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Sample records for honey bee queen

  1. 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...

  2. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-13

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

  3. Patterns of viral infection in honey bee queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-10-03

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

  5. 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

  6. Queen introduction into the queenright honey bee colony

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-26

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

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

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    Porporato Marco

    2015-12-01

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

  9. The honey bee epigenomes: differential methylation of brain DNA in queens and workers

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lyko, Frank; Foret, Sylvain; Kucharski, Robert; Wolf, Stephan; Falckenhayn, Cassandra; Maleszka, Ryszard

    2010-01-01

    In honey bees (Apis mellifera) the behaviorally and reproductively distinct queen and worker female castes derive from the same genome as a result of differential intake of royal jelly and are implemented in concert with DNA methylation...

  10. Comparative toxicity of acaricides to honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) workers and queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlgren, Lizette; Johnson, Reed M; Siegfried, Blair D; Ellis, Marion D

    2012-12-01

    Acaricides are used to treat honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies to control the varroa mite (Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman), a worldwide threat to honey bee health. Although acaricides control a serious honey bee parasite and mitigate bee loss, they may cause harm to bees as well. We topically applied five acaricides, each with a different mode of action, to young adult queen and worker bees to generate dose-response curves and LD50. Twenty-four hours after treatment, queens were found to be three-times more tolerant of tau-fluvalinate and six-times more tolerant of thymol than workers when adjusted for body weight differences between workers (108 mg) and queens (180 mg). Queens survived the highest administered doses of fenpyroximate (1620 microg/g) and coumaphos (2700 microg/g) indicating that queens are at least 11-fold more tolerant of coumaphos and at least 54-fold more tolerant of fenpyroximate than workers. However, queens treated with as little as 54 microg/g of fenpyroximate exhibited reduced survival over 6 wk after treatment. Amitraz was the only acaricide tested for which queens were not more tolerant than workers. The striking difference in acaricide tolerance of queen and worker honey bees suggests physiological differences in how the two castes are affected by xenobiotics.

  11. Toxicity of cryoprotectants to honey bee semen and queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegener, J; Bienefeld, K

    2012-02-01

    Given the threats to the intraspecific biodiversity of Apis mellifera and the pressure on bee breeding to come up with disease-tolerant lines, techniques to cryopreserve drone semen are of great interest. Freeze-thawed drone semen of high viability and/or motility has repeatedly been obtained, but fertility of such semen, when it was measured, was always low. The cryoprotective agent (CPA) most frequently used with drone semen is dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), although this substance has been suspected of causing genetic damage in sperm. No form of sperm washing is currently performed. Using a membrane permeability assay, we measured the short-term toxicity of four possible replacements for DMSO, 1,3-propane diol, 2,3-butane diol, ethylene glycol, and dimethyl formamide. We also tested whether the practice of inseminating queens with CPA-containing semen affects sperm numbers in the storage organs of queens, or sperm fertility. Finally, we tested whether CPA-toxicity in vivo can be reduced by using mixtures of two CPAs, DMSO, and ethylene glycol. Our results show that, although short-term toxicity of all CPAs tested was low, the presence of single CPAs in insemination mixtures at concentrations required for slow freezing greatly reduced the number of sperm reaching the spermatheca. Contrary to earlier reports, this was also true for DMSO. Ethylene glycol was additionally shown to reduce the viability of spermatozoa reaching the storage organ. Mixtures of DMSO and EthGly performed better than either substance used singly at the same concentration. We conclude that the toxicity of CPAs, including DMSO, on honey bee semen and/or queens has been underestimated in the past. This could partly explain the discrepancy between in vitro and in vivo quality of cryopreserved drone semen, described by others. Combinations of several CPAs and techniques to partly remove CPAs after thawing could help to solve this problem. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbo, J R

    1980-01-01

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

  13. Colony failure linked to low sperm viability in honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens and an exploration of potential causative factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queen health is closely linked to colony performance in honey bees as a single queen is normally responsible for all egg laying and brood production within the colony. In the U. S. in recent years, queens have been failing at a high rate; with 50% or greater of queens replaced in colonies within 6 m...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    In vitro rearing is an important and useful tool for honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) studies. However, it often results in intercastes between queens and workers, which are normally are not seen in hive-reared bees, except when larvae older than three days are grafted for queen rearing. Morphological classification (queen versus worker or intercastes) of bees produced by this method can be subjective and generally depends on size differences. Here, we propose an alternative method for caste classification of female honey bees reared in vitro, based on weight at emergence, ovariole number, spermatheca size and size and shape, and features of the head, mandible and basitarsus. Morphological measurements were made with both traditional morphometric and geometric morphometrics techniques. The classifications were performed by principal component analysis, using naturally developed queens and workers as controls. First, the analysis included all the characters. Subsequently, a new analysis was made without the information about ovariole number and spermatheca size. Geometric morphometrics was less dependent on ovariole number and spermatheca information for caste and intercaste identification. This is useful, since acquiring information concerning these reproductive structures requires time-consuming dissection and they are not accessible when abdomens have been removed for molecular assays or in dried specimens. Additionally, geometric morphometrics divided intercastes into more discrete phenotype subsets. We conclude that morphometric geometrics are superior to traditional morphometrics techniques for identification and classification of honey bee castes and intermediates. PMID:25894528

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-14

    The Member States of European Union are encouraged to improve the general conditions for the production and marketing of apicultural products. In Belgium, programmes on the restocking of honey bee hives have run for many years. Overall, the success ratio of this queen breeding programme has been only around 50%. To tackle this low efficacy, we organized sanitary controls of the breeding queens in 2012 and 2014. We found a high quantity of viruses, with more than 75% of the egg samples being infected with at least one virus. The most abundant viruses were Deformed Wing Virus and Sacbrood Virus (≥40%), although Lake Sinai Virus and Acute Bee Paralysis Virus were also occasionally detected (between 10-30%). In addition, Aphid Lethal Paralysis Virus strain Brookings, Black Queen Cell Virus, Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus occurred at very low prevalences (≤5%). Remarkably, we found Apis mellifera carnica bees to be less infected with Deformed Wing Virus than Buckfast bees (p Colony Collapse Disorder. Moreover, negative-strand detection of Sacbrood Virus in eggs was demonstrated for the first time. High pathogen loads were observed in this sanitary control program. We documented for the first time vertical transmission of some viruses, as well as significant differences between two honey bee races in being affected by Deformed Wing Virus. Nevertheless, we could not demonstrate a correlation between the presence of viruses and queen breeding efficacies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 prevalence of deformed wing virus, queens (n = 30) were trapped upon their return from natural mating flights. The last drone’s endophallus (n = 29), if present, was removed from the mated queens for deformed wing virus quantification, leading to the detection of high-level infection in 3 endophalli. After oviposition, viral quantification revealed that seven of the 30 queens had high-level deformed wing virus infections, in all tissues, including the semen stored in the spermathecae. Two groups of either unmated queens (n = 8) with induced egg laying, or queens (n = 12) mated in isolation with drones showing comparatively low deformed wing virus infections served as control. None of the control queens exhibited high-level viral infections. Our results demonstrate that deformed wing virus infected drones are competitive to mate and able to transmit the virus along with semen, which occasionally leads to queen infections. Virus transmission to queens during mating may be common and can contribute noticeably to queen failure. PMID:27608961

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiri, Esmaeil; Strand, Micheline K; Rueppell, Olav; Tarpy, David R

    2017-05-08

    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.

  19. Larval and nurse worker control of developmental plasticity and the evolution of honey bee queen-worker dimorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linksvayer, T A; Kaftanoglu, O; Akyol, E; Blatch, S; Amdam, G V; Page, R E

    2011-09-01

    Social evolution in honey bees has produced strong queen-worker dimorphism for plastic traits that depend on larval nutrition. The honey bee developmental programme includes both larval components that determine plastic growth responses to larval nutrition and nurse components that regulate larval nutrition. We studied how these two components contribute to variation in worker and queen body size and ovary size for two pairs of honey bee lineages that show similar differences in worker body-ovary size allometry but have diverged over different evolutionary timescales. Our results indicate that the lineages have diverged for both nurse and larval developmental components, that rapid changes in worker body-ovary size allometry may disrupt queen development and that queen-worker dimorphism arises mainly from discrete nurse-provided nutritional environments, not from a developmental switch that converts variable nutritional environments into discrete phenotypes. Both larval and nurse components have likely contributed to the evolution of queen-worker dimorphism.

  20. 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.

  1. Comparing alternative methods for holding virgin honey bee queens for one week in mailing cages before mating.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianluigi Bigio

    Full Text Available In beekeeping, queen honey bees are often temporarily kept alive in cages. We determined the survival of newly-emerged virgin honey bee queens every day for seven days in an experiment that simultaneously investigated three factors: queen cage type (wooden three-hole or plastic, attendant workers (present or absent and food type (sugar candy, honey, or both. Ten queens were tested in each of the 12 combinations. Queens were reared using standard beekeeping methods (Doolittle/grafting and emerged from their cells into vials held in an incubator at 34C. All 12 combinations gave high survival (90 or 100% for three days but only one method (wooden cage, with attendants, honey gave 100% survival to day seven. Factors affecting queen survival were analysed. Across all combinations, attendant bees significantly increased survival (18% vs. 53%, p<0.001. In addition, there was an interaction between food type and cage type (p<0.001 with the honey and plastic cage combination giving reduced survival. An additional group of queens was reared and held for seven days using the best method, and then directly introduced using smoke into queenless nucleus colonies that had been dequeened five days previously. Acceptance was high (80%, 8/10 showing that this combination is also suitable for preparing queens for introduction into colonies. Having a simple method for keeping newly-emerged virgin queens alive in cages for one week and acceptable for introduction into queenless colonies will be useful in honey bee breeding. In particular, it facilitates the screening of many queens for genetic or phenotypic characteristics when only a small proportion meets the desired criteria. These can then be introduced into queenless hives for natural mating or insemination, both of which take place when queens are one week old.

  2. Comparing alternative methods for holding virgin honey bee queens for one week in mailing cages before mating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigio, Gianluigi; Grüter, Christoph; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2012-01-01

    In beekeeping, queen honey bees are often temporarily kept alive in cages. We determined the survival of newly-emerged virgin honey bee queens every day for seven days in an experiment that simultaneously investigated three factors: queen cage type (wooden three-hole or plastic), attendant workers (present or absent) and food type (sugar candy, honey, or both). Ten queens were tested in each of the 12 combinations. Queens were reared using standard beekeeping methods (Doolittle/grafting) and emerged from their cells into vials held in an incubator at 34C. All 12 combinations gave high survival (90 or 100%) for three days but only one method (wooden cage, with attendants, honey) gave 100% survival to day seven. Factors affecting queen survival were analysed. Across all combinations, attendant bees significantly increased survival (18% vs. 53%, p<0.001). In addition, there was an interaction between food type and cage type (p<0.001) with the honey and plastic cage combination giving reduced survival. An additional group of queens was reared and held for seven days using the best method, and then directly introduced using smoke into queenless nucleus colonies that had been dequeened five days previously. Acceptance was high (80%, 8/10) showing that this combination is also suitable for preparing queens for introduction into colonies. Having a simple method for keeping newly-emerged virgin queens alive in cages for one week and acceptable for introduction into queenless colonies will be useful in honey bee breeding. In particular, it facilitates the screening of many queens for genetic or phenotypic characteristics when only a small proportion meets the desired criteria. These can then be introduced into queenless hives for natural mating or insemination, both of which take place when queens are one week old.

  3. The effect of queen pheromone status on Varroa mite removal from honey bee colonies with different grooming ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahreini, Rassol; Currie, Robert W

    2015-07-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the effects of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) with different grooming ability and queen pheromone status on mortality rates of Varroa mites (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman), mite damage, and mortality rates of honey bees. Twenty-four small queenless colonies containing either stock selected for high rates of mite removal (n = 12) or unselected stock (n = 12) were maintained under constant darkness at 5 °C. Colonies were randomly assigned to be treated with one of three queen pheromone status treatments: (1) caged, mated queen, (2) a synthetic queen mandibular pheromone lure (QMP), or (3) queenless with no queen substitute. The results showed overall mite mortality rate was greater in stock selected for grooming than in unselected stock. There was a short term transitory increase in bee mortality rates in selected stock when compared to unselected stock. The presence of queen pheromone from either caged, mated queens or QMP enhanced mite removal from clusters of bees relative to queenless colonies over short periods of time and increased the variation in mite mortality over time relative to colonies without queen pheromone, but did not affect the proportion of damaged mites. The effects of source of bees on mite damage varied with time but damage to mites was not reliably related to mite mortality. In conclusion, this study showed differential mite removal of different stocks was possible under low temperature. Queen status should be considered when designing experiments using bioassays for grooming response.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Queen survival and oxalic acid residues in sugar stores after summer application against Varroa destructor in honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelissen, B.; Donders, J.N.L.C.; Stratum, van P.; Blacquière, T.; Dooremalen, van C.

    2012-01-01

    Methods using oxalic acid (OA) to control Varroa destructor in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies are widely applied. In this study, the effects of an OA spray application in early summer on the survival of young and old queens, and on OA residues in sugar stores were investigated. A questionnaire

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Mating frequencies of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L. in a population of feral colonies in the Northeastern United States.

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    David R Tarpy

    Full Text Available Across their introduced range in North America, populations of feral honey bee (Apis mellifera L. colonies have supposedly declined in recent decades as a result of exotic parasites, most notably the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. Nonetheless, recent studies have documented several wild populations of colonies that have persisted. The extreme polyandry of honey bee queens-and the increased intracolony genetic diversity it confers-has been attributed, in part, to improved disease resistance and may be a factor in the survival of these populations of feral colonies. We estimated the mating frequencies of queens in feral colonies in the Arnot Forest in New York State to determine if the level of polyandry of these queens is especially high and so might contribute to their survival success. We genotyped the worker offspring from 10 feral colonies in the Arnot Forest of upstate New York, as well as those from 20 managed colonies closest to this forest. We found no significant differences in mean mating frequency between the feral and managed queens, suggesting that queens in the remote, low-density population of colonies in the Arnot Forest are neither mate-limited nor adapted to mate at an especially high frequency. These findings support the hypothesis that the hyperpolyandry of honey bees has been shaped on an evolutionary timescale rather than on an ecological one.

  9. Genomewide analysis indicates that queen larvae have lower methylation levels in the honey bee ( Apis mellifera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yuan Yuan; Yan, Wei Yu; Huang, Zachary Y.; Wang, Zi Long; Wu, Xiao Bo; Zeng, Zhi Jiang

    2013-02-01

    The honey bee is a social insect characterized by caste differentiation, by which a young larva can develop into either a queen or a worker. Despite possessing the same genome, queen and workers display marked differences in reproductive capacity, physiology, and behavior. Recent studies have shown that DNA methylation plays important roles in caste differentiation. To further explore the roles of DNA methylation in this process, we analyzed DNA methylome profiles of both queen larvae (QL) and worker larvae (WL) of different ages (2, 4, and 6 day old), by using methylated DNA immunoprecipitation-sequencing (meDIP-seq) technique. The global DNA methylation levels varied between the larvae of two castes. DNA methylation increased from 2-day- to 4-day-old QL and then decreased in 6-day-old larvae. In WL, methylation levels increased with age. The methylcytosines in both larvae were enriched in introns, followed by coding sequence (CDS) regions, CpG islands, 2 kbp downstream and upstream of genes, and 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs). The number of differentially methylated genes (DMGs) in 2-, 4-, and 6-day-old QL and WL was 725, 3,013, and 5,049, respectively. Compared to 4- and 6-day-old WL, a large number of genes in QL were downmethylated, which were involved in many processes including development, reproduction, and metabolic regulation. In addition, some DMGs were concerned with caste differentiation.

  10. 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.

  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

    2016-08-26

    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. RNA-sequencing elucidates the regulation of behavioural transitions associated with the mating process in honey bee queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manfredini, Fabio; Brown, Mark J F; Vergoz, Vanina; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2015-07-31

    Mating is a complex process, which is frequently associated with behavioural and physiological changes. However, understanding of the genetic underpinnings of these changes is limited. Honey bees are both a model system in behavioural genomics, and the dominant managed pollinator of human crops; consequently understanding the mating process has both pure and applied value. We used next-generation transcriptomics to probe changes in gene expression in the brains of honey bee queens, as they transition from virgin to mated reproductive status. In addition, we used CO2-narcosis, which induces oviposition without mating, to isolate the process of reproductive maturation. The mating process produced significant changes in the expression of vision, chemo-reception, metabolic, and immune-related genes. Differential expression of these genes maps clearly onto known behavioural and physiological changes that occur during the transition from being a virgin queen to a newly-mated queen. A subset of these changes in gene expression were also detected in CO2-treated queens, as predicted from previous physiological studies. In addition, we compared our results to previous studies that used microarray techniques across a range of experimental time-points. Changes in expression of immune- and vision-related genes were common to all studies, supporting an involvement of these groups of genes in the mating process. Our study is an important step in understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating post-mating behavioural transitions in a natural system. The weak overlap in patterns of gene expression with previous studies demonstrates the high sensitivity of genome-wide approaches. Thus, while we build on previous microarray studies that explored post-mating changes in honey bees, the broader experimental design, use of RNA-sequencing, and focus on Australian honey bees, which remain free from the devastating parasite Varroa destructor, in the current study, provide unique insights

  13. Nectar Attracts Foraging Honey Bees with Components of Their Queen Pheromones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fanglin; Gao, Jie; Di, Nayan; Adler, Lynn S

    2015-11-01

    Floral nectar often contains chemicals that are deterrent to pollinators, presenting potential challenges to outcrossing plant species. Plants may be able to co-opt pollinator chemical signals to mitigate the negative effects of nectar deterrent compounds on pollination services. We found that buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) and Mexican sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) produce nectar with abundant phenolics, including three components of the Apis honeybee queen mandibular pheromone (QMP). In addition, these nectars contain a non-pheromonal phenolic, chlorogenic acid (CA), which was toxic to honeybees, and T. diversifolia nectar also contained isochlorogenic acid (IA). Fresh nectar or solutions containing nectar phenolics reduced Apis individual feeding compared to sucrose solutions. However, freely foraging bees preferred solutions with QMP components to control solutions, and QMP components over-rode or reversed avoidance of CA and IA. Furthermore, prior exposure to the presence or just the odor of QMP components removed the deterrent effects of CA and IA. By mimicking the honey bee pheromone blend, nectar may maintain pollinator attraction in spite of deterrent nectar compounds.

