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Sample records for apis mellifera induced

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26470287

  2. Evidence of Apis cerana sacbrood virus infection in Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sacbrood virus (SBV) is one of the most serious threats to Apis cerana but is much less destructive to Apis mellifera. In previous studies, SBV isolates infecting A. cerana and A. mellifera were identified as different serotypes, suggesting a species-barrier of SBV infection. In order to clarify whe...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is the most serious pest of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, and has caused the death of millions of colonies worldwide. We investigated whether Varroa infestation induces changes in Apis mellifera gene expression, and whether there are genotypic differen...

  4. The Apis mellifera filamentous virus genome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A complete reference genome of the Apis mellifera Filamentous virus (AmFV) was determined using Illumina Hiseq sequencing. The AmFV genome is a double strand DNA molecule of approximately 498’500 nucleotides with a GC content of 50.8%. It encompasses 251 non overlapping open reading frames (ORFs), e...

  5. Induced thiacloprid insensitivity in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) is associated with up-regulation of detoxification genes.

    PubMed

    Alptekin, S; Bass, C; Nicholls, C; Paine, M J I; Clark, S J; Field, L; Moores, G D

    2016-04-01

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, are markedly less sensitive to neonicotinoid insecticides containing a cyanoimino pharmacophore than to those with a nitroimino group. Although previous work has suggested that this results from enhanced metabolism of the former by detoxification enzymes, the specific enzyme(s) involved remain to be characterized. In this work, a pretreatment of honey bees with a sublethal dose of thiacloprid resulted in induced insensitivity to the same compound immediately following thiacloprid feeding. A longer pretreatment time resulted in no, or increased, sensitivity. Transcriptome profiling, using microarrays, identified a number of genes encoding detoxification enzymes that were over-expressed significantly in insecticide-treated bees compared with untreated controls. These included five P450s, CYP6BE1, CYP305D1, CYP6AS5, CYP315A1, CYP301A1, and a carboxyl/cholinesterase (CCE) CCE8. Four of these P450s were functionally expressed in Escherichia coli and their ability to metabolize thiacloprid examined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis. PMID:26790026

  6. Rare royal families in honeybees, Apis mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moritz, Robin F. A.; Lattorff, H. Michael G.; Neumann, Peter; Kraus, F. Bernhard; Radloff, Sarah E.; Hepburn, H. Randall

    2005-10-01

    The queen is the dominant female in the honeybee colony, Apis mellifera, and controls reproduction. Queen larvae are selected by the workers and are fed a special diet (royal jelly), which determines caste. Because queens mate with many males a large number of subfamilies coexist in the colony. As a consequence, there is a considerable potential for conflict among the subfamilies over queen rearing. Here we show that honeybee queens are not reared at random but are preferentially reared from rare “royal” subfamilies, which have extremely low frequencies in the colony's worker force but a high frequency in the queens reared.

  7. Evidence of Apis cerana Sacbrood virus Infection in Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Gong, Hong-Ri; Chen, Xiu-Xian; Chen, Yan Ping; Hu, Fu-Liang; Zhang, Jiang-Lin; Lin, Zhe-Guang; Yu, Ji-Wei; Zheng, Huo-Qing

    2016-04-15

    Sacbrood virus(SBV) is one of the most destructive viruses in the Asian honeybeeApis ceranabut is much less destructive inApis mellifera In previous studies, SBV isolates infectingA. cerana(AcSBV) and SBV isolates infectingA. mellifera(AmSBV) were identified as different serotypes, suggesting a species barrier in SBV infection. In order to investigate this species isolation, we examined the presence of SBV infection in 318A. melliferacolonies and 64A. ceranacolonies, and we identified the genotypes of SBV isolates. We also performed artificial infection experiments under both laboratory and field conditions. The results showed that 38A. melliferacolonies and 37A. ceranacolonies were positive for SBV infection. Phylogenetic analysis based on RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene sequences indicated thatA. ceranaisolates and mostA. melliferaisolates formed two distinct clades but two strains isolated fromA. melliferawere clustered with theA. ceranaisolates. In the artificial-infection experiments, AcSBV negative-strand RNA could be detected in both adult bees and larvae ofA. mellifera, although there were no obvious signs of the disease, demonstrating the replication of AcSBV inA. mellifera Our results suggest that AcSBV is able to infectA. melliferacolonies with low prevalence (0.63% in this study) and pathogenicity. This work will help explain the different susceptibilities ofA. ceranaandA. melliferato sacbrood disease and is potentially useful for guiding beekeeping practices. PMID:26801569

  8. [Intestinal enterobacteria of the hibernating Apis mellifera mellifera L. bees].

    PubMed

    Liapunov, Ia E; Kuziaev, R Z; Khismatullin, R G; Bezgodova, O A

    2008-01-01

    Dynamics of enterobacteria of normal intestinal microflora was studied in Apis mellifera mellifera L. bees hibernating under snow in the Western Urals. The cell numbers (N) of the predominant species Klebsiella oxytoca increased from 10-10(6) CFU/bee in November 2004 to 10(4)-10(7) CFU/bee in March 2005; its frequency of occurrence (P) increased from 92 to 100%. Increase of Providencia rettgeri (11.2004: N up to 10(6), P 25%; 03.2005: N 10(2)-10(6), P 80%) was accompanied by the substitution of Morganella morganii (11.2004: N up to 10(6), P 25%) with Proteus vulgaris (03.2005: N up to 10(5), P 8%). By spring, Hafnia alvei and Citrobacter sp., which are pathogenic to bees, disappeared (11.2004: N up to 10(5), P 13 and 10%, respectively). Endophytic species Pantoea agglomerans, Leclecria sp., and other representatives of the "Enterobacter agglomerans" group were present in November and after the first emergence in spring (N up to 10(5); November: P 15%; April: P 23%). In April, the number of enterobacteria decreased to 10(5), and P. rettgeri became the predominant species (P 54%) instead of K. oxytoca (P 43%). PMID:18683661

  9. Physiological and Behavioral Changes in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Induced by Nosema ceranae Infection

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. Walking patterns induced by learned odors in the honeybee, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Toshiya; Haupt, S Shuichi; Ikeno, Hidetoshi; Ai, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    The odor localization strategy induced by odors learned via differential conditioning of the proboscis extension response was investigated in honeybees. In response to reward-associated but not non-reward-associated odors, learners walked longer paths than non-learners and control bees. When orange odor reward association was learned, the path length and the body turn angles were small during odor stimulation and greatly increased after stimulation ceased. In response to orange odor, bees walked locally with alternate left and right turns during odor stimulation to search for the reward-associated odor source. After odor stimulation, bees walked long paths with large turn angles to explore the odor plume. For clove odor, learning-related modulations of locomotion were less pronounced, presumably due to a spontaneous preference for orange in the tested population of bees. This study is the first to describe how an odor-reward association modulates odor-induced walking in bees. PMID:26567342

  11. Ecologically Appropriate Xenobiotics Induce Cytochrome P450s in Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Reed M.; Mao, Wenfu; Pollock, Henry S.; Niu, Guodong; Schuler, Mary A.; Berenbaum, May R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Honey bees are exposed to phytochemicals through the nectar, pollen and propolis consumed to sustain the colony. They may also encounter mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus fungi infesting pollen in beebread. Moreover, bees are exposed to agricultural pesticides, particularly in-hive acaricides used against the parasite Varroa destructor. They cope with these and other xenobiotics primarily through enzymatic detoxificative processes, but the regulation of detoxificative enzymes in honey bees remains largely unexplored. Methodology/Principal Findings We used several approaches to ascertain effects of dietary toxins on bee susceptibility to synthetic and natural xenobiotics, including the acaricide tau-fluvalinate, the agricultural pesticide imidacloprid, and the naturally occurring mycotoxin aflatoxin. We administered potential inducers of cytochrome P450 enzymes, the principal biochemical system for Phase 1 detoxification in insects, to investigate how detoxification is regulated. The drug phenobarbital induces P450s in many insects, yet feeding bees with phenobarbital had no effect on the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate, a pesticide known to be detoxified by bee P450s. Similarly, no P450 induction, as measured by tau-fluvalinate tolerance, occurred in bees fed xanthotoxin, salicylic acid, or indole-3-carbinol, all of which induce P450s in other insects. Only quercetin, a common pollen and honey constituent, reduced tau-fluvalinate toxicity. In microarray comparisons no change in detoxificative gene expression was detected in phenobarbital-treated bees. However, northern blot analyses of guts of bees fed extracts of honey, pollen and propolis showed elevated expression of three CYP6AS P450 genes. Diet did not influence tau-fluvalinate or imidacloprid toxicity in bioassays; however, aflatoxin toxicity was higher in bees consuming sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup than in bees consuming honey. Conclusions/Significance These results suggest that regulation of

  12. Ubx promotes corbicular development in Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Medved, Victor; Huang, Zachary Y.; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2014-01-01

    The key morphological feature that distinguishes corbiculate bees from other members of the Apidae family is the presence of the corbicula (pollen basket) on the tibial segment of hind legs. Here, we show that in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), the depletion of the gene Ultrabithorax (Ubx) by RNAi transforms the corbicula from a smooth, bristle-free concave structure to one covered with bristles. This is accompanied by a reduction of the pollen press, which is located on the basitarsus and used for packing the pollen pellet as well as a loss of the orderly arrangement of the rows of bristles that form the pollen comb. All these changes make the overall identity of workers’ T3 legs assume that of the queen. Furthermore, in a corbiculate bee of a different genus, Bombus impatiens, Ubx expression is also localized in T3 tibia and basitarsus. These observations suggest that the evolution of the pollen gathering apparatus in corbiculate bees may have a shared origin and could be traced to the acquisition of novel functions by Ubx, which in Apis were instrumental for subsequent castes and behavioural differentiation. PMID:24478202

  13. Neutralization of Apis mellifera bee venom activities by suramin.

    PubMed

    El-Kik, Camila Z; Fernandes, Fabrício F A; Tomaz, Marcelo Amorim; Gaban, Glauco A; Fonseca, Tatiane F; Calil-Elias, Sabrina; Oliveira, Suellen D S; Silva, Claudia L M; Martinez, Ana Maria Blanco; Melo, Paulo A

    2013-06-01

    In this work we evaluated the ability of suramin, a polysulfonated naphthylurea derivative, to antagonize the cytotoxic and enzymatic effects of the crude venom of Apis mellifera. Suramin was efficient to decrease the lethality in a dose-dependent way. The hemoconcentration caused by lethal dose injection of bee venom was abolished by suramin (30 μg/g). The edematogenic activity of the venom (0.3 μg/g) was antagonized by suramin (10 μg/g) in all treatment protocols. The changes in the vascular permeability caused by A. mellifera (1 μg/g) venom were inhibited by suramin (30 μg/g) in the pre- and posttreatment as well as when the venom was preincubated with suramin. In addition, suramin also inhibited cultured endothelial cell lesion, as well as in vitro myotoxicity, evaluated in mouse extensor digitorum longus muscle, which was inhibited by suramin (10 and 25 μM), decreasing the rate of CK release, showing that suramin protected the sarcolemma against damage induced by components of bee venom (2.5 μg/mL). Moreover, suramin inhibited the in vivo myotoxicity induced by i.m. injection of A. mellifera venom in mice (0.5 μg/g). The analysis of the area under the plasma CK vs. time curve showed that preincubation, pre- and posttreatment with suramin (30 μg/g) inhibited bee venom myotoxic activity in mice by about 89%, 45% and 40%, respectively. Suramin markedly inhibited the PLA2 activity in a concentration-dependent way (1-30 μM). Being suramin a polyanion molecule, the effects observed may be due to the interaction of its charges with the polycation components present in A. mellifera bee venom. PMID:23474269

  14. The Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus Genome

    PubMed Central

    Gauthier, Laurent; Cornman, Scott; Hartmann, Ulrike; Cousserans, François; Evans, Jay D.; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Neumann, Peter

    2015-01-01

    A complete reference genome of the Apis mellifera Filamentous virus (AmFV) was determined using Illumina Hiseq sequencing. The AmFV genome is a double stranded DNA molecule of approximately 498,500 nucleotides with a GC content of 50.8%. It encompasses 247 non-overlapping open reading frames (ORFs), equally distributed on both strands, which cover 65% of the genome. While most of the ORFs lacked threshold sequence alignments to reference protein databases, twenty-eight were found to display significant homologies with proteins present in other large double stranded DNA viruses. Remarkably, 13 ORFs had strong similarity with typical baculovirus domains such as PIFs (per os infectivity factor genes: pif-1, pif-2, pif-3 and p74) and BRO (Baculovirus Repeated Open Reading Frame). The putative AmFV DNA polymerase is of type B, but is only distantly related to those of the baculoviruses. The ORFs encoding proteins involved in nucleotide metabolism had the highest percent identity to viral proteins in GenBank. Other notable features include the presence of several collagen-like, chitin-binding, kinesin and pacifastin domains. Due to the large size of the AmFV genome and the inconsistent affiliation with other large double stranded DNA virus families infecting invertebrates, AmFV may belong to a new virus family. PMID:26184284

  15. Honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) drone embryo proteomes.

    PubMed

    Li, Jianke; Fang, Yu; Zhang, Lan; Begna, Desalegn

    2011-03-01

    Little attention has been paid to the drone honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) which is a haploid individual carrying only the set of alleles that it inherits from its mother. Molecular mechanisms underlying drone embryogenesis are poorly understood. This study evaluated protein expression profiles of drone embryogenesis at embryonic ages of 24, 48 and 72h. More than 100 reproducible proteins were analyzed by mass spectrometry on 2D electrophoresis gels. Sixty-two proteins were significantly changed at the selected three experimental age points. Expression of the metabolic energy requirement-related protein peaked at the embryonic age of 48h, whereas development and metabolizing amino acid-related proteins expressed optimally at 72h. Cytoskeleton, protein folding and antioxidant-related proteins were highly expressed at 48 and 72h. Protein networks of the identified proteins were constructed and protein expressions were validated at the transcription level. This first proteomic study of drone embryogenesis in the honeybee may provide geneticists an exact timetable and candidate protein outline for further manipulations of drone stem cells. PMID:21172355

  16. Standard methods for research on apis mellifera gut symbionts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gut microbes can play an important role in digestion, disease resistance, and the general health of animals, but little is known about the biology of gut symbionts in Apis mellifera. This paper is part of a series on honey bee research methods, providing protocols for studying gut symbionts. We desc...

  17. Standard methods for research on Apis mellifera gut symbionts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gut microbes can play an important role in digestion, disease resistance, and the general health of animals, but little is known about the biology of gut symbionts in Apis mellifera. This paper is part of a series on honey bee research methods, providing protocols for studying gut symbionts. We desc...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a key pollinator species undergoing drastic decline. Bees that are part of typical commercial operations are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of the i...

  19. Virus and viral diseases of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Viruses pose serious threat to the health and well-being of honey bees, Apis mellifera, the most economically valuable pollinators of agricultural and horticultural crops worldwide. Lately, honey bee viruses have gotten a lot of international attention due to the significant disease status that vir...

  20. Standard methods for Apis mellifera anatomy and dissection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An understanding of the anatomy and functions of internal and external structures are fundamental to many studies on the honey bee Apis mellifera. Similarly, proficiency in dissection techniques is vital for many more complex procedures. In this paper, which is a prelude to the other papers of the C...

  1. [New Approach to the Mitotype Classification in Black Honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera and Iberian Honeybee Apis mellifera iberiensis].

    PubMed

    Ilyasov, R A; Poskryakov, A V; Petukhov, A V; Nikolenko, A G

    2016-03-01

    The black honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera L. is today the only subspecies of honeybee which is suitable for commercial breeding in the climatic conditions of Northern Europe with long cold winters. The main problem of the black honeybee in Russia and European countries is the preservation of the indigenous gene pool purity, which is lost as a result of hybridization with subspecies, A. m. caucasica, A. m. carnica, A. m. carpatica, and A. m. armeniaca, introduced from southern regions. Genetic identification of the subspecies will reduce the extent of hybridization and provide the gene pool conservation of the black honeybee. Modern classification of the honeybee mitotypes is mainly based on the combined use ofthe DraI restriction endonuclease recognition site polymorphism and sequence polymorphism of the mtDNA COI-COII region. We performed a comparative analysis of the mtDNA COI-COII region sequence polymorphism in the honeybees ofthe evolutionary lineage M from Ural and West European populations of black honeybee A. m. mellifera and Spanish bee A. m. iberiensis. A new approach to the classification of the honeybee M mitotypes was suggested. Using this approach and on the basis of the seven most informative SNPs of the mtDNA COI-COII region, eight honeybee mitotype groups were identified. In addition, it is suggested that this approach will simplify the previously proposed complicated mitotype classification and will make it possible to assess the level of the mitotype diversity and to identify the mitotypes that are the most valuable for the honeybee breeding and rearing. PMID:27281852

  2. Draft genome sequence of the Algerian bee Apis mellifera intermissa

    PubMed Central

    Haddad, Nizar Jamal; Loucif-Ayad, Wahida; Adjlane, Noureddine; Saini, Deepti; Manchiganti, Rushiraj; Krishnamurthy, Venkatesh; AlShagoor, Banan; Batainh, Ahmed Mahmud; Mugasimangalam, Raja

    2015-01-01

    Apis mellifera intermissa is the native honeybee subspecies of Algeria. A. m. intermissa occurs in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, between the Atlas and the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. This bee is very important due to its high ability to adapt to great variations in climatic conditions and due to its preferable cleaning behavior. Here we report the draft genome sequence of this honey bee, its Whole Genome Shotgun project has been deposited at DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank under the accession JSUV00000000. The 240-Mb genome is being annotated and analyzed. Comparison with the genome of other Apis mellifera sub-species promises to yield insights into the evolution of adaptations to high temperature and resistance to Varroa parasite infestation. PMID:26484171

  3. Draft genome sequence of the Algerian bee Apis mellifera intermissa.

    PubMed

    Haddad, Nizar Jamal; Loucif-Ayad, Wahida; Adjlane, Noureddine; Saini, Deepti; Manchiganti, Rushiraj; Krishnamurthy, Venkatesh; AlShagoor, Banan; Batainh, Ahmed Mahmud; Mugasimangalam, Raja

    2015-06-01

    Apis mellifera intermissa is the native honeybee subspecies of Algeria. A. m. intermissa occurs in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, between the Atlas and the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. This bee is very important due to its high ability to adapt to great variations in climatic conditions and due to its preferable cleaning behavior. Here we report the draft genome sequence of this honey bee, its Whole Genome Shotgun project has been deposited at DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank under the accession JSUV00000000. The 240-Mb genome is being annotated and analyzed. Comparison with the genome of other Apis mellifera sub-species promises to yield insights into the evolution of adaptations to high temperature and resistance to Varroa parasite infestation. PMID:26484171

  4. Host Specificity in the Honeybee Parasitic Mite, Varroa spp. in Apis mellifera and Apis cerana

    PubMed Central

    Beaurepaire, Alexis L.; Dinh, Tam Q.; Cervancia, Cleofas; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2015-01-01

    The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is a major global threat to the Western honeybee Apis mellifera. This mite was originally a parasite of A. cerana in Asia but managed to spill over into colonies of A. mellifera which had been introduced to this continent for honey production. To date, only two almost clonal types of V. destructor from Korea and Japan have been detected in A. mellifera colonies. However, since both A. mellifera and A. cerana colonies are kept in close proximity throughout Asia, not only new spill overs but also spill backs of highly virulent types may be possible, with unpredictable consequences for both honeybee species. We studied the dispersal and hybridisation potential of Varroa from sympatric colonies of the two hosts in Northern Vietnam and the Philippines using mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA markers. We found a very distinct mtDNA haplotype equally invading both A. mellifera and A. cerana in the Philippines. In contrast, we observed a complete reproductive isolation of various Vietnamese Varroa populations in A. mellifera and A. cerana colonies even if kept in the same apiaries. In light of this variance in host specificity, the adaptation of the mite to its hosts seems to have generated much more genetic diversity than previously recognised and the Varroa species complex may include substantial cryptic speciation. PMID:26248192

  5. Host Specificity in the Honeybee Parasitic Mite, Varroa spp. in Apis mellifera and Apis cerana.

    PubMed

    Beaurepaire, Alexis L; Truong, Tuan A; Fajardo, Alejandro C; Dinh, Tam Q; Cervancia, Cleofas; Moritz, Robin F A

    2015-01-01

    The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is a major global threat to the Western honeybee Apis mellifera. This mite was originally a parasite of A. cerana in Asia but managed to spill over into colonies of A. mellifera which had been introduced to this continent for honey production. To date, only two almost clonal types of V. destructor from Korea and Japan have been detected in A. mellifera colonies. However, since both A. mellifera and A. cerana colonies are kept in close proximity throughout Asia, not only new spill overs but also spill backs of highly virulent types may be possible, with unpredictable consequences for both honeybee species. We studied the dispersal and hybridisation potential of Varroa from sympatric colonies of the two hosts in Northern Vietnam and the Philippines using mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA markers. We found a very distinct mtDNA haplotype equally invading both A. mellifera and A. cerana in the Philippines. In contrast, we observed a complete reproductive isolation of various Vietnamese Varroa populations in A. mellifera and A. cerana colonies even if kept in the same apiaries. In light of this variance in host specificity, the adaptation of the mite to its hosts seems to have generated much more genetic diversity than previously recognised and the Varroa species complex may include substantial cryptic speciation. PMID:26248192

  6. Population Genetics of Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae: One Host (Apis mellifera) and Two Different Histories.

    PubMed

    Maside, Xulio; Gómez-Moracho, Tamara; Jara, Laura; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; De la Rúa, Pilar; Higes, Mariano; Bartolomé, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Two microsporidians are known to infect honey bees: Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Whereas population genetics data for the latter have been released in the last few years, such information is still missing for N. apis. Here we analyze the patterns of nucleotide polymorphism at three single-copy loci (PTP2, PTP3 and RPB1) in a collection of Apis mellifera isolates from all over the world, naturally infected either with N. apis (N = 22) or N. ceranae (N = 23), to provide new insights into the genetic diversity, demography and evolution of N. apis, as well as to compare them with evidence from N. ceranae. Neutral variation in N. apis and N. ceranae is of the order of 1%. This amount of diversity suggests that there is no substantial differentiation between the genetic content of the two nuclei present in these parasites, and evidence for genetic recombination provides a putative mechanism for the flow of genetic information between chromosomes. The analysis of the frequency spectrum of neutral variants reveals a significant surplus of low frequency variants, particularly in N. ceranae, and suggests that the populations of the two pathogens are not in mutation-drift equilibrium and that they have experienced a population expansion. Most of the variation in both species occurs within honey bee colonies (between 62%-90% of the total genetic variance), although in N. apis there is evidence for differentiation between parasites isolated from distinct A. mellifera lineages (20%-34% of the total variance), specifically between those collected from lineages A and C (or M). This scenario is consistent with a long-term host-parasite relationship and contrasts with the lack of differentiation observed among host-lineages in N. ceranae (< 4% of the variance), which suggests that the spread of this emergent pathogen throughout the A. mellifera worldwide population is a recent event. PMID:26720131

  7. Population Genetics of Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae: One Host (Apis mellifera) and Two Different Histories

    PubMed Central

    Maside, Xulio; Gómez-Moracho, Tamara; Jara, Laura; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; De la Rúa, Pilar; Higes, Mariano; Bartolomé, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Two microsporidians are known to infect honey bees: Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Whereas population genetics data for the latter have been released in the last few years, such information is still missing for N. apis. Here we analyze the patterns of nucleotide polymorphism at three single-copy loci (PTP2, PTP3 and RPB1) in a collection of Apis mellifera isolates from all over the world, naturally infected either with N. apis (N = 22) or N. ceranae (N = 23), to provide new insights into the genetic diversity, demography and evolution of N. apis, as well as to compare them with evidence from N. ceranae. Neutral variation in N. apis and N. ceranae is of the order of 1%. This amount of diversity suggests that there is no substantial differentiation between the genetic content of the two nuclei present in these parasites, and evidence for genetic recombination provides a putative mechanism for the flow of genetic information between chromosomes. The analysis of the frequency spectrum of neutral variants reveals a significant surplus of low frequency variants, particularly in N. ceranae, and suggests that the populations of the two pathogens are not in mutation-drift equilibrium and that they have experienced a population expansion. Most of the variation in both species occurs within honey bee colonies (between 62%-90% of the total genetic variance), although in N. apis there is evidence for differentiation between parasites isolated from distinct A. mellifera lineages (20%-34% of the total variance), specifically between those collected from lineages A and C (or M). This scenario is consistent with a long-term host-parasite relationship and contrasts with the lack of differentiation observed among host-lineages in N. ceranae (< 4% of the variance), which suggests that the spread of this emergent pathogen throughout the A. mellifera worldwide population is a recent event. PMID:26720131

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25527406

  9. Physicochemical and antioxidant properties of Malaysian honeys produced by Apis cerana, Apis dorsata and Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The aim of the present study was to evaluate the physicochemical and antioxidant properties of Malaysian monofloral honey samples—acacia, pineapple and borneo honey—and compare them with tualang honey. Acacia and pineapple honey are produced by Apis mellifera bees while borneo and tualang honey are produced by Apis cerana and Apis dorsata bees, respectively. Methods The physical parameters of honey, such as pH, moisture content, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), color intensity, total sugar and apparent sucrose content, were measured. Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) was measured using high performance liquid chromatography, and a number of biochemical and antioxidant tests were performed to determine the antioxidant properties of the honey samples. Results Acacia honey was the most acidic (pH 3.53), whereas pineapple honey had the lowest moisture content (14.86%), indicating that both types of honey can resist microbial spoilage more effectively when compared to tualang honey (pH 3.80 and 17.53% moisture content). Acacia honey contained the highest EC (0.76 mS/cm), whereas borneo honey had the highest (377 ppm) TDS. The mean HMF content in Malaysian honey was 35.98 mg/kg. Tualang honey, which is amber color, had the highest color intensity (544.33 mAU). Acacia honey is the sweetest, and contained the highest concentration of total sugar, reducing sugar and apparent sucrose. Tualang honey had the highest concentration of phenolic compounds (352.73 ± 0.81 mg galic acid/kg), flavonoids (65.65 ± 0.74 mg catechin/kg), DPPH (59.89%), FRAP values (576.91 ± 0.64 μM Fe (II)/100 g) and protein content (4.83 ± 0.02 g/kg) as well as the lowest AEAC values (244.10 ± 5.24 mg/kg), indicating its strong antioxidant properties. Proline, an important amino acid that is present in honey was also measured in the present study and it was found at the highest concentration in pineapple honey. Several strong correlations were found among the

  10. Genetic variation in natural honeybee populations, Apis mellifera capensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepburn, Randall; Neumann, Peter; Radloff, Sarah E.

    2004-09-01

    Genetic variation in honeybee, Apis mellifera, populations can be considerably influenced by breeding and commercial introductions, especially in areas with abundant beekeeping. However, in southern Africa apiculture is based on the capture of wild swarms, and queen rearing is virtually absent. Moreover, the introduction of European subspecies constantly failed in the Cape region. We therefore hypothesize a low human impact on genetic variation in populations of Cape honeybees, Apis mellifera capensis. A novel solution to studying genetic variation in honeybee populations based on thelytokous worker reproduction is applied to test this hypothesis. Environmental effects on metrical morphological characters of the phenotype are separated to obtain a genetic residual component. The genetic residuals are then re-calculated as coefficients of genetic variation. Characters measured included hair length on the abdomen, width and length of wax plate, and three wing angles. The data show for the first time that genetic variation in Cape honeybee populations is independent of beekeeping density and probably reflects naturally occurring processes such as gene flow due to topographic and climatic variation on a microscale.

  11. Parasitic Cape honeybee workers, Apis mellifera capensis, evade policing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Stephen J.; Beekman, Madeleine; Wossler, Theresa C.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2002-01-01

    Relocation of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, by bee-keepers from southern to northern South Africa in 1990 has caused widespread death of managed African honeybee, A. m. scutellata, colonies. Apis mellifera capensis worker bees are able to lay diploid, female eggs without mating by means of automictic thelytoky (meiosis followed by fusion of two meiotic products to restore egg diploidy), whereas workers of other honeybee subspecies are able to lay only haploid, male eggs. The A. m. capensis workers, which are parasitizing and killing A. m. scutellata colonies in northern South Africa, are the asexual offspring of a single, original worker in which the small amount of genetic variation observed is due to crossing over during meiosis (P. Kryger, personal communication). Here we elucidate two principal mechanisms underlying this parasitism. Parasitic A. m. capensis workers activate their ovaries in host colonies that have a queen present (queenright colonies), and they lay eggs that evade being killed by other workers (worker policing)-the normal fate of worker-laid eggs in colonies with a queen. This unique parasitism by workers is an instance in which a society is unable to control the selfish actions of its members.

  12. Parasitic Cape honeybee workers, Apis mellifera capensis, evade policing.

    PubMed

    Martin, Stephen J; Beekman, Madeleine; Wossler, Theresa C; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2002-01-10

    Relocation of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, by bee-keepers from southern to northern South Africa in 1990 has caused widespread death of managed African honeybee, A. m. scutellata, colonies. Apis mellifera capensis worker bees are able to lay diploid, female eggs without mating by means of automictic thelytoky (meiosis followed by fusion of two meiotic products to restore egg diploidy), whereas workers of other honeybee subspecies are able to lay only haploid, male eggs. The A. m. capensis workers, which are parasitizing and killing A. m. scutellata colonies in northern South Africa, are the asexual offspring of a single, original worker in which the small amount of genetic variation observed is due to crossing over during meiosis (P. Kryger, personal communication). Here we elucidate two principal mechanisms underlying this parasitism. Parasitic A. m. capensis workers activate their ovaries in host colonies that have a queen present (queenright colonies), and they lay eggs that evade being killed by other workers (worker policing)-the normal fate of worker-laid eggs in colonies with a queen. This unique parasitism by workers is an instance in which a society is unable to control the selfish actions of its members. PMID:11805832

  13. Differential viral levels and immune gene expression in three stocks of Apis mellifera induced by different numbers of Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    Khongphinitbunjong, Kitiphong; de Guzman, Lilia I; Tarver, Matthew R; Rinderer, Thomas E; Chen, Yanping; Chantawannakul, Panuwan

    2015-01-01

    The viral levels and immune responses of Italian honey bees (IHB), Russian honey bees (RHB) and an outcross of Varroa Sensitive Hygienic bees (POL) deliberately infested with one or two foundress Varroa were compared. We found that the Deformed wing virus (DWV) level in IHB inoculated with one or two foundress Varroa increased to about 10(3) or 10(5) fold the levels of their uninfested brood. In contrast, POL (10(2) or 10(4) fold) and RHB (10(2) or l0(4) fold) supported a lower increase in DWV levels. The feeding of different stages of Varroa nymphs did not increase DWV levels of their pupal hosts. Analyses of their corresponding Varroa mites showed the same trends: two foundress Varroa yielded higher DWV levels than one foundress, and the addition of nymphs did not increase viral levels. Using the same pupae examined for the presence of viruses, 16 out of 24 genes evaluated showed significant differential mRNA expression levels among the three honey bee stocks. However, only four genes (Defensin, Dscam, PPOact and spaetzle), which were expressed at similar levels in uninfested pupae, were altered by the number of feeding foundress Varroa and levels of DWV regardless of stocks. This research provides the first evidence that immune response profiles of different honey bee stocks are induced by Varroa parasitism. PMID:25456452

  14. Inhibiting DNA methylation alters olfactory extinction but not acquisition learning in Apis cerana and Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    DNA methylation plays a key role in invertebrate acquisition and extinction memory. Honey bees have excellent olfactory learning, but the role of DNA methylation in memory formation has, to date, only been studied in Apis mellifera. We inhibited DNA methylation by inhibiting DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) with zebularine (zeb) and studied the resulting effects upon olfactory acquisition and extinction memory in two honey bee species, Apis cerana and A. mellifera. We used the proboscis extension reflex (PER) assay to measure memory. We provide the first demonstration that DNA methylation is also important in the olfactory extinction learning of A. cerana. DNMT did not reduce acquisition learning in either species. However, zeb bidirectionally and differentially altered extinction learning in both species. In particular, zeb provided 1h before acquisition learning improved extinction memory retention in A. mellifera, but reduced extinction memory retention in A. cerana. The reasons for these differences are unclear, but provide a basis for future studies to explore species-specific differences in the effects of methylation on memory formation. PMID:27262427

  15. A Locomotor Deficit Induced by Sublethal Doses of Pyrethroid and Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the Honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Charreton, Mercédès; Decourtye, Axel; Henry, Mickaël; Rodet, Guy; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Charnet, Pierre; Collet, Claude

    2015-01-01

    fipronil demonstrates that toxicity evaluation requires information on multiple endpoints (e.g. long term survival) to fully address pesticides risks for honeybees. Pyrethroid-induced locomotor deficits are discussed in light of recent advances regarding their mode of action on honeybee ion channels and current structure-function studies. PMID:26659095

  16. A Locomotor Deficit Induced by Sublethal Doses of Pyrethroid and Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the Honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Charreton, Mercédès; Decourtye, Axel; Henry, Mickaël; Rodet, Guy; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Charnet, Pierre; Collet, Claude

    2015-01-01

    of fipronil demonstrates that toxicity evaluation requires information on multiple endpoints (e.g. long term survival) to fully address pesticides risks for honeybees. Pyrethroid-induced locomotor deficits are discussed in light of recent advances regarding their mode of action on honeybee ion channels and current structure-function studies. PMID:26659095

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-09-01

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

  18. Morphometrics and adaptatives aspects in africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Oliveira; Brandeburgo; Marcolino

    2000-05-01

    The introduction of the African bees (Apis mellifera scutelata) in Brazil and their expansion in the American Continent created the opportunity to study the process of species adaptation in a new environment. In that process, within intra-specific variability, normalising selection can favour individuals that present a better adaptative morphology and they will constitute the most frequent type found in the population. To test that hypothesis morphometric analyses in samples of colonies of africanized bees and in samples of the populations were performed. The development of the colonies was also evaluated in terms of the amount of their brood, honey and pollen. Analysis of the data indicates that more developed colonies are formed by individuals closer to the population average with concerning morphological traits. PMID:10959115

  19. Pheromonal contest between honeybee workers ( Apis mellifera capensis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moritz, R. F. A.; Simon, U. E.; Crewe, R. M.

    2000-10-01

    Queenless workers of the Cape honeybee ( Apis mellifera capensis) can develop into reproductives termed pseudoqueens. Although they morphologically remain workers they become physiologically queenlike, produce offspring, and secrete mandibular gland pheromones similar to those of true queens. However, after queen loss only very few workers gain pseudoqueen status. A strong intracolonial selection governs which workers start oviposition and which remain sterile. The "queen substance", 9-keto-2(E)-decenoic acid (9-ODA), the dominant compound of the queen's mandibular gland pheromones, suppresses the secretion of queenlike mandibular gland pheromones in workers. It may act as an important signal in pseudoqueen selection. By analysing the mandibular gland pheromones of workers kept in pairs, we found that A. m. capensis workers compete to produce the strongest queen-like signal.

  20. Chill sensitivity of honey bee, Apis mellifera, embryos.

    PubMed

    Collins, Anita M; Mazur, Peter

    2006-08-01

    Improved methods for preservation of honey bee, Apis mellifera L., germplasm would be very welcome to beekeeping industry queen breeders. The introduction of two parasites and the emergence of an antibiotic resistant disease have increased demands for resistant stock. Techniques for artificial insemination of queens are available, and semen has been cryopreserved with limited success. However, cryopreservation of embryos for rearing queens would mesh well with current practices and also provide drones (haploid males). Eggs at five ages between twenty-four hours and sixty-two hours were exposed to 0, -6.6, and/or -15 degrees C for various times, and successful hatch measured. Honey bee embryos show chill sensitivity as do other insect embryos, and the rate of chill injury increases dramatically with decrease in holding temperature. The 48 h embryos in both groups showed the greatest tolerance to chilling, although 44 h embryos were only slightly less so. PMID:16677625

  1. Effects of Nosema apis, N. ceranae, and coinfections on honey bee (Apis mellifera) learning and memory

    PubMed Central

    Charbonneau, Lise R.; Hillier, Neil Kirk; Rogers, Richard E. L.; Williams, Geoffrey R.; Shutler, Dave

    2016-01-01

    Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) face an increasing number of challenges that in recent years have led to significant economic effects on apiculture, with attendant consequences for agriculture. Nosemosis is a fungal infection of honey bees caused by either Nosema apis or N. ceranae. The putative greater virulence of N. ceranae has spurred interest in understanding how it differs from N. apis. Little is known of effects of N. apis or N. ceranae on honey bee learning and memory. Following a Pavlovian model that relies on the proboscis extension reflex, we compared acquisition learning and long-term memory recall of uninfected (control) honey bees versus those inoculated with N. apis, N. ceranae, or both. We also tested whether spore intensity was associated with variation in learning and memory. Neither learning nor memory differed among treatments. There was no evidence of a relationship between spore intensity and learning, and only limited evidence of a negative effect on memory; this occurred only in the co-inoculation treatment. Our results suggest that if Nosema spp. are contributing to unusually high colony losses in recent years, the mechanism by which they may affect honey bees is probably not related to effects on learning or memory, at least as assessed by the proboscis extension reflex. PMID:26961062

  2. Effects of Nosema apis, N. ceranae, and coinfections on honey bee (Apis mellifera) learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Charbonneau, Lise R; Hillier, Neil Kirk; Rogers, Richard E L; Williams, Geoffrey R; Shutler, Dave

    2016-01-01

    Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) face an increasing number of challenges that in recent years have led to significant economic effects on apiculture, with attendant consequences for agriculture. Nosemosis is a fungal infection of honey bees caused by either Nosema apis or N. ceranae. The putative greater virulence of N. ceranae has spurred interest in understanding how it differs from N. apis. Little is known of effects of N. apis or N. ceranae on honey bee learning and memory. Following a Pavlovian model that relies on the proboscis extension reflex, we compared acquisition learning and long-term memory recall of uninfected (control) honey bees versus those inoculated with N. apis, N. ceranae, or both. We also tested whether spore intensity was associated with variation in learning and memory. Neither learning nor memory differed among treatments. There was no evidence of a relationship between spore intensity and learning, and only limited evidence of a negative effect on memory; this occurred only in the co-inoculation treatment. Our results suggest that if Nosema spp. are contributing to unusually high colony losses in recent years, the mechanism by which they may affect honey bees is probably not related to effects on learning or memory, at least as assessed by the proboscis extension reflex. PMID:26961062

  3. Individual Variability of Nosema ceranae Infections in Apis mellifera Colonies.

    PubMed

    Mulholland, Grace E; Traver, Brenna E; Johnson, Nels G; Fell, Richard D

    2012-01-01

    Since 2006, beekeepers have reported increased losses of Apis mellifera colonies, and one factor that has been potentially implicated in these losses is the microsporidian Nosema ceranae. Since N. ceranae is a fairly recently discovered parasite, there is little knowledge of the variation in infection levels among individual workers within a colony. In this study we examined the levels of infection in individual bees from five colonies over three seasons using both spore counting and quantitative real-time PCR. The results show considerable intra-colony variation in infection intensity among individual workers with a higher percentage of low-level infections detected by PCR than by spore counting. Colonies generally had the highest percentage of infected bees in early summer (June) and the lowest levels in the fall (September). Nosema apis was detected in only 16/705 bees (2.3%) and always as a low-level co-infection with N. ceranae. The results also indicate that intra-colony variation in infection levels could influence the accuracy of Nosema diagnosis. PMID:26466731

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26969442

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Molecular characterization of hemoglobin from the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Hankeln, Thomas; Klawitter, Sabine; Krämer, Melanie; Burmester, Thorsten

    2006-07-01

    Due to the prevailing importance of the tracheal system for insect respiration, hemoglobins had been considered rare exceptions in this arthropod subphylum. Here we report the identification, cloning and expression analysis of a true hemoglobin gene in the honeybee Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera). The deduced amino acid sequence covers 171 residues (19.5kDa) and harbors all globin-typical features, including the proximal and the distal histidines. The protein has no signal peptide for transmembrane transport and was predicted to localize in the cytoplasm. The honeybee hemoglobin gene shows an ancient structure, with introns in positions B12.2 and G7.0, while most other insect globins have divergent intron positions. In situ hybridization studies showed that hemoglobin expression in the honeybee is mainly associated with the tracheal system. We also observe hemoglobin expression in the Malpighi tubes and testis. We further demonstrated that hemoglobins occur in other insect orders (Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera), suggesting that such genes belong to the standard repertoire of an insect genome. Phylogenetic analyses show that globins evolved along with the accepted insect systematics, with a remarkable diversification within the Diptera. Although insect hemoglobins may be in fact involved in oxygen metabolism, it remains uncertain whether they carry out a myoglobin-like function in oxygen storage and delivery. PMID:16698031

  7. Mating flights select for symmetry in honeybee drones ( Apis mellifera)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2010-03-01

    Males of the honeybee ( Apis mellifera) fly to specific drone congregation areas (DCAs), which virgin queens visit in order to mate. From the thousands of drones that are reared in a single colony, only very few succeed in copulating with a queen, and therefore, a strong selection is expected to act on adult drones during their mating flights. In consequence, the gathering of drones at DCAs may serve as an indirect mate selection mechanism, assuring that queens only mate with those individuals having a better flight ability and a higher responsiveness to the queen’s visual and chemical cues. Here, we tested this idea relying on wing fluctuating asymmetry (FA) as a measure of phenotypic quality. By recapturing marked drones at a natural DCA and comparing their size and FA with a control sample of drones collected at their maternal hives, we were able to detect any selection on wing size and wing FA occurring during the mating flights. Although we found no solid evidence for selection on wing size, wing FA was found to be significantly lower in the drones collected at the DCA than in those collected at the hives. Our results demonstrate the action of selection during drone mating flights for the first time, showing that developmental stability can influence the mating ability of honeybee drones. We therefore conclude that selection during honeybee drone mating flights may confer some fitness advantages to the queens.

  8. Activity of telomerase and telomeric length in Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Korandová, Michala; Frydrychová, Radmila Čapková

    2016-06-01

    Telomerase is an enzyme that adds repeats of DNA sequences to the ends of chromosomes, thereby preventing their shortening. Telomerase activity is associated with proliferative status of cells, organismal development, and aging. We report an analysis of telomerase activity and telomere length in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Telomerase activity was found to be regulated in a development and caste-specific manner. During the development of somatic tissues of larval drones and workers, telomerase activity declined to 10 % of its level in embryos and remained low during pupal and adult stages but was upregulated in testes of late pupae, where it reached 70 % of the embryo level. Upregulation of telomerase activity was observed in the ovaries of late pupal queens, reaching 160 % of the level in embryos. Compared to workers and drones, queens displayed higher levels of telomerase activity. In the third larval instar of queens, telomerase activity reached the embryo level, and an enormous increase was observed in adult brains of queens, showing a 70-fold increase compared to a brain of an adult worker. Southern hybridization of terminal TTAGG fragments revealed a high variability of telomeric length between different individuals, although the same pattern of hybridization signals was observed in different tissues of each individual. PMID:26490169

  9. Synergistic interactions between in-hive miticides in Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Reed M; Pollock, Henry S; Berenbaum, May R

    2009-04-01

    The varroa mite, Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, is a devastating pest of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., that has been primarily controlled over the last 15 yr with two in-hive miticides: the organophosphate coumaphos (Checkmite+), and the pyrethroid tau-fluvalinate (Apistan). Both coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate are lipophilic compounds that are absorbed by the wax component of the hive, where they are stable and have the potential to build up over repeated treatments such that bees could be exposed to both compounds simultaneously. Although these compounds were chosen as in-hive miticides due to their low toxicity to honey bees, that low toxicity depends, at least in part, on rapid detoxification mediated by cytochrome P450 monooxygenase enzymes (P450s). In this laboratory study, we observed a large increase in the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate to 3-d-old bees that had been treated previously with coumaphos, and a moderate increase in the toxicity of coumpahos in bees treated previously with tau-fluvalinate. The observed synergism may result from competition between miticides for access to detoxicative P450s. These results suggest that honey bee mortality may occur with the application of otherwise sublethal doses of miticide when tau-fluvalinate and coumaphos are simultaneously present in the hive. PMID:19449624

  10. Inheritance of thelytoky in the honey bee Apis mellifera capensis.

    PubMed

    Chapman, N C; Beekman, M; Allsopp, M H; Rinderer, T E; Lim, J; Oxley, P R; Oldroyd, B P

    2015-06-01

    Asexual reproduction via thelytokous parthenogenesis is widespread in the Hymenoptera, but its genetic underpinnings have been described only twice. In the wasp Lysiphlebus fabarum and the Cape honey bee Apis mellifera capensis the origin of thelytoky have each been traced to a single recessive locus. In the Cape honey bee it has been argued that thelytoky (th) controls the thelytoky phenotype and that a deletion of 9 bp in the flanking intron downstream of exon 5 (tae) of the gemini gene switches parthenogenesis from arrhenotoky to thelytoky. To further explore the mode of inheritance of thelytoky, we generated reciprocal backcrosses between thelytokous A. m. capensis and the arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata. Ten genetic markers were used to identify 108 thelytokously produced offspring and 225 arrhenotokously produced offspring from 14 colonies. Patterns of appearance of thelytokous parthenogenesis were inconsistent with a single locus, either th or tae, controlling thelytoky. We further show that the 9 bp deletion is present in the arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata population in South Africa, in A. m. intermissa in Morocco and in Africanized bees from Brazil and Texas, USA, where thelytoky has not been reported. Thus the 9  p deletion cannot be the cause of thelytoky. Further, we found two novel tae alleles. One contains the previously described 9 bp deletion and an additional deletion of 7 bp nearby. The second carries a single base insertion with respect to the wild type. Our data are consistent with the putative th locus increasing reproductive capacity. PMID:25585920

  11. Nosema Tolerant Honeybees (Apis mellifera) Escape Parasitic Manipulation of Apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Kurze, Christoph; Le Conte, Yves; Dussaubat, Claudia; Erler, Silvio; Kryger, Per; Lewkowski, Oleg; Müller, Thomas; Widder, Miriam; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2015-01-01

    Apoptosis is not only pivotal for development, but also for pathogen defence in multicellular organisms. Although numerous intracellular pathogens are known to interfere with the host’s apoptotic machinery to overcome this defence, its importance for host-parasite coevolution has been neglected. We conducted three inoculation experiments to investigate in the apoptotic respond during infection with the intracellular gut pathogen Nosema ceranae, which is considered as potential global threat to the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and other bee pollinators, in sensitive and tolerant honeybees. To explore apoptotic processes in the gut epithelium, we visualised apoptotic cells using TUNEL assays and measured the relative expression levels of subset of candidate genes involved in the apoptotic machinery using qPCR. Our results suggest that N. ceranae reduces apoptosis in sensitive honeybees by enhancing inhibitor of apoptosis protein-(iap)-2 gene transcription. Interestingly, this seems not be the case in Nosema tolerant honeybees. We propose that these tolerant honeybees are able to escape the manipulation of apoptosis by N. ceranae, which may have evolved a mechanism to regulate an anti-apoptotic gene as key adaptation for improved host invasion. PMID:26445372

  12. First detection of Apis mellifera filamentous virus in Apis cerana cerana in China.

    PubMed

    Hou, Chunsheng; Li, Beibei; Luo, Yuexiong; Deng, Shuai; Diao, Qingyun

    2016-07-01

    Although many honey bee RNA viruses have been correlated with colony declines, little is known regarding the potential role of DNA viruses. Here, we examined seemingly healthy and crawling bee samples from China using PCR to identify whether Apis mellifera filamentous virus (AmFV) was present in A. cerana cerana. The highest AmFV infection percentage among Chinese provinces occurred in crawling bees from Gansu province (85.48%), and the lowest was in bees from Beijing (31.58%). A phylogenetic analysis showed that the Chinese isolate of AmFV exhibited a high genetic similarity with isolates from Belgium, Switzerland and USA. This is the first report of AmFV infections in Chinese A. cerana cerana populations. PMID:27369386

  13. Sperm use economy of honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens.

    PubMed

    Baer, Boris; Collins, Jason; Maalaps, Kristiina; den Boer, Susanne P A

    2016-05-01

    The queens of eusocial ants, bees, and wasps only mate during a very brief period early in life to acquire and store a lifetime supply of sperm. As sperm cannot be replenished, queens have to be highly economic when using stored sperm to fertilize eggs, especially in species with large and long-lived colonies. However, queen fertility has not been studied in detail, so that we have little understanding of how economic sperm use is in different species, and whether queens are able to influence their sperm use. This is surprising given that sperm use is a key factor of eusocial life, as it determines the fecundity and longevity of queens and therefore colony fitness. We quantified the number of sperm that honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens use to fertilize eggs. We examined sperm use in naturally mated queens of different ages and in queens artificially inseminated with different volumes of semen. We found that queens are remarkably efficient and only use a median of 2 sperm per egg fertilization, with decreasing sperm use in older queens. The number of sperm in storage was always a significant predictor for the number of sperm used per fertilization, indicating that queens use a constant ratio of spermathecal fluid relative to total spermathecal volume of 2.364 × 10(-6) to fertilize eggs. This allowed us to calculate a lifetime fecundity for honeybee queens of around 1,500,000 fertilized eggs. Our data provide the first empirical evidence that honeybee queens do not manipulate sperm use, and fertilization failures in worker-destined eggs are therefore honest signals that workers can use to time queen replacement, which is crucial for colony performance and fitness. PMID:27217944

  14. Acaricide, Fungicide and Drug Interactions in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Detection of Illicit Drugs by Trained Honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Schott, Matthias; Klein, Birgit; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Illegal drugs exacerbate global social challenges such as substance addiction, mental health issues and violent crime. Police and customs officials often rely on specially-trained sniffer dogs, which act as sensitive biological detectors to find concealed illegal drugs. However, the dog “alert” is no longer sufficient evidence to allow a search without a warrant or additional probable cause because cannabis has been legalized in two US states and is decriminalized in many others. Retraining dogs to recognize a narrower spectrum of drugs is difficult and training new dogs is time consuming, yet there are no analytical devices with the portability and sensitivity necessary to detect substance-specific chemical signatures. This means there is currently no substitute for sniffer dogs. Here we describe an insect screening procedure showing that the western honeybee (Apis mellifera) can sense volatiles associated with pure samples of heroin and cocaine. We developed a portable electroantennographic device for the on-site measurement of volatile perception by these insects, and found a positive correlation between honeybee antennal responses and the concentration of specific drugs in test samples. Furthermore, we tested the ability of honeybees to learn the scent of heroin and trained them to show a reliable behavioral response in the presence of a highly-diluted scent of pure heroin. Trained honeybees could therefore be used to complement or replace the role of sniffer dogs as part of an automated drug detection system. Insects are highly sensitive to volatile compounds and provide an untapped resource for the development of biosensors. Automated conditioning as presented in this study could be developed as a platform for the practical detection of illicit drugs using insect-based sensors. PMID:26083377

  16. Inheritance of thelytoky in the honey bee Apis mellifera capensis

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, N C; Beekman, M; Allsopp, M H; Rinderer, T E; Lim, J; Oxley, P R; Oldroyd, B P

    2015-01-01

    Asexual reproduction via thelytokous parthenogenesis is widespread in the Hymenoptera, but its genetic underpinnings have been described only twice. In the wasp Lysiphlebus fabarum and the Cape honey bee Apis mellifera capensis the origin of thelytoky have each been traced to a single recessive locus. In the Cape honey bee it has been argued that thelytoky (th) controls the thelytoky phenotype and that a deletion of 9 bp in the flanking intron downstream of exon 5 (tae) of the gemini gene switches parthenogenesis from arrhenotoky to thelytoky. To further explore the mode of inheritance of thelytoky, we generated reciprocal backcrosses between thelytokous A. m. capensis and the arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata. Ten genetic markers were used to identify 108 thelytokously produced offspring and 225 arrhenotokously produced offspring from 14 colonies. Patterns of appearance of thelytokous parthenogenesis were inconsistent with a single locus, either th or tae, controlling thelytoky. We further show that the 9 bp deletion is present in the arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata population in South Africa, in A. m. intermissa in Morocco and in Africanized bees from Brazil and Texas, USA, where thelytoky has not been reported. Thus the 9 bp deletion cannot be the cause of thelytoky. Further, we found two novel tae alleles. One contains the previously described 9 bp deletion and an additional deletion of 7 bp nearby. The second carries a single base insertion with respect to the wild type. Our data are consistent with the putative th locus increasing reproductive capacity. PMID:25585920

  17. Antibacterial Activity of a Cardanol from Thai Apis mellifera Propolis

    PubMed Central

    Boonsai, Pattaraporn; Phuwapraisirisan, Preecha; Chanchao, Chanpen

    2014-01-01

    Background: Propolis is a sticky, dark brown resinous residue made by bees that is derived from plant resins. It is used to construct and repair the nest, and in addition possesses several diverse bioactivities. Here, propolis from Apis mellifera from Nan province, Thailand, was tested for antibacterial activity against Gram+ve (Staphylococcus aureus and Paenibacillus larvae) and Gram-ve (Escherichia coli) bacteria. Materials and methods: The three bacterial isolates were confirmed for species designation by Gram staining and analysis of the partial sequence of 16S rDNA. Propolis was sequentially extracted by methanol, dichloromethane and hexane. The antibacterial activity was determined by agar well diffusion and microbroth dilution assays using streptomycin as a positive control. The most active crude extract was further purified by quick column and adsorption chromatography. The apparent purity of each bioactive fraction was tested by thin layer chromatography. The chemical structure of the isolated bioactive compound was analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Results: Crude methanol extract of propolis showed the best antibacterial activity with a minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) value of 5 mg/mL for S. aureus and E. coli and 6.25 mg/mL for P. larvae. After quick column chromatography, only three active fractions were inhibitory to the growth of S. aureus and E. coli with MIC values of 6.25 and 31.3 µg/mL, respectively. Further adsorption chromatography yielded one pure bioactive fraction (A1A) with an IC50 value of 0.175 µg/mL for E. coli and 0.683 µg/mL for P. larvae, and was determined to be cardanol by NMR analysis. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy analysis revealed unusual shaped (especially in dividing cells), damaged and dead cells in cardanol-treated E. coli. Conclusion: Thai propolis contains a promising antibacterial agent. PMID:24578609

  18. Detection of Illicit Drugs by Trained Honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Schott, Matthias; Klein, Birgit; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Illegal drugs exacerbate global social challenges such as substance addiction, mental health issues and violent crime. Police and customs officials often rely on specially-trained sniffer dogs, which act as sensitive biological detectors to find concealed illegal drugs. However, the dog "alert" is no longer sufficient evidence to allow a search without a warrant or additional probable cause because cannabis has been legalized in two US states and is decriminalized in many others. Retraining dogs to recognize a narrower spectrum of drugs is difficult and training new dogs is time consuming, yet there are no analytical devices with the portability and sensitivity necessary to detect substance-specific chemical signatures. This means there is currently no substitute for sniffer dogs. Here we describe an insect screening procedure showing that the western honeybee (Apis mellifera) can sense volatiles associated with pure samples of heroin and cocaine. We developed a portable electroantennographic device for the on-site measurement of volatile perception by these insects, and found a positive correlation between honeybee antennal responses and the concentration of specific drugs in test samples. Furthermore, we tested the ability of honeybees to learn the scent of heroin and trained them to show a reliable behavioral response in the presence of a highly-diluted scent of pure heroin. Trained honeybees could therefore be used to complement or replace the role of sniffer dogs as part of an automated drug detection system. Insects are highly sensitive to volatile compounds and provide an untapped resource for the development of biosensors. Automated conditioning as presented in this study could be developed as a platform for the practical detection of illicit drugs using insect-based sensors. PMID:26083377

  19. Medium for development of bee cell cultures (Apis mellifera: Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A bee cell culture system was developed. A medium, WH2, for the production of cell cultures from hymenopteran species such as honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) was developed. Multiple bee cell cultures were produced when using bee larvae and pupae as starting material and the modif...

  20. Foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera, in alfalfa seed production fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A study was conducted in 2006 and 2007 designed to examine the foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in a 15.2 km2 area dominated by a 128.9 ha glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready® alfalfa seed production field and several non-Roundup Ready seed production fields (totalin...

  1. Differential expression of immune genes of adult honey bee (Apis mellifera) after inoculated by Nosema ceranae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidium parasite infecting adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) and is known to have affects at both the individual and colony level. In this study, the expression levels were measured for four antimicrobial peptide encoding genes that are associated with bee humoral immunity...

  2. Ovariole number and ovary activation of Russian honeybee workers (Apis mellifera L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although functionally sterile under normal hive conditions, honeybee workers retain small ovaries. The size of the worker ovaries varies considerably within Apis mellifera and has been linked to individual reproduction and various aspects of social behavior. Here, we report the ovary size of workers...

  3. A method for distinctly marking honey bees, Apis mellifera originating from multiple apiary locations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Inexpensive and non-intrusive marking methods are essential to track natural behavior of insects for biological experiments. An inexpensive, easy to construct, and easy to install bee marking device is described. The device is mounted at the entrance of a standard honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymen...

  4. Interactions of tropilaelaps mercedesae, honey bee viruses, and immune response in Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tropilaelaps mites are the major health threat to Apis mellifera colonies in Asia because of their widespread occurrence, rapid population growth and potential ability to transfer bee viruses. Honey bee immune responses in the presence of feeding mites may occur in response to mite feeding, to the ...

  5. Evaluation of Apis mellifera syriaca Levant Region honeybee conservation using Comparative Genome Hybridization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Apis mellifera syriaca is the native honeybee subspecies of Jordan and much of the Levant Region. It expresses behavioral adaptations to a regional climate with very high temperatures, nectar dearth in summer, attacks of the Oriental wasp and is resistant to Varroa mites. The A. m. syriaca control r...

  6. Involvement of Phosphorylated "Apis Mellifera" CREB in Gating a Honeybee's Behavioral Response to an External Stimulus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gehring, Katrin B.; Heufelder, Karin; Feige, Janina; Bauer, Paul; Dyck, Yan; Ehrhardt, Lea; Kühnemund, Johannes; Bergmann, Anja; Göbel, Josefine; Isecke, Marlene; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2016-01-01

    The transcription factor cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) is involved in neuronal plasticity. Phosphorylation activates CREB and an increased level of phosphorylated CREB is regarded as an indicator of CREB-dependent transcriptional activation. In honeybees ("Apis mellifera") we recently demonstrated a particular high…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. Transcriptional markers of sub-optimal nutrition in developing young Apis mellifera nurse workers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) contribute substantially to the worldwide economy and ecosystem health as pollinators. Pollen is essential to the bee’s diet, providing protein, lipids, and micronutrients. The dramatic shifts in physiology, anatomy, and behavior that accompany normal worker development a...

  9. Concurrent infestations by Aethina tumida and Varroa destructor alters thermoregulation in Apis mellifera winter clusters

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, and the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, are parasites of the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Both parasites overwinter in honeybee colonies. The efficacy of thermoregulation might be reduced in beetle and mite infested clusters, due to altered activity of host...

  10. How Varroa parasitism affects the immunological and nutritional status of the honey bee, Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We investigated the effect of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor on the immunological and nutritional condition of honey bees, Apis mellifera, from the perspective of the individual bee and the colony. Pupae, newly-emerged adults and foraging adults were sampled from up to 10 colonies at one site ...

  11. Insights into social insects from the genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We report the genome sequence of a highly social insect, the honey bee, Apis mellifera, a key model for social behavior as well as an essential component of global ecology through pollination activities. The genome is analyzed primarily from two perspectives: broad comparative analyses, with special...

  12. [Genetic Differentiation of Local Populations of the Dark European Bee Apis mellifera mellifera L. in the Urals].

