pollen and observed intra-colonial dance communication to gain information about foraging distances. DNA metabarcoding was applied to analyze mixed pollen samples. Neither the amount of collected pollen nor pollen diversity was related to landscape diversity. However, we found a strong seasonal variation in the amount and diversity of collected pollen in all sites independent of landscape diversity. The observed increase in foraging distances with decreasing landscape diversity suggests that honey bees compensated for lower landscape diversity by increasing their pollen foraging range in order to maintain pollen amount and diversity. Our results underscore the importance of a diverse pollen diet for honey bee colonies. Agri-environmental schemes aiming to support pollinators should focus on possible spatial and temporal gaps in pollen availability and diversity in agricultural landscapes.

  13. The neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin affect the immunocompetence of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Annely; Gorenflo, Anna; Siede, Reinhold; Meixner, Marina; Büchler, Ralph

    2016-03-01

    A strong immune defense is vital for honey bee health and colony survival. This defense can be weakened by environmental factors that may render honey bees more vulnerable to parasites and pathogens. Honey bees are frequently exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are being discussed as one of the stress factors that may lead to colony failure. We investigated the sublethal effects of the neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin on individual immunity, by studying three major aspects of immunocompetence in worker bees: total hemocyte number, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity of the hemolymph. In laboratory experiments, we found a strong impact of all three neonicotinoids. Thiacloprid (24h oral exposure, 200 μg/l or 2000 μg/l) and imidacloprid (1 μg/l or 10 μg/l) reduced hemocyte density, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity even at field realistic concentrations. Clothianidin had an effect on these immune parameters only at higher than field realistic concentrations (50-200 μg/l). These results suggest that neonicotinoids affect the individual immunocompetence of honey bees, possibly leading to an impaired disease resistance capacity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Role of Human Action in the Spread of Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, Robert

    2017-06-01

    The increased annual losses in European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in North America and some other countries is usually attributed to a range of factors including pathogens, poor nutrition, and insecticides. In this essay, I will argue that the global trade in honey bees and migratory beekeeping practices within countries has enabled pathogens to spread quickly. Beekeepers' management strategies have also contributed to the spread of pathogens as well as the development of resistance to miticides and antibiotics, and exacerbated by hobby beekeepers. The opportunities for arresting honey bee declines rest as strongly with individual beekeepers as they do with the dynamics of disease. © 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees are highly valued for their pollination services in agricultural settings, and recent declines in managed populations have caused concern. Colony losses following a major pollination event in the United States, almond pollination, have been characterized by brood mortality with specific symptoms, followed by eventual colony loss weeks later. In this study, we demonstrate that these symptoms can be produced by chronically exposing brood to both an organosilicone surfactant adjuvant ...

  17. Effects of Nosema apis, N. ceranae, and coinfections on honey bee (Apis mellifera) learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charbonneau, Lise R; Hillier, Neil Kirk; Rogers, Richard E L; Williams, Geoffrey R; Shutler, Dave

    2016-03-10

    Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) face an increasing number of challenges that in recent years have led to significant economic effects on apiculture, with attendant consequences for agriculture. Nosemosis is a fungal infection of honey bees caused by either Nosema apis or N. ceranae. The putative greater virulence of N. ceranae has spurred interest in understanding how it differs from N. apis. Little is known of effects of N. apis or N. ceranae on honey bee learning and memory. Following a Pavlovian model that relies on the proboscis extension reflex, we compared acquisition learning and long-term memory recall of uninfected (control) honey bees versus those inoculated with N. apis, N. ceranae, or both. We also tested whether spore intensity was associated with variation in learning and memory. Neither learning nor memory differed among treatments. There was no evidence of a relationship between spore intensity and learning, and only limited evidence of a negative effect on memory; this occurred only in the co-inoculation treatment. Our results suggest that if Nosema spp. are contributing to unusually high colony losses in recent years, the mechanism by which they may affect honey bees is probably not related to effects on learning or memory, at least as assessed by the proboscis extension reflex.

  18. Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm for Solving Optimal Power Flow Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luong Le Dinh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes an artificial bee colony (ABC algorithm for solving optimal power flow (OPF problem. The objective of the OPF problem is to minimize total cost of thermal units while satisfying the unit and system constraints such as generator capacity limits, power balance, line flow limits, bus voltages limits, and transformer tap settings limits. The ABC algorithm is an optimization method inspired from the foraging behavior of honey bees. The proposed algorithm has been tested on the IEEE 30-bus, 57-bus, and 118-bus systems. The numerical results have indicated that the proposed algorithm can find high quality solution for the problem in a fast manner via the result comparisons with other methods in the literature. Therefore, the proposed ABC algorithm can be a favorable method for solving the OPF problem.

  19. Molecular Prevalence of Acarapis Mite Infestations in Honey Bees in Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Ah-Jin; Ahn, Kyu-Sung; Noh, Jin-Hyeong; Kim, Young-Ha; Yoo, Mi-Sun; Kang, Seung-Won; Yu, Do-Hyeon; Shin, Sung Shik

    2015-06-01

    Acarapis mites, including Acarapis woodi, Acarapis externus, and Acarapis dorsalis, are parasites of bees which can cause severe damage to the bee industry by destroying colonies and decreasing honey production. All 3 species are prevalent throughout many countries including UK, USA, Iran, Turkey, China, and Japan. Based on previous reports of Acarapis mites occurring in northeast Asia, including China and Japan, we investigated a survey of Acarapis mite infestations in honey bees in Korean apiaries. A total of 99 colonies of Apis mellifera were sampled from 5 provinces. The head and thorax of 20 bees from each colony were removed for DNA extraction. PCR assays were performed with 3 primer sets, including T, A, and K primers. Results indicated that 42.4% (42/99) of samples were Acarapis-positive by PCR assay which were sequenced to identify species. Each sequence showed 92.6-99.3% homology with reference sequences. Based on the homology, the number of colonies infected with A. dorsalis was 32 which showed the highest infection rate among the 3 species, while the number of colonies infected with A. externus and A. woodi was 9 and 1, respectively. However, none of the Acarapis mites were morphologically detected. This result could be explained that all apiaries in the survey used acaricides against bee mites such as Varroa destructor and Tropilaelaps clareae which also affect against Acarapis mites. Based on this study, it is highly probable that Acarapis mites as well as Varroa and Tropilaelaps could be prevalent in Korean apiaries.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael D; Spivak, Marla

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Simone-Finstrom

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

  2. High-Resolution Linkage Analyses to Identify Genes That Influence Varroa Sensitive Hygiene Behavior in Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varroa mites (V. destructor) are a major threat to honey bees (Apis melilfera) and beekeeping worldwide and likely lead to colony decline if colonies are not treated. Most treatments involve chemical control of the mites; however, Varroa has evolved resistance to many of these miticides, leaving be...

  3. Development and validation of a real-time two-step RT-qPCR TaqMan(®) assay for quantitation of Sacbrood virus (SBV) and its application to a field survey of symptomatic honey bee colonies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blanchard, Philippe; Guillot, Sylvain; Antùnez, Karina

    2014-01-01

    Sacbrood virus (SBV) is the causal agent of a disease of honey bee larvae, resulting in failure to pupate and causing death. The typical clinical symptom of SBV is an accumulation of SBV-rich fluid in swollen sub-cuticular pouches, forming the characteristic fluid-filled sac that gives its name t...