  14. Resistance to Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) when mite-resistant queen honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) were free-mated with unselected drones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbo, J R; Harris, J W

    2001-12-01

    This study demonstrated (1) that honey bees, Apis mellifera L, can express a high level of resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman when bees were selected for only one resistant trait (suppression of mite reproduction); and (2) that a significant level of mite-resistance was retained when these queens were free-mated with unselected drones. The test compared the growth of mite populations in colonies of bees that each received one of the following queens: (1) resistant--queens selected for suppression of mite reproduction and artificially inseminated in Baton Rouge with drones from similarly selected stocks; (2) resistant x control--resistant queens, as above, produced and free-mated to unselected drones by one of four commercial queen producers; and (3) control--commercial queens chosen by the same four queen producers and free-mated as above. All colonies started the test with approximately 0.9 kg of bees that were naturally infested with approximately 650 mites. Colonies with resistant x control queens ended the 115-d test period with significantly fewer mites than did colonies with control queens. This suggests that beekeepers can derive immediate benefit from mite-resistant queens that have been free-mated to unselected drones. Moreover, the production and distribution of these free-mated queens from many commercial sources may be an effective way to insert beneficial genes into our commercial population of honey bees without losing the genetic diversity and the useful beekeeping characteristics of this population.

  15. Characteristics of Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera Carnica, Pollman 1879 Queens Reared in Slovenian Commercial Breeding Stations

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    Gregorc Aleš

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this three-year-trial study, we examined the quality of mated queens based on morphological and physiology traits. At each location, sister queen bees were reared each year from one Apis mellifera carnica breeder queen. Queens were also reared and mated in different locations. Altogether, we sampled and analysed 324 queens from 27 apiaries in 2006, 288 queens from 24 apiaries in 2008, and 276 queens from 23 apiaries in 2010. Nine queens from each apiary were sampled and dissected for morphological analyses and Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae spores, if present, were quantified. Three queens from each apiary were prepared and tested for four viruses: acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV, black queen cell virus (BQCV, deformed wing virus (DWV, and sacbrood virus (SBV. The highest average queen weight of 209.49 ± 9.82 mg was detected in 2008. The highest average ovary weight of 78.67 ± 11.86 mg was detected in 2010, and the highest number of ovarioles was 161.59 ± 8.70 in 2006. The average number of spermatozoa in queens ranged from 3.30 x 106 in 2006 to 5.23 x 106 in 2010. Nosema ceranae spores were found in queens sampled in 2008 and 2010. Viruses were discovered sporadically during the queen testing periods from 2006 - 2010. This study importantly demonstrates that queens from rearing stations require regular evaluation for morphological and physiological changes as well as for infection from harmful pathogens. These results could also be used in establishing relevant commercial standards for rearing quality queens.

  16. Chemical profiles of two pheromone glands are differentially regulated by distinct mating factors in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L..

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    Elina L Niño

    Full Text Available Pheromones mediate social interactions among individuals in a wide variety of species, from yeast to mammals. In social insects such as honey bees, pheromone communication systems can be extraordinarily complex and serve to coordinate behaviors among many individuals. One of the primary mediators of social behavior and organization in honey bee colonies is queen pheromone, which is produced by multiple glands. The types and quantities of chemicals produced differ significantly between virgin and mated queens, and recent studies have suggested that, in newly mated queens, insemination volume or quantity can affect pheromone production. Here, we examine the long-term impact of different factors involved during queen insemination on the chemical composition of the mandibular and Dufour's glands, two of the major sources of queen pheromone. Our results demonstrate that carbon dioxide (an anesthetic used in instrumental insemination, physical manipulation of genital tract (presumably mimicking the act of copulation, insemination substance (saline vs. semen, and insemination volume (1 vs. 8 µl all have long-term effects on mandibular gland chemical profiles. In contrast, Dufour's gland chemical profiles were changed only upon insemination and were not influenced by exposure to carbon dioxide, manipulation, insemination substance or volume. These results suggest that the chemical contents of these two glands are regulated by different neuro-physiological mechanisms. Furthermore, workers responded differently to the different mandibular gland extracts in a choice assay. Although these studies must be validated in naturally mated queens of varying mating quality, our results suggest that while the chemical composition of Dufour's gland is associated with mating status, that of the mandibular glands is associated with both mating status and insemination success. Thus, the queen appears to be signaling both status and reproductive quality to the workers

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

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    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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The Effects of Pesticides on Queen Rearing and Virus Titers in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.

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    Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The effects of sublethal pesticide exposure on queen emergence and virus titers were examined. Queen rearing colonies were fed pollen with chlorpyrifos (CPF alone (pollen-1 and with CPF and the fungicide Pristine® (pollen-2. Fewer queens emerged when larvae from open foraging (i.e., outside colonies were reared in colonies fed pollen-1 or 2 compared with when those larvae were reared in outside colonies. Larvae grafted from and reared in colonies fed pollen-2 had lower rates of queen emergence than pollen-1 or outside colonies. Deformed wing virus (DWV and black queen cell virus were found in nurse bees from colonies fed pollen-1 or 2 and in outside colonies. The viruses also were detected in queen larvae. However, we did not detect virus in emerged queens grafted from and reared in outside colonies. In contrast, DWV was found in all emerged queens grafted from colonies fed pollen-1 or 2 either reared in outside hives or those fed pollen-1 or 2. The results suggest that sublethal exposure of CPF alone but especially when Pristine® is added reduces queen emergence possibly due to compromised immunity in developing queens.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  2. Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus in Honeybee Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amiri, Esmaeil; Meixner, Marina; Büchler, Ralph

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:26691845

  5. Observation of the Mating Behavior of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Queens Using Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID): Factors Influencing the Duration and Frequency of Nuptial Flights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidinger, Ina Monika Margret; Meixner, Marina Doris; Berg, Stefan; Büchler, Ralph

    2014-07-01

    We used radio-frequency identification (RFID) to record the duration and frequency of nuptial flights of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera carnica) at two mainland mating apiaries. We investigated the effect of a number of factors on flight duration and frequency: mating apiary, number of drone colonies, queen's age and temperature. We found significant differences between the two locations concerning the number of flights on the first three days. We also observed an effect of the ambient temperature, with queens flying less often but longer at high temperatures compared to lower temperatures. Increasing the number of drone colonies from 33 to 80 colonies had no effect on the duration or on the frequency of nuptial flights. Since our results agree well with the results of previous studies, we suggest RFID as an appropriate tool to investigate the mating behavior of honey bee queens.

  6. 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...

  7. Morphometric study of newly emerged unmated queens of honey bee Apis mellifera L. in Ismailia Governorate, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.M. Kamel

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Recently, morphometric analysis is being a very good tool for identification of honey bee races and characterization of genetic materials. This fact has motivated the present work to investigate the effects of two grafting methods, three types of artificial queen wax cups and four periods of queen rearing on some morphological characters of newly emerged queens. The developed technique used in the present study depends on the integration between Scanner unit and Photoshop program, called Scan Photo Method (SPM. The measurements of 23 morphological characteristics of reared queens were estimated by using SPM. Results indicated significant differences between periods in the measurements of the studied characteristics on forewing such as cubital index, distance C, distance D, radial field, inner wing length, inner wing width, dumb bell index, distance I, II, III and IV, except cubital A and cubital B. Regarding the effects of cup types and grafting methods, data also revealed significant differences in all measurements of studied characteristics, except tibial length, hind wing length, cubital B, radial field and distance IV. Further works in this area were recommended to find out a relation between some morphometric characters and important of some quantitative characters.

  8. ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY OF VARIOUS QUEEN BEES MAINTENANCE SYSTEMS

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    A POPESCU

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available The modern queens maintenance systems are based on the use of artificial insemination, queens’ maintenance in the so called „queens bank” , in this way assuring an increased economic efficiency in beekeeping. This study aimed to compare the economic efficiency of the implementation of A.I. to various queen bees maintenance systems. Three alternatives have been taken into account: V1-a queen bee in a cage together with her bees, V2- a queen bank system and V3 – a queen bee in a nucleus. For each queen bee maintenance alternative have been evaluated the most important indicators such as: expenses, incomes, profit, number of marketable inseminated and selected queen bees, honey production, cost/queen, revenue/queen, profit/queen, profit rate. The most effective alternative was the queen bank system assuring 2,400 marketable queen bees and 20 kg honey delivered yearly, USD 12,442 incomes, USD 3,400 expenses, USD 9,042 profit, that is USD 3.77/queen bee and 265.72 % profit rate under the condition as A.I. costs are just USD 1,058, representing 31.1 % of total queen bees maintenance costs.

  9. Observation of the Mating Behavior of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L. Queens Using Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID: Factors Influencing the Duration and Frequency of Nuptial Flights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ina Monika Margret Heidinger

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available We used radio-frequency identification (RFID to record the duration and frequency of nuptial flights of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera carnica at two mainland mating apiaries. We investigated the effect of a number of factors on flight duration and frequency: mating apiary, number of drone colonies, queen’s age and temperature. We found significant differences between the two locations concerning the number of flights on the first three days. We also observed an effect of the ambient temperature, with queens flying less often but longer at high temperatures compared to lower temperatures. Increasing the number of drone colonies from 33 to 80 colonies had no effect on the duration or on the frequency of nuptial flights. Since our results agree well with the results of previous studies, we suggest RFID as an appropriate tool to investigate the mating behavior of honey bee queens.

  10. Sexual response of male Drosophila to honey bee queen mandibular pheromone: implications for genetic studies of social insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croft, Justin R; Liu, Tom; Camiletti, Alison L; Simon, Anne F; Thompson, Graham J

    2017-02-01

    Honey bees secrete a queen mandibular pheromone that renders workers reproductively altruistic and drones sexually attentive. This sex-specific function of QMP may have evolved from a sexually dimorphic signaling mechanism derived from pre-social ancestors. If so, there is potential for pre-social insects to respond to QMP, and in a manner that is comparable to its normal effect on workers and drones. Remarkably, QMP applied to female Drosophila does induce worker-like qualities [Camiletti et al. (Entomol Exp Appl 147:262, 2013)], and we here extend this comparison to examine the effects of bee pheromone on male fruit flies. We find that male Drosophila melanogaster consistently orient towards a source of queen pheromone in a T-maze, suggesting a recruitment response comparable to the pheromone's normal effect on drones. Moreover, exposure to QMP renders male flies more sexually attentive; they display intensified pre-copulatory behavior towards conspecific females. We can inhibit this sexual effect through a loss-of-olfactory-function mutation, which suggests that the pheromone-responsive behavioral mechanism is olfactory-driven. These pheromone-induced changes to male Drosophila behavior suggest that aspects of sexual signaling are conserved between these two distantly related taxa. Our results highlight a role for Drosophila as a genetically tractable pre-social model for studies of social insect biology.

  11. Genetic analysis of Apis mellifera macedonica (type rodopica populations selectively reared for purposive production of honey bee queens in Bulgaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VIDA H. GEORGIEVA

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The genetic polymorphism in selectively reared in Bulgaria, local honey bee populations of Apis mellifera macedonica subspecies (type rodopica, has been studied, using analysis of six enzyme systems (MDH-1, ME, EST-3, ALP, PGM and HK corresponding to 6 loci. Totally 458 worker bees from 12 bee breeding bases for artificially inseminated queens were used for this study. All these stations are part of the National Bee Breeding Association which officially implements a National Program for sustainable beekeeping in Bulgaria. All of the six loci were found to be polymorphic. Only EST-3 locus was established as fixed in one of the investigated populations. Polymorphism with three alleles was ascertained for MDH, ME, ALP, PGM and HK loci and with five alleles for EST-3 locus. The most common alleles in almost all of the populations were MDH-1 100, ME 100, EST-3 100, PGM 100 and HK 100. Two private alleles (frequency < 0.05 were found for two of the populations. The calculated level of polymorphism was 88.33% in only one of the populations and 100% - in all others. The observed and expected heterozygosities (Ho and He ranged from 0.157 to 0.250 and from 0.206 to 0.272, respectively. The estimated mean FST value from allozyme data was 0.035. On the bases of the allele frequencies of the studied allozyme loci the Nei's (1972 genetic distance was estimated. It ranged between 0.002 and 0.060 among the populations studied.

  12. 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...

  13. Deformed wing virus in western honey bees (Apis mellifera) from Atlantic Canada and the first description of an overtly-infected emerging queen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Rogers, Richard E L; Kalkstein, Abby L; Taylor, Benjamin A; Shutler, Dave; Ostiguy, Nancy

    2009-04-01

    Deformed wing virus (DWV) in western honey bees (Apis mellifera) often remains asymptomatic in workers and drones, and symptoms have never been described from queens. However, intense infections linked to parasitism by the mite Varroa destructor can cause worker wing deformity and death within 67 h of emergence. Ten workers (eight with deformed wings and two with normal wings) and three drones (two with deformed wings and one with normal wings) from two colonies infected with V. destructor from Nova Scotia, Canada, and two newly-emerged queens (one with deformed wings and one with normal wings) from two colonies infected with V. destructor from Prince Edward Island, Canada, were genetically analyzed for DWV. We detected DWV in all workers and drones, regardless of wing morphology, but only in the deformed-winged queen. This is the first report of DWV from Atlantic Canada and the first detection of a symptomatic queen with DWV from anywhere.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  15. Variation in honey yield per hive of Africanized bees depending on the introducing time of young queens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladson Carbonari

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: The objective of this research was to evaluate the honey production per hive and the egg laying rates of queens produced in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Thirty colonies initiated with a queen per colony at each climatic season were used during the three years. The years, started on January (summer, April (autumn, July (winter and October (spring and ended 12 months later, at the same periods related to each season of the later years. Honey supply were weighed before and after centrifugation to evaluate the quantity of the stored honey. Colonies with queens introduced during autumn and winter in the three years produced 57.2±6.0kg and 60.7±7.5kg of honey, respectively. In the first year of production activity, after the introduction of queens in the initial colonies, values were significantly higher than those obtained in colonies with queens introduced in the summer (39.3±7.6kg and spring (41.8±3.7kg. Egg laying rates of queens were higher in spring (98.2±3.9% and summer (88.4±7%, indicating greater food flow (flowerings in these seasons compared to the averages in autumn (30.3±8.1% and winter (24.5±7.2%. Produce and introduce queens of Africanized Apis mellifera in colonies initiated during autumn and winter was found to be economically feasible. Honey production of colonies initiated in these periods were higher and they had greater population stability in times of scarcity of flowerings.

  16. 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

    prevalence of deformed wing virus, queens (n = 30) were trapped upon their return from natural mating flights. The last drone’s endophallus (n = 29), if present, was removed from the mated queens for deformed wing virus quantification, leading to the detection of high-level infection in 3 endophalli. After...... comparatively low deformed wing virus infections served as control. None of the control queens exhibited high-level viral infections. Our results demonstrate that deformed wing virus infected drones are competitive to mate and able to transmit the virus along with semen, which occasionally leads to queen...

  17. Odour-evoked responses to queen pheromone components and to plant odours using optical imaging in the antennal lobe of the honey bee drone Apis mellifera L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2006-09-01

    The primordial functional role of honey bee males (drones) is to mate with virgin queens, a behaviour relying heavily on the olfactory detection of queen pheromone. In the present work I studied olfactory processing in the drone antennal lobe (AL), the primary olfactory centre of the insect brain. In drones, the AL consists of about 103 ordinary glomeruli and four enlarged glomeruli, the macroglomeruli (MG). Two macroglomeruli (MG1 and MG2) and approximately 20 ordinary glomeruli occupy the anterior surface of the antennal lobe and are thus accessible to optical recordings. Calcium imaging was used to measure odour-evoked responses to queen pheromonal components and plant odours. MG2 responded specifically to the main component of the queen mandibular pheromone, 9-ODA. The secondary components HOB and HVA each triggered activity in one, but not the same, ordinary glomerulus. MG1 did not respond to any of the tested stimuli. Plant odours induced signals only in ordinary glomeruli in a combinatorial manner, as in workers. This study thus shows that the major queen pheromonal component is processed in the most voluminous macroglomerulus of the drone antennal lobe, and that plant odours, as well as some queen pheromonal components, are processed in ordinary glomeruli.

  18. Modeling Honey Bee Populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Torres

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

  19. Modeling Honey Bee Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Bee Queen Breeding Methods - Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Patruica

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The biological potential of a bee family is mainly generated by the biological value of the queen. Whether we grow queens widely or just for our own apiaries, we must consider the acquisition of high-quality biological material, and also the creation of optimal feeding and caring conditions, in order to obtain high genetic value queens. Queen breeding technology starts with the setting of hoeing families, nurse families, drone-breeding families – necessary for the pairing of young queens, and also of the families which will provide the bees used to populate the nuclei where the next queens will hatch. The complex of requirements for the breeding of good, high-production queens is sometimes hard to met, under the application of artificial methods. The selection of breeding method must rely on all these requirements and on the beekeeper’s level of training.