    PubMed

    Il'yasov, R A; Poskryakov, A V; Petukhov, A V; Nikolenko, A G

    2015-07-01

    For the last two centuries, beekeepers in Russia and Europe have been introducing bees from the southern regions to the northern ones, subjecting the genetic pool of the dark European bee Apis mellifera mellifera L. subspecies to extensive hybridization. In order to reconfirm on the genetic level the previously published morphological data on the native bee population in the Urals, the Bashkortostan Republic, and the Perm Krai, we analyzed the polymorphism of the mitochondrial (mtDNA COI-COII intergenic locus) and nuclear (two microsatellite loci, ap243 and 4a110) DNA markers. Four local populations of the dark European bee A. m. mellifera surviving in the Urals have been identified, and their principal genetic characteristics have been determined. Data on the genetic structure and geographical localization of the areals of the dark European bee local populations in the Urals may be of use in restoring the damaged genetic pool of A. m. mellifera in Russia and other northern countries. PMID:26410933

  13. The flight physiology of reproductives of Africanized, European, and hybrid honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Harrison, Jon F; Taylor, Orley R; Hall, H Glenn

    2005-01-01

    Neotropical African honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata), in the process of spreading throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, hybridize with and mostly replace European honeybees (primarily Apis mellifera mellifera and Apis mellifera ligustica). To help understand this process, we studied the effect of lineage (African, European, or hybrid) on the flight physiology of honeybee reproductives. Flight metabolic rates were higher in queens and drones of African lineage than in European or hybrid bees, as has been previously found for foraging workers. These differences were associated with higher thorax/body mass ratios and higher thorax-specific metabolic rates in African lineage bees. Queens were reared in common colonies, so these metabolic and morphological differences are likely to be genetic in origin. African drones had higher wing beat frequencies and thorax temperatures than European or hybrid bees. Hybrids were intermediate for many parameters, but hybrid queen mass-specific flight metabolic rates were low relative to Africans and were nonlinearly affected by the proportion of African lineage, consistent with some negative heterosis for this trait. PMID:15778935

  14. The indigenous honey bees of Saudi Arabia (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Apis mellifera jemenitica Ruttner): Their natural history and role in beekeeping

    PubMed Central

    Alqarni, Abdulaziz S.; Hannan, Mohammed A.; Owayss, Ayman A.; Engel, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Apis mellifera jemenitica Ruttner (= yemenitica auctorum: vide Engel 1999) has been used in apiculture throughout the Arabian Peninsula since at least 2000 BC. Existing literature demonstrates that these populations are well adapted for the harsh extremes of the region. Populations of Apis mellifera jemenitica native to Saudi Arabia are far more heat tolerant than the standard races often imported from Europe. Central Saudi Arabia has the highest summer temperatures for the Arabian Peninsula, and it is in this region where only Apis mellifera jemenitica survives, while other subspecies fail to persist. The indigenous race of Saudi Arabia differs from other subspecies in the region in some morphological, biological, and behavioral characteristics. Further taxonomic investigation, as well as molecular studies, is needed in order to confirm whether the Saudi indigenous bee populations represent a race distinct from Apis mellifera jemenitica, or merely an ecotype of this subspecies. PMID:22140343

  15. Identification and characterization of an Egr ortholog as a neural immediate early gene in the European honeybee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Kunieda, Takekazu; Kubo, Takeo

    2013-10-01

    To date, there are only few reports of immediate early genes (IEGs) available in insects. Aiming at identifying a conserved IEG in insects, we characterized an Egr homolog of the honeybee (AmEgr: Apis mellifera Egr). AmEgr was transiently induced in whole worker brains after seizure induction. In situ hybridization for AmEgr indicated that neural activity of a certain mushroom body (a higher brain center) neuron subtype, which is the same as that we previously identified using another non-coding IEG, termed kakusei, is more enhanced in forager brains. These findings suggest that Egr can be utilized as an IEG in insects. PMID:23994532

  16. Comparative Analyses of Cu-Zn Superoxide Dismutase (SOD1) and Thioredoxin Reductase (TrxR) at the mRNA Level between Apis mellifera L. and Apis cerana F. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Under Stress Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Koo, Hyun-Na; Lee, Soon-Gyu; Yun, Seung-Hwan; Kim, Hyun Kyung; Choi, Yong Soo; Kim, Gil-Hah

    2016-01-01

    This study compared stress-induced expression of Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) genes in the European honeybee Apis mellifera L. and Asian honeybee Apis cerana F. Expression of both SOD1 and TrxR rapidly increased up to 5 h after exposure to cold (4°C) or heat (37°C) treatment and then gradually decreased, with a stronger effect induced by cold stress in A. mellifera compared with A. cerana. Injection of stress-inducing substances (methyl viologen, [MV] and H2O2) also increased SOD1 and TrxR expression in both A. mellifera and A. cerana, and this effect was more pronounced with MV than H2O2. Additionally, we heterologously expressed the A. mellifera and A. cerana SOD1 and TrxR proteins in an Escherichia coli expression system, and detection by SDS-PAGE, confirmed by Western blotting using anti-His tag antibodies, revealed bands at 16 and 60 kDa, respectively. Our results show that the expression patterns of SOD1 and TrxR differ between A. mellifera and A. cerana under conditions of low or high temperature as well as oxidative stress. PMID:26798140

  17. Comparative Analyses of Cu-Zn Superoxide Dismutase (SOD1) and Thioredoxin Reductase (TrxR) at the mRNA Level between Apis mellifera L. and Apis cerana F. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Under Stress Conditions.

    PubMed

    Koo, Hyun-Na; Lee, Soon-Gyu; Yun, Seung-Hwan; Kim, Hyun Kyung; Choi, Yong Soo; Kim, Gil-Hah

    2016-01-01

    This study compared stress-induced expression of Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) genes in the European honeybee Apis mellifera L. and Asian honeybee Apis cerana F. Expression of both SOD1 and TrxR rapidly increased up to 5 h after exposure to cold (4 °C) or heat (37 °C) treatment and then gradually decreased, with a stronger effect induced by cold stress in A. mellifera compared with A. cerana. Injection of stress-inducing substances (methyl viologen, [MV] and H2O2) also increased SOD1 and TrxR expression in both A. mellifera and A. cerana, and this effect was more pronounced with MV than H2O2. Additionally, we heterologously expressed the A. mellifera and A. cerana SOD1 and TrxR proteins in an Escherichia coli expression system, and detection by SDS-PAGE, confirmed by Western blotting using anti-His tag antibodies, revealed bands at 16 and 60 kDa, respectively. Our results show that the expression patterns of SOD1 and TrxR differ between A. mellifera and A. cerana under conditions of low or high temperature as well as oxidative stress. PMID:26798140

  18. A Comparative Study of Relational Learning Capacity in Honeybees (Apis mellifera) and Stingless Bees (Melipona rufiventris)

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Antonio Mauricio; de Souza, Deisy das Graças; Reinhard, Judith

    2012-01-01

    Background Learning of arbitrary relations is the capacity to acquire knowledge about associations between events or stimuli that do not share any similarities, and use this knowledge to make behavioural choices. This capacity is well documented in humans and vertebrates, and there is some evidence it exists in the honeybee (Apis mellifera). However, little is known about whether the ability for relational learning extends to other invertebrates, although many insects have been shown to possess excellent learning capacities in spite of their small brains. Methodology/Principal Findings Using a symbolic matching-to-sample procedure, we show that the honeybee Apis mellifera rapidly learns arbitrary relations between colours and patterns, reaching 68.2% correct choice for pattern-colour relations and 73.3% for colour-pattern relations. However, Apis mellifera does not transfer this knowledge to the symmetrical relations when the stimulus order is reversed. A second bee species, the stingless bee Melipona rufiventris from Brazil, seems unable to learn the same arbitrary relations between colours and patterns, although it exhibits excellent discrimination learning. Conclusions/Significance Our results confirm that the capacity for learning arbitrary relations is not limited to vertebrates, but even insects with small brains can perform this learning task. Interestingly, it seems to be a species-specific ability. The disparity in relational learning performance between the two bee species we tested may be linked to their specific foraging and recruitment strategies, which evolved in adaptation to different environments. PMID:23251542

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23630255

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23630255

  1. Influence of Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) on the Use of the Most Abundant and Attractive Floral Resources in a Plant Community.

    PubMed

    Polatto, L P; Chaud-Netto, J

    2013-12-01

    Some factors influence the distribution of abundance of floral visitors, especially the amount and quality of the floral resources available, the size of the area occupied by the visitor, habitat heterogeneity, and the impact caused by natural enemies and introduced species. The objective of this research was to evaluate the distribution of abundance of the foraging activity of native floral visitors and Apis mellifera L. in the most abundant and attractive food sources in a secondary forest fragment with features of Cerrado-Atlantic Forest. Some plant species were selected and the frequency of foraging made by floral visitors was recorded. A high abundance of visits in flowers was performed by A. mellifera. Two factors may have influenced this result: (1) the occupation of the forest fragment predominantly by vines and shrubs at the expenses of vegetation with arboreal characteristics that favored the encounter of the flowering plants by A. mellifera; (2) rational beekeeping of A. mellifera, causing the number of natural swarms which originate annually from colonies of commercial apiaries and colonies previously established in the environment to be very high, thus leading to an increase in the population size of this bee species in the study site. The frequent occurrence of human-induced fire and deforestation within the forest fragment may have reduced the population size of the bee species, including A. mellifera. As the populations of A. mellifera have the capacity to quickly occupy the environment, this species possibly became dominant after successive disturbances made in the forest fragment. PMID:27193275

  2. A SNP Based High-Density Linkage Map of Apis cerana Reveals a High Recombination Rate Similar to Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zachary Y.; Wu, Xiao Bo; Zhu, Yong Qiang; Zheng, Hua Jun; Zeng, Zhi Jiang

    2013-01-01

    Background The Eastern honey bee, Apis cerana Fabricius, is distributed in southern and eastern Asia, from India and China to Korea and Japan and southeast to the Moluccas. This species is also widely kept for honey production besides Apis mellifera. Apis cerana is also a model organism for studying social behavior, caste determination, mating biology, sexual selection, and host-parasite interactions. Few resources are available for molecular research in this species, and a linkage map was never constructed. A linkage map is a prerequisite for quantitative trait loci mapping and for analyzing genome structure. We used the Chinese honey bee, Apis cerana cerana to construct the first linkage map in the Eastern honey bee. Results F2 workers (N = 103) were genotyped for 126,990 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). After filtering low quality and those not passing the Mendel test, we obtained 3,000 SNPs, 1,535 of these were informative and used to construct a linkage map. The preliminary map contains 19 linkage groups, we then mapped the 19 linkage groups to 16 chromosomes by comparing the markers to the genome of A. mellfiera. The final map contains 16 linkage groups with a total of 1,535 markers. The total genetic distance is 3,942.7 centimorgans (cM) with the largest linkage group (180 loci) measuring 574.5 cM. Average marker interval for all markers across the 16 linkage groups is 2.6 cM. Conclusion We constructed a high density linkage map for A. c. cerana with 1,535 markers. Because the map is based on SNP markers, it will enable easier and faster genotyping assays than randomly amplified polymorphic DNA or microsatellite based maps used in A. mellifera. PMID:24130775

  3. Focal and temporal release of glutamate in the mushroom bodies improves olfactory memory in Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Locatelli, Fernando; Bundrock, Gesine; Müller, Uli

    2005-12-14

    In contrast to vertebrates, the role of the neurotransmitter glutamate in learning and memory in insects has hardly been investigated. The reason is that a pharmacological characterization of insect glutamate receptors is still missing; furthermore, it is difficult to locally restrict pharmacological interventions. In this study, we overcome these problems by using locally and temporally defined photo-uncaging of glutamate to study its role in olfactory learning and memory formation in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Uncaging glutamate in the mushroom bodies immediately after a weak training protocol induced a higher memory rate 2 d after training, mimicking the effect of a strong training protocol. Glutamate release before training does not facilitate memory formation, suggesting that glutamate mediates processes triggered by training and required for memory formation. Uncaging glutamate in the antennal lobes shows no effect on memory formation. These results provide the first direct evidence for a temporally and locally restricted function of glutamate in memory formation in honeybees and insects. PMID:16354919

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. The ontogeny of immunity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. following an immune challenge.

    PubMed

    Laughton, Alice M; Boots, Michael; Siva-Jothy, Michael T

    2011-07-01

    The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is an ideal system for investigating ontogenetic changes in the immune system, because it combines holometabolous development within a eusocial caste system. As adults, male and female bees are subject to differing selective pressures: worker bees (females) exhibit temporal polyethism, while the male drones invest in mating. They are further influenced by changes in the threat of pathogen infection at different life stages. We investigated the immune response of workers and drones at all developmental phases, from larvae through to late stage adults, assaying both a constitutive (phenoloxidase, PO activity) and induced (antimicrobial peptide, AMP) immune response. We found that larval bees have low levels of PO activity. Adult workers produced stronger immune responses than drones, and a greater plasticity in immune investment. Immune challenge resulted in lower levels of PO activity in adult workers, which may be due to the rapid utilisation and a subsequent failure to replenish the constitutive phenoloxidase. Both adult workers and drones responded to an immune challenge by producing higher titres of AMPs, suggesting that the cost of this response prohibits its constant maintenance. Both castes showed signs of senescence in immune investment in the AMP response. Different sexes and life stages therefore alter their immune system management based on the combined factors of disease risk and life history. PMID:21570403

  6. Characters that differ between diploid and haploid honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Matthias; Trenzcek, Tina; Fahrenhorst, Hartmut; Engels, Wolf

    2005-01-01

    Diploid males have long been considered a curiosity contradictory to the haplo-diploid mode of sex determination in the Hymenoptera. In Apis mellifera, 'false' diploid male larvae are eliminated by worker cannibalism immediately after hatching. A 'cannibalism substance' produced by diploid drone larvae to induce worker-assisted suicide has been hypothesized, but it has never been detected. Diploid drones are only removed some hours after hatching. Older larvae are evidently not regarded as 'false males' and instead are regularly nursed by the brood-attending worker bees. As the pheromonal cues presumably are located on the surface of newly hatched bee larvae, we extracted the cuticular secretions and analyzed their chemical composition by gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses. Larvae were sexed and then reared in vitro for up to three days. The GC-MS pattern that was obtained, with alkanes as the major compounds, was compared between diploid and haploid drone larvae. We also examined some physical parameters of adult drones. There was no difference between diploid and haploid males in their weight at the day of emergence. The diploid adult drones had fewer wing hooks and smaller testes. The sperm DNA content was 0.30 and 0.15 pg per nucleus, giving an exact 2:1 ratio for the gametocytes of diploid and haploid drones, respectively. Vitellogenin was found in the hemolymph of both types of imaginal drones at 5 to 6 days, with a significantly lower titer in the diploids. PMID:16475107

  7. Honeybee, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae), leaf damage on Alnus species in Uganda: a blessing or curse in agroforestry?

    PubMed

    Nyeko, P; Edwards-Jones, G; Day, R K

    2002-10-01

    It is a dictum that Apis mellifera Linnaeus is innocuous in agricultural ecosystems. This study provides the first record of A. mellifera as a significant defoliator of Alnus species. Careful field observations coupled with microscopic examination provided convincing evidence implicating A. mellifera as the cause of leaf perforation on Alnus species in Uganda. Apis mellifera was observed foraging selectively on young Alnus leaves and buds in search of a sticky substance, apparently propolis. In so doing, the bee created wounds that enlarged and caused tattering of Alnus leaves as they matured. Biological surveys indicated that the damage was prevalent and occurred widely, particularly on Alnus acuminata Kunth in Uganda. Incidence of the Apis mellifera damage on Alnus acuminata peaked in the dry season, with up to 90% of leaves emerging per shoot per month damaged, and was lowest in the wet months during peak leaf emergence. Apis mellifera leaf damage was consistently higher on Alnus acuminata than A. nepalensis D. Don., on saplings than mature trees, and on sun exposed than shaded leaves. The activity of honeybees may be detrimental to the productivity of Alnus, yet the substance for which the insect forages on Alnus is a resource with potential economic importance. PMID:12241565

  8. Pyrosequencing analysis of the bacterial communities in the guts of honey bees Apis cerana and Apis mellifera in Korea.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Jae-Hyung; Hong, In-Pyo; Bok, Jeung-Im; Kim, Byung-Yong; Song, Jaekyeong; Weon, Hang-Yeon

    2012-10-01

    The bacterial communities in the guts of the adults and larvae of the Asian honey bee Apis cerana and the European honey bee Apis mellifera were surveyed by pyrosequencing the 16S rRNA genes. Most of the gut bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences were highly similar to the known honey bee-specific ones and affiliated with Pasteurellaceae or lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The numbers of operational taxonomic units (OTUs, defined at 97% similarity) were lower in the larval guts (6 or 9) than in the adult guts (18 or 20), and the frequencies of Pasteurellaceae-related OTUs were higher in the larval guts while those of LAB-related OTUs in the adult guts. The frequencies of Lactococcus, Bartonella, Spiroplasma, Enterobacteriaceae, and Flavobacteriaceae-related OTUs were much higher in A. cerana guts while Bifidobacterium and Lachnospiraceae-related OTUs were more abundant in A. mellfera guts. The bacterial community structures in the midguts and hindguts of the adult honey bees were not different for A. cerana, but significantly different for A. mellifera. The above results substantiated the previous observation that honey bee guts are dominated by several specific bacterial groups, and also showed that the relative abundances of OTUs could be markedly changed depending on the developmental stage, the location within the gut, and the honey bee species. The possibility of using the gut bacterial community as an indicator of honey bee health was discussed. PMID:23124740

  9. Homology differences between complete Sacbrood virus genomes from infected Apis mellifera and Apis cerana honeybees in Korea.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Kondreddy Eswar; Yoo, Mi Sun; Kim, Young-Ha; Kim, Nam-Hee; Ramya, Mummadireddy; Jung, Ha-Na; Thao, Le Thi Bich; Lee, Hee-Soo; Kang, Seung-Won

    2016-04-01

    Sacbrood virus (SBV) represents a serious threat to the health of managed honeybees. We determined four complete SBV genomic sequences (AmSBV-Kor1, AmSBV-Kor2, AcSBV-Kor3, and AcSBV-Kor4) isolated from Apis mellifera and Apis cerana in various regions of South Korea. A phylogenetic tree was constructed from the complete genomic sequences of these Korean SBVs (KSBVs) and 21 previously reported SBV sequences from other countries. Three KSBVs (not AmSBV-Kor1) clustered with previously reported Korean genomes, but separately from SBV genomes from other countries. The KSBVs shared 90-98 % identity, and 89-97 % identity with the genomes from other countries. AmSBV-Kor1 was least similar (~90 % identity) to the other KSBVs, and was most similar to previously reported strains AmSBV-Kor21 (97 %) and AmSBV-UK (93 %). Phylogenetic analysis of the partial VP1 region sequences indicated that SBVs clustered by host species and country of origin. The KSBVs were aligned with nine previously reported complete SBV genomes and compared. The KSBVs were most different from the other genomes at the end of the 5' untranslated region and in the entire open reading frame. A SimPlot graph of the VP1 region confirmed its high variability, especially between the SBVs infecting A. mellifera and A. cerana. In this genomic region, SBVs from A. mellifera species contain an extra continuous 51-nucleotide sequence relative to the SBVs from A. cerana. This genomic diversity may reflect the adaptation of SBV to specific hosts, viral cross-infections, and the spatial distances separating the KSBVs from other SBVs. PMID:26810400

  10. Apicystis bombi (Apicomplexa: Neogregarinorida) parasitizing Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Plischuk, Santiago; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; Lange, Carlos E

    2011-10-01

    The neogregarine Apicystis bombi is considered a low prevalence parasite of Bombus spp. Before our work it has only once been detected in one single specimen of the Western honeybee Apis mellifera. This contribution reports the presence of A. bombi parasitizing both A. mellifera and Bombus terrestris at a site in Northwestern Argentine Patagonia (Bariloche, close to the border with Chile) and analyses its possible absence in the Pampas region, the most important beekeeping region of the country. In Bariloche, prevalence of A. bombi in A. mellifera was 7.6% in 2009, and 13.6% in 2010, whereas in B. terrestris it was 12.1%. Infections were not detected in 302 bee hives periodically prospected along 3 years (almost 400 000 honeybee specimens) in the Pampas. Analysis with the probability program FreeCalc2 suggested a possible absence of A. bombi in this area. Because of high virulence showed in several species of Bombus in the Northern hemisphere, A. bombi should be closely monitored in A. mellifera and in native Bombus species or other Apidae. PMID:23761336

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Beekeeping activities, especially queen trading, have shaped the distribution of honey bee (Apis mellifera) subspecies in Europe, and have resulted in extensive introductions of two eastern European C-lineage subspecies (A. m. ligustica and A. m. carnica) into the native range of the M-lineage A. m. mellifera subspecies in Western Europe. As a consequence, replacement and gene flow between native and commercial populations have occurred at varying levels across western European populations. Genetic identification and introgression analysis using molecular markers is an important tool for management and conservation of honey bee subspecies. Previous studies have monitored introgression by using microsatellite, PCR-RFLP markers and most recently, high density assays using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. While the latter are almost prohibitively expensive, the information gained to date can be exploited to create a reduced panel containing the most ancestry-informative markers (AIMs) for those purposes with very little loss of information. The objective of this study was to design reduced panels of AIMs to verify the origin of A. m. mellifera individuals and to provide accurate estimates of the level of C-lineage introgression into their genome. The discriminant power of the SNPs using a variety of metrics and approaches including the Weir & Cockerham’s FST, an FST-based outlier test, Delta, informativeness (In), and PCA was evaluated. This study shows that reduced AIMs panels assign individuals to the correct origin and calculates the admixture level with a high degree of accuracy. These panels provide an essential tool in Europe for genetic stock identification and estimation of admixture levels which can assist management strategies and monitor honey bee conservation programs. PMID:25875986

  12. Functional characterization of naturally occurring melittin peptide isoforms in two honey bee species, Apis mellifera and Apis cerana.

    PubMed

    Park, Doori; Jung, Je Won; Lee, Mi Ok; Lee, Si Young; Kim, Boyun; Jin, Hye Jun; Kim, Jiyoung; Ahn, Young-Joon; Lee, Ki Won; Song, Yong Sang; Hong, Seunghun; Womack, James E; Kwon, Hyung Wook

    2014-03-01

    Insect-derived antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have diverse effects on antimicrobial properties and pharmacological activities such as anti-inflammation and anticancer properties. Naturally occurring genetic polymorphism have a direct and/or indirect influence on pharmacological effect of AMPs, therefore information on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) occurring in natural AMPs provides an important clue to therapeutic applications. Here we identified nucleotide polymorphisms in melittin gene of honey bee populations, which is one of the potent AMP in bee venoms. We found that the novel SNP of melittin gene exists in these two honey bee species, Apis mellifera and Apis cerana. Nine polymorphisms were identified within the coding region of the melittin gene, of which one polymorphism that resulted in serine (Ser) to asparagine (Asp) substitution that can potentially effect on biological activities of melittin peptide. Serine-substituted melittin (Mel-S) showed more cytotoxic effect than asparagine-substituted melittin (Mel-N) against E. coli. Also, Mel-N and Mel-S had different inhibitory effects on the production of inflammatory factors such as IL-6 and TNF-α in BV-2 cells. Moreover, Mel-S showed stronger cytotoxic activities than Mel-N peptide against two human ovarian cancer cell lines. Using carbon nanotube-based transistor, we here characterized that Mel-S interacted with small unilamellar liposomes more strongly than Mel-N. Taken together, our present study demonstrates that there exist different characteristics of the gene frequency and the biological activities of the melittin peptide in two honey bee species, Apis mellifera and A. cerana. PMID:24512991

  13. Chemical Composition of Different Botanical Origin Honeys Produced by Sicilian Black Honeybees (Apis mellifera ssp. sicula).

    PubMed

    Mannina, Luisa; Sobolev, Anatoly P; Di Lorenzo, Arianna; Vista, Silvia; Tenore, Gian Carlo; Daglia, Maria

    2015-07-01

    In 2008 a Slow Food Presidium was launched in Sicily (Italy) for an early warning of the risk of extinction of the Sicilian native breed of black honeybee (Apis mellifera L. ssp sicula). Today, the honey produced by these honeybees is the only Sicilian honey produced entirely by the black honeybees. In view of few available data regarding the chemical composition of A. mellifera ssp. sicula honeys, in the present investigation the chemical compositions of sulla honey (Hedysarum coronarium L.) and dill honey (Anethum graveolens L.) were studied with a multimethodological approach, which consists of HPLC-PDA-ESI-MSn and NMR spectroscopy. Moreover, three unifloral honeys (lemon honey (obtained from Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck), orange honey (Citrus arantium L.), and medlar honey (Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl)), with known phenol and polyphenol compositions, were studied with NMR spectroscopy to deepen the knowledge about sugar and amino acid compositions. PMID:25730368

  14. Social encapsulation of beetle parasites by Cape honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera capensis Esch.).

    PubMed

    Neumann, P; Pirk, C W; Hepburn, H R; Solbrig, A J; Ratnieks, F L; Elzen, P J; Baxter, J R

    2001-05-01

    Worker honeybees (Apis mellifera capensis) encapsulate the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida), a nest parasite, in propolis (tree resin collected by the bees). The encapsulation process lasts 1-4 days and the bees have a sophisticated guarding strategy for limiting the escape of beetles during encapsulation. Some encapsulated beetles died (4.9%) and a few escaped (1.6%). Encapsulation has probably evolved because the small hive beetle cannot easily be killed by the bees due to its hard exoskeleton and defensive behaviour. PMID:11482434

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:15362396

  16. High Royal Jelly-Producing Honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in China.

    PubMed

    Cao, Lian-Fei; Zheng, Huo-Qing; Pirk, Christian W W; Hu, Fu-Liang; Xu, Zi-Wei

    2016-04-01

    China is the largest producer and exporter of royal jelly (RJ) in the world, supplying >90% of the global market. The high production of RJ in China is principally owing to the high RJ-producing lineage of honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola, 1806) established by beekeepers in the 1980s. We describe the development of high royal jelly-producing honeybees and the management of this lineage today. Previous research and recent advances in the genetic characterization of this lineage, and the molecular markers and mechanisms associated with high RJ production are summarized. The gaps in our knowledge and prospects for future research are also highlighted. PMID:26921226

  17. Social encapsulation of beetle parasites by Cape honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera capensis Esch.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumann, P.; Pirk, C. W. W.; Hepburn, H. R.; Solbrig, A. J.; Ratnieks, F. L. W.; Elzen, P. J.; Baxter, J. R.

    2001-05-01

    Worker honeybees (Apis mellifera capensis) encapsulate the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida), a nest parasite, in propolis (tree resin collected by the bees). The encapsulation process lasts 1-4 days and the bees have a sophisticated guarding strategy for limiting the escape of beetles during encapsulation. Some encapsulated beetles died (4.9%) and a few escaped (1.6%). Encapsulation has probably evolved because the small hive beetle cannot easily be killed by the bees due to its hard exoskeleton and defensive behaviour.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:12097861

  20. Eph receptor and ephrin signaling in developing and adult brain of the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Vidovic, Maria; Nighorn, Alan; Koblar, Simon; Maleszka, Ryszard

    2007-02-01

    Roles for Eph receptor tyrosine kinase and ephrin signaling in vertebrate brain development are well established. Their involvement in the modulation of mammalian synaptic structure and physiology is also emerging. However, less is known of their effects on brain development and their function in adult invertebrate nervous systems. Here, we report on the characterization of Eph receptor and ephrin orthologs in the honeybee, Apis mellifera (Am), and their role in learning and memory. In situ hybridization for mRNA expression showed a uniform distribution of expression of both genes across the developing pupal and adult brain. However, in situ labeling with Fc fusion proteins indicated that the AmEphR and Amephrin proteins were differentially localized to cell body regions in the mushroom bodies and the developing neuropiles of the antennal and optic lobes. In adults, AmEphR protein was localized to regions of synaptic contacts in optic lobes, in the glomeruli of antennal lobes, and in the medial lobe of the mushroom body. The latter two regions are involved in olfactory learning and memory in the honeybee. Injections of EphR-Fc and ephrin-Fc proteins into the brains of adult bees, 1 h before olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex, significantly reduced memory 24 h later. Experimental amnesia in the group injected with ephrin-Fc was apparent 1 h post-training. Experimental amnesia was also induced by post-training injections with ephrin-Fc suggesting a role in recall. This is the first demonstration that Eph molecules function to regulate the formation of memory in insects. PMID:17443785

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    Diphenism in social bees is essentially contingent on nutrient-induced cellular and systemic physiological responses resulting in divergent gene expression patterns. Analyses of juvenile hormone (JH) titers and functional genomics assays of the insulin-insulin-like signaling (IIS) pathway and its associated branch, target-of-rapamycin (TOR), revealed systemic responses underlying honey bee (Apis mellifera) caste development. Nevertheless, little attention has been paid to cellular metabolic responses. Following up earlier investigations showing major caste differences in oxidative metabolism and mitochondrial physiology, we herein identified honey bee homologs of hypoxia signaling factors, HIFα/Sima, HIFβ/Tango and PHD/Fatiga and we investigated their transcript levels throughout critical stages of larval development. Amsima, Amtango and Amfatiga showed correlated transcriptional activity, with two peaks of occurring in both queens and workers, the first one shortly after the last larval molt and the second during the cocoon-spinning phase. Transcript levels for the three genes were consistently higher in workers. As there is no evidence for major microenvironmental differences in oxygen levels within the brood nest area, this appears to be an inherent caste character. Quantitative PCR analyses on worker brain, ovary, and leg imaginal discs showed that these tissues differ in transcript levels. Being a highly conserved pathway and linked to IIS/TOR, the hypoxia gene expression pattern seen in honey bee larvae denotes that the hypoxia pathway has undergone a transformation, at least during larval development, from a response to environmental oxygen concentrations to an endogenous regulatory factor in the diphenic development of honey bee larvae. PMID:20887729

  2. Eph Receptor and Ephrin Signaling in Developing and Adult Brain of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Vidovic, Maria; Nighorn, Alan; Koblar, Simon; Maleszka, Ryszard

    2007-01-01

    Roles for Eph receptor tyrosine kinase and ephrin signaling in vertebrate brain development are well established. Their involvement in the modulation of mammalian synaptic structure and physiology is also emerging. However, less is known of their effects on brain development and their function in adult invertebrate nervous systems. Here, we report on the characterization of Eph receptor and ephrin orthologs in the honeybee, Apis mellifera (Am), and their role in learning and memory. In situ hybridization for mRNA expression showed a uniform distribution of expression of both genes across the developing pupal and adult brain. However, in situ labeling with Fc fusion proteins indicated that the AmEphR and Amephrin proteins were differentially localized to cell body regions in the mushroom bodies and the developing neuropiles of the antennal and optic lobes. In adults, AmEphR protein was localized to regions of synaptic contacts in optic lobes, in the glomeruli of antennal lobes, and in the medial lobe of the mushroom body. The latter two regions are involved in olfactory learning and memory in the honeybee. Injections of EphR-Fc and ephrin-Fc proteins into the brains of adult bees, 1 h before olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex, sig-nificantly reduced memory 24 h later. Experimental amnesia in the group injected with ephrin-Fc was apparent 1 h post-training. Experimental amnesia was also induced by post-training injections with ephrin-Fc suggesting a role in recall. This is the first demonstration that Eph molecules function to regulate the formation of memory in insects. PMID:17443785

  3. Assessing hygienic behavior of Apis mellifera unicolor (Hymenoptera: Apidae), the endemic honey bee from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Rasolofoarivao, H; Delatte, H; Raveloson Ravaomanarivo, L H; Reynaud, B; Clémencet, J

    2015-01-01

    Hygienic behavior (HB) is one of the natural mechanisms of honey bee for limiting the spread of brood diseases and Varroa destructor parasitic mite. Objective of our study was to measure HB of Apis mellifera unicolor colonies (N = 403) from three geographic regions (one infested and two free of V. destructor) in Madagascar. The pin-killing method was used for evaluation of the HB. Responses were measured from 3 h 30 min to 7 h after perforation of the cells. Colonies were very effective in detecting perforated cells. In the first 4 h, on average, they detected at least 50% of the pin-killed brood. Six hours after cell perforation, colonies tested (N = 91) showed a wide range of uncapped (0 to 100%) and cleaned cells (0 to 82%). Global distribution of the rate of cleaned cells at 6 h was multimodal and hygienic responses could be split in three classes. Colonies from the three regions showed a significant difference in HB responses. Three hypotheses (geographic, genetic traits, presence of V. destructor) are further discussed to explain variability of HB responses among the regions. Levels of HB efficiency of A. mellifera unicolor colonies are among the greatest levels reported for A. mellifera subspecies. Presence of highly hygienic colonies is a great opportunity for future breeding program in selection for HB. PMID:26125787

  4. Permanent prevalence of Nosema ceranae in honey bees (Apis mellifera) in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Csáki, Tamás; Heltai, Miklós; Markolt, Ferenc; Kovács, Balázs; Békési, László; Ladányi, Márta; Péntek-Zakar, Erika; Meana, Aránzazu; Botías, Cristina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Higes, Mariano

    2015-09-01

    Nosema ceranae is present in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies worldwide. Studies on the comparative virulence of N. ceranae and N. apis showed significant differences in individual mortality, and the prevalence of N. ceranae seems to be predominant in both the continental and the Mediterranean climate regions. This study attempted to monitor the geographical and seasonal distribution of these two Nosema species in Hungary, using a simple laboratory method. The distribution of N. ceranae and N. apis infection rates along all seasons was homogeneous (P = 0.57). In co-infected samples, the intensity of N. ceranae infection was always significantly higher than that of N. apis infection (P < 0.001). The infection rate of infected bees in exterior samples was higher than in interior samples in each season; however, the differences were not statistically significant. The species N. ceranae had been present in Hungary already in 2004. Statistical analysis of data shows that the infection level is best represented by sampling exterior bees to establish the proportion of infected bees rather than by determining the mean spore count. PMID:26551426

  5. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene family of the honey bee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Andrew K.; Raymond-Delpech, Valerie; Thany, Steeve H.; Gauthier, Monique; Sattelle, David B.

    2006-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast cholinergic synaptic transmission and play roles in many cognitive processes. They are under intense research as potential targets of drugs used to treat neurodegenerative diseases and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Invertebrate nAChRs are targets of anthelmintics as well as a major group of insecticides, the neonicotinoids. The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is one of the most beneficial insects worldwide, playing an important role in crop pollination, and is also a valuable model system for studies on social interaction, sensory processing, learning, and memory. We have used the A. mellifera genome information to characterize the complete honey bee nAChR gene family. Comparison with the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae shows that the honey bee possesses the largest family of insect nAChR subunits to date (11 members). As with Drosophila and Anopheles, alternative splicing of conserved exons increases receptor diversity. Also, we show that in one honey bee nAChR subunit, six adenosine residues are targeted for RNA A-to-I editing, two of which are evolutionarily conserved in Drosophila melanogaster and Heliothis virescens orthologs, and that the extent of editing increases as the honey bee lifecycle progresses, serving to maximize receptor diversity at the adult stage. These findings on Apis mellifera enhance our understanding of nAChR functional genomics and provide a useful basis for the development of improved insecticides that spare a major beneficial insect species. PMID:17065616

  6. Genome characterization, prevalence and distribution of a Macula-like virus from Apis mellifera and Varroa destructor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Numerous viruses have been detected in honeybees, which can be roughly divided into 14 unique and distinct species-complexes, each with one or more strains or sub-species. Here we present the initial characterization of an entirely new virus species-complex discovered in honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)...

  7. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Formation of Long-Term Reward Memories and Extinction Memories in the Honeybee ("Apis Mellifera")

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-01-01

    The honeybee ("Apis mellifera") has long served as an invertebrate model organism for reward learning and memory research. Its capacity for learning and memory formation is rooted in the ecological need to efficiently collect nectar and pollen during summer to ensure survival of the hive during winter. Foraging bees learn to associate a…

  8. Evaluation of apicultural characteristics of first year colonies initiated from packaged honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We evaluated six stocks of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, from four producers. We examined the effects of initial levels of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman, the endoparasitic mite Acarapis woodi (Rennie), the intestinal parasite Nosema (species not determined) and levels of...

  9. Genomic survey of the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, a major pest of the honey bee Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are an important agricultural commodity providing honey, other bee products, and pollination services. Domesticated honey bees in the United States and elsewhere have been in decline in recent years, despite an increasing need for honey bee pollination services. This fact...

  10. Influence of honey bee, Apis mellifera, hives and field size on foraging activity of native bee species in pumpkin fields.

    PubMed

    Artz, Derek R; Hsu, Cynthia L; Nault, Brian A

    2011-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify bee species active in pumpkin fields in New York and to estimate their potential as pollinators by examining their foraging activity. In addition, we examined whether foraging activity was affected by either the addition of hives of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., or by field size. Thirty-five pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.) fields ranging from 0.6 to 26.3 ha, 12 supplemented with A. mellifera hives and 23 not supplemented, were sampled during peak flowering over three successive weeks in 2008 and 2009. Flowers from 300 plants per field were visually sampled for bees on each sampling date. A. mellifera, Bombus impatiens Cresson, and Peponapis pruinosa (Say) accounted for 99% of all bee visits to flowers. A. mellifera and B. impatiens visited significantly more pistillate flowers than would be expected by chance, whereas P. pruinosa showed no preference for visiting pistillate flowers. There were significantly more A. mellifera visits per flower in fields supplemented with A. mellifera hives than in fields not supplemented, but there were significantly fewer P. pruinosa visits in supplemented fields. The number of B. impatiens visits was not affected by supplementation, but was affected by number of flowers per field. A. mellifera and P. pruinosa visits were not affected by field size, but B. impatiens visited fewer flowers as field size increased in fields that were not supplemented with A. mellifera hives. Declining A. mellifera populations may increase the relative importance of B. impatiens in pollinating pumpkins in New York. PMID:22251726

  11. Genomic Analyses Reveal Demographic History and Temperate Adaptation of the Newly Discovered Honey Bee Subspecies Apis mellifera sinisxinyuan n. ssp.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chao; Liu, Zhiguang; Pan, Qi; Chen, Xiao; Wang, Huihua; Guo, Haikun; Liu, Shidong; Lu, Hongfeng; Tian, Shilin; Li, Ruiqiang; Shi, Wei

    2016-05-01

    Studying the genetic signatures of climate-driven selection can produce insights into local adaptation and the potential impacts of climate change on populations. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is an interesting species to study local adaptation because it originated in tropical/subtropical climatic regions and subsequently spread into temperate regions. However, little is known about the genetic basis of its adaptation to temperate climates. Here, we resequenced the whole genomes of ten individual bees from a newly discovered population in temperate China and downloaded resequenced data from 35 individuals from other populations. We found that the new population is an undescribed subspecies in the M-lineage of A. mellifera (Apis mellifera sinisxinyuan). Analyses of population history show that long-term global temperature has strongly influenced the demographic history of A. m. sinisxinyuan and its divergence from other subspecies. Further analyses comparing temperate and tropical populations identified several candidate genes related to fat body and the Hippo signaling pathway that are potentially involved in adaptation to temperate climates. Our results provide insights into the demographic history of the newly discovered A. m. sinisxinyuan, as well as the genetic basis of adaptation of A. mellifera to temperate climates at the genomic level. These findings will facilitate the selective breeding of A. mellifera to improve the survival of overwintering colonies. PMID:26823447

  12. Genomic Analyses Reveal Demographic History and Temperate Adaptation of the Newly Discovered Honey Bee Subspecies Apis mellifera sinisxinyuan n. ssp

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chao; Liu, Zhiguang; Pan, Qi; Chen, Xiao; Wang, Huihua; Guo, Haikun; Liu, Shidong; Lu, Hongfeng; Tian, Shilin; Li, Ruiqiang; Shi, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Studying the genetic signatures of climate-driven selection can produce insights into local adaptation and the potential impacts of climate change on populations. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is an interesting species to study local adaptation because it originated in tropical/subtropical climatic regions and subsequently spread into temperate regions. However, little is known about the genetic basis of its adaptation to temperate climates. Here, we resequenced the whole genomes of ten individual bees from a newly discovered population in temperate China and downloaded resequenced data from 35 individuals from other populations. We found that the new population is an undescribed subspecies in the M-lineage of A. mellifera (Apis mellifera sinisxinyuan). Analyses of population history show that long-term global temperature has strongly influenced the demographic history of A. m. sinisxinyuan and its divergence from other subspecies. Further analyses comparing temperate and tropical populations identified several candidate genes related to fat body and the Hippo signaling pathway that are potentially involved in adaptation to temperate climates. Our results provide insights into the demographic history of the newly discovered A. m. sinisxinyuan, as well as the genetic basis of adaptation of A. mellifera to temperate climates at the genomic level. These findings will facilitate the selective breeding of A. mellifera to improve the survival of overwintering colonies. PMID:26823447

  13. Patterns of Apis mellifera infection by Nosema ceranae support the parasite hypothesis for the evolution of extreme polyandry in eusocial insects.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The microsporidian Nosema ceranae has recently invaded managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies beyond Asia. The presence of this emergent parasite in lineages of A. mellifera that are naïve to its selection pressure (“Italian”) and that have co-evolved with the parasite over ca. 150 generations ...

  14. MRJP microsatellite markers in Africanized Apis mellifera colonies selected on the basis of royal jelly production.

    PubMed

    Parpinelli, R S; Ruvolo-Takasusuki, M C C; Toledo, V A A

    2014-01-01

    It is important to select the best honeybees that produce royal jelly to identify important molecular markers, such as major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs), and hence contribute to the development of new breeding strategies to improve the production of this substance. Therefore, this study focused on evaluating the genetic variability of mrjp3, mrjp5, and mrjp8 and associated allele maintenance during the process of selective reproduction in Africanized Apis mellifera individuals, which were chosen based on royal jelly production. The three loci analyzed were polymorphic, and produced a total of 16 alleles, with 4 new alleles, which were identified at mrjp5. The effective number of alleles at mrjp3 was 3.81. The observed average heterozygosity was 0.4905, indicating a high degree of genetic variability at these loci. The elevated FIS values for mrjp3, mrjp5, and mrjp8 (0.4188, 0.1077, and 0.2847, respectively) indicate an excess of homozygotes. The selection of Africanized A. mellifera queens for royal jelly production has maintained the mrjp3 C, D, and E alleles; although, the C allele occurred at a low frequency. The heterozygosity and FIS values show that the genetic variability of the queens is decreasing at the analyzed loci, generating an excess of homozygotes. However, the large numbers of drones that fertilize the queens make it difficult to develop homozygotes at mrjp3. Mating through instrumental insemination using the drones of known genotypes is required to increase the efficiency of Africanized A. mellifera-breeding programs, and to improve the quality and efficiency of commercial royal jelly apiaries. PMID:25177952

  15. Comparative Toxicities and Synergism of Apple Orchard Pesticides to Apis mellifera (L.) and Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski)

    PubMed Central

    Biddinger, David J.; Robertson, Jacqueline L.; Mullin, Chris; Frazier, James; Ashcraft, Sara A.; Rajotte, Edwin G.; Joshi, Neelendra K.; Vaughn, Mace

    2013-01-01

    The topical toxicities of five commercial grade pesticides commonly sprayed in apple orchards were estimated on adult worker honey bees, Apis mellifera (L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Japanese orchard bees, Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). The pesticides were acetamiprid (Assail 30SG), λ-cyhalothrin (Warrior II), dimethoate (Dimethoate 4EC), phosmet (Imidan 70W), and imidacloprid (Provado 1.6F). At least 5 doses of each chemical, diluted in distilled water, were applied to freshly-eclosed adult bees. Mortality was assessed after 48 hr. Dose-mortality regressions were analyzed by probit analysis to test the hypotheses of parallelism and equality by likelihood ratio tests. For A. mellifera, the decreasing order of toxicity at LD50 was imidacloprid, λ-cyhalothrin, dimethoate, phosmet, and acetamiprid. For O. cornifrons, the decreasing order of toxicity at LD50 was dimethoate, λ-cyhalothrin, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, and phosmet. Interaction of imidacloprid or acetamiprid with the fungicide fenbuconazole (Indar 2F) was also tested in a 1∶1 proportion for each species. Estimates of response parameters for each mixture component applied to each species were compared with dose-response data for each mixture in statistical tests of the hypothesis of independent joint action. For each mixture, the interaction of fenbuconazole (a material non-toxic to both species) was significant and positive along the entire line for the pesticide. Our results clearly show that responses of A. mellifera cannot be extrapolated to responses of O.cornifrons, and that synergism of neonicotinoid insecticides and fungicides occurs using formulated product in mixtures as they are commonly applied in apple orchards. PMID:24039783

  16. Drug leads agents from methanol extract of Nigerian bee (Apis mellifera) propolis

    PubMed Central

    Lawal, Bashir; Shittu, Oluwatosin Kudirat; Abubakar, Asmau Niwoye; Olalekan, Ibrahim Azeez; Jimoh, Adisa Mohammed; Abdulazeez, Adeniyi Kamoru

    2016-01-01

    Background: Propolis is a bee (Apis mellifera) product of plant origin with varied chemical composition depending on the ecology of the botanical origin. It has been reported in literature to possess various therapeutic effects both traditionally, clinical trial, and animal study. Objectives: In the present study bioactive principle in methanol extract of Nigerian bee (A. mellifera) propolis was determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) study. Materials and Methods: The methanol extract of Nigerian bee (A. mellifera) propolis was characterized for its chemical composition by preliminary phytochemicals screening and GC/MS analysis using standard procedures and methods. Results: Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids, tannins, cardiac glycosides, anthraquinones phlobatannins, and steroids while GC/MS chromatogram revealed nineteen peaks representing 60 different chemical compounds. The first compounds identified with less retention time (RT) (13.33s) were methyl tetradecanoate, tridecanoic acid, methyl ester, decanoic acid, methyl ester while squalene, all-trans-squalene, 2,6,10-dodecatrien-1-ol, 3,7,11-trimethyl-, (E,E)- and farnesol isomer a took longest RT (23.647s) to identify. Methyl 14-methylpentadecanoate, hexadecanoic acid methyl ester, methyl isoheptadecanoate, and methyl tridecanoate were the most concentrated constituent as revealed by there peak height (26.01%) while eicosanoic acid was the least concentrated (peak height 0.81%) constituent of Nigerian bee propolis. Conclusion: The presence of these chemical principles is an indication that methanol extract of Nigeria bee propolis, if properly screened could yield a drug of pharmaceutical importance. PMID:27069724

  17. Comparative toxicities and synergism of apple orchard pesticides to Apis mellifera (L.) and Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski).

    PubMed

    Biddinger, David J; Robertson, Jacqueline L; Mullin, Chris; Frazier, James; Ashcraft, Sara A; Rajotte, Edwin G; Joshi, Neelendra K; Vaughn, Mace

    2013-01-01

    The topical toxicities of five commercial grade pesticides commonly sprayed in apple orchards were estimated on adult worker honey bees, Apis mellifera (L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Japanese orchard bees, Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). The pesticides were acetamiprid (Assail 30SG), λ-cyhalothrin (Warrior II), dimethoate (Dimethoate 4EC), phosmet (Imidan 70W), and imidacloprid (Provado 1.6F). At least 5 doses of each chemical, diluted in distilled water, were applied to freshly-eclosed adult bees. Mortality was assessed after 48 hr. Dose-mortality regressions were analyzed by probit analysis to test the hypotheses of parallelism and equality by likelihood ratio tests. For A. mellifera, the decreasing order of toxicity at LD₅₀ was imidacloprid, λ-cyhalothrin, dimethoate, phosmet, and acetamiprid. For O. cornifrons, the decreasing order of toxicity at LD₅₀ was dimethoate, λ-cyhalothrin, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, and phosmet. Interaction of imidacloprid or acetamiprid with the fungicide fenbuconazole (Indar 2F) was also tested in a 1∶1 proportion for each species. Estimates of response parameters for each mixture component applied to each species were compared with dose-response data for each mixture in statistical tests of the hypothesis of independent joint action. For each mixture, the interaction of fenbuconazole (a material non-toxic to both species) was significant and positive along the entire line for the pesticide. Our results clearly show that responses of A. mellifera cannot be extrapolated to responses of O.cornifrons, and that synergism of neonicotinoid insecticides and fungicides occurs using formulated product in mixtures as they are commonly applied in apple orchards. PMID:24039783

  18. Definitive identification of magnetite nanoparticles in the abdomen of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desoil, M.; Gillis, P.; Gossuin, Y.; Pankhurst, Q. A.; Hautot, D.

    2005-01-01

    The biogenic magnetic properties of the honeybee Apis mellifera were investigated with a view to understanding the bee's physiological response to magnetic fields. The magnetisations of bee abdomens on one hand, and heads and thoraxes on the other hand, were measured separately as functions of temperature and field. Both the antiferromagnetic responses of the ferrihydrite cores of the iron storage protein ferritin, and the ferrimagnetic responses of nanoscale magnetite (Fe3O4) particles, were observed. Relatively large magnetite particles (ca. 30 nm or more), capable of retaining a remanent magnetisation at room temperature, were found in the abdomens, but were absent in the heads and thoraxes. In both samples, more than 98% of the iron atoms were due to ferritin.

  19. Depression of brain dopamine and its metabolite after mating in European honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harano, Ken-Ichi; Sasaki, Ken; Nagao, Takashi

    2005-07-01

    To explore neuro-endocrinal changes in the brain of European honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens before and after mating, we measured the amount of several biogenic amines, including dopamine and its metabolite in the brain of 6- and 12-day-old virgins and 12-day-old mated queens. Twelve-day-old mated queens showed significantly lower amounts of dopamine and its metabolite (N-acetyldopamine) than both 6- and 12-day-old virgin queens, whereas significant differences in the amounts of these amines were not detected between 6- and 12-day-old virgin queens. These results are explained by down-regulation of both synthesis and secretion of brain dopamine after mating. It is speculated that higher amounts of brain dopamine in virgin queens might be involved in activation of ovarian follicles arrested in previtellogenic stages, as well as regulation of their characteristic behaviors.

  20. Mimicry of queen Dufour's gland secretions by workers of Apis mellifera scutellata and A. m. capensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sole, Catherine; Kryger, Per; Hefetz, Abraham; Katzav-Gozansky, Tamar; Crewe, Robin

    2002-10-01

    The development of the Dufour's gland of workers of the two honey bee races Apis mellifera scutellata and A. m. capensis was measured. The Dufour's glands of A. m. capensis workers were longer and increased in length more rapidly than the glands of workers of A. m. scutellata at comparable ages. Analysis of the Dufour's gland secretions of workers and queens of both races revealed that there were caste and racial differences. Secretions of queenright A. m. scutellata workers were dominated by a series of long-chain hydrocarbons. In contrast the secretions of the A. m. capensis workers both under queenright and queenless conditions were a mixture of hydrocarbons and wax-type esters, as were those of queens. Multivariate analysis of the secretion profiles indicated that laying workers of both races mimic queens. The secretions of the A. m. capensis laying workers mimicked queen secretions most closely, enabling them to act as successful social parasites.

  1. Genetic characterization of slow bee paralysis virus of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    de Miranda, Joachim R; Dainat, Benjamin; Locke, Barbara; Cordoni, Guido; Berthoud, Helène; Gauthier, Laurent; Neumann, Peter; Budge, Giles E; Ball, Brenda V; Stoltz, Don B

    2010-10-01

    Complete genome sequences were determined for two distinct strains of slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV) of honeybees (Apis mellifera). The SBPV genome is approximately 9.5 kb long and contains a single ORF flanked by 5'- and 3'-UTRs and a naturally polyadenylated 3' tail, with a genome organization typical of members of the family Iflaviridae. The two strains, labelled 'Rothamsted' and 'Harpenden', are 83% identical at the nucleotide level (94% identical at the amino acid level), although this variation is distributed unevenly over the genome. The two strains were found to co-exist at different proportions in two independently propagated SBPV preparations. The natural prevalence of SBPV for 847 colonies in 162 apiaries across five European countries was <2%, with positive samples found only in England and Switzerland, in colonies with variable degrees of Varroa infestation. PMID:20519455

  2. Variability of chemosensory stimuli within honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies: Differential conditioning assay for discrimination cues.

    PubMed

    Getz, W M; Brückner, D; Smith, K B

    1988-01-01

    Differential training of honeybee workers using the proboscis extension reflex is applied to the problem of evaluating compounds that may potentially provide cues for kin recognition in the honeybeeApis mellifera. These cues were obtained by contaminating glass rods and steel needles with different materials found in the hive. In particular it is shown that workers discriminate between: cuticular waxes from different adult workers; eggs from the same and different hives; similar aged larvae within the same hive; and needles contaminated with the Nasonov gland secretions of different adult workers. It appears that some of these differences are due to phenotypic variation among individuals that cannot be directly attributed to environmental factors. PMID:24277008

  3. The complete mitochondrial genome of the invasive Africanized Honey Bee, Apis mellifera scutellata (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Gibson, Joshua D; Hunt, Greg J

    2016-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome from an Africanized honey bee population (AHB, derived from Apis mellifera scutellata) was assembled and analyzed. The mitogenome is 16,411 bp long and contains the same gene repertoire and gene order as the European honey bee (13 protein coding genes, 22 tRNA genes and 2 rRNA genes). ND4 appears to use an alternate start codon and the long rRNA gene is 48 bp shorter in AHB due to a deletion in a terminal AT dinucleotide repeat. The dihydrouracil arm is missing from tRNA-Ser (AGN) and tRNA-Glu is missing the TV loop. The A + T content is comparable to the European honey bee (84.7%), which increases to 95% for the 3rd position in the protein coding genes. PMID:24708125

  4. Downregulation of vitellogenin gene activity increases the gustatory responsiveness of honey bee workers (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Amdam, Gro V.; Norberg, Kari; Page, Robert E.; Erber, Joachim; Scheiner, Ricarda

    2008-01-01

    In the honey bee (Apis mellifera), young workers usually perform tasks in the nest while older workers forage in the field. The behavioral shift from nest-task to foraging activity is accompanied by physiological and sensory changes so that foragers can be characterized by a higher juvenile hormone (JH) level, a lower vitellogenin protein titer, and an increased responsiveness to water and sucrose stimuli. JH was hypothesized to be the key mediator of behavioral development, physiology, and sensory sensitivity in honey bee workers. Recent research, however, has shown that JH is controlled by the hemolymph vitellogenin level, which implies that the fat body specific vitellogenin gene can be a key regulator of behavioral change. Here, we show that downregulation of vitellogenin activity by RNA interference (RNAi) causes an increase in the gustatory responsiveness of worker bees. Our observations suggest that vitellogenin is an important regulator of long-term changes in honey bee behavior. PMID:16466813

  5. Short-sighted evolution of virulence in parasitic honeybee workers ( Apis mellifera capensis Esch.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moritz, Robin F. A.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Hepburn, H. Randall; Neumann, Peter

    2008-06-01

    The short-sighted selection hypothesis for parasite virulence predicts that winners of within-host competition are poorer at transmission to new hosts. Social parasitism by self-replicating, female-producing workers occurs in the Cape honeybee Apis mellifera capensis, and colonies of other honeybee subspecies are susceptible hosts. We found high within-host virulence but low transmission rates in a clone of social parasitic A. m. capensis workers invading the neighbouring subspecies A. m. scutellata. In contrast, parasitic workers from the endemic range of A. m. capensis showed low within-host virulence but high transmission rates. This suggests a short-sighted selection scenario for the host-parasite co-evolution in the invasive range of the Cape honeybee, probably facilitated by beekeeping-assisted parasite transmission in apiaries.

  6. The P-3 and EST Loci in the Honeybee APIS MELLIFERA

    PubMed Central

    Mestriner, Moacyr Antonio; Contel, Eucleia Primo Betioli

    1972-01-01

    Data for Apis mellifera indicate that the P-3 proteins and one esterase enzyme are controlled by two genes, P-3 and Est, with two alleles each. The frequency of the P-3 alleles is different in the two subspecies (adansonii and ligustica), that for P-3F in Italian bees being 46.9% and in African 0.5%. The frequency of EstF is 2.8% in both populations. The Est locus has two codominant alleles and the locus P-3 has two incompletely dominant alleles; the heterozygote P-3 S/P-3F shows only an intermediate band. The two loci are not genetically linked. PMID:4652880

  7. Brood cell size of Apis mellifera modifies the reproductive behavior of Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    Maggi, Matías; Damiani, Natalia; Ruffinengo, Sergio; De Jong, David; Principal, Judith; Eguaras, Martín

    2010-03-01

    We undertook a field study to determine whether comb cell size affects the reproductive behavior of Varroa destructor under natural conditions. We examined the effect of brood cell width on the reproductive behavior of V. destructor in honey bee colonies, under natural conditions. Drone and worker brood combs were sampled from 11 colonies of Apis mellifera. A Pearson correlation test and a Tukey test were used to determine whether mite reproduction rate varied with brood cell width. Generalized additive model analysis showed that infestation rate increased positively and linearly with the width of worker and drone cells. The reproduction rate for viable mother mites was 0.96 viable female descendants per original invading female. No significant correlation was observed between brood cell width and number of offspring of V. destructor. Infertile mother mites were more frequent in narrower brood cells. PMID:19768560

  8. Barbs Facilitate the Helical Penetration of Honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) Stingers

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jianing; Yan, Shaoze; Zhao, Jieliang; Ye, Yuying

    2014-01-01

    The stinger is a very small and efficient device that allows honeybees to perform two main physiological activities: repelling enemies and laying eggs for reproduction. In this study, we explored the specific characteristics of stinger penetration, where we focused on its movements and the effects of it microstructure. The stingers of Italian honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica) were grouped and fixed onto four types of cubic substrates, before pressing into different substrates. The morphological characteristics of the stinger cross-sections were analyzed before and after penetration by microscopy. Our findings suggest that the honeybee stinger undergoes helical and clockwise rotation during penetration. We also found that the helical penetration of the stinger is associated directly with the spiral distribution of the barbs, thereby confirming that stinger penetration involves an advanced microstructure rather than a simple needle-like apparatus. These results provide new insights into the mechanism of honeybee stinger penetration. PMID:25089826

  9. Ecology of Varroa destructor, the Major Ectoparasite of the Western Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Nazzi, Francesco; Le Conte, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Varroa destructor is the most important ectoparasite of Apis mellifera. This review addresses the interactions between the varroa mite, its environment, and the honey bee host, mediated by an impressive number of cues and signals, including semiochemicals regulating crucial steps of the mite's life cycle. Although mechanical stimuli, temperature, and humidity play an important role, chemical communication is the most important channel. Kairomones are used at all stages of the mite's life cycle, and the exploitation of bees' brood pheromones is particularly significant given these compounds function as primer and releaser signals that regulate the social organization of the honey bee colony. V. destructor is a major problem for apiculture, and the search for novel control methods is an essential task for researchers. A detailed study of the ecological interactions of V. destructor is a prerequisite for creating strategies to sustainably manage the parasite. PMID:26667378

  10. Proteomic Analysis of Apis cerana and Apis mellifera Larvae Fed with Heterospecific Royal Jelly and by CSBV Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xiu; Han, Richou

    2014-01-01

    Chinese honeybee Apis cerana (Ac) is one of the major Asian honeybee species for local apiculture. However, Ac is frequently damaged by Chinese sacbrood virus (CSBV), whereas Apis mellifera (Am) is usually resistant to it. Heterospecific royal jelly (RJ) breeding in two honeybee species may result in morphological and genetic modification. Nevertheless, knowledge on the resistant mechanism of Am to this deadly disease is still unknown. In the present study, heterospecific RJ breeding was conducted to determine the effects of food change on the larval mortality after CSBV infection at early larval stage. 2-DE and MALDI-TOF/TOF MS proteomic technology was employed to unravel the molecular event of the bees under heterospecific RJ breeding and CSBV challenge. The change of Ac larval food from RJC to RJM could enhance the bee resistance to CSBV. The mortality rate of Ac larvae after CSBV infection was much higher when the larvae were fed with RJC compared with the larvae fed with RJM. There were 101 proteins with altered expressions after heterospecific RJ breeding and viral infection. In Ac larvae, 6 differential expression proteins were identified from heterospecific RJ breeding only, 21 differential expression proteins from CSBV challenge only and 7 differential expression proteins from heterospecific RJ breeding plus CSBV challenge. In Am larvae, 17 differential expression proteins were identified from heterospecific RJ breeding only, 26 differential expression proteins from CSBV challenge only and 24 differential expression proteins from heterospecific RJ breeding plus CSBV challenge. The RJM may protect Ac larvae from CSBV infection, probably by activating the genes in energy metabolism pathways, antioxidation and ubiquitin-proteasome system. The present results, for the first time, comprehensively descript the molecular events of the viral infection of Ac and Am after heterospecific RJ breeding and are potentially useful for establishing CSBV resistant

  11. Developing an in vivo toxicity assay for RNAi risk assessment in honey bees, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Vélez, Ana María; Jurzenski, Jessica; Matz, Natalie; Zhou, Xuguo; Wang, Haichuan; Ellis, Marion; Siegfried, Blair D

    2016-02-01

    Maize plants expressing dsRNA for the management of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera are likely to be commercially available by the end of this decade. Honey bees, Apis mellifera, can potentially be exposed to pollen from transformed maize expressing dsRNA. Consequently, evaluation of the biological impacts of RNAi in honey bees is a fundamental component for ecological risk assessment. The insecticidal activity of a known lethal dsRNA target for D. v. virgifera, the vATPase subunit A, was evaluated in larval and adult honey bees. Activity of both D. v. virgifera (Dvv)- and A. mellifera (Am)-specific dsRNA was tested by dietary exposure to dsRNA. Larval development, survival, adult eclosion, adult life span and relative gene expression were evaluated. The results of these tests indicated that Dvv vATPase-A dsRNA has limited effects on larval and adult honey bee survival. Importantly, no effects were observed upon exposure of Am vATPase-A dsRNA suggesting that the lack of response involves factors other than sequence specificity. The results from this study provide guidance for future RNAi risk analyses and for the development of a risk assessment framework that incorporates similar hazard assessments. PMID:26454117

  12. Genetic structure of Varroa destructor populations infesting Apis mellifera colonies in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Maggi, M; Medici, S; Quintana, S; Ruffinengo, S; Marcángeli, J; Gimenez Martinez, P; Fuselli, S; Eguaras, M

    2012-04-01

    Although mitochondrial DNA mapping of Varroa destructor revealed the presence of several haplotypes, only two of them (Korean and Japanese haplotypes) were capable to infest Apis mellifera populations. Even though the Korean haplotype is the only one that has been reported in Argentina, these conclusions were based on mites sampled in apiaries from a specific geographical place (Buenos Aires province). To study mites from several sites of Argentina could reveal the presence of the Japanese genotype, especially considering sites near to Brazil, where Japanese haplotype was already detected. The aim of this work was to study the genetic structure of V. destructor populations from apiaries located in various provinces of Argentina, in order to determine the presence of different haplotypes. The study was carried out between January 2006 and December 2009. Phoretic adult Varroa mites were collected from honey bee workers sampled from colonies of A. mellifera located in Entre Ríos, Buenos Aires, Corrientes, Río Negro, Santa Cruz and Neuquén provinces. Twenty female mites from each sampling site were used to carry out the genetic analysis. For DNA extraction a nondestructive method was used. DNA sequences were compared to Korean haplotype (AF106899) and Japanese haplotype (AF106897). All DNA sequences obtained from mite populations sampled in Argentina, share 98% of similitude with Korean Haplotype (AF106899). Taking into account these results, we are able to conclude that Korean haplotype is cosmopolite in Argentina. PMID:22349941

  13. Infra-population and -community dynamics of the parasites Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, and consequences for honey bee (Apis mellifera) hosts.

