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Sample records for honey bee workers

  1. Is the Salivary Gland Associated with Honey Bee Recognition Compounds in Worker Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Stephen J; Correia-Oliveira, Maria E; Shemilt, Sue; Drijfhout, Falko P

    2018-06-07

    Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) function as recognition compounds with the best evidence coming from social insects such as ants and honey bees. The major exocrine gland involved in hydrocarbon storage in ants is the post-pharyngeal gland (PPG) in the head. It is still not clearly understood where CHCs are stored in the honey bee. The aim of this study was to investigate the hydrocarbons and esters found in five major worker honey bee (Apis mellifera) exocrine glands, at three different developmental stages (newly emerged, nurse, and forager) using a high temperature GC analysis. We found the hypopharyngeal gland contained no hydrocarbons nor esters, and the thoracic salivary and mandibular glands only contained trace amounts of n-alkanes. However, the cephalic salivary gland (CSG) contained the greatest number and highest quantity of hydrocarbons relative to the five other glands with many of the hydrocarbons also found in the Dufour's gland, but at much lower levels. We discovered a series of oleic acid wax esters that lay beyond the detection of standard GC columns. As a bee's activities changed, as it ages, the types of compounds detected in the CSG also changed. For example, newly emerged bees have predominately C 19 -C 23 n-alkanes, alkenes and methyl-branched compounds, whereas the nurses' CSG had predominately C 31:1 and C 33:1 alkene isomers, which are replaced by a series of oleic acid wax esters in foragers. These changes in the CSG were mirrored by corresponding changes in the adults' CHCs profile. This indicates that the CSG may have a parallel function to the PPG found in ants acting as a major storage gland of CHCs. As the CSG duct opens into the buccal cavity the hydrocarbons can be worked into the comb wax and could help explain the role of comb wax in nestmate recognition experiments.

  2. The metabolic fate of nectar nicotine in worker honey bees.

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    du Rand, Esther E; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W; Apostolides, Zeno

    2017-04-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are generalist pollinators that forage for nectar and pollen of a very large variety of plant species, exposing them to a diverse range of secondary metabolites produced as chemical defences against herbivory. Honey bees can tolerate high levels of many of these toxic compounds, including the alkaloid nicotine, in their diet without incurring apparent fitness costs. Very little is known about the underlying detoxification processes mediating this tolerance. We examined the metabolic fate of nicotine in newly emerged worker bees using radiolabeled nicotine and LC-MS/MS analysis to determine the kinetic distribution profile of nicotine as well as the absence or presence and identity of any nicotine-derived metabolites. Nicotine metabolism was extensive; virtually no unmetabolised nicotine were recovered from the rectum. The major metabolite found was 4-hydroxy-4-(3-pyridyl) butanoic acid, the end product of 2'C-oxidation of nicotine. It is the first time that 4-hydroxy-4-(3-pyridyl) butanoic acid has been identified in an insect as a catabolite of nicotine. Lower levels of cotinine, cotinine N-oxide, 3'hydroxy-cotinine, nicotine N-oxide and norcotinine were also detected. Our results demonstrated that formation of 4-hydroxy-4-(3-pyridyl) butanoic acid is quantitatively the most significant pathway of nicotine metabolism in honey bees and that the rapid excretion of unmetabolised nicotine does not contribute significantly to nicotine tolerance in honey bees. In nicotine-tolerant insects that do not rely on the rapid excretion of nicotine like the Lepidoptera, it is possible that the 2'C-oxidation of nicotine is the conserved metabolic pathway instead of the generally assumed 5'C-oxidation pathway. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Queens and Workers Contribute Differently to Adaptive Evolution in Bumble Bees and Honey Bees.

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    Harpur, Brock A; Dey, Alivia; Albert, Jennifer R; Patel, Sani; Hines, Heather M; Hasselmann, Martin; Packer, Laurence; Zayed, Amro

    2017-09-01

    Eusociality represents a major transition in evolution and is typified by cooperative brood care and reproductive division of labor between generations. In bees, this division of labor allows queens and workers to phenotypically specialize. Worker traits associated with helping are thought to be crucial to the fitness of a eusocial lineage, and recent studies of honey bees (genus Apis) have found that adaptively evolving genes often have worker-biased expression patterns. It is unclear however if worker-biased genes are disproportionately acted on by strong positive selection in all eusocial insects. We undertook a comparative population genomics study of bumble bees (Bombus) and honey bees to quantify natural selection on queen- and worker-biased genes across two levels of social complexity. Despite sharing a common eusocial ancestor, genes, and gene groups with the highest levels of positive selection were often unique within each genus, indicating that life history and the environment, but not sociality per se, drives patterns of adaptive molecular evolution. We uncovered differences in the contribution of queen- and worker-biased genes to adaptive evolution in bumble bees versus honey bees. Unlike honey bees, where worker-biased genes are enriched for signs of adaptive evolution, genes experiencing positive selection in bumble bees were predominately expressed by reproductive foundresses during the initial solitary-founding stage of colonies. Our study suggests that solitary founding is a major selective pressure and that the loss of queen totipotency may cause a change in the architecture of selective pressures upon the social insect genome. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  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. PMID:25029445

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

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    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. Unequal subfamily proportions among honey bee queen and worker brood

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    Tilley; Oldroyd

    1997-12-01

    Queens from three colonies of feral honey bees, Apis mellifera were removed and placed in separate nucleus colonies. For each colony, eggs and larvae were taken from the nucleus and placed in the main hive on each of 3-4 consecutive weeks. Workers in the queenless parts selected young larvae to rear as queens. Queen pupae, together with the surrounding worker pupae, were removed from each colony and analysed at two to three microsatellite loci to determine their paternity. In all three colonies, the paternity of larvae chosen by the bees to rear as queens was not a random sample of the paternities in the worker brood, with certain subfamilies being over-represented in queens. These results support an important prediction of kin selection theory: when colonies are queenless, unequal relatedness within colonies could lead to the evolution of reproductive competition, that is some subfamilies achieving greater reproductive success than others. The mechanism by which such dominance is achieved could be through a system of kin recognition and nepotism, but we conclude that genetically based differential attractiveness of larvae for rearing as queens is more likely.Copyright 1997 The Association for the Study of Animal BehaviourCopyright 1997The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  10. Physiology of reproductive worker honey bees (Apis mellifera): insights for the development of the worker caste.

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    Peso, Marianne; Even, Naïla; Søvik, Eirik; Naeger, Nicholas L; Robinson, Gene E; Barron, Andrew B

    2016-02-01

    Reproductive and behavioural specialisations characterise advanced social insect societies. Typically, the honey bee (Apis mellifera) shows a pronounced reproductive division of labour between worker and queen castes, and a clear division of colony roles among workers. In a queenless condition, however, both of these aspects of social organisation break down. Queenless workers reproduce, forage and maintain their colony operating in a manner similar to communal bees, rather than as an advanced eusocial group. This plasticity in social organisation provides a natural experiment for exploring physiological mechanisms of division of labour. We measured brain biogenic amine (BA) levels and abdominal fat body vitellogenin gene expression levels of workers in queenright and queenless colonies. Age, ovary activation and social environment influenced brain BA levels in honey bees. BA levels were most influenced by ovary activation state in queenless bees. Vitellogenin expression levels were higher in queenless workers than queenright workers, but in both colony environments vitellogenin expression was lower in foragers than non-foragers. We propose this plasticity in the interacting signalling systems that influence both reproductive and behavioural development allows queenless workers to deviate significantly from the typical worker bee reaction norm and develop as reproductively active behavioural generalists.

  11. Measuring hypopharyngeal gland acinus size in honey bee (Apis mellifera) nurse workers

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    The nurse worker honey bee hypopharyngeal glands produce the protein fraction of worker and royal jelly fed to developing larvae and queens. These paired glands that are located in the head of the bee are highly sensitive to the quantity and quality of pollen and pollen substitutes that the nurse be...

  12. Hemocyte-mediated phagocytosis differs between honey bee (Apis mellifera worker castes.

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    Eva Marit Hystad

    Full Text Available Honey bees as other insects rely on the innate immune system for protection against diseases. The innate immune system includes the circulating hemocytes (immune cells that clear pathogens from hemolymph (blood by phagocytosis, nodulation or encapsulation. Honey bee hemocyte numbers have been linked to hemolymph levels of vitellogenin. Vitellogenin is a multifunctional protein with immune-supportive functions identified in a range of species, including the honey bee. Hemocyte numbers can increase via mitosis, and this recruitment process can be important for immune system function and maintenance. Here, we tested if hemocyte mediated phagocytosis differs among the physiologically different honey bee worker castes (nurses, foragers and winter bees, and study possible interactions with vitellogenin and hemocyte recruitment. To this end, we adapted phagocytosis assays, which-together with confocal microscopy and flow cytometry-allow qualitative and quantitative assessment of hemocyte performance. We found that nurses are more efficient in phagocytic uptake than both foragers and winter bees. We detected vitellogenin within the hemocytes, and found that winter bees have the highest numbers of vitellogenin-positive hemocytes. Connections between phagocytosis, hemocyte-vitellogenin and mitosis were worker caste dependent. Our results demonstrate that the phagocytic performance of immune cells differs significantly between honey bee worker castes, and support increased immune competence in nurses as compared to forager bees. Our data, moreover, provides support for roles of vitellogenin in hemocyte activity.

  13. Hemocyte-mediated phagocytosis differs between honey bee (Apis mellifera) worker castes.

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    Hystad, Eva Marit; Salmela, Heli; Amdam, Gro Vang; Münch, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees as other insects rely on the innate immune system for protection against diseases. The innate immune system includes the circulating hemocytes (immune cells) that clear pathogens from hemolymph (blood) by phagocytosis, nodulation or encapsulation. Honey bee hemocyte numbers have been linked to hemolymph levels of vitellogenin. Vitellogenin is a multifunctional protein with immune-supportive functions identified in a range of species, including the honey bee. Hemocyte numbers can increase via mitosis, and this recruitment process can be important for immune system function and maintenance. Here, we tested if hemocyte mediated phagocytosis differs among the physiologically different honey bee worker castes (nurses, foragers and winter bees), and study possible interactions with vitellogenin and hemocyte recruitment. To this end, we adapted phagocytosis assays, which-together with confocal microscopy and flow cytometry-allow qualitative and quantitative assessment of hemocyte performance. We found that nurses are more efficient in phagocytic uptake than both foragers and winter bees. We detected vitellogenin within the hemocytes, and found that winter bees have the highest numbers of vitellogenin-positive hemocytes. Connections between phagocytosis, hemocyte-vitellogenin and mitosis were worker caste dependent. Our results demonstrate that the phagocytic performance of immune cells differs significantly between honey bee worker castes, and support increased immune competence in nurses as compared to forager bees. Our data, moreover, provides support for roles of vitellogenin in hemocyte activity.

  14. Longevity extension of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) by royal jelly: optimal dose and active ingredient

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Wenchao; Tian, Yuanyuan; Han, Mingfeng; Miao, Xiaoqing

    2017-01-01

    In the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, queens and workers have different longevity although they share the same genome. Queens consume royal jelly (RJ) as the main food throughout their life, including as adults, but workers only eat worker jelly when they are larvae less than 3 days old. In order to explore the effect of RJ and the components affecting longevity of worker honey bees, we first determined the optimal dose for prolonging longevity of workers as 4% RJ in 50% sucrose solution,...

  15. 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...

  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. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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    Haley K. Feazel-Orr

    2016-03-01

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

  19. Effect of Propolis Oral Intake on Physiological Condition of Young Worker Honey Bees, Apis Mellifera L.

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    Damiani Natalia

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees collect resin from various plant species and transform it into propolis that is incorporated into the nest. The role of resins in the bee health field is poorly understood. The aim was to evaluate the effects of forced consumption of propolis on the physiological condition and short-term survival of Apis mellifera worker bees. It was tested if the number of circulating hemocytes in hemolymph, the abdominal fat bodies and the hypopharyngeal glands development were affected by the feeding with propolis extracts in laboratory conditions during the warm and the cold seasons. Propolis added to sugar candy was consumed by workers for fourteen days without affecting the bee survival. The number of circulating hemocytes in hemolymph remained constant despite the differential diet during the experiment. However, the development of fat bodies and hypopharyngeal glands was altered by propolis ingestion. The abdominal fat body development in winter bees diminished after fourteen days of propolis consumption, while it increased in summer bees. The hypopharyngeal gland development decreased for the assayed period in workers from both seasons. Our results encourage us to continue exploring this research field and learn how long-term forced ingestion of a plant-derived compound, a non-nutritive substance, can modify physiological bee parameters. A broader understanding of the multiple roles of propolis in the health of the honey bee colonies could be obtained by studying the ways in which it is processed and metabolized and the effect that generates in another physiological responses.

  20. Social regulation of ageing by young workers in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

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    Eyer, Michael; Dainat, Benjamin; Neumann, Peter; Dietemann, Vincent

    2017-01-01

    Organisms' lifespans are modulated by both genetic and environmental factors. The lifespan of eusocial insects is determined by features of the division of labor, which itself is influenced by social regulatory mechanisms. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, the presence of brood and of old workers carrying out foraging tasks are important social drivers of ageing, but the influence of young adult workers is unknown, as it has not been experimentally teased apart from that of brood. In this study, we test the role of young workers in the ageing of their nestmates. We measured the impact of different social contexts characterized by the absence of brood and/or young adults on the lifespan of worker nestmates in field colonies. To acquire insight into the physiological processes occurring under these contexts, we analyzed the expression of genes known to affect honey bee ageing. The data showed that young workers significantly reduced the lifespan of nestmate workers, similar to the effect of brood on its own. Differential expression of vitellogenin, major royal jelly protein-1, and methylase transferase, but not methyl farneosate epoxidase genes suggests that young workers and brood influence ageing of adult nestmate workers via different physiological pathways. We identify young workers as an essential part of the social regulation of ageing in honey bee colonies. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    Elodie Urlacher

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

  2. Social Modulation of Stress Reactivity and Learning in Young Worker Honey Bees

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    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. PMID:25470128

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

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

    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.

  4. Hemolymph proteome changes during worker brood development match the biological divergences between western honey bees (Apis mellifera) and eastern honey bees (Apis cerana).

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

    2014-07-05

    Hemolymph plays key roles in honey bee molecule transport, immune defense, and in monitoring the physiological condition. There is a lack of knowledge regarding how the proteome achieves these biological missions for both the western and eastern honey bees (Apis mellifera and Apis cerana). A time-resolved proteome was compared using two-dimensional electrophoresis-based proteomics to reveal the mechanistic differences by analysis of hemolymph proteome changes between the worker bees of two bee species during the larval to pupal stages. The brood body weight of Apis mellifera was significantly heavier than that of Apis cerana at each developmental stage. Significantly, different protein expression patterns and metabolic pathways were observed in 74 proteins (166 spots) that were differentially abundant between the two bee species. The function of hemolymph in energy storage, odor communication, and antioxidation is of equal importance for the western and eastern bees, indicated by the enhanced expression of different protein species. However, stronger expression of protein folding, cytoskeletal and developmental proteins, and more highly activated energy producing pathways in western bees suggests that the different bee species have developed unique strategies to match their specific physiology using hemolymph to deliver nutrients and in immune defense. Our disparate findings constitute a proof-of-concept of molecular details that the ecologically shaped different physiological conditions of different bee species match with the hemolymph proteome during the brood stage. This also provides a starting point for future research on the specific hemolymph proteins or pathways related to the differential phenotypes or physiology.

  5. Comparative proteomic analysis provides insight into 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid biosynthesis in honey bee workers.

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    Yang, Xiao-Hui; Yang, Shi-Fa; Wang, Rui-Ming

    2017-07-01

    10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA) is the major compound produced from the mandibular glands (MGs) of honey bee workers. However, little information is available on the molecular mechanisms of 10-HDA biosynthesis. In our study, based on investigating the 10-HDA secretion pattern and the morphological characteristics of MGs from honey bee workers of different ages, a comparative proteomic analysis was performed in the MGs of workers with different 10-HDA production. In total, 59 up-regulated protein species representing 45 unique proteins were identified in high 10-HDA-producing workers by 2-DE-MALDI-TOF/TOF MS. These proteins were involved in carbohydrate/energy metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, protein metabolism and folding, antioxidation, cytoskeleton, development and cell signaling. Proteins related to fatty acid metabolism, including fatty acid synthase and β-oxidation enzymes, are potentially crucial proteins involved in 10-HDA biosynthesis pathway. And RNA interference (RNAi) results demonstrated that knockdown of electron transfer flavoprotein subunit beta (ETF-β), one of the protein related to fatty acid metabolism, decreased 10-HDA production of worker bees, suggesting that ETF-β was necessary for 10-HDA biosynthesis. This study reveals the characteristics of MGs of worker bees at different developmental stages and proteins associated with 10-HDA biosynthesis, which provides the first insight into the molecular mechanism of 10-HDA biosynthesis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stindl, Reinhard; Stindl, Wolfgang

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-15

    The dissemination of information is a basic element of group cohesion. In honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus 1758), like in other social insects, the principal method for colony-wide information exchange is communication via pheromones. This medium of communication allows multiple individuals to conduct tasks critical to colony survival. Social signaling also establishes conflict at the level of the individual who must trade-off between attending to the immediate environment or the social demand. In this study we examined this conflict by challenging highly social worker honey bees, and less social male drone honey bees undergoing aversive training by presenting them with a social stress signal (isopentyl acetate, IPA). We utilized IPA exposure methods that caused lower learning performance in appetitive learning in workers. Exposure to isopentyl acetate (IPA) did not affect performance of drones and had a dose-specific effect on worker response, with positive effects diminishing at higher IPA doses. The IPA effects are specific because non-social cues, such as the odor cineole, improve learning performance in drones, and social homing signals (geraniol) did not have a discernible effect on drone or worker performance. We conclude that social signals do generate conflict and that response to them is dependent on signal relevance to the individual as well as the context. We discuss the effect of social signal on learning both related to its social role and potential evolutionary history. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  10. Longevity extension of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera by royal jelly: optimal dose and active ingredient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenchao Yang

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available In the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, queens and workers have different longevity although they share the same genome. Queens consume royal jelly (RJ as the main food throughout their life, including as adults, but workers only eat worker jelly when they are larvae less than 3 days old. In order to explore the effect of RJ and the components affecting longevity of worker honey bees, we first determined the optimal dose for prolonging longevity of workers as 4% RJ in 50% sucrose solution, and developed a method of obtaining long lived workers. We then compared the effects of longevity extension by RJ 4% with bee-collected pollen from rapeseed (Brassica napus. Lastly, we determined that a water soluble RJ protein obtained by precipitation with 60% ammonium sulfate (RJP60 contained the main component for longevity extension after comparing the effects of RJ crude protein extract (RJCP, RJP30 (obtained by precipitation with 30% ammonium sulfate, and RJ ethanol extract (RJEE. Understanding what regulates worker longevity has potential to help increase colony productivity and improve crop pollination efficiency.

  11. Longevity extension of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) by royal jelly: optimal dose and active ingredient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wenchao; Tian, Yuanyuan; Han, Mingfeng; Miao, Xiaoqing

    2017-01-01

    In the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera , queens and workers have different longevity although they share the same genome. Queens consume royal jelly (RJ) as the main food throughout their life, including as adults, but workers only eat worker jelly when they are larvae less than 3 days old. In order to explore the effect of RJ and the components affecting longevity of worker honey bees, we first determined the optimal dose for prolonging longevity of workers as 4% RJ in 50% sucrose solution, and developed a method of obtaining long lived workers. We then compared the effects of longevity extension by RJ 4% with bee-collected pollen from rapeseed ( Brassica napus ). Lastly, we determined that a water soluble RJ protein obtained by precipitation with 60% ammonium sulfate (RJP 60 ) contained the main component for longevity extension after comparing the effects of RJ crude protein extract (RJCP), RJP 30 (obtained by precipitation with 30% ammonium sulfate), and RJ ethanol extract (RJEE). Understanding what regulates worker longevity has potential to help increase colony productivity and improve crop pollination efficiency.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Freddie-Jeanne

    2012-10-01

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

  13. Bee Alert: Africanized Honey Bee Facts

    OpenAIRE

    Lazaneo, Vincent

    2002-01-01

    Information on how to “bee prepared” for the movement of the Africanized honey bee into California. Includes tips on how to identify Africanized honey bees, bee-proofing your home, and what to do if stung.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Farjan Marek; Żółtowska Krystyna; Lipiński Zbigniew; Łopieńska-Biernat Elżbieta; Dmitryjuk Małgorzata

    2015-01-01

    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, trehalos...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  17. In-depth Proteomics Characterization of Embryogenesis of the Honey Bee Worker (Apis mellifera ligustica) *

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strange, James P

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  2. Differential expression of a fructose receptor gene in honey bee workers according to age and behavioral role.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takada, Tomoyuki; Sasaki, Taiyo; Sato, Ryoichi; Kikuta, Shingo; Inoue, Maki N

    2018-02-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) workers contribute to the maintenance of colonies in various ways. The primary functions of workers are divided into two types depending on age: young workers (nurses) primarily engage in such behaviors as cleaning and food handling within the hive, whereas older workers (foragers) acquire floral nutrients beyond the colony. Concomitant with this age-dependent change in activity, physiological changes occur in the tissues and organs of workers. Nurses supply younger larvae with honey containing high levels of glucose and supply older larvae with honey containing high levels of fructose. Given that nurses must determine both the concentration and type of sugar used in honey, gustatory receptors (Gr) expressed in the chemosensory organs likely play a role in distinguishing between sugars. Glucose is recognized by Gr1 in honey bees (AmGr1); however, it remains unclear which Gr are responsible for fructose recognition. This study aimed to identify fructose receptors in honey bees and reported that AmGr3, when transiently expressed in Xenopus oocytes, responded only to fructose, and to no other sugars. We analyzed expression levels of AmGr3 to identify which tissues and organs of workers are involved in fructose recognition and determined that expression of AmGr3 was particularly high in the antennae and legs of nurses. Our results suggest that nurses use their antennae and legs to recognize fructose, and that AmGr3 functions as an accurate nutrient sensor used to maintain food quality in honey bee hives. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Most organisms are constantly faced with environmental changes and stressors. In diverse organisms, there is an anticipatory mechanism during development that can program adult phenotypes. The adult phenotype would be adapted to the predicted environment that occurred during organism maturation. However, whether this anticipatory mechanism is present in eusocial species is questionable because eusocial organisms are largely shielded from exogenous conditions by their stable nest environment. In this study, we tested whether food deprivation during development of the honey bee (Apis mellifera), a eusocial insect model, can shift adult phenotypes to better cope with nutritional stress. After subjecting fifth instar worker larvae to short-term starvation, we measured nutrition-related morphology, starvation resistance, physiology, endocrinology and behavior in the adults. We found that the larval starvation caused adult honey bees to become more resilient toward starvation. Moreover, the adult bees were characterized by reduced ovary size, elevated glycogen stores and juvenile hormone (JH) titers, and decreased sugar sensitivity. These changes, in general, can help adult insects survive and reproduce in food-poor environments. Overall, we found for the first time support for an anticipatory mechanism in a eusocial species, the honey bee. Our results suggest that this mechanism may play a role in honey bee queen-worker differentiation and worker division of labor, both of which are related to the responses to nutritional stress. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera Queen Reproductive Potential Affects Queen Mandibular Gland Pheromone Composition and Worker Retinue Response.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Rangel

    Full Text Available Reproductive division of labor is one of the defining traits of honey bees (Apis mellifera, with non-reproductive tasks being performed by workers while a single queen normally monopolizes reproduction. The decentralized organization of a honey bee colony is maintained in large part by a bouquet of queen-produced pheromones, the distribution of which is facilitated by contact among workers throughout the hive. Previous studies have shown that the developmental fate of honey bee queens is highly plastic, with queens raised from younger worker larvae exhibiting higher measures of reproductive potential compared to queens raised from older worker larvae. We investigated differences in the chemical composition of the mandibular glands and attractiveness to workers of "high-quality" queens (i.e., raised from first instar worker larvae; more queen-like and "low-quality" queens (i.e., raised from third instar worker larvae; more worker-like. We characterized the chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of high-quality queens and low-quality queens using GC-MS and used the worker retinue response as a measure of the attractiveness to workers of high-quality queens vs. low-quality queens. We found that queen quality affected the chemical profiles of mandibular gland contents differently across years, showing significant differences in the production of the queen mandibular pheromone ("QMP" components HVA and 9-HDA in 2010, but no significant differences of any glandular compound in 2012. We also found that workers were significantly more attracted to high-quality queens than to low-quality queens in 2012, possibly because of increased attractiveness of their mandibular gland chemical profiles. Our results indicate that the age at which honey bee larvae enter the "queen-specific" developmental pathway influences the chemical composition of queen mandibular glands and worker behavior. However, these changes are not consistent across years, suggesting

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Flight behaviour of honey bee (Apis mellifera) workers is altered by initial infections of the fungal parasite Nosema apis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dosselli, Ryan; Grassl, Julia; Carson, Andrew; Simmons, Leigh W.; Baer, Boris

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) host a wide range of parasites, some being known contributors towards dramatic colony losses as reported over recent years. To counter parasitic threats, honey bees possess effective immune systems. Because immune responses are predicted to cause substantial physiological costs for infected individuals, they are expected to trade off with other life history traits that ultimately affect the performance and fitness of the entire colony. Here, we tested whether the initial onset of an infection negatively impacts the flight behaviour of honey bee workers, which is an energetically demanding behaviour and a key component of foraging activities. To do this, we infected workers with the widespread fungal pathogen Nosema apis, which is recognised and killed by the honey bee immune system. We compared their survival and flight behaviour with non-infected individuals from the same cohort and colony using radio frequency identification tags (RFID). We found that over a time frame of four days post infection, Nosema did not increase mortality but workers quickly altered their flight behaviour and performed more flights of shorter duration. We conclude that parasitic infections influence foraging activities, which could reduce foraging ranges of colonies and impact their ability to provide pollination services. PMID:27827404

  7. The effects of dietary protein levels on the population growth, performance, and physiology of honey bee workers during early spring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Benle; Wu, Zaifu; Xu, Baohua

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary protein levels on honey bee colonies, specifically the population growth, physiology, and longevity of honey bee workers during early spring. Diets containing four different levels of crude protein (25.0, 29.5, 34.0, or 38.5%) and pure pollen (control) were evaluated. Twenty-five colonies of honey bees with sister queens were used in the study. We compared the effects of the different bee diets by measuring population growth, emergent worker weight, midgut proteolytic enzyme activity, hypopharyngeal gland development, and survival. After 48 d, the cumulative number of workers produced by the colonies ranged from 22,420 to 29,519, providing a significant fit to a quadratic equation that predicts the maximum population growth when the diet contains 31.7% crude protein. Significantly greater emergent worker weight, midgut proteolytic enzyme activity, hypopharyngeal gland acini, and survival were observed in the colonies that were fed diets containing 34.0% crude protein compared with the other crude protein levels. Although higher emergent worker weight and survival were observed in the colonies that were fed the control diet, there were no significant differences between the control colonies and the colonies that were fed 34.0% crude protein. Based on these results, we concluded that a dietary crude protein content of 29.5-34.0% is recommended to maximize the reproduction rate of honey bee colonies in early spring. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  8. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) nurses do not consume pollens based on their nutritional quality

    OpenAIRE

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Snyder, Lucy; Meador, Charlotte; Ayotte, Trace

    2018-01-01

    Honey bee workers (Apis mellifera) consume a variety of pollens to meet the majority of their requirements for protein and lipids. Recent work indicates that honey bees prefer diets that reflect the proper ratio of nutrients necessary for optimal survival and homeostasis. This idea relies on the precept that honey bees evaluate the nutritional composition of the foods provided to them. While this has been shown in bumble bees, the data for honey bees are mixed. Further, there is controversy a...