  2. Honey bee males and queens use glandular secretions to enhance sperm viability before and after storage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Baer, Boris

    2009-01-01

    Internal fertilization requires live sperm to be transferred from male to female before egg fertilization. Both males and females assist the insemination process by providing sperm with glandular secretions, which have been inferred to contain subsets of proteins that maintain sperm viability. Here...... we show that in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) secretions of the male accessory glands, the major contributors towards seminal fluid, enhance sperm survival. We further demonstrate that the protein fraction of the male accessory gland secretion is indeed important for achieving the maximal effect...... on sperm survival. After sperm storage, the queens also provide sperm with secretions from spermathecal glands and we show that these secretions have a comparable positive effect on sperm viability. SDS gels show that the proteomic profiles of accessory gland secretion and spermathecal fluid secretion...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martins Juliana R

    2010-03-01

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

  4. Honey bee toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Reed M

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Mitosis and cell death in the optic lobes of workers, queens and drones of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) during metamorphosis

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Thaisa Cristina Roat; Carminda Da Cruz Landim

    2010-09-01

    Colonies of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, consist of males and two female castes: workers and queens. The castes and males from A. mellifera have a distinct morphology, physiology and behaviour that correlate with their roles in the society and are characterized by some brain polymorphisms. Compound eyes are one of the characteristics that differ among the castes and sexes. A. mellifera is a holometabolous insect; therefore, the development of adult organs during metamorphosis, which will produce these differences, requires the precise coordination of three main programmed cellular processes: proliferation, differentiation and death. These processes take place simultaneously during pupation. Our purpose was to investigate cell division and death in the optic lobes (OL) of workers, queens and males during pupation to identify how the differences in the compound eyes in adults of these classes are achieved. The results showed that OL differentiation follows a similar pattern in the three classes of individuals studied, without structural differences in their development. The main non-structural differences involve cell division, mortality rates and timing. The results suggest a modelling of the brain during differentiation, which contributes to the specific functions of each individual class.

  6. Mitosis and cell death in the optic lobes of workers, queens and drones of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) during metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roat, Thaisa Cristina; Landim, Carminda da Cruz

    2010-09-01

    Colonies of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, consist of males and two female castes: workers and queens. The castes and males from A. mellifera have a distinct morphology, physiology and behaviour that correlate with their roles in the society and are characterized by some brain polymorphisms. Compound eyes are one of the characteristics that differ among the castes and sexes. A. mellifera is a holometabolous insect; therefore, the development of adult organs during metamorphosis, which will produce these differences, requires the precise coordination of three main programmed cellular processes: proliferation, differentiation and death. These processes take place simultaneously during pupation. Our purpose was to investigate cell division and death in the optic lobes (OL) of workers, queens and males during pupation to identify how the differences in the compound eyes in adults of these classes are achieved. The results showed that OL differentiation follows a similar pattern in the three classes of individuals studied, without structural differences in their development. The main non-structural differences involve cell division, mortality rates and timing. The results suggest a modelling of the brain during differentiation, which contributes to the specific functions of each individual class.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. How flies respond to honey bee pheromone: the role of the foraging gene on reproductive response to queen mandibular pheromone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camiletti, Alison L.; Awde, David N.; Thompson, Graham J.

    2014-01-01

    In this study we test one central prediction from sociogenomic theory—that social and non-social taxa share common genetic toolkits that regulate reproduction in response to environmental cues. We exposed Drosophila females of rover ( for R) and sitter ( for s) genotypes to an ovary-suppressing pheromone derived from the honeybee Apis mellifera. Surprisingly, queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) affected several measures of fitness in flies, and in a manner comparable to the pheromone's normal effect on bee workers. QMP-treated sitter flies had smaller ovaries that contained fewer eggs than did untreated controls. QMP-treated rover flies, by contrast, showed a more variable pattern that only sometimes resulted in ovary inhibition, while a third strain of fly that contains a sitter mutant allele in a rover background ( for s2) showed no ovarian response to QMP. Taken together, our results suggest that distinctly non-social insects have some capacity to respond to social cues, but that this response varies with fly genotype. In general, the interspecific response is consistent with a conserved gene set affecting reproductive physiology. The differential response among strains in particular suggests that for is itself important for modulating the fly's pheromonal response.

  9. Sperm viability and gene expression in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera) following exposure to the neonicotinoid insecticide Imidacloprid and the organophosphate Acaricide Coumaphos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee population declines are a global concern. Numerous factors appear to cause the decline including parasites, pathogens, malnutrition and pesticides. Residues of the organophosphate acaricide coumaphos and the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid, widely used to combat Varroa mites and for...

  10. Expression analysis of putative vitellogenin and lipophorin receptors in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queens and workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidugli-Lazzarini, Karina Rosa; do Nascimento, Adriana Mendes; Tanaka, Erica Donato; Piulachs, Maria Dolors; Hartfelder, Klaus; Bitondi, Márcia Gentile; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino

    2008-07-01

    Two members of the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) family were identified as putative orthologs for a vitellogenin receptor (Amvgr) and a lipophorin receptor (Amlpr) in the Apis mellifera genome. Both receptor sequences have the structural motifs characteristic of LDLR family members and show a high degree of similarity with sequences of other insects. RT-PCR analysis of Amvgr and Amlpr expression detected the presence of both transcripts in different tissues of adult female (ovary, fat body, midgut, head and specifically hypopharyngeal gland), as well as in embryos. In the head RNA samples we found two variant forms of AmLpR: a full length one and a shorter one lacking 29 amino acids in the O-linked sugar domain. In ovaries the expression levels of the two honey bee LDLR members showed opposing trends: whereas Amvgr expression was upregulated as the ovaries became activated, Amlpr transcript levels gradually declined. In situ hybridization analysis performed on ovaries detected Amvgr mRNA exclusively in germ line cells and corroborated the qPCR results showing an increase in Amvgr gene expression concomitant with follicle growth.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Not the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L. Queen, but the Drone Determines the Termination of the Nuptial Flight and the Onset of Oviposition - The Polemics, Abnegations, Corrections and Supplements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Woyke Jerzy

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper emphasizes the topics concerning honey bee (Apis mellifera L. mating biology, which have not been described in the recently published book of Koeniger et al. (2014. At the beginning of natural mating, the drone becomes paralyzed. However, the muscles in the abdomen continuously contract shrinking the abdomen till mating has ended and the pair have separated. It is not the queen that ends the nuptial flight. The termination of the nuptial flight is determined by the drone, which fails to remove the mating sign of the previous drone from the sting chamber of the queen. The mating sign originates from two or more drones. The queen also does not determine the age at which she starts oviposition. It is the last drone, which tried to mate, but failed to remove the mating sign of the predecessor, that determines the age that the queen starts oviposition. The book of Koeniger et al. (2014, together with this paper, present the current knowledge of the mating biology of honey bees.

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly Stoner

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genersch, Elke

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  18. Juvenile hormone enhances aversive learning performance in 2-day old worker honey bees while reducing their attraction to queen mandibular pheromone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQuillan, H James; Nakagawa, Shinichi; Mercer, Alison R

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that exposing young worker bees (Apis mellifera) to queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) reduces their aversive learning performance, while enhancing their attraction to QMP. As QMP has been found to reduce the rate of juvenile hormone (JH) synthesis in worker bees, we examined whether aversive learning in 2-day old workers exposed to QMP from the time of adult emergence could be improved by injecting JH (10 µg in a 2 µl volume) into the haemolymph. We examined in addition, the effects of JH treatment on worker attraction to QMP, and on the levels of expression of amine receptor genes in the antennae, as well as in the mushroom bodies of the brain. We found that memory acquisition and 1-hour memory recall were enhanced by JH. In contrast, JH treatment reduced the bees' attraction towards a synthetic strip impregnated with QMP (Bee Boost). Levels of expression of the dopamine receptor gene Amdop1 were significantly lower in the mushroom bodies of JH-treated bees than in bees treated with vehicle alone (acetone diluted with bee ringer). Expression of the octopamine receptor gene, Amoa1, in this brain region was also affected by JH treatment, and in the antennae, Amoa1 transcript levels were significantly lower in JH-treated bees compared to controls. The results of this study suggest that QMP's effects on JH synthesis may contribute to reducing aversive learning performance and enhancing attraction to QMP in young worker bees.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celik, Yuksel; Ulker, Erkan

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Honey Bees: Sweetness and Mites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee colony losses have been in the news lately and the potential reasons for these losses have taken up much space in the news media. In order to clarify what role mites play in the current loss (2006-2007) of bee colonies, called Colony Collapse Disorder, a better understanding of what a mit...

  3. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Gisder

    2015-10-01

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

  5. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-10-01

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

  6. INFLUENCE OF HONEYBEE QUEENS ORIGIN TO THE PRODUCTION CHARACTERISTICS OF CARNIOLAN BEES (APIS MELLIFERA CARNICA IN SLOVENIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J POKLUKAR

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available Total amount of 4.355 records of honeybee colonies production characteristics was estimated on the 251 bee yards in Slovenia from 1993 to 2001. Queens were produced on 29 queen producing yards. The average lsmeans of honey yields increased by 0,41 kg a year. The swarming behaviour and the defensive behaviour of bees increased as well by - 0,091 points, and –0,038 points respectively. According to the last two years records, the honey yields of bee colonies were significantly influenced by the drone gene pool at queen production yards. The swarming behaviour was in contrary more influenced by the queen mothers on queen production yards. The defensive behaviour of bee colonies and the daily varroa mite fall were not significantly influenced by parents.

  7. Swimming of the Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roh, Chris; Gharib, Morteza

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-25

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

  9. Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-06-20

    production ([http://www.nass.usda.gov/QuickStats/]). Melon production is based on reported 2002 harvested acreage. c. Apricots, avocados , blueberries...crops are almost totally (90%-100%) dependent on honey bee pollination, including almonds, apples, avocados , blueberries, cranberries, cherries, kiwi...is regularly posted to the website of the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium (MAAREC), which represents beekeeping

  10. Honey bee genotypes and the environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik Magne Koscielniak Rasmussen

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  16. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Cocaine tolerance in honey bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eirik Søvik

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuksel Celik

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Cell culture techniques in honey bee research

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia M. Bernauer

    2015-06-01

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

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

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    Zi Long Wang

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Antiviral Defense Mechanisms in Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  9. Integrated control of honey bee diseases in apiculture

    OpenAIRE

    Al Toufailia, Hasan

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  11. Honey bee hemocyte profiling by flow cytometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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...

  17. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) intracolonial genetic diversity influences worker nutritional status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee queens mate with multiple males - a reproductive strategy known as polyandry - that results in colonies comprised of high intracolonial genetic diversity among nestmates. Several studies have demonstrated the adaptive significance of polyandry for overall colony performance and colony gro...

  18. BEES, HONEY AND HEALTH IN ANTIQUITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Cilliers

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available

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

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

  19. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    them to exhibit behaviours typical of older bees. Bees with high N. ceranae spore counts had significantly increased walking rates and decreased attraction to queen mandibular pheromone. Infected bees also exhibited higher rates of trophallaxis (food exchange), potentially reflecting parasite...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie Urlacher

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

  1. 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.

  2. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids in honey and bee pollen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dübecke, A; Beckh, G; Lüllmann, C

    2011-03-01

    A total of 3917 honey samples and 119 'bee pollen' samples (pollen collected by honeybees) were analysed for pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). Some 0.05 M sulphuric acid was used for extraction followed by a clean-up step by means of solid-phase extraction. Separation and detection was achieved by target analysis using an LC-MS/MS system. PAs were found in 66% of the raw honeys (bulk honey not yet packaged in containers for sale in retail outlets) and in 94% of honeys available in supermarkets (retail honey). A total of 60% of the bee pollen samples were PA positive. The PA pattern was used to identify the potential origin of the PAs in honey, which was verified for the genus Echium by relative pollen analysis. The results give an estimate of the impact of PA-containing plants belonging to the genera Echium, Senecio and, to a certain extent, Eupatorium on PA levels in honey and can serve as a decision basis for beekeepers in order to find the most suitable location for the production of honey and bee pollen low in PAs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  4. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramson, Charles I; Aquino, Italo S

    2002-01-01

    Experiments on basic classical conditioning phenomena in adult and young Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are described. Phenomena include conditioning to various stimuli, extinction (both unpaired and CS only), conditioned inhibition, color and odor discrimination. In addition to work on basic phenomena, experiments on practical applications of conditioning methodology are illustrated with studies demonstrating the effects of insecticides on learning and the reaction of bees to consumer products. Electron microscope photos are presented of Africanized workers, drones, and queen bees. Possible sub-species differences between Africanized and European bees are discussed.

  6. Allee effects and colony collapse disorder in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    We propose a mathematical model to quantify the hypothesis that a major ultimate cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in honey bees is the presence of an Allee effect in the growth dynamics of honey bee colonies. In the model, both recruitment of adult bees as well as mortality of adult bees have...

  7. Acute paralysis viruses of the honey bee

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chunsheng; Hou; Nor; Chejanovsky

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  10. Gender-bias primes elicit queen-bee responses among senior Policewomen

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derks, B.; Laar, C. van; Ellemers, N.; Groot, K. de

    2011-01-01

    Queen bees are senior women in male-dominated organizations who have achieved success by emphasizing how they differ from other women. Although the behavior of queen bees tends to be seen as contributing to gender disparities in career outcomes, we argue that queen-bee behavior is actually a result

  11. Honey bees selectively avoid difficult choices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Clint J; Barron, Andrew B

    2013-11-19

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

  12. 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

  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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaliunaa Tsevegmid

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Patrick; Grozinger, Christina M.

    2008-08-01

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

  18. Bee cups: Single-use cages for honey bee experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bees face challenges ranging from poor nutrition to exposure to parasites, pathogens, and environmental chemicals. These challenges drain colony resources and have been tied to both subtle and extreme colony declines, including the enigmatic Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Understanding how ...

  19. 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)…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  1. Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Characterization of the Active Microbiotas Associated with Honey Bees Reveals Healthier and Broader Communities when Colonies are Genetically Diverse

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected pollen into bee bread, a nutritious food product that can be stored for long periods in colonies. We used 16S rRNA pyrosequencing to comprehensively characterize in genetically diverse and genetically uniform colonies the active bacterial communities that are found on honey bees, in their digestive tracts, and in bee bread. This method provided insights that have not been revealed by past studies into the content and benefits of honey bee-associated microbial communities. Colony microbiotas differed substantially between sampling environments and were dominated by several anaerobic bacterial genera never before associated with honey bees, but renowned for their use by humans to ferment food. Colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from greater microbial diversity, reduced pathogen loads, and increased abundance of putatively helpful bacteria, particularly species from the potentially probiotic genus Bifidobacterium. Across all colonies, Bifidobacterium activity was negatively correlated with the activity of genera that include pathogenic microbes; this relationship suggests a possible target for understanding whether microbes provide protective benefits to honey bees. Within-colony diversity shapes microbiotas associated with honey bees in ways that may have important repercussions for colony function and health. Our findings illuminate the importance of honey bee-bacteria symbioses and examine their intersection with nutrition, pathogen load, and genetic diversity, factors that are considered key to understanding honey bee decline. PMID:22427917

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather R Mattila

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Invasion of Varroa mites into honey bee brood cells.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boot, W.J.

    1995-01-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa-jacobsoni is one of the most serious pests of Western honey bees, Apis mellifera. The mites parasitize adult bees, but reproduction only occurs while parasitizing on honey bee brood. Invasion into a drone or a worker cell is therefore a crucial step in the life of Varroa m

  6. 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...

  7. Pathogen webs in collapsing honey bee colonies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Pathogen webs in collapsing honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Comparing the flight activities of workers from two stocks of honey bees (Apis mellifera) raised in gamma-irradiated combs using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamma irradiation has been shown to inactivate pathogens (virus, American foulbrood and Nosema) that are harmful to honey bees. Preliminary data suggest that queens raised in mating nucleus colonies having gamma-irradiated combs outperformed queens from nucleus colonies not having irradiated combs. ...

  10. 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.

  11. Preservation of Domesticated Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Drone Semen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paillard, M; Rousseau, A; Giovenazzo, P; Bailey, J L

    2017-08-01

    Preservation of honey bee (Apis mellifera L., Hymenoptera: Apidae) sperm, coupled with instrumental insemination, is an effective strategy to protect the species and their genetic diversity. Our overall objective is to develop a method of drone semen preservation; therefore, two experiments were conducted. Hypothesis 1 was that cryopreservation (-196 °C) of drone semen is more effective for long-term storage than at 16 °C. Our results show that after 1 yr of storage, frozen sperm viability was higher than at 16 °C, showing that cryopreservation is necessary to conserve semen. However, the cryoprotectant used for drone sperm freezing, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), can harm the queen and reduce fertility after instrumental insemination. Hypothesis 2 was that centrifugation of cryopreserved semen to reduce DMSO prior to insemination optimize sperm quality. Our results indicate that centrifuging cryopreserved sperm to remove cryoprotectant does not affect queen survival, spermathecal sperm count, or sperm viability. Although these data do not indicate that centrifugation of frozen-thawed sperm improves queen health and fertility after instrumental insemination, we demonstrate that cryopreservation is achievable, and it is better for long-term sperm storage than above-freezing temperatures for duration of close to a year. © 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.

