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Sample records for honey bee workers

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

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

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    Barrett Anthony Klein

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

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

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    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...

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

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

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    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.

  12. Worker honey bee pheromone regulation of foraging ontogeny

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    Pankiw, Tanya

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

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

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    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.

  14. 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...

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

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  18. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

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

    2011-09-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

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    Stindl, Reinhard; Stindl, Wolfgang

    2010-10-01

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

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

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arian Avalos

    2017-01-01

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

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

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

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

    2017-01-15

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

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

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    Richard Freddie-Jeanne

    2012-10-01

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

  12. Learning and memory in workers reared by nutritionally stressed honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies.

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    Mattila, Heather R; Smith, Brian H

    2008-12-15

    Chronic nutritional stress can have a negative impact on an individual's learning ability and memory. However, in social animals that share food among group members, such as the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), it is unknown whether group-level nutritional stress is manifested in the learning performance of individuals. Accordingly, we examined learning and memory in honey bee workers reared by colonies exposed to varying degrees of long-term pollen stress. Pollen provides honey bee workers with almost all of the proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals that they require as larvae and adults. Colonies were created that were either chronically pollen poor or pollen rich, or were intermediate in pollen supply; treatments altered colonies' pollen stores and brood-rearing capacity. Workers from these colonies were put through a series of olfactory-conditioning assays using proboscis-extension response (PER). PER thresholds were determined, then workers learned in olfactory-conditioning trials to associate two floral odors (one novel and the other presented previously without reward) with stimulation with sucrose and a sucrose reward. The strength of the memory that was formed for the odor/sucrose association was tested after olfactory-conditioning assays ended. Colony-level nutritional status had no effect on worker learning or memory (response threshold of workers to sucrose, acquisition of the odor/sucrose association, occurrence of latent inhibition, or memory retention over 72 h). We conclude that potential effects of chronic, colony-wide nutrient deprivation on learning and memory are not found in workers, probably because colonies use brood-rearing capacity to buffer nutrient stress at the level of the individual.

  13. Worker honey bee ovary development: seasonal variation and the influence of larval and adult nutrition.

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    Hoover, Shelley E R; Higo, Heather A; Winston, Mark L

    2006-01-01

    We examined the effect of larval and adult nutrition on worker honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) ovary development. Workers were fed high or low-pollen diets as larvae, and high or low-protein diets as adults. Workers fed low-protein diets at both life stages had the lowest levels of ovary development, followed by those fed high-protein diets as larvae and low- quality diets as adults, and then those fed diets poor in protein as larvae but high as adults. Workers fed high-protein diets at both life stages had the highest levels of ovary development. The increases in ovary development due to improved dietary protein in the larval and adult life stages were additive. Adult diet also had an effect on body mass. The results demonstrate that both carry-over of larval reserves and nutrients acquired in the adult life stage are important to ovary development in worker honey bees. Carry-over from larval development, however, appears to be less important to adult fecundity than is adult nutrition. Seasonal trends in worker ovary development and mass were examined throughout the brood rearing season. Worker ovary development was lowest in spring, highest in mid-summer, and intermediate in fall.

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

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

    2013-11-01

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

  15. Modeling Honey Bee Populations.

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    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.

  16. Modeling Honey Bee Populations

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    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

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

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Recombination is associated with the evolution of genome structure and worker behavior in honey bees.

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    Kent, Clement F; Minaei, Shermineh; Harpur, Brock A; Zayed, Amro

    2012-10-30

    The rise of insect societies, marked by the formation of reproductive and sterile castes, represents a major unsolved mystery in evolution. Across several independent origins of sociality, the genomes of social hymenopterans share two peculiar attributes: high recombination and low but heterogeneous GC content. For example, the genome of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, represents a mosaic of GC-poor and GC-rich regions with rates of recombination an order of magnitude higher than in humans. However, it is unclear how heterogeneity in GC content arises, and how it relates to the expression and evolution of worker traits. Using population genetic analyses, we demonstrate a bias in the allele frequency and fixation rate of derived C or G mutations in high-recombination regions, consistent with recombination's causal influence on GC-content evolution via biased gene conversion. We also show that recombination and biased gene conversion actively maintain the heterogeneous GC content of the honey bee genome despite an overall A/T mutation bias. Further, we found that GC-rich genes and intergenic regions have higher levels of genetic diversity and divergence relative to GC-poor regions, also consistent with recombination's causal influence on the rate of molecular evolution. Finally, we found that genes associated with behavior and those with worker-biased expression are found in GC-rich regions of the bee genome and also experience high rates of molecular evolution. Taken together, these findings suggest that recombination acts to maintain a genetically diverse and dynamic part of the genome where genes underlying worker behavior evolve more quickly.

  5. Sub-lethal effects of pesticide residues in brood comb on worker honey bee (Apis mellifera development and longevity.

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    Judy Y Wu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Numerous surveys reveal high levels of pesticide residue contamination in honey bee comb. We conducted studies to examine possible direct and indirect effects of pesticide exposure from contaminated brood comb on developing worker bees and adult worker lifespan. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Worker bees were reared in brood comb containing high levels of known pesticide residues (treatment or in relatively uncontaminated brood comb (control. Delayed development was observed in bees reared in treatment combs containing high levels of pesticides particularly in the early stages (day 4 and 8 of worker bee development. Adult longevity was reduced by 4 days in bees exposed to pesticide residues in contaminated brood comb during development. Pesticide residue migration from comb containing high pesticide residues caused contamination of control comb after multiple brood cycles and provided insight on how quickly residues move through wax. Higher brood mortality and delayed adult emergence occurred after multiple brood cycles in contaminated control combs. In contrast, survivability increased in bees reared in treatment comb after multiple brood cycles when pesticide residues had been reduced in treatment combs due to residue migration into uncontaminated control combs, supporting comb replacement efforts. Chemical analysis after the experiment confirmed the migration of pesticide residues from treatment combs into previously uncontaminated control comb. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study is the first to demonstrate sub-lethal effects on worker honey bees from pesticide residue exposure from contaminated brood comb. Sub-lethal effects, including delayed larval development and adult emergence or shortened adult longevity, can have indirect effects on the colony such as premature shifts in hive roles and foraging activity. In addition, longer development time for bees may provide a reproductive advantage for parasitic Varroa destructor

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Early gut colonizers shape parasite susceptibility and microbiota composition in honey bee workers

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    Microbial symbionts living within animal guts are largely composed of resident bacterial species, forming communities that often provide benefits to the host. Gut microbiomes of adult honey bees (Apis mel- lifera) include core residents such as the betaproteobacterium Snod- grassella alvi, alongside...

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

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    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...

  10. Modulation of social interactions by immune stimulation in honey bee, Apis mellifera, workers

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    Aubert A

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Immune response pathways have been relatively well-conserved across animal species, with similar systems in both mammals and invertebrates. Interestingly, honey bees have substantially reduced numbers of genes associated with immune function compared with solitary insect species. However, social species such as honey bees provide an excellent environment for pathogen or parasite transmission with controlled environmental conditions in the hive, high population densities, and frequent interactions. This suggests that honey bees may have developed complementary mechanisms, such as behavioral modifications, to deal with disease. Results Here, we demonstrate that activation of the immune system in honey bees (using bacterial lipopolysaccharides as a non-replicative pathogen alters the social responses of healthy nestmates toward the treated individuals. Furthermore, treated individuals expressed significant differences in overall cuticular hydrocarbon profiles compared with controls. Finally, coating healthy individuals with extracts containing cuticular hydrocarbons of immunostimulated individuals significantly increased the agonistic responses of nestmates. Conclusion Since cuticular hydrocarbons play a critical role in nestmate recognition and other social interactions in a wide variety of insect species, modulation of such chemical profiles by the activation of the immune system could play a crucial role in the social regulation of pathogen dissemination within the colony.

  11. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies.

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    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.