  15. The shaking signal of the honey bee informs workers to prepare for greater activity

    OpenAIRE

    Seeley, Thomas D.; Weidenmüller, Anja; Kühnholz, Susanne

    2010-01-01

    One of the most conspicuous activities o f worker bees inside a hive is the shaking of other wc~rliersT. his shaking has long been suspected to be a communication behavior, but its information content and function have until recently remained mysterious. Prior studies of the colony-level patterns of the production of ihc shaking signal supgest strongly that this signal semes to arouse workers to greater activity, such as at times of good foraging. Data from our obsenrauons of mdividual bees h...

  16. Early life stress affects mortality rate more than social behavior, gene expression or oxidative damage in honey bee workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueppell, Olav; Yousefi, Babak; Collazo, Juan; Smith, Daniel

    2017-04-01

    Early life stressors can affect aging and life expectancy in positive or negative ways. Individuals can adjust their behavior and molecular physiology based on early life experiences but relatively few studies have connected such mechanisms to demographic patterns in social organisms. Sociality buffers individuals from environmental influences and it is unclear how much early life stress affects later life history. Workers of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) were exposed to two stressors, Varroa parasitism and Paraquat exposure, early in life. Consequences were measured at the molecular, behavioral, and demographic level. While treatments did not significantly affect levels of oxidative damage, expression of select genes, and titers of the common deformed wing virus, most of these measures were affected by age. Some of the age effects, such as declining levels of deformed wing virus and oxidative damage, were opposite to our predictions but may be explained by demographic selection. Further analyses suggested some influences of worker behavior on mortality and indicated weak treatment effects on behavior. The latter effects were inconsistent among the two experiments. However, mortality rate was consistently reduced by Varroa mite stress during development. Thus, mortality was more responsive to early life stress than our other response variables. The lack of treatment effects on these measures may be due to the social organization of honey bees that buffers the individual from the impact of stressful developmental conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. DNA methylation affects the lifespan of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) workers - Evidence for a regulatory module that involves vitellogenin expression but is independent of juvenile hormone function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso-Júnior, Carlos A M; Guidugli-Lazzarini, Karina R; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2018-01-01

    The canonic regulatory module for lifespan of honey bee (Apis mellifera) workers involves a mutual repressor relationship between juvenile hormone (JH) and vitellogenin (Vg). Compared to vertebrates, however, little is known about a possible role of epigenetic factors. The full genomic repertoire of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) makes the honey bee an attractive emergent model for studying the role of epigenetics in the aging process of invertebrates, and especially so in social insects. We first quantified the transcript levels of the four DNMTs encoding genes in the head thorax and abdomens of workers of different age, showing that dnmt1a and dnmt3 expression is up-regulated in abdomens of old workers, whereas dnmt1b and dnmt2 are down-regulated in heads of old workers. Pharmacological genome demethylation by RG108 treatment caused an increase in worker lifespan. Next, we showed that the genomic DNA methylation status indirectly affects vitellogenin gene expression both in vitro and in vivo in young workers, and that this occurs independent of caloric restriction or JH levels, suggesting that a non-canonical circuitry may be acting in parallel with the JH/Vg module to regulate the adult life cycle of honey bee workers. Our data provide evidence that epigenetic factors play a role in regulatory networks associated with complex life history traits of a social insect. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L. are more efficient at removing worker brood artificially infested with the parasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni Oudemans than are Italian bees or Italian/Africanized hybrids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guerra Jr. José Carlos Vieira

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Africanized honey bees are more tolerant of infestations with the mite Varroa jacobsoni than are honey bees of European origin. The capacity of these bees to detect and react to brood infested with this mite could be one of the factors determining this tolerance. We tested colonies of Africanized bees headed by queens from swarms collected in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo State. The Italian colonies had queens imported directly from the USA, or from the Brazilian Island of Fernando de Noronha, where varroa-infested Italian colonies have been maintained, untreated, since 1984. Recently sealed worker brood cells were artificially infested by opening the cell capping, inserting live adult female mites and resealing the cells. Control cells were treated in the same way, but without introducing mites. The ability of the Africanized honey bees to recognize and remove this artificially infested brood was compared with that of first generation Italian/Africanized hybrid bees, and with the two groups of "pure" Italian bees, in three separate experiments. Africanized colonies removed a mean of 51% of the infested brood, while Italian/Africanized hybrid colonies removed 25%. Africanized colonies also removed a significantly greater proportion of infested brood than did Italian colonies, headed by queens from the USA (59 vs. 31%, respectively. Similarly, when Africanized colonies were compared with colonies of Italian bees from Fernando de Noronha, the former were found to be significantly more efficient at removing infested brood (61 vs. 35%, respectively, even though the population of Italian bees on this island has been exposed to and survived varroa infestations (without treatment for more than 12 years. Only the Africanized honey bees removed a significant proportion of varroa-infested brood, when the data was corrected for brood removal from control cells.

  3. Widespread occurrence of honey bee pathogens in solitary bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravoet, Jorgen; De Smet, Lina; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; Wenseleers, Tom; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2014-10-01

    Solitary bees and honey bees from a neighbouring apiary were screened for a broad set of putative pathogens including protists, fungi, spiroplasmas and viruses. Most sampled bees appeared to be infected with multiple parasites. Interestingly, viruses exclusively known from honey bees such as Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus were also discovered in solitary bees. A microsporidium found in Andrena vaga showed most resemblance to Nosema thomsoni. Our results suggest that bee hives represent a putative source of pathogens for other pollinators. Similarly, solitary bees may act as a reservoir of honey bee pathogens. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. How honey bees carry pollen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matherne, Marguerite E.; Anyanwu, Gabriel; Leavey, Jennifer K.; Hu, David L.

    2017-11-01

    Honey bees are the tanker of the skies, carrying thirty percent of their weight in pollen per foraging trip using specialized orifices on their body. How do they manage to hang onto those pesky pollen grains? In this experimental study, we investigate the adhesion force of pollen to the honeybee. To affix pollen to themselves, honey bees form a suspension of pollen in nectar, creating a putty-like pollen basket that is skewered by leg hairs. We use tensile tests to show that the viscous force of the pollen basket is more than ten times the honeybee's flight force. This work may provide inspiration for the design of robotic flying pollinators.

  7. Honey bee nest thermoregulation: diversity promotes stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Julia C; Myerscough, Mary R; Graham, Sonia; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2004-07-16

    A honey bee colony is characterized by high genetic diversity among its workers, generated by high levels of multiple mating by its queen. Few clear benefits of this genetic diversity are known. Here we show that brood nest temperatures in genetically diverse colonies (i.e., those sired by several males) tend to be more stable than in genetically uniform ones (i.e., those sired by one male). One reason this increased stability arises is because genetically determined diversity in workers' temperature response thresholds modulates the hive-ventilating behavior of individual workers, preventing excessive colony-level responses to temperature fluctuations.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 recycli...

  9. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of select macrocyclic lactones insecticides on forager worker honey bees under laboratory experimental conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdu-Allah, Gamal A M; Pittendrigh, Barry R

    2018-01-01

    Selective insecticide application is one important strategy for more precisely targeting harmful insects while avoiding or mitigating collateral damage to beneficial insects like honey bees. Recently, macrocyclic lactone-class insecticides have been introduced into the market place as selective bio-insecticides for controlling many arthropod pests, but how to target this selectivity only to harmful insects has yet to be achieved. In this study, the authors investigated the acute toxicity of fourmacrocyclic lactone insecticides (commercialized as abamectin, emamectin benzoate, spinetoram, and spinosad) both topically and through feeding studies with adult forager honey bees. Results indicated emamectin benzoate as topically 133.3, 750.0, and 38.3-fold and orally 3.3, 7.6, and 31.7-fold more toxic, respectively than abamectin, spinetoram and spinosad. Using Hazard Quotients for estimates of field toxicity, abamectin was measured as the safest insecticide both topically and orally for honey bees. Moreover, a significant reduction of sugar solution consumption by treatment group honey bees for orally applied emamectin benzoate and spinetoram suggests that these insecticides may have repellent properties.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Bees and Honey

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TOM; HANCOCK

    2011-01-01

    The first bee landed on Dalin Wang at around one in the afternoon.Surrounded by3,000 onlookers,he wore a pair of trousers,black boots and two small cloth bags,each containing a queen bee.Wang watched the bees cover his chest,legs and arms,until every

  13. 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. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Range and Frequency of Africanized Honey Bees in California (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kono, Yoshiaki; Kohn, Joshua R.

    2015-01-01

    Africanized honey bees entered California in 1994 but few accounts of their northward expansion or their frequency relative to European honey bees have been published. We used mitochondrial markers and morphometric analyses to determine the prevalence of Africanized honeybees in San Diego County and their current northward progress in California west of the Sierra Nevada crest. The northernmost African mitotypes detected were approximately 40 km south of Sacramento in California’s central valley. In San Diego County, 65% of foraging honey bee workers carry African mitochondria and the estimated percentage of Africanized workers using morphological measurements is similar (61%). There was no correlation between mitotype and morphology in San Diego County suggesting Africanized bees result from bidirectional hybridization. Seventy percent of feral hives, but only 13% of managed hives, sampled in San Diego County carried the African mitotype indicating that a large fraction of foraging workers in both urban and rural San Diego County are feral. We also found a single nucleotide polymorphism at the DNA barcode locus COI that distinguishes European and African mitotypes. The utility of this marker was confirmed using 401 georeferenced honey bee sequences from the worldwide Barcode of Life Database. Future censuses can determine whether the current range of the Africanized form is stable, patterns of introgression at nuclear loci, and the environmental factors that may limit the northern range of the Africanized honey bee. PMID:26361047

  15. Proceedings "… Towards Resilient Honey Bees …"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dooremalen, van C.A.; Zweep, A.

    2015-01-01

    The Research Roadmap is a co-creation by Bees@wur and the Dutch government, and the (inter)national researchers participating in the workshop Resilient Honey bees 23-24 November 2015, Castle Hoekelum, Bennekom, The Netherlands

  16. Genic control of honey bee dance language dialect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderer, T E; Beaman, L D

    1995-10-01

    Behavioural genetic analysis of honey bee dance language shows simple Mendelian genic control over certain dance dialect differences. Worker honey bees of one parent colony (yellow) changed from round to transition dances for foraging distances of 20 m and from transition to waggle dances at 40 m. Worker bees of the other parent colony (black) made these shifts at 30 m and 90 m, respectively. F1 colonies behaved identically to their yellow parent, suggesting dominance. Progeny of backcrossing between the F1 generation and the putative recessive black parent assorted to four classes, indicating that the dialect differences studied are regulated by genes at two unlinked loci, each having two alleles. Honey bee dance communication is complex and highly integrated behaviour. Nonetheless, analysis of a small element of this behaviour, variation in response to distance, suggests that dance communication is regulated by subsets consisting of simple genic systems.

  17. 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.

  18. Biological and therapeutic effects of honey produced by honey bees and stingless bees: a comparative review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pasupuleti Visweswara Rao

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Honey is a natural product produced by both honey bees and stingless bees. Both types of honey contain unique and distinct types of phenolic and flavonoid compounds of variable biological and clinical importance. Honey is one of the most effective natural products used for wound healing. In this review, the traditional uses and clinical applications of both honey bee and stingless bee honey – such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antihyperlipidemic, and cardioprotective properties; the treatment of eye disorders, gastrointestinal tract diseases, neurological disorders, and fertility disorders and wound healing activity are described.

  19. Wild bees enhance honey bees' pollination of hybrid sunflower.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenleaf, Sarah S; Kremen, Claire

    2006-09-12

    Pollinators are required for producing 15-30% of the human food supply, and farmers rely on managed honey bees throughout the world to provide these services. Yet honey bees are not always the most efficient pollinators of all crops and are declining in various parts of the world. Crop pollination shortages are becoming increasingly common. We found that behavioral interactions between wild and honey bees increase the pollination efficiency of honey bees on hybrid sunflower up to 5-fold, effectively doubling honey bee pollination services on the average field. These indirect contributions caused by interspecific interactions between wild and honey bees were more than five times more important than the contributions wild bees make to sunflower pollination directly. Both proximity to natural habitat and crop planting practices were significantly correlated with pollination services provided directly and indirectly by wild bees. Our results suggest that conserving wild habitat at the landscape scale and altering selected farm management techniques could increase hybrid sunflower production. These findings also demonstrate the economic importance of interspecific interactions for ecosystem services and suggest that protecting wild bee populations can help buffer the human food supply from honey bee shortages.

  20. Physiology and biochemistry of honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. Cell culture techniques in honey bee research

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. Classical conditioning of proboscis extension in harnessed Africanized honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquino, Italo S; Abramson, Charles I; Soares, Ademilson E E; Fernandes, Andrea Cardoso; Benbassat, Danny

    2004-06-01

    Experiments are reported on learning in virgin Africanized honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.). Queens restrained in a "Pavlovian harness" received a pairing of hexanal odor with a 1.8-M feeding of sucrose solution. Compared to explicitly unpaired controls, acquisition was rapid in reaching about 90%. Acquisition was also rapid in queens receiving an unconditioned stimulus of "bee candy" or an unconditioned stimulus administered by worker bees. During extinction the conditioned response declines. The steepest decline was observed in queens receiving an unconditioned stimulus of bee candy. These findings extend previous work on learning of Afrianized honey bee workers to a population of queen bees.

  3. 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.

  4. Immune related gene expression in worker honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica) pupae exposed to neonicotinoid thiamethoxam and Varroa mites (Varroa destructor).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesovnik, Tanja; Cizelj, Ivanka; Zorc, Minja; Čitar, Manuela; Božič, Janko; Glavan, Gordana; Narat, Mojca

    2017-01-01

    Varroa destructor is one of the most common parasites of honey bee colonies and is considered as a possible co-factor for honey bee decline. At the same time, the use of pesticides in intensive agriculture is still the most effective method of pest control. There is limited information about the effects of pesticide exposure on parasitized honey bees. Larval ingestion of certain pesticides could have effects on honey bee immune defense mechanisms, development and metabolic pathways. Europe and America face the disturbing phenomenon of the disappearance of honey bee colonies, termed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). One reason discussed is the possible suppression of honey bee immune system as a consequence of prolonged exposure to chemicals. In this study, the effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica, pupae infested with Varroa destructor mites were analyzed at the molecular level. Varroa-infested and non-infested honey bee colonies received protein cakes with or without thiamethoxam. Nurse bees used these cakes as a feed for developing larvae. Samples of white-eyed and brown-eyed pupae were collected. Expression of 17 immune-related genes was analyzed by real-time PCR. Relative gene expression in samples exposed only to Varroa or to thiamethoxam or simultaneously to both Varroa and thiamethoxam was compared. The impact from the consumption of thiamethoxam during the larval stage on honey bee immune related gene expression in Varroa-infested white-eyed pupae was reflected as down-regulation of spaetzle, AMPs abaecin and defensin-1 and up-regulation of lysozyme-2. In brown-eyed pupae up-regulation of PPOact, spaetzle, hopscotch and basket genes was detected. Moreover, we observed a major difference in immune response to Varroa infestation between white-eyed pupae and brown-eyed pupae. The majority of tested immune-related genes were upregulated only in brown-eyed pupae, while in white-eyed pupae they were downregulated.

  5. Immune related gene expression in worker honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica pupae exposed to neonicotinoid thiamethoxam and Varroa mites (Varroa destructor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja Tesovnik

    Full Text Available Varroa destructor is one of the most common parasites of honey bee colonies and is considered as a possible co-factor for honey bee decline. At the same time, the use of pesticides in intensive agriculture is still the most effective method of pest control. There is limited information about the effects of pesticide exposure on parasitized honey bees. Larval ingestion of certain pesticides could have effects on honey bee immune defense mechanisms, development and metabolic pathways. Europe and America face the disturbing phenomenon of the disappearance of honey bee colonies, termed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD. One reason discussed is the possible suppression of honey bee immune system as a consequence of prolonged exposure to chemicals. In this study, the effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica, pupae infested with Varroa destructor mites were analyzed at the molecular level. Varroa-infested and non-infested honey bee colonies received protein cakes with or without thiamethoxam. Nurse bees used these cakes as a feed for developing larvae. Samples of white-eyed and brown-eyed pupae were collected. Expression of 17 immune-related genes was analyzed by real-time PCR. Relative gene expression in samples exposed only to Varroa or to thiamethoxam or simultaneously to both Varroa and thiamethoxam was compared. The impact from the consumption of thiamethoxam during the larval stage on honey bee immune related gene expression in Varroa-infested white-eyed pupae was reflected as down-regulation of spaetzle, AMPs abaecin and defensin-1 and up-regulation of lysozyme-2. In brown-eyed pupae up-regulation of PPOact, spaetzle, hopscotch and basket genes was detected. Moreover, we observed a major difference in immune response to Varroa infestation between white-eyed pupae and brown-eyed pupae. The majority of tested immune-related genes were upregulated only in brown-eyed pupae, while in white-eyed pupae they were

  6. 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...

  7. Antiviral Defense Mechanisms in Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Methods to estimate breeding values in honey bees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brascamp, E.W.; Bijma, P.

    2014-01-01

    Background Efficient methodologies based on animal models are widely used to estimate breeding values in farm animals. These methods are not applicable in honey bees because of their mode of reproduction. Observations are recorded on colonies, which consist of a single queen and thousands of workers

  9. 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 ...

  10. Mitochondrial capacity, oxidative damage and hypoxia gene expression are associated with age-related division of labor in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cervoni, Mário S; Cardoso-Júnior, Carlos A M; Craveiro, Giovana; Souza, Anderson de O; Alberici, Luciane C; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2017-11-01

    During adult life, honey bee workers undergo a succession of behavioral states. Nurse bees perform tasks inside the nest, and when they are about 2-3 weeks old they initiate foraging. This switch is associated with alterations in diet, and with the levels of juvenile hormone and vitellogenin circulating in hemolymph. It is not clear whether this behavioral maturation involves major changes at the cellular level, such as mitochondrial activity and the redox environment in the head, thorax and abdomen. Using high-resolution respirometry, biochemical assays and RT-qPCR, we evaluated the association of these parameters with this behavioral change. We found that tissues from the head and abdomen of nurses have a higher oxidative phosphorylation capacity than those of foragers, while for the thorax we found the opposite situation. As higher mitochondrial activity tends to generate more H 2 O 2 , and H 2 O 2 is known to stabilize HIF-1α, this would be expected to stimulate hypoxia signaling. The positive correlation that we observed between mitochondrial activity and hif-1α gene expression in abdomen and head tissue of nurses would be in line with this hypothesis. Higher expression of antioxidant enzyme genes was observed in foragers, which could explain their low levels of protein carbonylation. No alterations were seen in nitric oxide (NO) levels, suggesting that NO signaling is unlikely to be involved in behavioral maturation. We conclude that the behavioral change seen in honey bee workers is reflected in differential mitochondrial activities and redox parameters, and we consider that this can provide insights into the underlying aging process. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of Long Distance Transportation on Honey Bee Physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiheung Ahn

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Juliana R; Nunes, Francis M F; Cristino, Alexandre S; Simões, Zilá L P; Bitondi, Márcia M G

    2010-03-26

    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. 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. 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 and gonads suggest that, in addition to their primary

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    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 and gonads suggest that

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:22235317

  19. Protein levels and colony development of Africanized and European honey bees fed natural and artificial diets

    OpenAIRE

    Morais, Michelle Manfrini [UNIFESP; Turcatto, Aline Patricia; Pereira, Rogerio Aparecido; Francoy, Tiago Mauricio; Guidugli-Lazzarini, Karina Rosa; Goncalves, Lionel Segui; Almeida, Joyce Mayra Volpini de; Ellis, J. D.; De Jong, David

    2013-01-01

    Pollen substitute diets are a valuable resource for maintaining strong and health honey bee colonies. Specific diets may be useful in one region or country and inadequate or economically unviable in others. We compared two artificial protein diets that had been formulated from locally-available ingredients in Brazil with bee bread and a non-protein sucrose diet. Groups of 100 newly-emerged, adult workers of Africanized honey bees in Brazil and European honey bees in the USA were confined in s...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudewenz, Anika; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2015-11-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. Honey bee surveillance: a tool for understanding and improving honey bee health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kathleen; Steinhauer, Nathalie; Travis, Dominic A; Meixner, Marina D; Deen, John; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2015-08-01

    Honey bee surveillance systems are increasingly used to characterize honey bee health and disease burdens of bees in different regions and/or over time. In addition to quantifying disease prevalence, surveillance systems can identify risk factors associated with colony morbidity and mortality. Surveillance systems are often observational, and prove particularly useful when searching for risk factors in real world complex systems. We review recent examples of surveillance systems with particular emphasis on how these efforts have helped increase our understanding of honey bee health. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  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. Genetic stock identification of Russian honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeois, Lelania; Sheppard, Walter S; Sylvester, H Allen; Rinderer, Thomas E

    2010-06-01

    A genetic stock certification assay was developed to distinguish Russian honey bees from other European (Apis mellifera L.) stocks that are commercially produced in the United States. In total, 11 microsatellite and five single-nucleotide polymorphism loci were used. Loci were selected for relatively high levels of homogeneity within each group and for differences in allele frequencies between groups. A baseline sample consisted of the 18 lines of Russian honey bees released to the Russian Bee Breeders Association and bees from 34 queen breeders representing commercially produced European honey bee stocks. Suitability tests of the baseline sample pool showed high levels of accuracy. The probability of correct assignment was 94.2% for non-Russian bees and 93.3% for Russian bees. A neighbor-joining phenogram representing genetic distance data showed clear distinction of Russian and non-Russian honey bee stocks. Furthermore, a test of appropriate sample size showed a sample of eight bees per colony maximizes accuracy and consistency of the results. An additional 34 samples were tested as blind samples (origin unknown to those collecting data) to determine accuracy of individual assignment tests. Only one of these samples was incorrectly assigned. The 18 current breeding lines were represented among the 2009 blind sampling, demonstrating temporal stability of the genetic stock identification assay. The certification assay will be used through services provided by a service laboratory, by the Russian Bee Breeders Association to genetically certify their stock. The genetic certification will be used in conjunction with continued selection for favorable traits, such as honey production and varroa and tracheal mite resistance.

  5. 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...