  12. Does Patriline Composition Change over a Honey Bee Queen’s Lifetime?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl Crailsheim

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available A honey bee queen mates with a number of drones a few days after she emerges as an adult. Spermatozoa of different drones are stored in her spermatheca and used for the rest of the queen’s life to fertilize eggs. Sperm usage is thought to be random, so that the patriline distribution within a honey bee colony would remain constant over time. In this study we assigned the progeny of a naturally mated honey bee queen to patrilines using microsatellite markers at the queen’s age of two, three and four years. No significant changes in patriline distribution occurred within each of two foraging seasons, with samples taken one and five months apart, respectively. Overall and pair-wise comparisons between the three analyzed years reached significant levels. Over the three-year period we found a trend for patrilines to become more equally represented with time. It is important to note that this study was performed with a single queen, and thus individual and population variation in sperm usage patterns must be assessed. We discuss long-term changes in patriline composition due to mixing processes in the queen’s spermatheca, following incomplete mixing of different drones’ sperm after mating.

  13. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Lanting

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dušan Paál

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was the selection and testing of suitable microsatellite markers for evaluation of the Slovak carniolan honey bee, particularly the population structure, genetic diversity, breed assignment and paternity testing of honey bee queens in Slovakia. Fourteen microsatellite markers running in two multiplex PCR reactions have been tested on 40 randomly selected workers and queens and further verified by PIC index, expected heterozygosity (HE and observed heterozygosity (HO. Chi-squared test of goodness of fit (α = 0,05 was used to check the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE of genotype for each marker. For the comparison tests the workers of A. mellifera mellifera x ligurica, A. mellifera macedonica and A. mellifera iberica were analyzed, using the same set of markers. We identified a total of 123 alleles in the Slovak carniolan honey bee samples, with the mean value of 8,78 allele per locus. Eleven markers showed the PIC value greater than 0,5 and thus were highly informative. The mean value of expected heterozygosity HE for all loci was 0,705 ± 0,15, the mean value of observed heterozygosity HO was 0,704 ± 0,18. The frequencies of genotypes for most tested markers were in The aim of this study was the selection and testing of suitable microsatellite markers for evaluation of the Slovak carniolan honey bee, particularly the population structure, genetic diversity, breed assignment and paternity testing of honey bee queens in Slovakia. Fourteen microsatellite markers running in two multiplex PCR reactions have been tested on 40 randomly selected workers and queens and further verified by PIC index, expected heterozygosity (HE and observed heterozygosity (HO. Chi-squared test of goodness of fit (α = 0,05 was used to check the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE of genotype for each marker. For the comparison tests the workers of A. mellifera mellifera x ligurica, A. mellifera macedonica and A. mellifera iberica were analyzed, using

  20. Predictive markers of honey bee colony collapse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Dainat

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

  1. 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.

  2. Honey Bees, Satellites and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esaias, W.

    2008-05-01

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

  3. Antioxidants in wax cappings of honey bee brood

    Science.gov (United States)

    This is the first time that non-food items from honey bee colonies were assessed for antioxidant activity as it related to Varroa-infestation. Antioxidant activity may be an indication of bee health and while antioxidants are present in honey, propolis, pollen and royal jelly, little work has been...

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  7. IRS and TOR nutrient-signaling pathways act via juvenile hormone to influence honey bee caste fate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutti, Navdeep S; Dolezal, Adam G; Wolschin, Florian; Mutti, Jasdeep S; Gill, Kulvinder S; Amdam, Gro V

    2011-12-01

    Regardless of genetic makeup, a female honey bee becomes a queen or worker depending on the food she receives as a larva. For decades, it has been known that nutrition and juvenile hormone (JH) signaling determine the caste fate of the individual bee. However, it is still largely unclear how these factors are connected. To address this question, we suppressed nutrient sensing by RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated gene knockdown of IRS (insulin receptor substrate) and TOR (target of rapamycin) in larvae reared on queen diet. The treatments affected several layers of organismal organization that could play a role in the response to differential nutrition between castes. These include transcript profiles, proteomic patterns, lipid levels, DNA methylation response and morphological features. Most importantly, gene knockdown abolished a JH peak that signals queen development and resulted in a worker phenotype. Application of JH rescued the queen phenotype in either knockdown, which demonstrates that the larval response to JH remains intact and can drive normal developmental plasticity even when IRS or TOR transcript levels are reduced. We discuss our results in the context of other recent findings on honey bee caste and development and propose that IRS is an alternative substrate for the Egfr (epidermal growth factor receptor) in honey bees. Overall, our study describes how the interplay of nutritional and hormonal signals affects many levels of organismal organization to build different phenotypes from identical genotypes.

  8. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brutscher, Laura M.; Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

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

  10. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura M. Brutscher

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  13. 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'.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  16. 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

  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 s

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Marsha M; Robinson, Gene E

    2014-07-17

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

  19. The Queen Bee Phenomenon: Why Women Leaders Distance Themselves from Junior Women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derks, B.; Van Laar, C.; Ellemers, Naomi

    2016-01-01

    This contribution reviews work on the Queen Bee phenomenon whereby women leaders assimilate into masculine organizations, distance themselves from junior women and legitimize gender inequality in their organization. We propose that rather than being a source of gender inequality, the Queen Bee pheno

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerry J Bromenshenk

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Youhui; Diao, Qingyun

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine E Thompson

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

  7. Expression of Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) in commercial VSH honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danka, Robert G; Harris, Jeffrey W; Villa, José D

    2011-06-01

    We tested six commercial sources of honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), whose breeding incorporated the trait of Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH). VSH confers resistance to the parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman by enhancing the ability of the bees to hygienically remove mite-infested brood. VSH production queens (i.e., queens commercially available for use in beekeepers' production colonies) from the six sources were established in colonies which later were measured for VSH. Their responses were compared with those of colonies with three other types of queens, as follows: VSH queens from the selected closed population maintained by USDA-ARS for research and as a source of breeding germplasm, queens from the cooperating commercial distributor of this germplasm, and queens of a commercial, mite-susceptible source. The reduction of mite infestation in brood combs exposed to test colonies for 1 wk differed significantly between groups. On average, colonies with VSH production queens reduced infestation by 44%. This group average was intermediate between the greater removal by pure ARS VSH (76%) and the cooperators' breeding colonies (64%), and the lesser removal by susceptible colonies (7%). VSH production colonies from the different sources had variable expression of hygiene against mites, with average reduced infestations ranging from 22 to 74%. In addition, infertility was high among mites that remained in infested cells in VSH breeder colonies from ARS and the commercial distributor but was lower and more variable in VSH production colonies and susceptible colonies. Commercial VSH production colonies supply mite resistance that generally seems to be useful for beekeeping. Resistance probably could be improved if more VSH drones sources were supplied when VSH production queens are being mated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Youngsteadt

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortensen, Ashley N.; Ellis, James D.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortensen, Ashley N; Ellis, James D

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Pest status and incidence of the honey bee tracheal mite in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. KORPELA

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera L. were surveyed for the presence of the honey bee tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi Rennie in Finland between 1991 and 1997. Colony background information and winter loss data were obtained from beekeepers who had taken tracheal mite infested samples. A total of 2116 samples from honey bee colonies of 402 beekeepers were investigated. Infestations were found in 8% of the beekeeping operations and in 10% of the samples inspected. In the last years of the survey more than 20% of apiaries were infested. This increase may be partly explained by tracheal mite infestations found in commercial queen-rearing apiaries. A field experiment with colonies infested at different levels showed that colonies in which 20% or more of bees are infested with tracheal mites have an increased risk of dying during the winter under Finnish conditions. This infestation level was found among colonies in 92% of the infested apiaries. Comparison of the tracheal mite prevalence in apiaries with their winter losses indicated that infestations were associated with colony mortality. The results of this survey point to the high pest potential of the tracheal mite in Finland, in contrast to findings on tracheal mites from elsewhere in Europe. Therefore, strategies to prevent further spread of the mite are highly recommended and methods for effective control should be sought.;

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott E Dobrin

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

  15. Landscape analysis of drone congregation areas of the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galindo-Cardona, Alberto; Monmany, A Carolina; Moreno-Jackson, Rafiné; Rivera-Rivera, Carlos; Huertas-Dones, Carlos; Caicedo-Quiroga, Laura; Giray, Tugrul

    2012-01-01

    Male honey bees fly and gather at Drone Congregation Areas (DCAs), where drones and queens mate in flight. DCAs occur in places with presumably characteristic features. Using previously described landscape characteristics and observations on flight direction of drones in nearby apiaries, 36 candidate locations were chosen across the main island of Puerto Rico. At these locations, the presence or absence of DCAs was tested by lifting a helium balloon equipped with queen-sex-pheromone-impregnated bait, and visually determining the presence of high numbers of drones. Because of the wide distribution of honey bees in Puerto Rico, it was expected that most of the potential DCAs would be used as such by drones and queens from nearby colonies. Eight DCAs were found in the 36 candidate locations. Locations with and without DCAs were compared in a landscape analysis including characteristics that were described to be associated with DCAs and others. Aspect (direction of slope) and density of trails were found to be significantly associated with the presence of DCAs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Parker

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Honey bees are complex eusocial insects that provide a critical contribution to human agricultural food production. Their natural migration has selected for traits that increase fitness within geographical areas, but in parallel their domestication has selected for traits that enhance productivity and survival under local conditions. Elucidating the biochemical mechanisms of these local adaptive processes is a key goal of evolutionary biology. Proteomics provides tools unique among the major 'omics disciplines for identifying the mechanisms employed by an organism in adapting to environmental challenges. RESULTS: Through proteome profiling of adult honey bee midgut from geographically dispersed, domesticated populations combined with multiple parallel statistical treatments, the data presented here suggest some of the major cellular processes involved in adapting to different climates. These findings provide insight into the molecular underpinnings that may confer an advantage to honey bee populations. Significantly, the major energy-producing pathways of the mitochondria, the organelle most closely involved in heat production, were consistently higher in bees that had adapted to colder climates. In opposition, up-regulation of protein metabolism capacity, from biosynthesis to degradation, had been selected for in bees from warmer climates. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our results present a proteomic interpretation of expression polymorphisms between honey bee ecotypes and provide insight into molecular aspects of local adaptation or selection with consequences for honey bee management and breeding. The implications of our findings extend beyond apiculture as they underscore the need to consider the interdependence of animal populations and their agro-ecological context.

  17. 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.

  18. Acaricide treatment affects viral dynamics in Varroa destructor-infested honey bee colonies via both host physiology and mite control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Barbara; Forsgren, Eva; Fries, Ingemar; de Miranda, Joachim R

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  20. Bees under stress: sublethal doses of a neonicotinoid pesticide and pathogens interact to elevate honey bee mortality across the life cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doublet, Vincent; Labarussias, Maureen; de Miranda, Joachim R; Moritz, Robin F A; Paxton, Robert J

    2015-04-01

    Microbial pathogens are thought to have a profound impact on insect populations. Honey bees are suffering from elevated colony losses in the northern hemisphere possibly because of a variety of emergent microbial pathogens, with which pesticides may interact to exacerbate their impacts. To reveal such potential interactions, we administered at sublethal and field realistic doses one neonicotinoid pesticide (thiacloprid) and two common microbial pathogens, the invasive microsporidian Nosema ceranae and black queen cell virus (BQCV), individually to larval and adult honey bees in the laboratory. Through fully crossed experiments in which treatments were administered singly or in combination, we found an additive interaction between BQCV and thiacloprid on host larval survival likely because the pesticide significantly elevated viral loads. In adult bees, two synergistic interactions increased individual mortality: between N. ceranae and BQCV, and between N. ceranae and thiacloprid. The combination of two pathogens had a more profound effect on elevating adult mortality than N. ceranae plus thiacloprid. Common microbial pathogens appear to be major threats to honey bees, while sublethal doses of pesticide may enhance their deleterious effects on honey bee larvae and adults. It remains an open question as to whether these interactions can affect colony survival.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Sex-related differences in susceptibility to pathogens are a common phenomenon in animals. In the eusocial Hymenoptera the two female castes, workers and queens, are diploid and males are haploid. The haploid susceptibility hypothesis predicts that haploid males are more susceptible to pathogen infections compared to females. Here we test this hypothesis using adult male (drone) and female (worker) honey bees (Apis mellifera), inoculated with the gut endoparasite Nosema ceranae and/or black queen cell virus (BQCV). These pathogens were chosen due to previously reported synergistic interactions between Nosema apis and BQCV. Our data do not support synergistic interactions between N. ceranae and BQCV and also suggest that BQCV has limited effect on both drone and worker health, regardless of the infection level. However, the data clearly show that, despite lower levels of N. ceranae spores in drones than in workers, Nosema-infected drones had both a higher mortality and a lower body mass than non-infected drones, across all treatment groups, while the mortality and body mass of worker bees were largely unaffected by N. ceranae infection, suggesting that drones are more susceptible to this pathogen than workers. In conclusion, the data reveal considerable sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees and highlight the importance of ultimate measures for determining susceptibility, such as mortality and body quality, rather than mere infection levels.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gina Retschnig

    Full Text Available Sex-related differences in susceptibility to pathogens are a common phenomenon in animals. In the eusocial Hymenoptera the two female castes, workers and queens, are diploid and males are haploid. The haploid susceptibility hypothesis predicts that haploid males are more susceptible to pathogen infections compared to females. Here we test this hypothesis using adult male (drone and female (worker honey bees (Apis mellifera, inoculated with the gut endoparasite Nosema ceranae and/or black queen cell virus (BQCV. These pathogens were chosen due to previously reported synergistic interactions between Nosema apis and BQCV. Our data do not support synergistic interactions between N. ceranae and BQCV and also suggest that BQCV has limited effect on both drone and worker health, regardless of the infection level. However, the data clearly show that, despite lower levels of N. ceranae spores in drones than in workers, Nosema-infected drones had both a higher mortality and a lower body mass than non-infected drones, across all treatment groups, while the mortality and body mass of worker bees were largely unaffected by N. ceranae infection, suggesting that drones are more susceptible to this pathogen than workers. In conclusion, the data reveal considerable sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees and highlight the importance of ultimate measures for determining susceptibility, such as mortality and body quality, rather than mere infection levels.

  3. Resin collection and social immunity in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    We determined if the use of resins, complex plant secretions with diverse antimicrobial properties, acts as a colony-level immune defense by honey bees. Colonies were enriched with extracts of Brazilian or Minnesotan propolis (a bee mixture of resins and wax) or were left as controls. We measured ge...

  4. Detecting population admixture in honey bees of Serbia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  6. Reduced SNP Panels for Genetic Identification and Introgression Analysis in the Dark Honey Bee (Apis mellifera mellifera)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muñoz, Irene; Henriques, Dora; Johnston, J. Spencer

    2015-01-01

    Beekeeping activities, especially queen trading, have shaped the distribution of honey bee (Apis mellifera) subspecies in Europe, and have resulted in extensive introductions of two eastern European C-lineage subspecies (A. m. ligustica and A. m. carnica) into the native range of the M-lineage A....

  7. Inheritance of resistance to Acarapis woodi (Acari: Tarsonemidae) in first-generation crosses of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danka, R G; Villa, J D

    2000-12-01

    The tendency of honey bees, Apis mellifera L, to become infested with tracheal mites, Acarapis woodi (Rennie), was measured in six different types of F1 colonies. The colonies were produced by mating a stock (Buckfast) known to resist mite infestation to each of five commercially available stocks and to a stock known to be susceptible to mites. Young uninfested bees from progeny and parent colonies were simultaneously exposed to mites in infested colonies, then retrieved and dissected to determine resultant mite infestations. Reduced infestations similar to but numerically greater than those of the resistant parent bees occurred in each of the six crosses made with resistant bees regardless of the relative susceptibility of the other parental stock. Reciprocal crosses between resistant and susceptible queens and drones proved equally effective in improving resistance. Therefore, allowing resistant stock queens to mate naturally with unselected drones, or nonresistant queens to mate with drones produced by pure or outcrossed resistant queens, can be used for improving resistance of production queens.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  13. Performance of Bee Colonies Headed by Queens Instrumentally Inseminated with Semen of Drones Who Come from a Single Colony or Many Colonies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerula Dariusz

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to determine the effect of honey bee worker diversity within the colony on: development, honey productivity, and wintering. Two different levels of diversity within the colony were tested. The appropriate levels of diversity within the colony were obtained by selecting drones for inseminating the queens. Lower genetic diversity was obtained in the colonies headed by a queen inseminated with semen collected from drones originating from a single colony. Higher genetic diversity was obtained in the colonies with queens inseminated with semen from drones of 30 different colonies. Colonies with a higher genetic variation of workers in the colonies had greater levels of functional characteristics. However, apart from the number of dead bees in winter, the genetic diversity level of the workers on the colony development and honey production, did not have a significant influence. There was an averaging effect observed concerning that male component in the colonies with a higher genetic variation of workers - on honey yield, when compared to the non-additive effect of the best drones.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Bee health

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lecocq, Antoine

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

  19. Seasonal variation in the titers and biosynthesis of the primer pheromone ethyl oleate in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Carlos; Maisonnasse, Alban; Conte, Yves Le; Plettner, Erika

    2012-08-01

    Honey bees allocate tasks along reproductive and non-reproductive lines: the queen mates and lays eggs, whereas the workers nurse the brood and forage for food. Among workers, tasks are distributed according to age: young workers nurse and old workers fly out and forage. This task distribution in the colony is further regulated by an increase in juvenile hormone III as workers age and by pheromones. One such compound is ethyl oleate (EO), a primer pheromone that delays the onset of foraging in young workers. EO is produced by foragers when they are exposed to ethanol (from fermented nectar) while gathering food. EO is perceived by younger bees via olfaction. We describe here the seasonal variation of EO production and the effects of Methoprene, a juvenile hormone analog. We found that honey bee workers biosynthesize more EO during the growing season than during the fall and winter months, reaching peak levels at late spring or summer. When caged workers were fed with syrup+d(6)-ethanol, labeled EO accumulated in the honey crop and large amounts exuded to the exoskeleton. Exuded levels were high for several hours after exposure to ethanol. Treatment with Methoprene increased the production of EO in worker bees, by speeding up its movement from biosynthetic sites to the exoskeleton, where EO evaporates. Crop fluid from bees collected monthly during the growing season showed a modest seasonal variation of in vitro EO biosynthetic activity that correlated with the dry and sunny periods during which bees could forage. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Virulence of mixed fungal infections in honey bee brood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vojvodic Svjetlana

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Most organisms are constantly faced with environmental changes and stressors. In diverse organisms, there is an anticipatory mechanism during development that can program adult phenotypes. The adult phenotype would be adapted to the predicted environment that occurred during organism maturation. However, whether this anticipatory mechanism is present in eusocial species is questionable because eusocial organisms are largely shielded from exogenous conditions by their stable nest environment. In this study, we tested whether food deprivation during development of the honey bee (Apis mellifera), a eusocial insect model, can shift adult phenotypes to better cope with nutritional stress. After subjecting fifth instar worker larvae to short-term starvation, we measured nutrition-related morphology, starvation resistance, physiology, endocrinology and behavior in the adults. We found that the larval starvation caused adult honey bees to become more resilient toward starvation. Moreover, the adult bees were characterized by reduced ovary size, elevated glycogen stores and juvenile hormone (JH) titers, and decreased sugar sensitivity. These changes, in general, can help adult insects survive and reproduce in food-poor environments. Overall, we found for the first time support for an anticipatory mechanism in a eusocial species, the honey bee. Our results suggest that this mechanism may play a role in honey bee queen-worker differentiation and worker division of labor, both of which are related to the responses to nutritional stress.