  12. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Strachecka Aneta; Borsuk Grzegorz; Paleolog Jerzy; Olszewski Krzysztof; Bajda Milena; Chobotow Jacek

    2014-01-01

    Body-surface chemical compounds were studied in 1-day-old nest workers and foragers both in Buckfast and Caucasian bees. The workers of these two age-castes were sampled twice in each of two consecutive years. Body-surface lipids were determined by means of gas chromatography, with a GCQ mass spectrometer. Protein concentrations and activities on the body surface were examined in bee cuticle rinsings obtained from worker bees according to the methods of Lowry, of Anson, and of Lee and Lin. Pr...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hailey N Scofield

    Full Text Available The negative effects on adult behavior of juvenile undernourishment are well documented in vertebrates, but relatively poorly understood in invertebrates. We examined the effects of larval nutritional stress on the foraging and recruitment behavior of an economically important model invertebrate, the honey bee (Apis mellifera. Pollen, which supplies essential nutrients to developing workers, can become limited in colonies because of seasonal dearths, loss of foraging habitat, or intensive management. However, the functional consequences of being reared by pollen-stressed nestmates remain unclear, despite growing concern that poor nutrition interacts with other stressors to exacerbate colony decline. We manipulated nurse bees' access to pollen and then assessed differences in weight, longevity, foraging activity, and waggle-dance behavior of the workers that they reared (who were co-fostered as adults. Pollen stress during larval development had far-reaching physical and behavioral effects on adult workers. Workers reared in pollen-stressed colonies were lighter and shorter lived than nestmates reared with adequate access to pollen. Proportionally fewer stressed workers were observed foraging and those who did forage started foraging sooner, foraged for fewer days, and were more likely to die after only a single day of foraging. Pollen-stressed workers were also less likely to waggle dance than their unstressed counterparts and, if they danced, the information they conveyed about the location of food was less precise. These performance deficits may escalate if long-term pollen limitation prevents stressed foragers from providing sufficiently for developing workers. Furthermore, the effects of brief pollen shortages reported here mirror the effects of other environmental stressors that limit worker access to nutrients, suggesting the likelihood of their synergistic interaction. Honey bees often experience the level of stress that we created, thus

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scofield, Hailey N; Mattila, Heather R

    2015-01-01

    The negative effects on adult behavior of juvenile undernourishment are well documented in vertebrates, but relatively poorly understood in invertebrates. We examined the effects of larval nutritional stress on the foraging and recruitment behavior of an economically important model invertebrate, the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Pollen, which supplies essential nutrients to developing workers, can become limited in colonies because of seasonal dearths, loss of foraging habitat, or intensive management. However, the functional consequences of being reared by pollen-stressed nestmates remain unclear, despite growing concern that poor nutrition interacts with other stressors to exacerbate colony decline. We manipulated nurse bees' access to pollen and then assessed differences in weight, longevity, foraging activity, and waggle-dance behavior of the workers that they reared (who were co-fostered as adults). Pollen stress during larval development had far-reaching physical and behavioral effects on adult workers. Workers reared in pollen-stressed colonies were lighter and shorter lived than nestmates reared with adequate access to pollen. Proportionally fewer stressed workers were observed foraging and those who did forage started foraging sooner, foraged for fewer days, and were more likely to die after only a single day of foraging. Pollen-stressed workers were also less likely to waggle dance than their unstressed counterparts and, if they danced, the information they conveyed about the location of food was less precise. These performance deficits may escalate if long-term pollen limitation prevents stressed foragers from providing sufficiently for developing workers. Furthermore, the effects of brief pollen shortages reported here mirror the effects of other environmental stressors that limit worker access to nutrients, suggesting the likelihood of their synergistic interaction. Honey bees often experience the level of stress that we created, thus our findings

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boot, W.J.

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Strachecka Aneta

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farjan Marek

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The colony collapse disorder is a growing problem world-wide. For this reason, we were prompted to search for natural and harmless agents that could improve the living conditions of honey bees. This group of agents includes exogenous antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid, which boost natural immunity. We analysed the effect of vitamin C supplementation on carbohydrate metabolism in the developing honey bee worker brood. The total carbohydrate content and the concentrations of glycogen, trehalose, maltotriose, fructose, and glucose were estimated. The correlations between sugar content and the activity of the main hydrolases of carbohydrate metabolism - α-amylase, glucoamylase, trehalase, maltase, and sucrase - were determined. The addition of vitamin C to the diet of wintering bees did not impair their sugar metabolism. Vitamin C supplements exerted a positive effect by significantly increasing glycogen and trehalose concentrations in the initial phase of development and in newly emerged workers. Vitamin C did not induce significant changes in the developmental profile of carbohydrate degrading enzymes, except for the earliest stage of larval development when enzyme activity levels were below those noted in the control group.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genersch, Elke

    2010-06-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuyama, Syuhei; Nagao, Takashi; Sasaki, Ken

    2015-01-15

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celik, Yuksel; Ulker, Erkan

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-30

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

  10. Observation of Varroa destructor behavior in capped worker brood of Africanized honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón, Rafael A; Chaves, Guisella; Sánchez, Luis A; Calderón, Rolando

    2012-11-01

    The behavioral activity of Varroa destructor was observed using transparent cells. Mite oviposition started at 45.0 ± 25.0 h post capping, followed by the next eggs laid at regular 27.3 ± 2.0 h intervals. On the prepupa, mites were found to feed often and there was no preference for a specific segment as a feeding site. During the pupal stage the mite fed less often and almost always at the same point. Varroa showed a preference for defecation in the posterior part of the cell. A significant association was observed between the position of the feeding point in the pupa and the defecation site on the cell wall. Displacement behavior was observed in 71 % of the infested bee larvae and a major change in the free space available for varroa in the cell occurred when the prepupa molted into a pupa.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Selecting honey bees for worker brood that reduces the reproduction of Varroa destructor

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated an effect of Apis mellifera worker brood on the reproduction of Varroa destructor as a resistance trait by conducting seven generations of bidirectional selection. Initial tests showed two-fold differences in mite fecundity (progeny per foundress mites) between colonies of different...

  13. 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

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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...

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  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. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. ...

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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)…

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide a system for studying social and food-related behavior. A caste of workers performs age-related tasks: young bees (nurses) usually feed the brood and other adult bees inside the nest, while older bees (foragers) forage outside for pollen, a protein/lipid source, or nectar, a carbohydrate source. The workers' transition from nursing to foraging and their foraging preferences correlate with differences in gustatory perception, metabolic gene expression, and e...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Al Toufailia, Hasan M; Amiri, Esmaeil; Scandian, Luciano; Kryger, Per; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2014-01-01

    Hygienic behaviour in the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is the uncapping and removal of dead, diseased or infected brood from sealed cells by worker bees. We determined the effect of hygienic behaviour on varroa population growth and incidence of deformed wing virus (DWV), which can be transmitted by varroa. We treated 42 broodless honey bee colonies with oxalic acid in early January 2013 to reduce varroa populations to low levels, which we quantified by extracting mites from a sample of worker ...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 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'.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Węgrzynowicz Paweł

    2014-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 75 FR 12171 - Notice of Availability of a Draft Pest Risk Assessment on Honey Bees Imported from Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-15

    .... honey bee population have emerged. The most prominent threat is Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious syndrome characterized by the abrupt disappearance of a colony's adult worker bee population, leaving a... robbing of hive stores by neighboring colonies. A link between the disorder, first reported in the United...

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    The caste fate of developing female honey bee larvae is strictly socially regulated by adult nurse workers. As a result of this social regulation, nurse-expressed genes as well as larval-expressed genes may affect caste expression and evolution. We used a novel transcriptomic approach to identify ge...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    The aim of this study was to improve and standardize cage systems for maintaining adult honey bee workers under in vitro laboratory conditions. To achieve this goal, we experimentally evaluated the impact of different cages, developed by scientists of the international research network COLOSS (Preve...

  10. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mike Goblirsch

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SOESILAWATI HADISOESILO

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerry J Bromenshenk

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)...

  19. 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.

  20. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-05

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox-Foster, Diana L; Conlan, Sean; Holmes, Edward C; Palacios, Gustavo; Evans, Jay D; Moran, Nancy A; Quan, Phenix-Lan; Briese, Thomas; Hornig, Mady; Geiser, David M; Martinson, Vince; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Kalkstein, Abby L; Drysdale, Andrew; Hui, Jeffrey; Zhai, Junhui; Cui, Liwang; Hutchison, Stephen K; Simons, Jan Fredrik; Egholm, Michael; Pettis, Jeffery S; Lipkin, W Ian

    2007-10-12

    In colony collapse disorder (CCD), honey bee colonies inexplicably lose their workers. CCD has resulted in a loss of 50 to 90% of colonies in beekeeping operations across the United States. The observation that irradiated combs from affected colonies can be repopulated with naive bees suggests that infection may contribute to CCD. We used an unbiased metagenomic approach to survey microflora in CCD hives, normal hives, and imported royal jelly. Candidate pathogens were screened for significance of association with CCD by the examination of samples collected from several sites over a period of 3 years. One organism, Israeli acute paralysis virus of bees, was strongly correlated with CCD.