    PubMed

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Shutler, Dave; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L; Rogers, Richard E L

    2014-01-01

    Nosema spp. fungal gut parasites are among myriad possible explanations for contemporary increased mortality of western honey bees (Apis mellifera, hereafter honey bee) in many regions of the world. Invasive Nosema ceranae is particularly worrisome because some evidence suggests it has greater virulence than its congener N. apis. N. ceranae appears to have recently switched hosts from Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) and now has a nearly global distribution in honey bees, apparently displacing N. apis. We examined parasite reproduction and effects of N. apis, N. ceranae, and mixed Nosema infections on honey bee hosts in laboratory experiments. Both infection intensity and honey bee mortality were significantly greater for N. ceranae than for N. apis or mixed infections; mixed infection resulted in mortality similar to N. apis parasitism and reduced spore intensity, possibly due to inter-specific competition. This is the first long-term laboratory study to demonstrate lethal consequences of N. apis and N. ceranae and mixed Nosema parasitism in honey bees, and suggests that differences in reproduction and intra-host competition may explain apparent heterogeneous exclusion of the historic parasite by the invasive species. PMID:24987989

  14. Infra-Population and -Community Dynamics of the Parasites Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, and Consequences for Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Geoffrey R.; Shutler, Dave; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L.; Rogers, Richard E. L.

    2014-01-01

    Nosema spp. fungal gut parasites are among myriad possible explanations for contemporary increased mortality of western honey bees (Apis mellifera, hereafter honey bee) in many regions of the world. Invasive Nosema ceranae is particularly worrisome because some evidence suggests it has greater virulence than its congener N. apis. N. ceranae appears to have recently switched hosts from Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) and now has a nearly global distribution in honey bees, apparently displacing N. apis. We examined parasite reproduction and effects of N. apis, N. ceranae, and mixed Nosema infections on honey bee hosts in laboratory experiments. Both infection intensity and honey bee mortality were significantly greater for N. ceranae than for N. apis or mixed infections; mixed infection resulted in mortality similar to N. apis parasitism and reduced spore intensity, possibly due to inter-specific competition. This is the first long-term laboratory study to demonstrate lethal consequences of N. apis and N. ceranae and mixed Nosema parasitism in honey bees, and suggests that differences in reproduction and intra-host competition may explain apparent heterogeneous exclusion of the historic parasite by the invasive species. PMID:24987989

  15. Honey Bee Venom (Apis mellifera) Contains Anticoagulation Factors and Increases the Blood-clotting Time

    PubMed Central

    Zolfagharian, Hossein; Mohajeri, Mohammad; Babaie, Mahdi

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: Bee venom (BV) is a complex mixture of proteins and contains proteins such as phospholipase and melittin, which have an effect on blood clotting and blood clots. The mechanism of action of honey bee venom (HBV, Apis mellifera) on human plasma proteins and its anti-thrombotic effect were studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-coagulation effect of BV and its effects on blood coagulation and purification. Methods: Crude venom obtained from Apis mellifera was selected. The anti-coagulation factor of the crude venom from this species was purified by using gel filtration chromatography (sephadex G-50), and the molecular weights of the anti-coagulants in this venom estimated by using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Blood samples were obtained from 10 rabbits, and the prothrombin time (PT) and the partial thromboplastin time (PTT) tests were conducted. The approximate lethal dose (LD) values of BV were determined. Results: Crude BV increased the blood clotting time. For BV concentrations from 1 to 4 mg/mL, clotting was not observed even at more than 300 seconds, standard deviations (SDs) = ± 0.71; however, clotting was observed in the control group 13.8 s, SDs = ± 0.52. Thus, BV can be considered as containing anti-coagulation factors. Crude BV is composed 4 protein bands with molecular weights of 3, 15, 20 and 41 kilodalton (kDa), respectively. The LD50 of the crude BV was found to be 177.8 μg/mouse. Conclusion: BV contains anti-coagulation factors. The fraction extracted from the Iranian bees contains proteins that are similar to anti-coagulation proteins, such as phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and melittin, and that can increase the blood clotting times in vitro. PMID:26998384

  16. Seasonal prevalence of pathogens and parasites in the savannah honeybee (Apis mellifera scutellata).

    PubMed

    Strauss, Ursula; Human, Hannelie; Gauthier, Laurent; Crewe, Robin M; Dietemann, Vincent; Pirk, Christian W W

    2013-09-01

    The loss of Apis mellifera L. colonies in recent years has, in many regions of the world, been alarmingly high. No single cause has been identified for these losses, but the interactions between several factors (mostly pathogens and parasites) have been held responsible. Work in the Americas on honeybees originating mainly from South Africa indicates that Africanised honeybees are less affected by the interplay of pathogens and parasites. However, little is known about the health status of South African honeybees (A. m. scutellata and A. m. capensis) in relation to pathogens and parasites. We therefore compared the seasonal prevalence of honeybee pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi) and parasites (mites, bee lice, wax moth, small hive beetles, A. m. capensis social parasites) between sedentary and migratory A. m. scutellata apiaries situated in the Gauteng region of South Africa. No significant differences were found in the prevalence of pathogens and parasites between sedentary and migratory apiaries. Three (Black queen cell virus, Varroa destructor virus 1 and Israeli acute paralysis virus) of the eight viruses screened were detected, a remarkable difference compared to European honeybees. Even though no bacterial pathogens were detected, Nosema apis and Chalkbrood were confirmed. All of the honeybee parasites were found in the majority of the apiaries with the most common parasite being the Varroa mite. In spite of hosting few pathogens, yet most parasites, A. m. scutellata colonies appeared to be healthy. PMID:23702244

  17. Sex-Specific Differences in Pathogen Susceptibility in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24465518

  18. Using Errors by Guard Honeybees (Apis mellifera) to Gain New Insights into Nestmate Recognition Signals.

    PubMed

    Pradella, Duccio; Martin, Stephen J; Dani, Francesca R

    2015-11-01

    Although the honeybee (Apis mellifera) is one of the world most studied insects, the chemical compounds used in nestmate recognition, remains an open question. By exploiting the error prone recognition system of the honeybee, coupled with genotyping, we studied the correlation between cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profile of returning foragers and acceptance or rejection behavior by guards. We revealed an average recognition error rate of 14% across 3 study colonies, that is, allowing a non-nestmate colony entry, or preventing a nestmate from entry, which is lower than reported in previous studies. By analyzing CHCs, we found that CHC profile of returning foragers correlates with acceptance or rejection by guarding bees. Although several CHC were identified as potential recognition cues, only a subset of 4 differed consistently for their relative amount between accepted and rejected individuals in the 3 studied colonies. These include a unique group of 2 positional alkene isomers (Z-8 and Z-10), which are almost exclusively produced by the bees Bombus and Apis spp, and may be candidate compounds for further study. PMID:26385960

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24465518

  20. Effects of sublethal concentrations of bifenthrin and deltamethrin on fecundity, growth, and development of the honeybee Apis mellifera ligustica.

    PubMed

    Dai, Ping-Li; Wang, Qiang; Sun, Ji-Hu; Liu, Feng; Wang, Xing; Wu, Yan-Yan; Zhou, Ting

    2010-03-01

    Bifenthrin and deltamethrin have been widely used as pesticides in agriculture and forestry and are becoming an increasing risk to honeybees. The honeybee, Apis mellifera ligustica, is widely recognized as a beneficial insect of agronomic, ecological, and scientific importance. It is important to understand what effects these chemicals have on bees. Effects of two pesticides at sublethal concentrations on fecundity, growth, and development of honeybees were examined with the feeding method for a three-year period (2006-2008). It was shown that both bifenthrin and deltamethrin significantly reduced bee fecundity, decreased the rate at which bees develop to adulthood, and increased their immature periods. The toxicity of bifenthrin and deltamethrin on workers of Apis mellifera ligustica was also assessed, and the results from the present study showed that the median lethal effects of bifenthrin and deltamethrin were 16.7 and 62.8 mg/L, respectively. PMID:20821489

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Honey Bee Apis mellifera Parasites in the Absence of Nosema ceranae Fungi and Varroa destructor Mites

    PubMed Central

    Shutler, Dave; Head, Krista; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L.; Colwell, Megan J.; Levitt, Abby L.; Ostiguy, Nancy; Williams, Geoffrey R.

    2014-01-01

    Few areas of the world have western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies that are free of invasive parasites Nosema ceranae (fungi) and Varroa destructor (mites). Particularly detrimental is V. destructor; in addition to feeding on host haemolymph, these mites are important vectors of several viruses that are further implicated as contributors to honey bee mortality around the world. Thus, the biogeography and attendant consequences of viral communities in the absence of V. destructor are of significant interest. The island of Newfoundland, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is free of V. destructor; the absence of N. ceranae has not been confirmed. Of 55 Newfoundland colonies inspected visually for their strength and six signs of disease, only K-wing had prevalence above 5% (40/55 colonies = 72.7%). Similar to an earlier study, screenings again confirmed the absence of V. destructor, small hive beetles Aethina tumida (Murray), tracheal mites Acarapis woodi (Rennie), and Tropilaelaps spp. ectoparasitic mites. Of a subset of 23 colonies screened molecularly for viruses, none had Israeli acute paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, or sacbrood virus. Sixteen of 23 colonies (70.0%) were positive for black queen cell virus, and 21 (91.3%) had some evidence for deformed wing virus. No N. ceranae was detected in molecular screens of 55 colonies, although it is possible extremely low intensity infections exist; the more familiar N. apis was found in 53 colonies (96.4%). Under these conditions, K-wing was associated (positively) with colony strength; however, viruses and N. apis were not. Furthermore, black queen cell virus was positively and negatively associated with K-wing and deformed wing virus, respectively. Newfoundland honey bee colonies are thus free of several invasive parasites that plague operations in other parts of the world, and they provide a unique research arena to study independent pathology of the parasites that are present. PMID:24955834

  3. Honey bee Apis mellifera parasites in the absence of Nosema ceranae fungi and Varroa destructor mites.

    PubMed

    Shutler, Dave; Head, Krista; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L; Colwell, Megan J; Levitt, Abby L; Ostiguy, Nancy; Williams, Geoffrey R

    2014-01-01

    Few areas of the world have western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies that are free of invasive parasites Nosema ceranae (fungi) and Varroa destructor (mites). Particularly detrimental is V. destructor; in addition to feeding on host haemolymph, these mites are important vectors of several viruses that are further implicated as contributors to honey bee mortality around the world. Thus, the biogeography and attendant consequences of viral communities in the absence of V. destructor are of significant interest. The island of Newfoundland, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is free of V. destructor; the absence of N. ceranae has not been confirmed. Of 55 Newfoundland colonies inspected visually for their strength and six signs of disease, only K-wing had prevalence above 5% (40/55 colonies = 72.7%). Similar to an earlier study, screenings again confirmed the absence of V. destructor, small hive beetles Aethina tumida (Murray), tracheal mites Acarapis woodi (Rennie), and Tropilaelaps spp. ectoparasitic mites. Of a subset of 23 colonies screened molecularly for viruses, none had Israeli acute paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, or sacbrood virus. Sixteen of 23 colonies (70.0%) were positive for black queen cell virus, and 21 (91.3%) had some evidence for deformed wing virus. No N. ceranae was detected in molecular screens of 55 colonies, although it is possible extremely low intensity infections exist; the more familiar N. apis was found in 53 colonies (96.4%). Under these conditions, K-wing was associated (positively) with colony strength; however, viruses and N. apis were not. Furthermore, black queen cell virus was positively and negatively associated with K-wing and deformed wing virus, respectively. Newfoundland honey bee colonies are thus free of several invasive parasites that plague operations in other parts of the world, and they provide a unique research arena to study independent pathology of the parasites that are present. PMID:24955834

  4. Pollination Services Provided by Bees in Pumpkin Fields Supplemented with Either Apis mellifera or Bombus impatiens or Not Supplemented

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Pollinators provide an important service in many crops. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are used to supplement pollination services provided by wild bees with the assumption that they will enhance pollination, fruit set and crop yield beyond the levels provided by the wild bees. Recent declines in managed honey bee populations have stimulated interest in finding alternative managed pollinators to service crops. In the eastern U.S., managed hives of the native common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) may be an excellent choice. To examine this issue, a comprehensive 2-yr study was conducted to compare fruit yield and bee visits to flowers in pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) fields that were either supplemented with A. mellifera hives, B. impatiens hives or were not supplemented. We compared pumpkin yield, A. mellifera flower visitation frequency and B. impatiens flower visitation frequency between treatments. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with either A. mellifera or B. impatiens hives did not increase their visitation to pumpkin flowers or fruit yield compared with those that were not supplemented. Next, the relationship between frequency of pumpkin flower visitation by the most prominent bee species (Peponapis pruinosa (Say), B. impatiens and A. mellifera) and fruit yield was determined across all pumpkin fields sampled. Fruit yield increased as the frequency of flower visits by A. mellifera and B. impatiens increased in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These results suggest that supplementation with managed bees may not improve pumpkin production and that A. mellifera and B. impatiens are important pollinators of pumpkin in our system. PMID:23894544

  5. Western honeybee drones and workers (Apis mellifera ligustica) have different olfactory mechanisms than eastern honeybees (Apis cerana cerana).

    PubMed

    Woltedji, Dereje; Song, Feifei; Zhang, Lan; Gala, Alemayehu; Han, Bin; Feng, Mao; Fang, Yu; Li, Jianke

    2012-09-01

    The honeybees Apis mellifera ligustica (Aml) and Apis cerana cerana (Acc) are two different western and eastern bee species that evolved in distinct ecologies and developed specific antennal olfactory systems for their survival. Knowledge of how their antennal olfactory systems function in regards to the success of each respective bee species is scarce. We compared the antennal morphology and proteome between respective sexually mature drones and foraging workers of both species using a scanning electron microscope, two-dimensional electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Despite the general similarities in antennal morphology of the drone and worker bees between the two species, a total of 106 and 100 proteins altered their expression in the drones' and the workers' antennae, respectively. This suggests that the differences in the olfactory function of each respective bee are supported by the change of their proteome. Of the 106 proteins that altered their expression in the drones, 72 (68%) and 34 (32%) were overexpressed in the drones of Aml and Acc, respectively. The antennae of the Aml drones were built up by the highly expressed proteins that were involved in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, molecular transporters, antioxidation, and fatty acid metabolism in contrast to the Acc drones. This is believed to enhance the antennal olfactory functions of the Aml drones as compared to the Acc drones during their mating flight. Likewise, of the 100 proteins with expression changes between the worker bees of the two species, 67% were expressed in higher levels in the antennae of Aml worker contrasting to 33% in the Acc worker. The overall higher expressions of proteins related to carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, molecular transporters, and antioxidation in the Aml workers compared with the Acc workers indicate the Aml workers require more antennal proteins for their olfactory

  6. A microsatellite-based linkage map of the honeybee, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed Central

    Solignac, Michel; Vautrin, Dominique; Baudry, Emmanuelle; Mougel, Florence; Loiseau, Anne; Cornuet, Jean-Marie

    2004-01-01

    A linkage map for the honeybee (Apis mellifera) was constructed mainly from the progeny of two hybrid queens (A. m. ligustica x A. m. mellifera). A total of 541 loci were mapped; 474 were microsatellite loci; a few were additional bands produced during PCRs, one of the two rDNA loci (using ITS), the MDH locus, and three sex-linked markers (Q and FB loci and one RAPD band). Twenty-four linkage groups were estimated of which 5 were minute (between 7.1 and 22.8 cM) and 19 were major groups (>76.5 cM). The number of major linkage groups exceeded by three the number of chromosomes of the complement (n = 16). The sum of the lengths of all linkage groups amounts to 4061 cM to which must be added at least 320 cM to link groups in excess, making a total of at least 4381 cM. The length of the largest linkage group I was 630 cM. The average density of markers was 7.5 cM and the average resolution was about one marker every 300 kb. For most of the large groups, the centromeric region was determined genetically, as described in (accompanying article in this issue), using half-tetrad analysis of thelytokous parthenogens in which diploid restoration occurs through central fusion. Several cases of segregation distortion that appreared to result from deleterious recessives were discovered. A low positive interference was also detected. PMID:15166152

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Effect of Olfactory Stimulus on the Flight Course of a Honeybee, Apis mellifera, in a Wind Tunnel

    PubMed Central

    Ikeno, Hidetoshi; Akamatsu, Tadaaki; Hasegawa, Yuji; Ai, Hiroyuki

    2013-01-01

    It is known that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, uses olfactory stimulus as important information for orienting to food sources. Several studies on olfactory-induced orientation flight have been conducted in wind tunnels and in the field. From these studies, optical sensing is used as the main information with the addition of olfactory signals and the navigational course followed by these sensory information. However, it is not clear how olfactory information is reflected in the navigation of flight. In this study, we analyzed the detailed properties of flight when oriented to an odor source in a wind tunnel. We recorded flying bees with a video camera to analyze the flight area, speed, angular velocity and trajectory. After bees were trained to be attracted to a feeder, the flight trajectories with or without the olfactory stimulus located upwind of the feeder were compared. The results showed that honeybees flew back and forth in the proximity of the odor source, and the search range corresponded approximately to the odor spread area. It was also shown that the angular velocity was different inside and outside the odor spread area, and trajectories tended to be bent or curved just outside the area. PMID:26462581

  9. Effect of Olfactory Stimulus on the Flight Course of a Honeybee, Apis mellifera, in a Wind Tunnel.

    PubMed

    Ikeno, Hidetoshi; Akamatsu, Tadaaki; Hasegawa, Yuji; Ai, Hiroyuki

    2013-01-01

    It is known that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, uses olfactory stimulus as important information for orienting to food sources. Several studies on olfactory-induced orientation flight have been conducted in wind tunnels and in the field. From these studies, optical sensing is used as the main information with the addition of olfactory signals and the navigational course followed by these sensory information. However, it is not clear how olfactory information is reflected in the navigation of flight. In this study, we analyzed the detailed properties of flight when oriented to an odor source in a wind tunnel. We recorded flying bees with a video camera to analyze the flight area, speed, angular velocity and trajectory. After bees were trained to be attracted to a feeder, the flight trajectories with or without the olfactory stimulus located upwind of the feeder were compared. The results showed that honeybees flew back and forth in the proximity of the odor source, and the search range corresponded approximately to the odor spread area. It was also shown that the angular velocity was different inside and outside the odor spread area, and trajectories tended to be bent or curved just outside the area. PMID:26462581

  10. Four quantitative trait loci that influence worker sterility in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Oxley, Peter R; Thompson, Graham J; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2008-07-01

    The all-female worker caste of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) is effectively barren in that workers refrain from laying eggs in the presence of a fecund queen. The mechanism by which workers switch off their ovaries in queenright colonies is pheromonally cued, but there is genetically based variation among individuals: some workers have high thresholds for ovary activation, while for others the response threshold is lower. Genetic variation for threshold response by workers to ovary-suppressing cues is most evident in "anarchist" colonies in which mutant patrilines have a proportion of workers that activate their ovaries and lay eggs, despite the presence of a queen. In this study we use a selected anarchist line to create a backcross queenright colony that segregated for high and low levels of ovary activation. We used 191 informative microsatellite loci, covering all 16 linkage groups to identify QTL for ovary activation and test the hypothesis that anarchy is recessively inherited. We reject this hypothesis, but identify four QTL that together explain approximately 25% of the phenotypic variance for ovary activation in our mapping population. They provide the first molecular evidence for the existence of quantitative loci that influence selfish cheating behavior in a social animal. PMID:18562647

  11. Toward an Upgraded Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Genome Annotation Using Proteogenomics.

    PubMed

    McAfee, Alison; Harpur, Brock A; Michaud, Sarah; Beavis, Ronald C; Kent, Clement F; Zayed, Amro; Foster, Leonard J

    2016-02-01

    The honey bee is a key pollinator in agricultural operations as well as a model organism for studying the genetics and evolution of social behavior. The Apis mellifera genome has been sequenced and annotated twice over, enabling proteomics and functional genomics methods for probing relevant aspects of their biology. One troubling trend that emerged from proteomic analyses is that honey bee peptide samples consistently result in lower peptide identification rates compared with other organisms. This suggests that the genome annotation can be improved, or atypical biological processes are interfering with the mass spectrometry workflow. First, we tested whether high levels of polymorphisms could explain some of the missed identifications by searching spectra against the reference proteome (OGSv3.2) versus a customized proteome of a single honey bee, but our results indicate that this contribution was minor. Likewise, error-tolerant peptide searches lead us to eliminate unexpected post-translational modifications as a major factor in missed identifications. We then used a proteogenomic approach with ∼1500 raw files to search for missing genes and new exons, to revive discarded annotations and to identify over 2000 new coding regions. These results will contribute to a more comprehensive genome annotation and facilitate continued research on this important insect. PMID:26718741

  12. Forager bees (Apis mellifera) highly express immune and detoxification genes in tissues associated with nectar processing

    PubMed Central

    Vannette, Rachel L.; Mohamed, Abbas; Johnson, Brian R.

    2015-01-01

    Pollinators, including honey bees, routinely encounter potentially harmful microorganisms and phytochemicals during foraging. However, the mechanisms by which honey bees manage these potential threats are poorly understood. In this study, we examine the expression of antimicrobial, immune and detoxification genes in Apis mellifera and compare between forager and nurse bees using tissue-specific RNA-seq and qPCR. Our analysis revealed extensive tissue-specific expression of antimicrobial, immune signaling, and detoxification genes. Variation in gene expression between worker stages was pronounced in the mandibular and hypopharyngeal gland (HPG), where foragers were enriched in transcripts that encode antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and immune response. Additionally, forager HPGs and mandibular glands were enriched in transcripts encoding detoxification enzymes, including some associated with xenobiotic metabolism. Using qPCR on an independent dataset, we verified differential expression of three AMP and three P450 genes between foragers and nurses. High expression of AMP genes in nectar-processing tissues suggests that these peptides may contribute to antimicrobial properties of honey or to honey bee defense against environmentally-acquired microorganisms. Together, these results suggest that worker role and tissue-specific expression of AMPs, and immune and detoxification enzymes may contribute to defense against microorganisms and xenobiotic compounds acquired while foraging. PMID:26549293

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Caste-Specific Differences in Hindgut Microbial Communities of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25874551

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27560969

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. Paratransgenesis: an approach to improve colony health and molecular insight in honey bees (Apis mellifera)?

    PubMed

    Rangberg, Anbjørg; Diep, Dzung B; Rudi, Knut; Amdam, Gro V

    2012-07-01

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is highly valued as a commercial crop pollinator and a model animal in research. Over the past several years, governments, beekeepers, and the general public in the United States and Europe have become concerned by increased losses of honey bee colonies, calling for more research on how to keep colonies healthy while still employing them extensively in agriculture. The honey bee, like virtually all multicellular organisms, has a mutually beneficial relationship with specific microbes. The microbiota of the gut can contribute essential nutrients and vitamins and prevent colonization by non-indigenous and potentially harmful species. The gut microbiota is also of interest as a resource for paratransgenesis; a Trojan horse strategy based on genetically modified symbiotic microbes that express effector molecules antagonizing development or transmission of pathogens. Paratransgenesis was originally engineered to combat human diseases and agricultural pests that are vectored by insects. We suggest an alternative use, as a method to promote health of honey bees and to expand the molecular toolbox for research on this beneficial social insect. The honey bees' gut microbiota contains lactic acid bacteria including the genus Lactobacillus that has paratransgenic potential. We present a strategy for transforming one Lactobacillus species, L. kunkeei, for use as a vector to promote health of honey bees and functional genetic research. PMID:22659204

  18. Differential gene expression between developing queens and workers in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Evans, J D; Wheeler, D E

    1999-05-11

    Many insects show polyphenisms, or alternative morphologies, which are based on differential gene expression rather than genetic polymorphism. Queens and workers are alternative forms of the adult female honey bee and represent one of the best known examples of insect polyphenism. Hormonal regulation of caste determination in honey bees has been studied in detail, but little is known about the proximate molecular mechanisms underlying this process, or any other such polyphenism. We report the success of a molecular-genetic approach for studying queen- and worker-specific gene expression in the development of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Numerous genes appear to be differentially expressed between the two castes. Seven differentially expressed loci described here belong to at least five distinctly different evolutionary and functional groups. Two are particularly promising as potential regulators of caste differentiation. One is homologous to a widespread class of proteins that bind lipids and other hydrophobic ligands, including retinoic acid. The second locus shows sequence similarity to a DNA-binding domain in the Ets family of transcription factors. The remaining loci appear to be involved with downstream changes inherent to queen- or worker-specific developmental pathways. Caste determination in honey bees is typically thought of as primarily queen determination; our results make it clear that the process involves specific activation of genes in workers as well as in queens. PMID:10318926

  19. The HEX 110 Hexamerin Is a Cytoplasmic and Nucleolar Protein in the Ovaries of Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Juliana Ramos; Bitondi, Márcia Maria Gentile

    2016-01-01

    Hexamerins are insect storage proteins abundantly secreted by the larval fat body into the haemolymph. The canonical role of hexamerins consists of serving as an amino acid reserve for development toward the adult stage. However, in Apis mellifera, immunofluorescence assays coupled to confocal laser-scanning microscopy, and high-throughput sequencing, have recently shown the presence of hexamerins in other organs than the fat body. These findings have led us to study these proteins with the expectation of uncovering additional functions in insect development. We show here that a honeybee hexamerin, HEX 110, localizes in the cytoplasm and nucleus of ovarian cells. In the nucleus of somatic and germline cells, HEX 110 colocalized with a nucleolar protein, fibrillarin, suggesting a structural or even regulatory function in the nucleolus. RNase A provoked the loss of HEX 110 signals in the ovarioles, indicating that the subcellular localization depends on RNA. This was reinforced by incubating ovaries with pyronin Y, a RNA-specific dye. Together, the colocalization with fibrillarin and pyronin Y, and the sensitivity to RNase, highlight unprecedented roles for HEX110 in the nucleolus, the nuclear structure harbouring the gene cluster involved in ribosomal RNA production. However, the similar patterns of HEX 110 foci distribution in the active and inactive ovaries of queens and workers preclude its association with the functional status of these organs. PMID:26954256

  20. Establishment of a bacterial infection model using the European honeybee, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Kenichi; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa

    2014-01-01

    Injection of human pathogenic bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia marcescens, Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria monocytogenes) into the hemocoel of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) workers kills the infected bees. The bee-killing effects of the pathogens were affected by temperature, and the LD₅₀ values at 37°C were more than 100-fold lower than those at 15°C. Gene-disrupted S. aureus mutants of virulence genes such as agrA, saeS, arlR, srtA, hla, and hlb had attenuated bee-killing ability. Nurse bees were less susceptible than foragers and drones to S. aureus infection. Injection of antibiotics clinically used for humans had therapeutic effects against S. aureus infections of bees, and the ED₅₀ values of these antibiotics were comparable with those determined in mammalian models. Moreover, the effectiveness of orally administered antibiotics was consistent between honeybees and mammals. These findings suggest that the honeybee could be a useful model for assessing the pathogenesis of human-infecting bacteria and the effectiveness of antibiotics. PMID:24587122

  1. Localization of deformed wing virus (DWV) in the brains of the honeybee, Apis mellifera Linnaeus

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Deformed wing virus (DWV) is a positive-strand RNA virus that infects European honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and has been isolated from the brains of aggressive bees in Japan. DWV is known to be transmitted both vertically and horizontally between bees in a colony and can lead to both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections in bees. In environmentally stressful conditions, DWV can contribute to the demise of a honeybee colony. The purpose of the current study is to identify regions within the brains of honeybees where DWV replicates using in-situ hybridization. Results In-situ hybridizations were conducted with both sense and antisense probes on the brains of honeybees that were positive for DWV as measured by real-time RT-PCR. The visual neuropils demonstrated detectable levels of the DWV positive-strand genome. The mushroom bodies and antenna lobe neuropils also showed the presence of the viral genome. Weaker staining with the sense probe in the same regions demonstrates that the antigenome is also present and that the virus is actively replicating in these regions of the brain. Conclusion These results demonstrate that in bees infected with DWV the virus is replicating in critical regions of the brain, including the neuropils responsible for vision and olfaction. Therefore DWV infection of the brain could adversely affect critical sensory functions and alter normal bee behavior. PMID:19878557

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26027748

  3. Influence of the insecticide pyriproxyfen on the flight muscle differentiation of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

    PubMed

    Corrêa Fernandez, Fernanda; Da Cruz-Landim, Carminda; Malaspina, Osmar

    2012-06-01

    The Brazilian africanized Apis mellifera is currently considered as one of the most important pollinators threatened by the use of insecticides due to its frequent exposition to their toxic action while foraging in the crops it pollinated. Among the insecticides, the most used in the control of insect pragues has as active agent the pyriproxyfen, analogous to the juvenile hormone (JH). Unfortunately the insecticides used in agriculture affect not only the target insects but also beneficial nontarget ones as bees compromising therefore, the growth rate of their colonies at the boundaries of crop fields. Workers that forage for provisions in contaminated areas can introduce contaminated pollen or/and nectar inside the beehives. As analogous to JH the insecticide pyriproxyfen acts in the bee's larval growth and differentiation during pupation or metamorphosis timing. The flighty muscle is not present in the larvae wingless organisms, but differentiates during pupation/metamorphosis. This work aimed to investigate the effect of pyriproxyfen insecticide on differentiation of such musculature in workers of Brazilian africanized honey bees fed with artificial diet containing the pesticide. The results show that the bees fed with contaminated diet, independent of the insecticide concentration used, show a delay in flight muscle differentiation when compared to the control. PMID:22223201

  4. Effects of sublethal doses of imidacloprid in Malpighian tubules of Africanized Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

    PubMed

    Rossi, Caroline de Almeida; Roat, Thaisa Cristina; Tavares, Daiana Antonia; Cintra-Socolowski, Priscila; Malaspina, Osmar

    2013-05-01

    In Brazil, imidacloprid is a widely used insecticide on agriculture and can harm bees, which are important pollinators. The active ingredient imidacloprid has action on the nervous system of the insects. However, little has been studied about the actions of the insecticide on nontarget organs of insects, such as the Malpighian tubules that make up the excretory and osmoregulatory system. Hence, in this study, we evaluated the effects of chronic exposure to sublethal doses of imidacloprid in Malpighian tubules of Africanized Apis mellifera. In the tubules of treated bees, we found an increase in the number of cells with picnotic nuclei, the lost of part of the cell into the lumen, and a homogenization of coloring cytoplasm. Furthermore, we observed the presence of cytoplasmic vacuolization. We confirmed the increased occurrence of picnotic nuclei by using the Feulgan reaction, which showed the chromatin compaction was more intense in the tubules of bees exposed to the insecticide. We observed an intensification of the staining of the nucleus with Xylidine Ponceau, further verifying the cytoplasmic negative regions that may indicate autophagic activity. Additionally, immunocytochemistry experiments showed TUNEL positive nuclei in exposed bees, implicating increased cell apoptosis after chronic imidacloprid exposure. In conclusion, our results indicate that very low concentrations of imidacloprid lead to cytotoxic activity in the Malpighian tubules of exposed bees at all tested times for exposure and imply that this insecticide can alter honey bee physiology. PMID:23483717

  5. In vitro effects of thiamethoxam on larvae of Africanized honey bee Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Tavares, Daiana Antonia; Roat, Thaisa Cristina; Carvalho, Stephan Malfitano; Silva-Zacarin, Elaine Cristina Mathias; Malaspina, Osmar

    2015-09-01

    Several investigations have revealed the toxic effects that neonicotinoids can have on Apis mellifera, while few studies have evaluated the impact of these insecticides can have on the larval stage of the honeybee. From the lethal concentration (LC50) of thiamethoxam for the larvae of the Africanized honeybee, we evaluated the sublethal effects of this insecticide on morphology of the brain. After determine the LC50 (14.34 ng/μL of diet) of thiamethoxam, larvae were exposed to a sublethal concentration of thiamethoxam equivalent to 1.43 ng/μL by acute and subchronic exposure. Morphological and immunocytochemistry analysis of the brains of the exposed bees, showed condensed cells and early cell death in the optic lobes. Additional dose-related effects were observed on larval development. Our results show that the sublethal concentrations of thiamethoxam tested are toxic to Africanized honeybees larvae and can modulate the development and consequently could affect the maintenance and survival of the colony. These results represent the first assessment of the effects of thiamethoxam in Africanized honeybee larvae and should contribute to studies on honey bee colony decline. PMID:25985214

  6. Brain morphophysiology of Africanized bee Apis mellifera exposed to sublethal doses of imidacloprid.

    PubMed

    de Almeida Rossi, Caroline; Roat, Thaisa Cristina; Tavares, Daiana Antonia; Cintra-Socolowski, Priscila; Malaspina, Osmar

    2013-08-01

    Several synthetic substances are used in agricultural areas to combat insect pests; however, the indiscriminate use of these products may affect nontarget insects, such as bees. In Brazil, one of the most widely used insecticides is imidacloprid, which targets the nervous system of insects. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of chronic exposure to sublethal doses of imidacloprid on the brain of the Africanized Apis mellifera. The organs of both control bees and bees exposed to insecticide were subjected to morphological, histochemical and immunocytochemical analysis after exposure to imidacloprid, respectively, for 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 days. In mushroom bodies of bees exposed to imidacloprid concentrations of LD50/10 and in optic lobes of bees exposed to imidacloprid concentrations of LD50/10, LD50/100, and LD50/50, we observed the presence of condensed cells. The Feulgen reaction revealed the presence of some cells with pyknotic nuclei, whereas Xylidine Ponceau stain revealed strongly stained cells. These characteristics can indicate the occurrence of cell death. Furthermore, cells in mushroom bodies of bees exposed to imidacloprid concentrations of LD50/10 appeared to be swollen. Cell death was confirmed by immunocytochemical technique. Therefore, it was concluded that sublethal doses of imidacloprid have cytotoxic effects on exposed bee brains and that optic lobes are more sensitive to the insecticide than other regions of the brain. PMID:23563487

  7. Selection on worker honeybee responses to queen pheromone (Apis mellifera L.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pankiw, T.; Winston, Mark L.; Fondrk, M. Kim; Slessor, Keith N.

    Disruptive selection for responsiveness to queen mandibular gland pheromone (QMP) in the retinue bioassay resulted in the production of high and low QMP responding strains of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.). Strains differed significantly in their retinue response to QMP after one generation of selection. By the third generation the high strain was on average at least nine times more responsive than the low strain. The strains showed seasonal phenotypic plasticity such that both strains were more responsive to the pheromone in the spring than in the fall. Directional selection for low seasonal variation indicated that phenotypic plasticity was an additional genetic component to retinue response to QMP. Selection for high and low retinue responsiveness to QMP was not an artifact of the synthetic blend because both strains were equally responsive or non-responsive to whole mandibular gland extracts compared with QMP. The use of these strains clearly pointed to an extra-mandibular source of retinue pheromones (Pankiw et al. 1995; Slessor et al. 1998; Keeling et al. 1999).

  8. Tactile learning and the individual evaluation of the reward in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Scheiner, R; Erber, J; Page, R E

    1999-07-01

    Using the proboscis extension response we conditioned pollen and nectar foragers of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) to tactile patterns under laboratory conditions. Pollen foragers demonstrated better acquisition, extinction, and reversal learning than nectar foragers. We tested whether the known differences in response thresholds to sucrose between pollen and nectar foragers could explain the observed differences in learning and found that nectar foragers with low response thresholds performed better during acquisition and extinction than ones with higher thresholds. Conditioning pollen and nectar foragers with similar response thresholds did not yield differences in their learning performance. These results suggest that differences in the learning performance of pollen and nectar foragers are a consequence of differences in their perception of sucrose. Furthermore, we analysed the effect which the perception of sucrose reward has on associative learning. Nectar foragers with uniform low response thresholds were conditioned using varying concentrations of sucrose. We found significant positive correlations between the concentrations of the sucrose rewards and the performance during acquisition and extinction. The results are summarised in a model which describes the relationships between learning performance, response threshold to sucrose, concentration of sucrose and the number of rewards. PMID:10450609

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. A method for distinctly marking honey bees, Apis mellifera, originating from multiple apiary locations.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. The proboscis extension reflex to evaluate learning and memory in honeybees ( Apis mellifera): some caveats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

    The proboscis extension reflex (PER) is widely used in a classical conditioning (Pavlovian) context to evaluate learning and memory of a variety of insect species. The literature is particularly prodigious for honeybees ( Apis mellifera) with more than a thousand publications. Imagination appears to be the only limit to the types of challenges to which researchers subject honeybees, including all the sensory modalities and a broad diversity of environmental treatments. Accordingly, some remarkable insights have been achieved using PER. However, there are several challenges to evaluating the PER literature that warrant a careful and thorough review. We assess here variation in methods that makes interpretation of studies, even those researching the same question, tenuous. We suggest that the numerous variables that might influence experimental outcomes from PER be thoroughly detailed by researchers. Moreover, the influence of individual variables on results needs to carefully evaluated, as well as among two or more variables. Our intent is to encourage investigation of the influence of numerous variables on PER results.

  12. Involvement of phosphorylated Apis mellifera CREB in gating a honeybee's behavioral response to an external stimulus.

    PubMed

    Gehring, Katrin B; Heufelder, Karin; Feige, Janina; Bauer, Paul; Dyck, Yan; Ehrhardt, Lea; Kühnemund, Johannes; Bergmann, Anja; Göbel, Josefine; Isecke, Marlene; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2016-05-01

    The transcription factor cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) is involved in neuronal plasticity. Phosphorylation activates CREB and an increased level of phosphorylated CREB is regarded as an indicator of CREB-dependent transcriptional activation. In honeybees(Apis mellifera)we recently demonstrated a particular high abundance of the phosphorylated honeybee CREB homolog (pAmCREB) in the central brain and in a subpopulation of mushroom body neurons. We hypothesize that these high pAmCREB levels are related to learning and memory formation. Here, we tested this hypothesis by analyzing brain pAmCREB levels in classically conditioned bees and bees experiencing unpaired presentations of conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US). We demonstrate that both behavioral protocols display differences in memory formation but do not alter the level of pAmCREB in bee brains directly after training. Nevertheless, we report that bees responding to the CS during unpaired stimulus presentations exhibit higher levels of pAmCREB than nonresponding bees. In addition, Trichostatin A, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that is thought to enhance histone acetylation by CREB-binding protein, increases the bees' CS responsiveness. We conclude that pAmCREB is involved in gating a bee's behavioral response driven by an external stimulus. PMID:27084927

  13. Evaluation of Apis mellifera syriaca Levant region honeybee conservation using comparative genome hybridization.

    PubMed

    Haddad, Nizar Jamal; Batainh, Ahmed; Saini, Deepti; Migdadi, Osama; Aiyaz, Mohamed; Manchiganti, Rushiraj; Krishnamurthy, Venkatesh; Al-Shagour, Banan; Brake, Mohammad; Bourgeois, Lelania; De Guzman, Lilia; Rinderer, Thomas; Hamouri, Zayed Mahoud

    2016-06-01

    Apis mellifera syriaca is the native honeybee subspecies of Jordan and much of the Levant region. It expresses behavioral adaptations to a regional climate with very high temperatures, nectar dearth in summer, attacks of the Oriental wasp and is resistant to Varroa mites. The A. m. syriaca control reference sample (CRS) in this study was originally collected and stored since 2001 from "Wadi Ben Hammad", a remote valley in the southern region of Jordan. Morphometric and mitochondrial DNA markers of these honeybees had shown highest similarity to reference A. m. syriaca samples collected in 1952 by Brother Adam of samples collected from the Middle East. Samples 1-5 were collected from the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension breeding apiary which was established for the conservation of A. m. syriaca. Our objective was to determine the success of an A. m. syriaca honey bee conservation program using genomic information from an array-based comparative genomic hybridization platform to evaluate genetic similarities to a historic reference collection (CRS). Our results had shown insignificant genomic differences between the current population in the conservation program and the CRS indicated that program is successfully conserving A. m. syriaca. Functional genomic variations were identified which are useful for conservation monitoring and may be useful for breeding programs designed to improve locally adapted strains of A. m. syriaca. PMID:27010806

  14. Establishment of a Bacterial Infection Model Using the European Honeybee, Apis mellifera L

    PubMed Central

    Ishii, Kenichi; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa

    2014-01-01

    Injection of human pathogenic bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia marcescens, Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria monocytogenes) into the hemocoel of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) workers kills the infected bees. The bee-killing effects of the pathogens were affected by temperature, and the LD50 values at 37°C were more than 100-fold lower than those at 15°C. Gene-disrupted S. aureus mutants of virulence genes such as agrA, saeS, arlR, srtA, hla, and hlb had attenuated bee-killing ability. Nurse bees were less susceptible than foragers and drones to S. aureus infection. Injection of antibiotics clinically used for humans had therapeutic effects against S. aureus infections of bees, and the ED50 values of these antibiotics were comparable with those determined in mammalian models. Moreover, the effectiveness of orally administered antibiotics was consistent between honeybees and mammals. These findings suggest that the honeybee could be a useful model for assessing the pathogenesis of human-infecting bacteria and the effectiveness of antibiotics. PMID:24587122

  15. A Causal Analysis of Observed Declines in Managed Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Staveley, Jane P.; Law, Sheryl A.; Fairbrother, Anne; Menzie, Charles A.

    2013-01-01

    The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a highly valuable, semi-free-ranging managed agricultural species. While the number of managed hives has been increasing, declines in overwinter survival, and the onset of colony collapse disorder in 2006, precipitated a large amount of research on bees' health in an effort to isolate the causative factors. A workshop was convened during which bee experts were introduced to a formal causal analysis approach to compare 39 candidate causes against specified criteria to evaluate their relationship to the reduced overwinter survivability observed since 2006 of commercial bees used in the California almond industry. Candidate causes were categorized as probable, possible, or unlikely; several candidate causes were categorized as indeterminate due to lack of information. Due to time limitations, a full causal analysis was not completed at the workshop. In this article, examples are provided to illustrate the process and provide preliminary findings, using three candidate causes. Varroa mites plus viruses were judged to be a “probable cause” of the reduced survival, while nutrient deficiency was judged to be a “possible cause.” Neonicotinoid pesticides were judged to be “unlikely” as the sole cause of this reduced survival, although they could possibly be a contributing factor. PMID:24363549

  16. Task group differences in cuticular lipids in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Kather, Ricarda; Drijfhout, Falko P; Martin, Stephen J

    2011-02-01

    Social insects are defined by their ability to divide labor among their numerous nestmates. This is achieved via a complex system of chemical communication that allows colonies to organize task activity so as to maximize the productivity of the colony. However, the mechanism by which social insects distinguish task groups among morphologically identical individuals remains unknown. Using the honey bee, Apis mellifera, as our model species, we investigated the presence of task-specific patterns in the cuticular lipids (n-alkanes, fatty acids, and alkenes) of bees. Cuticular lipids are known to play an essential role in the recognition processes of insects. We found task-specific features in the n-alkane and alkene profiles of bees, but no task-specific patterns in the fatty acid profile. Foragers, in particular, had elevated levels of n-alkanes relative to nurse and newly emerged bees, suggesting increased waterproofing. Newly emerged bees had low levels of cuticular lipids, supporting the Blank Slate theory and potentially explaining their acceptance into foreign colonies. PMID:21271278

  17. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) learn to discriminate the smell of organic compounds from their respective deuterated isotopomers.

    PubMed

    Gronenberg, Wulfila; Raikhelkar, Ajay; Abshire, Eric; Stevens, Jennifer; Epstein, Eric; Loyola, Karin; Rauscher, Michael; Buchmann, Stephen

    2014-03-01

    The understanding of physiological and molecular processes underlying the sense of smell has made considerable progress during the past three decades, revealing the cascade of molecular steps that lead to the activation of olfactory receptor (OR) neurons. However, the mode of primary interaction of odorant molecules with the OR proteins within the sensory cells is still enigmatic. Two different concepts try to explain these interactions: the 'odotope hypothesis' suggests that OR proteins recognize structural aspects of the odorant molecule, whereas the 'vibration hypothesis' proposes that intra-molecular vibrations are the basis for the recognition of the odorant by the receptor protein. The vibration hypothesis predicts that OR proteins should be able to discriminate compounds containing deuterium from their common counterparts which contain hydrogen instead of deuterium. This study tests this prediction in honeybees (Apis mellifera) using the proboscis extension reflex learning in a differential conditioning paradigm. Rewarding one odour (e.g. a deuterated compound) with sucrose and not rewarding the respective analogue (e.g. hydrogen-based odorant) shows that honeybees readily learn to discriminate hydrogen-based odorants from their deuterated counterparts and supports the idea that intra-molecular vibrations may contribute to odour discrimination. PMID:24452031

  18. The early bee catches the flower - circadian rhythmicity influences learning performance in honey bees, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Lehmann, Marina; Gustav, David

    2010-01-01

    Circadian rhythmicity plays an important role for many aspects of honey bees’ lives. However, the question whether it also affects learning and memory remained unanswered. To address this question, we studied the effect of circadian timing on olfactory learning and memory in honey bees Apis mellifera using the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex paradigm. Bees were differentially conditioned to odours and tested for their odour learning at four different “Zeitgeber” time points. We show that learning behaviour is influenced by circadian timing. Honey bees perform best in the morning compared to the other times of day. Additionally, we found influences of the light condition bees were trained at on the olfactory learning. This circadian-mediated learning is independent from feeding times bees were entrained to, indicating an inherited and not acquired mechanism. We hypothesise that a co-evolutionary mechanism between the honey bee as a pollinator and plants might be the driving force for the evolution of the time-dependent learning abilities of bees. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00265-010-1026-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:21350590

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26715114

  20. Four Quantitative Trait Loci That Influence Worker Sterility in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Oxley, Peter R.; Thompson, Graham J.; Oldroyd, Benjamin P.

    2008-01-01

    The all-female worker caste of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) is effectively barren in that workers refrain from laying eggs in the presence of a fecund queen. The mechanism by which workers switch off their ovaries in queenright colonies is pheromonally cued, but there is genetically based variation among individuals: some workers have high thresholds for ovary activation, while for others the response threshold is lower. Genetic variation for threshold response by workers to ovary-suppressing cues is most evident in “anarchist” colonies in which mutant patrilines have a proportion of workers that activate their ovaries and lay eggs, despite the presence of a queen. In this study we use a selected anarchist line to create a backcross queenright colony that segregated for high and low levels of ovary activation. We used 191 informative microsatellite loci, covering all 16 linkage groups to identify QTL for ovary activation and test the hypothesis that anarchy is recessively inherited. We reject this hypothesis, but identify four QTL that together explain ∼25% of the phenotypic variance for ovary activation in our mapping population. They provide the first molecular evidence for the existence of quantitative loci that influence selfish cheating behavior in a social animal. PMID:18562647

  1. Apis mellifera pollination improves agronomic productivity of anemophilous castor bean (Ricinus communis).

    PubMed

    Rizzardo, Rômulo A G; Milfont, Marcelo O; Silva, Eva M S da; Freitas, Breno M

    2012-12-01

    Castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) is cultivated mainly for biodiesel production because of its oil-rich seeds; it is assumed to be an anemophylous species. But pollination deficit can lead to low productivity often attributed to other reasons. In this paper, we investigated pollination requirements, pollination mechanism, occurrence of pollination deficit, and the role of biotic pollinators in a large commercial plantation of castor bean. Our results show that R. communis bears a mixed breeding system favoring selfing by geitonogamy, although the wind promotes mostly outcrossing. We also found that the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) foraging on castor bean can both transfer pollen from male to female flowers within the same raceme and boost the release of airborne pollen by male flowers. Both situations increase geitonogamy rates, raising significantly fruit set and seed yield. This is the first report of an animal foraging activity increasing seed yield in an anemophilous and geitonogamous crop and elucidates the role of biotic pollinators in castor bean reproduction. PMID:22990600

  2. Queen and young larval pheromones impact nursing and reproductive physiology of honey bee (Apis mellifera) workers.

    PubMed

    Traynor, Kirsten S; Le Conte, Yves; Page, Robert E

    2014-01-01

    Several insect pheromones are multifunctional and have both releaser and primer effects. In honey bees (Apis mellifera), the queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) and e-beta-ocimene (eβ), emitted by young worker larvae, have such dual effects. There is increasing evidence that these multifunctional pheromones profoundly shape honey bee colony dynamics by influencing cooperative brood care, a fundamental aspect of eusocial insect behavior. Both QMP and eβ have been shown to affect worker physiology and behavior, but it has not yet been determined if these two key pheromones have interactive effects on hypopharyngeal gland (HPG) development, actively used in caring of larvae, and ovary activation, a component of worker reproductive physiology. Experimental results demonstrate that both QMP and eβ significantly suppress ovary activation compared to controls but that the larval pheromone is more effective than QMP. The underlying reproductive anatomy (total ovarioles) of workers influenced HPG development and ovary activation, so that worker bees with more ovarioles were less responsive to suppression of ovary activation by QMP. These bees were more likely to develop their HPG and have activated ovaries in the presence of eβ, providing additional links between nursing and reproductive physiology in support of the reproductive ground plan hypothesis. PMID:25395721

  3. Gene expression in honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae exposed to pesticides and Varroa mites (Varroa destructor).

    PubMed

    Gregorc, Aleš; Evans, Jay D; Scharf, Mike; Ellis, James D

    2012-08-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae reared in vitro were exposed to one of nine pesticides and/or were challenged with the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor. Total RNA was extracted from individual larvae and first strand cDNAs were generated. Gene-expression changes in larvae were measured using quantitative PCR (qPCR) targeting transcripts for pathogens and genes involved in physiological processes, bee health, immunity, and/or xenobiotic detoxification. Transcript levels for Peptidoglycan Recognition Protein (PGRPSC), a pathogen recognition gene, increased in larvae exposed to Varroa mites (P<0.001) and were not changed in pesticide treated larvae. As expected, Varroa-parasitized brood had higher transcripts of Deformed Wing Virus than did control larvae (P<0.001). Varroa parasitism, arguably coupled with virus infection, resulted in significantly higher transcript abundances for the antimicrobial peptides abaecin, hymenoptaecin, and defensin1. Transcript levels for Prophenoloxidase-activating enzyme (PPOact), an immune end product, were elevated in larvae treated with myclobutanil and chlorothalonil (both are fungicides) (P<0.001). Transcript levels for Hexameric storage protein (Hsp70) were significantly upregulated in imidacloprid, fluvalinate, coumaphos, myclobutanil, and amitraz treated larvae. Definitive impacts of pesticides and Varroa parasitism on honey bee larval gene expression were demonstrated. Interactions between larval treatments and gene expression for the targeted genes are discussed. PMID:22497859

  4. Does pea lectin expressed transgenically in oilseed rape (Brassica napus) influence honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae?

    PubMed

    Lehrman, Anna

    2007-01-01

    The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is important both for pollination and for honey production. Pollen is the major protein source for bees, which exposes them directly to changes in pollen quality e.g. through genetic engineering. In order to create a worst case scenario regarding pea lectin (PSL) expressed transgenically in oilseed rape anthers and pollen, the maximum amount of dried pollen that could be mixed in an artificial diet without negatively affecting larval performance (1.5% w/w) was fed to bee larvae. Pollen from two transgenic plant lines expressing PSL up to 1.2% of total soluble protein and pollen from one non-transgenic line was added to the same diet and used as a pollen control. When these three pollen diets and the control diet (without added pollen) were compared, no negative effect from the pollen of the transgenic plants could be detected on larval mortality, weight, or development time. An increased weight and a reduced developmental time were recorded for larvae on all diets containing pollen when compared to the diet without pollen. PMID:18289502

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27560969

  6. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Algerian honeybee, Apis mellifera intermissa (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Hu, Peng; Lu, Zhi-Xiang; Haddad, Nizar; Noureddine, Adjlane; Loucif-Ayad, Wahida; Wang, Yong-Zhi; Zhao, Ren-Bin; Zhang, Ai-Ling; Guan, Xin; Zhang, Hai-Xi; Niu, Hua

    2016-05-01

    In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Algerian honeybee, Apis mellifera intermissa, is analyzed for the first time. The results show that this genome is 16,336 bp in length, and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, and 1 control region (D-loop). The overall base composition is A (43.2%), C (9.8%), G (5.6%), and T (41.4%), so the percentage of A and T (84.6%) is considerably higher than that of G and C. All the genes are encoded on H-strand, except for four subunit genes (ND1, ND4, ND4L, and ND5), two rRNA genes (12S and 16S rRNA), and eight tRNA genes. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence reported here would be useful for further phylogenetic analysis and conservation genetic studies in A. m. intermissa. PMID:25259457

  7. Highly efficient integration and expression of piggyBac-derived cassettes in the honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Schulte, Christina; Theilenberg, Eva; Müller-Borg, Marion; Gempe, Tanja; Beye, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera), which are important pollinators of plants, display remarkable individual behaviors that collectively contribute to the organization of a complex society. Advances in dissecting the complex processes of honeybee behavior have been limited in the recent past due to a lack of genetic manipulation tools. These tools are difficult to apply in honeybees because the unit of reproduction is the colony, and many interesting phenotypes are developmentally specified at later stages. Here, we report highly efficient integration and expression of piggyBac-derived cassettes in the honeybee. We demonstrate that 27 and 20% of queens stably transmitted two different expression cassettes to their offspring, which is a 6- to 30-fold increase in efficiency compared with those generally reported in other insect species. This high efficiency implies that an average beekeeping facility with a limited number of colonies can apply this tool. We demonstrated that the cassette stably and efficiently expressed marker genes in progeny under either an artificial or an endogenous promoter. This evidence of efficient expression encourages the use of this system to inhibit gene functions through RNAi in specific tissues and developmental stages by using various promoters. We also showed that the transgenic marker could be used to select transgenic offspring to be employed to facilitate the building of transgenic colonies via the haploid males. We present here the first to our knowledge genetic engineering tool that will efficiently allow for the systematic detection and better understanding of processes underlying the biology of honeybees. PMID:24821811

  8. The dynamic DNA methylation cycle from egg to sperm in the honey bee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Drewell, Robert A.; Bush, Eliot C.; Remnant, Emily J.; Wong, Garrett T.; Beeler, Suzannah M.; Stringham, Jessica L.; Lim, Julianne; Oldroyd, Benjamin P.

    2014-01-01

    In honey bees (Apis mellifera), the epigenetic mark of DNA methylation is central to the developmental regulation of caste differentiation, but may also be involved in additional biological functions. In this study, we examine the whole genome methylation profiles of three stages of the haploid honey bee genome: unfertilised eggs, the adult drones that develop from these eggs and the sperm produced by these drones. These methylomes reveal distinct patterns of methylation. Eggs and sperm show 381 genes with significantly different CpG methylation patterns, with the vast majority being more methylated in eggs. Adult drones show greatly reduced levels of methylation across the genome when compared with both gamete samples. This suggests a dynamic cycle of methylation loss and gain through the development of the drone and during spermatogenesis. Although fluxes in methylation during embryogenesis may account for some of the differentially methylated sites, the distinct methylation patterns at some genes suggest parent-specific epigenetic marking in the gametes. Extensive germ line methylation of some genes possibly explains the lower-than-expected frequency of CpG sites in these genes. We discuss the potential developmental and evolutionary implications of methylation in eggs and sperm in this eusocial insect species. PMID:24924193

  9. Factors affecting the dynamics of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) hybrid zone of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Beekman, M; Allsopp, M H; Wossler, T C; Oldroyd, B P

    2008-01-01

    Hybrid zones are found wherever two populations distinguishable on the basis of heritable characters overlap spatially and temporally and hybridization occurs. If hybrids have lower fitness than the parental types a tension zone may emerge, in which there is a barrier to gene flow between the two parental populations. Here we discuss a hybrid zone between two honeybee subspecies, Apis mellifera capensis and A. m. scutellata and argue that this zone is an example of a tension zone. This tension zone is particularly interesting because A. m. capensis can be a lethal social parasite of A. m. scutellata. However, despite its parasitic potential, A. m. capensis appears to be unable to increase its natural range unassisted. We propose three interlinked mechanisms that could maintain the South African honeybee hybrid zone: (1) low fitness of intercrossed and genetically mixed colonies arising from inadequate regulation of worker reproduction; (2) higher reproductive success of A. m. scutellata via both high dispersal rates into the hybrid zone and increased competitiveness of males, countered by (3) the parasitic nature of A. m. capensis. PMID:17848972

  10. Practical sampling plans for Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies and apiaries.

    PubMed

    Lee, K V; Moon, R D; Burkness, E C; Hutchison, W D; Spivak, M

    2010-08-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Acari: Varroidae) is arguably the most detrimental pest of the European-derived honey bee, Apis mellifera L. Unfortunately, beekeepers lack a standardized sampling plan to make informed treatment decisions. Based on data from 31 commercial apiaries, we developed sampling plans for use by beekeepers and researchers to estimate the density of mites in individual colonies or whole apiaries. Beekeepers can estimate a colony's mite density with chosen level of precision by dislodging mites from approximately to 300 adult bees taken from one brood box frame in the colony, and they can extrapolate to mite density on a colony's adults and pupae combined by doubling the number of mites on adults. For sampling whole apiaries, beekeepers can repeat the process in each of n = 8 colonies, regardless of apiary size. Researchers desiring greater precision can estimate mite density in an individual colony by examining three, 300-bee sample units. Extrapolation to density on adults and pupae may require independent estimates of numbers of adults, of pupae, and of their respective mite densities. Researchers can estimate apiary-level mite density by taking one 300-bee sample unit per colony, but should do so from a variable number of colonies, depending on apiary size. These practical sampling plans will allow beekeepers and researchers to quantify mite infestation levels and enhance understanding and management of V. destructor. PMID:20857710

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the effect of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor on the immunological and nutritional condition of honey bees, Apis mellifera, from the perspective of the individual bee and the colony. Pupae, newly-emerged adults and foraging adults were sampled from honey bee colonies at one site in S. Texas, USA. Varroa‑infested bees displayed elevated titer of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), suggestive of depressed capacity to limit viral replication. Expression of genes coding three anti-microbial peptides (defensin1, abaecin, hymenoptaecin) was either not significantly different between Varroa-infested and uninfested bees or was significantly elevated in Varroa-infested bees, varying with sampling date and bee developmental age. The effect of Varroa on nutritional indices of the bees was complex, with protein, triglyceride, glycogen and sugar levels strongly influenced by life-stage of the bee and individual colony. Protein content was depressed and free amino acid content elevated in Varroa-infested pupae, suggesting that protein synthesis, and consequently growth, may be limited in these insects. No simple relationship between the values of nutritional and immune-related indices was observed, and colony-scale effects were indicated by the reduced weight of pupae in colonies with high Varroa abundance, irrespective of whether the individual pupa bore Varroa. PMID:26466617

  12. Tactile conditioning and movement analysis of antennal sampling strategies in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Mujagić, Samir; Würth, Simon Michael; Hellbach, Sven; Dürr, Volker

    2012-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are eusocial insects and well known for their complex division of labor and associative learning capability(1, 2). The worker bees spend the first half of their life inside the dark hive, where they are nursing the larvae or building the regular hexagonal combs for food (e.g. pollen or nectar) and brood(3). The antennae are extraordinary multisensory feelers and play a pivotal role in various tactile mediated tasks(4), including hive building(5) and pattern recognition(6). Later in life, each single bee leaves the hive to forage for food. Then a bee has to learn to discriminate profitable food sources, memorize their location, and communicate it to its nest mates(7). Bees use different floral signals like colors or odors(7, 8), but also tactile cues from the petal surface(9) to form multisensory memories of the food source. Under laboratory conditions, bees can be trained in an appetitive learning paradigm to discriminate tactile object features, such as edges or grooves with their antennae(10, 11, 12, 13). This learning paradigm is closely related to the classical olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) in harnessed bees(14). The advantage of the tactile learning paradigm in the laboratory is the possibility of combining behavioral experiments on learning with various physiological measurements, including the analysis of the antennal movement pattern. PMID:23271329

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26919127

  14. Routes of Acquisition of the Gut Microbiota of the Honey Bee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Martinson, Vincent G.; Urban-Mead, Katherine; Moran, Nancy A.