  4. 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.

  5. The relationship between asymmetry, size and unusual venation in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Łopuch, S; Tofilski, A

    2016-06-01

    Despite the fact that symmetry is common in nature, it is rarely perfect. Because there is a wide range of phenotypes which differs from the average one, the asymmetry should increase along with deviation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the level of asymmetry in normal individuals as well as in phenodeviants categorized as minor or major based on abnormalities in forewing venation in honey bees. Shape fluctuating asymmetry (FA) was lower in normal individuals and minor phenodeviants compared with major phenodeviants, whereas the former two categories were comparable in drones. In workers and queens, there were not significant differences in FA shape between categories. FA size was significantly lower in normal individuals compared with major phenodeviant drones and higher compared with minor phenodeviant workers. In queens, there were no significant differences between categories. The correlation between FA shape and FA size was significantly positive in drones, and insignificant in workers and queens. Moreover, a considerable level of directional asymmetry was found as the right wing was constantly bigger than the left one. Surprisingly, normal individuals were significantly smaller than minor phenodeviants in queens and drones, and they were comparable with major phenodeviants in all castes. The correlation between wing size and wing asymmetry was negative, indicating that smaller individuals were more asymmetrical. The high proportion of phenodeviants in drones compared with workers and queens confirmed their large variability. Thus, the results of the present study showed that minor phenodeviants were not always intermediate as might have been expected.

  6. Functional morphology of the honey stomach wall of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The honey bee crop, or honey stomach, is designed with cords of muscles that are numerous enough in both latitudinal and longitudinal directions to fully enclose and confine the underlying, cuticle-lines epithelium. Although appressed against the inner wall of this enclosure by the crop's contents,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  8. Honey Bee Colonies Remote Monitoring System

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Honey Bee Colonies Remote Monitoring System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Gil-Lebrero

    2016-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calis, J.N.M.

    2001-01-01

    Introduction

    Varroa mites as parasites of honey bees

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides (NIs) and their transformation products were detected in honey, pollen and honey bees, (Apis mellifera) from hives located within 30 km of the City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam were the most frequently detected NIs, found in 68 and 75% of honey samples at mean concentrations of 8.2 and 17.2 ng g(-1) wet mass, (wm), respectively. Clothianidin was also found in >50% of samples of bees and pollen. Concentrations of clothianidin in bees exceed the LD50 in 2 of 28 samples, while for other NIs concentrations were typically 10-100-fold less than the oral LD50. Imidaclorpid was detected in ∼30% of samples of honey, but only 5% of pollen and concentrations were honey and pollen by bees over winter, during which worker bees live longer than in summer, suggested that, in some hives, consumption of honey and pollen during over-wintering might have adverse effects on bees.

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of Long Distance Transportation on Honey Bee Physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiheung Ahn

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Huo-Qing; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-06-01

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

  17. Varroa-Virus Interaction in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Varroa mites and viruses are the currently the high-profile suspects in collapsing bee colonies. Therefore, seasonal variation in varroa load and viruses (Acute-Kashmir-Israeli complex (AKI) and Deformed Wing Virus (DWV)) were monitored in a year-long study. We investigated the viral titres...... in honey bees and varroa mites from 23 colonies (15 apiaries) under three treatment conditions: Organic acids (11 colonies), pyrethroid (9 colonies) and untreated (3 colonies). Approximately 200 bees were sampled every month from April 2011 to October 2011, and April 2012. The 200 bees were split to 10...... subsamples of 20 bees and analysed separately, which allows us to determine the prevalence of virus-infected bees. The treatment efficacy was often low for both treatments. In colonies where varroa treatment reduced the mite load, colonies overwintered successfully, allowing the mites and viruses...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 ...

  20. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Alaux, Cédric; Dantec, Christelle; Parrinello, Hughes; Le Conte, Yves

    2011-01-01

    .... In honey bees (Apis mellifera), pollen, which is the main dietary source of proteins, amino acids and lipids, is essential to adult bee physiological development while reducing their susceptibility to parasites and pathogens...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Gram-Positive Bacteria with Probiotic Potential for the Apis mellifera L. Honey Bee: The Experience in the Northwest of Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audisio, Marcela Carina

    2016-09-21

    Apis mellifera L. is one of the most important natural pollinators of significant crops and flowers around the world. It can be affected by different types of illnesses: american foulbrood, nosemosis, varroasis, viruses, among others. Such infections mainly cause a reduction in honey production and in extreme situations, the death of the colony. Argentina is the world's second largest honey exporter and the third largest honey producer, after China and Turkey. Given both the prominence of the honey bee in nature and the economic importance of apiculture in Argentina and the world, it is crucial to develop efficient and sustainable strategies to control honey bee diseases and to improve bee colony health. Gram-positive bacteria, such as lactic acid bacteria, mainly Lactobacillus, and Bacillus spp. are promising options. In the Northwest of Argentina, several Lactobacillus and Bacillus strains from the honey bee gut and honey were isolated by our research group and characterized by using in vitro tests. Two strains were selected because of their potential probiotic properties: Lactobacillus johnsonii CRL1647 and Bacillus subtilis subsp. subtilis Mori2. Under independent trials with both experimental and commercial hives, it was determined that each strain was able to elicit probiotic effects on bee colonies reared in the northwestern region of Argentina. One result was the increase in egg-laying by the queen which therefore produced an increase in bee number and, consequently, a higher honey yield. Moreover, the beneficial bacteria reduced the incidence of two important bee diseases: nosemosis and varroosis. These results are promising and extend the horizon of probiotic bacteria to the insect world, serving beekeepers worldwide as a natural tool that they can administer as is, or combine with other disease-controlling methods.

  5. Evaluating the Effect of Environmental Chemicals on Honey Bee Development from the Individual to Colony Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Chong-Yu; Chen, Yue-Wen; Nai, Yu-Shin

    2017-04-01

    The presence of pesticides in the beekeeping environment is one of the most serious problems that impacts the life of a honey bee. Pesticides can be brought back to the beehive after the bees have foraged on flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides. Pesticide contaminated food can be exchanged between workers which then feed larvae and therefore can potentially affect the development of honey bees. Thus, residual pesticides in the environment can become a chronic damaging factor to honey bee populations and gradually lead to colony collapse. In the presented protocol, honey bee feeding methods are described and applied to either an individual honey bee or to a colony. Here, the insect growth regulator (IGR) pyriproxyfen (PPN), which is widely used to control pest insects and is harmful to the development of honey bee larvae and pupae, is used as the pesticide. The presenting procedure can be applied to other potentially harmful chemicals or honeybee pathogens for further studies.

  6. Pollen collection and honey bee forager distribution in cantaloupe

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Evaluating the effects of mosquito control adulticides on honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    While mosquito control adulticides can be effective in rapidly reducing mosquito populations during times of high arbovirus transmission, the impacts of these control measures on pollinators has been of recent interest. The purpose of our study was to evaluate mosquito and honey bee mortality using ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee health is mainly affected by Varroa destructor, viruses, Nosema spp., pesticide residues and poor nutrition. Interactions between these proposed factors may be responsible for the colony losses reported worldwide in recent years. In the present study, the effects of a honey bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), on the foraging behaviors and homing ability of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were investigated based on proboscis extension response (PER) assays and radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. The pollen forager honey bees originated from colonies that had no detectable level of honey bee viruses and were manually inoculated with IAPV to induce the viral infection. The results showed that IAPV-inoculated honey bees were more responsive to low sucrose solutions compared to that of non-infected foragers. After two days of infection, around 107 copies of IAPV were detected in the heads of these honey bees. The homing ability of IAPV-infected foragers was depressed significantly in comparison to the homing ability of uninfected foragers. The data provided evidence that IAPV infection in the heads may enable the virus to disorder foraging roles of honey bees and to interfere with brain functions that are responsible for learning, navigation, and orientation in the honey bees, thus, making honey bees have a lower response threshold to sucrose and lose their way back to the hive. PMID:24130876

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Drones of the dwarf honey bee Apis florea are attracted to (2E)-9-oxodecenoic acid and (2E)-10-hydroxydecenoic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagaraja, Narayanappa; Brockmann, Axel

    2009-06-01

    The queen mandibular gland component (2E)-9-oxodecenoic acid (9-ODA) has been suggested to function as the major sex pheromone component in all honey bee species. In contrast to this hypothesis, chemical analyses showed that in the Asian dwarf honey bee species, Apis florea, a different decenoic acid, (2E)-10-hydroxydecenoic acid (10-HDA), is the major component in the mandibular gland secretion. We show here that A. florea drones are attracted to 9-ODA as well as to 10-HDA. However, 10-HDA attracted higher numbers of drones at lower dosages than 9-ODA, and also was more attractive when directly compared to 9-ODA in a dual attraction experiment. We conclude that 10-HDA has to be viewed as the major sex pheromone in A. florea. The result that both pheromone components are capable of attracting drones when presented alone was unexpected with regard to existing sex pheromone attraction experiments in honey bees.

  18. Ties between ageing plasticity and reproductive physiology in honey bees (Apis mellifera) reveal a positive relation between fecundity and longevity as consequence of advanced social evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueppell, Olav; Aumer, Denise; Moritz, Robin Fa

    2016-08-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the best studied model of ageing among the social insects. As in other social insects, the reproductive queen far outlives her non-reproductive workers despite developing from the same genome in the same colony environment. Thus, the different social roles of the two female castes are critical for the profound phenotypic plasticity. In several special cases, such as the reproductive workers of Apis mellifera capensis, within-caste plasticity enables further studies of the fecundity-longevity syndrome in honey bees. At present, molecular evidence suggests that a reorganization of physiological control pathways may facilitate longevity of reproductive individuals. However, the social role and social environment of the different colony members are also very important and one of the key future questions is how much social facilitation versus internal regulation is responsible for the positive association between fecundity and longevity in honey bees.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonina Jivan

    2013-10-01

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

  20. APIS - a novel approach for conditioning honey bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas Hagen Kirkerud

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt I Betti

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  3. The Importance of Microbes in Nutrition and Health of Honey Bee Colonies Part-2: Factors Affecting the Microbial Community in Honey Bee Colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee colonies have innumerable symbiotic bacteria and fungi that are essential to the health of the colony. In the first part of this series, we discussed the importance of microbes in maintaining the health of honey bee colonies. The bacteria, yeasts and molds that live in a healthy colony a...

  4. A Scientific Note on the Lactic Acid Bacterial Flora Discovered in the Honey Stomach of Swedish honey bees - a continuing study on honey bees in the U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beneficial bacteria have been found in honey stomachs of the honey bee, Apis mellifera; a unique flora that appears to have coevolved with the honey bees. The health of our most important pollinators has come into focus during the last few years, because of yet unexplained conditions and diseases t...

  5. 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

  6. Comparative reproduction of Varroa destructor in different types of Russian and Italian honey bee combs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-03-01

    Earlier studies showed that Russian honey bees support slow growth of varroa mite population. We studied whether or not comb type influenced varroa reproduction in both Russian and Italian honey bees, and whether Russian bees produced comb which inhibited varroa reproduction. The major differences found in this study concerned honey bee type. Overall, the Russian honey bees had lower (2.44 +/- 0.18%) levels of varroa infestation than Italian honey bees (7.20 +/- 0.60%). This decreased infestation resulted in part from a reduced number of viable female offspring per foundress in the Russian (0.85 +/- 0.04 female) compared to the Italian (1.23 +/- 0.04 females) honey bee colonies. In addition, there was an effect by the comb built by the Russian honey bee colonies that reduced varroa reproduction. When comparing combs having Russian or Italian colony origins, Russian honey bee colonies had more non-reproducing foundress mites and fewer viable female offspring in Russian honey bee comb. This difference did not occur in Italian colonies. The age of comb in this study had mixed effects. Older comb produced similar responses for six of the seven varroa infestation parameters measured. In colonies of Italian honey bees, the older comb (2001 dark) had fewer (1.13 +/- 0.07 females) viable female offspring per foundress than were found in the 2002 new (1.21 +/- 0.06 females) and 1980s new (1.36 +/- 0.08 females) combs. This difference did not occur with Russian honey bee colonies where the number of viable female offspring was low in all three types of combs. This study suggests that honey bee type largely influences growth of varroa mite population in a colony.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Honey Bees Avoiding Ant Harassment at Flowers Using Scent Cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidhu, Sheena C; Wilson Rankin, Erin E

    2016-02-01

    Pollinators require resources throughout the year to maintain healthy populations. Along the urban-natural interface, floral resource availability may be limited especially when the system experiences extreme drought and fire threats. In such areas, succulents, such as Aloe spp., are commonly planted to serve as functional drought-tolerant, fire-protective landscaping, which can also support pollinator populations. However, access to this resource may be restricted by competition from other floral foragers, including invasive pests. We measured free-foraging honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) visitation rate and visitation duration to aloe flowers with and without Argentine ants (Linepithema humile (Mayr)) in a drought-stressed environment and found that bees actively avoided foraging on the ant-occupied flowers. To determine the mechanisms of avoidance, our subsequent experiments assessed visitation in the absence of ants and compared aloe flowers treated with ant pheromone to unmanipulated flowers lacking ant pheromone. Bees approached all flowers equally, but accepted flowers without ants at a higher rate than flowers with ants. Visitation duration also increased twofold on ant-excluded flowers, which suggests that Argentine ants may limit resource acquisition by bees. Honey bees similarly avoided flowers with Argentine ant pheromone and preferentially visited unmanipulated flowers at threefold higher rate. This study demonstrates that honey bees avoid foraging on floral resources with invasive Argentine ants and that bees use ant odors to avoid ant-occupied flowers. Resource limitation by this invasive pest ant may have serious implication for sustaining healthy pollinator populations at the urban-natural interface. © 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    FARNESI, A. P.; AQUINO-FERREIRA, R.; de Jong, D.; Bastos,J. K.; Soares,A.E.E.

    2009-01-01

    We examined the antibacterial activities of several types of propolis, including Africanized honey bee green propolis and propolis produced by meliponini bees. The antibacterial activity of green propolis against Micrococcus luteus and Staphylococcus aureus was superior to that of Melipona quadrifasciata and Scaptotrigona sp propolis. Only two samples of propolis (green propolis and Scaptotrigona sp propolis) were efficient against Escherichia coli. Melipona quadrifasciata propolis was better...

  11. Pest status and incidence of the honey bee tracheal mite in Finland

    OpenAIRE

    Korpela, S.