  6. Rapid parallel evolution overcomes global honey bee parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oddie, Melissa; Büchler, Ralph; Dahle, Bjørn; Kovacic, Marin; Le Conte, Yves; Locke, Barbara; de Miranda, Joachim R; Mondet, Fanny; Neumann, Peter

    2018-05-16

    In eusocial insect colonies nestmates cooperate to combat parasites, a trait called social immunity. However, social immunity failed for Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) when the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor switched hosts from Eastern honey bees (Apis cerana). This mite has since become the most severe threat to A. mellifera world-wide. Despite this, some isolated A. mellifera populations are known to survive infestations by means of natural selection, largely by supressing mite reproduction, but the underlying mechanisms of this are poorly understood. Here, we show that a cost-effective social immunity mechanism has evolved rapidly and independently in four naturally V. destructor-surviving A. mellifera populations. Worker bees of all four 'surviving' populations uncapped/recapped worker brood cells more frequently and targeted mite-infested cells more effectively than workers in local susceptible colonies. Direct experiments confirmed the ability of uncapping/recapping to reduce mite reproductive success without sacrificing nestmates. Our results provide striking evidence that honey bees can overcome exotic parasites with simple qualitative and quantitative adaptive shifts in behaviour. Due to rapid, parallel evolution in four host populations this appears to be a key mechanism explaining survival of mite infested colonies.

  7. Differentially expressed regulatory genes in honey bee caste development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepperle, C.; Hartfelder, K.

    2001-03-01

    In the honey bee, an eminently fertile queen with up to 200 ovarioles per ovary monopolizes colony level reproduction. In contrast, worker bees have only few ovarioles and are essentially sterile. This phenotype divergence is a result of caste-specifically modulated juvenile hormone and ecdysteroid titers in larval development. In this study we employed a differential-display reverse transcription (DDRT)-PCR protocol to detect ecdysteroid-regulated gene expression during a critical phase of caste development. We identified a Ftz-F1 homolog and a Cut-like transcript. Ftz-F1 could be a putative element of the metamorphic ecdysone response cascade of bees, whereas Cut-like proteins are described as transcription factors involved in maintaining cellular differentiation states. The downregulation of both factors can be interpreted as steps in the metamorphic degradation of ovarioles in worker-bee ovaries.

  8. Patterns of viral infection in honey bee queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    by two real-time PCRs: one for the presence of deformed wing virus (DWV), and one that would detect sequences of acute bee-paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus (AKI complex). Worker bees accompanying the queen were also analysed. The queens could be divided into three......The well-being of a colony and replenishment of the workers depends on a healthy queen. Diseases in queens are seldom reported, and our knowledge on viral infection in queens is limited. In this study, 86 honey bee queens were collected from beekeepers in Denmark. All queens were tested separately...... groups based on the level of infection in their head, thorax, ovary, intestines and spermatheca. Four queens exhibited egg-laying deficiency, but visually all queens appeared healthy. Viral infection was generally at a low level in terms of AKI copy numbers, with 134/430 tissues (31 %) showing...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Shafir, S.; Avni, D.; Hendriksma, H.; Dag, A.; Uni, Z.; Avni, Dorit; Hendriksma, Harmen; Dag, Arnon; Uni, Zehava; Shafir, Sharoni

    2014-01-01

    Pollen is the main protein and lipid source for honey bees (Apis mellifera), and nutritionally impoverished landscapes pose a threat to colony development. To determine colony nutritional demands, we analyzed a yearly cycle of bee-collected pollen from colonies in the field and compared it to colony worker production and honey bee body composition, for the first time in social insects. We monitored monthly bee production in ten colonies at each of seven sites throughout Israel, and trapped po...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Budiaman

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Video Tracking Protocol to Screen Deterrent Chemistries for Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Nicholas R; Anderson, Troy D

    2017-06-12

    The European honey bee, Apis mellifera L., is an economically and agriculturally important pollinator that generates billions of dollars annually. Honey bee colony numbers have been declining in the United States and many European countries since 1947. A number of factors play a role in this decline, including the unintentional exposure of honey bees to pesticides. The development of new methods and regulations are warranted to reduce pesticide exposures to these pollinators. One approach is the use of repellent chemistries that deter honey bees from a recently pesticide-treated crop. Here, we describe a protocol to discern the deterrence of honey bees exposed to select repellent chemistries. Honey bee foragers are collected and starved overnight in an incubator 15 h prior to testing. Individual honey bees are placed into Petri dishes that have either a sugar-agarose cube (control treatment) or sugar-agarose-compound cube (repellent treatment) placed into the middle of the dish. The Petri dish serves as the arena that is placed under a camera in a light box to record the honey bee locomotor activities using video tracking software. A total of 8 control and 8 repellent treatments were analyzed for a 10 min period with each treatment was duplicated with new honey bees. Here, we demonstrate that honey bees are deterred from the sugar-agarose cubes with a compound treatment whereas honey bees are attracted to the sugar-agarose cubes without an added compound.

  14. 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 bees. Transformation products of Imidaclorpid, imidaclorpid-Olefin and imidacloprid-5-Hydroxy were detected with greater frequency and at greater mean concentrations indicating a need for more focus on potential effects of these transformation products than the untransformed, active ingredient NIs. Results of an assessment of the potential dietary uptake of NIs from 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. Toxicity of Selected Acaricides to Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) and Varroa (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) and Their Use in Controlling Varroa within Honey Bee Colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregorc, Aleš; Alburaki, Mohamed; Sampson, Blair; Knight, Patricia R; Adamczyk, John

    2018-05-10

    The efficacies of various acaricides in order to control a parasitic mite, the Varroa mite, Varroa destructor , of honey bees, were measured in two different settings, namely, in laboratory caged honey bees and in queen-right honey bee colonies. The Varroa infestation levels before, during, and after the acaricide treatments were determined in two ways, namely: (1) using the sugar shake protocol to count mites on bees and (2) directly counting the dead mites on the hive bottom inserts. The acaricides that were evaluated were coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, amitraz, thymol, and natural plant compounds (hop acids), which were the active ingredients. The acaricide efficacies in the colonies were evaluated in conjunction with the final coumaphos applications. All of the tested acaricides significantly increased the overall Varroa mortality in the laboratory experiment. Their highest efficiencies were recorded at 6 h post-treatment, except for coumaphos and thymol, which exhibited longer and more consistent activity. In the honey bee colonies, a higher Varroa mortality was recorded in all of the treatments, compared with the natural Varroa mortality during the pretreatment period. The acaricide toxicity to the Varroa mites was consistent in both the caged adult honey bees and workers in the queen-right colonies, although, two of these acaricides, coumaphos at the highest doses and hop acids, were comparatively more toxic to the worker bees.

  17. Impact of managed honey bee viruses on wild bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tehel, Anja; Brown, Mark Jf; Paxton, Robert J

    2016-08-01

    Several viruses found in the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) have recently been detected in other bee species, raising the possibility of spill-over from managed to wild bee species. Alternatively, these viruses may be shared generalists across flower-visiting insects. Here we explore the former hypothesis, pointing out weaknesses in the current evidence, particularly in relation to deformed wing virus (DWV), and highlighting research areas that may help test it. Data so far suggest that DWV spills over from managed to wild bee species and has the potential to cause population decline. That DWV and other viruses of A. mellifera are found in other bee species needs to be considered for the sustainable management of bee populations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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

  2. Tropilaelaps mite: an emerging threat to European honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Ramsey, Samuel; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Khongphinitbunjong, Kitiphong; Phokasem, Patcharin

    2018-04-01

    The risk of transmission of honey bee parasites has increased substantially as a result of trade globalization and technical developments in transportation efficacy. Great concern over honey bee decline has accelerated research on newly emerging bee pests and parasites. These organisms are likely to emerge from Asia as it is the only region where all 10 honey bee species co-occur. Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite, is a classic example of a pest that has shifted from A. cerana, a cavity nesting Asian honey bee to A. mellifera, the European honey bee. In this review, we will describe the potential risks to global apiculture of the global expansion of Tropilaelaps mercedesae, originally a parasite of the open-air nesting Asian giant honey bee, compared to the impact of V. destructor. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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. ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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)…

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  9. 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.; 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. PMID:28002470

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddie-Jeanne Richard

    2007-10-01

    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

  11. Toxicity of Anethole and the Essential Oils of Lemongrass and Sweet Marigold to the Parasitic Mite Varroa destructor and Their Selectivity for Honey Bee (Apis mellifera Workers and Larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qodratollah Sabahi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the toxicity of anethole and that of the essential oils of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus and sweet marigold (Tagetes lucida to the mite Varroa destructor and to honey bee workers and larvae. Anethole was the most toxic compound to V. destructor (LC50: 304.9 μg/ml, whereas Tagetes oil was the least toxic (LC50: 1256.27 μg/ml. The most and least toxic compounds to worker bees were anethole and Tagetes oil with LD50s of 35942 and 85381 μg/ml, respectively. For larvae, Tagetes oil was the most toxic compound (LD50: 9580.7 μg/ml and anethole the least toxic (LD50: 14518.0 μg/ml. Anethole and Cymbopogon oil had the highest selectivity ratios. The expression of AChE, a gene that regulates the production of acetyl cholinesterase, a detoxifying enzyme, was not altered in bees treated with the plant compounds at 48 h post-treatment. This study showed that anethole and Cymbopogon oil have potential for controlling Varroa mites and seem to be relatively safe for larvae and adult honey bees.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

  13. Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-06-20

    podcasts.psu.edu/taxonomy/term/62]. Staple crops such as wheat , corn, and rice do not rely on insect pollination and are mostly wind pollinated...are interacting to weaken bee colonies and are allowing stress-related pathogens, such as fungi , thus causing a final collapse.27 Others note the...possible role of miticide resistance in bees. High levels of bacteria, viruses, and fungi have been found in the guts of the recoverable dead bees

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L.; Lundgren, Jonathan G.

    2016-07-01

    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.

  15. Sequence and expression pattern of the germ line marker vasa in honey bees and stingless bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Queens and workers of social insects differ in the rates of egg laying. Using genomic information we determined the sequence of vasa, a highly conserved gene specific to the germ line of metazoans, for the honey bee and four stingless bees. The vasa sequence of social bees differed from that of other insects in two motifs. By RT-PCR we confirmed the germ line specificity of Amvasa expression in honey bees. In situ hybridization on ovarioles showed that Amvasa is expressed throughout the germarium, except for the transition zone beneath the terminal filament. A diffuse vasa signal was also seen in terminal filaments suggesting the presence of germ line cells. Oocytes showed elevated levels of Amvasa transcripts in the lower germarium and after follicles became segregated. In previtellogenic follicles, Amvasa transcription was detected in the trophocytes, which appear to supply its mRNA to the growing oocyte. A similar picture was obtained for ovarioles of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata, except that Amvasa expression was higher in the oocytes of previtellogenic follicles. The social bees differ in this respect from Drosophila, the model system for insect oogenesis, suggesting that changes in the sequence and expression pattern of vasa may have occurred during social evolution. PMID:21637523

  16. Sequence and expression pattern of the germ line marker vasa in honey bees and stingless bees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Érica Donato Tanaka

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Queens and workers of social insects differ in the rates of egg laying. Using genomic information we determined the sequence of vasa, a highly conserved gene specific to the germ line of metazoans, for the honey bee and four stingless bees. The vasa sequence of social bees differed from that of other insects in two motifs. By RT-PCR we confirmed the germ line specificity of Amvasa expression in honey bees. In situ hybridization on ovarioles showed that Amvasa is expressed throughout the germarium, except for the transition zone beneath the terminal filament. A diffuse vasa signal was also seen in terminal filaments suggesting the presence of germ line cells. Oocytes showed elevated levels of Amvasa transcripts in the lower germarium and after follicles became segregated. In previtellogenic follicles, Amvasa transcription was detected in the trophocytes, which appear to supply its mRNA to the growing oocyte. A similar picture was obtained for ovarioles of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata, except that Amvasa expression was higher in the oocytes of previtellogenic follicles. The social bees differ in this respect from Drosophila, the model system for insect oogenesis, suggesting that changes in the sequence and expression pattern of vasa may have occurred during social evolution.

  17. Effects of honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and bumble bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) presence on cranberry (Ericales: Ericaceae) pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, E C; Spivak, M

    2006-06-01

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera L., are frequently used to pollinate commercial cranberries, Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait., but information is lacking on the relative contribution of honey bees and native bees, the effects of surrounding vegetation on bee visitation, and on optimal timing for honey bee introduction. We begin with a descriptive study of numbers of honey bees, bumble bees, and other bees visiting cranberry blossoms, and their subsequent effect on cranberry yield, on three cranberry properties in 1999. The property surrounded by agricultural land, as opposed to wetlands and woodlands, had fewer numbers of all bee types. In 2000, one property did not introduce honey bee colonies, providing an opportunity to document the effect of lack of honey bees on yield. With no honey bees, plants along the edge of the bed had significantly higher berry weights compared with nonedge plants, suggesting that wild pollinators were only effective along the edge. Comparing the same bed between 1999, with three honey bee colonies per acre, and 2000, with no honey bees, we found a significant reduction in average berry size. In 2000, we compared stigma loading on properties with and without honey bees. Significantly more stigmas received the minimum number of tetrads required for fruit set on the property with honey bees. Significantly more tetrads were deposited during mid-bloom compared with early bloom, indicating that mid-bloom was the best time to have honey bees present. This study emphasizes the importance and effectiveness of honey bees as pollinators of commercial size cranberry plantings.

  18. Pollution monitoring of puget sound with honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromenshenk, J J; Carlson, S R; Simpson, J C; Thomas, J M

    1985-02-08

    To show that honey bees are effective biological monitors of environmental contaminants over large geographic areas, beekeepers of Puget Sound, Washington, collected pollen and bees for chemical analysis. From these data, kriging maps of arsenic, cadmium, and fluoride were generated. Results, based on actual concentrations of contaminants in bee tissues, show that the greatest concentrations of contaminants occur close to Commencement Bay and that honey bees are effective as large-scale monitors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Spore load and immune response of honey bees naturally infected by Nosema ceranae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wenfeng; Evans, Jay D; Li, Jianghong; Su, Songkun; Hamilton, Michele; Chen, Yanping

    2017-12-01

    Nosema ceranae causes widespread infection in adult workers of European honey bees, Apis mellifera, and has often been linked to honey bee colony losses worldwide. Previous investigations of honey bee immune response to N. ceranae infection were largely based on laboratory experiment, however, little is known about the immune response of honey bees that are naturally infected by N. ceranae. Here, we compared the infection levels of N. ceranae in three different categories of adult bees (emergent bees, nurses, and foragers) and detected the host immune response to the N. ceranae infection under natural conditions. Our studies showed that the Nosema spore load and infection prevalence varied among the different types of adult workers, and both of them increased as honey bees aged: No infection was detected in emergent bees, nurses had a medium spore load and prevalence, while foragers were with the highest Nosema infection level and prevalence. Quantification of the mRNA levels of antimicrobial peptides (abaecin, apidaecin, defensin-1, defensin-2, and hymenoptaecin) and microbial recognition proteins (PGRP-S1, PGRP-S2, PGRP-S3, PGRP-LC, GNBP1-1, and GNBP1-2) confirmed the involvement of the Toll and/or Imd immune pathways in the host response to N. ceranae infection, and revealed an activation of host immune response by N. ceranae infection under natural conditions. Additionally, the levels of immune response were positively correlated with the Nosema spore loads in the infected bees. The information gained from this study will be relevant to the predictive modeling of honey bee disease dynamics for Nosema disease prevention and management.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. General Stress Responses in the Honey Bee

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naïla Even

    2012-12-01

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

  6. 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. PMID:27832169

  7. 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.

  8. Wild bees enhance honey bees’ pollination of hybrid sunflower

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenleaf, Sarah S.; Kremen, Claire

    2006-01-01

    Pollinators are required for producing 15–30% of the human food supply, and farmers rely on managed honey bees throughout the world to provide these services. Yet honey bees are not always the most efficient pollinators of all crops and are declining in various parts of the world. Crop pollination shortages are becoming increasingly common. We found that behavioral interactions between wild and honey bees increase the pollination efficiency of honey bees on hybrid sunflower up to 5-fold, effectively doubling honey bee pollination services on the average field. These indirect contributions caused by interspecific interactions between wild and honey bees were more than five times more important than the contributions wild bees make to sunflower pollination directly. Both proximity to natural habitat and crop planting practices were significantly correlated with pollination services provided directly and indirectly by wild bees. Our results suggest that conserving wild habitat at the landscape scale and altering selected farm management techniques could increase hybrid sunflower production. These findings also demonstrate the economic importance of interspecific interactions for ecosystem services and suggest that protecting wild bee populations can help buffer the human food supply from honey bee shortages. PMID:16940358

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyer, Michael; Neumann, Peter; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Eyer

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

  11. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    While honey bee colonies in North America and Europe are in decline due to parasites and ... Infections levels were higher in the coastal region than in the interior. ... of the impact of this pathogen to the Kenyan honey bee colonies with a view of ... Senegal (6); Sierra Leone (1); South Africa (96); South Sudan (1); Sudan (3) ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brock A Harpur

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

  15. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    Matthieu Dacher

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.

  17. Stingless bee honey and its potential value: a systematic review

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    Yaacob, M.,

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Modern science has found that most traditional practice of using stingless bee honey has great potential as an added value in modern medicine and considered to have a higher medicinal value than other bee species. However, due to the relatively low output of honey compared to other honey so, focus on this honey is limited. Hence, this systematic review provides the updated result on the potential value of stingless bee honey as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxicity and antimicrobial. The search strategy was developed in four databases (Scopus, Medline and Ovid, EMBASE and PubMed with the search terms "("honey" and "Kelulut", "honey" and "stingless bee", "honey" and "Trigona", "honey" and "pot honey", and "honey" and "Melipon"". The merged data was assessed using PRISMA guidelines and after the duplicates were removed, 1271 articles were segregated. Afterwards, 1232 articles were eliminated because they do not meet the inclusion criteria and 39 articles were reevaluated again for eligibility. Finally, after the evaluation process, only 26 of the articles were chosen for this review. The data of 26 articles of stingless bee honey were deliberated based on antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxicity and analysis of antimicrobial activity. Three articles reported on antioxidant properties, one article on anti-inflammatory analysis, two articles on cytotoxicity analysis, and twenty articles on analysis of antimicrobial activity. Based on the feasible affirmation from the literature, stingless bee honey has an antioxidant capacity that able to decrease the ROS. ROS able to lead a variety of health problems thus stingless bee honey can be a dietary supplement to overcome this problem.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Appler, R. Holden; L?pez-Uribe, Margarita M.; Tarpy, David R.; Frank, Steven D.

    2015-01-01

    Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus), the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens....

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Climate change: impact on honey bee populations and diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Conte, Y; Navajas, M

    2008-08-01

    The European honey bee, Apis mellifera, is the most economically valuable pollinator of agricultural crops worldwide. Bees are also crucial in maintaining biodiversity by pollinating numerous plant species whose fertilisation requires an obligatory pollinator. Apis mellifera is a species that has shown great adaptive potential, as it is found almost everywhere in the world and in highly diverse climates. In a context of climate change, the variability of the honey bee's life-history traits as regards temperature and the environment shows that the species possesses such plasticity and genetic variability that this could give rise to the selection of development cycles suited to new environmental conditions. Although we do not know the precise impact of potential environmental changes on honey bees as a result of climate change, there is a large body of data at our disposal indicating that environmental changes have a direct influence on honey bee development. In this article, the authors examine the potential impact of climate change on honey bee behaviour, physiology and distribution, as well as on the evolution of the honey bee's interaction with diseases. Conservation measures will be needed to prevent the loss of this rich genetic diversity of honey bees and to preserve ecotypes that are so valuable for world biodiversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinese Sacbrood virus (CSBV) is a common honey bee virus that infects both the European honey bee (A. mellifera) and the Asian honey bee (A. cerana). However, CSBV has much more devastating effects on Asian honey bees than on European honey bees, posing a serious threat to the agricultural and nat...

  5. 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.

  6. 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. Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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

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    Ma Lanting

    2015-12-01

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

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

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    Vanessa Corby-Harris

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Galbraith

    2015-03-01

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

  11. 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'.

  12. First demonstration of olfactory learning and long term memory in honey bee queens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Zhiwen; Tan, Ken; Nieh, James C

    2018-05-18

    As the primary source of colony reproduction, social insect queens play a vital role. However, the cognitive abilities of queens are not well understood, although queen learning and memory are essential in multiple species such as honey bees, in which virgin queens must leave the nest and then successful learn to navigate back over repeated nuptial flights. Honey bee queen learning has never been previously demonstrated. We therefore tested olfactory learning in queens and workers and examined the role of DNA methylation, which plays a key role in long term memory formation. We provide the first evidence that honey bee queens have excellent learning and memory. The proportion of honey bee queens that exhibited learning was 5-fold higher than workers at every tested age and, for memory, 4-fold higher than workers at a very young age. DNA methylation may play a key role in this queen memory because queens exhibiting remote memory had a more consistent elevation in Dnmt3 gene expression as compared to workers. Both castes also showed excellent remote memory (7 day memory), which was reduced by 14-20% by the DNA methylation inhibitor, zebularine. Given that queens live about 10-fold longer than workers, these results suggest that queens can serve as an excellently long-term reservoir of colony memory. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Global information sampling in the honey bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Brian R.

    2008-06-01

    Central to the question of task allocation in social insects is how workers acquire information. Patrolling is a curious behavior in which bees meander over the face of the comb inspecting cells. Several authors have suggested it allows bees to collect global information, but this has never been formally evaluated. This study explores this hypothesis by answering three questions. First, do bees gather information in a consistent manner as they patrol? Second, do they move far enough to get a sense of task demand in distant areas of the nest? And third, is patrolling a commonly performed task? Focal animal observations were used to address the first two predictions, while a scan sampling study was used to address the third. The results were affirmative for each question. While patrolling, workers collected information by performing periodic clusters of cell inspections. Patrolling bees not only traveled far enough to frequently change work zone; they often visited every part of the nest. Finally, the majority of the bees in the middle-age caste were shown to move throughout the nest over the course of a few hours in a manner suggestive of patrolling. Global information collection is contrary to much current theory, which assumes that workers respond to local information only. This study thus highlights the nonmutually exclusive nature of various information collection regimes in social insects.

  16. Comparative Flight Activities and Pathogen Load of Two Stocks of Honey Bees Reared in Gamma-Irradiated Combs

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    Lilia I. de Guzman

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Gamma irradiation is known to inactivate various pathogens that negatively affect honey bee health. Bee pathogens, such as Deformed wing virus (DWV and Nosema spp., have a deleterious impact on foraging activities and bee survival, and have been detected in combs. In this study, we assessed the effects of gamma irradiation on the flight activities, pathogen load, and survival of two honey bee stocks that were reared in irradiated and non-irradiated combs. Overall, bee genotype influenced the average number of daily flights, the total number of foraging flights, and total flight duration, in which the Russian honey bees outperformed the Italian honey bees. Exposing combs to gamma irradiation only affected the age at first flight, with worker bees that were reared in non-irradiated combs foraging prematurely compared to those reared in irradiated combs. Precocious foraging may be associated with the higher levels of DWV in bees reared in non-irradiated combs and also with the lower amount of pollen stores in colonies that used non-irradiated combs. These data suggest that gamma irradiation of combs can help minimize the negative impact of DWV in honey bees. Since colonies with irradiated combs stored more pollen than those with non-irradiated combs, crop pollination efficiency may be further improved when mite-resistant stocks are used, since they performed more flights and had longer flight durations.

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

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    Węgrzynowicz Paweł

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Marsha M; Robinson, Gene E

    2014-07-17

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

  19. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Appler, R.; Frank, Steven; Tarpy, David

    2015-01-01

    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 imm...

  1. Honey bee (Apis mellifera nurses do not consume pollens based on their nutritional quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Corby-Harris

    Full Text Available Honey bee workers (Apis mellifera consume a variety of pollens to meet the majority of their requirements for protein and lipids. Recent work indicates that honey bees prefer diets that reflect the proper ratio of nutrients necessary for optimal survival and homeostasis. This idea relies on the precept that honey bees evaluate the nutritional composition of the foods provided to them. While this has been shown in bumble bees, the data for honey bees are mixed. Further, there is controversy as to whether foragers can evaluate the nutritional value of pollens, especially if they do not consume it. Here, we focused on nurse workers, who eat most of the pollen coming into the hive. We tested the hypothesis that nurses prefer diets with higher nutritional value. We first determined the nutritional profile, number of plant taxa (richness, and degree of hypopharyngeal gland (HG growth conferred by three honey bee collected pollens. We then presented nurses with these same three pollens in paired choice assays and measured consumption. To further test whether nutrition influenced preference, we also presented bees with natural pollens supplemented with protein or lipids and liquid diets with protein and lipid ratios equal to the natural pollens. Different pollens conferred different degrees of HG growth, but despite these differences, nurse bees did not always prefer the most nutritious pollens. Adding protein and/or lipids to less desirable pollens minimally increased pollen attractiveness, and nurses did not exhibit a strong preference for any of the three liquid diets. We conclude that different pollens provide different nutritional benefits, but that nurses either cannot or do not assess pollen nutritional value. This implies that the nurses may not be able to communicate information about pollen quality to the foragers, who regulate the pollens coming into the hive.