    2014-01-01

    Studies of newly emerged Apis mellifera worker bees have demonstrated that their guts are colonized by a consistent core microbiota within several days of eclosure. We conducted experiments aimed at illuminating the transmission routes and spatiotemporal colonization dynamics of this microbiota. Experimental groups of newly emerged workers were maintained in cup cages and exposed to different potential transmission sources. Colonization patterns were evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) to assess community sizes and using deep sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons to assess community composition. In addition, we monitored the establishment of the ileum and rectum communities within workers sampled over time from natural hive conditions. The study verified that workers initially lack gut bacteria and gain large characteristic communities in the ileum and rectum within 4 to 6 days within hives. Typical communities, resembling those of workers within hives, were established in the presence of nurse workers or nurse worker fecal material, and atypical communities of noncore or highly skewed compositions were established when workers were exposed only to oral trophallaxis or hive components (comb, honey, bee bread). The core species of Gram-negative bacteria, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, and Frischella perrara, were dependent on the presence of nurses or hindgut material, whereas some Gram-positive species were more often transferred through exposure to hive components. These results indicate aspects of the colony life cycle and behavior that are key to the propagation of the characteristic honey bee gut microbiota. PMID:25239900

  15. The dynamic DNA methylation cycle from egg to sperm in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Drewell, Robert A; Bush, Eliot C; Remnant, Emily J; Wong, Garrett T; Beeler, Suzannah M; Stringham, Jessica L; Lim, Julianne; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2014-07-01

    In honey bees (Apis mellifera), the epigenetic mark of DNA methylation is central to the developmental regulation of caste differentiation, but may also be involved in additional biological functions. In this study, we examine the whole genome methylation profiles of three stages of the haploid honey bee genome: unfertilised eggs, the adult drones that develop from these eggs and the sperm produced by these drones. These methylomes reveal distinct patterns of methylation. Eggs and sperm show 381 genes with significantly different CpG methylation patterns, with the vast majority being more methylated in eggs. Adult drones show greatly reduced levels of methylation across the genome when compared with both gamete samples. This suggests a dynamic cycle of methylation loss and gain through the development of the drone and during spermatogenesis. Although fluxes in methylation during embryogenesis may account for some of the differentially methylated sites, the distinct methylation patterns at some genes suggest parent-specific epigenetic marking in the gametes. Extensive germ line methylation of some genes possibly explains the lower-than-expected frequency of CpG sites in these genes. We discuss the potential developmental and evolutionary implications of methylation in eggs and sperm in this eusocial insect species. PMID:24924193

  16. Cheaters sometimes prosper: targeted worker reproduction in honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies during swarming.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Michael J; Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Duncan, Michael; Allsopp, Michael H; Beekman, Madeleine

    2013-08-01

    Kin selection theory predicts that honeybee (Apis mellifera) workers should largely refrain from producing their own offspring, as the workers collectively have higher inclusive fitness if they rear the sons of their mother, the queen. Studies that have quantified levels of ovary activation and reproduction among workers have largely supported this prediction. We sampled pre-emergent male pupae and adult workers from seven colonies at regular intervals throughout the reproductive part of the season. We show that the overall contribution of workers to male (drone) production is 4.2%, nearly 40 times higher than is generally reported, and is highest during reproductive swarming, when an average of 6.2% of the males genotyped are worker-produced. Similarly, workers in our samples were 100 times more likely to have active ovaries than previously assumed. Worker reproduction is seasonally influenced and peaks when colonies are rearing new queens. Not all worker subfamilies contribute equally to reproduction. Instead, certain subfamilies are massively over-represented in drone brood. By laying eggs within the period in which many colonies produce virgin queens, these rare worker subfamilies increase their direct fitness via their well-timed sons. PMID:23889604

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24133154

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Recognition errors by honey bee (Apis mellifera) guards demonstrate overlapping cues in conspecific recognition

    PubMed Central

    Couvillon, Margaret J; Roy, Gabrielle G F; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2015-01-01

    Summary Honey bee (Apis mellifera) entrance guards discriminate nestmates from intruders. We tested the hypothesis that the recognition cues between nestmate bees and intruder bees overlap by comparing their acceptances with that of worker common wasps, Vespula vulgaris, by entrance guards. If recognition cues of nestmate and non-nestmate bees overlap, we would expect recognition errors. Conversely, we hypothesised that guards would not make errors in recognizing wasps because wasps and bees should have distinct, non-overlapping cues. We found both to be true. There was a negative correlation between errors in recognizing nestmates (error: reject nestmate) and nonnestmates (error: accept non-nestmate) bees such that when guards were likely to reject nestmates, they were less likely to accept a nonnestmate; conversely, when guards were likely to accept a non-nestmate, they were less likely to reject a nestmate. There was, however, no correlation between errors in the recognition of nestmate bees (error: reject nestmate) and wasps (error: accept wasp), demonstrating that guards were able to reject wasps categorically. Our results strongly support that overlapping cue distributions occur, resulting in errors and leading to adaptive shifts in guard acceptance thresholds PMID:26005220

  20. Comparative sublethal toxicity of nine pesticides on olfactory learning performances of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Decourtye, A; Devillers, J; Genecque, E; Le Menach, K; Budzinski, H; Cluzeau, S; Pham-Delègue, M H

    2005-02-01

    Using a conditioned proboscis extension response (PER) assay, honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) can be trained to associate an odor stimulus with a sucrose reward. Previous studies have shown that observations of conditioned PER were of interest for assessing the behavioral effects of pesticides on the honeybee. In the present study, the effects of sublethal concentrations of nine pesticides on learning performances of worker bees subjected to the PER assay were estimated and compared. Pesticides were tested at three concentrations. The highest concentration of each pesticide corresponded to the median lethal dose value (48-h oral LD50), received per bee and per day, divided by 20. Reduced learning performances were observed for bees surviving treatment with fipronil, deltamethrin, endosulfan, and prochloraz. A lack of behavioral effects after treatment with lambda-cyalothrin, cypermethrin, tau-fluvalinate, triazamate, and dimethoate was recorded. No-observed-effect concentrations (NOECs) for the conditioned PER were derived for the studied pesticides. Our study shows that the PER assay can be used for estimating sublethal effects of pesticides on bees. Furthermore, comparisons of sensitivity as well as the estimation of NOECs, useful for regulatory purposes, are possible. PMID:15750780

  1. Molecular and Biological Characterization of Deformed Wing Virus of Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Lanzi, Gaetana; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Boniotti, Maria Beatrice; Cameron, Craig E.; Lavazza, Antonio; Capucci, Lorenzo; Camazine, Scott M.; Rossi, Cesare

    2006-01-01

    Deformed wing virus (DWV) of honeybees (Apis mellifera) is closely associated with characteristic wing deformities, abdominal bloating, paralysis, and rapid mortality of emerging adult bees. The virus was purified from diseased insects, and its genome was cloned and sequenced. The genomic RNA of DWV is 10,140 nucleotides in length and contains a single large open reading frame encoding a 328-kDa polyprotein. The coding sequence is flanked by a 1,144-nucleotide 5′ nontranslated leader sequence and a 317-nucleotide 3′ nontranslated region, followed by a poly(A) tail. The three major structural proteins, VP1 (44 kDa), VP2 (32 kDa), and VP3 (28 kDa), were identified, and their genes were mapped to the N-terminal section of the polyprotein. The C-terminal part of the polyprotein contains sequence motifs typical of well-characterized picornavirus nonstructural proteins: an RNA helicase, a chymotrypsin-like 3C protease, and an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. The genome organization, capsid morphology, and sequence comparison data indicate that DWV is a member of the recently established genus Iflavirus. PMID:16641291

  2. Diffusion and consumption of oxygen in the superfused retina of the drone (Apis mellifera) in darkness.

    PubMed

    Tsacopoulos, M; Poitry, S; Borsellino, A

    1981-06-01

    Double-barreled O2 microelectrodes were used to study O2 diffusion and consumption in the superfused drone (Apis mellifera) retina in darkness at 22 degrees C. Po2 was measured at different sites in the bath and retinas. It was found that diffusion was essentially in one dimension and that the rate of O2 consumption (Q) was practically constant (on the macroscale) down to Po2 s less than 20 mm Hg, a situation that greatly simplified the analysis. The value obtained for Q was 18 +/- 0.7 (SEM) microliter O2/cm3 tissue . min (n = 10), and Krogh's permeation coefficient (alpha D) was 3.24 +/- 0.18 (SEM) X 10(-5) ml O1/min . atm . cm (n = 10). Calculations indicate that only a small fraction of this Q in darkness is necessary for the energy requirements of the sodium pump. the diffusion coefficient (D) in the retina was measured by abruptly cutting off diffusion from the bath and analyzing the time-course of the fall in Po2 at the surface of the tissue. The mean value of D was 1.03 +/- 0.08 (SEM) X 10(-5) cm2/s (n = 10). From alpha D and D, the solubility coefficient alpha was calculated to be 54 +/- 4.0 (SEM) microliter O2 STP/cm3 . atm (n = 10), approximately 1.8 times that for water. PMID:7264598

  3. Regulation of life history determines lifespan of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Rueppell, Olav; Bachelier, Cédric; Fondrk, M. Kim; Page, Robert E.

    2008-01-01

    Life expectancy of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) is of general interest to gerontological research because its variability among different groups of bees is one of the most striking cases of natural plasticity of aging. Worker honey bees spend their first days of adult life working in the nest, then transition to foraging and die between 4 and 8 weeks of age. Foraging is believed to be primarily responsible for the early death of workers. Three large-scale experiments were performed to quantitatively assess the importance of flight activity, chronological age, extrinsic mortality factors and foraging specialization. Forager mortality was higher than in-hive bee mortality. Most importantly however, reducing the external mortality hazards and foraging activity did not lead to the expected strong extension of life. Most of the experimental effects were attributable to an earlier transition from hive tasks to foraging. This transition is accompanied by a significant mortality peak. The age at the onset of foraging is the central variable in worker life-history and behavioral state was found more important than chronological age for honey bee aging. However, mortality risk increased with age and the negative relation between preforaging and foraging lifespan indicate some senescence irrespective of behavioral state. Overall, honey bee workers exhibit a logistic mortality dynamic which is mainly caused by the age-dependent transition from a low mortality pre-foraging state to a higher mortality foraging state. PMID:17689041

  4. A Causal Analysis of Observed Declines in Managed Honey Bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Staveley, Jane P; Law, Sheryl A; Fairbrother, Anne; Menzie, Charles A

    2014-02-01

    The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a highly valuable, semi-free-ranging managed agricultural species. While the number of managed hives has been increasing, declines in overwinter survival, and the onset of colony collapse disorder in 2006, precipitated a large amount of research on bees' health in an effort to isolate the causative factors. A workshop was convened during which bee experts were introduced to a formal causal analysis approach to compare 39 candidate causes against specified criteria to evaluate their relationship to the reduced overwinter survivability observed since 2006 of commercial bees used in the California almond industry. Candidate causes were categorized as probable, possible, or unlikely; several candidate causes were categorized as indeterminate due to lack of information. Due to time limitations, a full causal analysis was not completed at the workshop. In this article, examples are provided to illustrate the process and provide preliminary findings, using three candidate causes. Varroa mites plus viruses were judged to be a "probable cause" of the reduced survival, while nutrient deficiency was judged to be a "possible cause." Neonicotinoid pesticides were judged to be "unlikely" as the sole cause of this reduced survival, although they could possibly be a contributing factor. PMID:24363549

  5. Genome-Wide Association Study of a Varroa-Specific Defense Behavior in Honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Spötter, Andreas; Gupta, Pooja; Mayer, Manfred; Reinsch, Norbert; Bienefeld, Kaspar

    2016-05-01

    Honey bees are exposed to many damaging pathogens and parasites. The most devastating is Varroa destructor, which mainly affects the brood. A promising approach for preventing its spread is to breed Varroa-resistant honey bees. One trait that has been shown to provide significant resistance against the Varroa mite is hygienic behavior, which is a behavioral response of honeybee workers to brood diseases in general. Here, we report the use of an Affymetrix 44K SNP array to analyze SNPs associated with detection and uncapping of Varroa-parasitized brood by individual worker bees (Apis mellifera). For this study, 22 000 individually labeled bees were video-monitored and a sample of 122 cases and 122 controls was collected and analyzed to determine the dependence/independence of SNP genotypes from hygienic and nonhygienic behavior on a genome-wide scale. After false-discovery rate correction of the P values, 6 SNP markers had highly significant associations with the trait investigated (α < 0.01). Inspection of the genomic regions around these SNPs led to the discovery of putative candidate genes. PMID:26774061

  6. Mitochondrial structure and dynamics as critical factors in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) caste development.

    PubMed

    Santos, Douglas Elias; Alberici, Luciane Carla; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2016-06-01

    The relationship between nutrition and phenotype is an especially challenging question in cases of facultative polyphenism, like the castes of social insects. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, unexpected modifications in conserved signaling pathways revealed the hypoxia response as a possible mechanism underlying the regulation of body size and organ growth. Hence, the current study was designed to investigate possible causes of why the three hypoxia core genes are overexpressed in worker larvae. Parting from the hypothesis that this has an endogenous cause and is not due to differences in external oxygen levels we investigated mitochondrial numbers and distribution, as well as mitochondrial oxygen consumption rates in fat body cells of queen and worker larvae during the caste fate-critical larval stages. By immunofluorescence and electron microscopy we found higher densities of mitochondria in queen larval fat body, a finding further confirmed by a citrate synthase assay quantifying mitochondrial functional units. Oxygen consumption measurements by high-resolution respirometry revealed that queen larvae have higher maximum capacities of ATP production at lower physiological demand. Finally, the expression analysis of mitogenesis-related factors showed that the honey bee TFB1 and TFB2 homologs, and a nutritional regulator, ERR, are overexpressed in queen larvae. These results are strong evidence that the differential nutrition of queen and worker larvae by nurse bees affects mitochondrial dynamics and functionality in the fat body of these larvae, hence explaining their differential hypoxia response. PMID:27058771

  7. Structural differences in the drone olfactory system of two phylogenetically distant Apis species, A. florea and A. mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brockmann, Axel; Brückner, Dorothea

    2001-01-01

    Male insects that are attracted by sex pheromones to find their female mates over long distances have specialized olfactory subsystems. Morphologically, these subsystems are characterized by a large number of receptor neurons sensitive to components of the female's pheromones and hypertrophied glomerular subunits ('macroglomeruli' or 'macroglomerular complexes') in the antennal lobes, in which the axons of the receptor neurons converge. The olfactory subsystems are adapted for an increased sensitivity to perceive minute amounts of pheromones. In Apis mellifera, drones have 18,600 olfactory poreplate sensilla per antenna, each equipped with receptor neurons sensitive to the queen's sex pheromone, and four voluminous macroglomeruli (MG1-MG4) in the antennal lobes. In contrast, we show that drones of the phylogenetically distant species, Apis florea, have only 1,200 poreplate sensilla per antenna and only two macroglomeruli in their antennal lobes. These macroglomeruli are homologous in anatomical position to the two most prominent macroglomeruli in A. mellifera, the MG1 and MG2, but they are much smaller in size. The morphological and anatomical differences described here suggest major modifications in the sex-pheromone processing subsystem of both species: (1) less pheromone sensitivity in A. florea and (2) a more complex sex-pheromone processing and thus a more complex sex-pheromone communication in A. mellifera.

  8. Phylogenetic relationship of Turkish Apis mellifera subspecies based on sequencing of mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase I region.

    PubMed

    Özdil, F; İlhan, F

    2012-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation can be used to infer honey bee evolutionary relationships. We examined DNA sequence diversity in the cytochrome C oxidase I (COI or Cox1) gene segment of the mitochondrial genome in 112 samples of Apis mellifera from 15 different populations in Turkey. Six novel haplotypes were found for the COI gene segment. There were eight variable sites in the COI gene, although only three were parsimony-informative sites. The mean pairwise genetic distance was 0.3% for the COI gene segment. Neighbor-joining (NJ) trees of the COI gene segment were constructed with the published sequences of A. mellifera haplotypes that are available in GenBank; the genetic variation was compared among the different honeybee haplotypes. The NJ dendogram based on the COI sequences available in GenBank showed that Eastern European races were clustered together, whereas the Mellifera and Iberian haplotypes were clustered far apart. The haplotypes found in this study were clustered together with A. mellifera ligustica and some of the Greek honey bees (accession Nos. GU056169 and GU056170) found in NCBI GenBank database. This study expands the knowledge about the mitochondrial COI region and presents the first comprehensive sequence analysis of this region in Turkish honeybees. PMID:22614282

  9. Structural differences in the drone olfactory system of two phylogenetically distant Apis species, A. florea and A. mellifera.

    PubMed

    Brockmann, A; Brückner, D

    2001-02-01

    Male insects that are attracted by sex pheromones to find their female mates over long distances have specialized olfactory subsystems. Morphologically, these subsystems are characterized by a large number of receptor neurons sensitive to components of the female's pheromones and hypertrophied glomerular subunits ('macroglomeruli' or 'macroglomerular complexes') in the antennal lobes, in which the axons of the receptor neurons converge. The olfactory subsystems are adapted for an increased sensitivity to perceive minute amounts of pheromones. In Apis mellifera, drones have 18,600 olfactory poreplate sensilla per antenna, each equipped with receptor neurons sensitive to the queen's sex pheromone, and four voluminous macroglomeruli (MG1-MG4) in the antennal lobes. In contrast, we show that drones of the phylogenetically distant species, Apis florea, have only 1,200 poreplate sensilla per antenna and only two macroglomeruli in their antennal lobes. These macroglomeruli are homologous in anatomical position to the two most prominent macroglomeruli in A. mellifera, the MG1 and MG2, but they are much smaller in size. The morphological and anatomical differences described here suggest major modifications in the sex-pheromone processing subsystem of both species: (1) less pheromone sensitivity in A. florea and (2) a more complex sex-pheromone processing and thus a more complex sex-pheromone communication in A. mellifera. Research in honey bee sex-pheromone communication dates back to the 1960s, when Gary (1962) demonstrated that in Apis mellifera the queen's mandibular gland secretion and especially its main component, 9-ODA (9-keto-2(E)-decenoic acid), is highly attractive to drones on their nuptial flight. Later, cross-species attraction experiments showed that other honey bee species, Apis florea, A. cerana, and A. dorsata probably also use the queen's mandibular gland secretion as a mating attractant (Butler et al. 1967; Sanasi et al. 1971). Besides its function in

  10. Frequency and foraging behavior of Apis mellifera in two melon hybrids in Juazeiro, state of Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Kiill, Lúcia H P; Siqueira, Kátia M M; Coelho, Márcia S; Silva, Tamires A; Gama, Diego R S; Araújo, Diego C S; Pereira Neto, Joaquim

    2014-12-01

    The study was carried out to verify if there are differences in foraging frequency and behavior of Apis mellifera in two melon hybrids (10:00 - 'Yellow melon' and Sancho -'Piel de Sapo') in the municipality of Juazeiro, state of Bahia, Brazil. The frequency, behavior of visitors and the floral resource foraged were registered from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm. There was a significant difference in the frequency of visits when comparing hydrids (F = 103.74, p <0.0001), floral type (F = 47.25, p <0.0001) and resource foraged (F = 239.14, p <0.0001). The flowers of Sancho were more attractive to A. mellifera when compared with hybrid 10:00, which may be correlated to the morphology and floral resources available. This could be solved with scaled planting, avoiding the overlapping of flowering of both types. PMID:25590739

  11. Frequency and foraging behavior of Apis mellifera in two melon hybrids in Juazeiro, state of Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Kiill, Lúcia H P; Siqueira, Kátia M M; Márcia S, Coelho; Silva, Tamires A; Gama, Diego R S; Araújo, Diego C S; Pereira Neto, Joaquim

    2014-10-01

    The study was carried out to verify if there are differences in foraging frequency and behavior of Apis mellifera in two melon hybrids (10:00 - 'Yellow melon' and Sancho -'Piel de Sapo') in the municipality of Juazeiro, state of Bahia, Brazil. The frequency, behavior of visitors and the floral resource foraged were registered from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm. There was a significant difference in the frequency of visits when comparing hydrids (F = 103.74, p <0.0001), floral type (F = 47.25, p <0.0001) and resource foraged (F = 239.14, p <0.0001). The flowers of Sancho were more attractive to A. mellifera when compared with hybrid 10:00, which may be correlated to the morphology and floral resources available. This could be solved with scaled planting, avoiding the overlapping of flowering of both types. PMID:25295739

  12. Molecular and Kinetic Properties of Two Acetylcholinesterases from the Western Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Young Ho; Cha, Deok Jea; Jung, Je Won; Kwon, Hyung Wook; Lee, Si Hyeock

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the molecular and kinetic properties of two acetylcholinesterases (AmAChE1 and AmAChE2) from the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Western blot analysis revealed that AmAChE2 has most of catalytic activity rather than AmAChE1, further suggesting that AmAChE2 is responsible for synaptic transmission in A. mellifera, in contrast to most other insects. AmAChE2 was predominately expressed in the ganglia and head containing the central nervous system (CNS), while AmAChE1 was abundantly observed not only in the CNS but also in the peripheral nervous system/non-neuronal tissues. Both AmAChEs exist as homodimers; the monomers are covalently connected via a disulfide bond under native conditions. However, AmAChE2 was associated with the cell membrane via the glycophosphatidylinositol anchor, while AmAChE1 was present as a soluble form. The two AmAChEs were functionally expressed with a baculovirus system. Kinetic analysis revealed that AmAChE2 has approximately 2,500-fold greater catalytic efficiency toward acetylthiocholine and butyrylthiocholine than AmAChE1, supporting the synaptic function of AmAChE2. In addition, AmAChE2 likely serves as the main target of the organophosphate (OP) and carbamate (CB) insecticides as judged by the lower IC50 values against AmAChE2 than against AmAChE1. When OP and CB insecticides were pre-incubated with a mixture of AmAChE1 and AmAChE2, a significant reduction in the inhibition of AmAChE2 was observed, suggesting a protective role of AmAChE1 against xenobiotics. Taken together, based on their tissue distribution pattern, molecular and kinetic properties, AmAChE2 plays a major role in synaptic transmission, while AmAChE1 has non-neuronal functions, including chemical defense. PMID:23144990

  13. Enzymatic biomarkers as tools to assess environmental quality: a case study of exposure of the honeybee Apis mellifera to insecticides.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Stephan M; Belzunces, Luc P; Carvalho, Geraldo A; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Badiou-Beneteau, Alexandra

    2013-09-01

    The present study was intended to evaluate the responses of enzymes in the honeybee Apis mellifera after exposure to deltamethrin, fipronil, and spinosad and their use as biomarkers. After determination of the median lethal doses (LD50), honeybees were exposed at doses of 5.07 ng/bee and 2.53 ng/bee for deltamethrin, 0.58 ng/bee and 0.29 ng/bee for fipronil, and 4.71 ng/bee and 2.36 ng/bee for spinosad (equivalent to 1/10th [LD50/10] and 1/20th [LD50/20] of the LD50, respectively). The responses of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), carboxylesterases (CaEs-1-3), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), catalase (CAT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were assessed. The results showed that deltamethrin, fipronil, and spinosad modulated these biomarkers differentially. For the enzyme involved in the defense against oxidative stress, fipronil and spinosad induced CAT activity. For the remaining enzymes, 3 response profiles were identified. First, exposure to deltamethrin induced slight effects and modulated only CaE-1 and CaE-2, with opposite effects. Second, spinosad exhibited an induction profile for most of the biomarkers, except AChE. Third, fipronil did not modulate AChE, CaE-2, or GST, increased CAT and CaE-1, and decreased ALP. Thus, this set of honeybee biomarkers appears to be a promising tool to evaluate environmental and honeybee health, and it could generate fingerprints to characterize exposures to pesticides. PMID:23712883

  14. Detection of viral sequences in semen of honeybees (Apis mellifera): evidence for vertical transmission of viruses through drones.

    PubMed

    Yue, Constanze; Schröder, Marion; Bienefeld, Kaspar; Genersch, Elke

    2006-06-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) can be attacked by many eukaryotic parasites, and bacterial as well as viral pathogens. Especially in combination with the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, viral honeybee diseases are becoming a major problem in apiculture, causing economic losses worldwide. Several horizontal transmission routes are described for some honeybee viruses. Here, we report for the first time the detection of viral sequences in semen of honeybee drones suggesting mating as another horizontal and/or vertical route of virus transmission. Since artificial insemination and controlled mating is widely used in honeybee breeding, the impact of our findings for disease transmission is discussed. PMID:16630626

  15. Analysis of the Organization and Overlap of the Visual Fields in the Compound Eye of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Wiitanen, Wayne; Varela, Francisco G.

    1971-01-01

    Using the results of an optical analysis, a digital computer technique was developed to analyze the relative excitation produced by arbitrary figures at the rhabdom of the receptors of a compound eye. This technique was applied to several sets of figures for the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and a reasonable agreement was found with behavioral data. Similarly, the significance of a fixed cutoff angle for a visual field was investigated. It is concluded that overlap between neighboring ommatidia is highly significant for visual processing in the apposition eye, contrary to the assumptions of the mosaic theory. PMID:5544797

  16. Temporal and preparation effects in the magnetic nanoparticles of Apis mellifera body parts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chambarelli, L. L.; Pinho, M. A.; Abraçado, L. G.; Esquivel, D. M. S.; Wajnberg, E.

    Magnetic nanoparticles in the Apis mellifera abdomens are well accepted as involved in their magnetoreception mechanism. The effects of sample preparation on the time evolution of magnetic particles in the honeybee body parts (antennae, head, thorax and abdomen) were investigated by Ferromagnetic Resonance (FMR) at room temperature (RT), for about 100 days. Three preparations were tested: (a) washed with water (WT); (b) as (a), kept in glutaraldehyde 2.5% in 0.1 M cacodylate buffer (pH 7.4) for 24 h and washed with cacodylate buffer (C); (c) as (a), kept in glutaraldehyde 2.5% for 24 h and washed with glutaraldehyde 2.5% in cacodylate buffer (GLC). The four body parts of young and adult worker presented magnetic nanoparticles. The Mn 2+ lines are observed except for the antennae spectra. The high field (HF) and low field (LF) components previously observed in the spectra of social insects, are confirmed in these spectra. The HF line is present in all spectra while the LF is easily observed in the spectra of the young bee and it appears as a baseline shift in spectra of some adult parts. The HF intensity of the abdomen is commonly one order of magnitude larger than any other body parts. This is the first systematic study on the conservation of magnetic material in all body parts of bees. The results show that the time evolution of the spectra depends on the body part, conserving solution and bee age. Further measurements are necessary to understand these effects and extend it to other social insects.

  17. Insights into female sperm storage from the spermathecal fluid proteome of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Baer, Boris; Eubel, Holger; Taylor, Nicolas L; O'Toole, Nicholas; Millar, A Harvey

    2009-01-01

    Background Female animals are often able to store sperm inside their body - in some species even for several decades. The molecular basis of how females keep non-own cells alive is largely unknown, but since sperm cells are reported to be transcriptionally silenced and, therefore, limited in their ability to maintain their own function, it is likely that females actively participate in sperm maintenance. Because female contributions are likely to be of central importance for sperm survival, molecular insights into the process offer opportunities to observe mechanisms through which females manipulate sperm. Results We used the honeybee, Apis mellifera, in which queens are highly polyandrous and able to maintain sperm viable for several years. We identified over a hundred proteins representing the major constituents of the spermathecal fluid, which females contribute to sperm in storage. We found that the gel profile of proteins from spermathecal fluid is very similar to the secretions of the spermathecal gland and concluded that the spermathecal glands are the main contributors to the spermathecal fluid proteome. A detailed analysis of the spermathecal fluid proteins indicate that they fall into a range of different functional groups, most notably enzymes of energy metabolism and antioxidant defense. A metabolic network analysis comparing the proteins detected in seminal fluid and spermathecal fluid showed a more integrated network is present in the spermathecal fluid that could facilitate long-term storage of sperm. Conclusions We present a large-scale identification of proteins in the spermathecal fluid of honeybee queens and provide insights into the molecular regulation of female sperm storage. PMID:19538722

  18. Gut pathology and responses to the microsporidium Nosema ceranae in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Dussaubat, Claudia; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Higes, Mariano; Colbourne, John K; Lopez, Jacqueline; Choi, Jeong-Hyeon; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Botías, Cristina; Cousin, Marianne; McDonnell, Cynthia; Bonnet, Marc; Belzunces, Luc P; Moritz, Robin F A; Le Conte, Yves; Alaux, Cédric

    2012-01-01

    The microsporidium Nosema ceranae is a newly prevalent parasite of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). Although this parasite is presently spreading across the world into its novel host, the mechanisms by it which affects the bees and how bees respond are not well understood. We therefore performed an extensive characterization of the parasite effects at the molecular level by using genetic and biochemical tools. The transcriptome modifications at the midgut level were characterized seven days post-infection with tiling microarrays. Then we tested the bee midgut response to infection by measuring activity of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes (superoxide dismutases, glutathione peroxidases, glutathione reductase, and glutathione-S-transferase). At the gene-expression level, the bee midgut responded to N. ceranae infection by an increase in oxidative stress concurrent with the generation of antioxidant enzymes, defense and protective response specifically observed in the gut of mammals and insects. However, at the enzymatic level, the protective response was not confirmed, with only glutathione-S-transferase exhibiting a higher activity in infected bees. The oxidative stress was associated with a higher transcription of sugar transporter in the gut. Finally, a dramatic effect of the microsporidia infection was the inhibition of genes involved in the homeostasis and renewal of intestinal tissues (Wnt signaling pathway), a phenomenon that was confirmed at the histological level. This tissue degeneration and prevention of gut epithelium renewal may explain early bee death. In conclusion, our integrated approach not only gives new insights into the pathological effects of N. ceranae and the bee gut response, but also demonstrate that the honey bee gut is an interesting model system for studying host defense responses. PMID:22623972

  19. No Genetic Tradeoffs between Hygienic Behaviour and Individual Innate Immunity in the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25162411

  20. Viral epidemiology of the adult Apis Mellifera infested by the Varroa destructor mite.

    PubMed

    Bernardi, Sara; Venturino, Ezio

    2016-05-01

    The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor has become one of the major worldwide threats for apiculture. Varroa destructor attacks the honey bee Apis mellifera weakening its host by sucking hemolymph. However, the damage to bee colonies is not strictly related to the parasitic action of the mite but it derives, above all, from its action as vector increasing the transmission of many viral diseases such as acute paralysis (ABPV) and deformed wing viruses (DWV), that are considered among the main causes of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). In this work we discuss an [Formula: see text] model that describes how the presence of the mite affects the epidemiology of these viruses on adult bees. The acronym [Formula: see text] means that the disease affects both populations. In fact it accounts for the bee and mite populations, that are each divided among the S (susceptible) and I (infected) states. We characterize the system behavior, establishing that ultimately either only healthy bees survive, or the disease becomes endemic and mites are wiped out. Another dangerous alternative is the Varroa invasion scenario with the extinction of healthy bees. The final possible configuration is the coexistence equilibrium in which honey bees share their infected hive with mites. The analysis is in line with some observed facts in natural honey bee colonies. Namely, these diseases are endemic. Further, if the mite population is present, necessarily the viral infection occurs. The findings of this study indicate that a low horizontal transmission rate of the virus among honey bees in beehives will help in protecting bee colonies from Varroa infestation and viral epidemics. PMID:27441276

  1. Differential Protein Expression in Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) Larvae: Underlying Caste Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jianke; Wu, Jing; Begna Rundassa, Desalegn; Song, Feifei; Zheng, Aijuan; Fang, Yu

    2010-01-01

    Honeybee (Apis mellifera) exhibits divisions in both morphology and reproduction. The queen is larger in size and fully developed sexually, while the worker bees are smaller in size and nearly infertile. To better understand the specific time and underlying molecular mechanisms of caste differentiation, the proteomic profiles of larvae intended to grow into queen and worker castes were compared at 72 and 120 hours using two dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), network, enrichment and quantitative PCR analysis. There were significant differences in protein expression between the two larvae castes at 72 and 120 hours, suggesting the queen and the worker larvae have already decided their fate before 72 hours. Specifically, at 72 hours, queen intended larvae over-expressed transketolase, aldehyde reductase, and enolase proteins which are involved in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, imaginal disc growth factor 4 which is a developmental related protein, long-chain-fatty-acid CoA ligase and proteasome subunit alpha type 5 which metabolize fatty and amino acids, while worker intended larvae over-expressed ATP synthase beta subunit, aldehyde dehydrogenase, thioredoxin peroxidase 1 and peroxiredoxin 2540, lethal (2) 37 and 14-3-3 protein epsilon, fatty acid binding protein, and translational controlled tumor protein. This differential protein expression between the two caste intended larvae was more pronounced at 120 hours, with particular significant differences in proteins associated with carbohydrate metabolism and energy production. Functional enrichment analysis suggests that carbohydrate metabolism and energy production and anti-oxidation proteins play major roles in the formation of caste divergence. The constructed network and validated gene expression identified target proteins for further functional study. This new finding is in contrast to the existing notion that 72 hour old larvae has bipotential and can develop into either queen or worker based on

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26147982

  3. Cytotoxic effects of thiamethoxam in the midgut and malpighian tubules of Africanized Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Catae, Aline Fernanda; Roat, Thaisa Cristina; De Oliveira, Regiane Alves; Nocelli, Roberta Cornélio Ferreira; Malaspina, Osmar

    2014-04-01

    Due to its expansion, agriculture has become increasingly dependent on the use of pesticides. However, the indiscriminate use of insecticides has had additional effects on the environment. These products have a broad spectrum of action, and therefore the insecticide affects not only the pests but also non-target insects such as bees, which are important pollinators of agricultural crops and natural environments. Among the most used pesticides, the neonicotinoids are particularly harmful. One of the neonicotinoids of specific concern is thiamethoxam, which is used on a wide variety of crops and is toxic to bees. Thus, this study aimed to analyze the effects of this insecticide in the midgut and Malpighian tubule cells of Africanized Apis mellifera. Newly emerged workers were exposed until 8 days to a diet containing a sublethal dose of thiamethoxam equal to 1/10 of LC₅₀ (0.0428 ng a.i./l L of diet). The bees were dissected and the organs were processed for transmission electron microscopy. The results showed that thiamethoxam is cytotoxic to midgut and Malpighian tubules. In the midgut, the damage was more evident in bees exposed to the insecticide on the first day. On the eighth day, the cells were ultrastructurally intact suggesting a recovery of this organ. The Malpighian tubules showed pronounced alterations on the eighth day of exposure of bees to the insecticide. This study demonstrates that the continuous exposure to a sublethal dose of thiamethoxam can impair organs that are used during the metabolism of the insecticide. PMID:24470251

  4. Endopolyploidy Changes with Age-Related Polyethism in the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Rangel, Juliana; Strauss, Kim; Seedorf, Kaileah; Hjelmen, Carl E.; Johnston, J. Spencer

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) exhibit age polyethism, whereby female workers assume increasingly complex colony tasks as they age. While changes in DNA methylation accompany age polyethism, other DNA modifications accompanying age polyethism are less known. Changes in endopolyploidy (DNA amplification in the absence of cell division) with increased larval age are typical in many insect cells and are essential in adults for creating larger cells, more copies of essential loci, or greater storage capacity in secretory cells. However, changes in endopolyploidy with increased adult worker age and polyethism are unstudied. In this study, we examined endopolyploidy in honey bee workers ranging in age from newly emerged up to 55 days old. We found a nonsignificant increase in ploidy levels with age (P < 0.1) in the most highly endopolyploid secretory cells, the Malpighian tubules. All other cell types decreased ploidy levels with age. Endopolyploidy decreased the least amount (nonsignificant) in neural (brain) cells and the stinger (P < 0.1). There was a significant reduction of endopolyploidy with age in leg (P < 0.05) and thoracic (P < 0.001) muscles. Ploidy in thoracic muscle dropped from an average of 0.5 rounds of replication in newly emerged workers to essentially no rounds of replication (0.125) in the oldest workers. Ploidy reduction in flight muscle cells is likely due to the production of G1 (2C) nuclei by amitotic division in the multinucleate striated flight muscles that are essential to foragers, the oldest workers. We suggest that ploidy is constrained by the shape, size and makeup of the multinucleate striated muscle cells. Furthermore, the presence of multiple 2C nuclei might be optimal for cell function, while higher ploidy levels might be a dead-end strategy of some aging adult tissues, likely used to increase cell size and storage capacity in secretory cells. PMID:25881205

  5. Foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera, in alfalfa seed production fields.

    PubMed

    Hagler, James R; Mueller, Shannon; Teuber, Larry R; Machtley, Scott A; Van Deynze, Allen

    2011-01-01

    A study was conducted in 2006 and 2007 designed to examine the foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae), in a 15.2 km(2) area dominated by a 128.9 ha glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready® alfalfa seed production field and several non-Roundup Ready alfalfa seed production fields (totaling 120.2 ha). Each year, honey bee self-marking devices were placed on 112 selected honey bee colonies originating from nine different apiary locations. The foraging bees exiting each apiary location were uniquely marked so that the apiary of origin and the distance traveled by the marked (field-collected) bees into each of the alfalfa fields could be pinpointed. Honey bee self-marking devices were installed on 14.4 and 11.2% of the total hives located within the research area in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The frequency of field-collected bees possessing a distinct mark was similar, averaging 14.0% in 2006 and 12.6% in 2007. A grand total of 12,266 bees were collected from the various alfalfa fields on seven sampling dates over the course of the study. The distances traveled by marked bees ranged from a minimum of 45 m to a maximum of 5983 m. On average, marked bees were recovered ~ 800 m from their apiary of origin and the recovery rate of marked bees decreased exponentially as the distance from the apiary of origin increased. Ultimately, these data will be used to identify the extent of pollen-mediated gene flow from Roundup Ready to conventional alfalfa. PMID:22224495

  6. Foraging Range of Honey Bees, Apis mellifera, in Alfalfa Seed Production Fields

    PubMed Central

    Hagler, James R.; Mueller, Shannon; Teuber, Larry R.; Machtley, Scott A.; Van Deynze, Allen

    2011-01-01

    A study was conducted in 2006 and 2007 designed to examine the foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae), in a 15.2 km2 area dominated by a 128.9 ha glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready® alfalfa seed production field and several non-Roundup Ready alfalfa seed production fields (totaling 120.2 ha). Each year, honey bee self-marking devices were placed on 112 selected honey bee colonies originating from nine different apiary locations. The foraging bees exiting each apiary location were uniquely marked so that the apiary of origin and the distance traveled by the marked (field-collected) bees into each of the alfalfa fields could be pinpointed. Honey bee self-marking devices were installed on 14.4 and 11.2% of the total hives located within the research area in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The frequency of field-collected bees possessing a distinct mark was similar, averaging 14.0% in 2006 and 12.6% in 2007. A grand total of 12,266 bees were collected from the various alfalfa fields on seven sampling dates over the course of the study. The distances traveled by marked bees ranged from a minimum of 45 m to a maximum of 5983 m. On average, marked bees were recovered ∼ 800 m from their apiary of origin and the recovery rate of marked bees decreased exponentially as the distance from the apiary of origin increased. Ultimately, these data will be used to identify the extent of pollen-mediated gene flow from Roundup Ready to conventional alfalfa. PMID:22224495

  7. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) propolis from subtropical eastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Massaro, Carmelina Flavia; Simpson, Jack Bruce; Powell, Daniel; Brooks, Peter

    2015-12-01

    Propolis is a material manufactured by bees and contains beeswax, bee salivary secretions and plant resins. Propolis preparations have been used for millennia by humans in food, cosmetics and medicines due to its antibacterial effects. Within the hive, propolis plays an important role in bees' health, with much of its bioactivity largely dependent on the plant resins the bees select for its production. Few chemical studies are available on the chemistry of propolis produced by Australian honeybees (Apis mellifera, Apidae). This study aimed to determine the chemical composition as well as in vitro antimicrobial effects of propolis harvested from honeybees in subtropical eastern Australia. Honeybee propolis was produced using plastic frames and multiple beehives in two subtropical sites in eastern Australia. Methanolic extracts of propolis were analysed by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection and high-resolution mass spectrometry (ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-UV-high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (HR-MS/MS)) and by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The resulting chemical data were dereplicated for compound characterisation. The two crude extracts in abs. ethanol were tested in vitro by the agar diffusion and broth dilution methods, using a phenol standard solution as the positive control and abs. ethanol as the negative control. Chemical constituents were identified to be pentacyclic triterpenoids and C-prenylated flavonoids, including Abyssinoflavanone VII, Propolin C and Nymphaeol C. The two propolis crude extracts showed bactericidal effects at the minimal inhibitory concentrations of 0.37-2.04 mg mL(-1) against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923. However, the extracts were inactive against Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 13883 and Candida albicans ATCC 10231. The antistaphylococcal potential of propolis was discussed, also in relation to honeybees' health, as it warrants further investigations on the social and

  8. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of honeybee ( Apis mellifera ligustica) propolis from subtropical eastern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massaro, Carmelina Flavia; Simpson, Jack Bruce; Powell, Daniel; Brooks, Peter

    2015-12-01

    Propolis is a material manufactured by bees and contains beeswax, bee salivary secretions and plant resins. Propolis preparations have been used for millennia by humans in food, cosmetics and medicines due to its antibacterial effects. Within the hive, propolis plays an important role in bees' health, with much of its bioactivity largely dependent on the plant resins the bees select for its production. Few chemical studies are available on the chemistry of propolis produced by Australian honeybees ( Apis mellifera, Apidae). This study aimed to determine the chemical composition as well as in vitro antimicrobial effects of propolis harvested from honeybees in subtropical eastern Australia. Honeybee propolis was produced using plastic frames and multiple beehives in two subtropical sites in eastern Australia. Methanolic extracts of propolis were analysed by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection and high-resolution mass spectrometry (ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-UV-high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (HR-MS/MS)) and by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The resulting chemical data were dereplicated for compound characterisation. The two crude extracts in abs. ethanol were tested in vitro by the agar diffusion and broth dilution methods, using a phenol standard solution as the positive control and abs. ethanol as the negative control. Chemical constituents were identified to be pentacyclic triterpenoids and C-prenylated flavonoids, including Abyssinoflavanone VII, Propolin C and Nymphaeol C. The two propolis crude extracts showed bactericidal effects at the minimal inhibitory concentrations of 0.37-2.04 mg mL-1 against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923. However, the extracts were inactive against Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 13883 and Candida albicans ATCC 10231. The antistaphylococcal potential of propolis was discussed, also in relation to honeybees' health, as it warrants further investigations on the social and

  9. Gut Pathology and Responses to the Microsporidium Nosema ceranae in the Honey Bee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Dussaubat, Claudia; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Higes, Mariano; Colbourne, John K.; Lopez, Jacqueline; Choi, Jeong-Hyeon; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Botías, Cristina; Cousin, Marianne; McDonnell, Cynthia; Bonnet, Marc; Belzunces, Luc P.; Moritz, Robin F. A.; Le Conte, Yves; Alaux, Cédric

    2012-01-01

    The microsporidium Nosema ceranae is a newly prevalent parasite of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). Although this parasite is presently spreading across the world into its novel host, the mechanisms by it which affects the bees and how bees respond are not well understood. We therefore performed an extensive characterization of the parasite effects at the molecular level by using genetic and biochemical tools. The transcriptome modifications at the midgut level were characterized seven days post-infection with tiling microarrays. Then we tested the bee midgut response to infection by measuring activity of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes (superoxide dismutases, glutathione peroxidases, glutathione reductase, and glutathione-S-transferase). At the gene-expression level, the bee midgut responded to N. ceranae infection by an increase in oxidative stress concurrent with the generation of antioxidant enzymes, defense and protective response specifically observed in the gut of mammals and insects. However, at the enzymatic level, the protective response was not confirmed, with only glutathione-S-transferase exhibiting a higher activity in infected bees. The oxidative stress was associated with a higher transcription of sugar transporter in the gut. Finally, a dramatic effect of the microsporidia infection was the inhibition of genes involved in the homeostasis and renewal of intestinal tissues (Wnt signaling pathway), a phenomenon that was confirmed at the histological level. This tissue degeneration and prevention of gut epithelium renewal may explain early bee death. In conclusion, our integrated approach not only gives new insights into the pathological effects of N. ceranae and the bee gut response, but also demonstrate that the honey bee gut is an interesting model system for studying host defense responses. PMID:22623972

  10. Systemic Spread and Propagation of a Plant-Pathogenic Virus in European Honeybees, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ji Lian; Cornman, R. Scott; Evans, Jay D.; Pettis, Jeffery S.; Zhao, Yan; Murphy, Charles; Peng, Wen Jun; Wu, Jie; Hamilton, Michele; Boncristiani, Humberto F.; Zhou, Liang; Hammond, John; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Emerging and reemerging diseases that result from pathogen host shifts are a threat to the health of humans and their domesticates. RNA viruses have extremely high mutation rates and thus represent a significant source of these infectious diseases. In the present study, we showed that a plant-pathogenic RNA virus, tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), could replicate and produce virions in honeybees, Apis mellifera, resulting in infections that were found throughout the entire body. Additionally, we showed that TRSV-infected individuals were continually present in some monitored colonies. While intracellular life cycle, species-level genetic variation, and pathogenesis of the virus in honeybee hosts remain to be determined, the increasing prevalence of TRSV in conjunction with other bee viruses from spring toward winter in infected colonies was associated with gradual decline of host populations and winter colony collapse, suggesting the negative impact of the virus on colony survival. Furthermore, we showed that TRSV was also found in ectoparasitic Varroa mites that feed on bee hemolymph, but in those instances the virus was restricted to the gastric cecum of Varroa mites, suggesting that Varroa mites may facilitate the spread of TRSV in bees but do not experience systemic invasion. Finally, our phylogenetic analysis revealed that TRSV isolates from bees, bee pollen, and Varroa mites clustered together, forming a monophyletic clade. The tree topology indicated that the TRSVs from arthropod hosts shared a common ancestor with those from plant hosts and subsequently evolved as a distinct lineage after transkingdom host alteration. This study represents a unique example of viruses with host ranges spanning both the plant and animal kingdoms. PMID:24449751

  11. Vertical-transmission routes for deformed wing virus of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Yue, Constanze; Schröder, Marion; Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2007-08-01

    Deformed wing virus (DWV) is a viral pathogen of the European honeybee (Apis mellifera), associated with clinical symptoms and colony collapse when transmitted by the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. In the absence of V. destructor, DWV infection does not result in visible symptoms, suggesting that mite-independent transmission results in covert infections. True covert infections are a known infection strategy for insect viruses, resulting in long-term persistence of the virus in the population. They are characterized by the absence of disease symptoms in the presence of the virus and by vertical transmission of the virus. To demonstrate vertical transmission and, hence, true covert infections for DWV, a detailed study was performed on the vertical-transmission routes of DWV. In total, 192 unfertilized eggs originating from eight virgin queens, and the same number of fertilized eggs from the same queens after artificial insemination with DWV-negative (three queens) or DWV-positive (five queens) semen, were analysed individually. The F0 queens and drones and F1 drones and workers were also analysed for viral RNA. By in situ hybridization, viral sequences were detected in the ovary of an F0 queen that had laid DWV-positive unfertilized eggs and was inseminated with DWV-positive semen. In conclusion, vertical transmission of DWV from queens and drones to drone and worker offspring through unfertilized and fertilized eggs, respectively, was demonstrated. Viral sequences in fertilized eggs can originate from the queen, as well as from drones via DWV-positive semen. PMID:17622639

  12. RFID Tracking of Sublethal Effects of Two Neonicotinoid Insecticides on the Foraging Behavior of Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Christof W.; Tautz, Jürgen; Grünewald, Bernd; Fuchs, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    The development of insecticides requires valid risk assessment procedures to avoid causing harm to beneficial insects and especially to pollinators such as the honeybee Apis mellifera. In addition to testing according to current guidelines designed to detect bee mortality, tests are needed to determine possible sublethal effects interfering with the animal's vitality and behavioral performance. Several methods have been used to detect sublethal effects of different insecticides under laboratory conditions using olfactory conditioning. Furthermore, studies have been conducted on the influence insecticides have on foraging activity and homing ability which require time-consuming visual observation. We tested an experimental design using the radiofrequency identification (RFID) method to monitor the influence of sublethal doses of insecticides on individual honeybee foragers on an automated basis. With electronic readers positioned at the hive entrance and at an artificial food source, we obtained quantifiable data on honeybee foraging behavior. This enabled us to efficiently retrieve detailed information on flight parameters. We compared several groups of bees, fed simultaneously with different dosages of a tested substance. With this experimental approach we monitored the acute effects of sublethal doses of the neonicotinoids imidacloprid (0.15–6 ng/bee) and clothianidin (0.05–2 ng/bee) under field-like circumstances. At field-relevant doses for nectar and pollen no adverse effects were observed for either substance. Both substances led to a significant reduction of foraging activity and to longer foraging flights at doses of ≥0.5 ng/bee (clothianidin) and ≥1.5 ng/bee (imidacloprid) during the first three hours after treatment. This study demonstrates that the RFID-method is an effective way to record short-term alterations in foraging activity after insecticides have been administered once, orally, to individual bees. We contribute further information on

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26147982

  14. A selective sweep in a Varroa destructor resistant honeybee (Apis mellifera) population.

    PubMed

    Lattorff, H Michael G; Buchholz, Josephine; Fries, Ingemar; Moritz, Robin F A

    2015-04-01

    The mite Varroa destructor is one of the most dangerous parasites of the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) causing enormous colony losses worldwide. Various chemical treatments for the control of the Varroa mite are currently in use, which, however, lead to residues in bee products and often to resistance in mites. This facilitated the exploration of alternative treatment methods and breeding for mite resistant honeybees has been in focus for breeders in many parts of the world with variable results. Another approach has been applied to a honeybee population on Gotland (Sweden) that was exposed to natural selection and survived Varroa-infestation for more than 10years without treatment. Eventually this population became resistant to the parasite by suppressing the reproduction of the mite. A previous QTL mapping study had identified a region on chromosome 7 with major loci contributing to the mite resistance. Here, a microsatellite scan of the significant candidate QTL regions was used to investigate potential footprints of selection in the original population by comparing the study population on Gotland before (2000) and after selection (2007). Genetic drift had caused an extreme loss of genetic diversity in the 2007 population for all genetic markers tested. In addition to this overall reduction of heterozygosity, two loci on chromosome 7 showed an even stronger and significant reduction in diversity than expected from genetic drift alone. Within the selective sweep eleven genes are annotated, one of them being a putative candidate to interfere with reduced mite reproduction. A glucose-methanol-choline oxidoreductase (GMCOX18) might be involved in changing volatiles emitted by bee larvae that might be essential to trigger oogenesis in Varroa. PMID:25660040

  15. Extreme Recombination Frequencies Shape Genome Variation and Evolution in the Honeybee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Wallberg, Andreas; Glémin, Sylvain; Webster, Matthew T.

    2015-01-01

    Meiotic recombination is a fundamental cellular process, with important consequences for evolution and genome integrity. However, we know little about how recombination rates vary across the genomes of most species and the molecular and evolutionary determinants of this variation. The honeybee, Apis mellifera, has extremely high rates of meiotic recombination, although the evolutionary causes and consequences of this are unclear. Here we use patterns of linkage disequilibrium in whole genome resequencing data from 30 diploid honeybees to construct a fine-scale map of rates of crossing over in the genome. We find that, in contrast to vertebrate genomes, the recombination landscape is not strongly punctate. Crossover rates strongly correlate with levels of genetic variation, but not divergence, which indicates a pervasive impact of selection on the genome. Germ-line methylated genes have reduced crossover rate, which could indicate a role of methylation in suppressing recombination. Controlling for the effects of methylation, we do not infer a strong association between gene expression patterns and recombination. The site frequency spectrum is strongly skewed from neutral expectations in honeybees: rare variants are dominated by AT-biased mutations, whereas GC-biased mutations are found at higher frequencies, indicative of a major influence of GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC), which we infer to generate an allele fixation bias 5 – 50 times the genomic average estimated in humans. We uncover further evidence that this repair bias specifically affects transitions and favours fixation of CpG sites. Recombination, via gBGC, therefore appears to have profound consequences on genome evolution in honeybees and interferes with the process of natural selection. These findings have important implications for our understanding of the forces driving molecular evolution. PMID:25902173

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID

  17. Protein and Peptide Composition of Male Accessory Glands of Apis mellifera Drones Investigated by Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Gorshkov, Vladimir; Blenau, Wolfgang; Koeniger, Gudrun; Römpp, Andreas; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Spengler, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    In honeybees, reproductive females usually mate early in their life with more than 10 males in free flight, often within 10 minutes, and then store male gametes for up to five years. Because of the extreme polyandry and mating in free flight special adaptations in males are most likely. We present here the results of an investigation of the protein content of four types of male reproductive glands from the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) drone, namely seminal vesicles (secretion in ejaculate), as well as bulbus, cornua and mucus glands (secretions for the mating plug). Using high resolution and accuracy mass spectrometry and a combination of database searching and de novo sequencing techniques it was possible to identify 50 different proteins in total, inside all mentioned glands, except in the mucus gland. Most of the proteins are unique for a specific gland type, only one of them (H9KEY1/ATP synthase subunit O) was found in three glands, and 7 proteins were found in two types of glands. The identified proteins represent a wide variety of biological functions and can be assigned to several physiological classes, such as protection, energy generation, maintaining optimal conditions, associated mainly with vesicula seminalis; signaling, cuticle proteins, icarpin and apolipoproteins located mainly in the bulbus and cornua glands; and some other classes. Most of the discovered proteins were not found earlier during investigation of semen, seminal fluid and tissue of reproductive glands of the bee drone. Moreover, we provide here the origin of each protein. Thus, the presented data might shed light on the role of each reproductive gland. PMID:25955586

  18. Function and Distribution of 5-HT2 Receptors in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Thamm, Markus; Rolke, Daniel; Jordan, Nadine; Balfanz, Sabine; Schiffer, Christian; Baumann, Arnd; Blenau, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    Background Serotonin plays a pivotal role in regulating and modulating physiological and behavioral processes in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In the honeybee (Apis mellifera), serotonin has been implicated in division of labor, visual processing, and learning processes. Here, we present the cloning, heterologous expression, and detailed functional and pharmacological characterization of two honeybee 5-HT2 receptors. Methods Honeybee 5-HT2 receptor cDNAs were amplified from brain cDNA. Recombinant cell lines were established constitutively expressing receptor variants. Pharmacological properties of the receptors were investigated by Ca2+ imaging experiments. Quantitative PCR was applied to explore the expression patterns of receptor mRNAs. Results The honeybee 5-HT2 receptor class consists of two subtypes, Am5-HT2α and Am5-HT2β. Each receptor gene also gives rise to alternatively spliced mRNAs that possibly code for truncated receptors. Only activation of the full-length receptors with serotonin caused an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration. The effect was mimicked by the agonists 5-methoxytryptamine and 8-OH-DPAT at low micromolar concentrations. Receptor activities were blocked by established 5-HT receptor antagonists such as clozapine, methiothepin, or mianserin. High transcript numbers were detected in exocrine glands suggesting that 5-HT2 receptors participate in secretory processes in the honeybee. Conclusions This study marks the first molecular and pharmacological characterization of two 5-HT2 receptor subtypes in the same insect species. The results presented should facilitate further attempts to unravel central and peripheral effects of serotonin mediated by these receptors. PMID:24324783

  19. Selenium Toxicity to Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Pollinators: Effects on Behaviors and Survival

    PubMed Central

    Hladun, Kristen R.; Smith, Brian H.; Mustard, Julie A.; Morton, Ray R.; Trumble, John T.

    2012-01-01

    We know very little about how soil-borne pollutants such as selenium (Se) can impact pollinators, even though Se has contaminated soils and plants in areas where insect pollination can be critical to the functioning of both agricultural and natural ecosystems. Se can be biotransferred throughout the food web, but few studies have examined its effects on the insects that feed on Se-accumulating plants, particularly pollinators. In laboratory bioassays, we used proboscis extension reflex (PER) and taste perception to determine if the presence of Se affected the gustatory response of honey bee (Apis mellifera L., Hymenoptera: Apidae) foragers. Antennae and proboscises were stimulated with both organic (selenomethionine) and inorganic (selenate) forms of Se that commonly occur in Se-accumulating plants. Methionine was also tested. Each compound was dissolved in 1 M sucrose at 5 concentrations, with sucrose alone as a control. Antennal stimulation with selenomethionine and methionine reduced PER at higher concentrations. Selenate did not reduce gustatory behaviors. Two hours after being fed the treatments, bees were tested for sucrose response threshold. Bees fed selenate responded less to sucrose stimulation. Mortality was higher in bees chronically dosed with selenate compared with a single dose. Selenomethionine did not increase mortality except at the highest concentration. Methionine did not significantly impact survival. Our study has shown that bees fed selenate were less responsive to sucrose, which may lead to a reduction in incoming floral resources needed to support coworkers and larvae in the field. If honey bees forage on nectar containing Se (particularly selenate), reductions in population numbers may occur due to direct toxicity. Given that honey bees are willing to consume food resources containing Se and may not avoid Se compounds in the plant tissues on which they are foraging, they may suffer similar adverse effects as seen in other insect guilds

  20. Honeybee Apis mellifera acetylcholinesterase--a biomarker to detect deltamethrin exposure.

    PubMed

    Badiou, A; Meled, M; Belzunces, L P

    2008-02-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the possibility to use acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as a biomarker of exposure to deltamethrin insecticide in the honeybee, Apis mellifera and to test its reliability in the presence of other contaminants, as carbamate insecticide. Joined actions of deltamethrin (pyrethroid) and pirimicarb (carbamate), alone or in association, are investigated on AChE activity in surviving and dead honeybees, with a special focus on the relative proportions of its membrane and soluble forms. At the 0.5X dose (12.5 ng of deltamethrin and/or 2.5 microg of pirimicarb per bee), the residual tissue AChE activity in dead bees was 78% with deltamethrin, 43% with pirimicarb and 33% with dual treatment. In surviving bees, tissue AChE activity represented 250%, and 270% of control AChE activity with deltamethrin and dual treatment, respectively. The analysis of membrane and soluble AChE forms revealed an increase in the soluble form in dead bees after deltamethrin and dual treatment. However, in vitro investigations showed no direct interaction of deltamethrin on soluble and membrane AChE activity. The results suggest that the action of deltamethrin on AChE activity, in honeybee intact organisms, could be due to indirect mechanisms. The duality of AChE response to deltamethrin exposure, exhibited by the possibility of increase (surviving bees) or decrease (dead bees) of its activity has been pointed out for the first time. The important increase in AChE activity in response to deltamethrin, not altered by pirimicarb treatment, suggests that AChE activity could represent a robust biomarker specific to deltamethrin exposure in living bees. PMID:17215041

  1. Reproduction of Varroa destructor in worker brood of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Medina, Luis Medina; Martin, Stephen J; Espinosa-Montaño, Laura; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2002-01-01

    Reproduction and population growth of Varroa destructor was studied in ten naturally infested, Africanized honey bee (AHB) (Apis mellifera) colonies in Yucatan, Mexico. Between February 1997 and January 1998 monthly records of the amount of pollen, honey, sealed worker and drone brood were recorded. In addition, mite infestation levels of adult bees and worker brood and the fecundity of the mites reproducing in worker cells were determined. The mean number of sealed worker brood cells (10,070 +/- 1,790) remained fairly constant over the experimental period in each colony. However, the presence and amount of sealed drone brood was very variable. One colony had drone brood for 10 months and another for only 1 month. Both the mean infestation level of worker brood (18.1 +/- 8.4%) and adult bees (3.5 +/- 1.3%) remained fairly constant over the study period and did not increase rapidly as is normally observed in European honey bees. In fact, the estimated mean number of mites fell from 3,500 in February 1997 to 2,380 in January 1998. In May 2000 the mean mite population in the study colonies was still only 1,821 mites. The fertility level of mites in this study was much higher (83-96%) than in AHB in Brazil (25-57%). and similar to that found in EHB (76-94%). Mite fertility remained high throughout the entire study and was not influenced by the amount of pollen, honey or worker brood in the colonies. PMID:12593514

  2. CYP9Q-mediated detoxification of acaricides in the honey bee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Although Apis mellifera, the western honey bee, has long encountered pesticides when foraging in agricultural fields, for two decades it has encountered pesticides in-hive in the form of acaricides to control Varroa destructor, a devastating parasitic mite. The pyrethroid tau-fluvalinate and the organophosphate coumaphos have been used for Varroa control, with little knowledge of honey bee detoxification mechanisms. Cytochrome P450-mediated detoxification contributes to pyrethroid tolerance in many insects, but specific P450s responsible for pesticide detoxification in honey bees (indeed, in any hymenopteran pollinator) have not been defined. We expressed and assayed CYP3 clan midgut P450s and demonstrated that CYP9Q1, CYP9Q2, and CYP9Q3 metabolize tau-fluvalinate to a form suitable for further cleavage by the carboxylesterases that also contribute to tau-fluvalinate tolerance. These in vitro assays indicated that all of the three CYP9Q enzymes also detoxify coumaphos. Molecular models demonstrate that coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate fit into the same catalytic pocket, providing a possible explanation for the synergism observed between these two compounds. Induction of CYP9Q2 and CYP9Q3 transcripts by honey extracts suggested that diet-derived phytochemicals may be natural substrates and heterologous expression of CYP9Q3 confirmed activity against quercetin, a flavonoid ubiquitous in honey. Up-regulation by honey constituents suggests that diet may influence the ability of honey bees to detoxify pesticides. Quantitative RT-PCR assays demonstrated that tau-fluvalinate enhances CYP9Q3 transcripts, whereas the pyrethroid bifenthrin enhances CYP9Q1 and CYP9Q2 transcripts and represses CYP9Q3 transcripts. The independent regulation of these P450s can be useful for monitoring and differentiating between pesticide exposures in-hive and in agricultural fields. PMID:21775671

  3. Protein and Peptide Composition of Male Accessory Glands of Apis mellifera Drones Investigated by Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Gorshkov, Vladimir; Blenau, Wolfgang; Koeniger, Gudrun; Römpp, Andreas; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Spengler, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    In honeybees, reproductive females usually mate early in their life with more than 10 males in free flight, often within 10 minutes, and then store male gametes for up to five years. Because of the extreme polyandry and mating in free flight special adaptations in males are most likely. We present here the results of an investigation of the protein content of four types of male reproductive glands from the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) drone, namely seminal vesicles (secretion in ejaculate), as well as bulbus, cornua and mucus glands (secretions for the mating plug). Using high resolution and accuracy mass spectrometry and a combination of database searching and de novo sequencing techniques it was possible to identify 50 different proteins in total, inside all mentioned glands, except in the mucus gland. Most of the proteins are unique for a specific gland type, only one of them (H9KEY1/ATP synthase subunit O) was found in three glands, and 7 proteins were found in two types of glands. The identified proteins represent a wide variety of biological functions and can be assigned to several physiological classes, such as protection, energy generation, maintaining optimal conditions, associated mainly with vesicula seminalis; signaling, cuticle proteins, icarpin and apolipoproteins located mainly in the bulbus and cornua glands; and some other classes. Most of the discovered proteins were not found earlier during investigation of semen, seminal fluid and tissue of reproductive glands of the bee drone. Moreover, we provide here the origin of each protein. Thus, the presented data might shed light on the role of each reproductive gland. PMID:25955586

  4. A Mathematical Model of Intra-Colony Spread of American Foulbrood in European Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Jatulan, Eduardo O.; Rabajante, Jomar F.; Banaay, Charina Gracia B.; Fajardo, Alejandro C.; Jose, Editha C.