    2008-01-01

    Colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were surveyed for the presence of the honey bee tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi Rennie) in Finland between 1991 and 1997. Colony background information and winter loss data were obtained from beekeepers who had taken tracheal mite infested samples. A total of 2116 samples from honey bee colonies of 402 beekeepers were investigated. Infestations were found in 8% of the beekeeping operations and in 10% of the samples inspected. In the last years of the s...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbie eI'Anson Price

    2015-11-01

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

  14. Salt preferences of honey bee water foragers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Pierre W; Nieh, James C

    2016-03-01

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

  15. Potential supply of floral resources to managed honey bees in natural mistbelt forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mensah, Sylvanus; Veldtman, Ruan; Seifert, Thomas

    2017-03-15

    Honey bees play a vital role in the pollination of flowers in many agricultural systems, while providing honey through well managed beekeeping activities. Managed honey bees rely on the provision of pollen and nectar for their survival and productivity. Using data from field plot inventories in natural mistbelt forests, we (1) assessed the diversity and relative importance of honey bee plants, (2) explored the temporal availability of honey bee forage (nectar and pollen resources), and (3) elucidated how plant diversity (bee plant richness and overall plant richness) influenced the amount of forage available (production). A forage value index was defined on the basis of species-specific nectar and pollen values, and expected flowering period. Up to 50% of the overall woody plant richness were found to be honey bee plant species, with varying flowering period. As expected, bee plant richness increased with overall plant richness. Interestingly, bee plants' flowering period was spread widely over a year, although the highest potential of forage supply was observed during the last quarter. We also found that only few honey bee plant species contributed 90 percent of the available forage. Surprisingly, overall plant richness did not significantly influence the bee forage value. Rather, bee plant species richness showed significant and greater effect. The results of this study suggest that mistbelt forests can contribute to increase the spatial and temporal availability of diverse floral resources for managed honey bees. Conservation efforts must be specifically oriented towards honey bee plant species in mistbelt forests to preserve and enhance their potential to help maintain honey bee colonies. The implications for forest management, beekeeping activities and pollination-based agriculture were discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-30

    Honey bee is one of the most important insects considering its role in agriculture,ecology and economy as a whole. In this study, the genetic diversity of different Iranian honey bee populations was evaluated using inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. During May to September 2014, 108 young worker honey bees were collected from six different populations in 30 different geoclimatic locations from Golestan, Mazendaran, Guilan, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardebil provinces of Iran. DNA was extracted from the worker honey bees. The quality and quantity of extracted DNA were measured. A set of ten primers were screened with the laboratory populations of honey bees. The number of fragments produced in the different honey bee populations varied from 3 to 10, varying within 150 to 1500 bp. The used ten ISSR primers generated 40 polymorphic fragments, and the average heterozygosity for each primer was 0.266. Maximum numbers of bands were recorded for primer A1. A dendrogram based on the Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean (UPGMA) method generated two sub-clusters. Honey bee populations of Golestan, Mazendaran, Guilan provinces were located in the first group. The second group included honey bee populations of Ardebil, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan provinces, but this group showed a close relationship with other populations. The results showed obviously the ability of the ISSR marker technique to detect the genetic diversity among the honey bee populations.

  17. Nosema ceranae, Fipronil and their combination compromise honey bee reproduction via changes in male physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kairo, Guillaume; Biron, David G; Ben Abdelkader, Faten; Bonnet, Marc; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Cousin, Marianne; Dussaubat, Claudia; Benoit, Boris; Kretzschmar, André; Belzunces, Luc P; Brunet, Jean-Luc

    2017-08-17

    The honey bee is threatened by biological agents and pesticides that can act in combination to induce synergistic effects on its physiology and lifespan. The synergistic effects of a parasite/pesticide combination have been demonstrated on workers and queens, but no studies have been performed on drones despite their essential contribution to colony sustainability by providing semen diversity and quality. The effects of the Nosema ceranae/fipronil combination on the life traits and physiology of mature drones were examined following exposure under semi-field conditions. The results showed that the microsporidia alone induced moderate and localized effects in the midgut, whereas fipronil alone induced moderate and generalized effects. The parasite/insecticide combination drastically affected both physiology and survival, exhibiting an important and significant generalized action that could jeopardize mating success. In terms of fertility, semen was strongly impacted regardless of stressor, suggesting that drone reproductive functions are very sensitive to stress factors. These findings suggest that drone health and fertility impairment might contribute to poorly mated queens, leading to the storage of poor quality semen and poor spermathecae diversity. Thus, the queens failures observed in recent years might result from the continuous exposure of drones to multiple environmental stressors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio Porrini

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. The sex determination gene shows no founder effect in the giant honey bee, Apis dorsata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi Yong Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: All honey bee species (Apis spp share the same sex determination mechanism using the complementary sex determination (csd gene. Only individuals heterogeneous at the csd allele develop into females, and the homozygous develop into diploid males, which do not survive. The honeybees are therefore under selection pressure to generate new csd alleles. Previous studies have shown that the csd gene is under balancing selection. We hypothesize that due to the long separation from the mainland of Hainan Island, China, that the giant honey bees (Apis dorsata should show a founder effect for the csd gene, with many different alleles clustered together, and these would be absent on the mainland. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We sampled A. dorsata workers from both Hainan and Guangxi Provinces and then cloned and sequenced region 3 of the csd gene and constructed phylogenetic trees. We failed to find any clustering of the csd alleles according to their geographical origin, i.e. the Hainan and Guangxi samples did not form separate clades. Further analysis by including previously published csd sequences also failed to show any clade-forming in both the Philippines and Malaysia. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results from this study and those from previous studies did not support the expectations of a founder effect. We conclude that because of the extremely high mating frequency of A. dorsata queens, a founder effect does not apply in this species.

  5. Geographic variation in polyandry of the Eastern Honey Bee, Apis cerana, in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFelice, D S; Ross, C; Simone-Finstrom, M; Warrit, N; Smith, D R; Burgett, M; Sukumalanand, P; Rueppell, O

    2015-02-01

    The repeated evolution of extreme polyandry in advanced social insects is exceptional and its explanation has attracted significant attention. However, most reported estimates of the number of matings are derived from limited sampling. Temporal and geographic variation in mating behavior of social insects has not been sufficiently studied. Worker offspring of 18 Eastern Honey Bee (Apis cerana Fabr.) queens from three populations across Thailand were genotyped at five microsatellite markers to test for population differences of mating behavior across three different ecosystems. The number of matings decreased from a northern, more seasonal environment to a southern tropical population and was lowest in a tropical island population. Our study confirms earlier findings that social insect mating behavior shows biogeographic variation and highlights that data from several populations are needed for reliable species-specific estimates of the number of matings. Detailed studies of populations that show significant differentiation in the number of matings may be able to discriminate effectively among the different hypotheses that have been proposed to explain the evolution of polyandry in honey bees and other advanced social insects.

  6. Juvenile hormone biosynthesis gene expression in the corpora allata of honey bee (Apis mellifera L. female castes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Durvalina Bomtorin

    Full Text Available Juvenile hormone (JH controls key events in the honey bee life cycle, viz. caste development and age polyethism. We quantified transcript abundance of 24 genes involved in the JH biosynthetic pathway in the corpora allata-corpora cardiaca (CA-CC complex. The expression of six of these genes showing relatively high transcript abundance was contrasted with CA size, hemolymph JH titer, as well as JH degradation rates and JH esterase (jhe transcript levels. Gene expression did not match the contrasting JH titers in queen and worker fourth instar larvae, but jhe transcript abundance and JH degradation rates were significantly lower in queen larvae. Consequently, transcriptional control of JHE is of importance in regulating larval JH titers and caste development. In contrast, the same analyses applied to adult worker bees allowed us inferring that the high JH levels in foragers are due to increased JH synthesis. Upon RNAi-mediated silencing of the methyl farnesoate epoxidase gene (mfe encoding the enzyme that catalyzes methyl farnesoate-to-JH conversion, the JH titer was decreased, thus corroborating that JH titer regulation in adult honey bees depends on this final JH biosynthesis step. The molecular pathway differences underlying JH titer regulation in larval caste development versus adult age polyethism lead us to propose that mfe and jhe genes be assayed when addressing questions on the role(s of JH in social evolution.

  7. Juvenile Hormone Biosynthesis Gene Expression in the corpora allata of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Female Castes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Gustavo Conrado Couto; Moda, Livia Maria; Martins, Juliana Ramos; Bitondi, Márcia Maria Gentile; Hartfelder, Klaus; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino

    2014-01-01

    Juvenile hormone (JH) controls key events in the honey bee life cycle, viz. caste development and age polyethism. We quantified transcript abundance of 24 genes involved in the JH biosynthetic pathway in the corpora allata-corpora cardiaca (CA-CC) complex. The expression of six of these genes showing relatively high transcript abundance was contrasted with CA size, hemolymph JH titer, as well as JH degradation rates and JH esterase (jhe) transcript levels. Gene expression did not match the contrasting JH titers in queen and worker fourth instar larvae, but jhe transcript abundance and JH degradation rates were significantly lower in queen larvae. Consequently, transcriptional control of JHE is of importance in regulating larval JH titers and caste development. In contrast, the same analyses applied to adult worker bees allowed us inferring that the high JH levels in foragers are due to increased JH synthesis. Upon RNAi-mediated silencing of the methyl farnesoate epoxidase gene (mfe) encoding the enzyme that catalyzes methyl farnesoate-to-JH conversion, the JH titer was decreased, thus corroborating that JH titer regulation in adult honey bees depends on this final JH biosynthesis step. The molecular pathway differences underlying JH titer regulation in larval caste development versus adult age polyethism lead us to propose that mfe and jhe genes be assayed when addressing questions on the role(s) of JH in social evolution. PMID:24489805

  8. Juvenile hormone biosynthesis gene expression in the corpora allata of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) female castes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomtorin, Ana Durvalina; Mackert, Aline; Rosa, Gustavo Conrado Couto; Moda, Livia Maria; Martins, Juliana Ramos; Bitondi, Márcia Maria Gentile; Hartfelder, Klaus; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino

    2014-01-01

    Juvenile hormone (JH) controls key events in the honey bee life cycle, viz. caste development and age polyethism. We quantified transcript abundance of 24 genes involved in the JH biosynthetic pathway in the corpora allata-corpora cardiaca (CA-CC) complex. The expression of six of these genes showing relatively high transcript abundance was contrasted with CA size, hemolymph JH titer, as well as JH degradation rates and JH esterase (jhe) transcript levels. Gene expression did not match the contrasting JH titers in queen and worker fourth instar larvae, but jhe transcript abundance and JH degradation rates were significantly lower in queen larvae. Consequently, transcriptional control of JHE is of importance in regulating larval JH titers and caste development. In contrast, the same analyses applied to adult worker bees allowed us inferring that the high JH levels in foragers are due to increased JH synthesis. Upon RNAi-mediated silencing of the methyl farnesoate epoxidase gene (mfe) encoding the enzyme that catalyzes methyl farnesoate-to-JH conversion, the JH titer was decreased, thus corroborating that JH titer regulation in adult honey bees depends on this final JH biosynthesis step. The molecular pathway differences underlying JH titer regulation in larval caste development versus adult age polyethism lead us to propose that mfe and jhe genes be assayed when addressing questions on the role(s) of JH in social evolution.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Miles, Mark J.; Alix, Anne

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Honey bee PTEN--description, developmental knockdown, and tissue-specific expression of splice-variants correlated with alternative social phenotypes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Navdeep S Mutti

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Phosphatase and TENsin (PTEN homolog is a negative regulator that takes part in IIS (insulin/insulin-like signaling and Egfr (epidermal growth factor receptor activation in Drosophila melanogaster. IIS and Egfr signaling events are also involved in the developmental process of queen and worker differentiation in honey bees (Apis mellifera. Here, we characterized the bee PTEN gene homologue for the first time and begin to explore its potential function during bee development and adult life. RESULTS: Honey bee PTEN is alternatively spliced, resulting in three splice variants. Next, we show that the expression of PTEN can be down-regulated by RNA interference (RNAi in the larval stage, when female caste fate is determined. Relative to controls, we observed that RNAi efficacy is dependent on the amount of PTEN dsRNA that is delivered to larvae. For larvae fed queen or worker diets containing a high amount of PTEN dsRNA, PTEN knockdown was significant at a whole-body level but lethal. A lower dosage did not result in a significant gene down-regulation. Finally, we compared same-aged adult workers with different behavior: nursing vs. foraging. We show that between nurses and foragers, PTEN isoforms were differentially expressed within brain, ovary and fat body tissues. All isoforms were expressed at higher levels in the brain and ovaries of the foragers. In fat body, isoform B was expressed at higher level in the nurse bees. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that PTEN plays a central role during growth and development in queen- and worker-destined honey bees. In adult workers, moreover, tissue-specific patterns of PTEN isoform expression are correlated with differences in complex division of labor between same-aged individuals. Therefore, we propose that knowledge on the roles of IIS and Egfr activity in developmental and behavioral control may increase through studies of how PTEN functions can impact bee social phenotypes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenbaum, May R

    2016-01-13

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

  12. Sex-specific developmental profiles of juvenile hormone synthesis in honey bee larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartfelder, Klaus; de Oliveira Tozetto, Sibele; Rachinsky, Anna

    1993-02-01

    Juvenile hormone synthesis in drone larvae of the honey bee was measured by an in vitro radiochemical assay. The developmental profile of corpora allata activity in male larvae showed considerable differences from queen larvae, the presumptive reproductive females, and was comparable to workers, the sterile female morph. Drone and worker larvae, however, differed drastically in the regulation of juvenile hormone biosynthesis, as revealed by the addition of farnesoic acid to the culture medium. This precursor stimulated juvenile hormone synthesis of drone glands nearly eightfold, whereas in worker larvae it is known to lead to an accumulation of methyl farnesoate. The sex-specific differences in endocrine activity indicate a role for juvenile hormone in the expression of genetically determined sexually dimorphic characters during metamorphosis, a role not currently accounted for in models describing endocrine regulation of insect development.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barrett Anthony Klein

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Queen Bees and Alpha Males: Are successful women more competitive than successful men?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faniko, Klea; Ellemers, Naomi; Derks, Belle

    2016-01-01

    Two studies carried out in Switzerland examined different explanations forthe “Queen Bee (QB)-phenomenon.” In Study 1 (N = 315), female managers(vs. subordinates) identified with successful women and supported measuresthat would benefit these women—even though they are their directcompetitors. However

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DB Sponsler

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena A. Nunes

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Effects of cocaine on honey bee dance behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-30

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

  8. Growth stimulating effect on queen bee larvae of histone deacetylase inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chung-Yang; Chi, Li-Ling; Huang, Wei-Jan; Chen, Yue-Wen; Chen, Wei-Jung; Kuo, Yu-Cheng; Yuan, Cheng Mike; Chen, Chia-Nan

    2012-06-20

    Royal jelly (RJ) is a widely used natural food. It is also a major source of nutrition for queen bees and plays a key role in their development. RJ is secreted from the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of young adult worker bees. The regulation of gene expression in these two glands may influence the development of queen bees by affecting the content of RJ. This study investigated the epigenetic effects in these two glands in young adult worker bees treated with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis), a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), and NBM-HD-1, a novel compound synthesized in this laboratory. Western blot analyses indicated that the levels of acetyl-histone 3 and p21 protein expression in MCF-7 cells increased markedly after treatment with NBM-HD-1. The data proved that NBM-HD-1 was a novel and potent HDACi. Furthermore, a method of affecting epigenetic regulation of the mrjp family gene in the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of young adult worker bees was developed by feeding young adult worker bees HDACi. Epigenetic regulation produced several important biological effects. A marked change in the protein composition of the RJ secreted from these treated bees was found. Only the ratio of specific major royal jelly protein 3 (MRJP3) was significantly altered in the treated bees versus the untreated controls. Other MRJP family proteins did not change. This alteration in the ratio of royal jelly proteins resulted in a significant increase in the body size of queen bee larvae. The data seem to suggest that HDACis may play an important role in the epigenetic regulation of the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of young adult worker bees. They appear to change mrjp3 gene expression and alter the ratio of MRJP3 protein in RJ. This study presents the first evidence that HDACis are capable of regulating the ratio of MRJP3 proteins in RJ, which has the potential to change the body size of queen bees

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthieu Dacher

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reed M Johnson

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Reed M; Dahlgren, Lizette; Siegfried, Blair D; Ellis, Marion D

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cordelia Forkpah

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. Israeli acute paralysis virus in Africanized honey bees in southeastern Brazilian Apiaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee losses in Brazil have been observed over the past few years. These losses share somewhat similar symptoms with the syndrome known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in the USA. After more than a half century of introgression from Apis mellifera subsp. scutellata, Africanized honey bees have...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Populations of pollinators are in decline worldwide. These declines are best documented in honey bees and are due to a combination of stressors. In particular, pesticides have been linked to decreased longevity and performance in honey bees; however, the molecular and physiological pathways mediatin...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Popiela

    2011-04-01

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

  3. USDA research and honey bee health

    Science.gov (United States)

    The USDA - Agricultural Research Service Bee Research Laboratory (BRL) is comprised of nine full-time federal employees and a team of 20+ students and collaborators from the U.S., England, Thailand, Spain, and China. The mission of the BRL is to provide innovative tools and insights for building and...