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of environmentally-relevant mixtures of four common organophosphorus insecticides on the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Naggar, Yahya; Wiseman, Steve; Sun, Jianxian; Cutler, G Christopher; Aboul-Soud, Mourad; Naiem, Elsaied; Mona, Mohamed; Seif, Amal; Giesy, John P

    2015-11-01

    We assessed whether exposure to environmentally-relevant mixtures of four organophosphorus insecticides (OPs) exerted adverse effects on honey bees. Adult and worker bees were orally exposed for five days under laboratory conditions to mixtures of four insecticides, diazinon, malathion, profenofos and chlorpyrifos at two concentrations. Concentration in the mixtures tested were equivalent to the median and 95th centile concentrations of the OPs in honey, as reported in the literature. Effects on survival, behavior, activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and expression of genes important in detoxification of xenobiotics and immune response were examined. Survival of worker bees was not affected by exposure to median or 95th centile concentrations of the OPs. Activity of AChE was significantly greater in worker bees exposed to the 95th centile concentration mixture of OPs compared to the median concentration mixture. Expression of genes involved in detoxification of xenobiotics was not affected by treatment, but the abundance of transcripts of the antimicrobial peptide hymenoptaecin was significantly greater in worker honey bees exposed to the median concentration mixture. Results suggest that short-term exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of a mixture of OPs do not adversely affect worker honey bees.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Longevity of africanized worker honey bees (Apis mellifera carrying eye color mutant alleles Longevidade de operárias Apis mellifera africanizadas portadoras de mutações para a cor dos olhos

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    Rosana de Almeida

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The dark coloration of insects eyes is attributed to the accumulation of the brown pigment insectorubin, a mixture of ommochromes, xanthommatin and several ommins, biosynthesized from tryptophan. When any of the events in the synthesis chain is interrupted, formation and accumulation of pigments other than insectorubin occurs, and a new eye color will appear. The aim of the present work is to evaluate the longevity of worker honey bees Apis mellifera, homozygous and heterozygous for the mutant alleles cream (cr, snow-laranja (s la and brick (bk. Eye pigmentation and average longetivity of bees are very closely related. Mutant bees carrying lighter eye pigmentation are unable to return to the hive; there is, therefore, a close association between the eye pigmentation and honey bees lifespan. Experiments ran in confinement cages confirm the orientation problems of mutant honey bees, which kept in a limited space, were able to return to the hive and had an extended lifespan in comparison to that observed in the nature, and did not present statistical difference (P>0.05 relative to the control group. Confinement to restricted areas improves honey bees orientation abilities and facilitates return to the hive.Os olhos das abelhas selvagens adultas apresentam coloração marrom-escura, devido à presença de pigmentos denominados omocromos-xantominas e diferentes tipos de ominas. Os principais passos da cadeia metabólica que determinam a biossíntese desses pigmentos iniciam-se a partir do triptofano e qualquer interrupção em um dos seus passos fará com que a cor marrom-escura seja substituída por uma nova cor. Estudou-se a longevidade de operárias de Apis mellifera portadoras dos alelos mutantes para a cor dos olhos cream (cr, snow-laranja (s la e brick (bk. Existe nítida relação entre o grau de pigmentação dos olhos e a longevidade média das abelhas. As abelhas mutantes que apresentam a cor dos olhos mais clara perdem-se no campo, quando

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Prochloraz and coumaphos induce different gene expression patterns in three developmental stages of the Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica Pollmann).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cizelj, Ivanka; Glavan, Gordana; Božič, Janko; Oven, Irena; Mrak, Vesna; Narat, Mojca

    2016-03-01

    The Carniolan honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica, is a Slovenian autochthonous subspecies of honey bee. In recent years, the country has recorded an annual loss of bee colonies through mortality of up to 35%. One possible reason for such high mortality could be the exposure of honey bees to xenobiotic residues that have been found in honey bee and beehive products. Acaricides are applied by beekeepers to control varroosis, while the most abundant common agricultural chemicals found in honey bee and beehive products are fungicides, which may enter the system when applied to nearby flowering crops and fruit plants. Acaricides and fungicides are not intrinsically highly toxic to bees but their action in combination might lead to higher honey bee sensitivity or mortality. In the present study we investigated the molecular immune response of honey bee workers at different developmental stages (prepupa, white-eyed pupa, adult) exposed to the acaricide coumaphos and the fungicide prochloraz individually and in combination. Expression of 17 immune-related genes was examined by quantitative RT-PCR. In treated prepupae downregulation of most immune-related genes was observed in all treatments, while in adults upregulation of most of the genes was recorded. Our study shows for the first time that negative impacts of prochloraz and a combination of coumaphos and prochloraz differ among the different developmental stages of honey bees. The main effect of the xenobiotic combination was found to be upregulation of the antimicrobial peptide genes abaecin and defensin-1 in adult honey bees. Changes in immune-related gene expression could result in depressed immunity of honey bees and their increased susceptibility to various pathogens.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Virulence of mixed fungal infections in honey bee brood

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    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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,...

  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. Aging- and task-related resilience decline is linked to food responsiveness in highly social honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speth, Martin T; Kreibich, Claus D; Amdam, Gro V; Münch, Daniel

    2015-05-01

    Conventional invertebrate models of aging have provided striking examples for the influence of food- and nutrient-sensing on lifespan and stress resilience. On the other hand, studies in highly social insects, such as honey bees, have revealed how social context can shape very plastic life-history traits, for example flexible aging dynamics in the helper caste (workers). It is, however, not understood how food perception and stress resilience are connected in honey bee workers with different social task behaviors and aging dynamics. To explore this linkage, we tested if starvation resilience, which normally declines with age, depends on food responsiveness in honey bees. We studied two typically non-senesced groups of worker bees with different social task behaviors: mature nurses (caregivers) and mature foragers (food collectors). In addition, we included a group of old foragers for which functional senescence is well-established. Bees were individually scored for their food perception by measuring the gustatory response to different sucrose concentrations. Subsequently, individuals were tested for survival under starvation stress. We found that starvation stress resilience, but not gustatory responsiveness differed between workers with different social task behaviors (mature nurses vs. mature foragers). In addition starvation stress resilience differed between foragers with different aging progressions (mature foragers vs. old foragers). Control experiments confirmed that differences in starvation resilience between mature nurses and mature foragers were robust against changing experimental conditions, such as water provision and activity. For all worker groups we established that individuals with low gustatory responsiveness were more resilient to starvation stress. Finally, for the group of rapidly aging foragers we found that low food responsiveness was linked to a delayed age-related decline in starvation resilience. Our study highlights associations between

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thamm, Markus; Scheiner, Ricarda

    2014-06-01

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

  14. 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

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  17. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J Ciarlo

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2006-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. 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).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aranzazu Meana

    2017-04-01

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

  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. 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...

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yu Cheng; Adamczyk, John; Rinderer, Thomas; Yao, Jianxiu; Danka, Robert; Luttrell, Randall; Gore, Jeff

    2015-12-01

    To combat an increasing abundance of sucking insect pests, >40 pesticides are currently recommended and frequently used as foliar sprays on row crops, especially cotton. Foraging honey bees may be killed when they are directly exposed to foliar sprays, or they may take contaminated pollen back to hives that maybe toxic to other adult bees and larvae. To assess acute toxicity against the honey bee, we used a modified spray tower to simulate field spray conditions to include direct whole-body exposure, inhalation, and continuing tarsal contact and oral licking after a field spray. A total of 42 formulated pesticides, including one herbicide and one fungicide, were assayed for acute spray toxicity to 4-6-d-old workers. Results showed significantly variable toxicities among pesticides, with LC50s ranging from 25 to thousands of mg/liter. Further risk assessment using the field application concentration to LC1 or LC99 ratios revealed the risk potential of the 42 pesticides. Three pesticides killed less than 1% of the worker bees, including the herbicide, a miticide, and a neonicotinoid. Twenty-six insecticides killed more than 99% of the bees, including commonly used organophosphates and neonicotinoids. The remainder of the 13 chemicals killed from 1-99% of the bees at field application rates. This study reveals a realistic acute toxicity of 42 commonly used foliar pesticides. The information is valuable for guiding insecticide selection to minimize direct killing of foraging honey bees, while maintaining effective control of field crop pests.

  12. Acute Exposure to Worst-Case Concentrations of Amitraz Does Not Affect Honey Bee Learning, Short-Term Memory, or Hemolymph Octopamine Levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rix, Rachel R; Christopher Cutler, G

    2017-02-01

    Amitraz, an acaricide used to treat Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, is one of the most commonly detected pesticides in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) hives. Acaricides sometimes negatively impact honey bee cognition, but potential effects of amitraz on honey bee learning have been rarely studied. We topically exposed foragers to 95th percentile field-relevant levels of amitraz and, 24 h later, tested the ability of bees to associate a sucrose reward with a conditioned odor (learning response) using the proboscis extension response (PER). We then tested the ability of the bees to retain this memory 1 h and 2 h post-conditioning. Because amitraz is thought to affect octopamine metabolism in honey bees, and because octopamine is directly related to honey bee learning and memory, we also examined effects of exposure to amitraz on octopamine levels in honey bee hemolymph. We found that acute exposure to 95th percentile doses of amitraz had no impact on honey bee learning or short-term memory as measured by PER. Concentrations of octopamine in hemolymph from our low amitraz treatment were 1.4-fold higher than control levels, but other treatments had no effect. Our results from worst-case acute exposure experiments with worker bees in the laboratory suggest that typical field-relevant (within hive) exposures to amitraz probably have little effect on honey bee learning and memory. © 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smith, M.L.