    2015-01-01

    American foulbrood (AFB) is one of the severe infectious diseases of European honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and other Apis species. This disease is caused by a gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. In this paper, a compartmental (SI framework) model is constructed to represent the spread of AFB within a colony. The model is analyzed to determine the long-term fate of the colony once exposed to AFB spores. It was found out that without effective and efficient treatment, AFB infection eventually leads to colony collapse. Furthermore, infection thresholds were predicted based on the stability of the equilibrium states. The number of infected cell combs is one of the factors that drive disease spread. Our results can be used to forecast the transmission timeline of AFB infection and to evaluate the control strategies for minimizing a possible epidemic. PMID:26674357

  5. A Mathematical Model of Intra-Colony Spread of American Foulbrood in European Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Jatulan, Eduardo O; Rabajante, Jomar F; Banaay, Charina Gracia B; Fajardo, Alejandro C; Jose, Editha C

    2015-01-01

    American foulbrood (AFB) is one of the severe infectious diseases of European honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and other Apis species. This disease is caused by a gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. In this paper, a compartmental (SI framework) model is constructed to represent the spread of AFB within a colony. The model is analyzed to determine the long-term fate of the colony once exposed to AFB spores. It was found out that without effective and efficient treatment, AFB infection eventually leads to colony collapse. Furthermore, infection thresholds were predicted based on the stability of the equilibrium states. The number of infected cell combs is one of the factors that drive disease spread. Our results can be used to forecast the transmission timeline of AFB infection and to evaluate the control strategies for minimizing a possible epidemic. PMID:26674357

  6. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones survive oxidative stress due to increased tolerance instead of avoidance or repair of oxidative damage.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Oxidative stress can lead to premature aging symptoms and cause acute mortality at higher doses in a range of organisms. Oxidative stress resistance and longevity are mechanistically and phenotypically linked; considerable variation in oxidative stress resistance exists among and within species and typically covaries with life expectancy. However, it is unclear whether stress-resistant, long-lived individuals avoid, repair, or tolerate molecular damage to survive longer than others. The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) is an emerging model system that is well-suited to address this question. Furthermore, this species is the most economically important pollinator, whose health may be compromised by pesticide exposure, including oxidative stressors. Here, we develop a protocol for inducing oxidative stress in honey bee males (drones) via Paraquat injection. After injection, individuals from different colony sources were kept in common social conditions to monitor their survival compared to saline-injected controls. Oxidative stress was measured in susceptible and resistant individuals. Paraquat drastically reduced survival but individuals varied in their resistance to treatment within and among colony sources. Longer-lived individuals exhibited higher levels of lipid peroxidation than individuals dying early. In contrast, the level of protein carbonylation was not significantly different between the two groups. This first study of oxidative stress in male honey bees suggests that survival of an acute oxidative stressor is due to tolerance, not prevention or repair, of oxidative damage to lipids. It also demonstrates colony differences in oxidative stress resistance that might be useful for breeding stress-resistant honey bees. PMID:27422326

  7. A scientific note on the lactic acid bacterial flora within the honeybee subspecies Apis mellifera (Buckfast), A.m. scutellata, A.m. mellifera, and A.m. monticola

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It was discovered by Olofsson and Vásquez (2008) that a novel lactic acid bacteria (LAB) microbiota with numerous LAB, comprising the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, live in a symbiotic relationship with honeybees (Apis mellifera) in their honey stomach. Previous results from 16S rRNA gene...

  8. Large pathogen screening reveals first report of Megaselia scalaris (Diptera: Phoridae) parasitizing Apis mellifera intermissa (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Menail, Ahmed Hichem; Piot, Niels; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; Loucif-Ayad, Wahida

    2016-06-01

    As it is most likely that global warming will also lead to a shift in pollinator-habitats northwards, the study of southern species becomes more and more important. Pathogen screenings in subspecies of Apis mellifera capable of withstanding higher temperatures, provide an insight into future pathogen host interactions. Screenings in different climate regions also provide a global perspective on the prevalence of certain pathogens. In this project, we performed a pathogen screening in Apis mellifera intermissa, a native subspecies of Algeria in northern Africa. Colonies were sampled from different areas in the region of Annaba over a period of two years. Several pathogens were detected, among them Apicystis bombi, Crithidia mellificae, Nosema ceranae, Paenibacillus larvae, Lake Sinai Virus, Sacbrood Virus and Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). Our screening also revealed a phoroid fly, Megaselia scalaris, parasitizing honey bee colonies, which we report here for the first time. In addition, we found DWV to be present in the adult flies and replicating virus in the larval stages of the fly, which could indicate that M. scalaris acts as a vector of DWV. PMID:27130035

  9. Recent worldwide expansion of Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) in Apis mellifera populations inferred from multilocus patterns of genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Moracho, T; Bartolomé, C; Bello, X; Martín-Hernández, R; Higes, M; Maside, X

    2015-04-01

    Nosema ceranae has been found infecting Apismellifera colonies with increasing frequency and it now represents a major threat to the health and long-term survival of these honeybees worldwide. However, so far little is known about the population genetics of this parasite. Here, we describe the patterns of genetic variation at three genomic loci in a collection of isolates from all over the world. Our main findings are: (i) the levels of genetic polymorphism (πS≈1%) do not vary significantly across its distribution range, (ii) there is substantial evidence for recombination among haplotypes, (iii) the best part of the observed genetic variance corresponds to differences within bee colonies (up to 88% of the total variance), (iv) parasites collected from Asian honeybees (Apis cerana and Apis florea) display significant differentiation from those obtained from Apismellifera (8-16% of the total variance, p<0.01) and (v) there is a significant excess of low frequency variants over neutral expectations among samples obtained from A. mellifera, but not from Asian honeybees. Overall these results are consistent with a recent colonization and rapid expansion of N. ceranae throughout A. mellifera colonies. PMID:25583446

  10. Resistance rather than tolerance explains survival of savannah honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata) to infestation by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    Strauss, Ursula; Dietemann, Vincent; Human, Hannelie; Crewe, Robin M; Pirk, Christian W W

    2016-03-01

    Varroa destructor is considered the most damaging parasite affecting honeybees (Apis mellifera L.). However, some honeybee populations such as the savannah honeybee (Apis mellifera scutellata) can survive mite infestation without treatment. It is unclear if survival is due to resistance mechanisms decreasing parasite reproduction or to tolerance mechanisms decreasing the detrimental effects of mites on the host. This study investigates both aspects by quantifying the reproductive output of V. destructor and its physiological costs at the individual host level. Costs measured were not consistently lower when compared with susceptible honeybee populations, indicating a lack of tolerance. In contrast, reproduction of V. destructor mites was distinctly lower than in susceptible populations. There was higher proportion of infertile individuals and the reproductive success of fertile mites was lower than measured to date, even in surviving populations. Our results suggest that survival of savannah honeybees is based on resistance rather than tolerance to this parasite. We identified traits that may be useful for breeding programmes aimed at increasing the survival of susceptible populations. African honeybees may have benefited from a lack of human interference, allowing natural selection to shape a population of honeybees that is more resistant to Varroa mite infestation. PMID:26690678

  11. THE INFLUENCE OF SEASON AND VOLATILE COMPOUNDS ON ACCEPTANCE RATES OF INTRODUCED EUROPEAN HONEY BEE (APIS MELLIFERA L.) QUEENS INTO EUROPEAN AND AFRICANIZED COLONIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We introduced mated European honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queens into Africanized and European colonies during three different seasons to determine if there were differences in queen acceptance rates. We also sampled volatile compounds emitted by the queens prior to their introduction to determine...

  12. Fungicide contamination reduces beneficial fungi in bee bread based on an area-wide field study in honey bee, Apis mellifera, colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fermentation by fungi converts stored pollen into bee bread that is fed to and eaten by honey bee larvae, Apis mellifera. To explore the relationship between fungicide spraying and bee bread fungi, samples of bee bread collected from bee colonies pollinating orchards from seven locations over two y...

  13. Observations on the removal of brood inoculated with Tropilaelaps mercedesae (Mesostigmata: Laelapidae) and the mite’s reproductive success in Apis mellifera colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study assessed the response of Apis mellifera to brood deliberately infested with Tropilaelaps mercedesae. The reproductive success of T. mercedesae in mite-inoculated and naturally infested brood was also compared. The presence of T. mercedesae inside brood cells significantly affected brood ...

  14. What's in that Package? An Evaluation of Quality of Package Honey Bee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera:Apidae) shipments in the U.S.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beekeepers purchase package honey bees (Apis mellifera) to replace deceased colonies or to increase the number of colonies being managed. Typically, a package consists of a large quantity of workers and a mated queen. Packages are generally produced in warm climate regions of the United States in sp...

  15. Molecular characterization and functional expression of the Apis mellifera voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels.

    PubMed

    Cens, Thierry; Rousset, Matthieu; Collet, Claude; Charreton, Mercedes; Garnery, Lionel; Le Conte, Yves; Chahine, Mohamed; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Charnet, Pierre

    2015-03-01

    Voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels allow the influx of Ca(2+) ions from the extracellular space upon membrane depolarization and thus serve as a transducer between membrane potential and cellular events initiated by Ca(2+) transients. Most insects are predicted to possess three genes encoding Cavα, the main subunit of Ca(2+) channels, and several genes encoding the two auxiliary subunits, Cavβ and Cavα2δ; however very few of these genes have been cloned so far. Here, we cloned three full-length cDNAs encoding the three Cavα subunits (AmelCav1a, AmelCav2a and AmelCav3a), a cDNA encoding a novel variant of the Cavβ subunit (AmelCavβc), and three full-length cDNAs encoding three Cavα2δ subunits (AmelCavα2δ1 to 3) of the honeybee Apis mellifera. We identified several alternative or mutually exclusive exons in the sequence of the AmelCav2 and AmelCav3 genes. Moreover, we detected a stretch of glutamine residues in the C-terminus of the AmelCav1 subunit that is reminiscent of the motif found in the human Cav2.1 subunit of patients with Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 6. All these subunits contain structural domains that have been identified as functionally important in their mammalian homologues. For the first time, we could express three insect Cavα subunits in Xenopus oocytes and we show that AmelCav1a, 2a and 3a form Ca(2+) channels with distinctive properties. Notably, the co-expression of AmelCav1a or AmelCav2a with AmelCavβc and AmCavα2δ1 produces High Voltage-Activated Ca(2+) channels. On the other hand, expression of AmelCav3a alone leads to Low Voltage-Activated Ca(2+) channels. PMID:25602183

  16. Modification of potassium movement through the retina of the drone (Apis mellifera male) by glial uptake.

    PubMed Central

    Coles, J A; Orkand, R K

    1983-01-01

    Intracellular recordings were made in photoreceptors and glial cells (outer pigment cells) of the superfused cut head of the honey-bee drone (Apis mellifera male). When the [K+] in the superfusate was abruptly increased from 3.2 mM to 17.9 mM both photoreceptors and glial cells depolarized. The time course of the depolarization of the photoreceptors was slower with increasing depth from the surface. Half time of depolarization was plotted against depth: this graph was compatible with the arrival of K+ being exclusively by diffusion through the extracellular clefts. However, as we then showed, this interpretation is inadequate. The time course of depolarization of the glial cells was almost the same at all depths. This indicates that they are electrically coupled. Consequently, current-mediated K+ flux (spatial buffering) through glial cells will contribute to the transport of K+ through the tissue: K+ ions enter the glial syncytium in the region of high external potassium concentration, [K+]0, and an equivalent quantity of K+ ions leave in regions of low [K+]0. Intracellular K+ activity (aiK) was measured with double-barrelled K+-sensitive micro-electrodes in slices of retina superfused on both faces. When [K+] in the superfusate was increased from 7.5 mM to 17.9 mM an increase in aiK was observed in glial cells at all depths in the slice (initial rate 1.7 mM min-1, S.E. of the mean = 0.2 mM min-1), but there was little increase in the photoreceptors (0.3 +/- 0.2 mM min-1). The increase in aiK in glial cells near the centre of the slice could not have been caused by spatial buffering; it presumably resulted from net uptake. We conclude that when [K+] is increased at the surface of this tissue, the build up of K+ in the extracellular clefts depends on extracellular diffusion, spatial buffering and net uptake. The latter two processes, which have opposing effects, involve about 10 times as much K+ as the first. This is in rough agreement with less direct experiments

  17. Hovering flight in the honeybee Apis mellifera: kinematic mechanisms for varying aerodynamic forces.

    PubMed

    Vance, Jason T; Altshuler, Douglas L; Dickson, William B; Dickinson, Michael H; Roberts, Stephen P

    2014-01-01

    During hovering flight, animals can increase the wing velocity and therefore the net aerodynamic force per stroke by increasing wingbeat frequency, wing stroke amplitude, or both. The magnitude and orientation of aerodynamic forces are also influenced by the geometric angle of attack, timing of wing rotation, wing contact, and pattern of deviation from the primary stroke plane. Most of the kinematic data available for flying animals are average values for wing stroke amplitude and wingbeat frequency because these features are relatively easy to measure, but it is frequently suggested that the more subtle and difficult-to-measure features of wing kinematics can explain variation in force production for different flight behaviors. Here, we test this hypothesis with multicamera high-speed recording and digitization of wing kinematics of honeybees (Apis mellifera) hovering and ascending in air and hovering in a hypodense gas (heliox: 21% O2, 79% He). Bees employed low stroke amplitudes (86.7° ± 7.9°) and high wingbeat frequencies (226.8 ± 12.8 Hz) when hovering in air. When ascending in air or hovering in heliox, bees increased stroke amplitude by 30%-45%, which yielded a much higher wing tip velocity relative to that during simple hovering in air. Across the three flight conditions, there were no statistical differences in the amplitude of wing stroke deviation, minimum and stroke-averaged geometric angle of attack, maximum wing rotation velocity, or even wingbeat frequency. We employed a quasi-steady aerodynamic model to estimate the effects of wing tip velocity and geometric angle of attack on lift and drag. Lift forces were sensitive to variation in wing tip velocity, whereas drag was sensitive to both variation in wing tip velocity and angle of attack. Bees utilized kinematic patterns that did not maximize lift production but rather maintained lift-to-drag ratio. Thus, our data indicate that, at least for honeybees, the overall time course of wing angles is

  18. Composition of fatty acids in the Varroa destructor mites and their hosts, Apis mellifera drone-prepupae.

    PubMed

    Dmitryjuk, Małgorzata; Zalewski, Kazimierz; Raczkowski, Marek; Żółtowska, Krystyna

    2015-01-01

    The fatty acid (FA) profile of lipids extracted from the Varroa destructor parasitic mite and its host, drone-prepupae of Apis mellifera, was determined by gas chromatography (GC). The percentages of saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were generally similar in parasites and their hosts. Fatty acids were arranged in the following descending order based on their content: MUFAs (ca. 52-55%), SFAs (ca. 41%) and PUFAs (ca. 3%). The predominant fatty acids were oleic acid (46% in mites, 44% in prepupae) and palmitic acid (23% and 30%, respectively). Varroa parasites differed from their hosts in the quantity of individual FAs and in their FA profiles. Three PUFAs noted in the host were not observed in parasitic mites, whereas the presence of C21:0, C24:0 and C22:1 FAs was reported in mites, but not in drones. PMID:25911034

  19. Purification and properties of a very high density lipoprotein from the hemolymph of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Shipman, B A; Ryan, R O; Schmidt, J O; Law, J H

    1987-04-01

    A larval-specific very high density lipoprotein (VHDL) has been isolated from the hemolymph of the honeybee Apis mellifera. VHDL was isolated by a combination of density gradient ultracentrifugation and gel filtration. The purified protein is a dimer of Mr 160,000 apoproteins as shown by chemical cross-linking with dimethyl suberimidate. N-Terminal sequence analysis indicates that the two polypeptide chains are identical. The holoprotein contains 10% lipid by weight and 2.6% covalently bound carbohydrate. A native Mr 330,000 species was obtained by gel permeation chromatography. Antiserum directed against VHDL was used to show that VHDL is distinct from other hemolymph proteins and appears to constitute a novel lipoprotein of unknown function. However, the lipoprotein is present in high amounts in hemolymph only at the end of larval life, suggesting a potential role in lipid transport and/or storage protein metabolism during metamorphosis. PMID:3109474

  20. Differential Flight Muscle Development in Workers, Queens and Males of the Eusocial Bees, Apis mellifera and Scaptotrigona postica

    PubMed Central

    Correa-Fernandez, Fernanda; Cruz-Landim, Carminda

    2010-01-01

    The flight capability of the adult eusocial bees, Apis mellifera L. and Scaptotrigona postica Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae), is intrinsically linked to their colonial functions, such as the nuptial flight for mating in the case of queens and males, and the exploration of new habitats for nesting and food sources in the case of workers. Flight is achieved by the contraction of indirect flight muscles that produce changes in thoracic volume and, therefore, wing movement. The purpose of this work is to examine possible differences in muscle development that may be associated with the flying activity of individuals in a given life stage considering the behavioral and physiological differences among the stages and between the two species studied. Measurements of the muscle fibers obtained from light microscopy preparations of muscle were submitted to statistical analysis in order to detect the differences at a given time, or throughout the life of the individual. The results show that muscle morphology is similar in both species, but in A. mellifera the muscle fibers are thicker and more numerous than in S. postica. Differences in the fiber thickness according to life stage in all classes of individuals of both species were detected. These results are discussed in relation to the need for flying in each life stage. PMID:20673070

  1. Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) as a potential Brassica napus pollinator (cv. Hyola 432) (Brassicaceae), in Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rosa, A S; Blochtein, B; Ferreira, N R; Witter, S

    2010-11-01

    Brassica napus Linnaeus is considered a self-compatible crop; however, studies show that bee foraging elevates their seed production. Considering bee food shortages during the winter season and that the canola is a winter crop, this study aimed to evaluate the foraging behaviour of Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758 regarding those flowers, and to verify if it presents adequate behaviour for successfully pollinating this crop in Rio Grande do Sul State. The study was carried out in a canola field, in Southern Brazil. The anthesis stages were morphologically characterised and then related to stigma receptivity and pollen grain viability. Similarly, the behaviour of A. mellifera individuals on flowers was followed, considering the number of flowers visited per plant, the amount of time spent on the flowers, touched structures, and collected resources. Floral fidelity was inferred by analysing the pollen load of bees collected on flowers. The bees visited from 1-7 flowers/plant (x = 2.02; sd = 1.16), the time spent on the flowers varied between 1-43 seconds (x = 3.29; sd = 2.36) and, when seeking nectar and pollen, they invariably touched anthers and stigmas. The pollen load presented 100% of B. napus pollen. The bees' attendance to a small number of flowers/plants, their short permanence on flowers, their contact with anthers and stigma and the integral floral constancy allows their consideration as potential B. napus pollinators. PMID:21180917

  2. Biological activity of some plant essential oils against Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae), an ectoparasitic mite of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Ghasemi, Vahid; Moharramipour, Saeid; Tahmasbi, Gholamhosein

    2011-10-01

    This experiment was conducted to evaluate acaricidal activity of the essential oils of Thymus kotschyanus, Ferula assa-foetida and Eucalyptus camaldulensis against Varroa destructor under laboratory conditions. Moreover, fumigant toxicity of these oils was tested on Apis mellifera. After preliminary dose-setting experiments, mites and honey bees were exposed to different concentrations of the oil, with 10 h exposure time. Essential oil of T. kotschyanus appeared the most potent fumigant for V. destructor (LC(50) = 1.07, 95% confidence limit (CL) = 0.87-1.26 μl/l air), followed by E. camaldulensis (LC(50) = 1.74, 95% CL = 0.96-2.50 μl/l air). The lowest acaricidal activity (LC(50) = 2.46, 95% CL = 2.10-2.86 μl/l air) was attributed to essential oil of F. assa-foetida. Surprisingly, among the three oils tested, essential oil of T. kotschyanus had the lowest insecticidal activity against A. mellifera (LC(50) = 5.08, 95% CL = 4.54-5.06 μl/l air). These findings proved that essential oil of T. kotschyanus has potential of practical value for use as alternative acaricide in the management of varroa in apiaries. PMID:21484423

  3. Abundance of phosphorylated Apis mellifera CREB in the honeybee's mushroom body inner compact cells varies with age.

    PubMed

    Gehring, Katrin B; Heufelder, Karin; Kersting, Isabella; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2016-04-15

    Hymenopteran eusociality has been proposed to be associated with the activity of the transcription factor CREB (cAMP-response element binding protein). The honeybee (Apis mellifera) is a eusocial insect displaying a pronounced age-dependent division of labor. In honeybee brains, CREB-dependent genes are regulated in an age-dependent manner, indicating that there might be a role for neuronal honeybee CREB (Apis mellifera CREB, or AmCREB) in the bee's division of labor. In this study, we further explore this hypothesis by asking where in the honeybee brain AmCREB-dependent processes might take place and whether they vary with age in these brain regions. CREB is activated following phosphorylation at a conserved serine residue. An increase of phosphorylated CREB is therefore regarded as an indicator of CREB-dependent transcriptional activation. Thus, we here examine the localization of phosphorylated AmCREB (pAmCREB) in the brain and its age-dependent variability. We report prominent pAmCREB staining in a subpopulation of intrinsic neurons of the mushroom bodies. In these neurons, the inner compact cells (IC), pAmCREB is located in the nuclei, axons, and dendrites. In the central bee brain, the IC somata and their dendritic region, we observed an age-dependent increase of pAmCREB. Our results demonstrate the IC to be candidate neurons involved in age-dependent division of labor. We hypothesize that the IC display a high level of CREB-dependent transcription that might be related to neuronal and behavioral plasticity underlying a bee's foraging behavior. PMID:26355639

  4. Performance evaluation of indigenous and exotic honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) races in Assir region, southwestern Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Alqarni, Abdulaziz S.; Balhareth, Hassan M.; Owayss, Ayman A.

    2013-01-01

    This study was conducted in the Assir region of southwestern Saudi Arabia to compare the activities of honeybee colonies of indigenous Apis mellifera jemenitica (AMJ) and imported Apis mellifera carnica (AMC) during the late summer and autumn of 2009 and 2010. The results showed that the workers of the two races exhibited relatively similar forage timings throughout the period of study (August–November). The highest numbers of foraged workers were recorded at 6:00 am, 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, while the lowest numbers were recorded at 8:00 am, 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Although foraging activity was negatively affected by decreased temperature, AMJ was more resistant to cold than AMC. In the first season, the smallest amount of worker brood rearing was recorded in August, and the highest amount of rearing occurred in November in both races. In the second season, the smallest amount of brood was observed in October, and the largest amount of brood was observed in November. Brood rearing and pollen collecting was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in AMJ compared with AMC, while AMC stored significantly (P < 0.05) more honey than AMJ during the tested periods. In AMJ colonies, a positive significant correlation was observed between the area of the sealed worker brood and stored pollen, while a negative but nonsignificant correlation was observed between the area of the sealed worker brood and surplus honey. In the AMC colonies, a positive significant correlation was observed between the area of the sealed brood and the stored pollen and surplus honey. PMID:24955011

  5. Nosema ceranae, a newly identified pathogen of Apis mellifera in the U.S. and Asia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nosemosis (Nosema disease) is one of the most serious and prevalent adult honey bee diseases worldwide. For years, Nosema apis was thought to be the only microsporidia infecting domestic bee colonies. However, recently it was discovered that N. ceranae could jump from Asian honey bees (Apis cerana...

  6. Tropilaelaps mercedesae and Varroa destructor: prevalence and reproduction in concurrently infested Apis mellifera colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The prevalence of Tropilaelaps mercedesae and Varroa destructor in concurrently infested A. mellifera colonies in Thailand was monitored. We also assessed the reproductive ability of T. mercedesae and V. destructor in naturally infested brood and in brood cells deliberately infested with both mite g...

  7. A survey of Nosema apis of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) producing the famous Anzer honey in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Ozkirim, A; Keskin, N

    2001-01-01

    The aim of this study is to find out the ratio of Nosema infected honey bees which are producing the famous Anzer honey that is used for the cure of the illnesses such as farangitis, tonsilitis, ulceration, and scratchs due to the experiences of the people living in Turkey. Honey bee samples were collected from two different regions of Anzer plain in July. Honey bee abdomens were homogenized and 1 ml distilled water was added for each honey bee. Later, 0.1 ml out of this solution was examined by Neubauer slides and the number of Nosema apis spores were counted. The results showed that Nosema apis significantly infected the honey bees although it was summer season. However, the summer season at the Anzer plain, when compared with the Mediterranean climate, is considered to be spring. PMID:11724408

  8. In-Depth N-Glycosylation Reveals Species-Specific Modifications and Functions of the Royal Jelly Protein from Western (Apis mellifera) and Eastern Honeybees (Apis cerana).

    PubMed

    Feng, Mao; Fang, Yu; Han, Bin; Xu, Xiang; Fan, Pei; Hao, Yue; Qi, Yuping; Hu, Han; Huo, Xinmei; Meng, Lifeng; Wu, Bin; Li, Jianke

    2015-12-01

    Royal jelly (RJ), secreted by honeybee workers, plays diverse roles as nutrients and defense agents for honeybee biology and human health. Despite being reported to be glycoproteins, the glycosylation characterization and functionality of RJ proteins in different honeybee species are largely unknown. An in-depth N-glycoproteome analysis and functional assay of RJ produced by Apis mellifera lingustica (Aml) and Apis cerana cerana (Acc) were conducted. RJ produced by Aml yielded 80 nonredundant N-glycoproteins carrying 190 glycosites, of which 23 novel proteins harboring 35 glycosites were identified. For Acc, all 43 proteins glycosylated at 138 glycosites were reported for the first time. Proteins with distinct N-glycoproteomic characteristics in terms of glycoprotein species, number of N-glycosylated sites, glycosylation motif, abundance level of glycoproteins, and N-glycosites were observed in this two RJ samples. The fact that the low inhibitory efficiency of N-glycosylated major royal jelly protein 2 (MRJP2) against Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae) and the absence of antibacterial related glycosylated apidaecin, hymenoptaecin, and peritrophic matrix in the Aml RJ compared to Acc reveal the mechanism for why the Aml larvae are susceptible to P. larvae, the causative agent of a fatal brood disease (American foulbrood, AFB). The observed antihypertension activity of N-glycosylated MRJP1 in two RJ samples and a stronger activity found in Acc than in Aml reveal that specific RJ protein and modification are potentially useful for the treatment of hypertensive disease for humans. Our data gain novel understanding that the western and eastern bees have evolved species-specific strategies of glycosylation to fine-tune protein activity for optimizing molecular function as nutrients and immune agents for the good of honeybee and influence on the health promoting activity for human as well. This serves as a valuable resource for the targeted probing of the biological

  9. Development of biomarkers of exposure to xenobiotics in the honey bee Apis mellifera: application to the systemic insecticide thiamethoxam.

    PubMed

    Badiou-Bénéteau, Alexandra; Carvalho, Stephan M; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Carvalho, Geraldo A; Buleté, Audrey; Giroud, Barbara; Belzunces, Luc P

    2012-08-01

    This study describes the development of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), carboxylesterases (CaE1, CaE2, CaE3), glutathion-S-transferase (GST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and catalase (CAT) as enzyme biomarkers of exposure to xenobiotics such as thiamethoxam in the honey bee Apis mellifera. Extraction efficiency, stability under freezing and biological variability were studied. The extraction procedure achieved good recovery rates in one extraction step and ranged from 65 percent (AChE) to 97.3 percent (GST). Most of the enzymes were stable at -20°C, except ALP that displayed a slight but progressive decrease in its activity. Modifications of enzyme activities were considered after exposure to thiamethoxam at the lethal dose 50 percent (LD(50), 51.16 ng bee(-1)) and two sublethal doses, LD(50)/10 (5.12 ng bee(-1)) and LD(50)/20 (2.56 ng bee(-1)). The biomarker responses revealed that, even at the lowest dose used, exposure to thiamethoxam elicited sublethal effects and modified the activity of CaEs, GST, CAT and ALP. Different patterns of biomarker responses were observed: no response for AChE, an increase for GST and CAT, and differential effects for CaEs isoforms with a decrease in CaE1 and CaE3 and an increase in CaE2. ALP and CaE3 displayed contrasting variations but only at 2.56 ng bee(-1). We consider that this profile of biomarker variation could represent a useful fingerprint to characterise exposure to thiamethoxam in the honey bee A. mellifera. This battery of honey bee biomarkers might be a promising option to biomonitor the health of aerial and terrestrial ecosystems and to generate valuable information on the modes of action of pesticides. PMID:22683234

  10. Next generation sequencing of Apis mellifera syriaca identifies genes for Varroa resistance and beneficial bee keeping traits.

    PubMed

    Haddad, Nizar; Mahmud Batainh, Ahmed; Suleiman Migdadi, Osama; Saini, Deepti; Krishnamurthy, Venkatesh; Parameswaran, Sriram; Alhamuri, Zaid

    2016-08-01

    Apis mellifera syriaca exhibits a high degree of tolerance to pests and pathogens including varroa mites. This native honey bee subspecies of Jordan expresses behavioral adaptations to high temperature and dry seasons typical of the region. However, persistent honey bee imports of commercial breeder lines are endangering local honey bee population. This study reports the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to study the A. m. syriaca genome and to identify genetic factors possibly contributing toward mite resistance and other favorable traits. We obtained a total of 46.2 million raw reads by applying the NGS to sequence A. m. syriaca and used extensive bioinformatics approach to identify several candidate genes for Varroa mite resistance, behavioral and immune responses characteristic for these bees. As a part of characterizing the functional regulation of molecular genetic pathway, we have mapped the pathway genes potentially involved using information from Drosophila melanogaster and present possible functional changes implicated in responses to Varroa destructor mite infestation toward this. We performed in-depth functional annotation methods to identify ∼600 candidates that are relevant, genes involved in pathways such as microbial recognition and phagocytosis, peptidoglycan recognition protein family, Gram negative binding protein family, phagocytosis receptors, serpins, Toll signaling pathway, Imd pathway, Tnf, JAK-STAT and MAPK pathway, heamatopioesis and cellular response pathways, antiviral, RNAi pathway, stress factors, etc. were selected. Finally, we have cataloged function-specific polymorphisms between A. mellifera and A. m. syriaca that could give better understanding of varroa mite resistance mechanisms and assist in breeding. We have identified immune related embryonic development (Cactus, Relish, dorsal, Ank2, baz), Varroa hygiene (NorpA2, Zasp, LanA, gasp, impl3) and Varroa resistance (Pug, pcmt, elk, elf3-s10, Dscam2, Dhc64C, gro

  11. Evaluation of the Distribution and Impacts of Parasites, Pathogens, and Pesticides on Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Populations in East Africa

    PubMed Central

    Frazier, James; Torto, Baldwyn; Baumgarten, Tracey; Kilonzo, Joseph; Kimani, James Ng'ang'a; Mumoki, Fiona; Masiga, Daniel; Tumlinson, James; Grozinger, Christina

    2014-01-01

    In East Africa, honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide critical pollination services and income for small-holder farmers and rural families. While honey bee populations in North America and Europe are in decline, little is known about the status of honey bee populations in Africa. We initiated a nationwide survey encompassing 24 locations across Kenya in 2010 to evaluate the numbers and sizes of honey bee colonies, assess the presence of parasites (Varroa mites and Nosema microsporidia) and viruses, identify and quantify pesticide contaminants in hives, and assay for levels of hygienic behavior. Varroa mites were present throughout Kenya, except in the remote north. Levels of Varroa were positively correlated with elevation, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in honey bee host-parasite interactions. Levels of Varroa were negatively correlated with levels of hygienic behavior: however, while Varroa infestation dramatically reduces honey bee colony survival in the US and Europe, in Kenya Varroa presence alone does not appear to impact colony size. Nosema apis was found at three sites along the coast and one interior site. Only a small number of pesticides at low concentrations were found. Of the seven common US/European honey bee viruses, only three were identified but, like Varroa, were absent from northern Kenya. The number of viruses present was positively correlated with Varroa levels, but was not correlated with colony size or hygienic behavior. Our results suggest that Varroa, the three viruses, and Nosema have been relatively recently introduced into Kenya, but these factors do not yet appear to be impacting Kenyan bee populations. Thus chemical control for Varroa and Nosema are not necessary for Kenyan bees at this time. This study provides baseline data for future analyses of the possible mechanisms underlying resistance to and the long-term impacts of these factors on African bee populations. PMID:24740399

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

    PubMed

    Muli, Elliud; Patch, Harland; Frazier, Maryann; Frazier, James; Torto, Baldwyn; Baumgarten, Tracey; Kilonzo, Joseph; Kimani, James Ng'ang'a; Mumoki, Fiona; Masiga, Daniel; Tumlinson, James; Grozinger, Christina

    2014-01-01

    In East Africa, honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide critical pollination services and income for small-holder farmers and rural families. While honey bee populations in North America and Europe are in decline, little is known about the status of honey bee populations in Africa. We initiated a nationwide survey encompassing 24 locations across Kenya in 2010 to evaluate the numbers and sizes of honey bee colonies, assess the presence of parasites (Varroa mites and Nosema microsporidia) and viruses, identify and quantify pesticide contaminants in hives, and assay for levels of hygienic behavior. Varroa mites were present throughout Kenya, except in the remote north. Levels of Varroa were positively correlated with elevation, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in honey bee host-parasite interactions. Levels of Varroa were negatively correlated with levels of hygienic behavior: however, while Varroa infestation dramatically reduces honey bee colony survival in the US and Europe, in Kenya Varroa presence alone does not appear to impact colony size. Nosema apis was found at three sites along the coast and one interior site. Only a small number of pesticides at low concentrations were found. Of the seven common US/European honey bee viruses, only three were identified but, like Varroa, were absent from northern Kenya. The number of viruses present was positively correlated with Varroa levels, but was not correlated with colony size or hygienic behavior. Our results suggest that Varroa, the three viruses, and Nosema have been relatively recently introduced into Kenya, but these factors do not yet appear to be impacting Kenyan bee populations. Thus chemical control for Varroa and Nosema are not necessary for Kenyan bees at this time. This study provides baseline data for future analyses of the possible mechanisms underlying resistance to and the long-term impacts of these factors on African bee populations. PMID:24740399

  13. An Assessment of Fixed Interval Timing in Free-Flying Honey Bees (Apis mellifera ligustica): An Analysis of Individual Performance

    PubMed Central

    Craig, David Philip Arthur; Varnon, Christopher A.; Sokolowski, Michel B. C.; Wells, Harrington; Abramson, Charles I.

    2014-01-01

    Interval timing is a key element of foraging theory, models of predator avoidance, and competitive interactions. Although interval timing is well documented in vertebrate species, it is virtually unstudied in invertebrates. In the present experiment, we used free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) as a model for timing behaviors. Subjects were trained to enter a hole in an automated artificial flower to receive a nectar reinforcer (i.e. reward). Responses were continuously reinforced prior to exposure to either a fixed interval (FI) 15-sec, FI 30-sec, FI 60-sec, or FI 120-sec reinforcement schedule. We measured response rate and post-reinforcement pause within each fixed interval trial between reinforcers. Honey bees responded at higher frequencies earlier in the fixed interval suggesting subject responding did not come under traditional forms of temporal control. Response rates were lower during FI conditions compared to performance on continuous reinforcement schedules, and responding was more resistant to extinction when previously reinforced on FI schedules. However, no “scalloped” or “break-and-run” patterns of group or individual responses reinforced on FI schedules were observed; no traditional evidence of temporal control was found. Finally, longer FI schedules eventually caused all subjects to cease returning to the operant chamber indicating subjects did not tolerate the longer FI schedules. PMID:24983960

  14. Moving without a purpose: an experimental study of swarm guidance in the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Makinson, James C; Beekman, Madeleine

    2014-06-01

    During reproductive swarming, honey bee scouts perform two very important functions. Firstly, they find new nesting locations and return to the swarm cluster to communicate their discoveries. Secondly, once the swarm is ready to depart, informed scout bees act as guides, leading the swarm to its final destination. We have previously hypothesised that the two processes, selecting a new nest site and swarm guidance, are tightly linked in honey bees. When swarms can be laissez faire about where they nest, reaching directional consensus prior to lift off seems unnecessary. If, in contrast, it is essential that the swarm reaches a precise location, either directional consensus must be near unanimous prior to swarm departure or only a select subgroup of the scouts guide the swarm. Here, we tested experimentally whether directional consensus is necessary for the successful guidance of swarms of the Western honey bee Apis mellifera by forcing swarms into the air prior to the completion of the decision-making process. Our results show that swarms were unable to guide themselves prior to the swarm reaching the pre-flight buzzing phase of the decision-making process, even when directional consensus was high. We therefore suggest that not all scouts involved in the decision-making process attempt to guide the swarm. PMID:24675563

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

    PubMed

    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

  16. Genome Characterization, Prevalence and Distribution of a Macula-Like Virus from Apis mellifera and Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    de Miranda, Joachim R; Cornman, R Scott; Evans, Jay D; Semberg, Emilia; Haddad, Nizar; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-07-01

    Around 14 distinct virus species-complexes have been detected in honeybees, each with one or more strains or sub-species. Here we present the initial characterization of an entirely new virus species-complex discovered in honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) and varroa mite (Varroa destructor) samples from Europe and the USA. The virus has a naturally poly-adenylated RNA genome of about 6500 nucleotides with a genome organization and sequence similar to the Tymoviridae (Tymovirales; Tymoviridae), a predominantly plant-infecting virus family. Literature and laboratory analyses indicated that the virus had not previously been described. The virus is very common in French apiaries, mirroring the results from an extensive Belgian survey, but could not be detected in equally-extensive Swedish and Norwegian bee disease surveys. The virus appears to be closely linked to varroa, with the highest prevalence found in varroa samples and a clear seasonal distribution peaking in autumn, coinciding with the natural varroa population development. Sub-genomic RNA analyses show that bees are definite hosts, while varroa is a possible host and likely vector. The tentative name of Bee Macula-like virus (BeeMLV) is therefore proposed. A second, distantly related Tymoviridae-like virus was also discovered in varroa transcriptomes, tentatively named Varroa Tymo-like virus (VTLV). PMID:26154017

  17. Am5-HT7: molecular and pharmacological characterization of the first serotonin receptor of the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Schlenstedt, Jana; Balfanz, Sabine; Baumann, Arnd; Blenau, Wolfgang

    2006-09-01

    The biogenic amine serotonin (5-HT) plays a key role in the regulation and modulation of many physiological and behavioural processes in both vertebrates and invertebrates. These functions are mediated through the binding of serotonin to its receptors, of which 13 subtypes have been characterized in vertebrates. We have isolated a cDNA from the honeybee Apis mellifera (Am5-ht7) sharing high similarity to members of the 5-HT(7) receptor family. Expression of the Am5-HT(7) receptor in HEK293 cells results in an increase in basal cAMP levels, suggesting that Am5-HT(7) is expressed as a constitutively active receptor. Serotonin application to Am5-ht7-transfected cells elevates cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) levels in a dose-dependent manner (EC(50) = 1.1-1.8 nm). The Am5-HT(7) receptor is also activated by 5-carboxamidotryptamine, whereas methiothepin acts as an inverse agonist. Receptor expression has been investigated by RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, and western blotting experiments. Receptor mRNA is expressed in the perikarya of various brain neuropils, including intrinsic mushroom body neurons, and in peripheral organs. This study marks the first comprehensive characterization of a serotonin receptor in the honeybee and should facilitate further analysis of the role(s) of the receptor in mediating the various central and peripheral effects of 5-HT. PMID:16945110

  18. Characterization of royal jelly proteins in both Africanized and European honeybees (Apis mellifera) by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Sano, Osamu; Kunikata, Toshio; Kohno, Keizo; Iwaki, Kanso; Ikeda, Masao; Kurimoto, Masashi

    2004-01-14

    In this study, the proteins contained in royal jelly (RJ) produced by Africanized honeybees and European honeybees (Apis mellifera) haven been analyzed in detail and compared using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and the N-terminal amino acid sequence of each spot has been determined. Most spots were assigned to major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs). Remarkable differences were found in the heterogeneity of the MRJPs, in particular MRJP3, in terms of molecular weights and isoelectric points between the two species of RJ. Furthermore, during the determination of the N-terminal amino acid sequence of each spot, for the first time, MRJP4 protein has been identified, the existence of which had been only implied by cloning of its cDNA sequence. The presence of heterogeneous bands of glucose oxidase was also identified. Thus, the results suggest that two-dimensional gel electrophoresis provides a suitable method for the qualitative analysis of the proteins contained in RJ derived from different honeybee species. PMID:14709007

  19. Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying sex- and maturation-related variation in pheromone responses in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Villar, Gabriel; Baker, Thomas C; Patch, Harland M; Grozinger, Christina M

    2015-07-01

    In the honey bee (Apis mellifera), social organization is primarily mediated by pheromones. Queen-produced 9-oxo-2-decenoic acid (9-ODA) functions as both a social and sex pheromone, eliciting attraction in both female workers and male drones, but also affecting other critical aspects of worker physiology and behavior. These effects are also maturation related, as younger workers and sexually mature drones are most receptive to 9-ODA. While changes in the peripheral nervous system drive sex-related differences in sensitivity to 9-ODA, the mechanisms driving maturation-related shifts in receptivity to 9-ODA remain unknown. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that changes at the peripheral nervous system may be mediating plastic responses to 9-ODA by characterizing expression levels of AmOR11 (the olfactory receptor tuned to 9-ODA) and electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA. We find that receptor expression correlates significantly with behavioral receptivity to 9-ODA, with nurses and sexually mature drones exhibiting higher levels of expression than foragers and immature drones, respectively. Electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA were not found to correlate with behavioral receptivity or receptor expression, however. Thus, while receptor expression at the periphery exhibits a level of plasticity that correlates with behavior, the mechanisms driving maturation-dependent responsiveness to 9-ODA appear to function primarily in the central nervous system. PMID:25840687

  20. A worldwide survey of genome sequence variation provides insight into the evolutionary history of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Wallberg, Andreas; Han, Fan; Wellhagen, Gustaf; Dahle, Bjørn; Kawata, Masakado; Haddad, Nizar; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Allsopp, Mike H; Kandemir, Irfan; De la Rúa, Pilar; Pirk, Christian W; Webster, Matthew T

    2014-10-01

    The honeybee Apis mellifera has major ecological and economic importance. We analyze patterns of genetic variation at 8.3 million SNPs, identified by sequencing 140 honeybee genomes from a worldwide sample of 14 populations at a combined total depth of 634×. These data provide insight into the evolutionary history and genetic basis of local adaptation in this species. We find evidence that population sizes have fluctuated greatly, mirroring historical fluctuations in climate, although contemporary populations have high genetic diversity, indicating the absence of domestication bottlenecks. Levels of genetic variation are strongly shaped by natural selection and are highly correlated with patterns of gene expression and DNA methylation. We identify genomic signatures of local adaptation, which are enriched in genes expressed in workers and in immune system- and sperm motility-related genes that might underlie geographic variation in reproduction, dispersal and disease resistance. This study provides a framework for future investigations into responses to pathogens and climate change in honeybees. PMID:25151355

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26774296

  2. Development and morphology of class II Kenyon cells in the mushroom bodies of the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Farris, Sarah M; Abrams, Andrew I; Strausfeld, Nicholas J

    2004-06-28

    Class II Kenyon cells, defined by their early birthdate and unique dendritic arborizations, have been observed in the mushroom bodies of evolutionarily divergent insects. In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, Class II (also called clawed) Kenyon cells are well known for their extensive reorganization that occurs during metamorphosis. The present account reports for the first time the occurrence of mushroom body reorganization during metamorphosis in holometabolous insect species outside of the Diptera. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, Class II Kenyon cells show signs of degeneration and undergo a subtle reshaping of their axons during metamorphosis. Unlike in Drosophila, reorganization of Class II Kenyon cells in the honey bee does not involve the loss of axon branches. In contrast, the mushroom bodies of closely related hymenopteran species, the polistine wasps, undergo a much more dramatic restructuring near the end of metamorphosis. Immunohistochemistry, dextran fills, and Golgi impregnations illuminate the heterogeneous nature of Class II Kenyon cells in the developing and adult honey bee brain, with subpopulations differing in the location of dendritic arbors within the calyx, and branching pattern in the lobes. Furthermore, polyclonal antibodies against the catalytic subunit of Drosophila protein kinase A (anti-DC0) label an unusual and previously undescribed trajectory for these neurons. The observed variations in morphology indicate that subpopulations of Class II Kenyon cells in the honey bee can likely be further defined by significant differences in their specific connections and functions within the mushroom bodies. PMID:15174077

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. Proboscis conditioning experiments with honeybees, Apis mellifera caucasica, with butyric acid and DEET mixture as conditioned and unconditioned stimuli.

    PubMed

    Abramson, Charles I; Giray, Tugrul; Mixson, T Andrew; Nolf, Sondra L; Wells, Harrington; Kence, Aykut; Kence, Meral

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments are described investigating whether olfactory repellents DEET and butyric acid can support the classical conditioning of proboscis extension in the honeybee, Apis mellifera caucasica (Hymenoptera: Apidae). In the first experiment DEET and butyric acid readily led to standard acquisition and extinction effects, which are comparable to the use of cinnamon as a conditioned stimulus. These results demonstrate that the odor of DEET or butyric acid is not intrinsically repellent to honey bees. In a second experiment, with DEET and butyric acid mixed with sucrose as an unconditioned stimulus, proboscis conditioning was not established. After several trials, few animals responded to the unconditioned stimulus. These results demonstrate that these chemicals are gustatory repellents when in direct contact. In the last experiment a conditioned suppression paradigm was used. Exposing animals to butyric acid or DEET when the proboscis was extended by direct sucrose stimulation or by learning revealed that retraction of the proboscis was similar to another novel odor, lavender, and in all cases greatest when the animal was not permitted to feed. These results again demonstrate that DEET or butyric acid are not olfactory repellents, and in addition, conditioned suppression is influenced by feeding state of the bee. PMID:20879917

  5. Influences of octopamine and juvenile hormone on locomotor behavior and period gene expression in the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Guy; Meshi, Avital

    2007-02-01

    Octopamine (OA) and juvenile hormone (JH) are implicated in the regulation of age-based division of labor in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. We tested the hypothesis that these two neuroendocrine signals influence task-associated plasticity in circadian and diurnal rhythms, and in brain expression of the clock gene period (per). Treatment with OA, OA antagonist (epinastine), or both, did not affect the age at onset of circadian rhythmicity or the free running period in constant darkness (DD). Young bees orally treated with OA in light-dark (LD) illumination regime for 6 days followed by DD showed reduced alpha (the period between the daily onset and offset of activity) during the first 4 days in LD and the first 4 days in DD. Oral treatment with OA, epinastine, or both, but not manipulations of JH levels, caused increased average daily levels and aberrant patterns of brain per mRNA oscillation in young bees. These results suggest that OA and JH do not influence the development or function of the central pacemaker but rather that OA influences the brain expression of a clock gene and characteristics of locomotor behavior that are not thought to be under direct control of the circadian pacemaker. PMID:17082965

  6. Molecular mechanisms underlying formation of long-term reward memories and extinction memories in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-10-01

    The honeybee (Apis mellifera) has long served as an invertebrate model organism for reward learning and memory research. Its capacity for learning and memory formation is rooted in the ecological need to efficiently collect nectar and pollen during summer to ensure survival of the hive during winter. Foraging bees learn to associate a flower's characteristic features with a reward in a way that resembles olfactory appetitive classical conditioning, a learning paradigm that is used to study mechanisms underlying learning and memory formation in the honeybee. Due to a plethora of studies on appetitive classical conditioning and phenomena related to it, the honeybee is one of the best characterized invertebrate model organisms from a learning psychological point of view. Moreover, classical conditioning and associated behavioral phenomena are surprisingly similar in honeybees and vertebrates, suggesting a convergence of underlying neuronal processes, including the molecular mechanisms that contribute to them. Here I review current thinking on the molecular mechanisms underlying long-term memory (LTM) formation in honeybees following classical conditioning and extinction, demonstrating that an in-depth analysis of the molecular mechanisms of classical conditioning in honeybees might add to our understanding of associative learning in honeybees and vertebrates. PMID:25225299

  7. Morphological and Chemical Characterization of the Invasive Ants in Hives of Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Simoes, M R; Giannotti, E; Tofolo, V C; Pizano, M A; Firmino, E L B; Antonialli-Junior, W F; Andrade, L H C; Lima, S M

    2016-02-01

    Apiculture in Brazil is quite profitable and has great potential for expansion because of the favorable climate and abundancy of plant diversity. However, the occurrence of pests, diseases, and parasites hinders the growth and profitability of beekeeping. In the interior of the state of São Paulo, apiaries are attacked by ants, especially the species Camponotus atriceps (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), which use the substances produced by Apis mellifera scutellata (Lepeletier) (Hymenoptera: Apidae), like honey, wax, pollen, and offspring as a source of nourishment for the adult and immature ants, and kill or expel the adult bees during the invasion. This study aimed to understand the invasion of C. atriceps in hives of A. m. scutellata. The individuals were classified into castes and subcastes according to morphometric analyses, and their cuticular chemical compounds were identified using Photoacoustic Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS). The morphometric analyses were able to classify the individuals into reproductive castes (queen and gynes), workers (minor and small ants), and the soldier subcaste (medium and major ants). Identification of cuticular hydrocarbons of these individuals revealed that the eight beehives were invaded by only three colonies of C. atriceps; one of the colonies invaded only one beehive, and the other two colonies underwent a process called sociotomy and were responsible for the invasion of the other seven beehives. The lack of preventive measures and the nocturnal behavior of the ants favored the invasion and attack on the bees. PMID:26563402

  8. Visual detection of diminutive floral guides in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris and in the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Lunau, Klaus; Unseld, Katrin; Wolter, Franziska

    2009-12-01

    Many flowers display colour patterns comprising a large peripheral colour area that serves to attract flower visitors from some distance, and a small central, contrastingly coloured area made up by stamens or floral guides. In this study, we scaled down the size of floral guides to detect the minimal size bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and honeybees (Apis mellifera) require for guidance. We analyzed the approach and the precise contact of the antennal tips with the floral guide of artificial flowers which precedes landing and inspection. Both bumblebees and honeybees were able to make antennal contact with circular floral guides which were 2 mm in diameter; bumblebees performed better than honeybees and antennated also at floral guides smaller than 2 mm. In discrimination experiments with bumblebees, a minimum floral guide size of 2 mm was required for discrimination between artificial flowers with and without floral guides. With increasing experience bumblebees targeted close to the site of reward instead of making antennal contact with the floral guide, whereas honeybees did not alter their initial behaviour with growing experience. Bumblebees and honeybees spontaneously target diminutive floral guides to achieve physical contact with flowers by means of their antennae which helps them to inspect flowers. PMID:19813017

  9. Analysis of moisture content, acidity and contamination by yeast and molds in Apis mellifera L. honey from central Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Ananias, Karla Rubia; de Melo, Adriane Alexandre Machado; de Moura, Celso José

    2013-01-01

    The development of mold of environmental origin in honey affects its quality and leads to its deterioration, so yeasts and molds counts have been used as an important indicator of hygiene levels during its processing, transportation and storage. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of yeasts and molds contamination and their correlation with moisture and acidity levels in Apis mellifera L. honey from central Brazil. In 20% of the samples, the yeasts and molds counts exceeded the limit established by legislation for the marketing of honey in the MERCOSUR, while 42.8% and 5.7% presented above-standard acidity and moisture levels, respectively. Although samples showed yeasts and molds counts over 1.0 × 102 UFC.g−1, there was no correlation between moisture content and the number of microorganisms, since, in part of the samples with above-standard counts, the moisture level was below 20%. In some samples the acidity level was higher than that established by legislation, but only one sample presented a yeasts and molds count above the limit established by MERCOSUR, which would suggest the influence of the floral source on this parameter. In general, of the 35 samples analyzed, the quality was considered inadequate in 45.7% of cases. PMID:24516434

  10. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) transferrin-gene structure and the role of ecdysteroids in the developmental regulation of its expression.

    PubMed

    do Nascimento, Adriana Mendes; Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie; Barchuk, Angel Roberto; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2004-05-01

    Social life is prone to invasion by microorganisms, and binding of ferric ions by transferrin is an efficient strategy to restrict their access to iron. In this study, we isolated cDNA and genomic clones encoding an Apis mellifera transferrin (AmTRF) gene. It has an open reading frame (ORF) of 2136 bp spread over nine exons. The deduced protein sequence comprises 686 amino acid residues plus a 26 residues signal sequence, giving a predicted molecular mass of 76 kDa. Comparison of the deduced AmTRF amino acid sequence with known insect transferrins revealed significant similarity extending over the entire sequence. It clusters with monoferric transferrins, with which it shares putative iron-binding residues in the N-terminal lobe. In a functional analysis of AmTRF expression in honey bee development, we monitored its expression profile in the larval and pupal stages. The negative regulation of AmTRF by ecdysteroids deduced from the developmental expression profile was confirmed by experimental treatment of spinning-stage honey bee larvae with 20-hydroxyecdysone, and of fourth instar-larvae with juvenile hormone. A juvenile hormone application to spinning-stage larvae, in contrast, had only a minor effect on AmTRF transcript levels. This is the first study implicating ecdysteroids in the developmental regulation of transferrin expression in an insect species. PMID:15110862

  11. The effect of ethanol on reversal learning in honey bees (Apis mellifera anatolica): Response inhibition in a social insect model.

    PubMed

    Abramson, Charles I; Craig, David Philip Arthur; Varnon, Christopher A; Wells, Harrington

    2015-05-01

    We investigated the effects of ethanol on reversal learning in honey bees (Apis mellifera anatolica). The rationale behind the present experiment was to determine the species generality of the effect of ethanol on response inhibition. Subjects were originally trained to associate either a cinnamon or lavender odor with a sucrose feeding before a reversal of the conditioned stimuli. We administered 15 μL of ethanol at varying doses (0%, 2.5%, 5%, 10%, or 20%) according to group assignment. Ethanol was either administered 5 min before original discrimination training or 5 min before the stimuli reversal. We analyzed the effects of these three manipulations via a recently developed individual analysis that eschews aggregate assessments in favor of a model that conceptualizes learning as occurring in individual organisms. We measured responding in the presence of conditioned stimuli associated with a sucrose feeding, responding in the presence of conditioned stimuli associated with distilled water, and responding in the presence of the unconditioned stimulus (sucrose). Our analyses revealed the ethanol dose manipulation lowered responding for all three measures at increasingly higher doses, which suggests ethanol served as a general behavioral suppressor. Consistent with previous ethanol reversal literature, we found administering ethanol before the original discrimination phase or before the reversal produced inconsistent patterns of responding at varying ethanol doses. PMID:25837483

  12. Towards a better understanding of Apis mellifera and Varroa destructor microbiomes: introducing 'phyloh' as a novel phylogenetic diversity analysis tool.

    PubMed

    Sandionigi, A; Vicario, S; Prosdocimi, E M; Galimberti, A; Ferri, E; Bruno, A; Balech, B; Mezzasalma, V; Casiraghi, M

    2015-07-01

    The study of diversity in biological communities is an intriguing field. Huge amount of data are nowadays available (provided by the innovative DNA sequencing techniques), and management, analysis and display of results are not trivial. Here, we propose for the first time the use of phylogenetic entropy as a measure of bacterial diversity in studies of microbial community structure. We then compared our new method (i.e. the web tool phyloh) for partitioning phylogenetic diversity with the traditional approach in diversity analyses of bacteria communities. We tested phyloh to characterize microbiome in the honeybee (Apis mellifera, Insecta: Hymenoptera) and its parasitic mite varroa (Varroa destructor, Arachnida: Parasitiformes). The rationale is that the comparative analysis of honeybee and varroa microbiomes could open new perspectives concerning the role of the parasites on honeybee colonies health. Our results showed a dramatic change of the honeybee microbiome when varroa occurs, suggesting that this parasite is able to influence host microbiome. Among the different approaches used, only the entropy method, in conjunction with phylogenetic constraint as implemented in phyloh, was able to discriminate varroa microbiome from that of parasitized honeybees. In conclusion, we foresee that the use of phylogenetic entropy could become a new standard in the analyses of community structure, in particular to prove the contribution of each biological entity to the overall diversity. PMID:25367306

  13. ULTRASTRUCURAL STUDY OF BEE LOUSE VARROA DESTRUCTOR ANDERSON & TRUEMAN 2000 (ACARI: VARROIDAE) WITH RESISTANCE MODELS FROM APIS MELLIFERA L.

    PubMed

    Ammar, Khalaf Nour Abd El-Wahed

    2015-08-01

    The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is the most dangerous pest of honeybee Egyptian race Apis mellifera L., as it causes many losses in apiculture worldwide. Adult female mites are flattened with a dome-shaped dorsal shield. The present SEM study revealed that the flat ventral surface is composed of series of plates. There are 5 rows of small, chemoreceptor papillae posterior to the genito-ventro anal shield, and a unique respiratory structure (peritreme) is located laterally above Coxa III. Peritreme is a chitinized elongated area surrounding stigma opening, provided by a lid that looks like a rose with a curly thick inner membrane which has numerous teeth-like projections. Mite' legs appeared to be modified for parasitism and each is tipped by one distal empodium. The pretarsus of the first pair of legs becomes a concave sucker and the pretarsus of the 3 pairs of the posterior legs consists of membranous amblacral pad (the caruncle). The mouthparts appeared well modified for its diet on bee hernolymph with its' powerful pedipalp for host attachment. High magnification revealed different types of setae distributed on the body, the mechano-receptor pedipalp short. and long anal setae and dorsal shield sensory simple setae. PMID:26485856

  14. The effects of Bt Cry1Ie toxin on bacterial diversity in the midgut of Apis mellifera ligustica (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Hui-Ru; Geng, Li-Li; Li, Yun-He; Wang, Qiang; Diao, Qing-Yun; Zhou, Ting; Dai, Ping-Li

    2016-01-01

    The honey bee has been regarded as a key species in the environmental risk assessment of biotech crops. Here, the potential adverse effects of Cry1Ie toxin on the midgut bacteria of the worker bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) were investigated under laboratory conditions. Newly emerged bees were fed with different concentrations of Cry1Ie toxin syrups (20 ng/mL, 200 ng/mL, and 20 μg/mL), pure sugar syrup, and 48 ppb of imidacloprid syrups, then sampled after 15 and 30 d. We characterized the dominant midgut bacteria and compared the composition and structure of the midgut bacterial community in all samples using the Illumina MiSeq platform targeting the V3–V4 regions of 16S rDNA. No significant differences in the diversity of the midgut bacteria were observed between the five treatments. This work was the first to show the effects of Cry1Ie toxin on honey bees, and our study provided a theoretical basis for the biosafety assessment of transgenic Cry1Ie maize. PMID:27090812

  15. The effects of Bt Cry1Ie toxin on bacterial diversity in the midgut of Apis mellifera ligustica (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Jia, Hui-Ru; Geng, Li-Li; Li, Yun-He; Wang, Qiang; Diao, Qing-Yun; Zhou, Ting; Dai, Ping-Li

    2016-01-01

    The honey bee has been regarded as a key species in the environmental risk assessment of biotech crops. Here, the potential adverse effects of Cry1Ie toxin on the midgut bacteria of the worker bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) were investigated under laboratory conditions. Newly emerged bees were fed with different concentrations of Cry1Ie toxin syrups (20 ng/mL, 200 ng/mL, and 20 μg/mL), pure sugar syrup, and 48 ppb of imidacloprid syrups, then sampled after 15 and 30 d. We characterized the dominant midgut bacteria and compared the composition and structure of the midgut bacterial community in all samples using the Illumina MiSeq platform targeting the V3-V4 regions of 16S rDNA. No significant differences in the diversity of the midgut bacteria were observed between the five treatments. This work was the first to show the effects of Cry1Ie toxin on honey bees, and our study provided a theoretical basis for the biosafety assessment of transgenic Cry1Ie maize. PMID:27090812

  16. Overview of pesticide residues in stored pollen and their potential effect on bee colony (Apis mellifera) losses in Spain.

    PubMed

    Bernal, J; Garrido-Bailón, E; Del Nozal, M J; González-Porto, A V; Martín-Hernández, R; Diego, J C; Jiménez, J J; Bernal, J L; Higes, M

    2010-12-01

    In the last decade, an increase in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colony losses has been reported in several countries. The causes of this decline are still not clear. This study was set out to evaluate the pesticide residues in stored pollen from honey bee colonies and their possible impact on honey bee losses in Spain. In total, 1,021 professional apiaries were randomly selected. All pollen samples were subjected to multiresidue analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (MS) and liquid chromatography-MS; moreover, specific methods were applied for neonicotinoids and fipronil. A palynological analysis also was carried out to confirm the type of foraging crop. Pesticide residues were detected in 42% of samples collected in spring, and only in 31% of samples collected in autumn. Fluvalinate and chlorfenvinphos were the most frequently detected pesticides in the analyzed samples. Fipronil was detected in 3.7% of all the spring samples but never in autumn samples, and neonicotinoid residues were not detected. More than 47.8% of stored pollen samples belonged to wild vegetation, and sunflower (Heliantus spp.) pollen was only detected in 10.4% of the samples. A direct relation between pesticide residues found in stored pollen samples and colony losses was not evident accordingly to the obtained results. Further studies are necessary to determine the possible role of the most frequent and abundant pesticides (such as acaricides) and the synergism among them and with other pathogens more prevalent in Spain. PMID:21309214

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26008705

  18. Effects of seasonal variations and collection methods on the mineral composition of propolis from Apis mellifera Linnaeus Beehives.

    PubMed

    Souza, E A; Zaluski, R; Veiga, N; Orsi, R O

    2016-06-01

    The effects of seasonal variations and the methods of collection of propolis produced by Africanized honey bees Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758, on the composition of constituent minerals such as magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), and potassium (K) were evaluated. Propolis was harvested from 25 beehives by scraping or by means of propolis collectors (screen, "intelligent" collector propolis [ICP], lateral opening of the super [LOS], and underlay method). During the one-year study, the propolis produced was harvested each month, ground, homogenized, and stored in a freezer at -10 ºC. Seasonal analyses of the mineral composition were carried out by atomic absorption spectrophotometry and the results were evaluated by analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by Tukey-Kramer's test to compare the mean values (p<0.05). The results showed that seasonal variations influence the contents of 5 minerals (Mg, Fe, Na, Ca, and Cu), and the propolis harvesting method affects the contents of 4 minerals (Mg, Zn, Fe, and Ca). PMID:26934152

  19. Monitoring of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in bees (Apis mellifera) and honey in urban areas and wildlife reserves.