  4. Physicochemical Parameters and Antioxidant Activity of Bee Honey Enriched With Herbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dżugan, Małgorzata; Sowa, Patrycja; Kwaśniewska, Monika; Wesołowska, Monika; Czernicka, Maria

    2017-03-01

    Three groups of products enriched with herbs were studied: (1) commercial herb honeys (n = 5) produced by bees fed a syrup with an herbal extract, (2) natural herbal honey (n = 3) produced by bees from the nectar of herbs, and (3) creamed multifloral honey with added dried herbs (n = 5). As a control, multifloral honey (n = 5) was used. The physicochemical parameters (i.e., sugar extract, water content, specific rotation, conductivity, hydroxymethylfurfural content, pH and acidity), sugar profiles (HPLC analysis), antioxidant activity and total phenolic compounds content of the studied samples were compared. Although great diversity in the basic properties of the studied products was observed, they were comparable to multifloral honey and complied with honey regulations. Significant differences in sugar composition were observed, and adversely positive rotation (excluding nettle herb honey) was detected in group 1, likely resulting from the change in bee feeding. The best antioxidant activity for creamed honeys with dried herbs (group 2) was investigated, whereas herb honeys (group 1) exhibited similar antioxidant properties as multifloral honey. The use of controlled feeding of bees appears to be an effective method of enriching honey with desirable plant bioactive components to create innovative bee products.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Gabriela eDe Brito Sanchez

    2014-02-01

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

  7. [Correction of atherogenic dyslipidemia with honey, pollen and bee bread in patients with different body mass].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kas'ianenko, V I; Komisarenko, I A; Dubtsova, E A

    2011-01-01

    To assess efficacy of treatment of patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia (ADL) with beekeeping products (honey, pollen, bee bread). ADL parameters were examined in 157 patients (64 males and 93 females) aged 39 to 72 (mean age 61,7 + 8,5 years) with ADL. Products of beekeeping were given in the absence of allergy and individual resistance to honey, pollen, bee bread. The patients were divided into four groups: patients on hypolipidemic diet only, on diet and honey or pollen, on bee bread, combined treatment - diet, honey, pollen. A significant hypolipidemic effect was registered in patients taking honey in combination with pollen (total cholesterol decreased by 18,3 %, LDLP cholesterol by 23,9 %) and bee bread (total cholesterol decreased by 15,7 %, LDLP cholesterol by 20,5 %). Improvement of blood lipid composition in taking honey and pollen in overweight (body mass index - BMI 25 - 30) and obese (BMI over 30) patients occurs only in loss of body mass.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-26

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flenniken, Michelle L.; Andino, Raul

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenghua Xie

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parrinello Hughes

    2011-10-01

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

  15. Resistance to the parasitic mite Varroa destructor in honey bees from far-eastern Russia

    OpenAIRE

    Rinderer, Thomas; Guzman, Lilia; Delatte, G.; Stelzer, J.; Lancaster, V.; Kuznetsov, V.; Beaman, L; Watts, R.; Harris, J.

    2001-01-01

    International audience; Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite of the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana. Owing to host range expansion, it now plagues Apis mellifera, the world's principal crop pollinator and honey producer. Evidence from A. mellifera in far-eastern Russia, Primorsky (P) originating from honey bees imported in the mid 1800's, suggested that many colonies were resistant to V. destructor. A controlled field study of the development of populations of V. destructor shows that P colonie...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurit Eliash

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

  17. THE VISUAL ACUITY OF THE HONEY BEE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, S; Wolf, E

    1929-07-20

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

  18. Effect of primer pheromones and pollen diet on the food producing glands of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Lizette; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Pankiw, Tanya

    2010-02-01

    Cooperative brood care is highly developed in the honey bee such that workers called nurses use their hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands to biosynthesize proteinaceous secretions that are progressively provisioned to larvae. The role that honey bee primer pheromones play in the functional physiology of food producing glands was examined. The combined and separate effects of queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) and brood pheromone (BP) on amount of protein extractable from hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of workers reared for 12 days with and without pollen diets was measured. In rearing environments with a pollen diet, BP, and QMP+BP pheromone treatments significantly increased extractable protein from both glands. Bees reared with QMP+pollen had amounts of protein extractable from both glands that were not significantly different from control bees (no pheromones, no pollen). Pollen in the diet alone significantly increased amounts of protein extractable from glands versus control. In rearing environments without pollen, QMP+BP had a synergizing effect on amount of protein in both glands. The QMP+BP treatment was the only rearing environment without a pollen diet where protein amounts were significantly greater than the control. The synergizing effect of QMP+BP on extractable mandibular and hypopharyngeal gland protein suggests a highly derived role for the combined effect of these two primer pheromones on honey bee cooperative brood care. Mandibular gland area was significantly and positively correlated with extractable protein. Amounts of extractable protein from both glands declined significantly with age of workers in all treatments. However, treatment significantly affected rate of decline. The adaptive significance of gland protein amounts in response to pheromones and pollen diet are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-17

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

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

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Gene expression differences in relation to age and social environment in queen and worker bumble bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockett, Gabrielle A; Almond, Edward J; Huggins, Timothy J; Parker, Joel D; Bourke, Andrew F G

    2016-05-01

    Eusocial insects provide special insights into the genetic pathways influencing aging because of their long-lived queens and flexible aging schedules. Using qRT-PCR in the primitively eusocial bumble bee Bombus terrestris (Linnaeus), we investigated expression levels of four candidate genes associated with taxonomically widespread age-related pathways (coenzyme Q biosynthesis protein 7, COQ7; DNA methyltransferase 3, Dnmt3; foraging, for; and vitellogenin, vg). In Experiment 1, we tested how expression changes with queen relative age and productivity. We found a significant age-related increase in COQ7 expression in queen ovary. In brain, all four genes showed higher expression with increasing female (queen plus worker) production, with this relationship strengthening as queen age increased, suggesting a link with the positive association of fecundity and longevity found in eusocial insect queens. In Experiment 2, we tested effects of relative age and social environment (worker removal) in foundress queens and effects of age and reproductive status in workers. In this experiment, workerless queens showed significantly higher for expression in brain, as predicted if downregulation of for is associated with the cessation of foraging by foundress queens following worker emergence. Workers showed a significant age-related increase in Dnmt3 expression in fat body, suggesting a novel association between aging and methylation in B. terrestris. Ovary activation was associated with significantly higher vg expression in fat body and, in younger workers, in brain, consistent with vitellogenin's ancestral role in regulating egg production. Overall, our findings reveal a mixture of novel and conserved features in age-related genetic pathways under primitive eusociality.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  8. Queen Pheromone Modulates Brain Dopamine Function in Worker Honey Bees

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kyle T. Beggs; Kelly A. Glendining; Nicola M. Marechal; Vanina Vergoz; Ikumi Nakamura; Keith N. Slessor; Alison R. Mercer

    2007-01-01

    .... But how does this pheromone operate at the cellular level? This study reveals that QMP has profound effects on dopamine pathways in the brain, pathways that play a central role in behavioral regulation and motor control...

  9. Thermal energy conduction in a honey bee comb due to cell-heating bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphrey, J A C; Dykes, E S

    2008-01-07

    Theoretical analysis and numerical calculations are performed to characterize the unsteady two-dimensional conduction of thermal energy in an idealized honey bee comb. The situation explored corresponds to a comb containing a number of brood cells occupied by pupae. These cells are surrounded by other cells containing pollen which, in turn, are surrounded (above) by cells containing honey and (below) by vacant cells containing air. Up to five vacant cells in the brood region can be occupied by cell-heating bees which, through the isometrical contraction of their flight muscles, can generate sufficient energy to raise their body temperatures by a few degrees. In this way, the cell-heating bees alter the heat flux and temperature distributions in the brood region so as to maintain conditions that benefit the pupae. The calculations show that the number of cell-heating bees significantly affects the magnitude, time rate of change, and spatial distribution of temperature throughout the comb. They also reveal a vertically aligned asymmetry in the spatial distribution of temperature that is due to the large heat capacity and thermal conductivity of honey relative to air, whereby air-filled cells experience larger temperature increases than honey-filled cells. Analysis shows that convection and radiation represent negligible modes of thermal energy transfer at all levels in the problem considered. Also, because of its small thickness, the wax wall of a comb cell simultaneously presents negligible resistance to conduction heat transfer normal to it and very large resistance along it. As a consequence the walls of a cell play no thermal role, but simply serve as mechanical supports for the materials they contain.

  10. Increased tolerance and resistance to virus infections: a possible factor in the survival of Varroa destructor-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Locke

    Full Text Available The honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has a world-wide distribution and inflicts more damage than all other known apicultural diseases. However, Varroa-induced colony mortality is more accurately a result of secondary virus infections vectored by the mite. This means that honey bee resistance to Varroa may include resistance or tolerance to virus infections. The aim of this study was to see if this is the case for a unique population of mite-resistant (MR European honey bees on the island of Gotland, Sweden. This population has survived uncontrolled mite infestation for over a decade, developing specific mite-related resistance traits to do so. Using RT-qPCR techniques, we monitored late season virus infections, Varroa mite infestation and honey bee colony population dynamics in the Gotland MR population and compared this to mite-susceptible (MS colonies in a close by apiary. From summer to autumn the deformed wing virus (DWV titres increased similarly between the MR and MS populations, while the black queen cell virus (BQCV and sacbrood virus (SBV titres decreased substantially in the MR population compared to the MS population by several orders of magnitude. The MR colonies all survived the following winter with high mite infestation, high DWV infection, small colony size and low proportions of autumn brood, while the MS colonies all perished. Possible explanations for these changes in virus titres and their relevance to Varroa resistance and colony winter survival are discussed.

  11. Increased tolerance and resistance to virus infections: a possible factor in the survival of Varroa destructor-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Barbara; Forsgren, Eva; de Miranda, Joachim R

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has a world-wide distribution and inflicts more damage than all other known apicultural diseases. However, Varroa-induced colony mortality is more accurately a result of secondary virus infections vectored by the mite. This means that honey bee resistance to Varroa may include resistance or tolerance to virus infections. The aim of this study was to see if this is the case for a unique population of mite-resistant (MR) European honey bees on the island of Gotland, Sweden. This population has survived uncontrolled mite infestation for over a decade, developing specific mite-related resistance traits to do so. Using RT-qPCR techniques, we monitored late season virus infections, Varroa mite infestation and honey bee colony population dynamics in the Gotland MR population and compared this to mite-susceptible (MS) colonies in a close by apiary. From summer to autumn the deformed wing virus (DWV) titres increased similarly between the MR and MS populations, while the black queen cell virus (BQCV) and sacbrood virus (SBV) titres decreased substantially in the MR population compared to the MS population by several orders of magnitude. The MR colonies all survived the following winter with high mite infestation, high DWV infection, small colony size and low proportions of autumn brood, while the MS colonies all perished. Possible explanations for these changes in virus titres and their relevance to Varroa resistance and colony winter survival are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Antineoplastic Effects of Honey Bee Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Nabiuni

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    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 higher DWV was

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traver, Brenna E; Fell, Richard D

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROUBIK DAVID

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT

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

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Fate of dermally applied miticides fluvalinate and amitraz within honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) bodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillier, Neil Kirk; Frost, Elisabeth H; Shutler, Dave

    2013-04-01

    Varroa mites, Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, are economically important pests of honey bees. Varroa mites are principally controlled within honey bee colonies using miticides. However, despite their importance in managing mite populations for apiculture, potential effects of miticides on honey bees are poorly understood. Using gas chromatography-flame ionization detection, we investigated concentrations, over variable time frames and within different body regions, of two commonly used miticides, tau-fluvalinate and amitraz, after dermal exposure to honey bees. We also quantified mortality of honey bees exposed to each miticide at both a low and high dose. Significant differences were observed in distributions of miticides among body regions. Within honey bee body parts, tau-fluvalinate was more readily absorbed and decreased in concentration more rapidly than amitraz. Mortality increased with higher dosages of miticides, and at higher dosages mortality was greater from fluvalinate than from amitraz. For individual honey bees, our results for rate of breakdown suggest that fluvalinate may be the preferred miticide for apiculturists, whereas our mortality results suggest that amitraz may be preferable. Either choice must be weighed against geographic variation in varroa resistance to each pesticide and attendant costs of parasitism.

  5. Conservation and modification of genetic and physiological toolkits underpinning diapause in bumble bee queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amsalem, Etya; Galbraith, David A; Cnaani, Jonathan; Teal, Peter E A; Grozinger, Christina M

    2015-11-01

    Diapause is the key adaptation allowing insects to survive unfavourable conditions and inhabit an array of environments. Physiological changes during diapause are largely conserved across species and are hypothesized to be regulated by a conserved suite of genes (a 'toolkit'). Furthermore, it is hypothesized that in social insects, this toolkit was co-opted to mediate caste differentiation between long-lived, reproductive, diapause-capable queens and short-lived, sterile workers. Using Bombus terrestris queens, we examined the physiological and transcriptomic changes associated with diapause and CO2 treatment, which causes queens to bypass diapause. We performed comparative analyses with genes previously identified to be associated with diapause in the Dipteran Sarcophaga crassipalpis and with caste differentiation in bumble bees. As in Diptera, diapause in bumble bees is associated with physiological and transcriptional changes related to nutrient storage, stress resistance and core metabolic pathways. There is a significant overlap, both at the level of transcript and gene ontology, between the genetic mechanisms mediating diapause in B. terrestris and S. crassipalpis, reaffirming the existence of a conserved insect diapause genetic toolkit. However, a substantial proportion (10%) of the differentially regulated transcripts in diapausing queens have no clear orthologs in other species, and key players regulating diapause in Diptera (juvenile hormone and vitellogenin) appear to have distinct functions in bumble bees. We also found a substantial overlap between genes related to caste determination and diapause in bumble bees. Thus, our studies demonstrate an intriguing interplay between pathways underpinning adaptation to environmental extremes and the evolution of sociality in insects.

  6. 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.

  7. Using Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling to Analyze Bee Visitation in East Tennessee Crops as an Indicator of Pollination Services Provided by Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.) and Native Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Michael E; Skinner, John A; Wszelaki, Annette L; Drummond, Frank

    2015-12-29

    This study investigated bee visitation on 10 agricultural crops grown on diverse small farms in Tennessee to determine the abundance of native bees and honey bees and the partitioning of visitation among crops. Summaries for each crop are used to generate mean proportions of bee visitation by categories of bees. This shows that native bee visits often occur as frequently, or in greater proportions than non-native honey bee visits. Visitation across multiple crops is then analyzed together with nonmetric multidimensional scaling to show how communities of bees that provide crop pollination change depending on the crop. Within squash and pumpkin plantings, continuous and discrete factors, such as "time of day" and "organic practices," further explain shifts in the community composition of flower visitors. Results from this study show that native bees frequently visit flowers on various crops, indicating that they are likely contributing to pollination services in addition to honey bees. Furthermore, the community of bees visiting flowers changes based on crop type, phenology, and spatial-temporal factors. Results suggest that developing pollinator conservation for farms that grow a wide variety of crops will likely require multiple conservation strategies. Farms that concentrate on a single crop may be able to tailor conservation practices toward the most important bees in their system and geographic locale. © 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.

  8. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Honey and propolis production, hygiene and defense behaviors of two generations of Africanized honey bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina Conceição Garcia

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Phenotypic characters of honeybees, relevant to beekeepers, can be evaluated by studying correlations between them, and the correlated characteristics can be evaluated in the short term to assist in monitoring of annual genetic progress. This work therefore aims to evaluate the production of honey and propolis, the hygiene and defensive behaviours of two generations of Africanized Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae, to estimate the correlations between them and their heritability. We used 30 Langstroth beehives in apiaries in Marechal Cândido Rondon, Paraná State, Brazil. We used a method of drilling pupae to evaluate hygiene behaviour and the velveteen ball method to test defensive behaviour. We selected ten colonies which had the best honey and propolis production, and which produced F1 queens that were then transferred to beehives at an experimental farm, in order to observe honey and propolis production, hygiene and defence behaviours of their female offspring. The estimated differences for each characteristic between the generations, the correlations between them within each generation and their heritability suggest that selection of colonies based on propolis production was more efficient at maintaining this high production than was selection based on honey production according to the performance of the colonies for this characteristic. The selected behavioural characteristics can be used to enhance performance, but not for improving yield characteristics evaluated.

  11. 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

  12. [Mortality related to honey-bee stings in Mexico from 1988 to 2009].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerril-Ángeles, Martìn; Núñez-Velázquez, Marco; Arias-Martìnez, María Isabel

    2013-01-01

    Honeybee stings can cause toxic and allergic reactions that may lead to severe symptoms, and sometimes to death. Mexico is the third worldës honey country exporter and sixth producer. Due to the arrival of Africanized bees into Mexico in 1986, the National Program for Control of Africanized Bee (NPCAB) was created, in order to reduce the socioeconomic and sanitary impact from the new bee species. To report deaths related to honey-bee sting in Mexico, from 1988 to 2009. Reports gathered from offices of the National Program for the Control of Africanized Honey-Bee throughout the country, were used to show the number of deaths related to honey-bee stings which occurred in Mexico from 1988 to 2009. People suffering from multiple honey-bee stings were reported in all the states of the country. Between 1988 and 1998 there were 360 honey-bee related accidents, involving over 5000 people. From 1988 to 2009 there were 480 demised persons with an annual average of 21.8. Regarding age, people over 50 years were the most affected ones. The largest number of fatal cases, 340, occurred from 1990 to 1999, with an annual average of 34, and between 2000 and 2009, the number of cases decreased to 118. There was an average of 21 annual death cases related to honey-bee stings from 1988 to 2009. Toxic reactions caused by multiple stings are the most likely cause of death in the majority of cases. Fatal cases occurred mainly in people older than 50 years. There was a decrease in the mortality rate associated to honey-bee stings in the last decade.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite of honey bees (Apis mellifera), is the most serious pest threatening the apiculture industry. In our honey bee breeding programme, two honey bee colonies showing extreme phenotypes for varroa tolerance/resistance (S88) and susceptibility (G4) were identified by natural selection from a large gene pool over a 6-year period. To investigate potential defence mechanisms for honey bee tolerance to varroa infestation, we employed DNA microarray and real time quantitative (PCR) analyses to identify differentially expressed genes in the tolerant and susceptible colonies at pupa and adult stages. Our results showed that more differentially expressed genes were identified in the tolerant bees than in bees from the susceptible colony, indicating that the tolerant colony showed an increased genetic capacity to respond to varroa mite infestation. In both colonies, there were more differentially expressed genes identified at the pupa stage than at the adult stage, indicating that pupa bees are more responsive to varroa infestation than adult bees. Genes showing differential expression in the colony phenotypes were categorized into several groups based on their molecular functions, such as olfactory signalling, detoxification processes, exoskeleton formation, protein degradation and long-chain fatty acid metabolism, suggesting that these biological processes play roles in conferring varroa tolerance to naturally selected colonies. Identification of differentially expressed genes between the two colony phenotypes provides potential molecular markers for selecting and breeding varroa-tolerant honey bees. © 2016 The Royal Entomological Society.