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Propolis counteracts some threats to honey bee health

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-22

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

  9. Unique honey bee (Apis mellifera) hive component-based communities as detected by a hybrid of phospholipid fatty-acid and fatty-acid methyl ester analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grubbs, Kirk J; Scott, Jarrod J; Budsberg, Kevin J; Read, Harry; Balser, Teri C; Currie, Cameron R

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities (microbiomes) are associated with almost all metazoans, including the honey bee Apis mellifera. Honey bees are social insects, maintaining complex hive systems composed of a variety of integral components including bees, comb, propolis, honey, and stored pollen. Given that the different components within hives can be physically separated and are nutritionally variable, we hypothesize that unique microbial communities may occur within the different microenvironments of honey bee colonies. To explore this hypothesis and to provide further insights into the microbiome of honey bees, we use a hybrid of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) and phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) analysis to produce broad, lipid-based microbial community profiles of stored pollen, adults, pupae, honey, empty comb, and propolis for 11 honey bee hives. Averaging component lipid profiles by hive, we show that, in decreasing order, lipid markers representing fungi, Gram-negative bacteria, and Gram-positive bacteria have the highest relative abundances within honey bee colonies. Our lipid profiles reveal the presence of viable microbial communities in each of the six hive components sampled, with overall microbial community richness varying from lowest to highest in honey, comb, pupae, pollen, adults and propolis, respectively. Finally, microbial community lipid profiles were more similar when compared by component than by hive, location, or sampling year. Specifically, we found that individual hive components typically exhibited several dominant lipids and that these dominant lipids differ between components. Principal component and two-way clustering analyses both support significant grouping of lipids by hive component. Our findings indicate that in addition to the microbial communities present in individual workers, honey bee hives have resident microbial communities associated with different colony components.

  10. Unique honey bee (Apis mellifera hive component-based communities as detected by a hybrid of phospholipid fatty-acid and fatty-acid methyl ester analyses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirk J Grubbs

    Full Text Available Microbial communities (microbiomes are associated with almost all metazoans, including the honey bee Apis mellifera. Honey bees are social insects, maintaining complex hive systems composed of a variety of integral components including bees, comb, propolis, honey, and stored pollen. Given that the different components within hives can be physically separated and are nutritionally variable, we hypothesize that unique microbial communities may occur within the different microenvironments of honey bee colonies. To explore this hypothesis and to provide further insights into the microbiome of honey bees, we use a hybrid of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME and phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA analysis to produce broad, lipid-based microbial community profiles of stored pollen, adults, pupae, honey, empty comb, and propolis for 11 honey bee hives. Averaging component lipid profiles by hive, we show that, in decreasing order, lipid markers representing fungi, Gram-negative bacteria, and Gram-positive bacteria have the highest relative abundances within honey bee colonies. Our lipid profiles reveal the presence of viable microbial communities in each of the six hive components sampled, with overall microbial community richness varying from lowest to highest in honey, comb, pupae, pollen, adults and propolis, respectively. Finally, microbial community lipid profiles were more similar when compared by component than by hive, location, or sampling year. Specifically, we found that individual hive components typically exhibited several dominant lipids and that these dominant lipids differ between components. Principal component and two-way clustering analyses both support significant grouping of lipids by hive component. Our findings indicate that in addition to the microbial communities present in individual workers, honey bee hives have resident microbial communities associated with different colony components.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Antibacterial immune competence of honey bees (Apis mellifera is adapted to different life stages and environmental risks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heike Gätschenberger

    Full Text Available The development of all honey bee castes proceeds through three different life stages all of which encounter microbial infections to a various extent. We have examined the immune strength of honey bees across all developmental stages with emphasis on the temporal expression of cellular and humoral immune responses upon artificial challenge with viable Escherichia coli bacteria. We employed a broad array of methods to investigate defence strategies of infected individuals: (a fate of bacteria in the haemocoel; (b nodule formation and (c induction of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs. Newly emerged adult worker bees and drones were able to activate efficiently all examined immune reactions. The number of viable bacteria circulating in the haemocoel of infected bees declined rapidly by more than two orders of magnitude within the first 4-6 h post-injection (p.i., coinciding with the occurrence of melanised nodules. Antimicrobial activity, on the other hand, became detectable only after the initial bacterial clearance. These two temporal patterns of defence reactions very likely represent the constitutive cellular and the induced humoral immune response. A unique feature of honey bees is that a fraction of worker bees survives the winter season in a cluster mostly engaged in thermoregulation. We show here that the overall immune strength of winter bees matches that of young summer bees although nodulation reactions are not initiated at all. As expected, high doses of injected viable E.coli bacteria caused no mortality in larvae or adults of each age. However, drone and worker pupae succumbed to challenge with E.coli even at low doses, accompanied by a premature darkening of the pupal body. In contrast to larvae and adults, we observed no fast clearance of viable bacteria and no induction of AMPs but a rapid proliferation of E.coli bacteria in the haemocoel of bee pupae ultimately leading to their death.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Salt preferences of honey bee water foragers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Pierre W; Nieh, James C

    2016-03-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Overwintering Is Associated with Reduced Expression of Immune Genes and Higher Susceptibility to Virus Infection in Honey Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadja Steinmann

    Full Text Available The eusocial honey bee, Apis mellifera, has evolved remarkable abilities to survive extreme seasonal differences in temperature and availability of resources by dividing the worker caste into two groups that differ in physiology and lifespan: summer and winter bees. Most of the recent major losses of managed honey bee colonies occur during the winter, suggesting that winter bees may have compromised immune function and higher susceptibility to diseases. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the expression of eight immune genes and naturally occurring infection levels of deformed wing virus (DWV, one of the most widespread viruses in A. mellifera populations, between summer and winter bees. Possible interactions between immune response and physiological activity were tested by measuring the expression of vitellogenin and methyl farnesoate epoxidase, a gene coding for the last enzyme involved in juvenile hormone biosynthesis. Our data show that high DWV loads in winter bees correlate with reduced expression of genes involved in the cellular immune response and physiological activity and high expression of humoral immune genes involved in antibacterial defense compared with summer bees. This expression pattern could reflect evolutionary adaptations to resist bacterial pathogens and economize energy during the winter under a pathogen landscape with reduced risk of pathogenic viral infections. The outbreak of Varroa destructor infestation could have overcome these adaptations by promoting the transmission of viruses. Our results suggest that reduced cellular immune function during the winter may have increased honey bee's susceptibility to DWV. These results contribute to our understanding of honey bee colony losses in temperate regions.

  7. 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 ...

  8. The impact of pollen consumption on honey bee (Apis mellifera) digestive physiology and carbohydrate metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricigliano, Vincent A; Fitz, William; Copeland, Duan C; Mott, Brendon M; Maes, Patrick; Floyd, Amy S; Dockstader, Arnold; Anderson, Kirk E

    2017-08-20

    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 age-based division of labor. Pollen utilization by the honey bee has been investigated in considerable detail, but little is known about the metabolic fate of indigestible carbohydrates and glycosides in pollen biomass. Here, we demonstrate that pollen consumption stimulates the hydrolysis of sugars that are toxic to the bee (xylose, arabinose, mannose). GHs produced in the head accumulate in the midgut and persist in the hindgut that harbors a core microbial community composed of approximately 10(8) bacterial cells. Pollen consumption significantly impacted total and specific bacterial abundance in the digestive tract. Bacterial isolates representing major fermentative gut phylotypes exhibited primarily membrane-bound GH activities that may function in tandem with soluble host enzymes retained in the hindgut. Additionally, we found that plant-originating β-galactosidase activity in pollen may be sufficient, in some cases, for probable physiological activity in the gut. These findings emphasize the potential relative contributions of host, bacteria, and pollen enzyme activities to carbohydrate breakdown, which may be tied to gut microbiome dynamics and associated host nutrition. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahreini, Rassol; Currie, Robert W

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee colonies function as a superorganism, where facultatively sterile female workers perform various tasks that support the hive. Nurse workers undergo numerous anatomical and physiological changes in preparation for brood rearing, including the growth of hypopharyngeal glands (HGs). These gla...