  2. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) nurses do not consume pollens based on their nutritional quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Snyder, Lucy; Meador, Charlotte; Ayotte, Trace

    2018-01-01

    Honey bee workers (Apis mellifera) consume a variety of pollens to meet the majority of their requirements for protein and lipids. Recent work indicates that honey bees prefer diets that reflect the proper ratio of nutrients necessary for optimal survival and homeostasis. This idea relies on the precept that honey bees evaluate the nutritional composition of the foods provided to them. While this has been shown in bumble bees, the data for honey bees are mixed. Further, there is controversy as to whether foragers can evaluate the nutritional value of pollens, especially if they do not consume it. Here, we focused on nurse workers, who eat most of the pollen coming into the hive. We tested the hypothesis that nurses prefer diets with higher nutritional value. We first determined the nutritional profile, number of plant taxa (richness), and degree of hypopharyngeal gland (HG) growth conferred by three honey bee collected pollens. We then presented nurses with these same three pollens in paired choice assays and measured consumption. To further test whether nutrition influenced preference, we also presented bees with natural pollens supplemented with protein or lipids and liquid diets with protein and lipid ratios equal to the natural pollens. Different pollens conferred different degrees of HG growth, but despite these differences, nurse bees did not always prefer the most nutritious pollens. Adding protein and/or lipids to less desirable pollens minimally increased pollen attractiveness, and nurses did not exhibit a strong preference for any of the three liquid diets. We conclude that different pollens provide different nutritional benefits, but that nurses either cannot or do not assess pollen nutritional value. This implies that the nurses may not be able to communicate information about pollen quality to the foragers, who regulate the pollens coming into the hive.

  3. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) nurses do not consume pollens based on their nutritional quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Lucy; Meador, Charlotte; Ayotte, Trace

    2018-01-01

    Honey bee workers (Apis mellifera) consume a variety of pollens to meet the majority of their requirements for protein and lipids. Recent work indicates that honey bees prefer diets that reflect the proper ratio of nutrients necessary for optimal survival and homeostasis. This idea relies on the precept that honey bees evaluate the nutritional composition of the foods provided to them. While this has been shown in bumble bees, the data for honey bees are mixed. Further, there is controversy as to whether foragers can evaluate the nutritional value of pollens, especially if they do not consume it. Here, we focused on nurse workers, who eat most of the pollen coming into the hive. We tested the hypothesis that nurses prefer diets with higher nutritional value. We first determined the nutritional profile, number of plant taxa (richness), and degree of hypopharyngeal gland (HG) growth conferred by three honey bee collected pollens. We then presented nurses with these same three pollens in paired choice assays and measured consumption. To further test whether nutrition influenced preference, we also presented bees with natural pollens supplemented with protein or lipids and liquid diets with protein and lipid ratios equal to the natural pollens. Different pollens conferred different degrees of HG growth, but despite these differences, nurse bees did not always prefer the most nutritious pollens. Adding protein and/or lipids to less desirable pollens minimally increased pollen attractiveness, and nurses did not exhibit a strong preference for any of the three liquid diets. We conclude that different pollens provide different nutritional benefits, but that nurses either cannot or do not assess pollen nutritional value. This implies that the nurses may not be able to communicate information about pollen quality to the foragers, who regulate the pollens coming into the hive. PMID:29324841

  4. 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.

  5. Diet quantity influence phenotypic dimorphism during honey bee (Apis mellifera) caste determination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queen and worker honey bees are genetically analogous, but morphologically and physiologically different. Nutritional differences in larval diets regulate caste determination. Our recent work indicates diet quantity has a strong influence on caste in honeybees, and that queen induction can occur in ...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:23483987

  11. Protein levels and colony development of Africanized and European honey bees fed natural and artificial diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morais, M M; Turcatto, A P; Pereira, R A; Francoy, T M; Guidugli-Lazzarini, K R; Gonçalves, L S; de Almeida, J M V; Ellis, J D; De Jong, D

    2013-12-19

    Pollen substitute diets are a valuable resource for maintaining strong and health honey bee colonies. Specific diets may be useful in one region or country and inadequate or economically unviable in others. We compared two artificial protein diets that had been formulated from locally-available ingredients in Brazil with bee bread and a non-protein sucrose diet. Groups of 100 newly-emerged, adult workers of Africanized honey bees in Brazil and European honey bees in the USA were confined in small cages and fed on one of four diets for seven days. The artificial diets included a high protein diet made of soy milk powder and albumin, and a lower protein level diet consisting of soy milk powder, brewer's yeast and rice bran. The initial protein levels in newly emerged bees were approximately 18-21 µg/µL hemolymph. After feeding on the diets for seven days, the protein levels in the hemolymph were similar among the protein diet groups (~37-49 µg/µL after seven days), although Africanized bees acquired higher protein levels, increasing 145 and 100% on diets D1 and D2, respectively, versus 83 and 60% in the European bees. All the protein diets resulted in significantly higher levels of protein than sucrose solution alone. In the field, the two pollen substitute diets were tested during periods of low pollen availability in the field in two regions of Brazil. Food consumption, population development, colony weight, and honey production were evaluated to determine the impact of the diets on colony strength parameters. The colonies fed artificial diets had a significant improvement in all parameters, while control colonies dwindled during the dearth period. We conclude that these two artificial protein diets have good potential as pollen substitutes during dearth periods and that Africanized bees more efficiently utilize artificial protein diets than do European honey bees.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Parasite pressures on feral honey bees (Apis mellifera sp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Challenges associated with the honey bee ( Apis Mellifera Adansonii )

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Challenges associated with the honey bee ( Apis Mellifera Adansonii ) colonies ... Diseases like American and European foulbrood were absent while ... African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Volume 13 No. 2 April ...

  16. Quality parameters of Bulgarian’s kinds of bee honey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dinko Hristov Dinkov

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available In Bulgaria were found more than 3600 kinds of higher plants, which predispose to production of different kinds of bee honey. In the country were registered 11 natural and 3 national parks, in which could found all kinds of plants, some of them unique in the world. Up to now there were harvested and investigated more than 11 kinds of bee honey. The aim of the present work was on the basis of available literature data to sum up the scientific information related to the main kinds of Bulgarian’s bee honeys from 2000 to present. In the study were presented quality parameters from organically produced and commercially processed bee honeys: pollen analysis, proline content, invertase activity, specific optical rotation, electrical conductivity, antioxidant and antibacterial activities.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa A.Y. Oddie

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oddie, Melissa A Y; Dahle, Bjørn; Neumann, Peter

    2017-01-01

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

  19. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All

  20. Low-Temperature Stress during Capped Brood Stage Increases Pupal Mortality, Misorientation and Adult Mortality in Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qing; Xu, Xinjian; Zhu, Xiangjie; Chen, Lin; Zhou, Shujing; Huang, Zachary Y.; Zhou, Bingfeng

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are key pollinators, playing a vital role in ecosystem maintenance and stability of crop yields. Recently, reduced honey bee survival has attracted intensive attention. Among all other honey bee stresses, temperature is a fundamental ecological factor that has been shown to affect honey bee survival. Yet, the impact of low temperature stress during capped brood on brood mortality has not been systematically investigated. In addition, little was known about how low temperature exposure during capped brood affects subsequent adult longevity. In this study, capped worker broods at 12 different developmental stages were exposed to 20°C for 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84 and 96 hours, followed by incubation at 35°C until emergence. We found that longer durations of low temperature during capped brood led to higher mortality, higher incidences of misorientation inside cells and shorter worker longevity. Capped brood as prepupae and near emergence were more sensitive to low-temperature exposure, while capped larvae and mid-pupal stages showed the highest resistance to low-temperature stress. Our results suggest that prepupae and pupae prior to eclosion are the most sensitive stages to low temperature stress, as they are to other stresses, presumably due to many physiological changes related to metamorphosis happening during these two stages. Understanding how low-temperature stress affects honey bee physiology and longevity can improve honey bee management strategies. PMID:27149383

  1. Nosema ceranae escapes fumagillin control in honey bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Fone Huang

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Fumagillin is the only antibiotic approved for control of nosema disease in honey bees and has been extensively used in United States apiculture for more than 50 years for control of Nosema apis. It is toxic to mammals and must be applied seasonally and with caution to avoid residues in honey. Fumagillin degrades or is diluted in hives over the foraging season, exposing bees and the microsporidia to declining concentrations of the drug. We showed that spore production by Nosema ceranae, an emerging microsporidian pathogen in honey bees, increased in response to declining fumagillin concentrations, up to 100% higher than that of infected bees that have not been exposed to fumagillin. N. apis spore production was also higher, although not significantly so. Fumagillin inhibits the enzyme methionine aminopeptidase2 (MetAP2 in eukaryotic cells and interferes with protein modifications necessary for normal cell function. We sequenced the MetAP2 gene for apid Nosema species and determined that, although susceptibility to fumagillin differs among species, there are no apparent differences in fumagillin binding sites. Protein assays of uninfected bees showed that fumagillin altered structural and metabolic proteins in honey bee midgut tissues at concentrations that do not suppress microsporidia reproduction. The microsporidia, particularly N. ceranae, are apparently released from the suppressive effects of fumagillin at concentrations that continue to impact honey bee physiology. The current application protocol for fumagillin may exacerbate N. ceranae infection rather than suppress it.

  2. 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.

  3. Ecological adaptation of diverse honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Robert; Melathopoulos, Andony P; White, Rick; Pernal, Stephen F; Guarna, M Marta; Foster, Leonard J

    2010-06-15

    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. 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. 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.

  4. Effects of Nosema ceranae and thiametoxam in Apis mellifera: A comparative study in Africanized and Carniolan honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregorc, Ales; Silva-Zacarin, Elaine C M; Carvalho, Stephan Malfitano; Kramberger, Doris; Teixeira, Erica W; Malaspina, Osmar

    2016-03-01

    Multiple stressors, such as chemicals and pathogens, are likely to be detrimental for the health and lifespan of Apis mellifera, a bee species frequently exposed to both factors in the field and inside hives. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate comparatively the health of Carniolan and Africanized honey bees (AHB) co-exposed to thiamethoxam and Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae) spores. Newly-emerged worker honey bees were exposed solely with different sublethal doses of thiamethoxam (2% and 0.2% of LD50 for AHB), which could be consumed by bees under field conditions. Toxicity tests for the Carniolan bees were performed, and the LD50 of thiamethoxam for Carniolan honey bees was 7.86 ng bee(-1). Immunohistological analyses were also performed to detect cell death in the midgut of thiamethoxam and/or N. ceranae treated bees. Thiamethoxam exposure had no negative impact on Nosema development in experimental conditions, but it clearly inhibited cell death in the midgut of thiamethoxam and Nosema-exposed bees, as demonstrated by immunohistochemical data. Indeed, thiamethoxam exposure only had a minor synergistic toxic effect on midgut tissue when applied as a low dose simultaneously with N. ceranae to AHB and Carniolan honey bees, in comparison with the effect caused by both stressors separately. Our data provides insights into the effects of the neonicotenoid thiamethoxam on the AHB and Carniolan honey bee life span, as well as the effects of simultaneous application of thiamethoxam and N. ceranae spores to honey bees. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Insights into the dynamics of hind leg development in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queen and worker larvae - A morphology/differential gene expression analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Carolina Gonçalves; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is a hallmark of the caste systems of social insects, expressed in their life history and morphological traits. These are best studied in bees. In their co-evolution with angiosperm plants, the females of corbiculate bees have acquired a specialized structure on their hind legs for collecting pollen. In the highly eusocial bees (Apini and Meliponini), this structure is however only present in workers and absent in queens. By means of histological sections and cell proliferation analysis we followed the developmental dynamics of the hind legs of queens and workers in the fourth and fifth larval instars. In parallel, we generated subtractive cDNA libraries for hind leg discs of queen and worker larvae by means of a Representational Difference Analysis (RDA). From the total of 135 unique sequences we selected 19 for RT-qPCR analysis, where six of these were confirmed as differing significantly in their expression between the two castes in the larval spinning stage. The development of complex structures such as the bees’ hind legs, requires diverse patterning mechanisms and signaling modules, as indicated by the set of differentially expressed genes related with cell adhesion and signaling pathways. PMID:26500430

  6. Insights into the dynamics of hind leg development in honey bee (Apis mellifera L. queen and worker larvae - A morphology/differential gene expression analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Gonçalves Santos

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Phenotypic plasticity is a hallmark of the caste systems of social insects, expressed in their life history and morphological traits. These are best studied in bees. In their co-evolution with angiosperm plants, the females of corbiculate bees have acquired a specialized structure on their hind legs for collecting pollen. In the highly eusocial bees (Apini and Meliponini, this structure is however only present in workers and absent in queens. By means of histological sections and cell proliferation analysis we followed the developmental dynamics of the hind legs of queens and workers in the fourth and fifth larval instars. In parallel, we generated subtractive cDNA libraries for hind leg discs of queen and worker larvae by means of a Representational Difference Analysis (RDA. From the total of 135 unique sequences we selected 19 for RT-qPCR analysis, where six of these were confirmed as differing significantly in their expression between the two castes in the larval spinning stage. The development of complex structures such as the bees’ hind legs, requires diverse patterning mechanisms and signaling modules, as indicated by the set of differentially expressed genes related with cell adhesion and signaling pathways.

  7. Toxicity assessment of glyphosate on honey bee (Apis mellifera) spermatozoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    During 2016-2017, 33.2% of managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. were lost due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Commonly used pesticides are among the suspected reasons for bee mortality. N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine (glyphosate) is a widely used herbicide in the U.S. and has previously been shown ...

  8. The basic concept of honey bee breeding programs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uzunov, A.; Brascamp, Pim; Büchler, R.

    2017-01-01

    Selective honey bee breeding is a phenomenon that fascinates beekeepers around the world. They often regard it as one of the most enigmatic and complex aspects of beekeeping. Indeed, according to our experiences participating in many international projects, both beekeepers and bee experts without a

  9. 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.

  10. The neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin affect the immunocompetence of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Annely; Gorenflo, Anna; Siede, Reinhold; Meixner, Marina; Büchler, Ralph

    2016-03-01

    A strong immune defense is vital for honey bee health and colony survival. This defense can be weakened by environmental factors that may render honey bees more vulnerable to parasites and pathogens. Honey bees are frequently exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are being discussed as one of the stress factors that may lead to colony failure. We investigated the sublethal effects of the neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin on individual immunity, by studying three major aspects of immunocompetence in worker bees: total hemocyte number, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity of the hemolymph. In laboratory experiments, we found a strong impact of all three neonicotinoids. Thiacloprid (24h oral exposure, 200 μg/l or 2000 μg/l) and imidacloprid (1 μg/l or 10 μg/l) reduced hemocyte density, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity even at field realistic concentrations. Clothianidin had an effect on these immune parameters only at higher than field realistic concentrations (50-200 μg/l). These results suggest that neonicotinoids affect the individual immunocompetence of honey bees, possibly leading to an impaired disease resistance capacity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. Radioactive contamination of honey and other bee-keeping products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frantsevich, L.I.; Komissar, A.D.; Levchenko, I.A.

    1990-01-01

    Great amount of dust is collected in propolis under emergency atmospheric fallouts. Specific coefficient of the product migration amounts to several m 2 per 1 kg. Propolis is a good biological indicator of radioactive fallouts. The propolis collection is inadmissible after radioactive fallouts. Cocoon residuals obtained during bees-wax separation contain many radionuclides and should be disposed in special places. Nuclides are absent in bees-wax. Nuclides accumulated absent in a bee organism migrate into honey and queen milk, the honey is contaminated mainly via biogenic path

  13. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Oddie, Melissa AY; Dahle, Bjørn Steinar; Neumann, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Background Managed, feral and wild populations of European honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera, are currently facing severe colony losses globally. There is consensus that the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, that switched hosts from the Eastern honey bee Apis cerana to the Western honey bee A. mellifera, is a key factor driving these losses. For >20 years, breeding efforts have not produced European honey bee colonies that can survive infestations without the need for mite control....

  15. No intracolonial nepotism during colony fissioning in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangel, Juliana; Mattila, Heather R.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2009-01-01

    Most species of social insects have singly mated queens, but in some species each queen mates with numerous males to create a colony whose workers belong to multiple patrilines. This colony genetic structure creates a potential for intracolonial nepotism. One context with great potential for such nepotism arises in species, like honey bees, whose colonies reproduce by fissioning. During fissioning, workers might nepotistically choose between serving a young (sister) queen or the old (mother) queen, preferring the former if she is a full-sister but the latter if the young queen is only a half-sister. We examined three honeybee colonies that swarmed, and performed paternity analyses on the young (immature) queens and samples of workers who either stayed with the young queens in the nest or left with the mother queen in the swarm. For each colony, we checked whether patrilines represented by immature queens had higher proportions of staying workers than patrilines not represented by immature queens. We found no evidence of this. The absence of intracolonial nepotism during colony fissioning could be because the workers cannot discriminate between full-sister and half-sister queens when they are immature, or because the costs of behaving nepotistically outweigh the benefits. PMID:19692398

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Use of Bee Honey as Alternative Medicine in Protein Energy Deficiency

    OpenAIRE

    Prasetyo, R. Heru; Sandhika, Willy; Susanto, Djoni

    2013-01-01

    The protein energy deficiency cause intestinal villus atrophy and epithel mucous damage. The effect of bee honey on histostructure of intestine was studied in the experimental mice as model of proteinenergy deficiency. The use bee honey in protein-energy deficiency shown to improve intestinal villus atrophy and epithel damage. In conclusion that bee honey can use as alternative medicine in protein energydeficiency

  19. BEE VENOM TRAP DESIGN OF APIS MELLIFERA L. AND APIS CERANA F. HONEY BEES

    OpenAIRE

    Budiaman

    2015-01-01

    The nectar and pollen of flowers which are abundance have not been taken into account for any purpose in forest, agriculture and plantation area. Honey bees such as Apis mellifera L. and Apis cerana F. had known as biological pollinators which could converted the flower components to be high economy products in the forms of honey, royal jelly, propolis, bee wax and bee venom. Among the products, bee venom has the best selling value, but the method of it???s optimal production has not been ext...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dooremalen, Coby; Gerritsen, Lonne; Cornelissen, Bram; van der Steen, Jozef J. M.; van Langevelde, Frank; Blacquière, Tjeerd

    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 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. PMID:22558421

  1. Territorial biodiversity and consequences on physico-chemical characteristics of pollen collected by honey bee colonies

    OpenAIRE

    Odoux, Jean Francois; Feuillet, Dalila; Aupinel, Pierrick; Loublier, Yves; Tasei, Jean Noel; Mateescu, Cristina

    2012-01-01

    International audience; Pollen resources may become a constraint for the honey bee in cereal farming agrosystems and thus influence honey bee colony development. This survey intended to increase knowledge on bee ecology in order to understand how farming systems can provide bee forage throughout the year. We conducted a 1-year study to investigate the flower range exploited in an agrarian environment in western France, the physico-chemical composition of honey bee-collected pollen, the territ...

  2. Neonicotinoid insecticides in pollen, honey and adult bees in colonies of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) in Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

    Honeybee losses have been attributed to multiple stressors and factors including the neonicotinoid insecticides (NIs). Much of the study of hive contamination has been focused upon temperate regions such as Europe, Canada and the United States. This study looks for the first time at honey, pollen and bees collected from across the Nile Delta in Egypt in both the spring and summer planting season of 2013. There is limited information upon the frequency of use of NIs in Egypt but the ratio of positive identification and concentrations of NIs are comparable to other regions. Metabolites of NIs were also monitored but given the low detection frequency, no link between matrices was possible in the study. Using a simple hazard assessment based upon published LD 50 values for individual neonicotinoids upon the foraging and brood workers it was found that there was a potential risk to brood workers if the lowest reported LD 50 was compared to the sum of the maximum NI concentrations. For non-lethal exposure there was significant risk at the worst case to brood bees but actual exposure effects are dependant upon the genetics and conditions of the Egyptian honeybee subspecies that remain to be determined.

  3. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    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......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...... 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....

  4. ProtoBee: Hierarchical classification and annotation of the honey bee proteome

    OpenAIRE

    Kaplan, Noam; Linial, Michal

    2006-01-01

    The recently sequenced genome of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) has produced 10,157 predicted protein sequences, calling for a computational effort to extract biological insights from them. We have applied an unsupervised hierarchical protein-clustering method, which was previously used in the ProtoNet system, to nearly 200,000 proteins consisting of the predicted honey bee proteins, the SWISS-PROT protein database, and the complete set of proteins of the mouse (Mus musculus) and the fruit fl...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zlatko Puškadija

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Highly controlled nest homeostasis of honey bees helps deactivate phenolics in nectar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fanglin; He, Jianzhong; Fu, Wenjun

    2005-06-01

    Honey bees have a highly developed nest homeostasis, for example, maintaining low CO2 levels and stable nest temperatures at 35°C.We investigate the role of nest homeostasis in deactivating phenolic compounds present in the nectar of Aloe littoralis. We show that the phenolic content in nectar was reduced (from 0.65% to 0.49%) after nectar was incubated in a nest of Apis cerana, and that it was reduced still more (from 0.65% to 0.37%) if nectar was mixed with hypopharyngeal gland proteins (HGP) of worker bees before being placed inside a nest. HGP had little effect on samples outside a nest, indicating that nest conditions are necessary for HGP to deactivate phenolics in nectar. Consequently, the highly controlled nest homeostasis of honey bees facilitates direct deactivation of phenolics in nectar, and plays a role in the action of HGP as well.

  7. Studies of learned helplessness in honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinges, Christopher W; Varnon, Christopher A; Cota, Lisa D; Slykerman, Stephen; Abramson, Charles I

    2017-04-01

    The current study reports 2 experiments investigating learned helplessness in the honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica). In Experiment 1, we used a traditional escape method but found the bees' activity levels too high to observe changes due to treatment conditions. The bees were not able to learn in this traditional escape procedure; thus, such procedures may be inappropriate to study learned helplessness in honey bees. In Experiment 2, we used an alternative punishment, or passive avoidance, method to investigate learned helplessness. Using a master and yoked design where bees were trained as either master or yoked and tested as either master or yoked, we found that prior training with unavoidable and inescapable shock in the yoked condition interfered with avoidance and escape behavior in the later master condition. Unlike control bees, learned helplessness bees failed to restrict their movement to the safe compartment following inescapable shock. Unlike learned helplessness studies in other animals, no decrease in general activity was observed. Furthermore, we did not observe a "freezing" response to inescapable aversive stimuli-a phenomenon, thus far, consistently observed in learned helplessness tests with other species. The bees, instead, continued to move back and forth between compartments despite punishment in the incorrect compartment. These findings suggest that, although traditional escape methods may not be suitable, honey bees display learned helplessness in passive avoidance procedures. Thus, regardless of behavioral differences from other species, honey bees can be a unique invertebrate model organism for the study of learned helplessness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  8. Transcriptional responses in honey bee larvae infected with chalkbrood fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronstein, Katherine A; Murray, Keith D; Saldivar, Eduardo

    2010-06-21

    Diseases and other stress factors working synergistically weaken honey bee health and may play a major role in the losses of bee populations in recent years. Among a large number of bee diseases, chalkbrood has been on the rise. We present here the experimental identification of honey bee genes that are differentially expressed in response to infection of honey bee larvae with the chalkbrood fungus, Ascosphaera apis. We used cDNA-AFLP Technology to profile transcripts in infected and uninfected bee larvae. From 64 primer combinations, over 7,400 transcriptionally-derived fragments were obtained A total of 98 reproducible polymorphic cDNA-AFLP fragments were excised and sequenced, followed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis of these and additional samples.We have identified a number of differentially-regulated transcripts that are implicated in general mechanisms of stress adaptation, including energy metabolism and protein transport. One of the most interesting differentially-regulated transcripts is for a chitinase-like enzyme that may be linked to anti-fungal activities in the honey bee larvae, similarly to gut and fat-body specific chitinases found in mosquitoes and the red flour beetle. Surprisingly, we did not find many components of the well-characterized NF-kappaB intracellular signaling pathways to be differentially-regulated using the cDNA-AFLP approach. Therefore, utilizing qRT-PCR, we probed some of the immune related genes to determine whether the lack of up-regulation of their transcripts in our analysis can be attributed to lack of immune activation or to limitations of the cDNA-AFLP approach. Using a combination of cDNA-AFLP and qRT-PCR analyses, we were able to determine several key transcriptional events that constitute the overall effort in the honey bee larvae to fight natural fungal infection. Honey bee transcripts identified in this study are involved in critical functions related to transcriptional regulation, apoptotic

  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. Protein nutrition governs within-host race of honey bee pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tritschler, Manuel; Vollmann, Jutta J; Yañez, Orlando; Chejanovsky, Nor; Crailsheim, Karl; Neumann, Peter

    2017-11-08

    Multiple infections are common in honey bees, Apis mellifera, but the possible role of nutrition in this regard is poorly understood. Microsporidian infections, which are promoted by protein-fed, can negatively correlate with virus infections, but the role of protein nutrition for the microsporidian-virus interface is unknown. Here, we challenged naturally deformed wing virus - B (DWV-B) infected adult honey bee workers fed with or without pollen ( = protein) in hoarding cages, with the microsporidian Nosema ceranae. Bee mortality was recorded for 14 days and N. ceranae spore loads and DWV-B titers were quantified. Amongst the groups inoculated with N. ceranae, more spores were counted in protein-fed bees. However, N. ceranae infected bees without protein-diet had reduced longevity compared to all other groups. N. ceranae infection had no effect on protein-fed bee's longevity, whereas bees supplied only with sugar-water showed reduced survival. Our data also support that protein-feeding can have a significant negative impact on virus infections in insects. The negative correlation between N. ceranae spore loads and DWV-B titers was stronger expressed in protein-fed hosts. Proteins not only enhance survival of infected hosts, but also significantly shape the microsporidian-virus interface, probably due to increased spore production and enhanced host immunity.