  4. Influence of Pollen Nutrition on Honey Bee Health: Do Pollen Quality and Diversity Matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee colonies are highly dependent upon the availability of floral resources from which they get the nutrients (notably pollen) necessary to their development and survival. However, foraging areas are currently affected by the intensification of agriculture and landscape alteration. Bees are therefore confronted to disparities in time and space of floral resource abundance, type and diversity, which might provide inadequate nutrition and endanger colonies. The beneficial influence of pollen availability on bee health is well-established but whether quality and diversity of pollen diets can modify bee health remains largely unknown. We therefore tested the influence of pollen diet quality (different monofloral pollens) and diversity (polyfloral pollen diet) on the physiology of young nurse bees, which have a distinct nutritional physiology (e.g. hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin level), and on the tolerance to the microsporidian parasite Nosemaceranae by measuring bee survival and the activity of different enzymes potentially involved in bee health and defense response (glutathione-S-transferase (detoxification), phenoloxidase (immunity) and alkaline phosphatase (metabolism)). We found that both nurse bee physiology and the tolerance to the parasite were affected by pollen quality. Pollen diet diversity had no effect on the nurse bee physiology and the survival of healthy bees. However, when parasitized, bees fed with the polyfloral blend lived longer than bees fed with monofloral pollens, excepted for the protein-richest monofloral pollen. Furthermore, the survival was positively correlated to alkaline phosphatase activity in healthy bees and to phenoloxydase activities in infected bees. Our results support the idea that both the quality and diversity (in a specific context) of pollen can shape bee physiology and might help to better understand the influence of agriculture and land-use intensification on bee nutrition and health. PMID:23940803

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garance Di Pasquale

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

  6. An Investigation of the Migration of Africanized Honey Bees into the Southern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Hector

    1997-01-01

    It is estimated that Apis mellifera scutellata, a honey bee subspecies from Africa, now extends over a 20 million square kilometer range that includes much of South America and practically all of Central America, and recently has been introduced to the southern United States. African honeybees were introduced into Brazil in 1956 by a Brazilian geneticist, Mr. Warwick Kerr. At the insistence of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, in 1957, 26 colonies were accidentally released in a eucalyptus forest outside S5o Paulo. The swelling front of the bees was recorded as traveling between 80 and 500 kilometers a year. David Roubik, one of the original killer bee team members estimated that there were one trillion individual Africanized/African honey bees in Latin America. An estimate that is thought to be conservative.

  7. Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus and Nosema ceranae Experimental Co-Infection of Winter Honey Bee Workers (Apis mellifera L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleš Gregorc

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV is an important viral disease of adult bees which induces significant losses in honey bee colonies. Despite comprehensive research, only limited data is available from experimental infection for this virus. In the present study winter worker bees were experimentally infected in three different experiments. Bees were first inoculated per os (p/o or per cuticle (p/c with CBPV field strain M92/2010 in order to evaluate the virus replication in individual bees. In addition, potential synergistic effects of co-infection with CBPV and Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae on bees were investigated. In total 558 individual bees were inoculated in small cages and data were analyzed using quantitative real time RT-PCR (RT-qPCR. Our results revealed successful replication of CBPV after p/o inoculation, while it was less effective when bees were inoculated p/c. Dead bees harbored about 1,000 times higher copy numbers of the virus than live bees. Co-infection of workers with CBPV and N. ceranae using either method of virus inoculation (p/c or p/o showed increased replication ability for CBPV. In the third experiment the effect of inoculation on bee mortality was evaluated. The highest level of bee mortality was observed in a group of bees inoculated with CBPV p/o, followed by a group of workers simultaneously inoculated with CBPV and N. ceranae p/o, followed by the group inoculated with CBPV p/c and the group with only N. ceranae p/o. The experimental infection with CBPV showed important differences after p/o or p/c inoculation in winter bees, while simultaneous infection with CBPV and N. ceranae suggesting a synergistic effect after inoculation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toplak, Ivan; Jamnikar Ciglenečki, Urška; Aronstein, Katherine; Gregorc, Aleš

    2013-09-19

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is an important viral disease of adult bees which induces significant losses in honey bee colonies. Despite comprehensive research, only limited data is available from experimental infection for this virus. In the present study winter worker bees were experimentally infected in three different experiments. Bees were first inoculated per os (p/o) or per cuticle (p/c) with CBPV field strain M92/2010 in order to evaluate the virus replication in individual bees. In addition, potential synergistic effects of co-infection with CBPV and Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae) on bees were investigated. In total 558 individual bees were inoculated in small cages and data were analyzed using quantitative real time RT-PCR (RT-qPCR). Our results revealed successful replication of CBPV after p/o inoculation, while it was less effective when bees were inoculated p/c. Dead bees harbored about 1,000 times higher copy numbers of the virus than live bees. Co-infection of workers with CBPV and N. ceranae using either method of virus inoculation (p/c or p/o) showed increased replication ability for CBPV. In the third experiment the effect of inoculation on bee mortality was evaluated. The highest level of bee mortality was observed in a group of bees inoculated with CBPV p/o, followed by a group of workers simultaneously inoculated with CBPV and N. ceranae p/o, followed by the group inoculated with CBPV p/c and the group with only N. ceranae p/o. The experimental infection with CBPV showed important differences after p/o or p/c inoculation in winter bees, while simultaneous infection with CBPV and N. ceranae suggesting a synergistic effect after inoculation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genersch, Elke; Aubert, Michel

    2010-01-01

    Until the late 1980s, specific viral infections of the honey bee were generally considered harmless in all countries. Then, with the worldwide introduction of the ectoparasite mite Varroa destructor, beekeepers encountered increasing difficulties in maintaining their colonies. Epidemiological surveys and laboratory experiments have demonstrated that the newly acquired virulence of several viruses belonging to the family Dicistroviridae (acute bee paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus) in Europe and the USA had been observed in relation with V. destructor acting as a disseminator of these viruses between and within bee colonies and as an activator of virus multiplication in the infected individuals: bee larvae and adults. Equal emphasis is given to deformed wing virus (DWV) belonging to the Iflaviridae. Overt outbreaks of DWV infections have been shown to be linked to the ability of V. destructor to act not only as a mechanical vector of DWV but also as a biological vector. Its replication in mites prior to its vectoring into pupae seemed to be necessary and sufficient for the induction of a overt infection in pupae developing in non-viable bees with deformed wings. DWV in V. destructor infested colonies is now considered as one of the key players of the final collapse. Various approaches for combating bee viral diseases are described: they include selection of tolerant bees, RNA interference and prevention of new pathogen introduction. None of these approaches are expected to lead to enhanced bee-health in the short term. PMID:20423694

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SOESILAWATI HADISOESILO

    2001-01-01

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

  12. Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Cavaliere, Valeria; Annoscia, Desiderato; Varricchio, Paola; Caprio, Emilio; Nazzi, Francesco; Gargiulo, Giuseppe; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2013-11-12

    Large-scale losses of honey bee colonies represent a poorly understood problem of global importance. Both biotic and abiotic factors are involved in this phenomenon that is often associated with high loads of parasites and pathogens. A stronger impact of pathogens in honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides has been reported, but the causal link between insecticide exposure and the possible immune alteration of honey bees remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin negatively modulates NF-κB immune signaling in insects and adversely affects honey bee antiviral defenses controlled by this transcription factor. We have identified in insects a negative modulator of NF-κB activation, which is a leucine-rich repeat protein. Exposure to clothianidin, by enhancing the transcription of the gene encoding this inhibitor, reduces immune defenses and promotes the replication of the deformed wing virus in honey bees bearing covert infections. This honey bee immunosuppression is similarly induced by a different neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, but not by the organophosphate chlorpyriphos, which does not affect NF-κB signaling. The occurrence at sublethal doses of this insecticide-induced viral proliferation suggests that the studied neonicotinoids might have a negative effect at the field level. Our experiments uncover a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and set the stage for studies on neural modulation of immunity in animals. Furthermore, this study has implications for the conservation of bees, as it will contribute to the definition of more appropriate guidelines for testing chronic or sublethal effects of pesticides used in agriculture.