  20. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  2. Disruption of quercetin metabolism by fungicide affects energy production in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-13

    Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450) in the honey bee, Apis mellifera, detoxify phytochemicals in honey and pollen. The flavonol quercetin is found ubiquitously and abundantly in pollen and frequently at lower concentrations in honey. Worker jelly consumed during the first 3 d of larval development typically contains flavonols at very low levels, however. RNA-Seq analysis of gene expression in neonates reared for three days on diets with and without quercetin revealed that, in addition to up-regulating multiple detoxifying P450 genes, quercetin is a negative transcriptional regulator of mitochondrion-related nuclear genes and genes encoding subunits of complexes I, III, IV, and V in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. Thus, a consequence of inefficient metabolism of this phytochemical may be compromised energy production. Several P450s metabolize quercetin in adult workers. Docking in silico of 121 pesticide contaminants of American hives into the active pocket of CYP9Q1, a broadly substrate-specific P450 with high quercetin-metabolizing activity, identified six triazole fungicides, all fungal P450 inhibitors, that dock in the catalytic site. In adults fed combinations of quercetin and the triazole myclobutanil, the expression of five of six mitochondrion-related nuclear genes was down-regulated. Midgut metabolism assays verified that adult bees consuming quercetin with myclobutanil metabolized less quercetin and produced less thoracic ATP, the energy source for flight muscles. Although fungicides lack acute toxicity, they may influence bee health by interfering with quercetin detoxification, thereby compromising mitochondrial regeneration and ATP production. Thus, agricultural use of triazole fungicides may put bees at risk of being unable to extract sufficient energy from their natural food.

  3. Efficiency in pollen foraging by honey bees: Time, motion and pollen depletion on flowers of Sisyrinchium palmifolium Linnaeus (Asparagales: Iridaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breno M. Freitas

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees depend on flower resources (nectar and pollen to supply individual and colony needs. Although behavioural studies already assessed optimum foraging patterns of bumblebees, honey bees foraging behavioural patterns have been poorly assessed. We used Sysirinchium palmifolium L. (Iridaceae, a low-growing, abundant and anthophilous grassland flower to test the hypotheses that Apis mellifera workers would i spend more time, ii visit a greater number of flowers, and iii travel greater distances within patches of S. palmifolium which were newly opened or not been visited by other pollinators when compared to foraging on patches that were available to pollinators during its whole blooming period (only one day. In two different sunny days, we measured bee activities in an area opened for visitation during the whole anthesis (OP plot treatment and another opened for visitation only half of anthesis (CL plot treatment. We observed bees spending more time, visiting more flowers and travelling more in S. palmifolium CL treatment than the OP plot treatment. Previous studies already showed bees alter their foraging behaviour in the lack of resources. Honey bees are able to remember the period of the day when resources are usually the higher, they probably detect the most promising period to gather resources on S. palmifolium flowers. Since A. mellifera is a pollinator with a wide-distribution and is considered an important cause of changes on native pollinator communities, we support additional studies evaluating its foraging behaviours to better understand how it explores flower resources.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Overwintering Is Associated with Reduced Expression of Immune Genes and Higher Susceptibility to Virus Infection in Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmann, Nadja; Corona, Miguel; Neumann, Peter; Dainat, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    The eusocial honey bee, Apis mellifera, has evolved remarkable abilities to survive extreme seasonal differences in temperature and availability of resources by dividing the worker caste into two groups that differ in physiology and lifespan: summer and winter bees. Most of the recent major losses of managed honey bee colonies occur during the winter, suggesting that winter bees may have compromised immune function and higher susceptibility to diseases. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the expression of eight immune genes and naturally occurring infection levels of deformed wing virus (DWV), one of the most widespread viruses in A. mellifera populations, between summer and winter bees. Possible interactions between immune response and physiological activity were tested by measuring the expression of vitellogenin and methyl farnesoate epoxidase, a gene coding for the last enzyme involved in juvenile hormone biosynthesis. Our data show that high DWV loads in winter bees correlate with reduced expression of genes involved in the cellular immune response and physiological activity and high expression of humoral immune genes involved in antibacterial defense compared with summer bees. This expression pattern could reflect evolutionary adaptations to resist bacterial pathogens and economize energy during the winter under a pathogen landscape with reduced risk of pathogenic viral infections. The outbreak of Varroa destructor infestation could have overcome these adaptations by promoting the transmission of viruses. Our results suggest that reduced cellular immune function during the winter may have increased honey bee’s susceptibility to DWV. These results contribute to our understanding of honey bee colony losses in temperate regions. PMID:26121358

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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'.

  11. 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.

  12. Reproductive biology of Varroa destructor in Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón, R A; van Veen, J W; Sommeijer, M J; Sanchez, L A

    2010-04-01

    Since its first contact with Apis mellifera, the population dynamics of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor varies from one region to another. In many regions of the world, apiculture has come to depend on the use of acaricides, because of the extensive damage caused by varroa to bee colonies. At present, the mite is considered to contribute to the recent decline of honey bee colonies in North America and Europe. Because in tropical climates worker brood rearing and varroa reproduction occurs all year round, it could be expected that here the impact of the parasite will be even more devastating. Yet, this has not been the case in tropical areas of South America. In Brazil, varroa was introduced more than 30 years ago and got established at low levels of infestation, without causing apparent damage to apiculture with Africanized honey bees (AHB). The tolerance of AHB to varroa is apparently attributable, at least in part, to resistance in the bees. The low fertility of this parasite in Africanized worker brood and the grooming and hygienic behavior of the bees are referred as important factors in keeping mite infestation low in the colonies. It has also been suggested that the type of mite influences the level of tolerance in a honey bee population. The Korea haplotype is predominant in unbalanced host-parasite systems, as exist in Europe, whereas in stable systems, as in Brazil, the Japan haplotype used to predominate. However, the patterns of varroa genetic variation have changed in Brazil. All recently sampled mites were of the Korea haplotype, regardless whether the mites had reproduced or not. The fertile mites on AHB in Brazil significantly increased from 56% in the 1980s to 86% in recent years. Nevertheless, despite the increased fertility, no increase in mite infestation rates in the colonies has been detected so far. A comprehensive literature review of varroa reproduction data, focusing on fertility and production of viable female mites, was conducted to

  13. 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.

  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. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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,

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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 

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Daily number of bee louse (Braula coeca) in honey bee (Apis mellifera camica and A. m. syriaca) colonies maintained under semi-arid conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shahera Zaitoun; Abd AI-Majeed AI-Ghzawi

    2008-01-01

    Experimental work was conducted at two apiaries located in Irbid district and in Shuna North, Jordan, during the years 2004-2006. The aims of these investigations were to estimate the seasonal changes in the infestation rates of the bee louse (Braula sp.) and to develop an easy and rapid method of estimating the infestation rate on workers with bee Braula. Two major honey bee subspecies are reared in Jordan; Apis mellifera carnica and Apis mellifera syriaca were used in this study. The results showed that the infestation rate began to increase rapidly in May, reaching the season's maximum rate of 16.2%, 15.8% and 17.4% forA. ra. carnica and 22.6%, 23.9% and 22.9% forA. m. syr/aca in December of 2004,2005 and 2006, respectively. The maximum adult numbers of bees were found in April and June, whereas the minimum for the year was in January in both honey bee subspecies colonies during the study period. The actual population of the bee louse could be estimated by counting the daily dropped lice and multiplying by a factor of 158. This factor is valid for the experimental colonies of both subspecies kept for 3 years under semi-arid Mediterranean conditions.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. Within-Colony Variation in the Immunocompetency of Managed and Feral Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L. in Different Urban Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Holden Appler

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization has the potential to dramatically affect insect populations worldwide, although its effects on pollinator populations are just beginning to be understood. We compared the immunocompetency of honey bees sampled from feral (wild-living and managed (beekeeper-owned honey bee colonies. We sampled foragers from feral and managed colonies in rural, suburban, and urban landscapes in and around Raleigh, NC, USA. We then analyzed adult workers using two standard bioassays for insect immune function (encapsulation response and phenoloxidase activity. We found that there was far more variation within colonies for encapsulation response or phenoloxidase activity than among rural to urban landscapes, and we did not observe any significant difference in immune response between feral and managed bees. These findings suggest that social pollinators, like honey bees, may be sufficiently robust or variable in their immune responses to obscure any subtle effects of urbanization. Additional studies of immune physiology and disease ecology of social and solitary bees in urban, suburban, and natural ecosystems will provide insights into the relative effects of changing urban environments on several important factors that influence pollinator productivity and health.

  17. 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.