  11. Caste-specific differences in hindgut microbial communities of honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapheim, Karen M; Rao, Vikyath D; Yeoman, Carl J; Wilson, Brenda A; White, Bryan A; Goldenfeld, Nigel; Robinson, Gene E

    2015-01-01

    Host-symbiont dynamics are known to influence host phenotype, but their role in social behavior has yet to be investigated. Variation in life history across honey bee (Apis mellifera) castes may influence community composition of gut symbionts, which may in turn influence caste phenotypes. We investigated the relationship between host-symbiont dynamics and social behavior by characterizing the hindgut microbiome among distinct honey bee castes: queens, males and two types of workers, nurses and foragers. Despite a shared hive environment and mouth-to-mouth food transfer among nestmates, we detected separation among gut microbiomes of queens, workers, and males. Gut microbiomes of nurses and foragers were similar to previously characterized honey bee worker microbiomes and to each other, despite differences in diet, activity, and exposure to the external environment. Queen microbiomes were enriched for bacteria that may enhance metabolic conversion of energy from food to egg production. We propose that the two types of workers, which have the highest diversity of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of bacteria, are central to the maintenance of the colony microbiome. Foragers may introduce new strains of bacteria to the colony from the environment and transfer them to nurses, who filter and distribute them to the rest of the colony. Our results support the idea that host-symbiont dynamics influence microbiome composition and, reciprocally, host social behavior.

  12. Caste-specific differences in hindgut microbial communities of honey bees (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen M Kapheim

    Full Text Available Host-symbiont dynamics are known to influence host phenotype, but their role in social behavior has yet to be investigated. Variation in life history across honey bee (Apis mellifera castes may influence community composition of gut symbionts, which may in turn influence caste phenotypes. We investigated the relationship between host-symbiont dynamics and social behavior by characterizing the hindgut microbiome among distinct honey bee castes: queens, males and two types of workers, nurses and foragers. Despite a shared hive environment and mouth-to-mouth food transfer among nestmates, we detected separation among gut microbiomes of queens, workers, and males. Gut microbiomes of nurses and foragers were similar to previously characterized honey bee worker microbiomes and to each other, despite differences in diet, activity, and exposure to the external environment. Queen microbiomes were enriched for bacteria that may enhance metabolic conversion of energy from food to egg production. We propose that the two types of workers, which have the highest diversity of operational taxonomic units (OTUs of bacteria, are central to the maintenance of the colony microbiome. Foragers may introduce new strains of bacteria to the colony from the environment and transfer them to nurses, who filter and distribute them to the rest of the colony. Our results support the idea that host-symbiont dynamics influence microbiome composition and, reciprocally, host social behavior.

  13. A new dewatering technique for stingless bees honey

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    Ramli Ahmad Syazwan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the problems faced in stingless bee honey storage is spoilage by the fermentation process occurs in honey due to its high water content. There are a few techniques available currently, but they are time consuming and there is excessive heat involved in the process. The temperature of the process must be kept low because excessive heat can deteriorate nutrition value and biochemical content in honey. Hence, a new method of honey dewatering was developed using a Low Temperature Vacuum Drying (LTVD with induced nucleation technique.The objective of this research is to investigate the performance of a LTVD with induced nucleation to reduce the water content in honey. First, the honey was placed in a pressure vessel, and then air was removed. Then, the honey was slightly heated at 30°C and the water content before and after the experiment was measured by a refractometer. The steps were repeated until the water content reached below 20%. It was found that the LTVD method improved the water removal rate significantly with an average of 0.15% of water content per minute. That is 3 times much faster than the conventional method of low temperature heating by Tabouret. Higher temperature during dewatering process improved the dewatering rate significantly. It can be concluded that LTVD is a promising option in tackling the high water content in stingless bee honey issue.

  14. 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.

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

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    Dušan Paál

    2013-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Huo-Qing; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-06-01

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

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

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    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

  18. Learning context modulates aversive taste strength in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela; Serre, Marion; Avarguès-Weber, Aurore; Dyer, Adrian G; Giurfa, Martin

    2015-03-01

    The capacity of honey bees (Apis mellifera) to detect bitter substances is controversial because they ingest without reluctance different kinds of bitter solutions in the laboratory, whereas free-flying bees avoid them in visual discrimination tasks. Here, we asked whether the gustatory perception of bees changes with the behavioral context so that tastes that are less effective as negative reinforcements in a given context become more effective in a different context. We trained bees to discriminate an odorant paired with 1 mol l(-1) sucrose solution from another odorant paired with either distilled water, 3 mol l(-1) NaCl or 60 mmol l(-1) quinine. Training was either Pavlovian [olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) in harnessed bees], or mainly operant (olfactory conditioning of free-walking bees in a Y-maze). PER-trained and maze-trained bees were subsequently tested both in their original context and in the alternative context. Whereas PER-trained bees transferred their choice to the Y-maze situation, Y-maze-trained bees did not respond with a PER to odors when subsequently harnessed. In both conditioning protocols, NaCl and distilled water were the strongest and the weakest aversive reinforcement, respectively. A significant variation was found for quinine, which had an intermediate aversive effect in PER conditioning but a more powerful effect in the Y-maze, similar to that of NaCl. These results thus show that the aversive strength of quinine varies with the learning context, and reveal the plasticity of the bee's gustatory system. We discuss the experimental constraints of both learning contexts and focus on stress as a key modulator of taste in the honey bee. Further explorations of bee taste are proposed to understand the physiology of taste modulation in bees. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. Short communication. Impact of the amino acid proline on the cold hardiness of honey bee, Apis mellifera L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Mollaei

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Like many insects, honey bee can increase its cold tolerance through freeze avoidance, using antifreeze proteins (AFPs to lower its supercooling point (SCP. Proline is the most dominant amino acid in honey bee hemolymph, which can be obtained by the insect through feeding. In the current study the antifreeze activity of this amino acid was evaluated on worker honey bees, immediately before the start of cold season. The experiment was established on four treatments including three different concentrations of proline (1%, 3% and 4.35% diluted in 1:1 water sucrose syrup, and the syrup without proline (control. Newly emerged worker honey bees were fed on the mentioned diets for 2 weeks, under cage condition, and then 20 bees from each treatment (cage were selected randomly for determination of cold hardiness inside a cooling bath. Using a CHY data logger, equipped with a K100 sensor attached to the bee’s gaster, the SCP, the amount of released heat and the rate of this release as measures of insect cold hardiness were recorded. Proline significantly reduced honey bees’ SCP. The lowest point, -7.67±0.2646°C, was observed in the concentration of 1% proline. The amount of released heat and the rate of this release were not significantly different across the treatments.

  20. Pathogenesis of varroosis at the level of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegener, J; Ruhnke, H; Scheller, K; Mispagel, S; Knollmann, U; Kamp, G; Bienefeld, K

    2016-01-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa destructor, in interaction with different viruses, is the main cause of honey bee colony mortality in most parts of the world. Here we studied how effects of individual-level parasitization are reflected by the bee colony as a whole. We measured disease progression in an apiary of 24 hives with differing degree of mite infestation, and investigated its relationship to 28 biometrical, physiological and biochemical indicators. In early summer, when the most heavily infested colonies already showed reduced growth, an elevated ratio of brood to bees, as well as a strong presence of phenoloxidase/prophenoloxidase in hive bees were found to be predictors of the time of colony collapse. One month later, the learning performance of worker bees as well as the activity of glucose oxidase measured from head extracts were significantly linked to the timing of colony collapse. Colonies at the brink of collapse were characterized by reduced weight of winter bees and a strong increase in their relative body water content. Our data confirm the importance of the immune system, known from studies of individually-infested bees, for the pathogenesis of varroosis at colony level. However, they also show that single-bee effects cannot always be extrapolated to the colony as a whole. This fact, together with the prominent role of colony-level factors like the ratio between brood and bees for disease progression, stress the importance of the superorganismal dimension of Varroa research. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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 (<37 °C). As such, heat shielding is reminiscent of bioheat removal via the cardiovascular system of mammals.

  2. 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...

  3. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Proteomic analyses of male contributions to honey bee sperm storage and mating

    OpenAIRE

    Collins, A M; Caperna, T J; Williams, V; Garrett, W M; Evans, J D

    2006-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queens mate early in life and store sperm for years. Male bees likely contribute significantly to sperm survival. Proteins were extracted from seminal vesicles and semen of mature drones, separated by electrophoresis, and analysed by peptide mass fingerprinting. Computer searches against three databases, general species, honey bees and fruit flies, were performed. Spectra were used to query the recently generated honey bee genome protein list as well as general s...

  6. Exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola has no long-term impact on honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutler, G Christopher; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D

    2007-06-01

    We conducted a long-term investigation to ascertain effects on honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colonies during and after exposure to flowering canola, Brassica napus variety Hyola 420, grown from clothianidin-treated seed. Colonies were placed in the middle of 1-ha clothianidin seed-treated or control canola fields for 3 wk during bloom, and thereafter they were moved to a fall apiary. There were four treated and four control fields, and four colonies per field, giving 32 colonies total. Bee mortality, worker longevity, and brood development were regularly assessed in each colony for 130 d from initial exposure to canola. Samples of honey, beeswax, pollen, and nectar were regularly collected for 130 d, and the samples were analyzed for clothianidin residues by using high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection. Overall, no differences in bee mortality, worker longevity, or brood development occurred between control and treatment groups throughout the study. Weight gains of and honey yields from colonies in treated fields were not significantly different from those in control fields. Although clothianidin residues were detected in honey, nectar, and pollen from colonies in clothianidin-treated fields, maximum concentrations detected were 8- to 22-fold below the reported no observable adverse effects concentration. Clothianidin residues were not detected in any beeswax sample. Assessment of overwintered colonies in spring found no differences in those originally exposed to treated or control canola. The results show that honey bee colonies will, in the long-term, be unaffected by exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola.

  7. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecocq, Antoine; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Kryger, Per; 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 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. PMID:26912310

  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. 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.

  10. APIS-a novel approach for conditioning honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkerud, Nicholas H; Wehmann, Henja-Niniane; Galizia, C Giovanni; Gustav, David

    2013-01-01

    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 odors from either end can be combined with weak electric shocks to form aversive associations. To quantify behavioral 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 odor 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 (CS) in APIS correlates well with response rate obtained from conventional Proboscis Extension Response (PER)-conditioning. Additionally, we discovered that bees modulate their behavior to aversively learned odors by reducing their rate, speed and magnitude of escapes and that both generalization 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 standardized and convenient way, and its flexibility adds to the toolbox for studying honey bee behavior.

  11. APIS—a novel approach for conditioning honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkerud, Nicholas H.; Wehmann, Henja-Niniane; Galizia, C. Giovanni; Gustav, David

    2013-01-01

    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 odors from either end can be combined with weak electric shocks to form aversive associations. To quantify behavioral 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 odor 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 (CS) in APIS correlates well with response rate obtained from conventional Proboscis Extension Response (PER)-conditioning. Additionally, we discovered that bees modulate their behavior to aversively learned odors by reducing their rate, speed and magnitude of escapes and that both generalization 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 standardized and convenient way, and its flexibility adds to the toolbox for studying honey bee behavior. PMID:23616753

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-30

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

  16. Life history strategy of the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeley, Thomas D

    1978-01-01

    The feral honey bee queens (colonies) of central New York State (USA) show a K-type life history strategy. Their demographic characteristics include low early life mortality, low reproductive rate, long lifespan, high population stability and repeated reproductions. Identifying the life history strategy of these bees reveals the general pattern of selection for competitive ability, rather than productivity, which has shaped their societies. Selection for competitive power explains the adaptiveness (compared with alternatives found in many other insect societies) of the large perennial colonies, infrequent but expensive offspring, and efficient foraging which characterize the social organization of these bees.

  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...

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiguo Li

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

  1. 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

  2. A survey of the ethnozoological knowledge of honey bees Apis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey of the ethnozoological knowledge of honey bee Apis mellifera in Ijebu division of South western Nigeria was carried out to examine the pattern of invasion, control methods of their invasion and their effects in life and economy of the people which also include the medicinal and traditional utilization. The Survey was ...

  3. The role of honey bees as pollinators in natural areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clare E. Aslan; Christina T. Liang; Ben Galindo; Hill Kimberly; Walter Topete

    2016-01-01

    The western or European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the primary managed pollinator in US agricultural systems, and its importance for food production is widely recognized. However, the role of A. mellifera as an introduced species in natural areas is potentially more complicated. The impact of A. mellifera...

  4. Sensitivity analyses for simulating pesticide impacts on honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    We employ Monte Carlo simulation and sensitivity analysis techniques to describe the population dynamics of pesticide exposure to a honey bee colony using the VarroaPop + Pesticide model. Simulations are performed of hive population trajectories with and without pesti...

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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...

  7. A comparative study of marriage in honey bees optimisation (MBO ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2012-02-15

    Feb 15, 2012 ... In a typical mating, the queen mates with 7 to 20 drones. Each time the .... Honey bee mating optimisation model's pseudo-code ... for this analysis, which consists of 47 years of monthly time ... tive of Karkheh Reservoir is to control and regulate the flow of ..... Masters thesis, Maastricht University, Maastricht.

  8. Honeybee forage, bee visitation counts and the properties of honey ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of the survey was to document honeybee forage plants and asses honeybee visitation counts on different forage plants and properties of honey from selected agro-ecological zones of Uganda. In order to achieve the objectives of the study, a survey of the apiaries and beekeepers was done by selecting fifteen bee ...

  9. Foraging and pollination behaviour of the African Honey bee ( Apis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Foraging and pollination behaviour of the African Honey bee (Apis mellifera adansonii) on Callistemon rigidus flowers in Ngaoundere (Cameroon). F-N Tchuenguem Fohouo, J Messi, D Brüchner, B Bouba, G Mbofung, J Hentchoya Hemo. Abstract. No Abstract Available Journal of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences ...

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Western honey bee management for crop pollination | Toni | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Because of the low application of this technology in Africa, research must be conducted in order to access the need of pollination service and then the profitability of this technology in the current African entomological fauna context. Despite its benefits, the use of managed Western honey bees can affect native pollinators ...

  13. Brain gene expression changes elicited by peripheral vitellogenin knockdown in the honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, M M; Ament, S A; Rodriguez-Zas, S L; Robinson, G E

    2013-10-01

    Vitellogenin (Vg) is best known as a yolk protein precursor. Vg also functions to regulate behavioural maturation in adult honey bee workers, but the underlying molecular mechanisms by which it exerts this novel effect are largely unknown. We used abdominal vitellogenin (vg) knockdown with RNA interference (RNAi) and brain transcriptomic profiling to gain insights into how Vg influences honey bee behavioural maturation. We found that vg knockdown caused extensive gene expression changes in the bee brain, with much of this transcriptional response involving changes in central biological functions such as energy metabolism. vg knockdown targeted many of the same genes that show natural, maturation-related differences, but the direction of change for the genes in these two contrasts was not correlated. By contrast, vg knockdown targeted many of the same genes that are regulated by juvenile hormone (JH) and there was a significant correlation for the direction of change for the genes in these two contrasts. These results indicate that the tight coregulatory relationship that exists between JH and Vg in the regulation of honey bee behavioural maturation is manifest at the genomic level and suggest that these two physiological factors act through common pathways to regulate brain gene expression and behaviour. © 2013 Royal Entomological Society.

  14. Honey quality of Melipona sp. bees in Acre, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus Augusto Damaceno do Vale

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Honey from stingless bees (Melipona sp. is a nutritious and medicinal product economically valued in the informal Brazilian market, driven by the growing demand for natural products; however, its physicochemical characteristics are still unknown. Thus, the aim of this study is to evaluate the physicochemical profile of the stingless bee honey produced in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre. Honey samples were analyzed following the methodology recommended by Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento; the following parameters were established: moisture, total sugars, reducing sugars, apparent sucrose, ash, crude protein, diastase activity, Brix degrees, free acidity, lactonic acidity, total acidity, pH, hydroxymethylfurfural, electrical conductivity, color and Lugol, Lund and Fiehe reactions. Results show that these parameters are not suitable for all samples, being incompatible with established standards, indicating that the current legislation on Apis mellifera is not suitable for all characters analyzed, mainly moisture content, corroborating the need to standardize guidelines for honey from stingless bees. Moreover, there was no tampering in the honeys analyzed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonina Jivan

    2013-05-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Diagnosis and control of American foulbrood disease of honey bees in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blacquiere, T.; Steen, van der J.J.M.

    2006-01-01

    American foulbrood disease (AFB), caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae, is a disease of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) and other honey bee species (Apis sp.). It is distributed world wide. Spores of the bacterium can infest larvae of the bees, ultimately leading to the death of the

  18. The neglected bee trees: European beech forests as a home for feral honey bee colonies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Laurenz Kohl

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available It is a common belief that feral honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera L. were eradicated in Europe through the loss of habitats, domestication by man and spread of pathogens and parasites. Interestingly, no scientific data are available, neither about the past nor the present status of naturally nesting honeybee colonies. We expected near-natural beech (Fagus sylvatica L. forests to provide enough suitable nest sites to be a home for feral honey bee colonies in Europe. Here, we made a first assessment of their occurrence and density in two German woodland areas based on two methods, the tracing of nest sites based on forager flight routes (beelining technique, and the direct inspection of potential cavity trees. Further, we established experimental swarms at forest edges and decoded dances for nest sites performed by scout bees in order to study how far swarms from beekeeper-managed hives would potentially move into a forest. We found that feral honey bee colonies regularly inhabit tree cavities in near-natural beech forests at densities of at least 0.11–0.14 colonies/km2. Colonies were not confined to the forest edges; they were also living deep inside the forests. We estimated a median distance of 2,600 m from the bee trees to the next apiaries, while scout bees in experimental swarms communicated nest sites in close distances (median: 470 m. We extrapolate that there are several thousand feral honey bee colonies in German woodlands. These have to be taken in account when assessing the role of forest areas in providing pollination services to the surrounding land, and their occurrence has implications for the species’ perception among researchers, beekeepers and conservationists. This study provides a starting point for investigating the life-histories and the ecological interactions of honey bees in temperate European forest environments.

  19. The neglected bee trees: European beech forests as a home for feral honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Patrick Laurenz; Rutschmann, Benjamin

    2018-01-01

    It is a common belief that feral honey bee colonies ( Apis mellifera L.) were eradicated in Europe through the loss of habitats, domestication by man and spread of pathogens and parasites. Interestingly, no scientific data are available, neither about the past nor the present status of naturally nesting honeybee colonies. We expected near-natural beech ( Fagus sylvatica L.) forests to provide enough suitable nest sites to be a home for feral honey bee colonies in Europe. Here, we made a first assessment of their occurrence and density in two German woodland areas based on two methods, the tracing of nest sites based on forager flight routes (beelining technique), and the direct inspection of potential cavity trees. Further, we established experimental swarms at forest edges and decoded dances for nest sites performed by scout bees in order to study how far swarms from beekeeper-managed hives would potentially move into a forest. We found that feral honey bee colonies regularly inhabit tree cavities in near-natural beech forests at densities of at least 0.11-0.14 colonies/km 2 . Colonies were not confined to the forest edges; they were also living deep inside the forests. We estimated a median distance of 2,600 m from the bee trees to the next apiaries, while scout bees in experimental swarms communicated nest sites in close distances (median: 470 m). We extrapolate that there are several thousand feral honey bee colonies in German woodlands. These have to be taken in account when assessing the role of forest areas in providing pollination services to the surrounding land, and their occurrence has implications for the species' perception among researchers, beekeepers and conservationists. This study provides a starting point for investigating the life-histories and the ecological interactions of honey bees in temperate European forest environments.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Epigenetic modification of gene expression in honey bees by heterospecific gland secretions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Yuan Shi

    Full Text Available In the honey bee (Apis mellifera, queen and workers have different behavior and reproductive capacity despite possessing the same genome. The primary substance that leads to this differentiation is royal jelly (RJ, which contains a range of proteins, amino acids, vitamins and nucleic acids. MicroRNA (miRNA has been found to play an important role in regulating the expression of protein-coding genes and cell biology. In this study, we characterized the miRNAs in RJ from two honey bee sister species and determined their possible effect on transcriptome in one species.We sequenced the miRNAs in RJ either from A. mellifera (RJM or A. cerana (RJC. We then determined the global transcriptomes of adult A. mellifera developed from larvae fed either with RJM (mRJM or RJC (mRJC. Finally we analyzed the target genes of those miRNA that are species specific or differentially expressed in the two honey bee species. We show that there were differences in miRNA between RJM and RJC, and that transcriptomes of adult A. mellifera were affected by the two types of RJ. A high proportion (23.3% of the affected genes were target genes of differential miRNAs.We show for the first time that there are differences in miRNAs in RJ between A. mellifera and A. cerana. Further, the differences in transcriptomes of bees reared from these two RJs might be related to miRNA differences of the two species. This study provides the first evidence that heterospecific royal jelly can modify gene expression in honey bees through an epigenetic mechanism.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis vanEngelsdorp

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

  7. Honey bees consider larval nutritional status rather than genetic relatedness when selecting larvae for emergency queen rearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagili, Ramesh R; Metz, Bradley N; Lucas, Hannah M; Chakrabarti, Priyadarshini; Breece, Carolyn R

    2018-05-16

    In honey bees and many other social insects, production of queens is a vital task, as colony fitness is dependent on queens. The factors considered by honey bee workers in selecting larvae to rear new queens during emergency queen rearing are poorly understood. Identifying these parameters is critical, both in an evolutionary and apicultural context. As female caste development in honey bees is dependent on larval diet (i.e. nutrition), we hypothesized that larval nutritional state is meticulously assessed and used by workers in selection of larvae for queen rearing. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a series of experiments manipulating the nutritional status of one day old larvae by depriving them of brood food for a four-hour period, and then allowing workers to choose larvae for rearing queens from nutritionally deprived and non-deprived larvae. We simultaneously investigated the role of genetic relatedness in selection of larvae for queen rearing. In all the experiments, significantly greater numbers of non-deprived larvae than deprived larvae were selected for queen rearing irrespective of genetic relatedness. Our results demonstrate that honey bees perceive the nutritional state of larvae and use that information when selecting larvae for rearing queens in the natural emergency queen replacement process.

  8. 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.

  9. Intraspecific Aggression in Giant Honey Bees (Apis dorsata

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    Frank Weihmann

    2014-09-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. A common neonicotinoid pesticide, thiamethoxam, alters honey bee activity, motor functions, and movement to light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosi, S; Nieh, J C

    2017-11-09

    Honey bees provide key ecosystem services. To pollinate and to sustain the colony, workers must walk, climb, and use phototaxis as they move inside and outside the nest. Phototaxis, orientation to light, is linked to sucrose responsiveness and the transition of work from inside to outside the nest, and is also a key component of division of labour. However, the sublethal effects of pesticides on locomotion and movement to light are relatively poorly understood. Thiamethoxam (TMX) is a common neonicotinoid pesticide that bees can consume in nectar and pollen. We used a vertical arena illuminated from the top to test the effects of acute and chronic sublethal exposures to TMX. Acute consumption (1.34 ng/bee) impaired locomotion, caused hyperactivity (velocity: +109%; time moving: +44%) shortly after exposure (30 min), and impaired motor functions (falls: +83%; time top: -43%; time bottom: +93%; abnormal behaviours: +138%; inability to ascend: +280%) over a longer period (60 min). A 2-day chronic exposure (field-relevant daily intakes of 1.42-3.48 ng/bee/day) impaired bee ability to ascend. TMX increased movement to light after acute and chronic exposure. Thus, TMX could reduce colony health by harming worker locomotion and, potentially, alter division of labour if bees move outside or remain outdoors.