    PubMed

    Perugini, Monia; Di Serafino, Gabriella; Giacomelli, Alessandra; Medrzycki, Piotr; Sabatini, Anna Gloria; Persano Oddo, Livia; Marinelli, Enzo; Amorena, Michele

    2009-08-26

    The honeybee is a good biological indicator that quickly reflects chemical impairment of the environment by its high mortality and the presence of pollutants in its body or in beehive products. In this work the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and honey were used to detect the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in several areas with different degrees of environmental pollution. All sampling sites showed the presence of PAHs. Benzo(a)pyrene was never detected. Fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, benz(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, and benzo(k)fluoranthene were the PAHs detected in bees, whereas the honey contained only phenanthrene, anthracene, and chrysene. Phenanthrene showed the highest mean values in honeybees and honey. Independent from the season and location the pattern of PAHs in honeybees and honey was dominated by the presence of the lowest molecular weight PAHs. Furthermore, the mean PAH concentrations in honey samples were lower than those reported in honeybees, and no positive correlation was found between the compounds detected in bees and those in honey. PMID:19627114

  20. The Africanization of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) of the Yucatan: a study of a massive hybridization event across time.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Kylea E; Rinderer, Thomas E; Franck, Pierre; Quezada-Euán, Javier G; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2002-07-01

    Until recently, African and European subspecies of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) had been geographically separated for around 10,000 years. However, human-assisted introductions have caused the mixing of large populations of African and European subspecies in South and Central America, permitting an unprecedented opportunity to study a large-scale hybridization event using molecular analyses. We obtained reference populations from Europe, Africa, and South America and used these to provide baseline information for a microsatellite and mitochondrial analysis of the process of Africanization of the bees of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The genetic structure of the Yucatecan population has changed dramatically over time. The pre-Africanized Yucatecan population (1985) comprised bees that were most similar to samples from southeastern Europe and northern and western Europe. Three years after the arrival of Africanized bees (1989), substantial paternal gene flow had occurred from feral Africanized drones into the resident European population, but maternal gene flow from the invading Africanized population into the local population was negligible. However by 1998, there was a radical shift with both African nuclear alleles (65%) and African-derived mitochondria (61%) dominating the genomes of domestic colonies. We suggest that although European mitochondria may eventually be driven to extinction in the feral population, stable introgression of European nuclear alleles has occurred. PMID:12206246

  1. Three QTL in the honey bee Apis mellifera L. suppress reproduction of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor

    PubMed Central

    Behrens, Dieter; Huang, Qiang; Geßner, Cornelia; Rosenkranz, Peter; Frey, Eva; Locke, Barbara; Moritz, Robin F A; Kraus, F B

    2011-01-01

    Varroa destructor is a highly virulent ectoparasitic mite of the honey bee Apis mellifera and a major cause of colony losses for global apiculture. Typically, chemical treatment is essential to control the parasite population in the honey bee colony. Nevertheless a few honey bee populations survive mite infestation without any treatment. We used one such Varroa mite tolerant honey bee lineage from the island of Gotland, Sweden, to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling reduced mite reproduction. We crossed a queen from this tolerant population with drones from susceptible colonies to rear hybrid queens. Two hybrid queens were used to produce a mapping population of haploid drones. We discriminated drone pupae with and without mite reproduction, and screened the genome for potential QTL using a total of 216 heterozygous microsatellite markers in a bulk segregant analysis. Subsequently, we fine mapped three candidate target regions on chromosomes 4, 7, and 9. Although the individual effect of these three QTL was found to be relatively small, the set of all three had significant impact on suppression of V. destructor reproduction by epistasis. Although it is in principle possible to use these loci for marker-assisted selection, the strong epistatic effects between the three loci complicate selective breeding programs with the Gotland Varroa tolerant honey bee stock. PMID:22393513

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25574845

  3. More than royal food - Major royal jelly protein genes in sexuals and workers of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In the honeybee Apis mellifera, female larvae destined to become a queen are fed with royal jelly, a secretion of the hypopharyngeal glands of young nurse bees that rear the brood. The protein moiety of royal jelly comprises mostly major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) of which the coding genes (mrjp1-9) have been identified on chromosome 11 in the honeybee’s genome. Results We determined the expression of mrjp1-9 among the honeybee worker caste (nurses, foragers) and the sexuals (queens (unmated, mated) and drones) in various body parts (head, thorax, abdomen). Specific mrjp expression was not only found in brood rearing nurse bees, but also in foragers and the sexuals. Conclusions The expression of mrjp1 to 7 is characteristic for the heads of worker bees, with an elevated expression of mrjp1-4 and 7 in nurse bees compared to foragers. Mrjp5 and 6 were higher in foragers compared to nurses suggesting functions in addition to those of brood food proteins. Furthermore, the expression of mrjp9 was high in the heads, thoraces and abdomen of almost all female bees, suggesting a function irrespective of body section. This completely different expression profile suggests mrjp9 to code for the most ancestral major royal jelly protein of the honeybee. PMID:24279675

  4. Purification, crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of the full-length cystathionine β-synthase from Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Oyenarte, Iker; Majtan, Tomas; Ereño, June; Corral-Rodríguez, María Angeles; Klaudiny, Jaroslav; Majtan, Juraj; Kraus, Jan P.; Martínez-Cruz, Luis Alfonso

    2012-01-01

    Cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) is a pyridoxal-5′-phosphate-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the first step of the transsulfuration pathway, namely the condensation of serine with homocysteine to form cystathionine. Mutations in the CBS gene are the single most common cause of hereditary homocystinuria, a multisystemic disease affecting to various extents the vasculature, connective tissues and central nervous system. At present, the crystal structure of CBS from Drosophila melanogaster is the only available structure of the full-length enzyme. Here we describe a cloning, overexpression, purification and preliminary crystallographic analysis of a full-length CBS from Apis mellifera (AmCBS) which maintains 51 and 46% sequence identity with its Drosophila and human homologs, respectively. The AmCBS yielded crystals belonging to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 85.90, b = 95.87, c = 180.33 Å. Diffraction data were collected to a resolution of 3.0 Å. The crystal structure contained two molecules in the asymmetric unit which presumably correspond to the dimeric species observed in solution. PMID:23143241

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27030775

  6. Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera) have low infestation levels of the mite Varroa destructor in different ecological regions in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Medina-Flores, C A; Guzmán-Novoa, E; Hamiduzzaman, M M; Aréchiga-Flores, C F; López-Carlos, M A

    2014-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies of African and European descent were compared for levels of Varroa destructor infestation in 3 different ecological regions in Mexico. The 300 colonies that were studied were located in subtropical, temperate sub-humid, and temperate dry climates. The morphotype and mitotype of adult bees as well as their rates of infestation by varroa mites were determined. Additionally, the number of combs with brood and covered with bees was recorded for each colony. The highest frequency of colonies that were classified as African-derived was found in the subtropical environment, whereas the lowest occurred in the temperate dry region. Overall, the colonies of African genotype had significantly lower mite infestation rates (3.5±0.34%) than the colonies of European genotype (4.7±0.49%) regardless of the region sampled. Significant effects of genotype and region on Varroa infestation rates were evident, and there were no differences in bee population or capped brood between genotypes. Mite infestation levels were significantly lower in the colonies of the temperate dry region than in the colonies of the other 2 regions. These results are discussed within the context of results from studies that were previously conducted in Brazil. This is the first study that demonstrates the effects of Africanization and ecological environment on V. destructor infestation rates in honey bee colonies in North America. PMID:24634296

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    For the first time, adults and brood of Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) were compared for relative virus levels over 48 h following Varroa destructor parasitism or injection of V. destructor homogenate. Rates of increase of deformed wing virus (DWV) for Africanized versus European bees were temporarily lowered for 12h with parasitism and sustainably lowered over the entire experiment (48 h) with homogenate injection in adults. The rates were also temporarily lowered for 24h with parasitism but were not affected by homogenate injection in brood. Rates of increase of black queen cell virus (BQCV) for Africanized versus European bees were similar with parasitism but sustainably lowered over the entire experiment with homogenate injection in adults and were similar for parasitism and homogenate injection in brood. Analyses of sac brood bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus were limited as detection did not occur after both homogenate injection and parasitism treatment, or levels were not significantly higher than those following control buffer injection. Lower rates of replication of DWV and BQCV in Africanized bees shows that they may have greater viral resistance, at least early after treatment. PMID:25527405

  8. Differences in Varroa destructor infestation rates of two indigenous subspecies of Apis mellifera in the Republic of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Mortensen, Ashley N; Schmehl, Daniel R; Allsopp, Mike; Bustamante, Tomas A; Kimmel, Chase B; Dykes, Mark E; Ellis, James D

    2016-04-01

    Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Varroa) is a damaging pest of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, in North America, Europe, and Asia. However, Varroa infestations have not produced equivalent colony losses of African subspecies of honey bee throughout Africa and parts of the Americas. We surveyed the Varroa infestation rates (number of Varroa per 100 adult honey bees) in colonies of A. m. scutellata, A. m. capensis, and hybrids of the two subspecies throughout the Republic of South Africa in the fall of 2014. We found that A. m. scutellata colonies had significantly higher Varroa infestations than did A. m. capensis colonies. Furthermore, hybridized colonies of the two subspecies had Varroa infestations intermediate to those of A. m. scutellata and A. m. capensis. This is the first documentation of a clear difference in Varroa infestation rates of A. m. scutellata, A. m. capensis, and hybridized colonies in South Africa. Furthermore, our data confirm that Varroa populations in A. m. scutellata colonies are within the range of populations that are damaging to European honey bees. PMID:26704261

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

    PubMed

    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. Antimicrobial activity of apitoxin, melittin and phospholipase A₂ of honey bee (Apis mellifera) venom against oral pathogens.

    PubMed

    Leandro, Luís F; Mendes, Carlos A; Casemiro, Luciana A; Vinholis, Adriana H C; Cunha, Wilson R; de Almeida, Rosana; Martins, Carlos H G

    2015-03-01

    In this work, we used the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) technique to evaluate the antibacterial potential of the apitoxin produced by Apis mellifera bees against the causative agents of tooth decay. Apitoxin was assayed in natura and in the commercially available form. The antibacterial actions of the main components of this apitoxin, phospholipase A2, and melittin were also assessed, alone and in combination. The following bacteria were tested: Streptococcus salivarius, S. sobrinus, S. mutans, S. mitis, S. sanguinis, Lactobacillus casei, and Enterococcus faecalis. The MIC results obtained for the commercially available apitoxin and for the apitoxin in natura were close and lay between 20 and 40 µg / mL, which indicated good antibacterial activity. Melittin was the most active component in apitoxin; it displayed very promising MIC values, from 4 to 40 µg / mL. Phospholipase A2 presented MIC values higher than 400 µg / mL. Association of mellitin with phospholipase A2 yielded MIC values ranging between 6 and 80 µg / mL. Considering that tooth decay affects people's health, apitoxin and its component melittin have potential application against oral pathogens. PMID:25806982

  11. Defensive behaviour of Apis mellifera against Vespa velutina in France: testing whether European honeybees can develop an effective collective defence against a new predator.

    PubMed

    Arca, Mariangela; Papachristoforou, Alexandros; Mougel, Florence; Rortais, Agnès; Monceau, Karine; Bonnard, Olivier; Tardy, Pascal; Thiéry, Denis; Silvain, Jean-François; Arnold, Gérard

    2014-07-01

    We investigated the prey-predator interactions between the European honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the invasive yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina, which first invaded France in 2004 and thereafter spread to neighbouring European countries (Spain, Portugal and Italy). Our goal was to determine how successfully honeybees are able to defend their colonies against their new predator in Europe. Experiments were conducted in the southwest of France-the point of entry of the hornet in Europe-under natural and semi-controlled field conditions. We investigated a total of eight apiaries and 95 colonies subjected to either low or high levels of predation. We analyzed hornet predatory behaviour and collective response of colonies under attack. The results showed that A. mellifera in France exhibit an inefficient and unorganized defence against V. velutina, unlike in other regions of Europe and other areas around the globe where honeybees have co-evolved with their natural Vespa predators. PMID:24857979

  12. Genome sequencing and analysis of the first complete genome of Lactobacillus kunkeei strain MP2, an Apis mellifera gut isolate.

    PubMed

    Asenjo, Freddy; Olmos, Alejandro; Henríquez-Piskulich, Patricia; Polanco, Victor; Aldea, Patricia; Ugalde, Juan A; Trombert, Annette N

    2016-01-01

    Background. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most important pollinator in agriculture worldwide. However, the number of honey bees has fallen significantly since 2006, becoming a huge ecological problem nowadays. The principal cause is CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder, characterized by the seemingly spontaneous abandonment of hives by their workers. One of the characteristics of CCD in honey bees is the alteration of the bacterial communities in their gastrointestinal tract, mainly due to the decrease of Firmicutes populations, such as the Lactobacilli. At this time, the causes of these alterations remain unknown. We recently isolated a strain of Lactobacillus kunkeei (L. kunkeei strain MP2) from the gut of Chilean honey bees. L. kunkeei, is one of the most commonly isolated bacterium from the honey bee gut and is highly versatile in different ecological niches. In this study, we aimed to elucidate in detail, the L. kunkeei genetic background and perform a comparative genome analysis with other Lactobacillus species. Methods. L. kunkeei MP2 was originally isolated from the guts of Chilean A. mellifera individuals. Genome sequencing was done using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time sequencing technology. De novo assembly was performed using Celera assembler. The genome was annotated using Prokka, and functional information was added using the EggNOG 3.1 database. In addition, genomic islands were predicted using IslandViewer, and pro-phage sequences using PHAST. Comparisons between L. kunkeei MP2 with other L. kunkeei, and Lactobacillus strains were done using Roary. Results. The complete genome of L. kunkeei MP2 comprises one circular chromosome of 1,614,522 nt. with a GC content of 36,9%. Pangenome analysis with 16 L. kunkeei strains, identified 113 unique genes, most of them related to phage insertions. A large and unique region of L. kunkeei MP2 genome contains several genes that encode for phage structural protein and replication components

  13. Genome sequencing and analysis of the first complete genome of Lactobacillus kunkeei strain MP2, an Apis mellifera gut isolate

    PubMed Central

    Asenjo, Freddy; Olmos, Alejandro; Henríquez-Piskulich, Patricia; Polanco, Victor; Aldea, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Background. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most important pollinator in agriculture worldwide. However, the number of honey bees has fallen significantly since 2006, becoming a huge ecological problem nowadays. The principal cause is CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder, characterized by the seemingly spontaneous abandonment of hives by their workers. One of the characteristics of CCD in honey bees is the alteration of the bacterial communities in their gastrointestinal tract, mainly due to the decrease of Firmicutes populations, such as the Lactobacilli. At this time, the causes of these alterations remain unknown. We recently isolated a strain of Lactobacillus kunkeei (L. kunkeei strain MP2) from the gut of Chilean honey bees. L. kunkeei, is one of the most commonly isolated bacterium from the honey bee gut and is highly versatile in different ecological niches. In this study, we aimed to elucidate in detail, the L. kunkeei genetic background and perform a comparative genome analysis with other Lactobacillus species. Methods. L. kunkeei MP2 was originally isolated from the guts of Chilean A. mellifera individuals. Genome sequencing was done using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time sequencing technology. De novo assembly was performed using Celera assembler. The genome was annotated using Prokka, and functional information was added using the EggNOG 3.1 database. In addition, genomic islands were predicted using IslandViewer, and pro-phage sequences using PHAST. Comparisons between L. kunkeei MP2 with other L. kunkeei, and Lactobacillus strains were done using Roary. Results. The complete genome of L. kunkeei MP2 comprises one circular chromosome of 1,614,522 nt. with a GC content of 36,9%. Pangenome analysis with 16 L. kunkeei strains, identified 113 unique genes, most of them related to phage insertions. A large and unique region of L. kunkeei MP2 genome contains several genes that encode for phage structural protein and replication components

  14. In vitro antiproliferative/cytotoxic activity on cancer cell lines of a cardanol and a cardol enriched from Thai Apis mellifera propolis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Propolis is a complex resinous honeybee product. It is reported to display diverse bioactivities, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties, which are mainly due to phenolic compounds, and especially flavonoids. The diversity of bioactive compounds depends on the geography and climate, since these factors affect the floral diversity. Here, Apis mellifera propolis from Nan province, Thailand, was evaluated for potential anti-cancer activity. Methods Propolis was sequentially extracted with methanol, dichloromethane and hexane and the cytotoxic activity of each crude extract was assayed for antiproliferative/cytotoxic activity in vitro against five human cell lines derived from duet carcinoma (BT474), undifferentiated lung (Chaco), liver hepatoblastoma (Hep-G2), gastric carcinoma (KATO-III) and colon adenocarcinoma (SW620) cancers. The human foreskin fibroblast cell line (Hs27) was used as a non-transformed control. Those crude extracts that displayed antiproliferative/cytotoxic activity were then further fractionated by column chromatography using TLC-pattern and MTT-cytotoxicity bioassay guided selection of the fractions. The chemical structure of each enriched bioactive compound was analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy. Results The crude hexane and dichloromethane extracts of propolis displayed antiproliferative/cytotoxic activities with IC50 values across the five cancer cell lines ranging from 41.3 to 52.4 μg/ml and from 43.8 to 53.5 μg/ml, respectively. Two main bioactive components were isolated, one cardanol and one cardol, with broadly similar in vitro antiproliferation/cytotoxicity IC50 values across the five cancer cell lines and the control Hs27 cell line, ranging from 10.8 to 29.3 μg/ml for the cardanol and < 3.13 to 5.97 μg/ml (6.82 - 13.0 μM) for the cardol. Moreover, both compounds induced cytotoxicity and cell death without DNA fragmentation in the cancer cells, but only an

  15. Genomic survey of the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, a major pest of the honey bee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor has emerged as the primary pest of domestic honey bees (Apis mellifera). Here we present an initial survey of the V. destructor genome carried out to advance our understanding of Varroa biology and to identify new avenues for mite control. This sequence survey provides immediate resources for molecular and population-genetic analyses of Varroa-Apis interactions and defines the challenges ahead for a comprehensive Varroa genome project. Results The genome size was estimated by flow cytometry to be 565 Mbp, larger than most sequenced insects but modest relative to some other Acari. Genomic DNA pooled from ~1,000 mites was sequenced to 4.3× coverage with 454 pyrosequencing. The 2.4 Gbp of sequencing reads were assembled into 184,094 contigs with an N50 of 2,262 bp, totaling 294 Mbp of sequence after filtering. Genic sequences with homology to other eukaryotic genomes were identified on 13,031 of these contigs, totaling 31.3 Mbp. Alignment of protein sequence blocks conserved among V. destructor and four other arthropod genomes indicated a higher level of sequence divergence within this mite lineage relative to the tick Ixodes scapularis. A number of microbes potentially associated with V. destructor were identified in the sequence survey, including ~300 Kbp of sequence deriving from one or more bacterial species of the Actinomycetales. The presence of this bacterium was confirmed in individual mites by PCR assay, but varied significantly by age and sex of mites. Fragments of a novel virus related to the Baculoviridae were also identified in the survey. The rate of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the pooled mites was estimated to be 6.2 × 10-5per bp, a low rate consistent with the historical demography and life history of the species. Conclusions This survey has provided general tools for the research community and novel directions for investigating the biology and control of Varroa mites. Ongoing

  16. High-performance liquid chromatography combined with intrinsic fluorescence detection to analyse melittin in individual honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom sac.

    PubMed

    Dong, Jiangtao; Ying, Bihua; Huang, Shaokang; Ma, Shuangqin; Long, Peng; Tu, Xijuan; Yang, Wenchao; Wu, Zhenhong; Chen, Wenbin; Miao, Xiaoqing

    2015-10-01

    Melittin is the major toxin peptide in bee venom, which has diverse biological effects. In the present study, melittin was separated by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, and was then detected using intrinsic fluorescence signal of tryptophan residue. The accuracy, linearity, limit of quantitation (LOQ), intra-day and inter-day precision of the method were carefully validated in this study. Results indicate that the intrinsic fluorescence signal of melittin has linear range from 0.04μg/mL to 20μg/mL with LOQ of 0.04μg/mL. The recovery range of spiked samples is between 81.93% and 105.25%. The precision results are expressed as relative standard deviation (RSD), which is in the range of 2.1-7.4% for intra-day precision and 6.2-10.8% for inter-day precision. Because of the large linear dynamic range and the high sensitivity, intrinsic fluorescence detection (IFD) can be used for analyzing melittin contents in individual venom sac of honeybee (Apis mellifera). The detected contents of melittin in individual bee venom sac are 0.18±0.25μg for one-day old honeybees (n=30), and 114.98±43.51μg for 25-day old (n=30) honeybees, respectively. Results indicate that there is large bee-to-bee difference in melittin contents. The developed method can be useful for discovering the melittin related honeybee biology information, which might be covered in the complex samples. PMID:26319802

  17. Frischella perrara gen. nov., sp. nov., a gammaproteobacterium isolated from the gut of the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K; Moran, Nancy A

    2013-10-01

    The gut of the Western honeybee, Apis mellifera, is colonized by a characteristic set of bacteria. Two distinct gammaproteobacteria are consistent members of this unique microbial community, and one has recently been described in a new genus and species with the name Gilliamella apicola. Here, we present the isolation and characterization of PEB0191(T), a strain belonging to the second gammaproteobacterial species present in the honeybee gut microbiota, formerly referred to as 'Gammaproteobacterium-2'. Cells of strain PEB0191(T) were mesophilic and had a mean length of around 2 µm, and optimal growth was achieved under anaerobic conditions. Growth was not obtained under aerobic conditions and was reduced in a microaerophilic environment. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, strain PEB0191(T) belongs to the family Orbaceae, and its closest relatives, with around 95 % sequence similarity, are species of the genera Orbus and Gilliamella. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that PEB0191(T) is more closely related to the genus Orbus than to the genus Gilliamella. In accordance with its evolutionary relationship, further similarities between strain PEB0191(T) and other members of the family Orbaceae were revealed based on the respiratory quinone type (ubiquinone 8), the fatty acid profile and the DNA G+C content. Interestingly, like strains of the genus Gilliamella, PEB0191(T) exhibited a high level of resistance to oxytetracycline. The similar levels of sequence divergence from the genera Gilliamella and Orbus and its uncertain phylogenetic position within the family Orbaceae indicate that strain PEB0191(T) represents a novel species of a new genus, with the proposed name Frischella perrara gen. nov., sp. nov. The type strain of Frischella perrara is PEB0191(T) ( = NCIMB 14821(T) = ATCC BAA-2450(T)). PMID:23606484

  18. Africanization of a feral honey bee (Apis mellifera) population in South Texas: does a decade make a difference?

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; Giresi, Melissa; Pinto, Maria Alice; Baum, Kristen A; Rubink, William L; Coulson, Robert N; Johnston, John Spencer

    2016-04-01

    The arrival to the United States of the Africanized honey bee, a hybrid between European subspecies and the African subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata, is a remarkable model for the study of biological invasions. This immigration has created an opportunity to study the dynamics of secondary contact of honey bee subspecies from African and European lineages in a feral population in South Texas. An 11-year survey of this population (1991-2001) showed that mitochondrial haplotype frequencies changed drastically over time from a resident population of eastern and western European maternal ancestry, to a population dominated by the African haplotype. A subsequent study of the nuclear genome showed that the Africanization process included bidirectional gene flow between European and Africanized honey bees, giving rise to a new panmictic mixture of A. m. scutellata- and European-derived genes. In this study, we examined gene flow patterns in the same population 23 years after the first hybridization event occurred. We found 28 active colonies inhabiting 92 tree cavities surveyed in a 5.14 km(2) area, resulting in a colony density of 5.4 colonies/km(2). Of these 28 colonies, 25 were of A. m. scutellata maternal ancestry, and three were of western European maternal ancestry. No colonies of eastern European maternal ancestry were detected, although they were present in the earlier samples. Nuclear DNA revealed little change in the introgression of A. m. scutellata-derived genes into the population compared to previous surveys. Our results suggest this feral population remains an admixed swarm with continued low levels of European ancestry and a greater presence of African-derived mitochondrial genetic composition. PMID:27069571

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

    PubMed

    Bloch, Guy; Cohen, Mira

    2014-06-01

    Small cysteine-rich peptides have diverse functions in insects including antimicrobial defense, phenoloxidase activity regulation, and toxic inhibition of ion channels of prey or predator. We combined bioinformatics and measurements of transcript abundance to start characterizing AmOCLP1, a recently discovered Inhibitor Cysteine Knot peptide in the honey bee Apis mellifera. We found that the genomes of ants, bees, and the wasp Nasonia vitripennis encode orthologous sequences indicating that OCLP1 is a conserved peptide and not unique to the honey bee. Search of available EST libraries and quantitative real time PCR analyses indicate that the transcript of AmOCLP1 is ubiquitous with expression in life stages ranging from embryos to adults and in all tested tissues. In worker honey bees AmOCLP1 expression was not associated with age or task and did not show clear enrichment in any of the tested tissues. There was however a consistent trend toward higher transcript levels in the abdomen of foragers relative to levels in the head or thorax, and compared to levels in the abdomen of younger worker bees. By contrast, in drones AmOCLP1 transcript levels appeared higher in the head relative to the abdomen. Finer analyses of the head and abdomen indicated that the AmOCLP1 transcript is not enriched in the stinger and the associated venom sac or in cephalic exocrine glands. The evolutionary conservation in the Hymenoptera, the ubiquitous expression, and the lack of enrichment in the venom gland, stinger, exocrine glands, and the brain are not consistent with the hypotheses that OCLP1 is a secreted honeybee toxin or an endotoxin acting in the central nervous system. Rather we hypothesize that OCLP1 is a conserved antimicrobial or phenoloxidase inhibitor peptide. PMID:24721445

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations face declines commonly attributed to pesticide, pathogen, and parasite stress. One way beekeepers combat these stressors is by providing supplemental protein diets to honey bee colonies to ensure adequate colony nutrition. However Nosema spp., a microsporidian parasite of the honey bee, is thought to be associated closely with a colony's nutritional intake, thus possibly negating any benefit the bees otherwise would have received from a nutritional supplement. Through three objectives, we examined how adult bees' consumption of wildflower pollen or commercial pollen substitute diets affected Nosema levels in the bees' midguts. For our first objective, we investigated how method of inoculation with Nosema affects infection levels in inoculated bees. Bees were infected with spores of Nosema four days after emergence. On day 15, bees were collected from the cages and Nosema spores were quantified. We found that inoculation through the pollen diet resulted in the highest Nosema levels in inoculated bees. In our second and third objectives, we provided the test diets to caged, newly emerged bees for a period of 15 days. Bees consuming pollen and a sucrose solution had more Nosema in their midguts than did bees consuming the sucrose solution alone (control). The overall volume of diet consumed by the bees did not correlate with the level of Nosema in their midguts. The level of Nosema was higher in bees fed certain commercial pollen substitute diets than in bees fed wildflower pollen. Our study illustrates how providing nutritional supplements to adult honey bees can impact the intensity of Nosema in their midguts. PMID:26226229

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

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; Böröczky, Katalin; Schal, Coby; Tarpy, David R

    2016-01-01

    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 that other external

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations face declines commonly attributed to pesticide, pathogen, and parasite stress. One way beekeepers combat these stressors is by providing supplemental protein diets to honey bee colonies to ensure adequate colony nutrition. However Nosema spp., a microsporidian parasite of the honey bee, is thought to be associated closely with a colony’s nutritional intake, thus possibly negating any benefit the bees otherwise would have received from a nutritional supplement. Through three objectives, we examined how adult bees’ consumption of wildflower pollen or commercial pollen substitute diets affected Nosema levels in the bees’ midguts. For our first objective, we investigated how method of inoculation with Nosema affects infection levels in inoculated bees. Bees were infected with spores of Nosema four days after emergence. On day 15, bees were collected from the cages and Nosema spores were quantified. We found that inoculation through the pollen diet resulted in the highest Nosema levels in inoculated bees. In our second and third objectives, we provided the test diets to caged, newly emerged bees for a period of 15 days. Bees consuming pollen and a sucrose solution had more Nosema in their midguts than did bees consuming the sucrose solution alone (control). The overall volume of diet consumed by the bees did not correlate with the level of Nosema in their midguts. The level of Nosema was higher in bees fed certain commercial pollen substitute diets than in bees fed wildflower pollen. Our study illustrates how providing nutritional supplements to adult honey bees can impact the intensity of Nosema in their midguts. PMID:26226229

  3. Effects of some insecticides on longevity of the foragers honey bee worker of local honey bee race Apis mellifera jemenatica

    PubMed Central

    Aljedani, Dalal Musleh; Almehmadi, Roqaya Mohammed

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Honeybees are constantly exposed to a wide range of vital and non-vital pressures that may interact with each other and affect the health or survival of the insects. Pesticides are the main danger for the insects, and they subsequently have impacts on human and environmental health. Methods Field research was conducted in the apiary of Hada Al Sham Research Station, where the worker honeybees forager Apis mellifera jemenatica were selected to examine the effect of pesticides on workers’ longevity. We used three insecticides, i.e., deltamethrin, malathion, and abamectin, in different concentrations. The longevity of worker honeybee foragers was calculated; the honeybees were supplied with water, food, natural protein, and sugar solution laced with selected insecticide by mouth under laboratory conditions. Results The longest period of insect longevity was 15.5 days when using deltamethrin concentrate at a concentration of 1.00 ppm; the lowest longevity was two days when using abamectin at a concentration 1.00 ppm. The longevity of the unexposed forager worker honeybees was 18 days, as the variation in the intensity of the effect of the insecticide on the bees appeared with the severity of the effect diminishing in the order of abamectin followed by malathion followed by deltamethrin. Conclusion The study found that the type and concentration of the insecticides that are found in the honeybees’ food had a significant impact on the time of survival of the insects. The longevity of a worker honeybee depends on the health and safety of all of the members of the beehive, and safe alternatives to insecticides must be used because of the danger imposed by the application of insecticides on the continuity of life of the entire society depends on the life of this layer bee community. PMID:26955457

  4. The Effect of Application Rate of GF-120 (Spinosad) and Malathion on the Mortality of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Foragers.

    PubMed

    Cabrera-Marín, Nina Vanessa; Liedo, Pablo; Sánchez, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    Beneficial organisms like the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), are heavily affected by pest control practices that incorporate insecticides. Safer alternatives as the spinosad-based formulation GF-120 have been developed to overcome this issue. Though both the low concentration of spinosad and the ultra-low-volume application rate of GF-120 are supposed to have a low acute toxicity in honey bee foragers, to our knowledge such claims have not been explicitly proven. We thus carried out a series of experiments to assess the effect of GF-120, malathion, and Spintor (spinosad) on honey bee foragers when applied at two concentrations (80 and 1,500 ppm) and two application rates (low density rate [LDR]—80 drops of 5 mm diameter per square meter; high density rate [HDR]—thousands of 200 -µm-diameter droplets per square meter). Interestingly, the three pesticides caused low mortality on foragers when applied at LDR-80, LDR-1,500, or HDR-80. However, HDR-1,500 caused a very high mortality. Based upon these results, we developed a computer program to estimate the average number of foragers that are exposed at LDR and HDR. We found that more foragers receive a lethal dose when exposed at HDR than at the other rates. Our results support the hypothesis that the impact of GF-120 and malathion upon honey bees is minimal when applied at LDR and that computer simulation can help greatly in understanding the effects of pesticides upon nontarget species. PMID:26739308

  5. Acute exposure to selenium disrupts associative conditioning and long-term memory recall in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Burden, Christina M; Elmore, Christopher; Hladun, Kristen R; Trumble, John T; Smith, Brian H

    2016-05-01

    A plethora of toxic compounds - including pesticides, heavy metals, and metalloids - have been detected in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and their colonies. One such compound is selenium, which bees are exposed to by consuming nectar and pollen from flowers grown in contaminated areas. Though selenium is lethal at high concentrations, sublethal exposure may also impair honey bees' ability to function normally. Examining the effect of selenium exposure on learning and memory provides a sensitive assay with which to identify sublethal effects on honey bee health and behavior. To determine whether sublethal selenium exposure causes learning and memory deficits, we used proboscis extension reflex conditioning coupled with recall tests 30min and 24h post-conditioning. We exposed forager honey bees to a single sublethal dose of selenium, and 3h later we used an olfactory conditioning assay to train the bees to discriminate between one odor associated with sucrose-reinforcement and a second unreinforced odor. Following conditioning we tested short- and long-term recall of the task. Acute exposure to as little as 1.8ng of an inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenate) before conditioning caused a reduction in behavioral performance during conditioning. And, exposure to 18ng of either an inorganic form (sodium selenate) or an organic form (methylseleno-l-cysteine) of selenium caused a reduction in the bees' performance during the long-term recall test. These concentrations of selenium are lower than those found in the nectar of plants grown in selenium-contaminated soil, indicating that even low-grade selenium toxicity produces significant learning and memory impairments. This may reduce foragers' ability to effectively gather resources for the colony or nurse bees' ability to care for and maintain a healthy colony. PMID:26802564

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

    PubMed Central

    Böröczky, Katalin; Schal, Coby; Tarpy, David R.

    2016-01-01

    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

  7. Effect of Stacked Insecticidal Cry Proteins from Maize Pollen on Nurse Bees (Apis mellifera carnica) and Their Gut Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Härtel, Stephan; Näther, Astrid; Dohrmann, Anja B.; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Tebbe, Christoph C.

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee pollination is a key ecosystem service to nature and agriculture. However, biosafety research on genetically modified crops rarely considers effects on nurse bees from intact colonies, even though they receive and primarily process the largest amount of pollen. The objective of this study was to analyze the response of nurse bees and their gut bacteria to pollen from Bt maize expressing three different insecticidal Cry proteins (Cry1A.105, Cry2Ab2, and Cry3Bb1). Naturally Cry proteins are produced by bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis). Colonies of Apis mellifera carnica were kept during anthesis in flight cages on field plots with the Bt maize, two different conventionally bred maize varieties, and without cages, 1-km outside of the experimental maize field to allow ad libitum foraging to mixed pollen sources. During their 10-days life span, the consumption of Bt maize pollen had no effect on their survival rate, body weight and rates of pollen digestion compared to the conventional maize varieties. As indicated by ELISA-quantification of Cry1A.105 and Cry3Bb1, more than 98% of the recombinant proteins were degraded. Bacterial population sizes in the gut were not affected by the genetic modification. Bt-maize, conventional varieties and mixed pollen sources selected for significantly different bacterial communities which were, however, composed of the same dominant members, including Proteobacteria in the midgut and Lactobacillus sp. and Bifidobacterium sp. in the hindgut. Surprisingly, Cry proteins from natural sources, most likely B. thuringiensis, were detected in bees with no exposure to Bt maize. The natural occurrence of Cry proteins and the lack of detectable effects on nurse bees and their gut bacteria give no indication for harmful effects of this Bt maize on nurse honey bees. PMID:23533634

  8. Removal of drone brood from Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies to control Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) and retain adult drones.

    PubMed

    Wantuch, Holly A; Tarpy, David R

    2009-12-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Acari: Varroidae) has plagued European honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), in the Americas since its introduction in the 1980s. For many years, these mites were sufficiently controlled using synthetic acaricides. Recently, however, beekeepers have experienced increased resistance by mites to chemical pesticides, which are also known to leave residues in hive products such as wax and honey. Thus there has been increased emphasis on nonchemical integrated pest management control tactics for Varroa. Because mites preferentially reproduce in drone brood (pupal males), we developed a treatment strategy focusing on salvaging parasitized drones while removing mites from them. We removed drone brood from colonies in which there was no acaricidal application and banked them in separate "drone-brood receiving" colonies treated with pesticides to kill mites emerging with drones. We tested 20 colonies divided into three groups: 1) negative control (no mite treatment), 2) positive control (treatment with acaricides), and 3) drone-brood removal and placement into drone-brood receiving colonies. We found that drone-brood trapping significantly lowered mite numbers during the early months of the season, eliminating the need for additional control measures in the spring. However, mite levels in the drone-brood removal group increased later in the summer, suggesting that this benefit does not persist throughout the entire season. Our results suggest that this method of drone-brood trapping can be used as an element of an integrated control strategy to control varroa mites, eliminating a large portion of the Varroa population with limited chemical treatments while retaining the benefits of maintaining adult drones in the population. PMID:20069828

  9. RNAi-mediated silencing of vitellogenin gene function turns honeybee ( Apis mellifera) workers into extremely precocious foragers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marco Antonio, David Santos; Guidugli-Lazzarini, Karina Rosa; Do Nascimento, Adriana Mendes; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2008-10-01

    The switch from within-hive activities to foraging behavior is a major transition in the life cycle of a honeybee ( Apis mellifera) worker. A prominent regulatory role in this switch has long been attributed to juvenile hormone (JH), but recent evidence also points to the yolk precursor protein vitellogenin as a major player in behavioral development. In the present study, we injected vitellogenin double-stranded RNA (dsVg) into newly emerged worker bees of Africanized genetic origin and introduced them together with controls into observation hives to record flight behavior. RNA interference-mediated silencing of vitellogenin gene function shifted the onset of long-duration flights (>10 min) to earlier in life (by 3 4 days) when compared with sham and untreated control bees. In fact, dsVg bees were observed conducting such flights extremely precociously, when only 3 days old. Short-duration flights (<10 min), which bees usually perform for orientation and cleaning, were not affected. Additionally, we found that the JH titer in dsVg bees collected after 7 days was not significantly different from the controls. The finding that depletion of the vitellogenin titer can drive young bees to become extremely precocious foragers could imply that vitellogenin is the primary switch signal. At this young age, downregulation of vitellogenin gene activity apparently had little effect on the JH titer. As this unexpected finding stands in contrast with previous results on the vitellogenin/JH interaction at a later age, when bees normally become foragers, we propose a three-step sequence in the constellation of physiological parameters underlying behavioral development.

  10. The chemoreceptor superfamily in the honey bee, Apis mellifera: Expansion of the odorant, but not gustatory, receptor family

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Hugh M.; Wanner, Kevin W.

    2006-01-01

    The honey bee genome sequence reveals a remarkable expansion of the insect odorant receptor (Or) family relative to the repertoires of the flies Drosophila melanogaster and Anopheles gambiae, which have 62 and 79 Ors respectively. A total of 170 Or genes were annotated in the bee, of which seven are pseudogenes. These constitute five bee-specific subfamilies in an insect Or family tree, one of which has expanded to a total of 157 genes encoding proteins with 15%–99% amino acid identity. Most of the Or genes are in tandem arrays, including one with 60 genes. This bee-specific expansion of the Or repertoire presumably underlies their remarkable olfactory abilities, including perception of several pheromone blends, kin recognition signals, and diverse floral odors. The number of Apis mellifera Ors is approximately equal to the number of glomeruli in the bee antennal lobe (160–170), consistent with a general one-receptor/one-neuron/one-glomerulus relationship. The bee genome encodes just 10 gustatory receptors (Grs) compared with the D. melanogaster and A. gambiae repertoires of 68 and 76 Grs, respectively. A lack of Gr gene family expansion primarily accounts for this difference. A nurturing hive environment and a mutualistic relationship with plants may explain the lack of Gr family expansion. The Or family is the most dramatic example of gene family expansion in the bee genome, and characterizing their caste- and sex-specific gene expression may provide clues to their specific roles in detection of pheromone, kin, and floral odors. PMID:17065611

  11. Global identification of transcription start sites in the genome of Apis mellifera using 5'LongSAGE.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Huajun; Sun, Liangxian; Peng, Wenjun; Shen, Yan; Wang, Yuezhu; Xu, Baohua; Gu, Wenyi; Chen, Shuting; Huang, Zhouying; Wang, Shengyue

    2011-11-15

    The precise identification of the transcription start sites (TSSs) of genes in the honeybee genome will be helpful for inferring start codons and for determining promoter elements. The 5'SAGE approach provides a powerful tool for identifying TSSs in the sequenced genome. The main purpose of this study is to identify the actual TSSs of expressed genes as well as the usage of different TSSs in the Apis mellifera genome. We performed a 5'LongSAGE (5'LS) analysis for the adult drone head, and the TSSs of the expressed genes were determined by mapping the 5'LS tag sequences to the honeybee genome. A total of 8,280 unique 19 bp 5'LS tag sequences were identified that corresponded to 3,655 predicted genes. Out of these tags, 4,998 tags (60.4%) were mapped to a region from -1,000 bp to +100 bp of the start codon of 2,301 reference coding sequences. Notably, we observed that 28-47% of the 3,655 honeybee genes initiated transcription from alternative TSSs. The TSS consensus pattern of the honeybee genes, DT(rich) PyPu(G(rich))(T/A)(T(rich))(3), was obtained by aligning the sequences flanking the 5'LS-TSSs. We also identified three new genes in the regions downstream of 5'LS tags and validated 21 TSSs using RT-PCR amplification. Additionally, 17 genes identified by the 5'LS tags were associated with the Gene Ontology term "behavior." Mapping of the 5'LS tags on the genome not only provided direct evidence of expression for in silico predicted genes but also allowed for the identification of previously unrecognized, novel exons and alternative TSSs. PMID:21695780

  12. Critical aspects of the Nosema spp. diagnostic sampling in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

    Nosemosis is one of the most widespread of the adult honey bee diseases and causes major economic losses to beekeepers. Two microsporidia have been described infecting honey bees worldwide, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, whose seasonality and pathology differ markedly. An increasing prevalence of microsporidian infections in honey bees has been observed worldwide during the last years. Because nosemosis has detrimental effects on both strength and productivity of the infected colonies, an accurate and reliable method to evaluate the presence of Nosema in honey bee colonies is needed. In this study a high degree of variability in the detection of microsporidia depending on the random subsample analyzed was found, suggesting that both sample size and the time of collection (month and day of sampling) notably affect the diagnosis. PMID:22193523

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

    The effect of using acaricides to control varroa mites has long been a concern to the beekeeping industry due to unintended negative impacts on honey bee health. Irregular ontogenesis, suppression of immune defenses, and impairment of normal behavior have been linked to pesticide use. External stressors, including parasites and the pathogens they vector, can confound studies on the effects of pesticides on the metabolism of honey bees. This is the case of Varroa destructor, a mite that negatively affects honey bee health on many levels, from direct parasitism, which diminishes honey bee productivity, to vectoring and/or activating other pathogens, including many viruses. Here we present a gene expression profile comprising genes acting on diverse metabolic levels (detoxification, immunity, and development) in a honey bee population that lacks the influence of varroa mites. We present data for hives treated with five different acaricides; Apiguard (thymol), Apistan (tau-fluvalinate), Checkmite (coumaphos), Miteaway (formic acid) and ApiVar (amitraz). The results indicate that thymol, coumaphos and formic acid are able to alter some metabolic responses. These include detoxification gene expression pathways, components of the immune system responsible for cellular response and the c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, and developmental genes. These could potentially interfere with the health of individual honey bees and entire colonies. PMID:22212860

  14. Characterization of Two Species of Trypanosomatidae from the Honey Bee Apis mellifera: Crithidia mellificae Langridge and McGhee, and Lotmaria passim n. gen., n. sp.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Ryan S; Bauchan, Gary R; Murphy, Charles A; Ravoet, Jorgen; de Graaf, Dirk C; Evans, Jay D

    2015-01-01

    Trypanosomatids are increasingly recognized as prevalent in European honey bees (Apis mellifera) and by default are attributed to one recognized species, Crithidia mellificae Langridge and McGhee, 1967. We provide reference genetic and ultrastructural data for type isolates of C. mellificae (ATCC 30254 and 30862) in comparison with two recent isolates from A. mellifera (BRL and SF). Phylogenetics unambiguously identify strains BRL/SF as a novel taxonomic unit distinct from C. mellificae strains 30254/30862 and assign all four strains as lineages of a novel clade within the subfamily Leishmaniinae. In vivo analyses show strains BRL/SF preferably colonize the hindgut, lining the lumen as adherent spheroids in a manner identical to previous descriptions from C. mellificae. Microscopy images show motile forms of C. mellificae are distinct from strains BRL/SF. We propose the binomial Lotmaria passim n. gen., n. sp. for this previously undescribed taxon. Analyses of new and previously accessioned genetic data show C. mellificae is still extant in bee populations, however, L. passim n. gen., n. sp. is currently the predominant trypanosomatid in A. mellifera globally. Our findings require that previous reports of C. mellificae be reconsidered and that subsequent trypanosomatid species designations from Hymenoptera provide genetic support. PMID:25712037

  15. Microsatellite Variation in Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera L.) Populations: Hierarchical Genetic Structure and Test of the Infinite Allele and Stepwise Mutation Models

    PubMed Central

    Estoup, A.; Garnery, L.; Solignac, M.; Cornuet, J. M.

    1995-01-01

    Samples from nine populations belonging to three African (intermissa, scutellata and capensis) and four European (mellifera, ligustica, carnica and cecropia) Apis mellifera subspecies were scored for seven microsatellite loci. A large amount of genetic variation (between seven and 30 alleles per locus) was detected. Average heterozygosity and average number of alleles were significantly higher in African than in European subspecies, in agreement with larger effective population sizes in Africa. Microsatellite analyses confirmed that A. mellifera evolved in three distinct and deeply differentiated lineages previously detected by morphological and mitochondrial DNA studies. Dendrogram analysis of workers from a given population indicated that super-sisters cluster together when using a sufficient number of microsatellite data whereas half-sisters do not. An index of classification was derived to summarize the clustering of different taxonomic levels in large phylogenetic trees based on individual genotypes. Finally, individual population X loci data were used to test the adequacy of the two alternative mutation models, the infinite allele model (IAM) and the stepwise mutation models. The better fit overall of the IAM probably results from the majority of the microsatellites used including repeats of two or three different length motifs (compound microsatellites). PMID:7498746

  16. Similar Comparative Low and High Doses of Deltamethrin and Acetamiprid Differently Impair the Retrieval of the Proboscis Extension Reflex in the Forager Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Thany, Steeve H.; Bourdin, Céline M.; Graton, Jérôme; Laurent, Adèle D.; Mathé-Allainmat, Monique; Lebreton, Jacques; Le Questel, Jean-Yves

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, the effects of low (10 ng/bee) and high (100 ng/bee) doses of acetamiprid and deltamethrin insecticides on multi-trial learning and retrieval were evaluated in the honey bee Apis mellifera. After oral application, acetamiprid and deltamethrin at the concentrations used were not able to impair learning sessions. When the retention tests were performed 1 h, 6 h, and 24 h after learning, we found a significant difference between bees after learning sessions when drugs were applied 24 h before learning. Deltamethrin-treated bees were found to be more sensitive at 10 ng/bee and 100 ng/bee doses compared to acetamiprid-treated bees, only with amounts of 100 ng/bee and at 6 h and 24 h delays. When insecticides were applied during learning sessions, none of the tested insecticides was able to impair learning performance at 10 ng/bee or 100 ng/bee but retention performance was altered 24 h after learning sessions. Acetamiprid was the only one to impair retrieval at 10 ng/bee, whereas at 100 ng/bee an impairment of retrieval was found with both insecticides. The present results therefore suggest that acetamiprid and deltamethrin are able to impair retrieval performance in the honey bee Apis mellifera. PMID:26466901

  17. Similar Comparative Low and High Doses of Deltamethrin and Acetamiprid Differently Impair the Retrieval of the Proboscis Extension Reflex in the Forager Honey Bee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Thany, Steeve H; Bourdin, Céline M; Graton, Jérôme; Laurent, Adèle D; Mathé-Allainmat, Monique; Lebreton, Jacques; Questel, Jean-Yves le

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, the effects of low (10 ng/bee) and high (100 ng/bee) doses of acetamiprid and deltamethrin insecticides on multi-trial learning and retrieval were evaluated in the honey bee Apis mellifera. After oral application, acetamiprid and deltamethrin at the concentrations used were not able to impair learning sessions. When the retention tests were performed 1 h, 6 h, and 24 h after learning, we found a significant difference between bees after learning sessions when drugs were applied 24 h before learning. Deltamethrin-treated bees were found to be more sensitive at 10 ng/bee and 100 ng/bee doses compared to acetamiprid-treated bees, only with amounts of 100 ng/bee and at 6 h and 24 h delays. When insecticides were applied during learning sessions, none of the tested insecticides was able to impair learning performance at 10 ng/bee or 100 ng/bee but retention performance was altered 24 h after learning sessions. Acetamiprid was the only one to impair retrieval at 10 ng/bee, whereas at 100 ng/bee an impairment of retrieval was found with both insecticides. The present results therefore suggest that acetamiprid and deltamethrin are able to impair retrieval performance in the honey bee Apis mellifera. PMID:26466901

  18. Genetic and ultrastructure characterization of a known and a new species of trypanosomatidae from the honey bee Apis mellifera: Crithidia mellificae Langridge and McGhee, 1967 and Leptomonas passim sp. n.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Trypanosomes are increasingly recognized as prevalent in European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies and by default are attributed to one formally recognized species, Crithidia mellificae Langridge and McGhee, 1967. We have undertaken a taxonomic evaluation of the two reference isolates of C. melli...

  19. Population-genomic variation within RNA viruses of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, inferred from deep sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Deep sequencing of viruses isolated from infected hosts is an efficient way to measure population-genetic variation and can reveal patterns of dispersal and natural selection. In this study, we mined existing Illumina sequence reads to investigate single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within two RNA viruses of the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera), deformed wing virus (DWV) and Israel acute paralysis virus (IAPV). All viral RNA was extracted from North American samples of honey bees or, in one case, the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. Results Coverage depth was generally lower for IAPV than DWV, and marked gaps in coverage occurred in several narrow regions (< 50 bp) of IAPV. These coverage gaps occurred across sequencing runs and were virtually unchanged when reads were re-mapped with greater permissiveness (up to 8% divergence), suggesting a recurrent sequencing artifact rather than strain divergence. Consensus sequences of DWV for each sample showed little phylogenetic divergence, low nucleotide diversity, and strongly negative values of Fu and Li’s D statistic, suggesting a recent population bottleneck and/or purifying selection. The Kakugo strain of DWV fell outside of all other DWV sequences at 100% bootstrap support. IAPV consensus sequences supported the existence of multiple clades as had been previously reported, and Fu and Li’s D was closer to neutral expectation overall, although a sliding-window analysis identified a significantly positive D within the protease region, suggesting selection maintains diversity in that region. Within-sample mean diversity was comparable between the two viruses on average, although for both viruses there was substantial variation among samples in mean diversity at third codon positions and in the number of high-diversity sites. FST values were bimodal for DWV, likely reflecting neutral divergence in two low-diversity populations, whereas IAPV had several sites that were strong outliers with very low

  20. Effect of Iranian Honey bee (Apis mellifera) Venom on Blood Glucose and Insulin in Diabetic Rats

    PubMed Central

    Mousavi, Seyyedeh Mahbubeh; Imani, Sohrab; Haghighi, Saeid; Mousavi, Seyyedeh Elaheh; Karimi, Akbar

    2012-01-01

    Background: Diabetes is an important disease. This disease is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from perturbation in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. Honey bee venom contains a wide range of polypeptide agents. The principle components of bee venom are mellitin and phospholipase A2. These components increase insulin secretion from the β-cells of pancreas. This study was conducted to show the hypoglycemic effect of honey bee venom on alloxan induced diabetic male rats. Methods: Eighteen adult male rats weighting 200±20 g were placed into 3 randomly groups: control, alloxan monohydrate-induced diabetic rat and treated group that received honey bee venom daily before their nutrition for four months. Forty eight hours after the last injection, blood was collected from their heart, serum was dissented and blood glucose, insulin, triglyceride and total cholesterol were determined. Results: Glucose serum, triglyceride and total cholesterol level in treated group in comparison with diabetic group was significantly decreased (P< 0.01). On the other hand, using bee venom causes increase in insulin serum in comparison with diabetic group (P< 0.05). Conclusion: Honeybee venom (apitoxin) can be used as therapeutic option to lower blood glucose and lipids in diabetic rats. PMID:23378971

  1. Expression of amylase and glucose oxidase in the hypopharyngeal gland with an age-dependent role change of the worker honeybee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Ohashi, K; Natori, S; Kubo, T

    1999-10-01

    Worker honeybees change their behaviour from the role of nurse to that of forager with age. We have isolated cDNA clones for two honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) genes, encoding alpha-amylase and glucose oxidase homologues, that are expressed in the hypopharyngeal gland of forager bees. The predicted amino acid sequence of the putative Apis amylase showed 60.5% identity with Drosophila melanogaster alpha-amylase, whereas that of Apis glucose oxidase showed 23.8% identity with Aspergillus niger glucose oxidase. To determine whether the isolated cDNAs actually encode these enzymes, we purified amylase and glucose oxidase from homogenized forager-bee hypopharyngeal glands. We sequenced the N-terminal regions of the purified enzymes and found that they matched the corresponding cDNAs. mRNAs for both enzymes were detected by Northern blotting in the hypopharyngeal gland of the forager bee but not in the nurse-bee gland. These results clearly indicate that expression of the genes for these carbohydrate-metabolizing enzymes, which are needed to process nectar into honey, in the hypopharyngeal gland is associated with the age-dependent role change of the worker. PMID:10491166

  2. Exposure scheme separates effects of electric shock and electric field for honey bees, Apis mellifera L

    SciTech Connect

    Bindokas, V.P.; Gauger, J.R.; Greenberg, B.

    1988-01-01

    Mechanisms to explain disturbance of honey bee colonies under a 765-kV, 60-Hz transmission line (electric (E) field = 7 kV/m) fall into two categories: direct bee perception of enhanced in-hive E fields, and perception of shock from induced currents. The same adverse biological effects previously observed in honey bee colonies exposed under a 765-kV transmission line can be reproduced by exposing worker bees to shock or E field within elongated hive entranceways (= tunnels). Exposure to intense E field caused disturbance only if bees were in contact with a conductive substrate. E-field and shock exposure can be separated and precisely defined within tunnels, eliminating dosimetric vagaries that occur when entire hives are exposed to E field.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  4. Excitable properties of adult skeletal muscle fibres from the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Collet, Claude; Belzunces, Luc

    2007-02-01

    In the hive, a wide range of honeybees tasks such as cell cleaning, nursing, thermogenesis, flight, foraging and inter-individual communication (waggle dance, antennal contact and trophallaxy) depend on proper muscle activity. However, whereas extensive electrophysiological studies have been undertaken over the past ten years to characterize ionic currents underlying the physiological neuronal activity in honeybee, ionic currents underlying skeletal muscle fibre activity in this insect remain, so far, unexplored. Here, we show that, in contrast to many other insect species, action potentials in muscle fibres isolated from adult honeybee metathoracic tibia, are not graded but actual all-or-none responses. Action potentials are blocked by Cd(2+) and La(3+) but not by tetrodotoxin (TTX) in current-clamp mode of the patch-clamp technique, and as assessed under voltage-clamp, both Ca(2+) and K(+) currents are involved in shaping action potentials in single muscle fibres. The activation threshold potential for the voltage-dependent Ca(2+) current is close to -40 mV, its mean maximal amplitude is -8.5+/-1.9 A/F and the mean apparent reversal potential is near +40 mV. In honeybees, GABA does not activate any ionic membrane currents in muscle fibres from the tibia, but L-glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular synapse induces fast activation of an inward current when the membrane potential is voltage clamped close to its resting value. Instead of undergoing desensitization as is the case in many other preparations, a component of this glutamate-activated current has a sustained component, the reversal potential of which is close to 0 mV, as demonstrated with voltage ramps. Future investigations will allow extensive pharmacological characterization of membrane ionic currents and excitation-contraction coupling in skeletal muscle from honeybee, a useful insect that became a model to study many physiological phenomena and which plays a major role in

  5. Biogeographic study of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Macedonia based on mitochondrial DNA analyses.

    PubMed

    Stevanovic, J; Stanimirovic, Z; Radakovic, M; Kovacevic, S R

    2010-05-01

    In this work, Apis mellifera carnica and A. m. macedonica honey bees from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Macedonia were analysed using molecular techniques in order to improve our knowledge about biogeography of A. mellifera on the Balkan peninsula. This is the first time that the indigenous honey bees from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Macedonia have been analyzed using a molecular approach. Sampling was carried out from 560 stationary apiaries where bees were kept in traditional hives (woven skeps). The COI-COII regions of 1680 samples were PCR-amplified and sequenced. To reveal the haplotype of studied bees, the obtained sequences were aligned with published sequence data of haplotypes that belong to A. mellifera C phylogenetic lineage. The C2D mtDNA haplotype was found in all honey bees sampled from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Macedonia. These results show that A. m. carnica and A. m. macedonica share the same C2D mtDNA haplotype. COI gene segments of 1680 samples were PCR-amplified and digested with restriction enzymes NcoI and StyI in order to discriminate A. m. macedonica from A. m. carnica. Amplified fragment patterns produced by both restriction enzymes matched with diagnostic pattern characteristic for A. m. macedonica in case of samples from east, south and south-west parts of Serbia, and Republic of Macedonia, fragments of samples from northern part of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina did not include NcoI and StyI restriction sites. These results indicate that honey bees from east, south and south-west parts of Serbia, and Republic of Macedonia belong to the A. m. macedonica, and honey bees from northern part of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina belong to another subspecies, probably to the A. m. carnica. Therefore A. m. macedonica has much wider area of distribution than it was previously considered. PMID:20583605

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    We used radio-frequency identification (RFID) to record the duration and frequency of nuptial flights of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera carnica) at two mainland mating apiaries. We investigated the effect of a number of factors on flight duration and frequency: mating apiary, number of drone colonies, queen’s age and temperature. We found significant differences between the two locations concerning the number of flights on the first three days. We also observed an effect of the ambient temperature, with queens flying less often but longer at high temperatures compared to lower temperatures. Increasing the number of drone colonies from 33 to 80 colonies had no effect on the duration or on the frequency of nuptial flights. Since our results agree well with the results of previous studies, we suggest RFID as an appropriate tool to investigate the mating behavior of honey bee queens. PMID:26462822

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    We used radio-frequency identification (RFID) to record the duration and frequency of nuptial flights of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera carnica) at two mainland mating apiaries. We investigated the effect of a number of factors on flight duration and frequency: mating apiary, number of drone colonies, queen's age and temperature. We found significant differences between the two locations concerning the number of flights on the first three days. We also observed an effect of the ambient temperature, with queens flying less often but longer at high temperatures compared to lower temperatures. Increasing the number of drone colonies from 33 to 80 colonies had no effect on the duration or on the frequency of nuptial flights. Since our results agree well with the results of previous studies, we suggest RFID as an appropriate tool to investigate the mating behavior of honey bee queens. PMID:26462822

  8. A new antigenic marker specifically labels a subpopulation of the class II Kenyon cells in the brain of the European honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Takayuki; Kubo, Takeo

    2015-01-01

    The mushroom bodies are the higher-order integration center in the insect brain and are involved in higher brain functions such as learning and memory. In the social hymenopteran insects such as honeybees, the mushroom bodies are the prominent brain structures. The mushroom bodies are composed of lobed neuropils formed by thousands of parallel-projecting axons of intrinsic neurons, and the lobes are divided into parallel subdivisions. In the present paper, we report a new antigenic marker to label a single layer in the vertical lobes of the European honeybee Apis mellifera. In the brain of A. mellifera, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) 15C3, which was originally developed against an insect ecdysone receptor (EcR) protein, immunolabels a single layer of the vertical lobes that correspond to the most dorsal layer of the γ-lobe. The 15C3 mAb recognizes a single ~200 kDa protein expressed in the adult honeybee brain. In addition, the 15C3 mAb immunoreactivity was also observed in the lobes of the developing pupal mushroom bodies. Since γ-lobe is well known to their extensive reorganization that occurs during metamorphosis in Drosophila, the novel antigenic marker for the honeybee γ-lobe allows us to investigate morphological changes of the mushroom bodies during metamorphosis. PMID:27493518

  9. MtDNA COI-COII marker and drone congregation area: an efficient method to establish and monitor honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) conservation centres.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Bénédicte; Alburaki, Mohamed; Legout, Hélène; Moulin, Sibyle; Mougel, Florence; Garnery, Lionel

    2015-05-01

    Honeybee subspecies have been affected by human activities in Europe over the past few decades. One such example is the importation of nonlocal subspecies of bees which has had an adverse impact on the geographical repartition and subsequently on the genetic diversity of the black honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera. To restore the original diversity of this local honeybee subspecies, different conservation centres were set up in Europe. In this study, we established a black honeybee conservation centre Conservatoire de l'Abeille Noire d'Ile de France (CANIF) in the region of Ile-de-France, France. CANIF's honeybee colonies were intensively studied over a 3-year period. This study included a drone congregation area (DCA) located in the conservation centre. MtDNA COI-COII marker was used to evaluate the genetic diversity of CANIF's honeybee populations and the drones found and collected from the DCA. The same marker (mtDNA) was used to estimate the interactions and the haplotype frequency between CANIF's honeybee populations and 10 surrounding honeybee apiaries located outside of the CANIF. Our results indicate that the colonies of the conservation centre and the drones of the DCA show similar stable profiles compared to the surrounding populations with lower level of introgression. The mtDNA marker used on both DCA and colonies of the conservation centre seems to be an efficient approach to monitor and maintain the genetic diversity of the protected honeybee populations. PMID:25335970

  10. Effects of the organic acids produced by a lactic acid bacterium in Apis mellifera colony development, Nosema ceranae control and fumagillin efficiency.

    PubMed

    Maggi, Matías; Negri, Pedro; Plischuk, Santiago; Szawarski, Nicolás; De Piano, Fiorella; De Feudis, Leonardo; Eguaras, Martín; Audisio, Carina

    2013-12-27

    The European honey bee Apis mellifera is known to be affected by many parasites and pathogens that have great impact over the insect development. Among parasites affecting bee health, Nosema ceranae is one of the main biotic factors affecting colony populations. As honey bee populations decline, interest in pathogenic and mutualistic relationships between bees and microorganisms has increased. The main goal of the current study was to assess the effect of the oral administration of the metabolites produced by Lactobacillus johnsonii CRL1647 (mainly organic acids) supplemented in syrup, on: (I) N. ceranae sporulation dynamics before and after fumagillin application, and (II) performance of A. mellifera colonies. Different experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of these bacterial metabolites on bees: in vitro administration revealed no toxic effects against bees. Colonies fed with the lactic acids incremented their beehive population and also the amount of fat bodies per bee. Finally, the organic acids reduced the intensity of the pathogen after the second application of treatment as well as enhanced the fumagillin efficiency. This study provides important information for the development of new control substances against nosemosis. PMID:23978352

  11. Developmental regulation of ecdysone receptor (EcR) and EcR-controlled gene expression during pharate-adult development of honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Mello, Tathyana R. P.; Aleixo, Aline C.; Pinheiro, Daniel G.; Nunes, Francis M. F.; Bitondi, Márcia M. G.; Hartfelder, Klaus; Barchuk, Angel R.; Simões, Zilá L. P.