  13. Radionuclide Concentrations in Honey Bees from Area G at TA-54 during 1998

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haarmann, T.K.; Fresquez, P.R.

    1999-06-01

    Honey bees were collected from two colonies located at Los Alamos National Laboratory's Area G, Technical Area 54, and from one control (background) colony located near Jemez Springs, NM. Samples were analyzed for various radionuclides. Area G sample results from both colonies were higher than the upper (95%) level background concentration for {sup 239,240}Pu, {sup 3}H, and total uranium. Sample results from one colony were higher than the upper (95%) level background concentration for {sup 238}Pu.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesovnik, Tanja; Zorc, Minja; Čitar, Manuela; Božič, Janko; Glavan, Gordana; Narat, Mojca

    2017-01-01

    Varroa destructor is one of the most common parasites of honey bee colonies and is considered as a possible co-factor for honey bee decline. At the same time, the use of pesticides in intensive agriculture is still the most effective method of pest control. There is limited information about the effects of pesticide exposure on parasitized honey bees. Larval ingestion of certain pesticides could have effects on honey bee immune defense mechanisms, development and metabolic pathways. Europe and America face the disturbing phenomenon of the disappearance of honey bee colonies, termed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). One reason discussed is the possible suppression of honey bee immune system as a consequence of prolonged exposure to chemicals. In this study, the effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica, pupae infested with Varroa destructor mites were analyzed at the molecular level. Varroa-infested and non-infested honey bee colonies received protein cakes with or without thiamethoxam. Nurse bees used these cakes as a feed for developing larvae. Samples of white-eyed and brown-eyed pupae were collected. Expression of 17 immune-related genes was analyzed by real-time PCR. Relative gene expression in samples exposed only to Varroa or to thiamethoxam or simultaneously to both Varroa and thiamethoxam was compared. The impact from the consumption of thiamethoxam during the larval stage on honey bee immune related gene expression in Varroa-infested white-eyed pupae was reflected as down-regulation of spaetzle, AMPs abaecin and defensin-1 and up-regulation of lysozyme-2. In brown-eyed pupae up-regulation of PPOact, spaetzle, hopscotch and basket genes was detected. Moreover, we observed a major difference in immune response to Varroa infestation between white-eyed pupae and brown-eyed pupae. The majority of tested immune-related genes were upregulated only in brown-eyed pupae, while in white-eyed pupae they were downregulated. PMID

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesovnik, Tanja; Cizelj, Ivanka; Zorc, Minja; Čitar, Manuela; Božič, Janko; Glavan, Gordana; Narat, Mojca

    2017-01-01

    Varroa destructor is one of the most common parasites of honey bee colonies and is considered as a possible co-factor for honey bee decline. At the same time, the use of pesticides in intensive agriculture is still the most effective method of pest control. There is limited information about the effects of pesticide exposure on parasitized honey bees. Larval ingestion of certain pesticides could have effects on honey bee immune defense mechanisms, development and metabolic pathways. Europe and America face the disturbing phenomenon of the disappearance of honey bee colonies, termed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). One reason discussed is the possible suppression of honey bee immune system as a consequence of prolonged exposure to chemicals. In this study, the effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica, pupae infested with Varroa destructor mites were analyzed at the molecular level. Varroa-infested and non-infested honey bee colonies received protein cakes with or without thiamethoxam. Nurse bees used these cakes as a feed for developing larvae. Samples of white-eyed and brown-eyed pupae were collected. Expression of 17 immune-related genes was analyzed by real-time PCR. Relative gene expression in samples exposed only to Varroa or to thiamethoxam or simultaneously to both Varroa and thiamethoxam was compared. The impact from the consumption of thiamethoxam during the larval stage on honey bee immune related gene expression in Varroa-infested white-eyed pupae was reflected as down-regulation of spaetzle, AMPs abaecin and defensin-1 and up-regulation of lysozyme-2. In brown-eyed pupae up-regulation of PPOact, spaetzle, hopscotch and basket genes was detected. Moreover, we observed a major difference in immune response to Varroa infestation between white-eyed pupae and brown-eyed pupae. The majority of tested immune-related genes were upregulated only in brown-eyed pupae, while in white-eyed pupae they were downregulated.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja Tesovnik

    Full Text Available Varroa destructor is one of the most common parasites of honey bee colonies and is considered as a possible co-factor for honey bee decline. At the same time, the use of pesticides in intensive agriculture is still the most effective method of pest control. There is limited information about the effects of pesticide exposure on parasitized honey bees. Larval ingestion of certain pesticides could have effects on honey bee immune defense mechanisms, development and metabolic pathways. Europe and America face the disturbing phenomenon of the disappearance of honey bee colonies, termed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD. One reason discussed is the possible suppression of honey bee immune system as a consequence of prolonged exposure to chemicals. In this study, the effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica, pupae infested with Varroa destructor mites were analyzed at the molecular level. Varroa-infested and non-infested honey bee colonies received protein cakes with or without thiamethoxam. Nurse bees used these cakes as a feed for developing larvae. Samples of white-eyed and brown-eyed pupae were collected. Expression of 17 immune-related genes was analyzed by real-time PCR. Relative gene expression in samples exposed only to Varroa or to thiamethoxam or simultaneously to both Varroa and thiamethoxam was compared. The impact from the consumption of thiamethoxam during the larval stage on honey bee immune related gene expression in Varroa-infested white-eyed pupae was reflected as down-regulation of spaetzle, AMPs abaecin and defensin-1 and up-regulation of lysozyme-2. In brown-eyed pupae up-regulation of PPOact, spaetzle, hopscotch and basket genes was detected. Moreover, we observed a major difference in immune response to Varroa infestation between white-eyed pupae and brown-eyed pupae. The majority of tested immune-related genes were upregulated only in brown-eyed pupae, while in white-eyed pupae they were

  18. Honey Bee Colonies Headed by Hyperpolyandrous Queens Have Improved Brood Rearing Efficiency and Lower Infestation Rates of Parasitic Varroa Mites: e0142985

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Delaplane, Keith S; Pietravalle, Stephane; Brown, Mike A; Budge, Giles E

    2015-01-01

    ... against benefits to the colony. Effective mating numbers as high as 40 have been documented, begging the question of the upper bounds of this behavior that can be expected to confer colony benefit...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  20. Nosema ceranae Escapes Fumagillin Control in Honey Bees: e1003185

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wei-Fone Huang; Leellen F Solter; Peter M Yau; Brian S Imai

    2013-01-01

      Fumagillin is the only antibiotic approved for control of nosema disease in honey bees and has been extensively used in United States apiculture for more than 50 years for control of Nosema apis...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dinko Hristov Dinkov

    2014-03-01

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

  2. Antibacterial Activity of Melittin Derived from Honey Bee Venom

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mohsen Momenzadeh; Delavar Shahbazzadeh; Mohammad Dakhili; Mohammad Reza Zolfaghari; Kamran Pooshang Bagheri

    2014-01-01

    .... During the past decade, tracing for natural antimicrobial peptide is more considered. Among them, melittin has been extracted from honey bee venom and its antibacterial activity is being examined...