  12. Chronic Nosema ceranae infection inflicts comprehensive and persistent immunosuppression and accelerated lipid loss in host Apis mellifera honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wenfeng; Chen, Yanping; Cook, Steven C

    2018-05-01

    Nosema ceranae is an intracellular microsporidian parasite of the Asian honey bee Apis cerana and the European honey bee Apis mellifera. Until relatively recently, A. mellifera honey bees were naïve to N. ceranae infection. Symptoms of nosemosis, or Nosema disease, in the infected hosts include immunosuppression, damage to gut epithelium, nutrient and energetic stress, precocious foraging and reduced longevity of infected bees. Links remain unclear between immunosuppression, the symptoms of nutrient and energetic stress, and precocious foraging behavior of hosts. To clarify physiological connections, we inoculated newly emerged A. mellifera adult workers with N. ceranae spores, and over 21 days post inoculation (21 days pi), gauged infection intensity and quantified expression of genes representing two innate immune pathways, Toll and Imd. Additionally, we measured each host's whole-body protein, lipids, carbohydrates and quantified respirometric and activity levels. Results show sustained suppression of genes of both humorally regulated immune response pathways after 6 days pi. At 7 days pi, elevated protein levels of infected bees may reflect synthesis of antimicrobial peptides from an initial immune response, but the lack of protein gain compared with uninfected bees at 14 days pi may represent low de novo protein synthesis. Carbohydrate data do not indicate that hosts experience severe metabolic stress related to this nutrient. At 14 days pi infected honey bees show high respirometric and activity levels, and corresponding lipid loss, suggesting lipids may be used as fuel for increased metabolic demands resulting from infection. Accelerated lipid loss during nurse honey bee behavioral development can have cascading effects on downstream physiology that may lead to precocious foraging, which is a major factor driving colony collapse. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. The endangered Iris atropurpurea (Iridaceae) in Israel: honey-bees, night-sheltering male bees and female solitary bees as pollinators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Stella; Sapir, Yuval; Segal, Bosmat; Dafni, Amots

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims The coastal plain of Israel hosts the last few remaining populations of the endemic Iris atropurpurea (Iridaceae), a Red List species of high conservation priority. The flowers offer no nectar reward. Here the role of night-sheltering male solitary bees, honey-bees and female solitary bees as pollinators of I. atropurpurea is documented. Methods Breeding system, floral longevity, stigma receptivity, visitation rates, pollen loads, pollen deposition and removal and fruit- and seed-set were investigated. Key Results The main wild pollinators of this plant are male eucerine bees, and to a lesser extent, but with the potential to transfer pollen, female solitary bees. Honey-bees were found to be frequent diurnal visitors; they removed large quantities of pollen and were as effective as male sheltering bees at pollinating this species. The low density of pollen carried by male solitary bees was attributed to grooming activities, pollen displacement when bees aggregated together in flowers and pollen depletion by honey-bees. In the population free of honey-bee hives, male bees carried significantly more pollen grains on their bodies. Results from pollen analysis and pollen deposited on stigmas suggest that inadequate pollination may be an important factor limiting fruit-set. In the presence of honey-bees, eucerine bees were low removal–low deposition pollinators, whereas honey-bees were high removal–low deposition pollinators, because they removed large amounts into corbiculae and deposited relatively little onto receptive stigmas. Conclusions Even though overall, both bee taxa were equally effective pollinators, we suggest that honey-bees have the potential to reduce the amount of pollen available for plant reproduction, and to reduce the amount of resources available to solitary bee communities. The results of this study have potential implications for the conservation of this highly endangered plant species if hives are permitted inside

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliash, Nurit; Singh, Nitin Kumar; Kamer, Yosef; Pinnelli, Govardhana Reddy; Plettner, Erika; Soroker, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    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. 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. These data indicate the potential of the selected compounds to disrupt the Varroa--honey bee associations, thus opening new avenues for Varroa control.

  17. 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 ...

  18. Ovarian control of nectar collection in the honey bee (Apis mellifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam J Siegel

    Full Text Available Honey bees are a model system for the study of division of labor. Worker bees demonstrate a foraging division of labor (DOL by biasing collection towards carbohydrates (nectar or protein (pollen. The Reproductive ground-plan hypothesis of Amdam et al. proposes that foraging DOL is regulated by the networks that controlled foraging behavior during the reproductive life cycle of honey bee ancestors. Here we test a proposed mechanism through which the ovary of the facultatively sterile worker impacts foraging bias. The proposed mechanism suggests that the ovary has a regulatory effect on sucrose sensitivity, and sucrose sensitivity impacts nectar loading. We tested this mechanism by measuring worker ovary size (ovariole number, sucrose sensitivity, and sucrose solution load size collected from a rate-controlled artificial feeder. We found a significant interaction between ovariole number and sucrose sensitivity on sucrose solution load size when using low concentration nectar. This supports our proposed mechanism. As nectar and pollen loading are not independent, a mechanism impacting nectar load size would also impact pollen load size.

  19. Genetic variability of European honey bee, Apis mellifera in mid hills ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bassi

    2014-02-19

    Feb 19, 2014 ... honey bees: bee brood was lyophilized, and ground with liquid nitrogen solution with .... fied RAPD loci in nine genotypes of A. mellifera (Figure. 3). The amplified .... used the polymorphism and segregation of RAPD markers.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio Porrini

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

  1. Imidacloprid decreases honey bee survival but does not affect the gut microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymann, Kasie; Motta, Erick V S; Girard, Catherine; Riddington, Ian M; Dinser, Jordan A; Moran, Nancy A

    2018-04-20

    Accumulating evidence suggests that pesticides have played a role in the increased rate of honeybee colony loss. One of the most commonly used pesticides in the US is the neonicotinoid imidacloprid. Although the primary mode of action of imidacloprid is the insect nervous system, it has also been shown to cause changes insects' digestive physiology, and alter the microbiota of Drosophila melanogaster larvae. The honey bee gut microbiome plays a major role in bee health. Although many studies have shown that imidacloprid affects honey bee behavior, its impact on the microbiome has not been fully elucidated. Here we investigated the impact of imidacloprid on the gut microbiome composition, survivorship of honey bees, and susceptibility to pathogens. Consistent with other studies, we show that imidacloprid exposure results in elevated mortality of honey bees in the hive and increases susceptibility to infection by pathogens. However, we did not find evidence that imidacloprid affects the gut bacterial community of honey bees. Our in vitro experiments demonstrated that honey bee gut bacteria can grow in the presence of imidacloprid, and we found some evidence that imidacloprid can be metabolized in the bee gut environment. However, none of the individual bee gut bacterial species tested could metabolize imidacloprid, suggesting that the observed metabolism of imidacloprid in vitro bee gut cultures is not caused by the gut bacteria. Overall, our results indicate that imidacloprid causes increased mortality in honey bees, but this mortality does not appear to be linked to the microbiome. Importance Growing evidence suggests that the extensive use of pesticides has played a large role in the increased rate of honey bee colony loss. Despite extensive research on the effects of imidacloprid on honey bees, it is still unknown whether it impacts the community structure of the gut microbiome. Here we investigated the impact of imidacloprid on the gut microbiome composition

  2. Native Honey Bees Outperform Adventive Honey Bees in Increasing Pyrus bretschneideri (Rosales: Rosaceae) Pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gemeda, Tolera Kumsa; Shao, Youquan; Wu, Wenqin; Yang, Huipeng; Huang, Jiaxing; Wu, Jie

    2017-12-05

    The foraging behavior of different bee species is a key factor influencing the pollination efficiency of different crops. Most pear species exhibit full self-incompatibility and thus depend entirely on cross-pollination. However, as little is known about the pear visitation preferences of native Apis cerana (Fabricius; Hymenoptera: Apidae) and adventive Apis mellifera (L.; Hymenoptera: Apidae) in China. A comparative analysis was performed to explore the pear-foraging differences of these species under the natural conditions of pear growing areas. The results show significant variability in the pollen-gathering tendency of these honey bees. Compared to A. mellifera, A. cerana begins foraging at an earlier time of day and gathers a larger amount of pollen in the morning. Based on pollen collection data, A. mellifera shows variable preferences: vigorously foraging on pear on the first day of observation but collecting pollen from non-target floral resources on other experimental days. Conversely, A. cerana persists in pear pollen collection, without shifting preference to other competitive flowers. Therefore, A. cerana outperforms adventive A. mellifera with regard to pear pollen collection under natural conditions, which may lead to increased pear pollination. This study supports arguments in favor of further multiplication and maintenance of A. cerana for pear and other native crop pollination. Moreover, it is essential to develop alternative pollination management techniques to utilize A. mellifera for pear pollination. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Molecular, physiological and behavioral responses of honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones to infection with microsporidian parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Holly L; Villar, Gabriel; Cheng, Weiyi; Song, Jun; Grozinger, Christina M

    2018-04-26

    Susceptibility to pathogens and parasites often varies between sexes due to differences in life history traits and selective pressures. Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae are damaging intestinal pathogens of European honey bees (Apis mellifera). Nosema pathology has primarily been characterized in female workers where infection is energetically costly and accelerates worker behavioral maturation. Few studies, however, have examined infection costs in male honey bees (drones) to determine if Nosema similarly affects male energetic status and sexual maturation. We infected newly emerged adult drones with Nosema spores and conducted a series of molecular, physiological, and behavioral assays to characterize Nosema etiology in drones. We found that infected drones starved faster than controls and exhibited altered patterns of flight activity in the field, consistent with energetic distress or altered rates of sexual maturation. Moreover, expression of candidate genes with metabolic and/or hormonal functions, including members of the insulin signaling pathway, differed by infection status. Of note, while drone molecular responses generally tracked predictions based on worker studies, several aspects of infected drone flight behavior contrasted with previous observations of infected workers. While Nosema infection clearly imposed energetic costs in males, infection had no impact on drone sperm numbers and had only limited effects on antennal responsiveness to a major queen sex pheromone component (9-ODA). We compare Nosema pathology in drones with previous studies describing symptoms in workers and discuss ramifications for drone and colony fitness. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A Berry

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Mang; Buchmann, Gabriele; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Beekman, Madeleine; Ashe, Alyson

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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

  9. Accelerated behavioural development changes fine-scale search behaviour and spatial memory in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ushitani, Tomokazu; Perry, Clint J; Cheng, Ken; Barron, Andrew B

    2016-02-01

    Normally, worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) begin foraging when more than 2 weeks old as adults, but if individual bees or the colony is stressed, bees often begin foraging precociously. Here, we examined whether bees that accelerated their behavioural development to begin foraging precociously differed from normal-aged foragers in cognitive performance. We used a social manipulation to generate precocious foragers from small experimental colonies and tested their performance in a free-flight visual reversal learning task, and a test of spatial memory. To assess spatial memory, bees were trained to learn the location of a small sucrose feeder within an array of three landmarks. In tests, the feeder and one landmark were removed and the search behaviour of the bees was recorded. Performance of precocious and normal-aged foragers did not differ in a visual reversal learning task, but the two groups showed a clear difference in spatial memory. Flight behaviour suggested normal-aged foragers were better able to infer the position of the removed landmark and feeder relative to the remaining landmarks than precocious foragers. Previous studies have documented the cognitive decline of old foragers, but this is the first suggestion of a cognitive deficit in young foragers. These data imply that worker honey bees continue their cognitive development during the adult stage. These findings may also help to explain why precocious foragers perform quite poorly as foragers and have a higher than normal loss rate. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    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 ...

  11. 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. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Pollination of tomatoes by the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata and the honey bee Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, S A Bispo; Roselino, A C; Hrncir, M; Bego, L R

    2009-06-30

    The pollination effectiveness of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata and the honey bee Apis mellifera was tested in tomato plots. The experiment was conducted in four greenhouses as well as in an external open plot in Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. The tomato plants were exposed to visits by M. quadrifasciata in one greenhouse and to A. mellifera in another; two greenhouses were maintained without bees (controls) and an open field plot was exposed to pollinators in an area where both honey bee and stingless bee colonies are abundant. We counted the number of tomatoes produced in each plot. Two hundred tomatoes from each plot were weighed, their vertical and transversal circumferences were measured, and the seeds were counted. We collected 253 Chrysomelidae, 17 Halictidae, one Paratrigona sp, and one honey bee from the flowers of the tomato plants in the open area. The largest number of fruits (1414 tomatoes), the heaviest and largest tomatoes, and the ones with the most seed were collected from the greenhouse with stingless bees. Fruits cultivated in the greenhouse with honey bees had the same weight and size as those produced in one of the control greenhouses. The stingless bee, M. quadrifasciata, was significantly more efficient than honey bees in pollinating greenhouse tomatoes.

  13. 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

    2017-03-07

    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.

  14. Gamma irradiation inactivates honey bee fungal, microsporidian, and viral pathogens and parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Aronstein, Kate; Goblirsch, Michael; Rinkevich, Frank; de Guzman, Lilia

    2018-03-01

    Managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations are currently facing unsustainable losses due to a variety of factors. Colonies are challenged with brood pathogens, such as the fungal agent of chalkbrood disease, the microsporidian gut parasite Nosema spp., and several viruses. These pathogens may be transmitted horizontally from worker to worker, vertically from queen to egg and via vectors like the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor. Despite the fact that these pathogens are widespread and often harbored in wax comb that is reused from year to year and transferred across beekeeping operations, few, if any, universal treatments exist for their control. In order to mitigate some of these biological threats to honey bees and to allow for more sustainable reuse of equipment, investigations into techniques for the sterilization of hive equipment and comb are of particular significance. Here, we investigated the potential of gamma irradiation for inactivation of the fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis, the microsporidian Nosema ceranae and three honey bee viruses (Deformed wing virus [DWV], Black queen cell virus [BQCV], and Chronic bee paralysis virus [CBPV]), focusing on the infectivity of these pathogens post-irradiation. Results indicate that gamma irradiation can effectively inactivate A. apis, N. ceranae, and DWV. Partial inactivation was noted for BQCV and CBPV, but this did not reduce effects on mortality at the tested, relatively high doses. These findings highlight the importance of studying infection rate and symptom development post-treatment and not simply rate or quantity detected. These findings suggest that gamma irradiation may function as a broad treatment to help mitigate colony losses and the spread of pathogens through the exchange of comb across colonies, but raises the question why some viruses appear to be unaffected. These results provide the basis for subsequent studies on benefits of irradiation of used comb for colony health and productivity

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sponsler, D B; Johnson, R M

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Structure of deformed wing virus, a major honey bee pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Škubník, Karel; Nováček, Jiří; Füzik, Tibor; Přidal, Antonín; Paxton, Robert J; Plevka, Pavel

    2017-03-21

    The worldwide population of western honey bees ( Apis mellifera ) is under pressure from habitat loss, environmental stress, and pathogens, particularly viruses that cause lethal epidemics. Deformed wing virus (DWV) from the family Iflaviridae , together with its vector, the mite Varroa destructor , is likely the major threat to the world's honey bees. However, lack of knowledge of the atomic structures of iflaviruses has hindered the development of effective treatments against them. Here, we present the virion structures of DWV determined to a resolution of 3.1 Å using cryo-electron microscopy and 3.8 Å by X-ray crystallography. The C-terminal extension of capsid protein VP3 folds into a globular protruding (P) domain, exposed on the virion surface. The P domain contains an Asp-His-Ser catalytic triad that is, together with five residues that are spatially close, conserved among iflaviruses. These residues may participate in receptor binding or provide the protease, lipase, or esterase activity required for entry of the virus into a host cell. Furthermore, nucleotides of the DWV RNA genome interact with VP3 subunits. The capsid protein residues involved in the RNA binding are conserved among honey bee iflaviruses, suggesting a putative role of the genome in stabilizing the virion or facilitating capsid assembly. Identifying the RNA-binding and putative catalytic sites within the DWV virion structure enables future analyses of how DWV and other iflaviruses infect insect cells and also opens up possibilities for the development of antiviral treatments.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. A review of neurohormone GPCRs present in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster and the honey bee Apis mellifera

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauser, Frank; Cazzamali, Giuseppe; Williamson, Michael

    2006-01-01

    in the recently sequenced genome from the honey bee Apis mellifera. We found 35 neuropeptide receptor genes in the honey bee (44 in Drosophila) and two genes, coding for leucine-rich repeats-containing protein hormone GPCRs (4 in Drosophila). In addition, the honey bee has 19 biogenic amine receptor genes (21...

  2. 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

    ...] Notice of Availability of a Draft Pest Risk Assessment on Honey Bees Imported from Australia AGENCY... evaluation of the pest risks associated with the importation of honey bees from Australia. The draft pest... States from Australia after concerns that exotic honey bee pathogens or parasites may have been...

  3. 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.

  4. Researches on the Influence of Some Apicol Stimulators Use in the Supplemental Feeding of Honey Bee Colonies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Patruica

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the results of supplemental feedings use applied to honey bee colonies in autumn. The experiments were carried out between August 20th 2011 and July 2012, in Berini locality, Timiș County (Romania, on 32 Apis meliffera honey bee colonies, divided into four experimental variants. Honey bee families were fed in order to supplement the honey food reserves with sugar syrup containing medicinal plants, or with APIMERA product. During the experimental period, there were being studied the number of brood combs after hibernation, the quantity of broods at the beginning of spring, as well as the quantity of honey and pollen obtained by the studied bee colonies. The best results regarding the development of honey bee colonies in spring were obtained in honey bee colonies for which food reserves have been supplemented with honey combs, followed by the bee colonies fed with sugar syrup containing medicinal plants supplements.

  5. Honey bee-inspired algorithms for SNP haplotype reconstruction problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    PourkamaliAnaraki, Maryam; Sadeghi, Mehdi

    2016-03-01

    Reconstructing haplotypes from SNP fragments is an important problem in computational biology. There have been a lot of interests in this field because haplotypes have been shown to contain promising data for disease association research. It is proved that haplotype reconstruction in Minimum Error Correction model is an NP-hard problem. Therefore, several methods such as clustering techniques, evolutionary algorithms, neural networks and swarm intelligence approaches have been proposed in order to solve this problem in appropriate time. In this paper, we have focused on various evolutionary clustering techniques and try to find an efficient technique for solving haplotype reconstruction problem. It can be referred from our experiments that the clustering methods relying on the behaviour of honey bee colony in nature, specifically bees algorithm and artificial bee colony methods, are expected to result in more efficient solutions. An application program of the methods is available at the following link. http://www.bioinf.cs.ipm.ir/software/haprs/

  6. Genetic variability of European honey bee, Apis mellifera in mid hills ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    To observe the genetic variability in European honey bee, A. mellifera, PCR was run separately with five primers and analysis of the banding pattern was worked out to investigate the molecular profile of honey bee genotypes collected from different locations having random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) primers.

  7. 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 ...

  8. Nosema parasitism in honey bees (Apis mellifera) impacts olfactory learning and memory and neurochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nosema sp. is an internal parasite of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, and one of the leading contributors to colony losses worldwide. This parasite is found in the honey bee midgut, and has profound consequences on the host’s physiology. There are reports that Nosema sp. impairs foraging performance ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Protocols to test the activity of antimicrobial peptides against the honey bee pathogen Paenibacillus larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khilnani, Jasmin C; Wing, Helen J

    2015-10-01

    Paenibacillus larvae is the causal agent of the honey bee disease American Foulbrood. Two enhanced protocols that allow the activity of antimicrobial peptides to be tested against P. larvae are presented. Proof of principle experiments demonstrate that the honey bee antimicrobial peptide defensin 1 is active in both assays. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) nurses do not consume pollens based on their nutritional quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) consume a variety of pollens to meet the majority of their requirements for protein and lipids. Recent work indicates that at both the colony and individual levels, honey bees prefer diets that reflect the proper ratio of nutrients necessary for optimal survival and homeo...

  13. Differential responses to DWV infection in honey bees: A case of tolerance or resistance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bees contend with a variety of abiotic and biotic stressors, and this has led to high and likely unsustainable annual colony mortality. The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is the biggest threat affecting honey bee health in large part because of the viruses that mites vector while feeding...

  14. 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,

  15. Chemical communication in the honey bee scarab pest Oplostomus haroldi: role of (Z)-9-Pentacosene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oplostomus haroldi Witte belongs to a unique genus of afro-tropical scarabs that have associations with honey bee colonies, from which they derive vital nutrients. Although the attributes of the honey bee nest impose barriers to communication among nest invaders, this beetle still is able to detect ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Availability of environmental radioactivity to honey bee colonies at Los Alamos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hakonson, T.E.; Bostick, K.V.

    1976-01-01

    Data are presented on the availability of tritium, cesium 137, and plutonium to honey bee colonies foraging in the environment surrounding the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Sources of these radionuclides in the laboratory environs include liquid and atmospheric effluents and buried solid waste. Honey bee colonies were placed in three canyon liquid waste disposal areas and were sampled frequently, along with honey, surface water, and surrounding vegetation, to qualitatively determine the availability of these radionuclides to bees (Apis mellifera) and to identify potential food chain sources of the elements. Tritium concentrations in bee and honey samples from the canyons increased rapidly from initial values of 137 Cs in the environs. The existence of at least three radionuclide sources in the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) environs complicates the interpretation of the data. However, it is apparent that honey bees can acquire 3 H, 137 Cs, and Pu from multiple sources in the environs

  3. USDA research and honey bee health

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  4. 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.

  5. Measurement of optical activity of honey bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Gutiérrez, Mauricio; Olivares-Pérez, Arturo; Salgado-Verduzco, Marco Antonio; Ibarra-Torres, Juan Carlos

    2016-03-01

    Optical activity of some substances, such as chiral molecules, often exhibits circular birefringence. Circular birefringence causes rotation of the vibration plane of the plane polarized light as it passes through the substance. In this work we present optical characterization of honey as function of the optical activity when it is placed in a polariscope that consists of a light source and properly arranged polarizing elements.

  6. The distribution of Paenibacillus larvae spores in adult bees and honey and larval mortality, following the addition of American foulbrood diseased brood or spore-contaminated honey in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindström, Anders; Korpela, Seppo; Fries, Ingemar

    2008-09-01

    Within colony transmission of Paenibacillus larvae spores was studied by giving spore-contaminated honey comb or comb containing 100 larvae killed by American foulbrood to five experimental colonies respectively. We registered the impact of the two treatments on P. larvae spore loads in adult bees and honey and on larval mortality by culturing for spores in samples of adult bees and honey, respectively, and by measuring larval survival. The results demonstrate a direct effect of treatment on spore levels in adult bees and honey as well as on larval mortality. Colonies treated with dead larvae showed immediate high spore levels in adult bee samples, while the colonies treated with contaminated honey showed a comparable spore load but the effect was delayed until the bees started to utilize the honey at the end of the flight season. During the winter there was a build up of spores in the adult bees, which may increase the risk for infection in spring. The results confirm that contaminated honey can act as an environmental reservoir of P. larvae spores and suggest that less spores may be needed in honey, compared to in diseased brood, to produce clinically diseased colonies. The spore load in adult bee samples was significantly related to larval mortality but the spore load of honey samples was not.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Johnson, Brian R; Harpur, Brock A; Kent, Clement F; Zayed, Amro; Anderson, Kirk E; Linksvayer, Timothy A

    2015-11-01

    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 genes with putative direct and indirect effects on honey bee caste development, and we subsequently studied the relative rates of molecular evolution at these caste-associated genes. We experimentally induced the production of new queens by removing the current colony queen, and we used RNA sequencing to study the gene expression profiles of both developing larvae and their caregiving nurses before and after queen removal. By comparing the gene expression profiles of queen-destined versus worker-destined larvae as well as nurses observed feeding these two types of larvae, we identified larval and nurse genes associated with caste development. Of 950 differentially expressed genes associated with caste, 82% were expressed in larvae with putative direct effects on larval caste, and 18% were expressed in nurses with putative indirect effects on caste. Estimated selection coefficients suggest that both nurse and larval genes putatively associated with caste are rapidly evolving, especially those genes associated with worker development. Altogether, our results suggest that indirect effect genes play important roles in both the expression and evolution of socially influenced traits such as caste.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Diane M

    2016-10-01

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

  11. Introgression of lineage c honey bees into black honey bee populations: a genome-wide estimation using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPS)

    OpenAIRE

    Henriques, Dora; Chavez-Galarza, Julio; Kryger, Per; Johnston, J. Spencer; De la Rúa, Pilar; Rufino, José; Dall'Olio, Raffaele; Garnery, Lionel; Pinto, M. Alice

    2012-01-01

    The black honey bee, Apis mellifera mellifera L., is probably the honey bee subspecies more threatened by introgression from foreign subspecies, specially lineage C A. m. carnica and A. m. ligustica. In fact, in some areas of its distributional range, intensive beekeeping with foreign subspecies has driven A. m. mellifera populations to nearly replacement. While massive and repeated introductions may lead to loss of native genetic patrimony, a low level of gene flow can also be detrimental be...

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam G Dolezal

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

  14. Effects of Oral Exposure to Fungicides on Honey Bee Nutrition and Virus Levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Chen, Yanping; Watkins Dejong, Emily; Chambers, Mona L; Hidalgo, Geoffrey

    2015-12-01

    Sublethal exposure to fungicides can affect honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in ways that resemble malnutrition. These include reduced brood rearing, queen loss, and increased pathogen levels. We examined the effects of oral exposure to the fungicides boscalid and pyraclostrobin on factors affecting colony nutrition and immune function including pollen consumption, protein digestion, hemolymph protein titers, and changes in virus levels. Because the fungicides are respiratory inhibitors, we also measured ATP concentrations in flight muscle. The effects were evaluated in 3- and 7-d-old worker bees at high fungicide concentrations in cage studies, and at field-relevant concentrations in colony studies. Though fungicide levels differed greatly between the cage and colony studies, similar effects were observed. Hemolymph protein concentrations were comparable between bees feeding on pollen with and without added fungicides. However, in both cage and colony studies, bees consumed less pollen containing fungicides and digested less of the protein. Bees fed fungicide-treated pollen also had lower ATP concentrations and higher virus titers. The combination of effects we detected could produce symptoms that are similar to those from poor nutrition and weaken colonies making them more vulnerable to loss from additional stressors such as parasites and pathogens. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2015. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appler, R Holden; Frank, Steven D; Tarpy, David R

    2015-10-29

    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. Extending the honey bee venome with the antimicrobial peptide apidaecin and a protein resembling wasp antigen 5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Vaerenbergh, M; Cardoen, D; Formesyn, E M; Brunain, M; Van Driessche, G; Blank, S; Spillner, E; Verleyen, P; Wenseleers, T; Schoofs, L; Devreese, B; de Graaf, D C

    2013-04-01

    Honey bee venom is a complex mixture of toxic proteins and peptides. In the present study we tried to extend our knowledge of the venom composition using two different approaches. First, worker venom was analysed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and this revealed the antimicrobial peptide apidaecin for the first time in such samples. Its expression in the venom gland was confirmed by reverse transcription PCR and by a peptidomic analysis of the venom apparatus tissue. Second, genome mining revealed a list of proteins with resemblance to known insect allergens or venom toxins, one of which showed homology to proteins of the antigen 5 (Ag5)/Sol i 3 cluster. It was demonstrated that the honey bee Ag5-like gene is expressed by venom gland tissue of winter bees but not of summer bees. Besides this seasonal variation, it shows an interesting spatial expression pattern with additional production in the hypopharyngeal glands, the brains and the midgut. Finally, our immunoblot study revealed that both synthetic apidaecin and the Ag5-like recombinant from bacteria evoke no humoral activity in beekeepers. Also, no IgG4-based cross-reactivity was detected between the honey bee Ag5-like protein and its yellow jacket paralogue Ves v 5. © 2013 Royal Entomological Society.