  18. Go East for Better Honey Bee Health: Apis cerana Is Faster at Hygienic Behavior than A. mellifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Li; Qin, Yao; Zhang, Yingying; Hu, Fuliang; Neumann, Peter; Zheng, Huoqing; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    The poor health status of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, compared to its Eastern counterpart, Apis cerana, is remarkable. This has been attributed to lower pathogen prevalence in A. cerana colonies and to their ability to survive infestations with the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor. These properties have been linked to an enhanced removal of dead or unhealthy immature bees by adult workers in this species. Although such hygienic behavior is known to contribute to honey bee colony health, comparative data of A. mellifera and A. cerana in performing this task are scarce. Here, we compare for the first time the removal of freeze-killed brood in one population of each species and over two seasons in China. Our results show that A. cerana was significantly faster than A. mellifera at both opening cell caps and removing freeze-killed brood. The fast detection and removal of diseased brood is likely to limit the proliferation of pathogenic agents. Given our results can be generalized to the species level, a rapid hygienic response could contribute to the better health of A. cerana. Promoting the fast detection and removal of worker brood through adapted breeding programs could further improve the social immunity of A. mellifera colonies and contribute to a better health status of the Western honey bee worldwide. PMID:27606819

  19. Go East for Better Honey Bee Health: Apis cerana Is Faster at Hygienic Behavior than A. mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Zheguang; Page, Paul; Li, Li; Qin, Yao; Zhang, Yingying; Hu, Fuliang; Neumann, Peter; Zheng, Huoqing; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    The poor health status of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, compared to its Eastern counterpart, Apis cerana, is remarkable. This has been attributed to lower pathogen prevalence in A. cerana colonies and to their ability to survive infestations with the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor. These properties have been linked to an enhanced removal of dead or unhealthy immature bees by adult workers in this species. Although such hygienic behavior is known to contribute to honey bee colony health, comparative data of A. mellifera and A. cerana in performing this task are scarce. Here, we compare for the first time the removal of freeze-killed brood in one population of each species and over two seasons in China. Our results show that A. cerana was significantly faster than A. mellifera at both opening cell caps and removing freeze-killed brood. The fast detection and removal of diseased brood is likely to limit the proliferation of pathogenic agents. Given our results can be generalized to the species level, a rapid hygienic response could contribute to the better health of A. cerana. Promoting the fast detection and removal of worker brood through adapted breeding programs could further improve the social immunity of A. mellifera colonies and contribute to a better health status of the Western honey bee worldwide.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Activity-dependent gene expression in honey bee mushroom bodies in response to orientation flight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Claudia C; Robinson, Gene E

    2013-06-01

    The natural history of adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) provides an opportunity to study the molecular basis of learning in an ecological context. Foragers must learn to navigate between the hive and floral locations that may be up to miles away. Young pre-foragers prepare for this task by performing orientation flights near the hive, during which they begin to learn navigational cues such as the appearance of the hive, the position of landmarks, and the movement of the sun. Despite well-described spatial learning and navigation behavior, there is currently limited information on the neural basis of insect spatial learning. We found that Egr, an insect homolog of Egr-1, is rapidly and transiently upregulated in the mushroom bodies in response to orientation. This result is the first example of an Egr-1 homolog acting as a learning-related immediate-early gene in an insect and also demonstrates that honey bee orientation uses a molecular mechanism that is known to be involved in many other forms of learning. This transcriptional response occurred both in naïve bees and in foragers induced to re-orient. Further experiments suggest that visual environmental novelty, rather than exercise or memorization of specific visual cues, acts as the stimulus for Egr upregulation. Our results implicate the mushroom bodies in spatial learning and emphasize the deep conservation of Egr-related pathways in experience-dependent plasticity.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Neuropeptide Y-like signalling and nutritionally mediated gene expression and behaviour in the honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ament, S A; Velarde, R A; Kolodkin, M H; Moyse, D; Robinson, G E

    2011-06-01

    Previous research has led to the idea that derived traits can arise through the evolution of novel roles for conserved genes. We explored whether neuropeptide Y (NPY)-like signalling, a conserved pathway that regulates food-related behaviour, is involved in a derived, nutritionally-related trait, the division of labour in worker honey bees. Transcripts encoding two NPY-like peptides were expressed in separate populations of brain neurosecretory cells, consistent with endocrine functions. NPY-related genes were upregulated in the brains of older foragers compared with younger bees performing brood care ('nurses'). A subset of these changes can be attributed to nutrition, but neuropeptide F peptide treatments did not influence sugar intake. These results contrast with recent reports of more robust associations between division of labour and the related insulin-signalling pathway and suggest that some elements of molecular pathways associated with feeding behaviour may be more evolutionarily labile than others.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Honey Bees (Apis mellifera, L.) as Active Samplers of Airborne Particulate Matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negri, Ilaria; Mavris, Christian; Di Prisco, Gennaro; Caprio, Emilio; Pellecchia, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are bioindicators of environmental pollution levels. During their wide-ranging foraging activity, these hymenopterans are exposed to pollutants, thus becoming a useful tool to trace the environmental contaminants as heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides and volatile organic compounds. In the present work we demonstrate that bees can also be used as active samplers of airborne particulate matter. Worker bees were collected from hives located in a polluted postmining area in South West Sardinia (Italy) that is also exposed to dust emissions from industrial plants. The area is included in an official list of sites of national interest for environmental remediation, and has been characterized for the effects of pollutants on the health of the resident population. The head, wings, hind legs and alimentary canal of the bees were investigated with Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). The analyses pointed to specific morphological and chemical features of the particulate, and resulted into the identification of three categories of particles: industry-, postmining-, and soil-derived. With the exception of the gut, all the analyzed body districts displayed inorganic particles, mostly concentrated in specific areas of the body (i.e. along the costal margin of the fore wings, the medial plane of the head, and the inner surface of the hind legs). The role of both past mining activities and the industrial activity close to the study area as sources of the particulate matter is also discussed. We conclude that honey bees are able to collect samples of the main airborne particles emitted from different sources, therefore could be an ideal tool for monitoring such a kind of pollutants.

  14. Honey Bees (Apis mellifera, L. as Active Samplers of Airborne Particulate Matter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilaria Negri

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis mellifera L. are bioindicators of environmental pollution levels. During their wide-ranging foraging activity, these hymenopterans are exposed to pollutants, thus becoming a useful tool to trace the environmental contaminants as heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides and volatile organic compounds. In the present work we demonstrate that bees can also be used as active samplers of airborne particulate matter. Worker bees were collected from hives located in a polluted postmining area in South West Sardinia (Italy that is also exposed to dust emissions from industrial plants. The area is included in an official list of sites of national interest for environmental remediation, and has been characterized for the effects of pollutants on the health of the resident population. The head, wings, hind legs and alimentary canal of the bees were investigated with Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX. The analyses pointed to specific morphological and chemical features of the particulate, and resulted into the identification of three categories of particles: industry-, postmining-, and soil-derived. With the exception of the gut, all the analyzed body districts displayed inorganic particles, mostly concentrated in specific areas of the body (i.e. along the costal margin of the fore wings, the medial plane of the head, and the inner surface of the hind legs. The role of both past mining activities and the industrial activity close to the study area as sources of the particulate matter is also discussed. We conclude that honey bees are able to collect samples of the main airborne particles emitted from different sources, therefore could be an ideal tool for monitoring such a kind of pollutants.

  15. Microarray analysis of natural socially regulated plasticity in circadian rhythms of honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Zas, Sandra L; Southey, Bruce R; Shemesh, Yair; Rubin, Elad B; Cohen, Mira; Robinson, Gene E; Bloch, Guy

    2012-02-01

    Honey bee workers care for ("nurse") the brood around the clock without circadian rhythmicity, but then they forage outside with strong circadian rhythms and a consolidated nightly rest. This chronobiological plasticity is associated with variation in the expression of the canonical "clock genes" that regulate the circadian clock: nurse bees show no brain rhythms of expression, while foragers do. These results suggest that the circadian system is organized differently in nurses and foragers. Nurses switch to activity with circadian rhythms shortly after being removed from the hive, suggesting that at least some clock cells in their brain continue to measure time while in the hive. We performed a microarray genome-wide survey to determine general patterns of brain gene expression in nurses and foragers sampled around the clock. We found 160 and 541 transcripts that exhibited significant sinusoidal oscillations in nurses and foragers, respectively, with peaks of expression distributed throughout the day in both task groups. Consistent with earlier studies, transcripts of genes involved in circadian rhythms, including Clockwork Orange that has not been studied before in bees, oscillated in foragers but not in nurses. The oscillating transcripts also were enriched for genes involved in the visual system, "development" and "response to stimuli" (foragers), "muscle contraction" and "microfilament motor gene expression" (nurses), and "generation of precursor metabolites" and "energy" (both). Transcripts of genes encoding P450 enzymes oscillated in both nurses and foragers but with a different phase. This study identified new putative clock-controlled genes in the honey bee and suggests that some brain functions show circadian rhythmicity even in nurse bees that are active around the clock.