  3. Massive honey bee envenomation-induced rhabdomyolysis in an adolescent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betten, David P; Richardson, William H; Tong, Tri C; Clark, Richard F

    2006-01-01

    Massive envenomations by honey bees are capable of causing multiorgan dysfunction as a result of the direct toxic effects of the large venom load received. Although all varieties of honey bee have the potential for these attacks, the Africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata) is the most commonly implicated subspecies. In the United States, the Africanized strain is found primarily in the southwestern states and is known for its highly defensive behavior if disturbed. Mechanisms behind the multiorgan dysfunction produced by these mass envenomations are not clearly understood. We present a case of a 13-year-old male who was stung by approximately 700 honey bees and developed progressive upper-body swelling and systemic manifestations of mass envenomation including rhabdomyolysis, renal insufficiency, and a transient transaminase elevation.

  4. Temporal Variation in Honey Production by the Stingless Bee Melipona subnitida (Hymenoptera: Apidae): Long-Term Management Reveals its Potential as a Commercial Species in Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koffler, Sheina; Menezes, Cristiano; Menezes, Paulo Roberto; Kleinert, Astrid de Matos Peixoto; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera Lucia; Pope, Nathaniel; Jaffé, Rodolfo

    2015-06-01

    Even though stingless beekeeping has a great potential as a sustainable development tool, the activity remains essentially informal, technical knowledge is scarce, and management practices lack the sophistication and standardization found in apiculture. Here, we contributed to the further development of stingless beekeeping by investigating the long-term impact of management and climate on honey production and colony survival in the stingless bee Melipona subnitida Ducke (1910). We analyzed a 10-yr record of 155 M. subnitida colonies kept by a commercial honey producer of northeastern Brazil. This constitutes the longest and most accurate record available for a stingless bee. We modeled honey production in relation to time (years), age, management practices (colony division and food supplementation), and climatic factors (temperature and precipitation), and used a model selection approach to identify which factors best explained honey production. We also modeled colony mortality in relation to climatic factors. Although the amount of honey produced by each colony decreased over time, we found that the probability of producing honey increased over the years. Colony divisions decreased honey production, but did not affect honey presence, while supplementary feeding positively affected honey production. In warmer years, the probability of producing honey decreased and the amount of honey produced was lower. In years with lower precipitation, fewer colonies produced honey. In contrast, colony mortality was not affected by climatic factors, and some colonies lived up to nine years, enduring extreme climatic conditions. Our findings provide useful guidelines to improve management and honey production in stingless bees. © 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.

  5. Honey bee Apis mellifera parasites in the absence of Nosema ceranae fungi and Varroa destructor mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shutler, Dave; Head, Krista; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L; Colwell, Megan J; Levitt, Abby L; Ostiguy, Nancy; Williams, Geoffrey R

    2014-01-01

    Few areas of the world have western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies that are free of invasive parasites Nosema ceranae (fungi) and Varroa destructor (mites). Particularly detrimental is V. destructor; in addition to feeding on host haemolymph, these mites are important vectors of several viruses that are further implicated as contributors to honey bee mortality around the world. Thus, the biogeography and attendant consequences of viral communities in the absence of V. destructor are of significant interest. The island of Newfoundland, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is free of V. destructor; the absence of N. ceranae has not been confirmed. Of 55 Newfoundland colonies inspected visually for their strength and six signs of disease, only K-wing had prevalence above 5% (40/55 colonies = 72.7%). Similar to an earlier study, screenings again confirmed the absence of V. destructor, small hive beetles Aethina tumida (Murray), tracheal mites Acarapis woodi (Rennie), and Tropilaelaps spp. ectoparasitic mites. Of a subset of 23 colonies screened molecularly for viruses, none had Israeli acute paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, or sacbrood virus. Sixteen of 23 colonies (70.0%) were positive for black queen cell virus, and 21 (91.3%) had some evidence for deformed wing virus. No N. ceranae was detected in molecular screens of 55 colonies, although it is possible extremely low intensity infections exist; the more familiar N. apis was found in 53 colonies (96.4%). Under these conditions, K-wing was associated (positively) with colony strength; however, viruses and N. apis were not. Furthermore, black queen cell virus was positively and negatively associated with K-wing and deformed wing virus, respectively. Newfoundland honey bee colonies are thus free of several invasive parasites that plague operations in other parts of the world, and they provide a unique research arena to study independent pathology of the parasites that are present.

  6. Honey bee Apis mellifera parasites in the absence of Nosema ceranae fungi and Varroa destructor mites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dave Shutler

    Full Text Available Few areas of the world have western honey bee (Apis mellifera colonies that are free of invasive parasites Nosema ceranae (fungi and Varroa destructor (mites. Particularly detrimental is V. destructor; in addition to feeding on host haemolymph, these mites are important vectors of several viruses that are further implicated as contributors to honey bee mortality around the world. Thus, the biogeography and attendant consequences of viral communities in the absence of V. destructor are of significant interest. The island of Newfoundland, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is free of V. destructor; the absence of N. ceranae has not been confirmed. Of 55 Newfoundland colonies inspected visually for their strength and six signs of disease, only K-wing had prevalence above 5% (40/55 colonies = 72.7%. Similar to an earlier study, screenings again confirmed the absence of V. destructor, small hive beetles Aethina tumida (Murray, tracheal mites Acarapis woodi (Rennie, and Tropilaelaps spp. ectoparasitic mites. Of a subset of 23 colonies screened molecularly for viruses, none had Israeli acute paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, or sacbrood virus. Sixteen of 23 colonies (70.0% were positive for black queen cell virus, and 21 (91.3% had some evidence for deformed wing virus. No N. ceranae was detected in molecular screens of 55 colonies, although it is possible extremely low intensity infections exist; the more familiar N. apis was found in 53 colonies (96.4%. Under these conditions, K-wing was associated (positively with colony strength; however, viruses and N. apis were not. Furthermore, black queen cell virus was positively and negatively associated with K-wing and deformed wing virus, respectively. Newfoundland honey bee colonies are thus free of several invasive parasites that plague operations in other parts of the world, and they provide a unique research arena to study independent pathology of the parasites that are present.

  7. Characteristics of honey bee and non-Apis bee (Hymenoptera) farms in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, Z; Melhim, A; Weersink, A

    2012-08-01

    Here, we present a farm-level, Canada-wide analysis of Canadian bee farms in 2006; this article is the first report to distinguish between honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) farms and non-Apis bee (Hymenoptera) farms. Farms are characterized according to bee species, bee stocks, and whether the farm makes 50% or more of gross sales from bee-related activities. Farm characteristics, including bee stocks, gross sales, capital investments, land base, specialization, location, and operator demographics, are reported for the different farm types and sizes. Non-Apis bee farms are revealed to be a nontrivial part of the Canadian bee industry: 21.2% of Canadian bee farms have non-Apis bees and 16.6% have exclusively non-Apis bees. Important differences between honey bee farms and non-Apis bee farms also are found. These differences include the more land-intensive nature of non-Apis bee farms and the finding that non-Apis bee farms have greater diversity in terms of their primary commodity, even at higher bee stock levels.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urlacher, Elodie; Tarr, Ingrid S; Mercer, Alison R

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damiani Natalia

    2017-12-01

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

  10. Three QTL in the honey bee Apis mellifera L. suppress reproduction of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrens, Dieter; Huang, Qiang; Geßner, Cornelia; Rosenkranz, Peter; Frey, Eva; Locke, Barbara; Moritz, Robin F A; Kraus, F B