  18. Nosema ceranae parasitism impacts olfactory learning and memory and neurochemistry in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gage, Stephanie L; Kramer, Catherine; Calle, Samantha; Carroll, Mark; Heien, Michael; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria

    2018-02-19

    Nosema sp. is an internal parasite of the honey bee, Apis mellifera , and one of the leading contributors to colony losses worldwide. This parasite is found in the honey bee midgut and has profound consequences for the host's physiology. Nosema sp. impairs foraging performance in honey bees, yet, it is unclear whether this parasite affects the bee's neurobiology. In this study, we examined whether Nosema sp. affects odor learning and memory and whether the brains of parasitized bees show differences in amino acids and biogenic amines. We took newly emerged bees and fed them with Nosema ceranae At approximate nurse and forager ages, we employed an odor-associative conditioning assay using the proboscis extension reflex and two bioanalytical techniques to measure changes in brain chemistry. We found that nurse-aged bees infected with N. ceranae significantly outperformed controls in odor learning and memory, suggestive of precocious foraging, but by forager age, infected bees showed deficits in learning and memory. We also detected significant differences in amino acid concentrations, some of which were age specific, as well as altered serotonin, octopamine, dopamine and l-dopa concentrations in the brains of parasitized bees. These findings suggest that N. ceranae infection affects honey bee neurobiology and may compromise behavioral tasks. These results yield new insight into the host-parasite dynamic of honey bees and N. ceranae , as well as the neurochemistry of odor learning and memory under normal and parasitic conditions. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. Can We Disrupt the Sensing of Honey Bees by the Bee Parasite Varroa destructor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliash, Nurit; Singh, Nitin Kumar; Kamer, Yosef; Pinnelli, Govardhana Reddy; Plettner, Erika; Soroker, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25226388

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

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    Nurit Eliash

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. Published by Oxford University Press [on behalf of Entomological Society of America] 2015. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  4. Nosema ceranae induced mortality in honey bees (Apis mellifera) depends on infection methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milbrath, Meghan O; Xie, Xianbing; Huang, Zachary Y

    2013-09-01

    Nosema ceranae infection can reduce survival of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, but experiments examining its virulence have highly variable results. This variation may arise from differences in experimental techniques. We examined survival effects of two techniques: Nosema infection at day 1 without anesthesia and infection at day 5 using CO2 anesthesia. All bees infected with the latter method had poorer survival. Interestingly, these bees also had significantly fewer spores than bees infected without anesthesia. These results indicate that differences in Nosema ceranae-induced mortality in honey bees may be partially due to differences in experimental techniques. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations face declines commonly attributed to pesticide, pathogen, and parasite stress. One way beekeepers combat these stressors is by providing supplemental protein diets to honey bee colonies to ensure adequate colony nutrition. However Nosema spp., a microsporidian parasite of the honey bee, is thought to be associated closely with a colony's nutritional intake, thus possibly negating any benefit the bees otherwise would have received from a nutrit...

  10. A genome-wide signature of positive selection in ancient and recent invasive expansions of the honey bee Apis mellifera

    OpenAIRE

    Zayed, Amro; Whitfield, Charles W.

    2008-01-01

    Apis mellifera originated in Africa and extended its range into Eurasia in two or more ancient expansions. In 1956, honey bees of African origin were introduced into South America, their descendents admixing with previously introduced European bees, giving rise to the highly invasive and economically devastating “Africanized” honey bee. Here we ask whether the honey bee's out-of-Africa expansions, both ancient and recent (invasive), were associated with a genome-wide signature of positive sel...

  11. The microRNA ame-miR-279a regulates sucrose responsiveness of forager honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Fang; Shi, Tengfei; Yin, Wei; Su, Xin; Qi, Lei; Huang, Zachary Y; Zhang, Shaowu; Yu, Linsheng

    2017-11-01

    Increasing evidence demonstrates that microRNAs (miRNA) play an important role in the regulation of animal behaviours. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are eusocial insects, with honey bee workers displaying age-dependent behavioural maturation. Many different miRNAs have been implicated in the change of behaviours in honey bees and ame-miR-279a was previously shown to be more highly expressed in nurse bee heads than in those of foragers. However, it was not clear whether this difference in expression was associated with age or task performance. Here we show that ame-miR-279a shows significantly higher expression in the brains of nurse bees relative to forager bees regardless of their ages, and that ame-miR-279a is primarily localized in the Kenyon cells of the mushroom body in both foragers and nurses. Overexpression of ame-miR-279a attenuates the sucrose responsiveness of foragers, while its absence enhances their sucrose responsiveness. Lastly, we determined that ame-miR-279a directly target the mRNA of Mblk-1. These findings suggest that ame-miR-279a plays important roles in regulating honey bee division of labour. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. Parasitized honey bees are less likely to forage and carry less pollen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lach, Lori; Kratz, Madlen; Baer, Boris

    2015-09-01

    Research into loss of pollination capacity has focused primarily on documenting pollinator declines and their causes with comparatively little attention paid to how stressors may affect pollinating behavior of surviving pollinators. The European honey bee, Apis mellifera is one of the world's most important generalist pollinators, and Nosema apis is a widespread microsporidian gut parasite of adult A. mellifera. We individually fed 960 newly eclosed A. mellifera workers either a sucrose solution or 400 N. apis spores in a sucrose solution and tagged them with a unique radio frequency identification (RFID) tag to monitor their foraging behavior. We found spore-fed bees were less likely to forage than those fed sugar only. Those that did forage started foraging when they were older and stopped foraging when they were younger than bees fed sugar only. However, inoculated and non-inoculated bees did not significantly differ in the number of foraging trips taken per day, the total hours foraged over their lifetime, or homing ability. Inoculated returning foragers were 4.3 times less likely to be carrying available pollen than non-inoculated returning foragers and the number of pollen grains carried was negatively correlated with the number of N. apis spores. In an arena of artificial flowers, inoculated bees had a tendency (p=0.061) to choose sugar flowers over pollen flowers, compared to non-inoculated bees which visited pollen and sugar flowers equally. These results demonstrate that even a relatively low dose of a widespread disease of A. mellifera may adversely affect bees' ability to pollinate. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Divergent forms of endoplasmic reticulum stress trigger a robust unfolded protein response in honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Brittany A; Hooks, Katarzyna B; McKinstry, Mia; Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-03-01

    Honey bee colonies in the United States have suffered from an increased rate of die-off in recent years, stemming from a complex set of interacting stresses that remain poorly described. While we have some understanding of the physiological stress responses in the honey bee, our molecular understanding of honey bee cellular stress responses is incomplete. Thus, we sought to identify and began functional characterization of the components of the UPR in honey bees. The IRE1-dependent splicing of the mRNA for the transcription factor Xbp1, leading to translation of an isoform with more transactivation potential, represents the most conserved of the UPR pathways. Honey bees and other Apoidea possess unique features in the Xbp1 mRNA splice site, which we reasoned could have functional consequences for the IRE1 pathway. However, we find robust induction of target genes upon UPR stimulation. In addition, the IRE1 pathway activation, as assessed by splicing of Xbp1 mRNA upon UPR, is conserved. By providing foundational knowledge about the UPR in the honey bee and the relative sensitivity of this species to divergent stresses, this work stands to improve our understanding of the mechanistic underpinnings of honey bee health and disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

    2017-09-01

    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.

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

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    DAVID ROUBIK

    2009-05-01

    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 la abundancia de las abejas de miel

  17. Kiwifruit Flower Odor Perception and Recognition by Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twidle, Andrew M; Mas, Flore; Harper, Aimee R; Horner, Rachael M; Welsh, Taylor J; Suckling, David M

    2015-06-17

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from male and female kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa 'Hayward') flowers were collected by dynamic headspace sampling. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) perception of the flower VOCs was tested using gas chromatography coupled to electroantennogram detection. Honey bees consistently responded to six compounds present in the headspace of female kiwifruit flowers and five compounds in the headspace of male flowers. Analysis of the floral volatiles by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and microscale chemical derivatization showed the compounds to be nonanal, 2-phenylethanol, 4-oxoisophorone, (3E,6E)-α-farnesene, (6Z,9Z)-heptadecadiene, and (8Z)-heptadecene. Bees were then trained via olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) to synthetic mixtures of these compounds using the ratios present in each flower type. Honey bees trained to the synthetic mixtures showed a high response to the natural floral extracts, indicating that these may be the key compounds for honey bee perception of kiwifruit flower odor.

  18. Development of a 44K SNP assay focussing on the analysis of a varroa-specific defence behaviour in honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spötter, A; Gupta, P; Nürnberg, G; Reinsch, N; Bienefeld, K

    2012-03-01

    Honey bees are exposed to a number of damaging pathogens and parasites. The most destructive among them, affecting mainly the brood, is Varroa destructor. A promising approach to prevent its spread is to breed for Varroa-tolerant honey bees. A trait that has been shown to provide significant resistance against the Varroa mite is hygienic behaviour, a behavioural response of honey bee workers to brood diseases in general. This study reports the development of a 44K SNP assay, specifically designed for the analysis of hygienic behaviour of individual worker bees (Apis mellifera carnica) directed against V. destructor. Initially, 70,000 SNPs chosen from a large set of SNPs published by the Honey Bee Genome Project were validated for their suitability in the analysis of the Varroa resistance trait 'uncapping of Varroa-infested brood'. This was achieved by genotyping of pooled DNA samples of trait bearers and two trait-negative controls using next-generation sequencing. Approximately 36,000 of these validated SNPs and another 8000 SNPs not validated in this study were selected for the construction of a SNP assay. This assay will be employed in following experiments to analyse individualized DNA samples in order to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) involved in the control of the investigated trait and to evaluate and possibly confirm QTL found in other studies. However, this assay is not just suitable to study Varroa tolerance, it is as well applicable to analyse any other trait in honey bees. In addition, because of its high density, this assay provides access into genomic selection with respect to several traits considered in honey bee breeding. It will become publicly available via AROS Applied Biotechnology AS, Aarhus, Denmark, before the end of the year 2011. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. Learning in the Africanized honey bee: Apis mellifera L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramson, C I; Aquino, I S; Silva, M C; Price, J M

    1997-09-01

    Several series of experiments are reported that investigate learning in the Africanized honey bee. In the first series, classical conditioning of proboscis extension was studied by confining bees to small metal tubes where they received pairings of an odor with a 3-s feeding of sucrose. After a number of odor-sucrose pairings, the bees began to extend their proboscis to the odor. Controls include Unpaired, Discrimination, and Pseudoconditioning Groups. This technique was used to look at conditioning to a light CS, and to the odors of beeswax, geraniol, citral, and hexanal. The results indicate that acquisition was best when sucrose was paired with the odor of beeswax. Conditioning to the remaining odors was roughly similar, but acquisition did not occur using a light. In a second series of experiments, odors were no longer followed by sucrose feedings and the conditioned response slowly disappeared. With the exception of geraniol as a CS, this extinction effect did not occur if the animals continued to be fed on an unpaired schedule. In a third series of experiments, conditioned inhibition was demonstrated when geraniol was used as conditioned stimuli, but no effect was found when the odors of hexanal, citral and wax were used. In a fourth series of experiments, unrestrained bees flew back and forth from the laboratory to the hive, where they were taught to distinguish targets based on color and odor. With this technique, color and odor discrimination in the Africanized bees was demonstrated. In addition, it was found that more intruder bees visited the experimental station when the stimuli used were olfactory rather than visual.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geraldo Moretto

    2007-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Betti

    2017-03-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

    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 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.

  4. Social Reinforcement Delays in Free-Flying Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, David Philip Arthur; Grice, James W.; Varnon, Chris A.; Gibson, B.; Sokolowski, Michel B. C.; Abramson, Charles I.

    2012-01-01

    Free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) reactions were observed when presented with varying schedules of post-reinforcement delays of 0 s, 300 s, or 600 s. We measured inter-visit-interval, response length, inter-response-time, and response rate. Honey bees exposed to these post-reinforcement delay intervals exhibit one of several patterns compared to groups not encountering delays, and had longer inter-visit-intervals. We observed no group differences in inter-response time. Honey bees with higher response rates tended to not finish the experiment. The removal of the delay intervals increased response rates for those subjects that completed the trials. PMID:23056425

  5. Bees' Honey Attenuation of Metanil-Yellow-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Rats

    OpenAIRE

    Al-Malki, Abdulrahman L.; Sayed, Ahmed Amir Radwan

    2013-01-01

    The present study aims to investigate the protective effect of bees' honey against metanil-yellow-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Rats were divided into 7 groups: control group; three groups treated with 50, 100, and 200?mg/kg metanil yellow, and three groups treated with metanil yellow plus 2.5?mg ? kg?1 ? day?1 bees' honey for 8 weeks. The obtained data showed that the antioxidant/anti-inflammatory activity of bees' honey reduced the oxidative stress in the liver tissue and downregulated th...

  6. 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.

  7. Detoxification mechanisms of honey bees (Apis mellifera) resulting in tolerance of dietary nicotine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Rand, Esther E; Smit, Salome; Beukes, Mervyn; Apostolides, Zeno; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W

    2015-07-02

    Insecticides are thought to be among the major factors contributing to current declines in bee populations. However, detoxification mechanisms in healthy, unstressed honey bees are poorly characterised. Alkaloids are naturally encountered in pollen and nectar, and we used nicotine as a model compound to identify the mechanisms involved in detoxification processes in honey bees. Nicotine and neonicotinoids have similar modes of action in insects. Our metabolomic and proteomic analyses show active detoxification of nicotine in bees, associated with increased energetic investment and also antioxidant and heat shock responses. The increased energetic investment is significant in view of the interactions of pesticides with diseases such as Nosema spp which cause energetic stress and possible malnutrition. Understanding how healthy honey bees process dietary toxins under unstressed conditions will help clarify how pesticides, alone or in synergy with other stress factors, lead to declines in bee vitality.

  8. Differential gene expression underlying ovarian phenotype determination in honey bee, Apis mellifera L., caste development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lago, Denyse Cavalcante; Humann, Fernanda Carvalho; Barchuk, Angel Roberto; Abraham, Kuruvilla Joseph; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2016-12-01

    Adult honey bee queens and workers drastically differ in ovary size. This adult ovary phenotype difference becomes established during the final larval instar, when massive programmed cell death leads to the degeneration of 95-99% of the ovariole anlagen in workers. The higher juvenile hormone (JH) levels in queen larvae protect the ovaries against such degeneration. To gain insights into the molecular architecture underlying this divergence critical for adult caste fate and worker sterility, we performed a microarray analysis on fourth and early fifth instar queen and worker ovaries. For the fourth instar we found nine differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with log 2 FC > 1.0, but this number increased to 56 in early fifth-instar ovaries. We selected 15 DEGs for quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) analysis. Nine differed significantly by the variables caste and/or development. Interestingly, genes with enzyme functions were higher expressed in workers, while those related to transcription and signaling had higher transcript levels in queens. For the RT-qPCR confirmed genes we analyzed their response to JH. This revealed a significant up-regulation for two genes, a short chain dehydrogenase reductase (sdr) and a heat shock protein 90 (hsp90). Five other genes, including hsp60 and hexamerin 70b (hex70b), were significantly down-regulated by JH. The sdr gene had previously come up as differentially expressed in other transcriptome analyses on honey bee larvae and heat shock proteins are frequently involved in insect hormone responses, this making them interesting candidates for further functional assays. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Raalin, a transcript enriched in the honey bee brain, is a remnant of genomic rearrangement in Hymenoptera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirosh, Y; Morpurgo, N; Cohen, M; Linial, M; Bloch, G

    2012-06-01

    We identified a predicted compact cysteine-rich sequence in the honey bee genome that we called 'Raalin'. Raalin transcripts are enriched in the brain of adult honey bee workers and drones, with only minimum expression in other tissues or in pre-adult stages. Open-reading frame (ORF) homologues of Raalin were identified in the transcriptomes of fruit flies, mosquitoes and moths. The Raalin-like gene from Drosophila melanogaster encodes for a short secreted protein that is maximally expressed in the adult brain with negligible expression in other tissues or pre-imaginal stages. Raalin-like sequences have also been found in the recently sequenced genomes of six ant species, but not in the jewel wasp Nasonia vitripennis. As in the honey bee, the Raalin-like sequences of ants do not have an ORF. A comparison of the genome region containing Raalin in the genomes of bees, ants and the wasp provides evolutionary support for an extensive genome rearrangement in this sequence. Our analyses identify a new family of ancient cysteine-rich short sequences in insects in which insertions and genome rearrangements may have disrupted this locus in the branch leading to the Hymenoptera. The regulated expression of this transcript suggests that it has a brain-specific function. © 2012 The Authors. Insect Molecular Biology © 2012 The Royal Entomological Society.

  10. Differential expression of odorant-binding proteins in the mandibular glands of the honey bee according to caste and age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iovinella, Immacolata; Dani, Francesca Romana; Niccolini, Alberto; Sagona, Simona; Michelucci, Elena; Gazzano, Angelo; Turillazzi, Stefano; Felicioli, Antonio; Pelosi, Paolo

    2011-08-05

    Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) and chemosensory proteins (CSPs) mediate both perception and release of chemical stimuli in insects. The genome of the honey bee contains 21 genes encoding OBPs and 6 encoding CSPs. Using a proteomic approach, we have investigated the expression of OBPs and CSPs in the mandibular glands of adult honey bees in relation to caste and age. OBP13 is mostly expressed in young individuals and in virgin queens, while OBP21 is abundant in older bees and is prevalent in mated queens. OBP14, which had been found in larvae, is produced in hive workers' glands. Quite unexpectedly, the mandibular glands of drones also contain OBPs, mainly OBP18 and OBP21. We have expressed three of the most represented OBPs and studied their binding properties. OBP13 binds with good specificity oleic acid and some structurally related compounds, OBP14 is better tuned to monoterpenoid structures, while OBP21 binds the main components of queen mandibular pheromone as well as farnesol, a compound used as a trail pheromone in the honey bee and other hymenopterans. The high expression of different OBPs in the mandibular glands suggests that such proteins could be involved in solubilization and release of semiochemicals.

  11. Exceptionally high levels of recombination across the honey bee genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beye, Martin; Gattermeier, Irene; Hasselmann, Martin; Gempe, Tanja; Schioett, Morten; Baines, John F; Schlipalius, David; Mougel, Florence; Emore, Christine; Rueppell, Olav; Sirviö, Anu; Guzmán-Novoa, Ernesto; Hunt, Greg; Solignac, Michel; Page, Robert E

    2006-11-01

    The first draft of the honey bee genome sequence and improved genetic maps are utilized to analyze a genome displaying 10 times higher levels of recombination (19 cM/Mb) than previously analyzed genomes of higher eukaryotes. The exceptionally high recombination rate is distributed genome-wide, but varies by two orders of magnitude. Analysis of chromosome, sequence, and gene parameters with respect to recombination showed that local recombination rate is associated with distance to the telomere, GC content, and the number of simple repeats as described for low-recombining genomes. Recombination rate does not decrease with chromosome size. On average 5.7 recombination events per chromosome pair per meiosis are found in the honey bee genome. This contrasts with a wide range of taxa that have a uniform recombination frequency of about 1.6 per chromosome pair. The excess of recombination activity does not support a mechanistic role of recombination in stabilizing pairs of homologous chromosome during chromosome pairing. Recombination rate is associated with gene size, suggesting that introns are larger in regions of low recombination and may improve the efficacy of selection in these regions. Very few transposons and no retrotransposons are present in the high-recombining genome. We propose evolutionary explanations for the exceptionally high genome-wide recombination rate.

  12. Thermosonication and optimization of stingless bee honey processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong, K Y; Chin, N L; Yusof, Y A

    2017-10-01

    The effects of thermosonication on the quality of a stingless bee honey, the Kelulut, were studied using processing temperature from 45 to 90 ℃ and processing time from 30 to 120 minutes. Physicochemical properties including water activity, moisture content, color intensity, viscosity, hydroxymethylfurfural content, total phenolic content, and radical scavenging activity were determined. Thermosonication reduced the water activity and moisture content by 7.9% and 16.6%, respectively, compared to 3.5% and 6.9% for conventional heating. For thermosonicated honey, color intensity increased by 68.2%, viscosity increased by 275.0%, total phenolic content increased by 58.1%, and radical scavenging activity increased by 63.0% when compared to its raw form. The increase of hydroxymethylfurfural to 62.46 mg/kg was still within the limits of international standards. Optimized thermosonication conditions using response surface methodology were predicted at 90 ℃ for 111 minutes. Thermosonication was revealed as an effective alternative technique for honey processing.

  13. 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

  14. Odorant cues linked to social immunity induce lateralized antenna stimulation in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAfee, Alison; Collins, Troy F; Madilao, Lufiani L; Foster, Leonard J

    2017-04-07

    Hygienic behaviour (HB) is a social immunity trait in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) whereby workers detect, uncap and remove unhealthy brood, improving disease resistance in the colony. This is clearly economically valuable; however, the molecular mechanism behind it is not well understood. The freeze-killed brood (FKB) assay is the conventional method of HB selection, so we compared odour profiles of FKB and live brood to find candidate HB-inducing odours. Surprisingly, we found that significantly more brood pheromone (β-ocimene) was released from FKB. β-ocimene abundance also positively correlated with HB, suggesting there could be a brood effect contributing to overall hygiene. Furthermore, we found that β-ocimene stimulated worker antennae in a dose-dependent manner, with the left antennae responding significantly stronger than right antennae in hygienic bees, but not in non-hygienic bees. Five other unidentifiable compounds were differentially emitted from FKB which could also be important for HB. We also compared odour profiles of Varroa-infested brood to healthy brood and found an overall interactive effect between developmental stage and infestation, but specific odours did not drive these differences. Overall, the data we present here is an important foundation on which to build our understanding the molecular mechanism behind this complex behaviour.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    . Here we investigate the interaction between the honey bee and its fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis, the causative agent of chalkbrood, by identifying enzymes secreted by bee and fungus during different timepoints of infection. Upon testing A. apis-infected larvae for enzyme activity, the larvae...... the trappants are sequenced and annotated, selected genes are further described. As a result, we will deepen the understanding of chalkbrood, one of the main honey bee pests with relevant impact on the economy, among others due to the essential role of bees in pollination....

  16. Acute bee paralysis virus occurs in the Asian honey bee Apis cerana and parasitic mite Tropilaelaps mercedesae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanpanitkitchote, Pichaya; Chen, Yanping; Evans, Jay D; Li, Wenfeng; Li, Jianghong; Hamilton, Michele; Chantawannakul, Panuwan

    2018-01-01

    Viruses, and especially RNA viruses, constantly change and adapt to new host species and vectors, posing a potential threat of new and reemerging infectious diseases. Honey bee Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and Deformed wing virus (DWV) are two of the most common honey bee viruses found in European honey bees Apis mellifera and have been implicated in worldwide Varroa-associated bee colony losses. Previous studies have shown that DWV has jumped hosts several times in history causing infection in multiple host species. In the present study, we show that DWV infection could be detected in the Asian honey bee, A. cerana, and the parasitic mite Tropilaelaps mercedesae, confirming previous findings that DWV is a multi-host pathogen and supporting the notion that the high prevalence of DWV in honey bee host populations could be attributed to the high adaptability of this virus. Furthermore, our study provides the first evidence that ABPV occurs in both A. cerana and T. mercedesae in northern Thailand. The geographical proximity of host species likely played an important role in the initial exposure and the subsequent cross-species transmission of these viruses. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that ABPV might have moved from T. mercedesae to A. mellifera and to A. cerana while DWV might have moved in the opposite direction from A. cerana to A. mellifera and T. mercedesae. This result may reflect the differences in virus life history and virus-host interactions, warranting further investigation of virus transmission, epidemiology, and impacts of virus infections in the new hosts. The results from this study indicate that viral populations will continue to evolve and likely continue to expand host range, increasing the need for effective surveillance and control of virus infections in honey bee populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Lethal and sublethal effects, and incomplete clearance of ingested imidacloprid in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Bayo, Francisco; Belzunces, Luc; Bonmatin, Jean-Marc

    2017-11-01

    A previous study claimed a differential behavioural resilience between spring or summer honey bees (Apis mellifera) and bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) after exposure to syrup contaminated with 125 µg L -1 imidacloprid for 8 days. The authors of that study based their assertion on the lack of body residues and toxic effects in honey bees, whereas bumble bees showed body residues of imidacloprid and impaired locomotion during the exposure. We have reproduced their experiment using winter honey bees subject to the same protocol. After exposure to syrup contaminated with 125 µg L -1 imidacloprid, honey bees experienced high mortality rates (up to 45%), had body residues of imidacloprid in the range 2.7-5.7 ng g -1 and exhibited abnormal behaviours (restless, apathetic, trembling and falling over) that were significantly different from the controls. There was incomplete clearance of the insecticide during the 10-day exposure period. Our results contrast with the findings reported in the previous study for spring or summer honey bees, but are consistent with the results reported for the other bee species.