  16. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) reared in brood combs containing high levels of pesticide residues exhibit increased susceptibility to Nosema (Microsporidia) infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Judy Y; Smart, Matthew D; Anelli, Carol M; Sheppard, Walter S

    2012-03-01

    Nosema ceranae and pesticide exposure can contribute to honey bee health decline. Bees reared from brood comb containing high or low levels of pesticide residues were placed in two common colony environments. One colony was inoculated weekly with N. ceranae spores in sugar syrup and the other colony received sugar syrup only. Worker honey bees were sampled weekly from the treatment and control colonies and analyzed for Nosema spore levels. Regardless of the colony environment (spores+syrup added or syrup only added), a higher proportion of bees reared from the high pesticide residue brood comb became infected with N. ceranae, and at a younger age, compared to those reared in low residue brood combs. These data suggest that developmental exposure to pesticides in brood comb increases the susceptibility of bees to N. ceranae infection.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The influence of Nosema (Microspora: Nosematidae) infection on honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) defense against Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahreini, Rassol; Currie, Robert W

    2015-11-01

    The objectives of this study were to quantify the costs and benefits of co-parasitism with Varroa (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) and Nosema (Nosema ceranae Fries and Nosema apis Zander) on honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) with different defense levels. Newly-emerged worker bees from either high-mite-mortality-rate (high-MMR) bees or low-mite-mortality-rate (low-MMR) bees were confined in forty bioassay cages which were either inoculated with Nosema spores [Nosema (+) group] or were left un-inoculated [Nosema (-) group]. Caged-bees were then inoculated with Varroa mites [Varroa (+) group] or were left untreated [Varroa (-) group]. This established four treatment combinations within each Nosema treatment group: (1) low-MMR Varroa (-), (2) high-MMR Varroa (-), (3) low-MMR Varroa (+) and (4) high-MMR Varroa (+), each with five replicates. Overall mite mortality in high-MMR bees (0.12±0.02 mites per day) was significantly greater than in the low-MMR bees (0.06±0.02 mites per day). In the Nosema (-) groups bee mortality was greater in high-MMR bees than low-MMR bees but only when bees had a higher mite burden. Overall, high-MMR bees in the Nosema (-) group showed greater reductions in mean abundance of mites over time compared with low-MMR bees, when inoculated with additional mites. However, high-MMR bees could not reduce mite load as well as in the Nosema (-) group when fed with Nosema spores. Mean abundance of Nosema spores in live bees and dead bees of both strains of bees was significantly greater in the Nosema (+) group. Molecular analyses confirmed the presence of both Nosema species in inoculated bees but N. ceranae was more abundant than N. apis and unlike N. apis increased over the course of the experiment. Collectively, this study showed differential mite mortality rates among different genotypes of bees, however, Nosema infection restrained Varroa removal success in high-MMR bees.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Antineoplastic Effects of Honey Bee Venom

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    Mohammad Nabiuni

    2013-08-01

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

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

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    Geraldo Moretto

    2007-07-01

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

  8. 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.

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

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    ROUBIK DAVID

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT

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

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

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Individual responsiveness to shock and colony-level aggression in honey bees: evidence for a genetic component.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avalos, Arian; Rodríguez-Cruz, Yoselyn; Giray, Tugrul

    2014-05-01

    The phenotype of the social group is related to phenotypes of individuals that form that society. We examined how honey bee colony aggressiveness relates to individual response of male drones and foraging workers. Although the natural focus in colony aggression has been on the worker caste, the sterile females engaged in colony maintenance and defense, males carry the same genes. We measured aggressiveness scores of colonies and examined components of individual aggressive behavior in workers and haploid sons of workers from the same colony. We describe for the first time, that males, although they have no stinger, do bend their abdomen (abdominal flexion) in a posture similar to stinging behavior of workers in response to electric shock. Individual worker sting response and movement rates in response to shock were significantly correlated with colony scores. In the case of drones, sons of workers from the same colonies, abdominal flexion significantly correlated but their movement rates did not correlate with colony aggressiveness. Furthermore, the number of workers responding at increasing levels of voltage exhibits a threshold-like response, whereas the drones respond in increasing proportion to shock. We conclude that there are common and caste-specific components to aggressive behavior in honey bees. We discuss implications of these results on social and behavioral regulation and genetics of aggressive response.

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

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    Matthew Betti

    2017-03-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Wang

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees (Apis mellifera provide a system for studying social and food-related behavior. A caste of workers performs age-related tasks: young bees (nurses usually feed the brood and other adult bees inside the nest, while older bees (foragers forage outside for pollen, a protein/lipid source, or nectar, a carbohydrate source. The workers' transition from nursing to foraging and their foraging preferences correlate with differences in gustatory perception, metabolic gene expression, and endocrine physiology including the endocrine factors vitellogenin (Vg and juvenile hormone (JH. However, the understanding of connections among social behavior, energy metabolism, and endocrine factors is incomplete. We used RNA interference (RNAi to perturb the gene network of Vg and JH to learn more about these connections through effects on gustation, gene transcripts, and physiology. The RNAi perturbation was achieved by single and double knockdown of the genes ultraspiracle (usp and vg, which encode a putative JH receptor and Vg, respectively. The double knockdown enhanced gustatory perception and elevated hemolymph glucose, trehalose, and JH. We also observed transcriptional responses in insulin like peptide 1 (ilp1, the adipokinetic hormone receptor (AKHR, and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG, or "foraging gene" Amfor. Our study demonstrates that the Vg-JH regulatory module controls changes in carbohydrate metabolism, but not lipid metabolism, when worker bees shift from nursing to foraging. The module is also placed upstream of ilp1, AKHR, and PKG for the first time. As insulin, adipokinetic hormone (AKH, and PKG pathways influence metabolism and gustation in many animals, we propose that honey bees have conserved pathways in carbohydrate metabolism and conserved connections between energy metabolism and gustatory perception. Thus, perhaps the bee can make general contributions to the understanding of food-related behavior and metabolic disorders.

  18. 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

  19. [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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. The expression and phylogenetics of the Inhibitor Cysteine Knot peptide OCLP1 in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloch, Guy; Cohen, Mira

    2014-06-01

    Small cysteine-rich peptides have diverse functions in insects including antimicrobial defense, phenoloxidase activity regulation, and toxic inhibition of ion channels of prey or predator. We combined bioinformatics and measurements of transcript abundance to start characterizing AmOCLP1, a recently discovered Inhibitor Cysteine Knot peptide in the honey bee Apis mellifera. We found that the genomes of ants, bees, and the wasp Nasonia vitripennis encode orthologous sequences indicating that OCLP1 is a conserved peptide and not unique to the honey bee. Search of available EST libraries and quantitative real time PCR analyses indicate that the transcript of AmOCLP1 is ubiquitous with expression in life stages ranging from embryos to adults and in all tested tissues. In worker honey bees AmOCLP1 expression was not associated with age or task and did not show clear enrichment in any of the tested tissues. There was however a consistent trend toward higher transcript levels in the abdomen of foragers relative to levels in the head or thorax, and compared to levels in the abdomen of younger worker bees. By contrast, in drones AmOCLP1 transcript levels appeared higher in the head relative to the abdomen. Finer analyses of the head and abdomen indicated that the AmOCLP1 transcript is not enriched in the stinger and the associated venom sac or in cephalic exocrine glands. The evolutionary conservation in the Hymenoptera, the ubiquitous expression, and the lack of enrichment in the venom gland, stinger, exocrine glands, and the brain are not consistent with the hypotheses that OCLP1 is a secreted honeybee toxin or an endotoxin acting in the central nervous system. Rather we hypothesize that OCLP1 is a conserved antimicrobial or phenoloxidase inhibitor peptide.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian H Krupke

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. Queen introduction into the queenright honey bee colony

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonín Přidal

    2010-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  4. QTL Mapping of Sex Determination Loci Supports an Ancient Pathway in Ants and Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyakawa, Misato O; Mikheyev, Alexander S