    2014-01-01

    Major developmental transitions in multicellular organisms are driven by steroid hormones. In insects, these, together with juvenile hormone (JH), control development, metamorphosis, reproduction and aging, and are also suggested to play an important role in caste differentiation of social insects. Here, we aimed to determine how EcR transcription and ecdysteroid titers are related during honeybee postembryonic development and what may actually be the role of EcR in caste development of this social insect. In addition, we expected that knocking-down EcR gene expression would give us information on the participation of the respective protein in regulating downstream targets of EcR. We found that in Apis mellifera females, EcR-A is the predominantly expressed variant in postembryonic development, while EcR-B transcript levels are higher in embryos, indicating an early developmental switch in EcR function. During larval and pupal stages, EcR-B expression levels are very low, while EcR-A transcripts are more variable and abundant in workers compared to queens. Strikingly, these transcript levels are opposite to the ecdysteroid titer profile. 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) application experiments revealed that low 20E levels induce EcR expression during development, whereas high ecdysteroid titers seem to be repressive. By means of RNAi-mediated knockdown (KD) of both EcR transcript variants we detected the differential expression of 234 poly-A+ transcripts encoding genes such as CYPs, MRJPs and certain hormone response genes (Kr-h1 and ftz-f1). EcR-KD also promoted the differential expression of 70 miRNAs, including highly conserved ones (e.g., miR-133 and miR-375), as well honeybee-specific ones (e.g., miR-3745 and miR-3761). Our results put in evidence a broad spectrum of EcR-controlled gene expression during postembryonic development of honeybees, revealing new facets of EcR biology in this social insect. PMID:25566327

  12. Developmental regulation of ecdysone receptor (EcR) and EcR-controlled gene expression during pharate-adult development of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Mello, Tathyana R P; Aleixo, Aline C; Pinheiro, Daniel G; Nunes, Francis M F; Bitondi, Márcia M G; Hartfelder, Klaus; Barchuk, Angel R; Simões, Zilá L P

    2014-01-01

    Major developmental transitions in multicellular organisms are driven by steroid hormones. In insects, these, together with juvenile hormone (JH), control development, metamorphosis, reproduction and aging, and are also suggested to play an important role in caste differentiation of social insects. Here, we aimed to determine how EcR transcription and ecdysteroid titers are related during honeybee postembryonic development and what may actually be the role of EcR in caste development of this social insect. In addition, we expected that knocking-down EcR gene expression would give us information on the participation of the respective protein in regulating downstream targets of EcR. We found that in Apis mellifera females, EcR-A is the predominantly expressed variant in postembryonic development, while EcR-B transcript levels are higher in embryos, indicating an early developmental switch in EcR function. During larval and pupal stages, EcR-B expression levels are very low, while EcR-A transcripts are more variable and abundant in workers compared to queens. Strikingly, these transcript levels are opposite to the ecdysteroid titer profile. 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) application experiments revealed that low 20E levels induce EcR expression during development, whereas high ecdysteroid titers seem to be repressive. By means of RNAi-mediated knockdown (KD) of both EcR transcript variants we detected the differential expression of 234 poly-A(+) transcripts encoding genes such as CYPs, MRJPs and certain hormone response genes (Kr-h1 and ftz-f1). EcR-KD also promoted the differential expression of 70 miRNAs, including highly conserved ones (e.g., miR-133 and miR-375), as well honeybee-specific ones (e.g., miR-3745 and miR-3761). Our results put in evidence a broad spectrum of EcR-controlled gene expression during postembryonic development of honeybees, revealing new facets of EcR biology in this social insect. PMID:25566327

  13. Morphological, molecular, and phylogenetic characterization of Nosema cerana, a microsporidian parasite isolated from the European honey bee, Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nosema ceranae, a microsporidian parasite originally described from Apis cerana, has been found to infect Apis melllifera and is highly pathogenic to its new host. In the present study, data on N. ceranae ultrastructure, host tissue tropism, secondary structures of ribosomal RNA, and phylogenetic ...

  14. Spore Loads May Not be Used Alone as a Direct Indicator of the Severity of Nosema ceranae Infection in Honey Bees Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera:Apidae).

    PubMed

    Zheng, Huo-Qing; Lin, Zhe-Guang; Huang, Shao-Kang; Sohr, Alex; Wu, Lyman; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-12-01

    Nosema ceranae Fries et al., 1996, a microsporidian parasite recently transferred from Asian honey bees Apis cerana F., 1793, to European honey bees Apis mellifera L., 1758, has been suspected as one of the major culprits of the worldwide honey bee colony losses. Spore load is a commonly used criterion to describe the intensity of Nosema infection. In this study, by providing Nosema-infected bees with sterilized pollen, we confirmed that pollen feeding increased the spore loads of honey bees by several times either in the presence or absence of a queen. By changing the amount of pollen consumed by bees in cages, we showed that spore loads increased with an increase in pollen consumption. Nosema infections decrease honey bee longevity and transcription of vitellogenin, either with or without pollen feeding. However, the reduction of pollen consumption had a greater impact on honey bee longevity and vitellogenin level than the increase of spore counts caused by pollen feeding. These results indicate that spore loads may not be used alone as a direct indicator of the severity of N. ceranae infection in honey bees. PMID:26470067

  15. Long Term Storage of Ascosphaera aggregata and A. apis Pathogens of the Leafcutting Bee (Megachile rotundata) and the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Survival of Ascosphaera aggregata and A. apis over the course of a year were tested using different storage treatments. For spores, the methods tested were freeze drying and ultra-low temperature storage, and for hyphae, freeze drying, agar slants covered with water, and two methods of ultra-low tem...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Metal pollution has been increasing rapidly over the past century, and at the same time, the human population has continued to rise and produce contaminants that may negatively impact pollinators. Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) forage over large areas and can collect contaminants from the environment. The primary objective of the present study was to determine whether the metal contaminants cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and selenium (Se) can have a detrimental effect on whole-colony health in the managed pollinator A. mellifera. The authors isolated small nucleus colonies under large cages and fed them an exclusive diet of sugar syrup and pollen patty spiked with Cd, Cu, Pb, and Se or a control (no additional metal). Treatment levels were based on concentrations in honey and pollen from contaminated hives around the world. They measured whole-colony health including wax, honey, and brood production; colony weight; brood survival; and metal accumulation in various life stages. Colonies treated with Cd or Cu contained more dead pupae within capped cells compared with control, and Se-treated colonies had lower total worker weights compared to control. Lead had a minimal effect on colony performance, although many members of the hive accumulated significant quantities of the metal. By examining the honey bee as a social organism through whole-colony assessments of toxicity, the authors found that the distribution of toxicants throughout the colony varied from metal to metal, some caste members were more susceptible to certain metals, and the colony's ability to grow over time may have been reduced in the presence of Se. Apiaries residing near metal-contaminated areas may be at risk and can suffer changes in colony dynamics and survival. PMID:26448590

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

    PubMed Central

    Mortensen, Ashley N.; Ellis, James D.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mortensen, Ashley N; Ellis, James D

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Nucleotide Variability at Its Limit? Insights into the Number and Evolutionary Dynamics of the Sex-Determining Specificities of the Honey Bee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Lechner, Sarah; Ferretti, Luca; Schöning, Caspar; Kinuthia, Wanja; Willemsen, David; Hasselmann, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Deciphering the evolutionary processes driving nucleotide variation in multiallelic genes is limited by the number of genetic systems in which such genes occur. The complementary sex determiner (csd) gene in the honey bee Apis mellifera is an informative example for studying allelic diversity and the underlying evolutionary forces in a well-described model of balancing selection. Acting as the primary signal of sex determination, diploid individuals heterozygous for csd develop into females, whereas csd homozygotes are diploid males that have zero fitness. Examining 77 of the functional heterozygous csd allele pairs, we established a combinatorical criteria that provide insights into the minimum number of amino acid differences among those pairs. Given a data set of 244 csd sequences, we show that the total number of csd alleles found in A. mellifera ranges from 53 (locally) to 87 (worldwide), which is much higher than was previously reported (20). Using a coupon-collector model, we extrapolate the presence of in total 116–145 csd alleles worldwide. The hypervariable region (HVR) is of particular importance in determining csd allele specificity, and we provide for this region evidence of high evolutionary rate for length differences exceeding those of microsatellites. The proportion of amino acids driven by positive selection and the rate of nonsynonymous substitutions in the HVR-flanking regions reach values close to 1 but differ with respect to the HVR length. Using a model of csd coalescence, we identified the high originating rate of csd specificities as a major evolutionary force, leading to an origin of a novel csd allele every 400,000 years. The csd polymorphism frequencies in natural populations indicate an excess of new mutations, whereas signs of ancestral transspecies polymorphism can still be detected. This study provides a comprehensive view of the enormous diversity and the evolutionary forces shaping a multiallelic gene. PMID:24170493

  20. Antibacterial effects of Apis mellifera and stingless bees honeys on susceptible and resistant strains of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae in Gondar, Northwest Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Honey is a natural substance produced by honeybees and has nutritional and therapeutic uses. In Ethiopia, honeys are used traditionally to treat wounds, respiratory infections and diarrhoea. Recent increase of drug resistant bacteria against the existing antibiotics forced investigators to search for alternative natural remedies and evaluate their potential use on scientific bases. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial effects of different types of honeys in Ethiopia which are used traditionally to treat different types of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Methods Mueller Hinton agar (70191) diffusion and nutrient broth culture medium assays were performed to determine susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923), Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) and resistant clinical isolates (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA), Escherichia coli(R) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (R), using honeys of Apis mellifera and stingless bees in northern and north western Ethiopia. Results Honey of the stingless bees produced the highest mean inhibition (22.27 ± 3.79 mm) compared to white honey (21.0 ± 2.7 mm) and yellow honey (18.0 ± 2.3 mm) at 50% (v/v) concentration on all the standard and resistant strains. Stingless bees honey was found to have Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of 6.25% (6.25 mg/ml) for 80% of the test organisms compared to 40% for white and yellow Apis mellifera honeys. All the honeys were found to have minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of 12.5% (12.5 mg/ml) against all the test organisms. Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923) was susceptible to amoxicillin, methicillin, kanamycine, tetracycline, and vancomycine standard antibiotic discs used for susceptibility tests. Similarly, Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) was found susceptible for kanamycine, tetracycline and vancomycine. Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) has not been tested for amoxicillin ampicillin and methicillin. The

  1. Bee-hawking by the wasp, Vespa velutina, on the honeybees Apis cerana and A. mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, K.; Radloff, S. E.; Li, J. J.; Hepburn, H. R.; Yang, M. X.; Zhang, L. J.; Neumann, P.

    2007-06-01

    The vespine wasps, Vespa velutina, specialise in hawking honeybee foragers returning to their nests. We studied their behaviour in China using native Apis cerana and introduced A. mellifera colonies. When the wasps are hawking, A. cerana recruits threefold more guard bees to stave off predation than A. mellifera. The former also utilises wing shimmering as a visual pattern disruption mechanism, which is not shown by A. mellifera. A. cerana foragers halve the time of normal flight needed to dart into the nest entrance, while A. mellifera actually slows down in sashaying flight manoeuvres. V. velutina preferentially hawks A. mellifera foragers when both A. mellifera and A. cerana occur in the same apiary. The pace of wasp-hawking was highest in mid-summer but the frequency of hawking wasps was three times higher at A. mellifera colonies than at the A. cerana colonies. The wasps were taking A. mellifera foragers at a frequency eightfold greater than A. cerana foragers. The final hawking success rates of the wasps were about three times higher for A. mellifera foragers than for A. cerana. The relative success of native A. cerana over European A. mellifera in thwarting predation by the wasp V. velutina is interpreted as the result of co-evolution between the Asian wasp and honeybee, respectively.

  2. Species-specific diagnostics of Apis mellifera trypanosomatids: A nine-year survey (2007-2015) for trypanosomatids and microsporidians in Serbian honey bees.

    PubMed

    Stevanovic, Jevrosima; Schwarz, Ryan S; Vejnovic, Branislav; Evans, Jay D; Irwin, Rebecca E; Glavinic, Uros; Stanimirovic, Zoran

    2016-09-01

    In this study, honey bees collected in Serbia over 9 consecutive years (2007-2015) were retrospectively surveyed to determine the prevalence of eukaryotic gut parasites by molecular screening of archival DNA samples. We developed species-specific primers for PCR to detect the two known honey bee trypanosomatid species, Crithidia mellificae and the recently described Lotmaria passim. These primers were validated for target specificity under single and mixed-species conditions as well as against the bumblebee trypanosomatid Crithidia bombi. Infections by Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) were also determined using PCR. Samples from 162 colonies (18 from each year) originating from 57 different localities were surveyed. L. passim was detected in every year with an overall frequency of 62.3% and annual frequencies ranging from 38.9% to 83.3%. This provides the earliest confirmed record to date for L. passim and the first report of this species in Serbia. N. ceranae was ubiquitous, occurring in every year and at 95.7% overall frequency, ranging annually from 83.3% to 100%. The majority of colonies (60.5%) were co-infected with L. passim and N. ceranae, but colony infections by each species were statistically independent of one another over the nine years. Although C. mellificae and N. apis have both been reported recently at low frequency in Europe, neither of these species was detected in Serbia. These results support the hypothesis that L. passim has predominated over C. mellificae in A. mellifera during the past decade. PMID:27392956

  3. Indoor winter fumigation of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies infested with Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) with formic acid is a potential control alternative in northern climates.

    PubMed

    Underwood, Robyn M; Currie, Robert W

    2004-04-01

    Formic acid treatment for the control of the ectoparasitic varroa mite, Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, infesting honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colonies is usually carried out as an in-hive outdoor treatment. This study examined the use of formic acid on wintered colonies kept indoors at 5 degrees C from 24 November 1999 to 24 March 2000. Colonies were placed in small treatment rooms that were not treated (control) or fumigated at three different concentrations of formic acid: low (mean 11.9 +/- 1.2 ppm), medium (mean 25.8 +/- 1.4 ppm), or high (mean 41.2 +/- 3.3 ppm), for 48 h on 22-24 January 2000. Queen bee, worker bee, and varroa mite mortality were monitored throughout the winter, and tracheal mite, Acarapis woodi (Rennie), prevalence and mean abundance of nosema, Nosema apis Zander, spores were assessed. This study revealed that formic acid fumigation of indoor-wintered honey bees is feasible and effective. The highest concentration significantly reduced the mean abundance of varroa mites and nosema spores without increasing bee mortality. Tracheal mite prevalence did not change significantly at any concentration, although we did not measure mortality directly. The highest concentration treatment killed 33.3% of queens compared with 4.8% loss in the control. Repeated fumigation periods at high concentrations or extended fumigation at low concentrations may increase the efficacy of this treatment method and should be tested in future studies. An understanding of the cause of queen loss and methods to prevent it must be developed for this method to be generally accepted. PMID:15154434

  4. Pollen analysis of honey and pollen collected by Apis mellifera linnaeus, 1758 (Hymenoptera, Apidae), in a mixed environment of Eucalyptus plantation and native cerrado in Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Simeão, C M G; Silveira, F A; Sampaio, I B M; Bastos, E M A F

    2015-11-01

    Eucalyptus plantations are frequently used for the establishment of bee yards. This study was carried on at Fazenda Brejão, northwestern region of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. This farm is covered both with native Cerrado vegetation (Brazilian savanna) and eucalyptus plantations. This paper reports on the botanic origin of pollen pellets and honey collected from honeybee (Apis mellifera) hives along a thirteen-month period (January 2004 to January 2005). The most frequent pollen types found in the pollen pellets during the rainy season were Trema micrantha (Ulmaceae), Copaifera langsdorffii (Fabaceae), an unidentified Poaceae, unidentified Asteraceae-2, Cecropia sp. 1 (Cecropiaceae) and Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae); during the dry season the most frequent pollen types were Acosmium dasycarpum (Fabaceae), Cecropia sp. 1 (Cecropiaceae) and Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae). Pollen grains of Baccharis sp. (Asteraceae), Cecropia sp. 1 (Cecropiaceae), Copaifera langsdorffii (Fabaceae), Mimosa nuda (Fabaceae), Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae) and Trema micrantha (Ulmaceae) were present in the honey samples throughout the study period. PMID:26628236

  5. No impact of DvSnf7 RNA on honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) adults and larvae in dietary feeding tests

    PubMed Central

    Bachman, Pamela M.; Jensen, Peter D.; Mueller, Geoffrey M.; Uffman, Joshua P.; Meng, Chen; Song, Zihong; Richards, Kathy B.; Beevers, Michael H.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) is the most important managed pollinator species worldwide and plays a critical role in the pollination of a diverse range of economically important crops. This species is important to agriculture and historically has been used as a surrogate species for pollinators to evaluate the potential adverse effects for conventional, biological, and microbial pesticides, as well as for genetically engineered plants that produce pesticidal products. As part of the ecological risk assessment of MON 87411 maize, which expresses a double‐stranded RNA targeting the Snf7 ortholog (DvSnf7) in western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera), dietary feeding studies with honey bee larvae and adults were conducted. Based on the mode of action of the DvSnf7 RNA in western corn rootworm, the present studies were designed to be of sufficient duration to evaluate the potential for adverse effects on larval survival and development through emergence and adult survival to a significant portion of the adult stage. Testing was conducted at concentrations of DvSnf7 RNA that greatly exceeded environmentally relevant exposure levels based on expression levels in maize pollen. No adverse effects were observed in either larval or adult honey bees at these high exposure levels, providing a large margin of safety between environmental exposure levels and no‐observed–adverse‐effect levels. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:287–294. © 2015 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC. PMID:26011006

  6. Behavioural and electrophysiological lateralization in a social (Apis mellifera) but not in a non-social (Osmia cornuta) species of bee.

    PubMed

    Anfora, Gianfranco; Frasnelli, Elisa; Maccagnani, Bettina; Rogers, Lesley J; Vallortigara, Giorgio

    2010-01-20

    Recent evidence suggests that asymmetry between the left and right sides of the brain is not limited to vertebrates but extends to invertebrates as well. We compared olfactory lateralization in two species of Hymenoptera Apoidea, the honeybee (Apis mellifera), a social species, and the mason bee (Osmia cornuta), a solitary species. Recall of the olfactory memory 1 h after training to associate an odour with a sugar reward, as revealed by the bee extending its proboscis when presented with the trained odour, was better in honeybees trained with their right than with their left antenna. No such asymmetry was observed in mason bees. Similarly, electroantennographic responses to a floral volatile compound and to an alarm pheromone component were higher in the right than in the left antenna in honeybees but not in mason bees. These findings seem to support recent game-theoretical models suggesting that population-level lateralization is more likely to have evolved in social than in non-social species. PMID:19766143

  7. Evaluation of pesticide toxicity at their field recommended doses to honeybees, Apis cerana and A. mellifera through laboratory, semi-field and field studies.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Johnson; Sah, Khushboo; Jain, S K; Bhatt, J C; Sushil, S N

    2015-01-01

    A series of experiments were carried out to determine the acute toxicity of pesticides in the laboratory, toxicity through spray on flowering plants of mustard (Tier II evaluation) and field on both Apis cerana and A. mellifera bees. The overall mortality of honey bees through topical (direct contact) were found significantly higher than that of indirect filter paper contamination assays. Insecticides viz., chlorpyriphos, dichlorvos, malathion, profenofos, monocrotophos and deltamethrin when exposed directly or indirectly at their field recommended doses caused very high mortality up to 100% to both the bees at 48 HAT. The insecticides that caused less mortality through filter paper contamination viz., flubendiamide, methyl demeton, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused very high morality through direct exposure. Apart from all the fungicides tested, carbendazim, mancozeb, chlorothalonil and propiconazole, insecticides acetamiprid and endosulfan were found safer to both the bees either by direct or indirect exposures. Tier II evaluation by spray of pesticides at their field recommended doses on potted mustard plants showed monocrotophos as the highly toxic insecticide with 100% mortality even with 1h of exposure followed by thiamethoxam, dichlorvos, profenofos and chlorpyriphos which are not to be recommended for use in pollinator attractive flowering plants. Acetamiprid and endosulfan did not cause any repellent effect on honey bees in the field trials endorse the usage of acetamiprid against sucking pest in flowering plants. PMID:25150969

  8. Modification of the brain proteome of Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera) exposed to a sub-lethal doses of the insecticide fipronil.

    PubMed

    Roat, T C; dos Santos-Pinto, J R A; Dos Santos, L D; Santos, K S; Malaspina, O; Palma, M S

    2014-11-01

    Fipronil is a phenylpyrazole insecticide that is widely used in Brazilian agriculture for pest control. Although honeybees are not targets of fipronil, studies indicate that this pesticide can be harmful to honeybees. To assess the effects of fipronil in the brain of Africanized Apis mellifera workers, this study focused on the toxico-proteome profiling of the brain of newly emerged and aged honeybee workers that were exposed to a sub-lethal dose (10 pg fipronil per day. i.e. (1)/100 of LD50/bee/day during 5 days) of the insecticide. Proteomic analysis identified 25 proteins that were differentially up-regulated or down-regulated when the fipronil-exposed and non-exposed groups were compared. These proteins are potentially related to pathogen susceptibility, neuronal chemical stress, neuronal protein misfolding, and occurrence of apoptosis, ischemia, visual impairment, damaged synapse formation, brain degeneration, memory and learning impairment. The exposure of honeybees to a very low dose of fipronil, even for a short period of time (5 days), was sufficient to cause a series of important neuroproteomic changes in the brains of honeybees. PMID:25139030

  9. Hygienic Behavior of Africanized Honey Bees Apis mellifera Directed towards Brood in Old and New Combs during Diurnal and Nocturnal Periods

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Rogério A.; Morais, Michelle M.; Francoy, Tiago M.; Gonçalves, Lionel S.

    2013-01-01

    Hygienic behavior in honey bees, Apis mellifera, is measured by determining the rate at which the bees uncap and remove dead sealed brood. We analyzed individual behavior of house-cleaning Africanized honey bees in order to focus on some poorly understood aspects of hygienic behavior. Two observation hives, each with approximately 3,000 individually marked bees, were used in this study. The efficiency of hygienic behavior was evaluated in hygienic and non-hygienic strains of bees using two types of combs (new and old), as well as at different periods of the day (night and day). We also recorded the age of workers that performed this task of removing dead brood. In both strains, the workers that performed tasks related to hygienic behavior were within the same age cohort; we found no influence of age on the amount of time dedicated to the task, independent of the type of comb or period of the day. The total time from perforation of the cell capping until the dead brood had been completely removed, and was significantly shorter during daytime than at night. Hygienic behavior directed towards dead brood in new combs was also significantly more efficient (faster) than for brood in old combs. The type of comb had significantly more effect than did the time of day. We conclude that the type of comb and time of day should be taken into consideration when evaluating hygienic behavior in honey bees. PMID:26462521

  10. Laboratory bioassays on the impact of cadmium, copper and lead on the development and survival of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) larvae and foragers.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) have been widely distributed around the world to serve as pollinators for agriculture. They can encounter metal pollutants through various routes of exposure, including foraging on contaminated plant resources. Chronic and acute toxicity tests were conducted on larvae using artificial diets and on foragers using solutions of 50% sucrose, which contained cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu) and lead (Pb). We found that mortality increased in both larvae and foragers in a dose-dependent manner. Control larvae had higher relative growth indices (RGI) from day 6 to day 10 compared to all metal treatments, demonstrating substantial negative effects of metals on development. Copper was the least toxic to larvae with an LC50 of 6.97 mg L(-1). For foragers, Pb had the highest LC50, which was 345 mg L(-1). Foragers and larvae accumulated substantial quantities of all metals, and subsequent sucrose consumption decreased after dosing. Overall, honeybee larvae and foragers suffered detrimental effects when they were exposed to ecologically-relevant concentrations of Cd, Cu and Pb. PMID:27011322

  11. No impact of DvSnf7 RNA on honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) adults and larvae in dietary feeding tests.

    PubMed

    Tan, Jianguo; Levine, Steven L; Bachman, Pamela M; Jensen, Peter D; Mueller, Geoffrey M; Uffman, Joshua P; Meng, Chen; Song, Zihong; Richards, Kathy B; Beevers, Michael H

    2016-02-01

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) is the most important managed pollinator species worldwide and plays a critical role in the pollination of a diverse range of economically important crops. This species is important to agriculture and historically has been used as a surrogate species for pollinators to evaluate the potential adverse effects for conventional, biological, and microbial pesticides, as well as for genetically engineered plants that produce pesticidal products. As part of the ecological risk assessment of MON 87411 maize, which expresses a double-stranded RNA targeting the Snf7 ortholog (DvSnf7) in western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera), dietary feeding studies with honey bee larvae and adults were conducted. Based on the mode of action of the DvSnf7 RNA in western corn rootworm, the present studies were designed to be of sufficient duration to evaluate the potential for adverse effects on larval survival and development through emergence and adult survival to a significant portion of the adult stage. Testing was conducted at concentrations of DvSnf7 RNA that greatly exceeded environmentally relevant exposure levels based on expression levels in maize pollen. No adverse effects were observed in either larval or adult honey bees at these high exposure levels, providing a large margin of safety between environmental exposure levels and no-observed-adverse-effect levels. PMID:26011006

  12. Representational Difference Analysis (RDA) reveals differential expression of conserved as well as novel genes during caste-specific development of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) ovary.

    PubMed

    Humann, Fernanda C; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2011-08-01

    In highly eusocial insects, such as the honey bee, Apis mellifera, the reproductive bias has become embedded in morphological caste differences. These are most expressively denoted in ovary size, with adult queens having large ovaries consisting of 150-200 ovarioles each, while workers typically have only 1-20 ovarioles per ovary. This morphological differentiation is a result of hormonal signals triggered by the diet change in the third larval instar, which eventually generate caste-specific gene expression patterns. To reveal these we produced differential gene expression libraries by Representational Difference Analysis (RDA) for queen and worker ovaries in a developmental stage when cell death is a prominent feature in the ovarioles of workers, whereas all ovarioles are maintained and extend in length in queens. In the queen library, 48% of the gene set represented homologs of known Drosophila genes, whereas in the worker ovary, the largest set (59%) were ESTs evidencing novel genes, not even computationally predicted in the honey bee genome. Differential expression was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR for a selected gene set, denoting major differences for two queen and two worker library genes. These included two unpredicted genes located in chromosome 11 (Group11.35 and Group11.31, respectively) possibly representing long non-coding RNAs. Being candidates as modulators of ovary development, their expression and functional analysis should be a focal point for future studies. PMID:21477651

  13. Effects of soybean trypsin inhibitor on hypopharyngeal gland protein content, total midgut protease activity and survival of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

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

    2005-09-01

    Insecticidal properties of protease inhibitors have been established in transgenic plants. In the wake of continuous research and rapid development of protease inhibitors it is important to assess possible effects on beneficial insects like the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.). In this study, newly emerged caged bees were fed pollen diets containing three different concentrations (0.1%, 0.5% and 1% w:w) of soybean trypsin inhibitor (SBTI). Hypopharyngeal gland protein content, total midgut proteolytic enzyme activity of these bees, and survival were measured. Bees fed 1% SBTI had significantly reduced hypopharyngeal gland protein content and midgut proteolytic enzyme activity. There were no significant differences between control, 0.1% and 0.5% SBTI treatments. Bees fed a diet containing 1% SBTI had the lowest survival, followed by 0.5% and 0.1%, over a 30-day period. We concluded that nurse bees fed a pollen diet containing at least 1% SBTI would be poor producers of larval food, potentially threatening colony growth and maintenance. PMID:15927200

  14. Ratios of colony mass to thermal conductance of tree and man-made nest enclosures of Apis mellifera: implications for survival, clustering, humidity regulation and Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Derek

    2016-05-01

    In the absence of human intervention, the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) usually constructs its nest in a tree within a tall, narrow, thick-walled cavity high above the ground (the enclosure); however, most research and apiculture is conducted in the thin-walled, squat wooden enclosures we know as hives. This experimental research, using various hives and thermal models of trees, has found that the heat transfer rate is approximately four to seven times greater in the hives in common use, compared to a typical tree enclosure in winter configuration. This gives a ratio of colony mass to lumped enclosure thermal conductance (MCR) of less than 0.8 kgW(-1) K for wooden hives and greater than 5 kgW(-1) K for tree enclosures. This result for tree enclosures implies higher levels of humidity in the nest, increased survival of smaller colonies and lower Varroa destructor breeding success. Many honeybee behaviours previously thought to be intrinsic may only be a coping mechanism for human intervention; for example, at an MCR of above 2 kgW(-1) K, clustering in a tree enclosure may be an optional, rare, heat conservation behaviour for established colonies, rather than the compulsory, frequent, life-saving behaviour that is in the hives in common use. The implied improved survival in hives with thermal properties of tree nests may help to solve some of the problems honeybees are currently facing in apiculture. PMID:26335295

  15. Ratios of colony mass to thermal conductance of tree and man-made nest enclosures of Apis mellifera: implications for survival, clustering, humidity regulation and Varroa destructor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Derek

    2016-05-01

    In the absence of human intervention, the honeybee ( Apis mellifera L.) usually constructs its nest in a tree within a tall, narrow, thick-walled cavity high above the ground (the enclosure); however, most research and apiculture is conducted in the thin-walled, squat wooden enclosures we know as hives. This experimental research, using various hives and thermal models of trees, has found that the heat transfer rate is approximately four to seven times greater in the hives in common use, compared to a typical tree enclosure in winter configuration. This gives a ratio of colony mass to lumped enclosure thermal conductance (MCR) of less than 0.8 kgW-1 K for wooden hives and greater than 5 kgW-1 K for tree enclosures. This result for tree enclosures implies higher levels of humidity in the nest, increased survival of smaller colonies and lower Varroa destructor breeding success. Many honeybee behaviours previously thought to be intrinsic may only be a coping mechanism for human intervention; for example, at an MCR of above 2 kgW-1 K, clustering in a tree enclosure may be an optional, rare, heat conservation behaviour for established colonies, rather than the compulsory, frequent, life-saving behaviour that is in the hives in common use. The implied improved survival in hives with thermal properties of tree nests may help to solve some of the problems honeybees are currently facing in apiculture.

  16. The SNMP/CD36 gene family in Diptera, Hymenoptera and Coleoptera: Drosophila melanogaster, D. pseudoobscura, Anopheles gambiae, Aedes aegypti, Apis mellifera, and Tribolium castaneum.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Zachary; Vogt, Richard G

    2008-04-01

    Sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMPs) are membrane bound proteins initially identified in olfactory receptor neurons of Lepidoptera and are thought to play a role in odor detection; SNMPs belong to a larger gene family characterized by the human protein CD36. We have identified 12-14 candidate SNMP/CD36 homologs from each of the genomes of Drosophila melanogaster, D. pseudoobscura, Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti (Diptera), eight candidate homologs from Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera), and 15 from Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera). Analysis (sequence similarity and intron locations) suggests that the insect SNMP/CD36 genes fall into three major groups. Group 1 includes the previously characterized D. melanogaster emp (epithelial membrane protein). Group 2 includes the previously characterized D. melanogaster croquemort, ninaD, santa maria, and peste. Group 3 genes include the SNMPs, which fall into two subgroups referred to as SNMP1 and SNMP2. D. melanogaster SNMP1 (CG7000) shares both significant sequence similarity and five of its six intron insertion sites with the lepidopteran Bombyx mori SNMP1. The topological conservation of this gene family within the three major holometabolous lineages indicates that it predates the coleopteran and hymenoptera/dipera/lepidoptera split 300+ million years ago. The current state of knowledge of the characterized insect members of this gene family is discussed. PMID:18342246

  17. Impact of naled on honey bee Apis mellifera L. survival and productivity: aerial ULV application using a flat-fan nozzle system.

    PubMed

    Zhong, H; Latham, M; Hester, P G; Frommer, R L; Brock, C

    2003-08-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate the impact of naled on honey bees as a result of their exposure to aerial ULV applications of this insecticide during three routine mosquito spray missions by Manatee County Mosquito Control District in Florida during the summer of 1999. Naled deposits were collected on filter paper and subsequently analyzed by gas chromatography. Mortality of adult honey bees Apis mellifera L. was estimated based on numbers from dead bee collectors placed in front of the entrance of the beehives. We found that honey bees clustering outside of the beehives were subject to naled exposure. Bee mortality increased when higher naled residues were found around the hives. The highest average naled deposit was 6,227 +/- 696 microg/m2 at the site 1 forest area following the mosquito spray mission on July 15, 1999. The range of naled deposition for this application was 2,818-7,101 microg/m2. The range of dead bees per hive was 0-39 prior to spraying and 9-200 within 24 h following this spray mission. The average yield of honey per hive was significantly lower (p < 0.05) for naled-exposed hives compared with unexposed hives. Because reduction of honey yield also may be affected by other factors, such as location of the hives relative to a food source and vigor of the queen bee, the final assessment of honey yield was complicated. PMID:14565579

  18. Natural Larval Diet Differently Influences the Pattern of Developmental Changes in DNA 5-Methylcytosine Levels in Apis mellifera Queens as Compared with Workers and Drones.

    PubMed

    Strachecka, A; Olszewski, K; Bajda, M; Demetraki-Paleolog, J

    2015-08-01

    The principal mechanism of gene activation/silencing is DNA 5-methylcytosine methylation. This study was aimed at determining global DNA methylation levels in larvae, prepupae, pupae, and 1-day-old adults of Apis mellifera queens, workers and drones. The Imprint Methylated DNA Quantification Kit MDQ1 was used. Percentages of DNA 5-methylcytosine were low and relatively similar in the larvae of all the castes until 4th day of larval development (3-5%). However, they were higher in the drone and worker larvae than in the queen larvae. Generally, the developmental patterns of changes in the DNA methylation levels were different in the queens in comparison with the drones and workers. While methylation increased in the queens, it decreased in the drones and workers. Methylated DNA methylcytosine percentages and weights in the queen prepupae (15%, 9.18 ng) and pupae (21%, 10.74 ng) were, respectively, three and four times higher than in the worker/drone brood of the same age (2.5-4%, 0.03-0.07 ng). Only in the queens, after a substantial increase, did DNA methylation decrease almost twice between the pupal stage and queen emergence (from 21% and 10.74 ng to 12% and 6.78 ng). This finding seems very interesting, particularly for experimental gerontology. PMID:26547070

  19. Effects of instrumental insemination and insemination quantity on Dufour's gland chemical profiles and vitellogenin expression in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

    Honey bee queens (Apis mellifera) mate in their early adult lives with a variable number of males (drones). Mating stimulates dramatic changes in queen behavior, physiology, gene expression, and pheromone production. Here, we used virgin, single drone- (SDI), and multi-drone- (MDI) inseminated queens to study the effects of instrumental insemination and insemination quantity on the pheromone profiles of the Dufour's gland, and the expression of the egg-yolk protein, vitellogenin, in the fat body. Age, environmental conditions, and genetic background of the queens were standardized to specifically characterize the effects of these treatments. Our data demonstrate that insemination and insemination quantity significantly affect the chemical profiles of the Dufour's gland secretion. Moreover, workers were more attracted to Dufour's gland extract from inseminated queens compared to virgins, and to the extract of MDI queens compared to extract of SDI queens. However, while there were differences in the amounts of some esters between MDI queens and the other groups, it appears that the differences in behavioral responses were elicited by subtle changes in the overall chemical profiles rather than dramatic changes in specific individual chemicals. We also found a decrease in vitellogenin gene expression in the fat body of the MDI queens, which is negatively correlated with the quantities of Dufour's gland content. The possible explanations of this reduction are discussed. PMID:21786084

  20. Determining the Environmental Factors Underlying the Spatial Variability of Insect Appearance Phenology for the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera, and the Small White, Pieris rapae

    PubMed Central

    Gordo, Oscar; Sanz, Juan José; Lobo, Jorge M.

    2010-01-01

    The spatial patterns of the variability of the appearance dates of the honey bee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidea) and the small white Pieris rapae (L.) (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) were investigated in Spain. A database of more than 7,000 records of the dates of the first spring sightings of each species in more than 700 localities from 1952–2004 was used. Phenological data were related to spatial, topographical, climate, land use, and vegetation productivity explanatory variables by means of multiple regression models in order to search for the environmental mechanisms underlying the observable phenological variability. Temperature and altitudinal spatial gradients accounted for most of the spatial variability in the phenology of the studied species, while vegetation productivity and land use had low relevance. In both species, the first individuals were recorded at those sites with warmer springs and dry summers, at low altitudes, and not covered with dry farming (i.e., cereal crops). The identity and magnitude of the effect of the variables were almost identical for both species and closely mirrored spatial temperature gradients. The best explanatory models accounted for up to half of the variability of appearance dates. Residuals did not show a spatial autocorrelation, meaning that no other spatially structured variable at our working resolution could have improved the results. Differences in the spatial patterns of phenology with regard to other taxa, such as arrival dates of migratory birds, suggest that spatial constraints may play an essential role in the phenological matching between trophic levels. PMID:20578955

  1. Morphological, molecular, and phylogenetic characterization of Nosema ceranae, a microsporidian parasite isolated from the European honey bee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Y.P.; Evans, J.D.; Murphy, C.; Gutell, R.; Zuker, M.; Gundensen-Rindal, D.; Pettis, J.S.

    2009-01-01

    Nosema ceranae, a microsporidian parasite originally described from Apis cerana, has been found to infect Apis melllifera and is highly pathogenic to its new host. In the present study, data on the ultrastructure of N. ceranae, presence of N. ceranae-specific nucleic acid in host tissues, and phylogenetic relationships with other microsporidia species are described. The ultrastructural features indicate that N. ceranae possesses all of the characteristics of the genus Nosema. Spores of N. ceranae measured approximately 4.4 × 2.2 μm on fresh smears. The number of coils of the polar filament inside spores was 18--21. PCR signals specific for N. ceranae were detected not only in the primary infection site, the midgut, but also in the tissues of hypopharyngeal glands, salivary glands, Malpighian tubules, and fat body. The detection rate and intensity of PCR signals in the fat body were relatively low compared to other examined tissues. Maximum parsimony analysis of the small subunit rRNA gene sequences showed that N. ceranae appeared to be more closely related to the wasp parasite, N. vespula than to N. apis, a parasite infecting the same host. PMID:19457054

  2. Quantification of toxins in a Cry1Ac + CpTI cotton cultivar and its potential effects on the honey bee Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed Central

    Han, Peng; Lei, Chao-Liang; Cui, Jin-Jie; Desneux, Nicolas

    2010-01-01

    Transgenic Cry1Ac + CpTI cotton (CCRI41) is increasingly planted throughout China. However, negative effects of this cultivar on the honey bee Apis mellifera L., the most important pollinator for cultivated ecosystem, remained poorly investigated. The objective of our study was to evaluate the potential side effects of transgenic Cry1Ac + CpTI pollen from cotton on young adult honey bees A. mellifera L. Two points emphasized the significance of our study: (1) A higher expression level of insecticidal protein Cry1Ac in pollen tissues was detected (when compared with previous reports). In particular, Cry1Ac protein was detected at 300 ± 4.52 ng g−1 [part per billion (ppb)] in pollen collected in July, (2) Effects on chronic mortality and feeding behaviour in honey bees were evaluated using a no-choice dietary feeding protocol with treated pollen, which guarantee the highest exposure level to bees potentially occurring in natural conditions (worst case scenario). Tests were also conducted using imidacloprid-treated pollen at a concentration of 48 ppb as positive control for sublethal effect on feeding behaviour. Our results suggested that Cry1Ac + CpTI pollen carried no lethal risk for honey bees. However, during a 7-day oral exposure to the various treatments (transgenic, imidacloprid-treated and control), honey bee feeding behaviour was disturbed and bees consumed significantly less CCRI41 cotton pollen than in the control group in which bees were exposed to conventional cotton pollen. It may indicate an antifeedant effect of CCRI41 pollen on honey bees and thus bees may be at risk because of large areas are planted with transgenic Bt cotton in China. This is the first report suggesting a potential sublethal effect of CCRI41 cotton pollen on honey bees. The implications of the results are discussed in terms of risk assessment for bees as well as for directions of future work involving risk assessment of CCRI41 cotton. PMID:20700762

  3. A circadian neuropeptide PDF in the honeybee, Apis mellifera: cDNA cloning and expression of mRNA.

    PubMed

    Sumiyoshi, Miho; Sato, Seiji; Takeda, Yukimasa; Sumida, Kazunori; Koga, Keita; Itoh, Tsunao; Nakagawa, Hiroyuki; Shimohigashi, Yasuyuki; Shimohigashi, Miki

    2011-12-01

    Pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) is a pacemaker hormone regulating the locomotor rhythm in insects. In the present study, we cloned the cDNAs encoding the Apis PDF precursor protein, and found that there are at least seven different pdf mRNAs yielded by an alternative splicing site and five alternative polyadenylation sites in the 5'UTR and 3'UTR regions. The amino acid sequence of Apis PDF peptide has a characteristic novel amino acid residue, aspargine (Asn), at position 17. Quantitative real-time PCR of total and 5'UTR insertion-type pdf mRNAs revealed, for the first time, that the expression levels change in a circadian manner with a distinct trough at the beginning of night in LD conditions, and at the subjective night under DD conditions. In contrast, the expression level of 5'UTR deletion-type pdf mRNAs was about half of that of the insertion type, and the expression profile failed to show a circadian rhythm. As the expression profile of the total pdf mRNA exhibited a circadian rhythm, transcription regulated at the promoter region was supposed to be controlled by some of the clock components. Whole mount in situ hybridization revealed that 14 lateral neurons at the frontal margin of the optic lobe express these mRNA isoforms. PDF expressing cells examined with a newly produced antibody raised against Apis PDF were also found to have a dense supply of axon terminals in the optic lobes and the central brain. PMID:22132787

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  5. On the Front Line: Quantitative Virus Dynamics in Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) Colonies along a New Expansion Front of the Parasite Varroa destructor

    PubMed Central

    Mondet, Fanny; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Kretzschmar, Andre; Le Conte, Yves; Mercer, Alison R.

    2014-01-01

    Over the past fifty years, annual honeybee (Apis mellifera) colony losses have been steadily increasing worldwide. These losses have occurred in parallel with the global spread of the honeybee parasite Varroa destructor. Indeed, Varroa mite infestations are considered to be a key explanatory factor for the widespread increase in annual honeybee colony mortality. The host-parasite relationship between honeybees and Varroa is complicated by the mite's close association with a range of honeybee viral pathogens. The 10-year history of the expanding front of Varroa infestation in New Zealand offered a rare opportunity to assess the dynamic quantitative and qualitative changes in honeybee viral landscapes in response to the arrival, spread and level of Varroa infestation. We studied the impact of de novo infestation of bee colonies by Varroa on the prevalence and titres of seven well-characterised honeybee viruses in both bees and mites, using a large-scale molecular ecology approach. We also examined the effect of the number of years since Varroa arrival on honeybee and mite viral titres. The dynamic shifts in the viral titres of black queen cell virus and Kashmir bee virus mirrored the patterns of change in Varroa infestation rates along the Varroa expansion front. The deformed wing virus (DWV) titres in bees continued to increase with Varroa infestation history, despite dropping infestation rates, which could be linked to increasing DWV titres in the mites. This suggests that the DWV titres in mites, perhaps boosted by virus replication, may be a major factor in maintaining the DWV epidemic after initial establishment. Both positive and negative associations were identified for several pairs of viruses, in response to the arrival of Varroa. These findings provide important new insights into the role of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor in influencing the viral landscape that affects honeybee colonies. PMID:25144447

  6. Effective fall treatment of Varroa jacobsoni (Acari: Varroidae) with a new formulation of formic acid in colonies of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in the northeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Calderone, N W

    2000-08-01

    New formulations of formic acid and thymol, both individually and in combination with various essential oils, were compared with Apistan to determine their efficacy as fall treatments for control of Varroa jacobsoni (Oudemans), a parasitic mite of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. Percent mite mortality in colonies treated with 300 ml of 65% formic acid averaged 94.2 +/- 1.41% (least square means +/- SE, n = 24), equivalent to those receiving four, 10% strips of Apistan (92.6 +/- 1.79%, n = 6). Treatment with thymol (n = 24) resulted in an average mite mortality of 75.4 +/- 5.79%, significantly less than that attained with Apistan or formic acid. The addition of essential oils did not affect treatment efficacy of either formic acid or thymol. The ratio of the coefficients of variation for percentage mortality for the formic acid (CVFA) and Apistan (CVA) groups was CVFA/CVA = 0.66. This indicates that the formic acid treatment was as consistent as the Apistan treatment. Thymol treatments did not provide as consistent results as Apistan or formic acid. Coefficient variation ratios for percentage mortality for the thymol group (CVT) with the Apistan and formic acid groups were CVT/CVA = 4.47 and CVT/CVFA = 6.76, respectively. In a second experiment, colonies received a 4-wk fall treatment of either 300 ml of 65% formic acid (n = 24) or four, 10% strips of Apistan (n = 6). The next spring, mite levels in the formic acid group (554.3 +/- 150.20 mites) were similar to those in the Apistan treatment group (571.3 +/- 145.05 mites) (P = 0.93). Additionally, the quantities of bees, brood, pollen, and nectar/honey in the two treatment groups were not significantly different (P > or = 0.50 each variable). These results suggest that formic acid is an effective alternative to Apistan as a fall treatment for varroa mites in temperate climates. PMID:10985013

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

    PubMed

    Calderone, Nicholas W

    2010-02-01

    Mite-Away II, a recently-registered product with a proprietary formulation of formic acid, was evaluated under field conditions in commercial apiaries in upstate New York (USA) for the fall control of Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman in colonies of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. Ambient temperatures during the treatment period were in the lower half of the range recommended on the label, but were typical for early fall in upstate New York. Average mite mortality was 60.2 +/- 2.2% in the Mite-Away II group and 23.3 +/- 2.6% in the untreated control group. These means were significantly different from each other, but the level of control was only moderate. These results demonstrate that Mite-Away II may not always provide an adequate level of control even when the temperature at the time of application falls within the recommended range stated on the product's label. To make the best use of temperature-sensitive products, I suggest that the current, single-value, economic treatment threshold be replaced with an economic treatment range. The limits for this range are specified by two pest density values. The lower limit is the usual pest density that triggers a treatment. The upper limit is the maximum pest density that one can expect to reduce to a level below the lower limit given the temperatures expected during the treatment period. When the actual pest density exceeds the upper limit, the product should not be recommended; or, a warning should be included indicating that acceptable control may not be achieved. PMID:19588256

  8. Revisiting the Iberian honey bee (Apis mellifera iberiensis) contact zone: maternal and genome-wide nuclear variations provide support for secondary contact from historical refugia.

    PubMed

    Chávez-Galarza, Julio; Henriques, Dora; Johnston, J Spencer; Carneiro, Miguel; Rufino, José; Patton, John C; Pinto, M Alice

    2015-06-01

    Dissecting diversity patterns of organisms endemic to Iberia has been truly challenging for a variety of taxa, and the Iberian honey bee is no exception. Surveys of genetic variation in the Iberian honey bee are among the most extensive for any honey bee subspecies. From these, differential and complex patterns of diversity have emerged, which have yet to be fully resolved. Here, we used a genome-wide data set of 309 neutrally tested single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), scattered across the 16 honey bee chromosomes, which were genotyped in 711 haploid males. These SNPs were analysed along with an intergenic locus of the mtDNA, to reveal historical patterns of population structure across the entire range of the Iberian honey bee. Overall, patterns of population structure inferred from nuclear loci by multiple clustering approaches and geographic cline analysis were consistent with two major clusters forming a well-defined cline that bisects Iberia along a northeastern-southwestern axis, a pattern that remarkably parallels that of the mtDNA. While a mechanism of primary intergradation or isolation by distance could explain the observed clinal variation, our results are more consistent with an alternative model of secondary contact between divergent populations previously isolated in glacial refugia, as proposed for a growing list of other Iberian taxa. Despite current intense honey bee management, human-mediated processes have seemingly played a minor role in shaping Iberian honey bee genetic structure. This study highlights the complexity of the Iberian honey bee patterns and reinforces the importance of Iberia as a reservoir of Apis mellifera diversity. PMID:25930679

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25849080

  10. A Virulent Strain of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) of Honeybees (Apis mellifera) Prevails after Varroa destructor-Mediated, or In Vitro, Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Ryabov, Eugene V.; Wood, Graham R.; Fannon, Jessica M.; Moore, Jonathan D.; Bull, James C.; Chandler, Dave; Mead, Andrew; Burroughs, Nigel; Evans, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The globally distributed ectoparasite Varroa destructor is a vector for viral pathogens of the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera), in particular the Iflavirus Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). In the absence of Varroa low levels DWV occur, generally causing asymptomatic infections. Conversely, Varroa-infested colonies show markedly elevated virus levels, increased overwintering colony losses, with impairment of pupal development and symptomatic workers. To determine whether changes in the virus population were due Varroa amplifying and introducing virulent virus strains and/or suppressing the host immune responses, we exposed Varroa-naïve larvae to oral and Varroa-transmitted DWV. We monitored virus levels and diversity in developing pupae and associated Varroa, the resulting RNAi response and transcriptome changes in the host. Exposed pupae were stratified by Varroa association (presence/absence) and virus levels (low/high) into three groups. Varroa-free pupae all exhibited low levels of a highly diverse DWV population, with those exposed per os (group NV) exhibiting changes in the population composition. Varroa-associated pupae exhibited either low levels of a diverse DWV population (group VL) or high levels of a near-clonal virulent variant of DWV (group VH). These groups and unexposed controls (C) could be also discriminated by principal component analysis of the transcriptome changes observed, which included several genes involved in development and the immune response. All Varroa tested contained a diverse replicating DWV population implying the virulent variant present in group VH, and predominating in RNA-seq analysis of temporally and geographically separate Varroa-infested colonies, was selected upon transmission from Varroa, a conclusion supported by direct injection of pupae in vitro with mixed virus populations. Identification of a virulent variant of DWV, the role of Varroa in its transmission and the resulting host transcriptome changes furthers our

  11. Minimizing the impact of the mosquito adulticide naled on honey bees, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae): aerial ultra-low-volume application using a high-pressure nozzle system.

    PubMed

    Zhong, He; Latham, Mark; Payne, Steve; Brock, Cate

    2004-02-01

    The impact of the mosquito adulticide naled on honey bees, Apis mellifera L., was evaluated by exposing test beehives to nighttime aerial ultra-low-volume (ULV) applications using a high-pressure nozzle system. The tests were conducted during routine mosquito control missions at Manatee County, Florida, in summer 2000. Two treatment sites were sprayed a total of four times over a 10-wk period. Honey bees, which clustered outside of the hive entrances, were subjected to naled exposure during these mosquito control sprays. The highest average naled ground deposition was 2,688 microg/m2 at the Port Manatee site, which resulted in statistically significant bee mortality (118) compared with the controls. At the Terra Ceia Road site, an intermediate level of naled deposition was found (1,435 microg/m2). For this spray mission, the range of dead bees per hive at Terra Ceia was 2 to 9 before spraying and 5 to 36 after naled application. Means of all other naled ground depositions were < 850 microl/m2. We concluded that substantial bee mortality (> 100 dead bees) resulted when naled residue levels were > 2,000 kg/m2 and honey bees were clustered outside of the hive entrances during mosquito adulticide applications. Compared with the flat-fan nozzle systems currently used by most of Florida's mosquito control programs, the high-pressure nozzle system used in this experiment substantially reduced environmental insecticide contamination and lead to decreased bee mortality. Statistical analysis also showed that average honey yield at the end of the season was not significantly reduced for those hives that were exposed to the insecticide. PMID:14998120

  12. Physicochemical attributes of Nigerian natural honey from honeybees (Apis mellifera adansonii) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and its shelf life in storage at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Fasasi, K A

    2012-11-01

    Nigerian honey competes globally in the world honey market. The physicochemical parameters of honey samples sourced from colonies of Apis mellifera adansonii were studied with the effect of storage-time over a period of two years. This was done by analyzing and evaluating eleven common physicochemical parameters including colour, moisture content, ash content, sugar content, acidity, pH value, hydroxymethylfurfural, diastase activity, nitrogen content, insoluble matter and viscosity of honey samples with the effect of storage-time on the physicochemical parameters using Association of Official Analytical Chemists methods. Most of the honey samples showed proper maturity considering the moisture content (17.9 +/- 2.0%). The total acidity (21.5 +/- 5.6 meq kg(-1)) indicated absence of undesirable fermentation after harvest and extraction. The Mean +/- SD pH value (3.9 +/- 0.2) of the honey samples was within acceptable standards of Economic European Community (EEC) and Codex. The ash content (0.4 +/- 0.2%) (0.2-0.6%) was slightly higher than 0-0.50% of EEC and Codex standards. The fructose and glucose mean values were 38.9 +/- 0.8% and 28.3 +/- 2.4%, respectively. The Mean +/- S.D value of hydroxymethylfurfural content (8.5 +/- 2.7 mg kg(-1)) was low, while the Mean +/- SD value of diastase activity was high depicting freshness. The evaluated physicochemical parameters of two years old honey samples exhibited no significant deviation (p > 0.05) from that of the fresh samples. This study showed that natural honey if properly harvested, extracted hygienically, preserved and stored can maintain their stability relatively for at least two years at room temperature without undue interference. PMID:24163945

  13. Microbial Ecology of the Hive and Pollination Landscape: Bacterial Associates from Floral Nectar, the Alimentary Tract and Stored Food of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Mott, Brendon M.; Maes, Patrick; Snyder, Lucy; Schwan, Melissa R.; Walton, Alexander; Jones, Beryl M.; Corby-Harris, Vanessa

    2013-01-01

    Nearly all eukaryotes are host to beneficial or benign bacteria in their gut lumen, either vertically inherited, or acquired from the environment. While bacteria core to the honey bee gut are becoming evident, the influence of the hive and pollination environment on honey bee microbial health is largely unexplored. Here we compare bacteria from floral nectar in the immediate pollination environment, different segments of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) alimentary tract, and food stored in the hive (honey and packed pollen or “beebread”). We used cultivation and sequencing to explore bacterial communities in all sample types, coupled with culture-independent analysis of beebread. We compare our results from the alimentary tract with both culture-dependent and culture-independent analyses from previous studies. Culturing the foregut (crop), midgut and hindgut with standard media produced many identical or highly similar 16S rDNA sequences found with 16S rDNA clone libraries and next generation sequencing of 16S rDNA amplicons. Despite extensive culturing with identical media, our results do not support the core crop bacterial community hypothesized by recent studies. We cultured a wide variety of bacterial strains from 6 of 7 phylogenetic groups considered core to the honey bee hindgut. Our results reveal that many bacteria prevalent in beebread and the crop are also found in floral nectar, suggesting frequent horizontal transmission. From beebread we uncovered a variety of bacterial phylotypes, including many possible pathogens and food spoilage organisms, and potentially beneficial bacteria including Lactobacillus kunkeei, Acetobacteraceae and many different groups of Actinobacteria. Contributions of these bacteria to colony health may include general hygiene, fungal and pathogen inhibition and beebread preservation. Our results are important for understanding the contribution to pollinator health of both environmentally vectored and core microbiota, and the

  14. Microbial ecology of the hive and pollination landscape: bacterial associates from floral nectar, the alimentary tract and stored food of honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Anderson, Kirk E; Sheehan, Timothy H; Mott, Brendon M; Maes, Patrick; Snyder, Lucy; Schwan, Melissa R; Walton, Alexander; Jones, Beryl M; Corby-Harris, Vanessa

    2013-01-01

    Nearly all eukaryotes are host to beneficial or benign bacteria in their gut lumen, either vertically inherited, or acquired from the environment. While bacteria core to the honey bee gut are becoming evident, the influence of the hive and pollination environment on honey bee microbial health is largely unexplored. Here we compare bacteria from floral nectar in the immediate pollination environment, different segments of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) alimentary tract, and food stored in the hive (honey and packed pollen or "beebread"). We used cultivation and sequencing to explore bacterial communities in all sample types, coupled with culture-independent analysis of beebread. We compare our results from the alimentary tract with both culture-dependent and culture-independent analyses from previous studies. Culturing the foregut (crop), midgut and hindgut with standard media produced many identical or highly similar 16S rDNA sequences found with 16S rDNA clone libraries and next generation sequencing of 16S rDNA amplicons. Despite extensive culturing with identical media, our results do not support the core crop bacterial community hypothesized by recent studies. We cultured a wide variety of bacterial strains from 6 of 7 phylogenetic groups considered core to the honey bee hindgut. Our results reveal that many bacteria prevalent in beebread and the crop are also found in floral nectar, suggesting frequent horizontal transmission. From beebread we uncovered a variety of bacterial phylotypes, including many possible pathogens and food spoilage organisms, and potentially beneficial bacteria including Lactobacillus kunkeei, Acetobacteraceae and many different groups of Actinobacteria. Contributions of these bacteria to colony health may include general hygiene, fungal and pathogen inhibition and beebread preservation. Our results are important for understanding the contribution to pollinator health of both environmentally vectored and core microbiota, and the

  15. Unique Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Hive Component-Based Communities as Detected by a Hybrid of Phospholipid Fatty-Acid and Fatty-Acid Methyl Ester Analyses

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25849080

  16. Conservation of honey bee (Apis mellifera) sperm phospholipids during storage in the bee queen--a TLC/MALDI-TOF MS study.

    PubMed

    Wegener, Jakob; Zschörnig, Kristin; Onischke, Kristin; Fuchs, Beate; Schiller, Jürgen; Müller, Karin

    2013-02-01

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is characterized by a high degree of phenotypic plasticity of senescence-related processes, and has therefore become a model organism of gerontological research. Sperm of honey bee drones can remain fertile for several years within the storage organ of queens. The reason for this longevity is unknown, but the suppression of lipid peroxidation seems to play a decisive role. Here, we examined the questions of whether spermatheca- and in vitro-stored honey bee sperm are indeed resistant to lipid peroxidation, and whether the nature of sperm lipids could explain this resistance. The lipid composition of bee sperm was determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) combined with thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The positive ion mass spectra of drone sperm lipids are dominated by two glycerophosphocholine (GPC) species, although small amounts of sphingomyelins (SM) and glycerophosphoethanolamines (GPE) are also detectable after TLC. Alkyl/acyl and alkenyl/acyl compounds of GPC, and alkyl/acyl as well as diacyl compounds of GPE were detected containing oleyl, oleoyl, palmityl and palmitoyl as the most abundant residues. Assignments of all compounds have been additionally verified by enzymatic digestion and exposition to HCl. During incubation of sperm in the presence of air, characteristic lipid oxidation products such as lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) appear. Inside the spermatheca, however, sperm lipids are obviously protected from oxidation and their composition does not change, even if they are stored over years. Our data support the view that the membrane composition of honey bee sperm could help to explain the extraordinary longevity of these cells. PMID:23279974

  17. Lactobacillus apis sp. nov., from the stomach of honeybees (Apis mellifera), having an in vitro inhibitory effect on the causative agents of American and European foulbrood.

    PubMed

    Killer, J; Dubná, S; Sedláček, I; Švec, P

    2014-01-01

    A taxonomic study was performed on Gram-stain-positive, catalase-negative and regular rod-shaped bacterial strains R4B(T) and R4C, isolated from the stomachs of honeybees. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed that the phylogenetic position of the novel strains was within the genus Lactobacillus; the highest sequence similarity to R4B(T) was shown by Lactobacillus acidophilus BCRC 10695(T) (93.6 %). Lower sequence similarities were found to other obligately homofermentative lactobacilli. A PCR-DGGE method could detect the sequence of the 16S rRNA gene of strain R4B(T) at different developmental stages of honeybees occurring in two different locations in the Czech Republic. The distinctiveness of the strains from other lactobacilli was also confirmed by analysis of sequences of other phylogenetic markers applicable to the taxonomy of the genus Lactobacillus, ribotyping and rep-PCR analysis. The DNA G+C content of strain R4B(T) was 41.3 mol%. The predominant cellular fatty acids of strain R4B(T) were C18 : 1ω9c, summed C19 : 1ω6c/C19 : 0 cyclo ω10c, C16 : 0, summed C18 : 1ω7c/C18 : 1ω6c and summed C16 : 1ω7c/C16 : 1ω6c. The major polar lipids of strain R4B(T) were glycolipids, lipids and phospholipids. Phenotypic and phylogenetic characteristics also confirmed the independent status of the strains at the species level. Interestingly, strain R4B(T) was able to inhibit growth in vitro of Paenibacillus larvae subsp. larvae (causal agent of American foulbrood in honeybees) and Melissococcus plutonius (causal agent of European foulbrood). The name Lactobacillus apis sp. nov. is proposed for this novel taxon; the type strain is R4B(T) ( = CCM 8403(T) = LMG 26964(T)). PMID:24096349

  18. Spatial distributions of inorganic elements in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and possible relationships to dietary habits and surrounding environmental pollutants.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tsing-Hai; Jian, Chia-Hung; Hsieh, Yi-Kong; Wang, Fu-Nien; Wang, Chu-Fang

    2013-05-29

    In this study, the laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was adopted to determine the distribution of inorganic elements, including Ca, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, S, P, Pb, and Zn, in honeybees (Apis melifera L.). Two features are particularly noteworthy. First, it was found there is a significant amount of Fe located at the fringe of the abdomen in worker bees; ultrasonic imaging, scanning electron microscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging revealed that it arose from magnetic Fe-bearing nanoparticles (NPs) having an average diameter of approximately 40 nm. Interestingly, only worker bees contained these magnetic Fe-bearing NPs; no similar features appeared in larvae, pupae, wasps, or drones. Second, a detectable amount of Pb accumulated particularly in the alimentary canals of worker bees. Again, no detectable amounts of Pb in larvae, pupae, drones, or wasps, yet a level of 0.24 ± 0.05 mg/kg of Pb in pollen; therefore, the diet appears to be the primary pathway for environmental pollutants entering the honeybees' food chain. PMID:23646931

  19. Taxonomic Characterization of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Pollen Foraging Based on Non-Overlapping Paired-End Sequencing of Nuclear Ribosomal Loci.