    2011-01-01

    Varroa destructor is a highly virulent ectoparasitic mite of the honey bee Apis mellifera and a major cause of colony losses for global apiculture. Typically, chemical treatment is essential to control the parasite population in the honey bee colony. Nevertheless a few honey bee populations survive mite infestation without any treatment. We used one such Varroa mite tolerant honey bee lineage from the island of Gotland, Sweden, to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling reduced mite reproduction. We crossed a queen from this tolerant population with drones from susceptible colonies to rear hybrid queens. Two hybrid queens were used to produce a mapping population of haploid drones. We discriminated drone pupae with and without mite reproduction, and screened the genome for potential QTL using a total of 216 heterozygous microsatellite markers in a bulk segregant analysis. Subsequently, we fine mapped three candidate target regions on chromosomes 4, 7, and 9. Although the individual effect of these three QTL was found to be relatively small, the set of all three had significant impact on suppression of V. destructor reproduction by epistasis. Although it is in principle possible to use these loci for marker-assisted selection, the strong epistatic effects between the three loci complicate selective breeding programs with the Gotland Varroa tolerant honey bee stock. PMID:22393513

  11. Three QTL in the honey bee Apis mellifera L. suppress reproduction of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrens, Dieter; Huang, Qiang; Geßner, Cornelia; Rosenkranz, Peter; Frey, Eva; Locke, Barbara; Moritz, Robin F A; Kraus, F B

    2011-12-01

    Varroa destructor is a highly virulent ectoparasitic mite of the honey bee Apis mellifera and a major cause of colony losses for global apiculture. Typically, chemical treatment is essential to control the parasite population in the honey bee colony. Nevertheless a few honey bee populations survive mite infestation without any treatment. We used one such Varroa mite tolerant honey bee lineage from the island of Gotland, Sweden, to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling reduced mite reproduction. We crossed a queen from this tolerant population with drones from susceptible colonies to rear hybrid queens. Two hybrid queens were used to produce a mapping population of haploid drones. We discriminated drone pupae with and without mite reproduction, and screened the genome for potential QTL using a total of 216 heterozygous microsatellite markers in a bulk segregant analysis. Subsequently, we fine mapped three candidate target regions on chromosomes 4, 7, and 9. Although the individual effect of these three QTL was found to be relatively small, the set of all three had significant impact on suppression of V. destructor reproduction by epistasis. Although it is in principle possible to use these loci for marker-assisted selection, the strong epistatic effects between the three loci complicate selective breeding programs with the Gotland Varroa tolerant honey bee stock.

  12. Large-scale field application of RNAi technology reducing Israeli acute paralysis virus disease in honey bees (Apis mellifera, Hymenoptera: Apidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wayne Hunter

    Full Text Available The importance of honey bees to the world economy far surpasses their contribution in terms of honey production; they are responsible for up to 30% of the world's food production through pollination of crops. Since fall 2006, honey bees in the U.S. have faced a serious population decline, due in part to a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD, which is a disease syndrome that is likely caused by several factors. Data from an initial study in which investigators compared pathogens in honey bees affected by CCD suggested a putative role for Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, IAPV. This is a single stranded RNA virus with no DNA stage placed taxonomically within the family Dicistroviridae. Although subsequent studies have failed to find IAPV in all CCD diagnosed colonies, IAPV has been shown to cause honey bee mortality. RNA interference technology (RNAi has been used successfully to silence endogenous insect (including honey bee genes both by injection and feeding. Moreover, RNAi was shown to prevent bees from succumbing to infection from IAPV under laboratory conditions. In the current study IAPV specific homologous dsRNA was used in the field, under natural beekeeping conditions in order to prevent mortality and improve the overall health of bees infected with IAPV. This controlled study included a total of 160 honey bee hives in two discrete climates, seasons and geographical locations (Florida and Pennsylvania. To our knowledge, this is the first successful large-scale real world use of RNAi for disease control.

  13. Large-Scale Field Application of RNAi Technology Reducing Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus Disease in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera, Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Wayne; Ellis, James; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Hayes, Jerry; Westervelt, Dave; Glick, Eitan; Williams, Michael; Sela, Ilan; Maori, Eyal; Pettis, Jeffery; Cox-Foster, Diana; Paldi, Nitzan

    2010-01-01

    The importance of honey bees to the world economy far surpasses their contribution in terms of honey production; they are responsible for up to 30% of the world's food production through pollination of crops. Since fall 2006, honey bees in the U.S. have faced a serious population decline, due in part to a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which is a disease syndrome that is likely caused by several factors. Data from an initial study in which investigators compared pathogens in honey bees affected by CCD suggested a putative role for Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, IAPV. This is a single stranded RNA virus with no DNA stage placed taxonomically within the family Dicistroviridae. Although subsequent studies have failed to find IAPV in all CCD diagnosed colonies, IAPV has been shown to cause honey bee mortality. RNA interference technology (RNAi) has been used successfully to silence endogenous insect (including honey bee) genes both by injection and feeding. Moreover, RNAi was shown to prevent bees from succumbing to infection from IAPV under laboratory conditions. In the current study IAPV specific homologous dsRNA was used in the field, under natural beekeeping conditions in order to prevent mortality and improve the overall health of bees infected with IAPV. This controlled study included a total of 160 honey bee hives in two discrete climates, seasons and geographical locations (Florida and Pennsylvania). To our knowledge, this is the first successful large-scale real world use of RNAi for disease control. PMID:21203478

  14. Nosema ceranae escapes fumagillin control in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei-Fone; Solter, Leellen F; Yau, Peter M; Imai, Brian S

    2013-03-01

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

  15. Nosema ceranae escapes fumagillin control in honey bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Fone Huang

    2013-03-01

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

  16. Genetic detection and quantification of Nosema apis and N. ceranae in the honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeois, A Lelania; Rinderer, Thomas E; Beaman, Lorraine D; Danka, Robert G

    2010-01-01

    The incidence of nosemosis has increased in recent years due to an emerging infestation of Nosema ceranae in managed honey bee populations in much of the world. A real-time PCR assay was developed to facilitate detection and quantification of both Nosema apis and N. ceranae in both single bee and pooled samples. The assay is a multiplexed reaction in which both species are detected and quantified in a single reaction. The assay is highly sensitive and can detect single copies of the target sequence. Real-time PCR results were calibrated to spore counts generated by standard microscopy procedures. The assay was used to assess bees from commercial apiaries sampled in November 2008 and March 2009. Bees from each colony were pooled. A large amount of variation among colonies was evident, signifying the need to examine large numbers of colonies. Due to sampling constraints, a subset of colonies (from five apiaries) was sampled in both seasons. In November, N. apis levels were 1212+/-148 spores/bee and N. ceranae levels were 51,073+/-31,155 spores/bee. In March, no N. apis was detected, N. ceranae levels were 11,824+/-6304 spores/bee. Changes in N. ceranae levels were evident among apiaries, some increasing and other decreasing. This demonstrates the need for thorough sampling of apiaries and the need for a rapid test for both detection and quantification of both Nosema spp. This assay provides the opportunity for detailed study of disease resistance, infection kinetics, and improvement of disease management practices for honey bees.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libor, Anika; Kupelwieser, Vera; Crailsheim, Karl

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Brodschneider

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodschneider, Robert; Libor, Anika; Kupelwieser, Vera; Crailsheim, Karl

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Nosema ceranae Can Infect Honey Bee Larvae and Reduces Subsequent Adult Longevity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daren M Eiri

    Full Text Available Nosema ceranae causes a widespread disease that reduces honey bee health but is only thought to infect adult honey bees, not larvae, a critical life stage. We reared honey bee (Apis mellifera larvae in vitro and provide the first demonstration that N. ceranae can infect larvae and decrease subsequent adult longevity. We exposed three-day-old larvae to a single dose of 40,000 (40K, 10,000 (10K, zero (control, or 40K autoclaved (control N. ceranae spores in larval food. Spores developed intracellularly in midgut cells at the pre-pupal stage (8 days after egg hatching of 41% of bees exposed as larvae. We counted the number of N. ceranae spores in dissected bee midguts of pre-pupae and, in a separate group, upon adult death. Pre-pupae exposed to the 10K or 40K spore treatments as larvae had significantly elevated spore counts as compared to controls. Adults exposed as larvae had significantly elevated spore counts as compared to controls. Larval spore exposure decreased longevity: a 40K treatment decreased the age by which 75% of adult bees died by 28%. Unexpectedly, the low dose (10K led to significantly greater infection (1.3 fold more spores and 1.5 fold more infected bees than the high dose (40K upon adult death. Differential immune activation may be involved if the higher dose triggered a stronger larval immune response that resulted in fewer adult spores but imposed a cost, reducing lifespan. The impact of N. ceranae on honey bee larval development and the larvae of naturally infected colonies therefore deserve further study.