    2015-11-01

    Sex determination mechanisms play a central role in life-history characteristics, affecting mating systems, sex ratios, inbreeding tolerance, etc. Downstream components of sex determination pathways are highly conserved, but upstream components evolve rapidly. Evolutionary dynamics of sex determination remain poorly understood, particularly because mechanisms appear so diverse. Here we investigate the origins and evolution of complementary sex determination (CSD) in ants and bees. The honey bee has a well-characterized CSD locus, containing tandemly arranged homologs of the transformer gene [complementary sex determiner (csd) and feminizer (fem)]. Such tandem paralogs appear frequently in aculeate hymenopteran genomes. However, only comparative genomic, but not functional, data support a broader role for csd/fem in sex determination, and whether species other than the honey bee use this pathway remains controversial. Here we used a backcross to test whether csd/fem acts as a CSD locus in an ant (Vollenhovia emeryi). After sequencing and assembling the genome, we computed a linkage map, and conducted a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of diploid male production using 68 diploid males and 171 workers. We found two QTLs on separate linkage groups (CsdQTL1 and CsdQTL2) that jointly explained 98.0% of the phenotypic variance. CsdQTL1 included two tandem transformer homologs. These data support the prediction that the same CSD mechanism has indeed been conserved for over 100 million years. CsdQTL2 had no similarity to CsdQTL1 and included a 236-kb region with no obvious CSD gene candidates, making it impossible to conclusively characterize it using our data. The sequence of this locus was conserved in at least one other ant genome that diverged >75 million years ago. By applying QTL analysis to ants for the first time, we support the hypothesis that elements of hymenopteran CSD are ancient, but also show that more remains to be learned about the diversity of CSD

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan R. Helm

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In holometabolous insects, larval nutrition affects adult body size, a life history trait with a profound influence on performance and fitness. Individual nutritional components of larval diets are often complex and may interact with one another, necessitating the use of a geometric framework for elucidating nutritional effects. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, nurse bees provision food to developing larvae, directly moderating growth rates and caste development. However, the eusocial nature of honey bees makes nutritional studies challenging, because diet components cannot be systematically manipulated in the hive. Using in vitro rearing, we investigated the roles and interactions between carbohydrate and protein content on larval survival, growth, and development in A. mellifera. We applied a geometric framework to determine how these two nutritional components interact across nine artificial diets. Honey bees successfully completed larval development under a wide range of protein and carbohydrate contents, with the medium protein (∼5% diet having the highest survival. Protein and carbohydrate both had significant and non-linear effects on growth rate, with the highest growth rates observed on a medium-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Diet composition did not have a statistically significant effect on development time. These results confirm previous findings that protein and carbohydrate content affect the growth of A. mellifera larvae. However, this study identified an interaction between carbohydrate and protein content that indicates a low-protein, high-carb diet has a negative effect on larval growth and survival. These results imply that worker recruitment in the hive would decline under low protein conditions, even when nectar abundance or honey stores are sufficient.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

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    Roger eSchürch

    2015-03-01

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

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

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    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

  19. Dissecting the role of Kr-h1 brain gene expression in foraging behavior in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

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    Fussnecker, B; Grozinger, C

    2008-09-01

    Expression of Krüppel homolog-1 (Kr-h1) in the honey bee brain is strongly associated with foraging behavior. We performed a series of studies to determine if Kr-h1 expression correlates with specific aspects of foraging. We found that Kr-h1 expression is unaffected by flight experience in male bees. Expression was unaffected by behavioral reversion of workers from foraging to brood care, suggesting that expression is not associated with the active performance of foraging, but rather with stable physiological changes. Kr-h1 expression is increased by cGMP treatment in workers, and the Kr-h1 promoter contains a conserved potential cGMP response element. Since cGMP treatment causes precocious foraging, our results suggest that Kr-h1 expression is associated with cGMP-mediated changes in the brain that occur early in the transition to foraging behavior.

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

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    Ashley P Good

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Impacts of Dietary Phytochemicals in the Presence and Absence of Pesticides on Longevity of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera

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    Ling-Hsiu Liao

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Because certain flavonols and phenolic acids are found in pollen and nectar of most angiosperms, they are routinely ingested by Apis mellifera, the western honey bee. The flavonol quercetin and the phenolic acid p-coumaric acid are known to upregulate detoxification enzymes in adult bees; their presence or absence in the diet may thus affect the toxicity of ingested pesticides. We conducted a series of longevity assays with one-day-old adult workers to test if dietary phytochemicals enhance longevity and pesticide tolerance. One-day-old bees were maintained on sugar syrup with or without casein (a phytochemical-free protein source in the presence or absence of quercetin and p-coumaric acid as well as in the presence or absence of two pyrethroid insecticides, bifenthrin and β-cyfluthrin. Dietary quercetin (hazard ratio, HR = 0.82, p-coumaric acid (HR = 0.91 and casein (HR = 0.74 were associated with extended lifespan and the two pyrethroid insecticides, 4 ppm bifenthrin (HR = 9.17 and 0.5 ppm β-cyfluthrin (HR = 1.34, reduced lifespan. Dietary quercetin enhanced tolerance of both pyrethroids; p-coumaric acid had a similar effect trend, although of reduced magnitude. Casein in the diet appears to eliminate the life-prolonging effect of p-coumaric acid in the absence of quercetin. Collectively, these assays demonstrate that dietary phytochemicals influence honey bee longevity and pesticide stress; substituting sugar syrups for honey or yeast/soy flour patties may thus have hitherto unrecognized impacts on adult bee health.

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

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    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.

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

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    Ibrahim Çakmak

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

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    Sainath Suryanarayanan

    2013-03-01

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

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

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    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

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    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.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

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    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

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    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Honeybee glucose oxidase—its expression in honeybee workers and comparative analyses of its content and H2O2-mediated antibacterial activity in natural honeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucekova, Marcela; Valachova, Ivana; Kohutova, Lenka; Prochazka, Emanuel; Klaudiny, Jaroslav; Majtan, Juraj

    2014-08-01

    Antibacterial properties of honey largely depend on the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which is generated by glucose oxidase (GOX)-mediated conversion of glucose in diluted honey. However, honeys exhibit considerable variation in their antibacterial activity. Therefore, the aim of the study was to identify the mechanism behind the variation in this activity and in the H2O2 content in honeys associated with the role of GOX in this process. Immunoblots and in situ hybridization analyses demonstrated that gox is solely expressed in the hypopharyngeal glands of worker bees performing various tasks and not in other glands or tissues. Real-time PCR with reference genes selected for worker heads shows that the gox expression progressively increases with ageing of the youngest bees and nurses and reached the highest values in processor bees. Immunoblot analysis of honey samples revealed that GOX is a regular honey component but its content significantly varied among honeys. Neither botanical source nor geographical origin of honeys affected the level of GOX suggesting that some other factors such as honeybee nutrition and/or genetic/epigenetic factors may take part in the observed variation. A strong correlation was found between the content of GOX and the level of generated H2O2 in honeys except honeydew honeys. Total antibacterial activity of most honey samples against Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolate significantly correlated with the H2O2 content. These results demonstrate that the level of GOX can significantly affect the total antibacterial activity of honey. They also support an idea that breeding of novel honeybee lines expressing higher amounts of GOX could help to increase the antibacterial efficacy of the hypopharyngeal gland secretion that could have positive influence on a resistance of colonies against bacterial pathogens.

  6. Honeybee glucose oxidase--its expression in honeybee workers and comparative analyses of its content and H2O2-mediated antibacterial activity in natural honeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucekova, Marcela; Valachova, Ivana; Kohutova, Lenka; Prochazka, Emanuel; Klaudiny, Jaroslav; Majtan, Juraj

    2014-08-01

    Antibacterial properties of honey largely depend on the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which is generated by glucose oxidase (GOX)-mediated conversion of glucose in diluted honey. However, honeys exhibit considerable variation in their antibacterial activity. Therefore, the aim of the study was to identify the mechanism behind the variation in this activity and in the H2O2 content in honeys associated with the role of GOX in this process. Immunoblots and in situ hybridization analyses demonstrated that gox is solely expressed in the hypopharyngeal glands of worker bees performing various tasks and not in other glands or tissues. Real-time PCR with reference genes selected for worker heads shows that the gox expression progressively increases with ageing of the youngest bees and nurses and reached the highest values in processor bees. Immunoblot analysis of honey samples revealed that GOX is a regular honey component but its content significantly varied among honeys. Neither botanical source nor geographical origin of honeys affected the level of GOX suggesting that some other factors such as honeybee nutrition and/or genetic/epigenetic factors may take part in the observed variation. A strong correlation was found between the content of GOX and the level of generated H2O2 in honeys except honeydew honeys. Total antibacterial activity of most honey samples against Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolate significantly correlated with the H2O2 content. These results demonstrate that the level of GOX can significantly affect the total antibacterial activity of honey. They also support an idea that breeding of novel honeybee lines expressing higher amounts of GOX could help to increase the antibacterial efficacy of the hypopharyngeal gland secretion that could have positive influence on a resistance of colonies against bacterial pathogens.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yael Garbian

    2012-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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