  15. Assessment of Chronic Sublethal Effects of Imidacloprid on Honey Bee Colony Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dively, Galen P.; Embrey, Michael S.; Kamel, Alaa; Hawthorne, David J.; Pettis, Jeffery S.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25786127

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dively, Galen P; Embrey, Michael S; Kamel, Alaa; Hawthorne, David J; Pettis, Jeffery S

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Parasite-host interactions between the Varroa mite and the honey bee : a contribution to sustainable Varroa control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Calis, J.N.M.

    2001-01-01

    Introduction

    Varroa mites as parasites of honey bees

    Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman, 2000), is the most important pest of European races of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera L., weakening bees

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wang, Ying; Mutti, Navdeep S; Ihle, Kate E; Siegel, Adam; Dolezal, Adam G; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Amdam, Gro V

    2010-01-01

    Food choice and eating behavior affect health and longevity. Large-scale research efforts aim to understand the molecular and social/behavioral mechanisms of energy homeostasis, body weight, and food intake. Honey bees (Apis mellifera...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2016-01-01

    .... 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...

  6. Uncoupling primer and releaser responses to pheromone in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grozinger, Christina M.; Fischer, Patrick; Hampton, Jacob E.

    2007-05-01

    Pheromones produce dramatic behavioral and physiological responses in a wide variety of species. Releaser pheromones elicit rapid responses within seconds or minutes, while primer pheromones produce long-term changes which may take days to manifest. Honeybee queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) elicits multiple distinct behavioral and physiological responses in worker bees, as both a releaser and primer, and thus produces responses on vastly different time scales. In this study, we demonstrate that releaser and primer responses to QMP can be uncoupled. First, treatment with the juvenile hormone analog methoprene leaves a releaser response (attraction to QMP) intact, but modulates QMP’s primer effects on sucrose responsiveness. Secondly, two components of QMP (9-ODA and 9-HDA) do not elicit a releaser response (attraction) but are as effective as QMP at modulating a primer response, downregulation of foraging-related brain gene expression. These results suggest that different responses to a single pheromone may be produced via distinct pathways.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Hawkins

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madhavi Kakumanu

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Pharmacological modulation of aversive responsiveness in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedjakumala, Stevanus R; Aimable, Margaux; Giurfa, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Within a honey bee colony, individuals performing different tasks exhibit different sensitivities to noxious stimuli. Noxious-stimulus sensitivity can be quantified in harnessed bees by measuring the sting extension response (SER) to a series of increasing voltages. Biogenic amines play a crucial role in the control of insect responsiveness. Whether or not these neurotransmitters affect the central control of aversive responsiveness, and more specifically of electric-shock responsiveness, remains unknown. Here we studied the involvement of the biogenic amines octopamine, dopamine and serotonin, and of the ecdysteroid 20-hydroxyecdisone in the central control of sting responsiveness to electric shocks. We injected pharmacological antagonists of these signaling pathways into the brain of harnessed bees and determined the effect of blocking these different forms of neurotransmission on shock responsiveness. We found that both octopamine and 20-hydroxyecdisone are dispensable for shock responsiveness while dopamine and serotonin act as down-regulators of sting responsiveness. As a consequence, antagonists of these two biogenic amines induce an increase in shock responsiveness to shocks of intermediate voltage; serotonin, can also increase non-specific responsiveness. We suggest that different classes of dopaminergic neurons exist in the bee brain and we define at least two categories: an instructive class mediating aversive labeling of conditioned stimuli in associative learning, and a global gain-control class which down-regulates responsiveness upon perception of noxious stimuli. Serotonergic signaling together with down-regulating dopaminergic signaling may play an essential role in attentional processes by suppressing responses to irrelevant, non-predictive stimuli, thereby allowing efficient behavioral performances.

  13. 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.

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

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    Zhiyong Li

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Background Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones and workers show differences in morphology, physiology, and behavior. Because the functions of drones are more related to colony reproduction, and those of workers relate to both survival and reproduction, we hypothesize that the microclimate for worker brood is more precisely regulated than that of drone brood. Methodology/Principal Findings We assessed temperature and relative humidity (RH) inside honey bee colonies for both drone and worker brood throughout the three-stage development period, using digital HOBO® Data Loggers. The major findings of this study are that 1) both drone and worker castes show the highest temperature for eggs, followed by larvae and then pupae; 2) temperature in drones are maintained at higher precision (smaller variance) in drone eggs and larvae, but at a lower precision in pupae than the corresponding stages of workers; 3) RH regulation showed higher variance in drone than workers across all brood stages; and 4) RH regulation seems largely due to regulation by workers, as the contribution from empty honey combs are much smaller compared to that from adult workers. Conclusions/Significance We conclude that honey bee colonies maintain both temperature and humidity actively; that the microclimate for sealed drone brood is less precisely regulated than worker brood; and that combs with honey contribute very little to the increase of RH in honey bee colonies. These findings increase our understanding of microclimate regulation in honey bees and may have implications for beekeeping practices. PMID:26882104

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Direct effect of acaricides on pathogen loads and gene expression levels in honey bees Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boncristiani, Humberto; Underwood, Robyn; Schwarz, Ryan; Evans, Jay D; Pettis, Jeffery; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2012-05-01

    The effect of using acaricides to control varroa mites has long been a concern to the beekeeping industry due to unintended negative impacts on honey bee health. Irregular ontogenesis, suppression of immune defenses, and impairment of normal behavior have been linked to pesticide use. External stressors, including parasites and the pathogens they vector, can confound studies on the effects of pesticides on the metabolism of honey bees. This is the case of Varroa destructor, a mite that negatively affects honey bee health on many levels, from direct parasitism, which diminishes honey bee productivity, to vectoring and/or activating other pathogens, including many viruses. Here we present a gene expression profile comprising genes acting on diverse metabolic levels (detoxification, immunity, and development) in a honey bee population that lacks the influence of varroa mites. We present data for hives treated with five different acaricides; Apiguard (thymol), Apistan (tau-fluvalinate), Checkmite (coumaphos), Miteaway (formic acid) and ApiVar (amitraz). The results indicate that thymol, coumaphos and formic acid are able to alter some metabolic responses. These include detoxification gene expression pathways, components of the immune system responsible for cellular response and the c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, and developmental genes. These could potentially interfere with the health of individual honey bees and entire colonies. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Reduced SNP panels for genetic identification and introgression analysis in the dark honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Irene; Henriques, Dora; Johnston, J Spencer; Chávez-Galarza, Julio; Kryger, Per; Pinto, M Alice

    2015-01-01

    Beekeeping activities, especially queen trading, have shaped the distribution of honey bee (Apis mellifera) subspecies in Europe, and have resulted in extensive introductions of two eastern European C-lineage subspecies (A. m. ligustica and A. m. carnica) into the native range of the M-lineage A. m. mellifera subspecies in Western Europe. As a consequence, replacement and gene flow between native and commercial populations have occurred at varying levels across western European populations. Genetic identification and introgression analysis using molecular markers is an important tool for management and conservation of honey bee subspecies. Previous studies have monitored introgression by using microsatellite, PCR-RFLP markers and most recently, high density assays using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. While the latter are almost prohibitively expensive, the information gained to date can be exploited to create a reduced panel containing the most ancestry-informative markers (AIMs) for those purposes with very little loss of information. The objective of this study was to design reduced panels of AIMs to verify the origin of A. m. mellifera individuals and to provide accurate estimates of the level of C-lineage introgression into their genome. The discriminant power of the SNPs using a variety of metrics and approaches including the Weir & Cockerham's FST, an FST-based outlier test, Delta, informativeness (In), and PCA was evaluated. This study shows that reduced AIMs panels assign individuals to the correct origin and calculates the admixture level with a high degree of accuracy. These panels provide an essential tool in Europe for genetic stock identification and estimation of admixture levels which can assist management strategies and monitor honey bee conservation programs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian H Krupke

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. Virus and dsRNA-triggered transcriptional responses reveal key components of honey bee antiviral defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-25

    Recent high annual losses of honey bee colonies are associated with many factors, including RNA virus infections. Honey bee antiviral responses include RNA interference and immune pathway activation, but their relative roles in antiviral defense are not well understood. To better characterize the mechanism(s) of honey bee antiviral defense, bees were infected with a model virus in the presence or absence of dsRNA, a virus associated molecular pattern. Regardless of sequence specificity, dsRNA reduced virus abundance. We utilized next generation sequencing to examine transcriptional responses triggered by virus and dsRNA at three time-points post-infection. Hundreds of genes exhibited differential expression in response to co-treatment of dsRNA and virus. Virus-infected bees had greater expression of genes involved in RNAi, Toll, Imd, and JAK-STAT pathways, but the majority of differentially expressed genes are not well characterized. To confirm the virus limiting role of two genes, including the well-characterized gene, dicer, and a probable uncharacterized cyclin dependent kinase in honey bees, we utilized RNAi to reduce their expression in vivo and determined that virus abundance increased, supporting their involvement in antiviral defense. Together, these results further our understanding of honey bee antiviral defense, particularly the role of a non-sequence specific dsRNA-mediated antiviral pathway.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L; Lundgren, Jonathan G

    2016-07-14

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1985-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Ethanol-Induced Effects on Sting Extension Response and Punishment Learning in the Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera): e100894

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Manuel A Giannoni-Guzmán; Tugrul Giray; Jose Luis Agosto-Rivera; Blake K Stevison; Brett Freeman; Paige Ricci; Erika A Brown; Charles I Abramson

    2014-01-01

    .... Here we used the honey bee as an especially relevant model system since bees are typically exposed to ethanol in nature when collecting standing nectar crop of flowers, and there is recent evidence...

  10. Ethanol-induced effects on sting extension response and punishment learning in the western honey bee (Apis mellifera)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Giannoni-Guzmán, Manuel A; Giray, Tugrul; Agosto-Rivera, Jose Luis; Stevison, Blake K; Freeman, Brett; Ricci, Paige; Brown, Erika A; Abramson, Charles I

    2014-01-01

    .... Here we used the honey bee as an especially relevant model system since bees are typically exposed to ethanol in nature when collecting standing nectar crop of flowers, and there is recent evidence...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Determination of neonicotinoid insecticides and their metabolites in honey bee and honey by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gbylik-Sikorska, Malgorzata; Sniegocki, Tomasz; Posyniak, Andrzej

    2015-05-15

    The original analytical method for the simultaneous determination and confirmation of neonicotinoids insecticides (imidacloprid, clothianidin, acetamiprid, thiametoxam, thiacloprid, nitenpyram, dinotefuran) and some of their metabolites (imidacloprid guanidine, imidacloprid olefin, imidacloprid urea, desnitro-imidacloprid hydrochloride, thiacloprid-amid and acetamiprid-N-desmethyl) in honey bee and honey was developed. Preparation of honey bee samples involves the extraction with mixture of acetonitrile and ethyl acetate followed by cleaned up using the Sep-Pak Alumina N Plus Long cartridges. Honey samples were dissolved in 1% mixture of acetonitrile and ethyl acetate with addition of TEA, then extracts were cleaned up with Strata X-CW cartridges. The identity of analytes was confirmed using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. All compounds were separated on a Luna C18 column with gradient elution. The whole procedure was validated according to the requirements of SANCO 12571/2013. The average recoveries of the analytes ranged from 85.3% to 112.0%, repeatabilities were in the range of 2.8-11.2%, within-laboratory reproducibility was in the range of 3.3-14.6%, the limits of quantitation were in the range of 0.1-0.5μgkg(-1), depending of analyte and matrices. The validated method was successfully applied for the determination of clothianidin, imidacloprid and imidacloprid urea in real incurred honey bee samples and clothianidin in honey. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  15. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-17

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

  17. Patriline variation of Nosema ceranae levels in Russian and Italian honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    The microsporidian Nosema ceranae has invaded managed honey bee colonies throughout the world. While the presence of N. ceranae is common, infection levels are highly variable, even among bees within a single colony. The underlying mechanisms driving this variation are not well-understood. The high ...

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreja KANDOLF BOROVŠAK

    2015-12-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger eSchürch

    2015-03-01

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

  4. Survival of honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) spermatozoa incubated at room temperature from drones exposed to miticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burley, Lisa M; Fell, Richard D; Saacke, Richard G

    2008-08-01

    We conducted research to examine the potential impacts ofcoumaphos, fluvalinate, and Apilife VAR (Thymol) on drone honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), sperm viability over time. Drones were reared in colonies that had been treated with each miticide by using the dose recommended on the label. Drones from each miticide treatment were collected, and semen samples were pooled. The pooled samples from each treatment were subdivided and analyzed for periods of up to 6 wk. Random samples were taken from each treatment (n = 6 pools) over the 6-wk period. Sperm viability was measured using dual-fluorescent staining techniques. The exposure of drones to coumaphos during development and sexual maturation significantly reduced sperm viability for all 6 wk. Sperm viability significantly decreased from the initial sample to week 1 in control colonies, and a significant decrease in sperm viability was observed from week 5 to week 6 in all treatments and control. The potential impacts of these results on queen performance and failure are discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evans JD

    2008-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley P Good

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jack, Cameron J; Lucas, Hannah M; Webster, Thomas C; Sagili, Ramesh R

    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

  9. 5-HMF and carbohydrates content in stingless bee honey by CE before and after thermal treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While much research has been conducted on insecticides and bees, there have been very limited studies to elucidate the role that bee genotype and age has on the toxicity of these insecticides. The goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in insecticide sensitivity between honey bees of different genetic backgrounds (Carniolan, Italian, and Russian stocks) and assess if insecticide sensitivity varies with age. We found that Italian bees were the most sensitive of these stocks to insecticides, but variation was largely dependent on the class of insecticide tested. There were almost no differences in organophosphate bioassays between honey bee stocks (bees aged, the sensitivity to phenothrin significantly decreased, but the sensitivity to naled significantly increased. These results demonstrate the variation arising from the genetic background and physiological transitions in honey bees as they age. This information can be used to determine risk assessment, as well as establishing baseline data for future comparisons to explain the variation in toxicity differences for honey bees reported in the literature. PMID:26431171

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sainath Suryanarayanan

    2013-03-01

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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Michael J Goblirsch

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

  19. A Cell Line Resource Derived from Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Embryonic Tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goblirsch, Michael J.; Spivak, Marla S.; Kurtti, Timothy J.

    2013-01-01

    A major hindrance to the study of honey bee pathogens or the effects of pesticides and nutritional deficiencies is the lack of controlled in vitro culture systems comprised of honey bee cells. Such systems are important to determine the impact of these stress factors on the developmental and cell biology of honey bees. We have developed a method incorporating established insect cell culture techniques that supports sustained growth of honey bee cells in vitro. We used honey bee eggs mid to late in their embryogenesis to establish primary cultures, as these eggs contain cells that are progressively dividing. Primary cultures were initiated in modified Leibovitz’s L15 medium and incubated at 32°C. Serial transfer of material from several primary cultures was maintained and has led to the isolation of young cell lines. A cell line (AmE-711) has been established that is composed mainly of fibroblast-type cells that form an adherent monolayer. Most cells in the line are diploid (2n = 32) and have the Apis mellifera karyotype as revealed by Giemsa stain. The partial sequence for the mitochondrial-encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (Cox 1) gene in the cell line is identical to those from honey bee tissues and a consensus sequence for A. mellifera. The population doubling time is approximately 4 days. Importantly, the cell line is continuously subcultured every 10–14 days when split at a 1:3 ratio and is cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. The cell culture system we have developed has potential application for studies aimed at honey bee development, genetics, pathogenesis, transgenesis, and toxicology. PMID:23894551

  20. 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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24056674

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putra, Ramadhani Eka; Kinasih, Ida

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Yael Garbian

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haley K. Feazel-Orr

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  10. Comparison of productivity of colonies of honey bees, Apis mellifera, supplemented with sucrose or high fructose corn syrup.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sammataro, Diana; Weiss, Milagra

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee colony feeding trials were conducted to determine whether differential effects of carbohydrate feeding (sucrose syrup (SS) vs. high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS) could be measured between colonies fed exclusively on these syrups. In one experiment, there was a significant difference in mean wax production between the treatment groups and a significant interaction between time and treatment for the colonies confined in a flight arena. On average, the colonies supplied with SS built 7916.7 cm(2) ± 1015.25 cm(2) honeycomb, while the colonies supplied with HFCS built 4571.63 cm(2) ± 786.45 cm(2). The mean mass of bees supplied with HFCS was 4.65 kg (± 0.97 kg), while those supplied with sucrose had a mean of 8.27 kg (± 1.26). There was no significant difference between treatment groups in terms of brood rearing. Differences in brood production were complicated due to possible nutritional deficiencies experienced by both treatment groups. In the second experiment, colonies supplemented with SS through the winter months at a remote field site exhibited increased spring brood production when compared to colonies fed with HFCS. The differences in adult bee populations were significant, having an overall average of 10.0 ± 1.3 frames of bees fed the sucrose syrup between November 2008 and April 2009, compared to 7.5 ± 1.6 frames of bees fed exclusively on HFCS. For commercial queen beekeepers, feeding the right supplementary carbohydrates could be especially important, given the findings of this study.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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