  2. Nosema ceranae Can Infect Honey Bee Larvae and Reduces Subsequent Adult Longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eiri, Daren M; Suwannapong, Guntima; Endler, Matthew; Nieh, James C

    2015-01-01

    Nosema ceranae causes a widespread disease that reduces honey bee health but is only thought to infect adult honey bees, not larvae, a critical life stage. We reared honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae in vitro and provide the first demonstration that N. ceranae can infect larvae and decrease subsequent adult longevity. We exposed three-day-old larvae to a single dose of 40,000 (40K), 10,000 (10K), zero (control), or 40K autoclaved (control) N. ceranae spores in larval food. Spores developed intracellularly in midgut cells at the pre-pupal stage (8 days after egg hatching) of 41% of bees exposed as larvae. We counted the number of N. ceranae spores in dissected bee midguts of pre-pupae and, in a separate group, upon adult death. Pre-pupae exposed to the 10K or 40K spore treatments as larvae had significantly elevated spore counts as compared to controls. Adults exposed as larvae had significantly elevated spore counts as compared to controls. Larval spore exposure decreased longevity: a 40K treatment decreased the age by which 75% of adult bees died by 28%. Unexpectedly, the low dose (10K) led to significantly greater infection (1.3 fold more spores and 1.5 fold more infected bees) than the high dose (40K) upon adult death. Differential immune activation may be involved if the higher dose triggered a stronger larval immune response that resulted in fewer adult spores but imposed a cost, reducing lifespan. The impact of N. ceranae on honey bee larval development and the larvae of naturally infected colonies therefore deserve further study.

  3. The basic concept of honey bee breeding programs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Functionality of Varroa-resistant honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) when used in migratory beekeeping for crop pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danka, Robert G; De Guzman, Lilia I; Rinderer, Thomas E; Sylvester, H Allen; Wagener, Christine M; Bourgeois, A Lelania; Harris, Jeffrey W; Villa, José D

    2012-04-01

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman were evaluated for performance when used in migratory crop pollination. Colonies of Russian honey bees (RHB) and outcrossed bees with Varroa-sensitive hygiene (VSH) were managed without miticide treatments and compared with colonies of Italian honey bees that served as controls. Control colonies were managed as groups which either were treated twice each year against V. destructor (CT) or kept untreated (CU). Totals of 240 and 247 colonies were established initially for trials in 2008 and 2009, respectively. RHB and VSH colonies generally had adult and brood populations similar to those of the standard CT group regarding pollination requirements. For pollination of almonds [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A.Webb] in February, percentages of colonies meeting the required six or more frames of adult bees were 57% (VSH), 56% (CT), 39% (RHB), and 34% (CU). RHB are known to have small colonies in early spring, but this can be overcome with appropriate feeding. For later pollination requirements in May to July, 94-100% of colonies in the four groups met pollination size requirements for apples (Malus domestica Borkh.), cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton), and lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton). Infestations with V. destructor usually were lowest in CT colonies and tended to be lower in VSH colonies than in RHB and CU colonies. This study demonstrates that bees with the VSH trait and pure RHB offer alternatives for beekeepers to use for commercial crop pollination while reducing reliance on miticides. The high frequency of queen loss (only approximately one fourth of original queens survived each year) suggests that frequent requeening is necessary to maintain desired genetics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-07

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

  6. Ecology of Varroa destructor, the Major Ectoparasite of the Western Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazzi, Francesco; Le Conte, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Varroa destructor is the most important ectoparasite of Apis mellifera. This review addresses the interactions between the varroa mite, its environment, and the honey bee host, mediated by an impressive number of cues and signals, including semiochemicals regulating crucial steps of the mite's life cycle. Although mechanical stimuli, temperature, and humidity play an important role, chemical communication is the most important channel. Kairomones are used at all stages of the mite's life cycle, and the exploitation of bees' brood pheromones is particularly significant given these compounds function as primer and releaser signals that regulate the social organization of the honey bee colony. V. destructor is a major problem for apiculture, and the search for novel control methods is an essential task for researchers. A detailed study of the ecological interactions of V. destructor is a prerequisite for creating strategies to sustainably manage the parasite.

  7. Radionuclide concentrations in honey bees from Area G at TA-54 during 1997. Progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haarmann, T.K.; Fresquez, P.R.

    1998-07-01

    Honey bees were collected from two colonies located at Los Alamos National Laboratory`s Area G, Technical Area 54, and from one control (background) colony located near Jamez Springs, NM. Samples were analyzed for the following: cesium ({sup 137}Cs), americium ({sup 241}Am), plutonium ({sup 238}Pu and {sup 239,240}Pu), tritium ({sup 3}H), total uranium, and gross gamma activity. Area G sample results from both colonies were higher than the upper (95%) level background concentration for {sup 238}Pu and {sup 3}H.

  8. High honey bee losses in the winter of 2016-2017 in Timiș county, Romania

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    Daniela Marina Mot

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Beginning with November 2016 beekeepers from Timiș county reported bee colonies losses. During the winter months the situation became more the situation has become more severe, increasing losses of bee families. From November 2016, untill February 2017 were been received samples of dead bees from 23 different apiaries in Timiș county. The dead honey bees were analized in the way to discover what kind of causes produced all these losses. Was also proceeded to analyze the bacterial flora from bees intestine. Bacteriological examination of bees intestine and the cultivation on special medium of culture emphasized rich cultures of Paenibacillus larvae subsp. larvae (Bacillus larvae, etiologic agent for American foulbrood. These bacteria were been isolated from bee intestine in samples provided from 18 apiaries (78.26%. There are many causes of high degree of bee mortality in winter 2016-2017 but the isolation of Paenibacillus larvae subsp. larvae maybe was one of them.

  9. Spore Loads May Not be Used Alone as a Direct Indicator of the Severity of Nosema ceranae Infection in Honey Bees Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera:Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Huo-Qing; Lin, Zhe-Guang; Huang, Shao-Kang; Sohr, Alex; Wu, Lyman; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-12-01

    Nosema ceranae Fries et al., 1996, a microsporidian parasite recently transferred from Asian honey bees Apis cerana F., 1793, to European honey bees Apis mellifera L., 1758, has been suspected as one of the major culprits of the worldwide honey bee colony losses. Spore load is a commonly used criterion to describe the intensity of Nosema infection. In this study, by providing Nosema-infected bees with sterilized pollen, we confirmed that pollen feeding increased the spore loads of honey bees by several times either in the presence or absence of a queen. By changing the amount of pollen consumed by bees in cages, we showed that spore loads increased with an increase in pollen consumption. Nosema infections decrease honey bee longevity and transcription of vitellogenin, either with or without pollen feeding. However, the reduction of pollen consumption had a greater impact on honey bee longevity and vitellogenin level than the increase of spore counts caused by pollen feeding. These results indicate that spore loads may not be used alone as a direct indicator of the severity of N. ceranae infection in honey bees. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.