  18. Molecular Effects of Neonicotinoids in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christen, Verena; Mittner, Fabian; Fent, Karl

    2016-04-05

    Neonicotinoids are implicated in the decline of bee populations. As agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, they disturb acetylcholine receptor signaling leading to neurotoxicity. Several behavioral studies showed the link between neonicotinoid exposure and adverse effects on foraging activity and reproduction. However, molecular effects underlying these effects are poorly understood. Here we elucidated molecular effects at environmental realistic levels of three neonicotinoids and nicotine, and compared laboratory studies to field exposures with acetamiprid. We assessed transcriptional alterations of eight selected genes in caged honey bees exposed to different concentrations of the neonicotinoids acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloporid, and thiamethoxam, as well as nicotine. We determined transcripts of several targets, including nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α 1 and α 2 subunit, the multifunctional gene vitellogenin, immune system genes apidaecin and defensin-1, stress-related gene catalase and two genes linked to memory formation, pka and creb. Vitellogenin showed a strong increase upon neonicotinoid exposures in the laboratory and field, while creb and pka transcripts were down-regulated. The induction of vitellogenin suggests adverse effects on foraging activity, whereas creb and pka down-regulation may be implicated in decreased long-term memory formation. Transcriptional alterations occurred at environmental concentrations and provide an explanation for the molecular basis of observed adverse effects of neonicotinoids to bees.

  19. Assessment of Appetitive Behavior in Honey Bee Dance Followers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moauro, Mariel A.; Balbuena, M. Sol; Farina, Walter M.

    2018-01-01

    Honey bees transfer different informational components of the discovered feeding source to their nestmates during the waggle dance. To decode the multicomponent information of this complex behavior, dance followers have to attend to the most relevant signal elements while filtering out less relevant ones. To achieve that, dance followers should present improved abilities to acquire information compared with those bees not engaged in this behavior. Through proboscis extension response assays, sensory and cognitive abilities were tested in follower and non-follower bees. Individuals were captured within the hive, immediately after following waggle runs or a bit further from the dancer. Both behavioral categories present low and similar spontaneous odor responses (SORs). However, followers exhibit differences in responsiveness to sucrose and odor discrimination: followers showed increased gustatory responsiveness and, after olfactory differential conditioning, better memory retention than non-followers. Thus, the abilities of the dance followers related to appetitive behavior would allow them to improve the acquisition of the dance surrounding information. PMID:29755329

  20. Assessment of Appetitive Behavior in Honey Bee Dance Followers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariel A. Moauro

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Honey bees transfer different informational components of the discovered feeding source to their nestmates during the waggle dance. To decode the multicomponent information of this complex behavior, dance followers have to attend to the most relevant signal elements while filtering out less relevant ones. To achieve that, dance followers should present improved abilities to acquire information compared with those bees not engaged in this behavior. Through proboscis extension response assays, sensory and cognitive abilities were tested in follower and non-follower bees. Individuals were captured within the hive, immediately after following waggle runs or a bit further from the dancer. Both behavioral categories present low and similar spontaneous odor responses (SORs. However, followers exhibit differences in responsiveness to sucrose and odor discrimination: followers showed increased gustatory responsiveness and, after olfactory differential conditioning, better memory retention than non-followers. Thus, the abilities of the dance followers related to appetitive behavior would allow them to improve the acquisition of the dance surrounding information.

  1. 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.

  2. Vitellogenin in the honey bee brain: Atypical localization of a reproductive protein that promotes longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münch, Daniel; Ihle, Kate E; Salmela, Heli; Amdam, Gro V

    2015-11-01

    In comparative gerontology, highly social insects such as honey bees (Apis mellifera) receive much attention due to very different and flexible aging patterns among closely related siblings. While experimental strategies that manipulate socio-environmental factors suggest a causative link between aging and social signals and behaviors, the molecular underpinnings of this linkage are less well understood. Here we study the atypical localization of the egg-yolk protein vitellogenin (Vg) in the brain of the honey bee. Vg is known to influence honey bee social regulation and aging rate. Our findings suggest that Vg immunoreactivity in the brain is specifically localized within the class of non-neuronal glial cells. We discuss how these results can help explain the socially-dependent aging rate of honey bees. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    MICHAEL HORSFALL

    www.bioline.org.br/ja. Wintering Map for Honey Bee Colonies in El-Behera Governorate, Egypt by using ... F. ABOU-SHAARA. Plant Protection Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Damanhour University, Egypt. ..... Architecture of automatized ...

  4. western honey bee management for crop pollination abstract résumé

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ACSS

    2018-02-09

    Feb 9, 2018 ... of Western honey bee for pollination services is reported mainly in developed countries. Because ... plants, or accumulating in nectar and pollen that affect ..... Ecology and Evolution .... Pollinator interactions in the Neotropics.

  5. Selection on overdominant genes maintains heterozygosity along multiple chromosomes in a clonal lineage of honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goudie, Frances; Allsopp, Michael H; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2014-01-01

    Correlations between fitness and genome-wide heterozygosity (heterozygosity-fitness correlations, HFCs) have been reported across a wide range of taxa. The genetic basis of these correlations is controversial: do they arise from genome-wide inbreeding ("general effects") or the "local effects" of overdominant loci acting in linkage disequilibrium with neutral loci? In an asexual thelytokous lineage of the Cape honey bee (Apis mellifera capensis), the effects of inbreeding have been homogenized across the population, making this an ideal system in which to detect overdominant loci, and to make inferences about the importance of overdominance on HFCs in general. Here we investigate the pattern of zygosity along two chromosomes in 42 workers from the clonal Cape honey bee population. On chromosome III (which contains the sex-locus, a gene that is homozygous-lethal) and chromosome IV we show that the pattern of zygosity is characterized by loss of heterozygosity in short regions followed by the telomeric restoration of heterozygosity. We infer that at least four selectively overdominant genes maintain heterozygosity on chromosome III and three on chromosome IV via local effects acting on neutral markers in linkage disequilibrium. We conclude that heterozygote advantage and local effects may be more common and evolutionarily significant than is generally appreciated. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  6. The African honey bee: factors contributing to a successful biological invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott Schneider, Stanley; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Smith, Deborah Roan

    2004-01-01

    The African honey bee subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata has colonized much of the Americas in less than 50 years and has largely replaced European bees throughout its range in the New World. The African bee therefore provides an excellent opportunity to examine the factors that influence invasion success. We provide a synthesis of recent research on the African bee, concentrating on its ability to displace European honey bees. Specifically, we consider (a) the genetic composition of the expanding population and the symmetry of gene flow between African and European bees, (b) the mechanisms that favor the preservation of the African genome, and (c) the possible range and impact of the African bee in the United States.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    The frequency of damaged Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) found on the bottom board of hives of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) has been used as an indicator of the degree of tolerance or resistance of honey bee colonies against mites. However, it is not clear that this measure is adequate. These injuries should be separated from regular dorsal dimples that have a developmental origin. To investigate damage to Varroa mites and regular dor...

  8. Nephroprotective effect of bee honey and royal jelly against subchronic cisplatin toxicity in rats

    OpenAIRE

    Ibrahim, Abdelazim; Eldaim, Mabrouk A. Abd; Abdel-Daim, Mohamed M.

    2015-01-01

    Cisplatin is one of the most potent and effective chemotherapeutic agents. However, its antineoplastic use is limited due to its cumulative nephrotoxic side effects. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to examine the nephroprotective potential of dietary bee honey and royal jelly against subchronic cisplatin toxicity in rats. Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into controls, cisplatin-treated, bee honey-pretreated cisplatin-treated and royal jelly-pretreated cisplatin-treated grou...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa destructor is a serious threat for western honey bee colonies and beekeepers are compelled to control it to keep their colonies healthy. Yet, by controlling varroa no resistance to the parasite can evolve. As a trial, honey bee colonies have been left untreated in isolated locations to allow development of resistance or tolerance to the mite. These colonies developed an ability to live without control measures against varroa, although the traits responsible for this ...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Safety of methionine, a novel biopesticide, to adult and larval honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, Emma N I; Schmehl, Daniel R; Baniszewski, Julie; Tomé, Hudson V V; Cuda, James P; Ellis, James D; Stevens, Bruce R

    2018-03-01

    Methionine is an essential/indispensible amino acid nutrient required by adult and larval honey bees (Apis mellifera L. [Hymenoptera: Apidae]). Bees are unable to rear broods on pollen deficient in methionine, and reportedly behaviorally avoid collecting pollen or nectar from florets deficient in methioinine. In contrast, it has been demonstrated that methionine is toxic to certain pest insects; thus it has been proposed as an effective biopesticide. As an ecofriendly integrated pest management agent, methionine boasts a novel mode of action differentiating it from conventional pesticides, while providing non-target safety. Pesticides that minimize collateral effects on bees are desirable, given the economic and ecological concerns about honey bee health. The aim of the present study was to assess the potential impact of the biopesticide methionine on non-target adult and larval honey bees. Acute contact adult toxicology bioassays, oral adult assessments and chronic larval toxicity assessments were performed as per U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements. Our results demonstrated that methionine fits the U.S. EPA category of practically nontoxic (i.e. lethal dose to 50% mortality or LD 50 > 11µg/bee) to adult honey bees. The contact LD 50 was > 25µg/bee and the oral LD 50 was > 100µg/bee. Mortality was observed in larval bees that ingested DL-methionine (effective concentration to 50% mortality or EC 50 560µg/bee). Therefore, we conclude that methionine poses little threat to the health of the honey bee, due to unlikely exposure at concentrations shown to elicit toxic effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David T Peck

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:27942015

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Various Bee Pheromones Binding Affinity, Exclusive Chemosensillar Localization, and Key Amino Acid Sites Reveal the Distinctive Characteristics of Odorant-Binding Protein 11 in the Eastern Honey Bee, Apis cerana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Xin-Mi; Zhang, Lin-Ya; Fu, Xiao-Bin; Wu, Fan; Tan, Jing; Li, Hong-Liang

    2018-01-01

    Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) are the critical elements responsible for binding and transporting odors and pheromones in the sensitive olfactory system in insects. Honey bees are representative social insects that have complex odorants and pheromone communication systems relative to solitary insects. Here, we first cloned and characterized OBP11 ( AcerOBP11 ), from the worker bees antennae of Eastern honey bee, Apis cerana . Based on sequence and phylogenetic analysis, most sequences homologous to AcerOBP11 belong to the typical OBPs family. The transcriptional expression profiles showed that AcerOBP11 was expressed throughout the developmental stages and highly specifically expressed in adult antennae. Using immunofluorescence localization, AcerOBP11 in worker bee's antennae was only localized in the sensilla basiconica (SB) near the fringe of each segment. Fluorescence ligand-binding assay showed that AcerOBP11 protein had strong binding affinity with the tested various bee pheromones components, including the main queen mandibular pheromones (QMPs), methyl p-hydroxybenzoate (HOB), and ( E )-9-oxo-2-decanoic acid (9-ODA), alarm pheromone (n-hexanol), and worker pheromone components. AcerOBP11 also had strong binding affinity to plant volatiles, such as 4-Allylveratrole. Based on the docking and site-directed mutagenesis, two key amino acid residues (Ile97 and Ile140) were involved in the binding of AcerOBP11 to various bee pheromones. Taken together, we identified that AcerOBP11 was localized in a single type of antennal chemosensilla and had complex ligand-binding properties, which confer the dual-role with the primary characteristics of sensing various bee pheromones and secondary characteristics of sensing general odorants. This study not only prompts the theoretical basis of OBPs-mediated bee pheromones recognition of honey bee, but also extends the understanding of differences in pheromone communication between social and solitary insects.

  18. Various Bee Pheromones Binding Affinity, Exclusive Chemosensillar Localization, and Key Amino Acid Sites Reveal the Distinctive Characteristics of Odorant-Binding Protein 11 in the Eastern Honey Bee, Apis cerana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin-Mi Song

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs are the critical elements responsible for binding and transporting odors and pheromones in the sensitive olfactory system in insects. Honey bees are representative social insects that have complex odorants and pheromone communication systems relative to solitary insects. Here, we first cloned and characterized OBP11 (AcerOBP11, from the worker bees antennae of Eastern honey bee, Apis cerana. Based on sequence and phylogenetic analysis, most sequences homologous to AcerOBP11 belong to the typical OBPs family. The transcriptional expression profiles showed that AcerOBP11 was expressed throughout the developmental stages and highly specifically expressed in adult antennae. Using immunofluorescence localization, AcerOBP11 in worker bee's antennae was only localized in the sensilla basiconica (SB near the fringe of each segment. Fluorescence ligand-binding assay showed that AcerOBP11 protein had strong binding affinity with the tested various bee pheromones components, including the main queen mandibular pheromones (QMPs, methyl p-hydroxybenzoate (HOB, and (E-9-oxo-2-decanoic acid (9-ODA, alarm pheromone (n-hexanol, and worker pheromone components. AcerOBP11 also had strong binding affinity to plant volatiles, such as 4-Allylveratrole. Based on the docking and site-directed mutagenesis, two key amino acid residues (Ile97 and Ile140 were involved in the binding of AcerOBP11 to various bee pheromones. Taken together, we identified that AcerOBP11 was localized in a single type of antennal chemosensilla and had complex ligand-binding properties, which confer the dual-role with the primary characteristics of sensing various bee pheromones and secondary characteristics of sensing general odorants. This study not only prompts the theoretical basis of OBPs-mediated bee pheromones recognition of honey bee, but also extends the understanding of differences in pheromone communication between social and solitary insects.

  19. Using safe materials to control Varroa mites with studying grooming behavior of honey bees and morphology of Varroa over winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossam F. Abou-Shaara

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Extracts of drone larvae and propolis as safe materials are anticipated to boost the grooming behavior of honey bees against Varroa mites. It is also expected that grooming behavior of bees and morphology of Varroa are stable during the least active period of the year to bee colonies (i.e winter. Sugar syrup alone or mixed with drone larvae extract or propolis extract were examined as potential Varroa control materials to test these hypothesizes. Moreover, percentages of groomed mites along with body lengths and widths of Varroa were studied on weekly basis during winter. The results showed that propolis extract was able to increase the number of fallen mites under field conditions but with lethal impacts on bee workers in the laboratory than extract of drone larvae or sugar syrup. All the treatments were not able to boost the grooming behavior of bees. The results proved that grooming behavior was stable during winter. Therefore, it is better to select colonies with grooming potential against Varroa during winter in selection programs. December was significantly the minimal month in percentage of groomed mites based on the overall means. Means of measured characteristics of Varroa declined significantly over the study period. For beekeepers, using sugar syrup as spray on bees during regularly colony inspection can help managing Varroa populations without harming the bees.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The number of managed honey bee colonies has considerably decreased in many developed countries in recent years and ectoparasitic mites are considered as major threats to honey bee colonies and health. However, their general biology remains poorly understood. We sequenced the genome of Tropilaelaps mercedesae, the prevalent ectoparasitic mite infesting honey bees in Asia, and predicted 15?190 protein-coding genes that were well supported by the mite transcriptomes and proteomic data....

  2. Does Cry1Ab protein affect learning performances of the honey bee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez-Romero, R; Desneux, N; Decourtye, A; Chaffiol, A; Pham-Delègue, M H

    2008-06-01

    Genetically modified Bt crops are increasingly used worldwide but side effects and especially sublethal effects on beneficial insects remain poorly studied. Honey bees are beneficial insects for natural and cultivated ecosystems through pollination. The goal of the present study was to assess potential effects of two concentrations of Cry1Ab protein (3 and 5000 ppb) on young adult honey bees. Following a complementary bioassay, our experiments evaluated effects of the Cry1Ab on three major life traits of young adult honey bees: (a) survival of honey bees during sub-chronic exposure to Cry1Ab, (b) feeding behaviour, and (c) learning performance at the time that honey bees become foragers. The latter effect was tested using the proboscis extension reflex (PER) procedure. The same effects were also tested using a chemical pesticide, imidacloprid, as positive reference. The tested concentrations of Cry1Ab protein did not cause lethal effects on honey bees. However, honey bee feeding behaviour was affected when exposed to the highest concentration of Cry1Ab protein, with honey bees taking longer to imbibe the contaminated syrup. Moreover, honey bees exposed to 5000 ppb of Cry1Ab had disturbed learning performances. Honey bees continued to respond to a conditioned odour even in the absence of a food reward. Our results show that transgenic crops expressing Cry1Ab protein at 5000 ppb may affect food consumption or learning processes and thereby may impact honey bee foraging efficiency. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of risks of transgenic Bt crops for honey bees.

  3. Queen rearing and selection practices and their impact on the genetic diversity and fitness of honey bee colonies

    OpenAIRE

    Bouga, Maria; Arnold, Gerard; Bienkowska, Malgorzata; Büchler, Ralph; Garnery, Lionel; Ivanova, Evgeniya; De Jong, David; De la Rúa, Pilar; Kence, Meral; Kezic, Nikola; Kryger, Per; Murilhas, António; Oldroyd, Benjamin; Oliver, Randy; Palacio, María

    2011-01-01

    The Apimondia working group on honey bee diversity and fitness (AWG 7) was created on October 25, 2010 as a Scientific Working Group of Apimondia. The aim of this AWG is to collect information on honey bee queen rearing practices, and examine their impact on the genetic variability and general health of honey bee colonies. The AWG consists of 23 members from 16 different countries. The world wide survey being conducted by this AWG is focused on gathering information on how selection methods, ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The possible role of honey bees in the spread of pollen from field trials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleinjans, H.A.W.; Keulen, van S.J.; Blacquière, T.; Booij, C.J.H.; Hok-A-Hin, C.H.; Cornelissen, A.C.M.; Dooremalen, van C.

    2012-01-01

    Honey bees are important pollinators in agricultural crops, home gardens, orchards and wildlife habitats. As they fly from flower to flower in search of nectar and pollen, they transfer pollen from plant to plant, thus fertilizing the plants and enabling them to bear fruit. In light of this, honey

  8. An insight into the antibiofilm properties of Costa Rican stingless bee honeys

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zamora, L.G.; Beukelman, C.J.; Berg, van den A.J.J.; Aerts, P.C.; Quarles van Ufford, H.C.; Nijland, R.; Arias, M.L.

    2017-01-01

    Objective: There is an increasing search for antibiofilm agents that either have specific activity against biofilms or may act in synergy with antimicrobials. Our objective is to examine the the antibiofilm properties of stingless bee honeys. Method: Meliponini honeys from Costa Rica were

  9. 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

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hui; Robinson, Gene E; Jakobsson, Eric

    2016-06-01

    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 social organization.

  14. 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

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

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    Armstrong Tamieka-Nicole

    2006-03-01

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

  16. Environmental radioactivity and chemical composition of different types of bee honeys produced at in-house area, egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramadan, A.B.

    2005-01-01

    Environmental radioactivity and chemical composition of bee honey varies with the surrounding environment (major floral and soil contamination), which reflects the nutritional value of honey. 23SU, 232Th, 40K, >37Cs, major elements Na, K, Mg and Cl and trace elements Mn, Fe, Zn, F, I, Cu, Co, Ni and Sr as well as toxic elements Cd and Pb -were all determined in different types of bee honey, which include non-floral honey with artificial feeding (syrup-feed honey) and mono-floral honeys (clover honey or sesame honey or orange honey). These elements were also determined in the bee feeds, which include flowers (clover, sesame and orange) and syrup. The results revealed that of all types of honeys and syrup-feed honey exhibited higher natural radioactivity and higher concentrations ofNa, K, Mg, Cl, oMn, Fe, Co, Cd and Pb than in the other honeys. Orange honey contained the lowest natural radioactivity and element concentrations. Clover honey had the lowest toxic element Cd and Pb concentrations (0.02 and 4.2/xg/g, respectively) while sesame honey contained the highest levels of Cd and F (0.7 and 12.9 /ig/g, respectively). Statistical analysis revealed significant correlation between honey and the feed (R= 0.745 to 0.921). Environmental radioactivity and element concentrations in the honey under study were in the safety baseline levels for human consumption

  17. Queen introduction into the queenright honey bee colony

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    Antonín Přidal

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Evaluation of physicochemical and antioxidant properties of two stingless bee honeys: a comparison with Apis mellifera honey from Nsukka, Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nweze, Justus Amuche; Okafor, J I; Nweze, Emeka I; Nweze, Julius Eyiuche

    2017-11-06

    Several physical, biochemical and antioxidant properties of two Nigerian stingless bee honey varieties (Melipona sp. and Hypotrigona sp.) were compared with Apis mellifera honey using standard analytical procedures. The mean pH of Apis mellifera, Hypotrigona sp. and Melipona sp. honeys were 4.24 ± 0.28, 3.75 ± 0.11 and 4.21 ± 0.37 respectively. The mean moisture contents of the honeys were 11.74 ± 0.47, 17.50 ± 0.80, and 13.86 ± 1.06%. Honey samples from Hypotrigona sp. when compared with other honey samples had the highest mean total dissolved solids (370.01 ± 22.51 ppm), hydroxymethylfurfural (16.58 ± 0.37 mg/kg), total acidity (35.57 ± 0.42 meq/kg), protein content (16.58 ± 0.37 g/kg), phenol content (527.41 ± 3.60 mg/kg), and ascorbic acid (161.69 ± 6.70 mg/kg), antioxidant equivalent-ascorbic acid assay value (342.33 ± 0.78 mg/kg) as well as ferric reducing power (666.88 ± 1.73 μM Fe(II)/100 g) (p honeys. This is the first study to compare the properties of Nigerian honey bees. Our results suggested that these honeys (specifically Hypotrigona sp. honey) is a good source of antioxidants comparable to A. mellifera honey.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Honey bees and their products as indicators of environmental pollution: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Salkova

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. In the present work a literature review of the experiments that explore the use of honey bees and their products as bioindicator of environmental pollution is presented. The greatest number of studies has been carried out on contaminations with heavy metals, followed by pesticides, radionuclides and other substances. Pb, Cd and Zn have been the most looked for metals. Zn and Cd have been mainly deposited on the surface of the bee body while Ni, Cd, Pb and Co have been released with the excrements most often. In all cases of pesticide implementation certain amounts of them have been always accumulated in the bees and their products. According to the researchers, pollutants accumulate in the bees and their products at different extents. Heavy metals and pesticides have been established in the bodies of honey bees in larger quantities in comparison to honey. Most of the authors reported that bee honey is a suitable tool for monitoring pollution with heavy metals and pesticides but the opposite assertions have been also expressed. A suggestion for the presence of a bio-barrier function of the bee organism against contaminators has been forwarded. It has been established that pollen is the most suitable indicator for radioactive pollution. As a whole, the present review shows that bees and their products are suitable models for bio-monitoring of the environmental pollution of different nature.

  3. Are agrochemicals present in high fructose corn syrup fed to honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bee colonies are commonly fed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a nectar substitute. Many agrochemicals are applied to corn during cultivation including systemic neonicotinoids. Whether agrochemicals are present in HFCS fed to bees is unknown. Samples from the major manufacturers and distri...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vries, Han de; Biesmeijer, J.C.

    1998-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Brain transcriptomes of honey bees (Apis mellifera experimentally infected by two pathogens: Black queen cell virus and Nosema ceranae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Doublet

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Regulation of gene expression in the brain plays an important role in behavioral plasticity and decision making in response to external stimuli. However, both can be severely affected by environmental factors, such as parasites and pathogens. In honey bees, the emergence and re-emergence of pathogens and potential for pathogen co-infection and interaction have been suggested as major components that significantly impaired social behavior and survival. To understand how the honey bee is affected and responds to interacting pathogens, we co-infected workers with two prevalent pathogens of different nature, the positive single strand RNA virus Black queen cell virus (BQCV, and the Microsporidia Nosema ceranae, and explored gene expression changes in brains upon single infections and co-infections. Our data provide an important resource for research on honey bee diseases, and more generally on insect host-pathogen and pathogen-pathogen interactions. Raw and processed data are publicly available in the NCBI/GEO database: (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/ under accession number GSE81664.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarpy, David R; Delaney, Deborah A; Seeley, Thomas D

    2015-01-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Mating Frequencies of Honey Bee Queens (Apis mellifera L.) in a Population of Feral Colonies in the Northeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarpy, David R.; Delaney, Deborah A.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25775410

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

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    Andreja KANDOLF BOROVŠAK

    2015-12-01

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

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

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    Misato O Miyakawa

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available 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

  12. Developmental stability, age at onset of foraging and longevity of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) under heat stress (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Rubén G; Paxton, Robert J; De Luna, Efraín; Fleites-Ayil, Fernando A; Medina Medina, Luis A; Quezada-Euán, José Javier G

    2018-05-01

    Beekeeping with the western honey bee (Apis mellifera) is important in tropical regions but scant information is available on the possible consequences of global warming fo