  10. Food foraging of honey bees in a microwave field (2. 45 GHz CW)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gary, N.E.; Westerdahl, B.B.

    1982-02-15

    Honey bees were trained to fly 400 m from their colony to an indoor laboratory foraging arena exposed to 2.45 GHz continuous wave microwaves at 5 power densities (0, 5, 10, 20, and 40 mW/cm/sup 2/). Foraging behavior did not differ from controls foraging within an unexposed sham arena in (1) number of round trips completed during a 3-h exposure session, (2) round trip time between the colony and the foraging arena, and (3) the length of time required to navigate the illuminated foraging arena. This study indicates that honey bees would not be adversely affected by foraging within a similar microwave field that would exist in future receiving antennae for the proposed solar power satellite energy transmission system in which power levels are expected to range from 23 mW/cm/sup 2/ at the antenna center to 1 mW/cm/sup 2/ at the edge.

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

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    Yan Ping Chen

    2014-07-01

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

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

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    Yoshiaki Kono

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

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

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    Rosmarlinasiah

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    Kirk J Grubbs

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

  16. Feeding deterrence and detrimental effects of pyrrolizidine alkaloids fed to honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhard, Annika; Janke, Martina; von der Ohe, Werner; Kempf, Michael; Theuring, Claudine; Hartmann, Thomas; Schreier, Peter; Beuerle, Till

    2009-09-01

    Recent studies have shown the occurrence of plant derived pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) in retail honeys and pollen loads, but little is known about how these compounds influence the fitness of foraging honey bees. In feeding experiments, we tested a mix of tertiary PAs and the corresponding N-oxides from Senecio vernalis, pure monocrotaline, and 1,2-dihydromonocrotaline in 50% (w/w) sucrose solutions. The bees were analyzed chemically to correlate the observed effects to the ingested amount of PAs. PA-N-oxides were deterrent at concentrations >0.2%. 1,2-Unsaturated tertiary PAs were toxic at high concentrations. The observed PAs mortality could be linked directly to the presence of the 1,2-double bond, a well established essential feature of PA cytotoxicity. In contrast, feeding experiments with 1,2-dihydromonocrotaline revealed no toxic effects. Levels of less than 50 microg 1,2-unsaturated tertiary PAs per individual adult bee were tolerated without negative effects. PA-N-oxides fed to bees were reduced partially to the corresponding tertiary PAs. Unlike some specialized insects, bees are not able to actively detoxify PAs through N-oxidation. To gain insight into how PAs are transmitted among bees, we tested for horizontal PA transfer (trophallaxis). Under laboratory conditions, up to 15% of an ingested PA diet was exchanged from bee to bee, disclosing a possible route for incorporation into the honey comb. In the absence of alternative nectar and pollen sources, PA-containing plants might exhibit a threat to vulnerable bee larvae, and this might affect the overall colony fitness.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Budiaman

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    Sublethal exposure to fungicides can affect honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in ways that resemble malnutrition. These include reduced brood rearing, queen loss, and increased pathogen levels. We examined the effects of oral exposure to the fungicides boscalid and pyraclostrobin on factors affecting colony nutrition and immune function including pollen consumption, protein digestion, hemolymph protein titers, and changes in virus levels. Because the fungicides are respiratory inhibitors, we also measured ATP concentrations in flight muscle. The effects were evaluated in 3- and 7-d-old worker bees at high fungicide concentrations in cage studies, and at field-relevant concentrations in colony studies. Though fungicide levels differed greatly between the cage and colony studies, similar effects were observed. Hemolymph protein concentrations were comparable between bees feeding on pollen with and without added fungicides. However, in both cage and colony studies, bees consumed less pollen containing fungicides and digested less of the protein. Bees fed fungicide-treated pollen also had lower ATP concentrations and higher virus titers. The combination of effects we detected could produce symptoms that are similar to those from poor nutrition and weaken colonies making them more vulnerable to loss from additional stressors such as parasites and pathogens. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2015. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geraldo Moretto

    2007-07-01

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

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

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    Karen M Kapheim

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Genetic structure of the gentle Africanized honey bee population (gAHB) in Puerto Rico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galindo-Cardona, Alberto; Acevedo-Gonzalez, Jenny P; Rivera-Marchand, Bert; Giray, Tugrul

    2013-08-06

    The Africanized honey bee is one of the most spectacular invasions in the Americas. African bees escaped from apiaries in Brazil in 1956, spread over Americas and by 1994 they were reported in Puerto Rico. In contrast to other places, the oceanic island conditions in Puerto Rico may mean a single introduction and different dynamics of the resident European and new-coming Africanized bees.To examine the genetic variation of honey bee feral populations and colonies from different locations in Puerto Rico, we used eight known polymorphic microsatellite loci. In Puerto Rico, gAHB population does not show any genetic structure (Fst = 0.0783), and is best described as one honey bee population, product of hybridization of AHB and EHB. The genetic variability in this Africanized population was similar to that reported in studies from Texas. We observed that European private allele frequencies are high in all but one locus. This contrasts with mainland Africanized populations, where European allele frequencies are diminished. Two loci with European private alleles, one on Linkage Group 7, known to carry two known defensiveness Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs), and the other on Linkage Group 1, known to carry three functionally studied genes and 11 candidate genes associated with Varroa resistance mechanisms were respectively, significantly greater or lower in European allele frequency than the other loci with European private alleles. Genetic structure of Puerto Rico gAHB differs from mainland AHB populations, probably representing evolutionary processes on the island.

  3. Non-Consumptive Predator Effects Shape Honey Bee Foraging and Recruitment Dancing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bray, Allison; Nieh, James

    2014-01-01

    Predators can reduce bee pollination and plant fitness through successful predation and non-consumptive effects. In honey bees, evidence of predation or a direct attack can decrease recruitment dancing and thereby magnify the effects of individual predation attempts at a colony level. However, actual predation attempts and successes are relatively rare. It was not known if a far more common event, just detection of a predator, could inhibit recruitment. We began by testing honey bees' avoidance of the praying mantis (Tenodera sinensis). Larger predators (later mantis instars, ≥4.5 cm in body length) elicited significantly more avoidance (1.3 fold) than smaller mantis instars. Larger instars also attempted to capture honey bees significantly more often than did smaller instars. Foragers could detect and avoid mantises based upon mantis odor (74% of bees avoided an odor extract) or visual appearance (67% avoided a mantis model). Finally, foragers decreased recruitment dancing by 1.8 fold for a food source with a live adult mantis, even when they were not attacked. This reduction in recruitment dancing, elicited by predator presence alone, expands our understanding of predator non-consumptive effects and of cascading ecosystem effects for plants served by an important generalist pollinator. PMID:24475292

  4. Non-consumptive predator effects shape honey bee foraging and recruitment dancing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison Bray

    Full Text Available Predators can reduce bee pollination and plant fitness through successful predation and non-consumptive effects. In honey bees, evidence of predation or a direct attack can decrease recruitment dancing and thereby magnify the effects of individual predation attempts at a colony level. However, actual predation attempts and successes are relatively rare. It was not known if a far more common event, just detection of a predator, could inhibit recruitment. We began by testing honey bees' avoidance of the praying mantis (Tenodera sinensis. Larger predators (later mantis instars, ≥4.5 cm in body length elicited significantly more avoidance (1.3 fold than smaller mantis instars. Larger instars also attempted to capture honey bees significantly more often than did smaller instars. Foragers could detect and avoid mantises based upon mantis odor (74% of bees avoided an odor extract or visual appearance (67% avoided a mantis model. Finally, foragers decreased recruitment dancing by 1.8 fold for a food source with a live adult mantis, even when they were not attacked. This reduction in recruitment dancing, elicited by predator presence alone, expands our understanding of predator non-consumptive effects and of cascading ecosystem effects for plants served by an important generalist pollinator.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-22

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike Hartmann

    2015-05-01

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

  7. Dietary Supplementation of Honey Bee Larvae with Arginine and Abscisic Acid Enhances Nitric Oxide and Granulocyte Immune Responses after Trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negri, Pedro; Ramirez, Leonor; Quintana, Silvina; Szawarski, Nicolás; Maggi, Matías; Le Conte, Yves; Lamattina, Lorenzo; Eguaras, Martin

    2017-08-15

    Many biotic and abiotic stressors impact bees' health, acting as immunosupressors and contribute to colony losses. Thus, the importance of studying the immune response of honey bees is central to develop new strategies aiming to enhance bees' fitness to confront the threats affecting them. If a pathogen breaches the physical and chemical barriers, honey bees can protect themselves from infection with cellular and humoral immune responses which represent a second line of defense. Through a series of correlative studies we have previously reported that abscisic acid (ABA) and nitric oxide (NO) share roles in the same immune defenses of Apis mellifera (A. mellifera). Here we show results supporting that the supplementation of bee larvae's diet reared in vitro with l-Arginine (precursor of NO) or ABA enhanced the immune activation of the granulocytes in response to wounding and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  9. Transcriptional responses in Honey Bee larvae infected with chalkbrood fungus

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    Murray Keith D

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-21

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Queen survival and oxalic acid residues in sugar stores after summer application against Varroa destructor in honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelissen, B.; Donders, J.N.L.C.; Stratum, van P.; Blacquière, T.; Dooremalen, van C.

    2012-01-01

    Methods using oxalic acid (OA) to control Varroa destructor in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies are widely applied. In this study, the effects of an OA spray application in early summer on the survival of young and old queens, and on OA residues in sugar stores were investigated. A questionnaire

  13. Multi-drug resistance transporters and a mechanism-based strategy for assessing risks of pesticide combinations to honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Annual losses of honey bee colonies remain high and pesticide exposure is one possible cause. Dangerous combinations of pesticides, plant-produced compounds and antibiotics added to hives may cause or contribute to losses, but it is very difficult to test the many combinations of those compounds tha...

  14. Effect of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) on mortality of artificially reared honey bee larvae (Apis mellifera carnica).

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    Krainer, Sophie; Brodschneider, Robert; Vollmann, Jutta; Crailsheim, Karl; Riessberger-Gallé, Ulrike

    2016-03-01

    Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is a heat-formed, acid-catalyzed contaminant of sugar syrups, which find their way into honey bee feeding. As HMF was noted to be toxic to adult honey bees, we investigated the toxicity of HMF towards larvae. Therefore we exposed artificially reared larvae to a chronic HMF intoxication over 6 days using 6 different concentrations (5, 50, 750, 5000, 7500 and 10,000 ppm) and a control. The mortality was assessed from day 2 to day 7 (d7) and on day 22 (d22). Concentrations ranging from 5 to 750 ppm HMF did not show any influence on larval or pupal mortality compared to controls (p > 0.05; Kaplan-Meier analysis). Concentrations of 7500 ppm or higher caused a larval mortality of 100%. An experimental LC50 of 4280 ppm (d7) and 2424 ppm (d22) was determined. The calculated LD50 was 778 µg HMF per larva on d7 and 441 µg HMF on d22. Additionally, we exposed adult honey bees to high concentrations of HMF to compare the mortality to the results from larvae. On d7 larvae are much more sensitive against HMF than adult honey bees after 6 days of feeding. However, on d22 after emergence adults show a lower LC50, which indicates a higher sensitivity than larvae. As toxicity of HMF against honey bees is a function of time and concentration, our results indicate that HMF in supplemental food will probably not cause great brood losses. Yet sublethal effects might decrease fitness of the colony.

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

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    Alex J Guseman

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

  16. Influence of honey bee products on transplantable murine tumours.

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    Orsolić, N; Knezević, A; Sver, L; Terzić, S; Hackenberger, B K; Basić, I

    2003-12-01

    The effect of propolis [it is a water-soluble derivative (WSDP)] and related polyphenolic compounds of propolis (caffeic acid, caffeic acid phenethyl ester and quercetin), honey, royal jelly and bee venom on tumour growth, metastasizing ability and induction of apoptosis and necrosis in murine tumour models (mammary carcinoma and colon carcinoma) was investigated. WSDP and related polyphenolic compounds showed significant anti-metastatic effect (P Honey also exerted pronounced anti-metastatic effect (P bee venom injection, the number of tumour nodules in the lung was significantly lower (P bee venom subcutaneously. Local presence of bee venom in the tissue caused significant delay in subcutaneous tumour formation. These findings clearly demonstrate that anti-tumour and anti-metastatic effects of bee venom are highly dependent on the route of injection and on close contact between components of the bee venom and tumour cells. These data show that honey bee products given orally or systemically may have an important role in the control of tumour growth and tumour metastasizing ability.

  17. A new dewatering technique for stingless bees honey

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    Ramli Ahmad Syazwan

    2017-01-01

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

  18. A Comparative Study of Environmental Conditions, Bee Management and the Epidemiological Situation in Apiaries Varying in the Level of Colony Losses

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    Pohorecka Krystyna

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Explaining the reasons for the increased mortality of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L. in recent years, in Europe and North America, has become a global research priority in apicultural science. Our project was aimed at determining the relationship between environmental conditions, beekeeping techniques, the epidemiological situation of pathogens, and the mortality rate of bee colonies. Dead bee samples were collected by beekeepers from 2421 colonies. The samples were examined for the presence of V. destructor, Nosema spp. (Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV, acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV, deformed wing virus (DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV.

  19. Comparative performance of two mite-resistant stocks of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Alabama beekeeping operations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Kenneth; Danka, Robert; Ward, Rufina

    2008-06-01

    The utility of USDA-developed Russian and varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), was compared with that of locally produced, commercial Italian bees during 2004-2006 in beekeeping operations in Alabama, USA. Infestations of varroa mites, Varroa destructor Anderson & Truman (Acari: Varroidae), were measured twice each year, and colonies that reached established economic treatment thresholds (one mite per 100 adult bees in late winter; 5-10 mites per 100 adult bees in late summer) were treated with acaricides. Infestations of tracheal mites, Acarapis woodi (Rennie) (Acari: Tarsonemidae), were measured autumn and compared with a treatment threshold of 20% mite prevalence. Honey production was measured in 2005 and 2006 for colonies that retained original test queens. Throughout the three seasons of measurement, resistant stocks required less treatment against parasitic mites than the Italian stock. The total percentages of colonies needing treatment against varroa mites were 12% of VSH, 24% of Russian, and 40% of Italian. The total percentages requiring treatment against tracheal mites were 1% of Russian, 8% of VSH and 12% of Italian. The average honey yield of Russian and VSH colonies was comparable with that of Italian colonies each year. Beekeepers did not report any significant behavioral problems with the resistant stocks. These stocks thus have good potential for use in nonmigratory beekeeping operations in the southeastern United States.

  20. Acute exposure to selenium disrupts associative conditioning and long-term memory recall in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burden, Christina M; Elmore, Christopher; Hladun, Kristen R; Trumble, John T; Smith, Brian H

    2016-05-01

    A plethora of toxic compounds - including pesticides, heavy metals, and metalloids - have been detected in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and their colonies. One such compound is selenium, which bees are exposed to by consuming nectar and pollen from flowers grown in contaminated areas. Though selenium is lethal at high concentrations, sublethal exposure may also impair honey bees' ability