    PubMed

    Cornman, R Scott; Otto, Clint R V; Iwanowicz, Deborah; Pettis, Jeffery S

    2015-01-01

    Identifying plant taxa that honey bees (Apis mellifera) forage upon is of great apicultural interest, but traditional methods are labor intensive and may lack resolution. Here we evaluate a high-throughput genetic barcoding approach to characterize trap-collected pollen from multiple North Dakota apiaries across multiple years. We used the Illumina MiSeq platform to generate sequence scaffolds from non-overlapping 300-bp paired-end sequencing reads of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacers (ITS). Full-length sequence scaffolds represented ~530 bp of ITS sequence after adapter trimming, drawn from the 5' of ITS1 and the 3' of ITS2, while skipping the uninformative 5.8S region. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were picked from scaffolds clustered at 97% identity, searched by BLAST against the nt database, and given taxonomic assignments using the paired-read lowest common ancestor approach. Taxonomic assignments and quantitative patterns were consistent with known plant distributions, phenology, and observational reports of pollen foraging, but revealed an unexpected contribution from non-crop graminoids and wetland plants. The mean number of plant species assignments per sample was 23.0 (+/- 5.5) and the mean species diversity (effective number of equally abundant species) was 3.3 (+/- 1.2). Bray-Curtis similarities showed good agreement among samples from the same apiary and sampling date. Rarefaction plots indicated that fewer than 50,000 reads are typically needed to characterize pollen samples of this complexity. Our results show that a pre-compiled, curated reference database is not essential for genus-level assignments, but species-level assignments are hindered by database gaps, reference length variation, and probable errors in the taxonomic assignment, requiring post-hoc evaluation. Although the effective per-sample yield achieved using custom MiSeq amplicon primers was less than the machine maximum, primarily due to lower "read2" quality, further

  20. Molecular cloning and characterization of juvenile hormone acid methyltransferase in the honey bee, Apis mellifera, and its differential expression during caste differentiation.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenfeng; Huang, Zachary Y; Liu, Fang; Li, Zhiguo; Yan, Limin; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Shenglu; Zhong, Boxiong; Su, Songkun

    2013-01-01

    Juvenile hormone acid methyltransferase (JHAMT) is an enzyme involved in one of the final steps of juvenile hormone biosynthesis in insects. It transfers a methyl group from S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) to the carboxyl group of either farnesoic acid (FA) or JH acid (JHA). Several genes coding for JHAMT have been cloned and characterized from insects from different orders, and they have been shown to play critical roles in metamorphosis and reproduction. However, the significance of JHAMT in Hymenopteran insects is unknown. We used RACE amplification method to clone JHAMT cDNA from the honey bee, Apis mellifera (AmJHAMT). The full length cDNA of AmJHAMT that we cloned is 1253bp long and encodes a 278-aa protein that shares 32-36% identity with known JHAMTs. A SAM-binding motif, conserved in the SAM-dependent methyltransferase (SAM-MT) superfamily, is present in AmJHAMT. Its secondary structure also contains a typical SAM-MT fold. Most of the active sites bound with SAM and substrates (JHA or FA) are conserved in AmJHAMT as in other JHAMT orthologs. Phylogenetic analysis clustered AmJHAMT with the other orthologs from Hymenoptera to form a major clade in the phylogenetic tree. Purified recombinant AmJHAMT protein expressed in E. coli was used to produce polyclonal antibodies and to verify the identity of AmJHAMT by immunoblotting and mass spectrometry. Quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblotting analyses revealed that queen larvae contained significantly higher levels of AmJHAMT mRNA and protein than worker larvae during the periods of caste development. The temporal profiles of both AmJHAMT mRNA and protein in queens and workers showed a similar pattern as the JH biosynthesis. These results suggest that the gene that we cloned codes for a functional JHAMT that catalyzes the final reactions of JH biosynthesis in honey bees. In addition, AmJHAMT may play an important role in honey bee caste differentiation. PMID:23874662

  1. Taxonomic characterization of honey bee (Apis mellifera) pollen foraging based on non-overlapping paired-end sequencing of nuclear ribosomal loci

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cornman, Robert S.; Otto, Clint R.; Iwanowicz, Deborah; Pettis, Jeffery S

    2015-01-01

    Identifying plant taxa that honey bees (Apis mellifera) forage upon is of great apicultural interest, but traditional methods are labor intensive and may lack resolution. Here we evaluate a high-throughput genetic barcoding approach to characterize trap-collected pollen from multiple North Dakota apiaries across multiple years. We used the Illumina MiSeq platform to generate sequence scaffolds from non-overlapping 300-bp paired-end sequencing reads of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacers (ITS). Full-length sequence scaffolds represented ~530 bp of ITS sequence after adapter trimming, drawn from the 5’ of ITS1 and the 3’ of ITS2, while skipping the uninformative 5.8S region. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were picked from scaffolds clustered at 97% identity, searched by BLAST against the nt database, and given taxonomic assignments using the paired-read lowest common ancestor approach. Taxonomic assignments and quantitative patterns were consistent with known plant distributions, phenology, and observational reports of pollen foraging, but revealed an unexpected contribution from non-crop graminoids and wetland plants. The mean number of plant species assignments per sample was 23.0 (+/- 5.5) and the mean species diversity (effective number of equally abundant species) was 3.3 (+/- 1.2). Bray-Curtis similarities showed good agreement among samples from the same apiary and sampling date. Rarefaction plots indicated that fewer than 50,000 reads are typically needed to characterize pollen samples of this complexity. Our results show that a pre-compiled, curated reference database is not essential for genus-level assignments, but species-level assignments are hindered by database gaps, reference length variation, and probable errors in the taxonomic assignment, requiring post-hoc evaluation. Although the effective per-sample yield achieved using custom MiSeq amplicon primers was less than the machine maximum, primarily due to lower “read2” quality

  2. Molecular Cloning and Characterization of Juvenile Hormone Acid Methyltransferase in the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera, and Its Differential Expression during Caste Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wenfeng; Huang, Zachary Y.; Liu, Fang; Li, Zhiguo; Yan, Limin; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Shenglu; Zhong, Boxiong; Su, Songkun

    2013-01-01

    Juvenile hormone acid methyltransferase (JHAMT) is an enzyme involved in one of the final steps of juvenile hormone biosynthesis in insects. It transfers a methyl group from S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) to the carboxyl group of either farnesoic acid (FA) or JH acid (JHA). Several genes coding for JHAMT have been cloned and characterized from insects from different orders, and they have been shown to play critical roles in metamorphosis and reproduction. However, the significance of JHAMT in Hymenopteran insects is unknown. We used RACE amplification method to clone JHAMT cDNA from the honey bee, Apis mellifera (AmJHAMT). The full length cDNA of AmJHAMT that we cloned is 1253bp long and encodes a 278-aa protein that shares 32-36% identity with known JHAMTs. A SAM-binding motif, conserved in the SAM-dependent methyltransferase (SAM-MT) superfamily, is present in AmJHAMT. Its secondary structure also contains a typical SAM-MT fold. Most of the active sites bound with SAM and substrates (JHA or FA) are conserved in AmJHAMT as in other JHAMT orthologs. Phylogenetic analysis clustered AmJHAMT with the other orthologs from Hymenoptera to form a major clade in the phylogenetic tree. Purified recombinant AmJHAMT protein expressed in E. coli was used to produce polyclonal antibodies and to verify the identity of AmJHAMT by immunoblotting and mass spectrometry. Quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblotting analyses revealed that queen larvae contained significantly higher levels of AmJHAMT mRNA and protein than worker larvae during the periods of caste development. The temporal profiles of both AmJHAMT mRNA and protein in queens and workers showed a similar pattern as the JH biosynthesis. These results suggest that the gene that we cloned codes for a functional JHAMT that catalyzes the final reactions of JH biosynthesis in honey bees. In addition, AmJHAMT may play an important role in honey bee caste differentiation. PMID:23874662

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

    PubMed

    Giovenazzo, Pierre; Dubreuil, Pascal

    2011-09-01

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

  4. Analysis of the Differentiation of Kenyon Cell Subtypes Using Three Mushroom Body-Preferential Genes during Metamorphosis in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Suenami, Shota; Paul, Rajib Kumar; Takeuchi, Hideaki; Okude, Genta; Fujiyuki, Tomoko; Shirai, Kenichi; Kubo, Takeo

    2016-01-01

    The adult honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) mushroom bodies (MBs, a higher center in the insect brain) comprise four subtypes of intrinsic neurons: the class-I large-, middle-, and small-type Kenyon cells (lKCs, mKCs, and sKCs, respectively), and class-II KCs. Analysis of the differentiation of KC subtypes during metamorphosis is important for the better understanding of the roles of KC subtypes related to the honeybee behaviors. In the present study, aiming at identifying marker genes for KC subtypes, we used a cDNA microarray to comprehensively search for genes expressed in an MB-preferential manner in the honeybee brain. Among the 18 genes identified, we further analyzed three genes whose expression was enriched in the MBs: phospholipase C epsilon (PLCe), synaptotagmin 14 (Syt14), and discs large homolog 5 (dlg5). Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that expression of PLCe, Syt14, and dlg5 was more enriched in the MBs than in the other brain regions by approximately 31-, 6.8-, and 5.6-fold, respectively. In situ hybridization revealed that expression of both Syt14 and dlg5 was enriched in the lKCs but not in the mKCs and sKCs, whereas expression of PLCe was similar in all KC subtypes (the entire MBs) in the honeybee brain, suggesting that Syt14 and dlg5, and PLCe are available as marker genes for the lKCs, and all KC subtypes, respectively. In situ hybridization revealed that expression of PLCe is already detectable in the class-II KCs at the larval fifth instar feeding stage, indicating that PLCe expression is a characteristic common to the larval and adult MBs. In contrast, expression of both Syt14 and dlg5 became detectable at the day three pupa, indicating that Syt14 and dlg5 expressions are characteristic to the late pupal and adult MBs and the lKC specific molecular characteristics are established during the late pupal stages. PMID:27351839

  5. Analysis of the Differentiation of Kenyon Cell Subtypes Using Three Mushroom Body-Preferential Genes during Metamorphosis in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Okude, Genta; Fujiyuki, Tomoko; Shirai, Kenichi; Kubo, Takeo

    2016-01-01

    The adult honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) mushroom bodies (MBs, a higher center in the insect brain) comprise four subtypes of intrinsic neurons: the class-I large-, middle-, and small-type Kenyon cells (lKCs, mKCs, and sKCs, respectively), and class-II KCs. Analysis of the differentiation of KC subtypes during metamorphosis is important for the better understanding of the roles of KC subtypes related to the honeybee behaviors. In the present study, aiming at identifying marker genes for KC subtypes, we used a cDNA microarray to comprehensively search for genes expressed in an MB-preferential manner in the honeybee brain. Among the 18 genes identified, we further analyzed three genes whose expression was enriched in the MBs: phospholipase C epsilon (PLCe), synaptotagmin 14 (Syt14), and discs large homolog 5 (dlg5). Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that expression of PLCe, Syt14, and dlg5 was more enriched in the MBs than in the other brain regions by approximately 31-, 6.8-, and 5.6-fold, respectively. In situ hybridization revealed that expression of both Syt14 and dlg5 was enriched in the lKCs but not in the mKCs and sKCs, whereas expression of PLCe was similar in all KC subtypes (the entire MBs) in the honeybee brain, suggesting that Syt14 and dlg5, and PLCe are available as marker genes for the lKCs, and all KC subtypes, respectively. In situ hybridization revealed that expression of PLCe is already detectable in the class-II KCs at the larval fifth instar feeding stage, indicating that PLCe expression is a characteristic common to the larval and adult MBs. In contrast, expression of both Syt14 and dlg5 became detectable at the day three pupa, indicating that Syt14 and dlg5 expressions are characteristic to the late pupal and adult MBs and the lKC specific molecular characteristics are established during the late pupal stages. PMID:27351839

  6. Taxonomic Characterization of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Pollen Foraging Based on Non-Overlapping Paired-End Sequencing of Nuclear Ribosomal Loci

    PubMed Central

    Cornman, R. Scott; Otto, Clint R. V.; Iwanowicz, Deborah; Pettis, Jeffery S.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying plant taxa that honey bees (Apis mellifera) forage upon is of great apicultural interest, but traditional methods are labor intensive and may lack resolution. Here we evaluate a high-throughput genetic barcoding approach to characterize trap-collected pollen from multiple North Dakota apiaries across multiple years. We used the Illumina MiSeq platform to generate sequence scaffolds from non-overlapping 300-bp paired-end sequencing reads of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacers (ITS). Full-length sequence scaffolds represented ~530 bp of ITS sequence after adapter trimming, drawn from the 5’ of ITS1 and the 3’ of ITS2, while skipping the uninformative 5.8S region. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were picked from scaffolds clustered at 97% identity, searched by BLAST against the nt database, and given taxonomic assignments using the paired-read lowest common ancestor approach. Taxonomic assignments and quantitative patterns were consistent with known plant distributions, phenology, and observational reports of pollen foraging, but revealed an unexpected contribution from non-crop graminoids and wetland plants. The mean number of plant species assignments per sample was 23.0 (+/- 5.5) and the mean species diversity (effective number of equally abundant species) was 3.3 (+/- 1.2). Bray-Curtis similarities showed good agreement among samples from the same apiary and sampling date. Rarefaction plots indicated that fewer than 50,000 reads are typically needed to characterize pollen samples of this complexity. Our results show that a pre-compiled, curated reference database is not essential for genus-level assignments, but species-level assignments are hindered by database gaps, reference length variation, and probable errors in the taxonomic assignment, requiring post-hoc evaluation. Although the effective per-sample yield achieved using custom MiSeq amplicon primers was less than the machine maximum, primarily due to lower “read2” quality

  7. Rapid method for DNA extraction from the honey bee Apis mellifera and the parasitic bee mite Varroa destructor using lysis buffer and proteinase K.

    PubMed

    Issa, M R C; Figueiredo, V L C; De Jong, D; Sakamoto, C H; Simões, Z L P

    2013-01-01

    We developed a rapid method for extraction of DNA from honey bees, Apis mellifera, and from the parasitic bee mite, Varroa destructor. The advantages include fast processing and low toxicity of the substances that are utilized. We used lysis buffer with nonionic detergents to lyse cell walls and proteinase K to digest proteins. We tested whole thorax, thoracic muscle mass, legs, and antennae from individual bees; the mites were processed whole (1 mite/sample). Each thorax was incubated whole, without cutting, because exocuticle color pigment darkened the extraction solution, interfering with PCR results. The procedure was performed with autoclaved equipment and laboratory gloves. For each sample, we used 100 µL lysis buffer (2 mL stock solution of 0.5 M Tris/HCl, pH 8.5, 10 mL stock solution of 2 M KCl, 500 µL solution of 1 M MgCl2, 2 mL NP40, and 27.6 g sucrose, completed to 200 mL with bidistilled water and autoclaved) and 2 µL proteinase K (10 mg/mL in bidistilled water previously autoclaved, as proteinase K cannot be autoclaved). Tissues were incubated in the solutions for 1-2 h in a water bath (62°-68 °C) or overnight at 37 °C. After incubation, the tissues were removed from the extraction solution (lysis buffer + proteinase K) and the solution heated to 92 °C for 10 min, for proteinase K inactivation. Then, the solution with the extracted DNA was stored in a refrigerator (4°-8 °C) or a freezer (-20 °C). This method does not require centrifugation or phenol/chloroform extraction. The reduced number of steps allowed us to sample many individuals/day. Whole mites and bee antennae were the most rapidly processed. All bee tissues gave the same quality DNA. This method, even using a single bee antenna or a single mite, was adequate for extraction and analysis of bee genomic and mitochondrial DNA and mite genomic DNA. PMID:24301746

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  9. Evidence for damage-dependent hygienic behaviour towards Varroa destructor-parasitised brood in the western honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Schöning, Caspar; Gisder, Sebastian; Geiselhardt, Sven; Kretschmann, Ivonne; Bienefeld, Kaspar; Hilker, Monika; Genersch, Elke

    2012-01-15

    The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor and honey bee pathogenic viruses have been implicated in the recent demise of honey bee colonies. Several studies have shown that the combination of V. destructor and deformed wing virus (DWV) poses an especially serious threat to honey bee health. Mites transmitting virulent forms of DWV may cause fatal DWV infections in the developing bee, while pupae parasitised by mites not inducing or activating overt DWV infections may develop normally. Adult bees respond to brood diseases by removing affected brood. This hygienic behaviour is an essential part of the bees' immune response repertoire and is also shown towards mite-parasitised brood. However, it is still unclear whether the bees react towards the mite in the brood cell or rather towards the damage done to the brood. We hypothesised that the extent of mite-associated damage rather than the mere presence of parasitising mites triggers hygienic behaviour. Hygienic behaviour assays performed with mites differing in their potential to transmit overt DWV infections revealed that brood parasitised by 'virulent' mites (i.e. mites with a high potential to induce fatal DWV infections in parasitised pupae) were removed significantly more often than brood parasitised by 'less virulent' mites (i.e. mites with a very low potential to induce overt DWV infections) or non-parasitised brood. Chemical analyses of brood odour profiles suggested that the bees recognise severely affected brood by olfactory cues. Our results suggest that bees show selective, damage-dependent hygienic behaviour, which may be an economic way for colonies to cope with mite infestation. PMID:22189770

  10. A Pragmatic Approach to Assess the Exposure of the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) When Subjected to Pesticide Spray

    PubMed Central

    Poquet, Yannick; Bodin, Laurent; Tchamitchian, Marc; Fusellier, Marion; Giroud, Barbara; Lafay, Florent; Buleté, Audrey; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Cousin, Marianne; Pélissier, Michel; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Belzunces, Luc P.

    2014-01-01

    Plant protection spray treatments may expose non-target organisms to pesticides. In the pesticide registration procedure, the honey bee represents one of the non-target model species for which the risk posed by pesticides must be assessed on the basis of the hazard quotient (HQ). The HQ is defined as the ratio between environmental exposure and toxicity. For the honey bee, the HQ calculation is not consistent because it corresponds to the ratio between the pesticide field rate (in mass of pesticide/ha) and LD50 (in mass of pesticide/bee). Thus, in contrast to all other species, the HQ can only be interpreted empirically because it corresponds to a number of bees/ha. This type of HQ calculation is due to the difficulty in transforming pesticide field rates into doses to which bees are exposed. In this study, we used a pragmatic approach to determine the apparent exposure surface area of honey bees submitted to pesticide treatments by spraying with a Potter-type tower. The doses received by the bees were quantified by very efficient chemical analyses, which enabled us to determine an apparent surface area of 1.05 cm2/bee. The apparent surface area was used to calculate the exposure levels of bees submitted to pesticide sprays and then to revisit the HQ ratios with a calculation mode similar to that used for all other living species. X-tomography was used to assess the physical surface area of a bee, which was 3.27 cm2/bee, and showed that the apparent exposure surface was not overestimated. The control experiments showed that the toxicity induced by doses calculated with the exposure surface area was similar to that induced by treatments according to the European testing procedure. This new approach to measure risk is more accurate and could become a tool to aid the decision-making process in the risk assessment of pesticides. PMID:25412103

  11. Asymmetrical generalisation between pheromonal and floral odours in appetitive olfactory conditioning of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Sandoz, J C; Pham-Delègue, M H; Renou, M; Wadhams, L J

    2001-09-01

    The capacity to generalise between similar but not identical olfactory stimuli is crucial for honey bees, allowing them to find rewarding food sources with varying volatile emissions. We studied bees' generalisation behaviour with odours having different biological values: typical floral odours or alarm compounds. Bees' behavioural and peripheral electrophysiological responses were investigated using a combined proboscis extension response conditioning-electroantennogram assay. Bees were conditioned to pure linalool (floral) or to pure isoamyl acetate (alarm) and were tested with different concentrations of both compounds. Electrophysiological responses were not influenced by conditioning, suggesting that the learning of individual compounds does not rely on modulations of peripheral sensitivity. Behaviourally, generalisation responses of bees conditioned to the alarm compound were much higher than those of bees conditioned to the floral odour. We further demonstrated such asymmetrical generalisation between alarm and floral odours by using differential conditioning procedures. Conditioning to alarm compounds (isoamyl acetate or 2-heptanone) consistently induced more generalisation than conditioning to floral compounds (linalool or phenylacetaldehyde). Interestingly, generalisation between the two alarm compounds, which are otherwise chemically different, was extremely high. These results are discussed in relation to the neural representation of compounds with different biological significance for bees. PMID:11730303

  12. Proteome Analysis Unravels Mechanism Underling the Embryogenesis of the Honeybee Drone and Its Divergence with the Worker (Apis mellifera lingustica).

    PubMed

    Fang, Yu; Feng, Mao; Han, Bin; Qi, Yuping; Hu, Han; Fan, Pei; Huo, Xinmei; Meng, Lifeng; Li, Jianke

    2015-09-01

    The worker and drone bees each contain a separate diploid and haploid genetic makeup, respectively. Mechanisms regulating the embryogenesis of the drone and its mechanistic difference with the worker are still poorly understood. The proteomes of the two embryos at three time-points throughout development were analyzed by applying mass spectrometry-based proteomics. We identified 2788 and 2840 proteins in the worker and drone embryos, respectively. The age-dependent proteome driving the drone embryogenesis generally follows the worker's. The two embryos however evolve a distinct proteome setting to prime their respective embryogenesis. The strongly expressed proteins and pathways related to transcriptional-translational machinery and morphogenesis at 24 h drone embryo relative to the worker, illustrating the earlier occurrence of morphogenesis in the drone than worker. These morphogenesis differences remain through to the middle-late stage in the two embryos. The two embryos employ distinct antioxidant mechanisms coinciding with the temporal-difference organogenesis. The drone embryo's strongly expressed cytoskeletal proteins signify key roles to match its large body size. The RNAi induced knockdown of the ribosomal protein offers evidence for the functional investigation of gene regulating of honeybee embryogenesis. The data significantly expand novel regulatory mechanisms governing the embryogenesis, which is potentially important for honeybee and other insects. PMID:26260241

  13. Antibacterial Immune Competence of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Is Adapted to Different Life Stages and Environmental Risks

    PubMed Central

    Gätschenberger, Heike; Azzami, Klara; Tautz, Jürgen; Beier, Hildburg

    2013-01-01

    The development of all honey bee castes proceeds through three different life stages all of which encounter microbial infections to a various extent. We have examined the immune strength of honey bees across all developmental stages with emphasis on the temporal expression of cellular and humoral immune responses upon artificial challenge with viable Escherichia coli bacteria. We employed a broad array of methods to investigate defence strategies of infected individuals: (a) fate of bacteria in the haemocoel; (b) nodule formation and (c) induction of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Newly emerged adult worker bees and drones were able to activate efficiently all examined immune reactions. The number of viable bacteria circulating in the haemocoel of infected bees declined rapidly by more than two orders of magnitude within the first 4–6 h post-injection (p.i.), coinciding with the occurrence of melanised nodules. Antimicrobial activity, on the other hand, became detectable only after the initial bacterial clearance. These two temporal patterns of defence reactions very likely represent the constitutive cellular and the induced humoral immune response. A unique feature of honey bees is that a fraction of worker bees survives the winter season in a cluster mostly engaged in thermoregulation. We show here that the overall immune strength of winter bees matches that of young summer bees although nodulation reactions are not initiated at all. As expected, high doses of injected viable E.coli bacteria caused no mortality in larvae or adults of each age. However, drone and worker pupae succumbed to challenge with E.coli even at low doses, accompanied by a premature darkening of the pupal body. In contrast to larvae and adults, we observed no fast clearance of viable bacteria and no induction of AMPs but a rapid proliferation of E.coli bacteria in the haemocoel of bee pupae ultimately leading to their death. PMID:23799099

  14. Kinetics of oxygen consumption after a single flash of light in photoreceptors of the drone (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    1982-01-01

    The time course of the rate of oxygen consumption (QO2) after a single flash of light has been measured in 300-micrometers slices of drone retina at 22 degrees C. To measure delta QO2(t), the change in QO2 from its level in darkness, the transients of the partial pressure of O2 (PO2) were recorded with O2 microelectrodes simultaneously in two sites in the slice and delta QO2 was calculated by a computer using Fourier transforms. After a 40-ms flash of intense light, delta QO2, reached a peak of 40 microliters O2/g.min and then declined exponentially to the baseline with a time constant tau 1 = 4.96 +/- 0.49 s (SD, n = 10). The rising phase was characterized by a time constant tau 2 = 1.90 +/- 0.35 s (SD, n = 10). The peak amplitude of delta QO2 increased linearly with the log of the light intensity. Replacement of Na+ by choline, known to decrease greatly the light-induced transmembrane current, caused a 63% decrease of delta QO2. With these changes, however, the kinetics of delta QO2 (t) were unchanged. This suggest that the recovery phase is rate-limited by a single reaction with apparent first-order kinetics. Evidence is provided that suggests that this reaction may be the working of the sodium pump. Exposure of the retina to high concentrations of ouabain or strophanthidin (inhibitors of the sodium pump) reduced the peak amplitude of delta QO2 by approximately 80% and increased tau 1. The increase of tau 1 was an exponential function of the time of exposure to the cardioactive steroids. Hence, it seems likely that the greatest part of delta QO2 is used for the working of the pump, whose activity is the mechanism underlying the rate constant of the descending limb of delta QO2 (t). PMID:6288837

  15. Flight behavior and pheromone changes associated to Nosema ceranae infection of honey bee workers (Apis mellifera) in field conditions.

    PubMed

    Dussaubat, Claudia; Maisonnasse, Alban; Crauser, Didier; Beslay, Dominique; Costagliola, Guy; Soubeyrand, Samuel; Kretzchmar, André; Le Conte, Yves

    2013-05-01

    Parasites are known to cause the loss of individuals in social insects. In honey bee colonies the disappearance of foragers is a common factor of the wide extended colony losses. The emergent parasite of the European honey bee Nosema ceranae has been found to reduce homing and orientation skills and alter metabolism of forager bees. N. ceranae-infected bees also show changes in Ethyl Oleate (EO) levels, which is so far the only primer pheromone identified in workers that is involved in foraging behavior. Thus, we hypothesized that N. ceranae (i) modifies flight activity of honey bees and (ii) induces EO changes that can alter foraging behavior of nestmates. We compared flight activity of infected bees and non-infected bees in small colonies using an electronic optic bee counter during 28 days. We measured EO levels by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and spore-counts. Bee mortality was estimated at the end of the experiment. Infected bees showed precocious and a higher flight activity than healthy bees, which agreed with the more elevated EO titers of infected bees and reduced lifespan. Our results suggest that the higher EO levels of infected bees might delay the behavioral maturation of same age healthy bees, which might explain their lower level of activity. We propose that delayed behavioral maturation of healthy bees might be a protective response to infection, as healthy bees would be performing less risky tasks inside the hive, thus extending their lifespan. We also discuss the potential of increased flight activity of infected bees to reduce pathogen transmission inside the hive. Further research is needed to understand the consequences of host behavioral changes on pathogen transmission. This knowledge may contribute to enhance natural colony defense behaviors through beekeeping practices to reduce probability of colony losses. PMID:23352958

  16. Differences in long-term memory stability and AmCREB level between forward and backward conditioned honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Felsenberg, Johannes; Dyck, Yan; Feige, Janina; Ludwig, Jenny; Plath, Jenny Aino; Froese, Anja; Karrenbrock, Melanie; Nölle, Anna; Heufelder, Karin; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2015-01-01

    In classical conditioning a predictive relationship between a neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus; CS) and a meaningful stimulus (unconditioned stimulus; US) is learned when the CS precedes the US. In backward conditioning the sequence of the stimuli is reversed. In this situation animals might learn that the CS signals the end or the absence of the US. In honeybees 30 min and 24 h following backward conditioning a memory for the excitatory and inhibitory properties of the CS could be retrieved, but it remains unclear whether a late long-term memory is formed that can be retrieved 72 h following backward conditioning. Here we examine this question by studying late long-term memory formation in forward and backward conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER). We report a difference in the stability of memory formed upon forward and backward conditioning with the same number of conditioning trials. We demonstrate a transcription-dependent memory 72 h after forward conditioning but do not observe a 72 h memory after backward conditioning. Moreover we find that protein degradation is differentially involved in memory formation following these two conditioning protocols. We report differences in the level of a transcription factor, the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) known to induce transcription underlying long-term memory formation, following forward and backward conditioning. Our results suggest that these alterations in CREB levels might be regulated by the proteasome. We propose that the differences observed are due to the sequence of stimulus presentation between forward and backward conditioning and not to differences in the strength of the association of both stimuli. PMID:25964749

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

    PubMed

    Gätschenberger, Heike; Azzami, Klara; Tautz, Jürgen; Beier, Hildburg

    2013-01-01

    The development of all honey bee castes proceeds through three different life stages all of which encounter microbial infections to a various extent. We have examined the immune strength of honey bees across all developmental stages with emphasis on the temporal expression of cellular and humoral immune responses upon artificial challenge with viable Escherichia coli bacteria. We employed a broad array of methods to investigate defence strategies of infected individuals: (a) fate of bacteria in the haemocoel; (b) nodule formation and (c) induction of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Newly emerged adult worker bees and drones were able to activate efficiently all examined immune reactions. The number of viable bacteria circulating in the haemocoel of infected bees declined rapidly by more than two orders of magnitude within the first 4-6 h post-injection (p.i.), coinciding with the occurrence of melanised nodules. Antimicrobial activity, on the other hand, became detectable only after the initial bacterial clearance. These two temporal patterns of defence reactions very likely represent the constitutive cellular and the induced humoral immune response. A unique feature of honey bees is that a fraction of worker bees survives the winter season in a cluster mostly engaged in thermoregulation. We show here that the overall immune strength of winter bees matches that of young summer bees although nodulation reactions are not initiated at all. As expected, high doses of injected viable E.coli bacteria caused no mortality in larvae or adults of each age. However, drone and worker pupae succumbed to challenge with E.coli even at low doses, accompanied by a premature darkening of the pupal body. In contrast to larvae and adults, we observed no fast clearance of viable bacteria and no induction of AMPs but a rapid proliferation of E.coli bacteria in the haemocoel of bee pupae ultimately leading to their death. PMID:23799099

  18. Genes involved in thoracic exoskeleton formation during the pupal-to-adult molt in a social insect model, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The insect exoskeleton provides shape, waterproofing, and locomotion via attached somatic muscles. The exoskeleton is renewed during molting, a process regulated by ecdysteroid hormones. The holometabolous pupa transforms into an adult during the imaginal molt, when the epidermis synthe3sizes the definitive exoskeleton that then differentiates progressively. An important issue in insect development concerns how the exoskeletal regions are constructed to provide their morphological, physiological and mechanical functions. We used whole-genome oligonucleotide microarrays to screen for genes involved in exoskeletal formation in the honeybee thoracic dorsum. Our analysis included three sampling times during the pupal-to-adult molt, i.e., before, during and after the ecdysteroid-induced apolysis that triggers synthesis of the adult exoskeleton. Results Gene ontology annotation based on orthologous relationships with Drosophila melanogaster genes placed the honeybee differentially expressed genes (DEGs) into distinct categories of Biological Process and Molecular Function, depending on developmental time, revealing the functional elements required for adult exoskeleton formation. Of the 1,253 unique DEGs, 547 were upregulated in the thoracic dorsum after apolysis, suggesting induction by the ecdysteroid pulse. The upregulated gene set included 20 of the 47 cuticular protein (CP) genes that were previously identified in the honeybee genome, and three novel putative CP genes that do not belong to a known CP family. In situ hybridization showed that two of the novel genes were abundantly expressed in the epidermis during adult exoskeleton formation, strongly implicating them as genuine CP genes. Conserved sequence motifs identified the CP genes as members of the CPR, Tweedle, Apidermin, CPF, CPLCP1 and Analogous-to-Peritrophins families. Furthermore, 28 of the 36 muscle-related DEGs were upregulated during the de novo formation of striated fibers attached to the

  19. Nosema Ceranae is a long present and wide spread microsporidian infection of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) in the United States.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nosema is a serious disease of adult honey bees and a major threat to the beekeeping industry. To investigate the presence, distribution, and historical occurrence of two different Nosema species, N. apis and N. ceranae, in the United States, we examined bee samples collected between 1995 and 2007...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Lactobacillus apinorum sp. nov., Lactobacillus mellifer sp. nov., Lactobacillus mellis sp. nov., Lactobacillus melliventris sp. nov., Lactobacillus kimbladii sp. nov., Lactobacillus helsingborgensis sp. nov. and Lactobacillus kullabergensis sp. nov., isolated from the honey stomach of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Alsterfjord, Magnus; Nilson, Bo; Butler, Èile; Vásquez, Alejandra

    2014-01-01

    We previously discovered a symbiotic lactic acid bacterial (LAB) microbiota in the honey stomach of the honeybee Apis mellifera. The microbiota was composed of several phylotypes of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses and phenotypic and genetic characteristics revealed that the phylotypes isolated represent seven novel species. One grouped with Lactobacillus kunkeei and the others belong to the Lactobacillus buchneri and Lactobacillus delbrueckiisubgroups of Lactobacillus. We propose the names Lactobacillus apinorum sp. nov., Lactobacillus mellifer sp. nov., Lactobacillus mellis sp. nov., Lactobacillus melliventris sp. nov., Lactobacillus kimbladii sp. nov., Lactobacillus helsingborgensis sp. nov. and Lactobacillus kullabergensis sp. nov. for these novel species, with the respective type strains being Fhon13NT ( = DSM 26257T = CCUG 63287T), Bin4NT ( = DSM 26254T = CCUG 63291T), Hon2NT ( = DSM 26255T = CCUG 63289T), Hma8NT ( = DSM 26256T = CCUG 63629T), Hma2NT ( = DSM 26263T = CCUG 63633T), Bma5NT ( = DSM 26265T = CCUG 63301T) and Biut2NT ( = DSM 26262T = CCUG 63631T). PMID:24944337

  2. Use of an innovative T-tube maze assay and the proboscis extension response assay to assess sublethal effects of GM products and pesticides on learning capacity of the honey bee Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed Central

    Han, Peng; Lei, Chao-Liang; Cui, Jin-Jie; Desneux, Nicolas

    2010-01-01

    Transgenic Cry1Ac+CpTI cotton (CCRI41) is a promising cotton cultivar throughout China but side effects and especially sublethal effects of this transgenic cultivar on beneficial insects remain poorly studied. More specifically potential sublethal effects on behavioural traits of the honey bee Apis mellifera L. have not been formally assessed despite the importance of honey bees for pollination. The goal of our study was to assess potential effects of CCRI41 cotton pollen on visual and olfactory learning by honey bees. After a 7-day oral chronic exposure to honey mixed with either CCRI41 pollen, imidacloprid-treated conventional pollen (used as positive sublethal control) or conventional pollen (control), learning performance was evaluated by the classical proboscis extension reflex (PER) procedure as well as a T-tube maze test. The latter assay was designed as a new device to assess potential side effects of pesticides on visual associative learning of honey bees. These two procedures were complementary because the former focused on olfactory learning while the latter was involved in visual learning based on visual orientation ability. Oral exposure to CCRI41 pollen did not affect learning capacities of honey bees in both the T-tube maze and PER tests. However, exposure to imidacloprid resulted in reduced visual learning capacities in T-tube maze evaluation and decreased olfactory learning performances measured with PER. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of risks of transgenic CCRI41 cotton crops for honey bees. PMID:20872243

  3. Whole-genome scan in thelytokous-laying workers of the Cape honeybee (Apis mellifera capensis): central fusion, reduced recombination rates and centromere mapping using half-tetrad analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Baudry, Emmanuelle; Kryger, Per; Allsopp, Mike; Koeniger, Nikolaus; Vautrin, Dominique; Mougel, Florence; Cornuet, Jean-Marie; Solignac, Michel

    2004-01-01

    While workers of almost all subspecies of honeybee are able to lay only haploid male eggs, Apis mellifera capensis workers are able to produce diploid female eggs by thelytokous parthenogenesis. Cytological analyses have shown that during parthenogenesis, egg diploidy is restored by fusion of the two central meiotic products. This peculiarity of the Cape bee preserves two products of a single meiosis in the daughters and can be used to map centromere positions using half-tetrad analysis. In this study, we use the thelytokous progenies of A. m. capensis workers and a sample of individuals from a naturally occurring A. m. capensis thelytokous clone to map centromere position for most of the linkage groups of the honeybee. We also show that the recombination rate is reduced by >10-fold during the meiosis of A. m. capensis workers. This reduction is restricted to thelytokous parthenogenesis of capensis workers and is not observed in the meiosis of queen within the same subspecies or in arrhenotokous workers of another subspecies. The reduced rate of recombination seems to be associated with negative crossover interference. These results are discussed in relation to evolution of thelytokous parthenogenesis and maintenance of heterozygosity and female sex after thelytoky. PMID:15166151

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Characteristics of the nuclear (18S, 5.8S, 28S and 5S) and mitochondrial (12S and 16S) rRNA genes of Apis mellifera (Insecta: Hymenoptera): structure, organization, and retrotransposable elements

    PubMed Central

    Gillespie, J J; Johnston, J S; Cannone, J J; Gutell, R R

    2006-01-01

    As an accompanying manuscript to the release of the honey bee genome, we report the entire sequence of the nuclear (18S, 5.8S, 28S and 5S) and mitochondrial (12S and 16S) ribosomal RNA (rRNA)-encoding gene sequences (rDNA) and related internally and externally transcribed spacer regions of Apis mellifera (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apocrita). Additionally, we predict secondary structures for the mature rRNA molecules based on comparative sequence analyses with other arthropod taxa and reference to recently published crystal structures of the ribosome. In general, the structures of honey bee rRNAs are in agreement with previously predicted rRNA models from other arthropods in core regions of the rRNA, with little additional expansion in non-conserved regions. Our multiple sequence alignments are made available on several public databases and provide a preliminary establishment of a global structural model of all rRNAs from the insects. Additionally, we provide conserved stretches of sequences flanking the rDNA cistrons that comprise the externally transcribed spacer regions (ETS) and part of the intergenic spacer region (IGS), including several repetitive motifs. Finally, we report the occurrence of retrotransposition in the nuclear large subunit rDNA, as R2 elements are present in the usual insertion points found in other arthropods. Interestingly, functional R1 elements usually present in the genomes of insects were not detected in the honey bee rRNA genes. The reverse transcriptase products of the R2 elements are deduced from their putative open reading frames and structurally aligned with those from another hymenopteran insect, the jewel wasp Nasonia (Pteromalidae). Stretches of conserved amino acids shared between Apis and Nasonia are illustrated and serve as potential sites for primer design, as target amplicons within these R2 elements may serve as novel phylogenetic markers for Hymenoptera. Given the impending completion of the sequencing of the Nasonia genome

  6. Variable induction of vitellogenin genes in the varroa mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman) by the honeybee, Apis mellifera L, host and its environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transcript levels of vitellogenins (Vgs) in the varroa mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman) were variably induced by interactions between the developing honeybee as a food source and the capped honeybee cell environment. Transcripts for 2 Vgs of varroa mites were sequenced and putative Vg pr...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nosema ceranae infection is ubiquitous in western honey bees, Apis mellifera. In the US, displacement of N. apis in bee colonies suggests that N. ceranae has competitive advantages. Our study, however, showed that N. ceranae was significantly less infective and less virulent than N. apis in commerc...

  8. Increased Tolerance and Resistance to Virus Infections: A Possible Factor in the Survival of Varroa destructor-Resistant Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has a world-wide distribution and inflicts more damage than all other known apicultural diseases. However, Varroa-induced colony mortality is more accurately a result of secondary virus infections vectored by the mite. This means that honey bee resistance to Varroa may include resistance or tolerance to virus infections. The aim of this study was to see if this is the case for a unique population of mite-resistant (MR) European honey bees on the island of Gotland, Sweden. This population has survived uncontrolled mite infestation for over a decade, developing specific mite-related resistance traits to do so. Using RT-qPCR techniques, we monitored late season virus infections, Varroa mite infestation and honey bee colony population dynamics in the Gotland MR population and compared this to mite-susceptible (MS) colonies in a close by apiary. From summer to autumn the deformed wing virus (DWV) titres increased similarly between the MR and MS populations, while the black queen cell virus (BQCV) and sacbrood virus (SBV) titres decreased substantially in the MR population compared to the MS population by several orders of magnitude. The MR colonies all survived the following winter with high mite infestation, high DWV infection, small colony size and low proportions of autumn brood, while the MS colonies all perished. Possible explanations for these changes in virus titres and their relevance to Varroa resistance and colony winter survival are discussed. PMID:24926792

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    Worker honey bees change roles as they age as part of a hormonally regulated process of behavioural development that ends with a specialised foraging phase. The rate of behavioural development is highly plastic and responsive to changes in colony condition such that forager losses, disease or nutritional stresses accelerate behavioural development and cause an early onset of foraging in workers. It is not clear to what degree the behavioural development of workers can be accelerated without there being a cost in terms of reduced foraging performance. Here, we compared the foraging performance of bees induced to accelerate their behavioural development by treatment with the juvenile hormone analogue methoprene with that of controls that developed at a normal rate. Methoprene treatment accelerated the onset of both flight and foraging behaviour in workers, but it also reduced foraging span, the total time spent foraging and the number of completed foraging trips. Methoprene treatment did not alter performance in a short-range navigation task, however. These data indicate a limitation to the physiological plasticity of bees, and a trade off between forager performance and the speed at which bees begin foraging. Chronic stressors will be expected to reduce the mean age of the foraging force, and therefore also reduce the efficiency of the foraging force. This interaction may explain why honey bee colonies react to sustained stressors with non-linear population decline. PMID:25883376

  10. Identification of a juvenile hormone esterase-like gene in the honey bee, Apis mellifera L.--expression analysis and functional assays.

    PubMed

    Mackert, Aline; do Nascimento, Adriana Mendes; Bitondi, Márcia Maria Gentile; Hartfelder, Klaus; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino

    2008-05-01

    Tight control over circulating juvenile hormone (JH) levels is of prime importance in an insect's life cycle. Consequently, enzymes involved in JH metabolism, especially juvenile hormone esterases (JHEs), play major roles during metamorphosis and reproduction. In the highly eusocial Hymenoptera, JH has been co-opted into additional functions, primarily in the development of the queen and worker castes and in age-related behavioral development of workers. Within a set of 21 carboxylesterases predicted in the honey bee genome we identified one gene (Amjhe-like) that contained the main functional motifs of insect JHEs. Its transcript levels during larval development showed a maximum at the switch from feeding to spinning behavior, coinciding with a JH titer minimum. In adult workers, the highest levels were observed in nurse bees, where a low JH titer is required to prevent the switch to foraging. Functional assays showed that Amjhe-like expression is induced by JH-III and suppressed by 20-hydroxyecdysone. RNAi-mediated silencing of Amjhe-like gene function resulted in a six-fold increase in the JH titer in adult worker bees. The temporal profile of Amjhe-like expression in larval and adult workers, the pattern of hormonal regulation and the knockdown phenotype are consistent with the function of this gene as an authentic JHE. PMID:18308604

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

    PubMed

    Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2006-09-01

    The primordial functional role of honey bee males (drones) is to mate with virgin queens, a behaviour relying heavily on the olfactory detection of queen pheromone. In the present work I studied olfactory processing in the drone antennal lobe (AL), the primary olfactory centre of the insect brain. In drones, the AL consists of about 103 ordinary glomeruli and four enlarged glomeruli, the macroglomeruli (MG). Two macroglomeruli (MG1 and MG2) and approximately 20 ordinary glomeruli occupy the anterior surface of the antennal lobe and are thus accessible to optical recordings. Calcium imaging was used to measure odour-evoked responses to queen pheromonal components and plant odours. MG2 responded specifically to the main component of the queen mandibular pheromone, 9-ODA. The secondary components HOB and HVA each triggered activity in one, but not the same, ordinary glomerulus. MG1 did not respond to any of the tested stimuli. Plant odours induced signals only in ordinary glomeruli in a combinatorial manner, as in workers. This study thus shows that the major queen pheromonal component is processed in the most voluminous macroglomerulus of the drone antennal lobe, and that plant odours, as well as some queen pheromonal components, are processed in ordinary glomeruli. PMID:16943499

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has a world-wide distribution and inflicts more damage than all other known apicultural diseases. However, Varroa-induced colony mortality is more accurately a result of secondary virus infections vectored by the mite. This means that honey bee resistance to Varroa may include resistance or tolerance to virus infections. The aim of this study was to see if this is the case for a unique population of mite-resistant (MR) European honey bees on the island of Gotland, Sweden. This population has survived uncontrolled mite infestation for over a decade, developing specific mite-related resistance traits to do so. Using RT-qPCR techniques, we monitored late season virus infections, Varroa mite infestation and honey bee colony population dynamics in the Gotland MR population and compared this to mite-susceptible (MS) colonies in a close by apiary. From summer to autumn the deformed wing virus (DWV) titres increased similarly between the MR and MS populations, while the black queen cell virus (BQCV) and sacbrood virus (SBV) titres decreased substantially in the MR population compared to the MS population by several orders of magnitude. The MR colonies all survived the following winter with high mite infestation, high DWV infection, small colony size and low proportions of autumn brood, while the MS colonies all perished. Possible explanations for these changes in virus titres and their relevance to Varroa resistance and colony winter survival are discussed. PMID:24926792

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Acute ethanol administration is associated with sedation and analgesia as well as behavioral disinhibition and memory loss but the mechanisms underlying these effects remain to be elucidated. During the past decade, insects have emerged as important model systems to understand the neural and genetic bases of alcohol effects. However, novel assays to assess ethanol's effects on complex behaviors in social or isolated contexts are necessary. Here we used the honey bee as an especially relevant model system since bees are typically exposed to ethanol in nature when collecting standing nectar crop of flowers, and there is recent evidence for independent biological significance of this exposure for social behavior. Bee's inhibitory control of the sting extension response (SER) and a conditioned-place aversion assay were used to study ethanol effects on analgesia, behavioral disinhibition, and associative learning. Our findings indicate that although ethanol, in a dose-dependent manner, increases SER thresholds (analgesic effects), it disrupts the ability of honey bees to inhibit SER and to associate aversive stimuli with their environment. These results suggest that ethanol's effects on analgesia, behavioral disinhibition and associative learning are common across vertebrates and invertebrates. These results add to the use of honey bees as an ethanol model to understand ethanol's effects on complex, socially relevant behaviors. PMID:24988309

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Acute ethanol administration is associated with sedation and analgesia as well as behavioral disinhibition and memory loss but the mechanisms underlying these effects remain to be elucidated. During the past decade, insects have emerged as important model systems to understand the neural and genetic bases of alcohol effects. However, novel assays to assess ethanol's effects on complex behaviors in social or isolated contexts are necessary. Here we used the honey bee as an especially relevant model system since bees are typically exposed to ethanol in nature when collecting standing nectar crop of flowers, and there is recent evidence for independent biological significance of this exposure for social behavior. Bee's inhibitory control of the sting extension response (SER) and a conditioned-place aversion assay were used to study ethanol effects on analgesia, behavioral disinhibition, and associative learning. Our findings indicate that although ethanol, in a dose-dependent manner, increases SER thresholds (analgesic effects), it disrupts the ability of honey bees to inhibit SER and to associate aversive stimuli with their environment. These results suggest that ethanol's effects on analgesia, behavioral disinhibition and associative learning are common across vertebrates and invertebrates. These results add to the use of honey bees as an ethanol model to understand ethanol's effects on complex, socially relevant behaviors. PMID:24988309

  15. Differential viral levels and immune gene expression in three stocks of Apis mellifera induced by different numbers of Varroa destructor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The viral levels and immune responses of Italian honey bees (IHB), Russian honey bees (RHB) and an outcross of Varroa Sensitive Hygienic bees (POL) deliberately infested with one or two foundress Varroa were compared. We found that the viral load in POL inoculated with one or two foundress Varroa in...

  16. Pollination Research Methods with Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter describes field and lab procedures for doing experiments on honey bee pollination. Most of the methods apply to any insect for whom pollen vectoring capacity is the question. What makes honey bee pollination distinctive is its historic emphasis on agricultural applications; hence one fi...

  17. Seminal fluid of honeybees contains multiple mechanisms to combat infections of the sexually transmitted pathogen Nosema apis.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yan; Grassl, Julia; Millar, A Harvey; Baer, Boris

    2016-01-27

    The societies of ants, bees and wasps are genetically closed systems where queens only mate during a brief mating episode prior to their eusocial life and males therefore provide queens with a lifetime supply of high-quality sperm. These ejaculates also contain a number of defence proteins that have been detected in the seminal fluid but their function and efficiency have never been investigated in great detail. Here, we used the honeybee Apis mellifera and quantified whether seminal fluid is able to combat infections of the fungal pathogen Nosema apis, a widespread honeybee parasite that is also sexually transmitted. We provide the first empirical evidence that seminal fluid has a remarkable antimicrobial activity against N. apis spores and that antimicrobial seminal fluid components kill spores in multiple ways. The protein fraction of seminal fluid induces extracellular spore germination, which disrupts the life cycle of N. apis, whereas the non-protein fraction of seminal fluid induces a direct viability loss of intact spores. We conclude that males provide their ejaculates with efficient antimicrobial molecules that are able to kill N. apis spores and thereby reduce the risk of disease transmission during mating. Our findings could be of broader significance to master honeybee diseases in managed honeybee stock in the future. PMID:26791609

  18. In-situ investigation of humidity-induced changes on human hair and antennae of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., by scanning force microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Resch, R.; Ehn, R.; Tichy, H.; Friedbacher, G.

    Atomic force microscopy has already proven its large potential for in-situ investigation of a wide variety of materials under ambient conditions. In the present work our methodological developments have been utilized for in-situ studies of morphological changes on biological material under atmospheres of defined humidity. The observed changes have been evaluated on a quantitative basis through calculation of the correlation between images taken under different conditions. By using female hair as a well-known model sample it could be shown that expansions in the order of 1% or less are accessible. The analytical figures of merit will be discussed. The described technique has also been applied to study hygroreceptors of the honey bee. The promising potential of the method for studying the mechanism of humidity transduction of such organs will be addressed, too.

  19. RNAi-induced phenotypes suggest a novel role for a chemosensory protein CSP5 in the development of embryonic integument in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Maleszka, J; Forêt, S; Saint, R; Maleszka, R

    2007-03-01

    Small chemosensory proteins (CSPs) belong to a conserved, but poorly understood, protein family found in insects and other arthropods. They exhibit both broad and restricted expression patterns during development. In this paper, we used a combination of genome annotation, transcriptional profiling and RNA interference to unravel the functional significance of a honeybee gene (csp5) belonging to the CSP family. We show that csp5 expression resembles the maternal-zygotic pattern that is characterized by the initiation of transcription in the ovary and the replacement of maternal mRNA with embryonic mRNA. Blocking the embryonic expression of csp5 with double-stranded RNA causes abnormalities in all body parts where csp5 is highly expressed. The treated embryos show a "diffuse", often grotesque morphology, and the head skeleton appears to be severely affected. They are 'unable-to-hatch' and cannot progress to the larval stages. Our findings reveal a novel, essential role for this gene family and suggest that csp5 (unable-to-hatch) is an ectodermal gene involved in embryonic integument formation. Our study confirms the utility of an RNAi approach to functional characterization of novel developmental genes uncovered by the honeybee genome project and provides a starting point for further studies on embryonic integument formation in this insect. PMID:17216269

  20. Mechanism of biological effects observed in honey bees (Apis mellifera, L. ) hived under extra-high-voltage transmission lines: implications derived from bee exposure to simulated intense electric fields and shocks

    SciTech Connect

    Bindokas, V.P.; Gauger, J.R.; Greenberg, B.

    1988-01-01

    This work explores mechanisms for disturbance of honey bee colonies under a 765 kV, 60-Hz transmission line (electric (E) field = 7 kV/m) observed in previous studies. Proposed mechanisms fell into two categories: direct bee perception of enhanced in-hive E fields and perception of shock from induced currents. The adverse biological effects could be reproduced in simulations where only the worker bees were exposed to shock or to E field in elongated hive entranceways (= tunnels). We now report the results of full-scale experiments using the tunnel exposure scheme, which assesses the contribution of shock and intense E field to colony disturbance. Exposure of worker bees (1400 h) to 60-Hz E fields including 100 kV/m under moisture-free conditions within a nonconductive tunnel causes no deleterious affect on colony behavior. Exposure of bees in conductive (e.g., wet) tunnels produces bee disturbance, increased mortality, abnormal propolization, and possible impairment of colony growth. We propose that this substrate dependence of bee disturbance is the result of perception of shock from coupled body currents and enhanced current densities postulated to exist in the legs and thorax of bees on conductors. Similarly, disturbance occurs when bees are exposed to step-potential-induced currents. At 275-350 nA single bees are disturbed; at 600 nA bees begin abnormal propolization behavior; and stinging occurs at 900 nA. We conclude that biological effects seen in bee colonies under a transmission line are primarily the result of electric shock from induced hive currents. This evaluation is based on the limited effects of E-field exposure in tunnels, the observed disturbance thresholds caused by shocks in tunnels, and the ability of hives exposed under a transmission line to source currents 100-1,000 times the shock thresholds.

  1. Associated particle imaging (API)

    SciTech Connect

    1998-05-01

    Associated Particle Imaging (API) is an active neutron probe technique that provides a 3-D image with elemental composition of the material under interrogation, and so occupies a unique niche in the interrogation of unknown objects. The highly penetrating nature of neutrons enables API to provide detailed information about targets of interest that are hidden from view. Due to the isotropic nature of the induced reactions, radiation detectors can be set on the same side of the object as the neutron source, so that the object can be interrogated from a single side. At the heat of the system is a small generator that produces a continuous, monoenergetic flux of neutrons. By measuring the trajectory of coincident alpha particles that are produced as part of the process, the trajectory of the neutron can be inferred. Interactions between a neutron and the material in its path often produce a gamma ray whose energy is characteristic of that material. When the gamma ray is detected, its energy is measured and combined with the trajectory information to produce a 3-D image of the composition of the object being interrogated. During the course of API development, a number of improvements have been made. A new, more rugged sealed Tube Neutron Generator (STNG) has been designed and fabricated that is less susceptible to radiation damage and better able to withstand the rigors of fielding than earlier designs. A specialized high-voltage power supply for the STNG has also been designed and built. A complete package of software has been written for the tasks of system calibration, diagnostics and data acquisition and analysis. A portable system has been built and field tested, proving that API can be taken out of the lab and into real-world situations, and that its performance in the field is equal to that in the lab.

  2. DyninstAPI Patches

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2012-04-01

    We are seeking a code review of patches against DyninstAPI 8.0. DyninstAPI is an open source binary instrumentation library from the University of Wisconsin and University of Maryland. Our patches port DyninstAPI to the BlueGene/P and BlueGene/Q systems, as well as fix DyninstAPI bugs and implement minor new features in DyninstAPI.

  3. PROTEINS OF THE INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM OF THE HONEYBEE, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Micas, André Fernando Ditondo; Ferreira, Germano Aguiar; Laure, Helen Julie; Rosa, José Cesar; Bitondi, Márcia Maria Gentile

    2016-09-01

    The integument of insects and other arthropods is composed of an inner basal lamina coated by the epidermis, which secretes the bulk of the outer integument layer, the cuticle. The genome sequencing of several insect species has allowed predicting classes of proteins integrating the cuticle. However, only a small proportion of them, as well as other proteins in the integumentary system, have been validated. Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry, we identified 45 different proteins in a total of 112 selected gel spots derived from thoracic integument samples of developing honeybee workers, including 14 cuticular proteins (AmelCPR 3, AmelCPR 12, AmelCPR 16, AmelCPR 27, apidermin 2, apidermin 3, endocuticle structural glycoprotein SgAbd-8-like, LOC100577363, LOC408365, LOC413679, LOC725454, LOC100576916, LOC725838, and peritrophin 3-C analogous). Gene ontology functional analysis revealed that the higher proportions of the identified proteins have molecular functions related to catalytic and structural molecule activities, are involved in metabolic biological processes, and pertain to the protein class of structural or cytoskeletal proteins and hydrolases. It is noteworthy that 26.7% of the identified proteins, including five cuticular proteins, were revealed as protein species resulting from allelic isoforms or derived from posttranslational modifications. Also, 66.7% of the identified cuticular proteins were expressed in more than one developmental phase, thus indicating that they are part of the larval, pupal, and adult cuticle. Our data provide experimental support for predicted honeybee gene products and new information on proteins expressed in the developing integument. PMID:27160491

  4. Standard methodologies for virus research in Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The international research network COLOSS (Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes) was established to coordinate efforts towards improving the health of western honey bee at the global level. The COLOSS BEEBOOK contains a collection of chapters intended to standardized methodologies for monitoring ...

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:9272679

  6. Do honeybees, Apis mellifera scutellata, regulate humidity in their nest?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Human, Hannelie; Nicolson, Sue W.; Dietemann, Vincent

    2006-08-01

    Honeybees are highly efficient at regulating the biophysical parameters of their hive according to colony needs. Thermoregulation has been the most extensively studied aspect of nest homeostasis. In contrast, little is known about how humidity is regulated in beehives, if at all. Although high humidity is necessary for brood development, regulation of this parameter by honeybee workers has not yet been demonstrated. In the past, humidity was measured too crudely for a regulation mechanism to be identified. We reassess this issue, using miniaturised data loggers that allow humidity measurements in natural situations and at several places in the nest. We present evidence that workers influence humidity in the hive. However, there are constraints on potential regulation mechanisms because humidity optima may vary in different locations of the nest. Humidity could also depend on variable external factors, such as water availability, which further impair the regulation. Moreover, there are trade-offs with the regulation of temperature and respiratory gas exchanges that can disrupt the establishment of optimal humidity levels. As a result, we argue that workers can only adjust humidity within sub-optimal limits.

  7. Conditioning procedure and color discrimination in the honeybee Apis mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giurfa, Martin

    We studied the influence of the conditioning procedure on color discrimination by free-flying honeybees. We asked whether absolute and differential conditioning result in different discrimination capabilities for the same pairs of colored targets. In absolute conditioning, bees were rewarded on a single color; in differential conditioning, bees were rewarded on the same color but an alternative, non-rewarding, similar color was also visible. In both conditioning procedures, bees learned their respective task and could also discriminate the training stimulus from a novel stimulus that was perceptually different from the trained one. Discrimination between perceptually closer stimuli was possible after differential conditioning but not after absolute conditioning. Differences in attention inculcated by these training procedures may underlie the different discrimination performances of the bees.

  8. A Mathematical Model for the Bee Hive of Apis Mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonioni, Alberto; Bellom, Fabio Enrici; Montabone, Andrea; Venturino, Ezio

    2010-09-01

    In this work we introduce and discuss a model for the bee hive, in which only adult bees and drones are modeled. The role that the latter have in the system is interesting, their population can retrieve even if they are totally absent from the bee hive. The feasibility and stability of the equilibria is studied numerically. A simplified version of the model shows the importance of the drones' role, in spite of the fact that it allows only a trivial equilibrium. For this simplified system, no Hopf bifurcations are shown to arise.

  9. The Bacterial Communities Associated with Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Foragers

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee is a key pollinator species in decline worldwide. As part of a commercial operation, bee colonies are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of individuals and the hive. While many recent studies support the idea of a core microbiota in guts of younger in-hive bees, it is unknown whether this core is present in forager bees or the pollen they carry back to the hive. Additionally, several studies hypothesize that the foregut (crop), a key interface between the pollination environment and hive food stores, contains a set of 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that inoculate collected pollen and act in synergy to preserve pollen stores. Here, we used a combination of 454 based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial communities of forager guts, crops, and corbicular pollen and crop plate counts to show that (1) despite a very different diet, forager guts contain a core microbiota similar to that found in younger bees, (2) corbicular pollen contains a diverse community dominated by hive-specific, environmental or phyllosphere bacteria that are not prevalent in the gut or crop, and (3) the 13 LAB found in culture-based studies are not specific to the crop but are a small subset of midgut or hindgut specific bacteria identified in many recent 454 amplicon-based studies. The crop is dominated by Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae), highly osmotolerant and acid resistant bacteria found in stored pollen and honey. Crop taxa at low abundance include core hindgut bacteria in transit to their primary niche, and potential pathogens or food spoilage organisms seemingly vectored from the pollination environment. We conclude that the crop microbial environment is influenced by worker task, and may function in both decontamination and inoculation. PMID:24740297

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  11. Relational learning in honeybees (Apis mellifera): Oddity and nonoddity discrimination.

    PubMed

    Muszynski, Nicole M; Couvillon, P A

    2015-06-01

    Honeybee learning is surprisingly similar to vertebrate learning and one implication is that the basic associative learning principles are also similar. This research extends the work to more complex cognitive phenomena. Forager bees were trained individually to visit a laboratory window for sucrose. On each training trial for all experiments, bees found three stimuli, two identical and one different. In Experiments 1 and 2, stimuli were three-dimensional two-color patterns, and in Experiments 3 and 4, stimuli were two-color patterns displayed on a computer monitor. Training was trial-unique, that is, a different triad of stimuli was presented on each trial. In Experiments 1 and 3, choice of odd was rewarded and choice of nonodd was punished. In Experiments 2 and 4, choice of nonodd was rewarded and choice of odd was punished. On every trial, the initial choice was recorded and correction permitted. Honeybees learned to choose the odd stimulus in Experiments 1 and 3 and the nonodd stimuli in Experiments 2 and 4. The results provide compelling evidence of oddity and nonoddity learning, often interpreted as relational learning in vertebrates. Whether the mechanism of such learning in honeybees is similar to that of vertebrate species remains to be determined. PMID:25746438

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

    PubMed

    Christen, Verena; Mittner, Fabian; Fent, Karl

    2016-04-01

    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. PMID:26990785

  13. Standard methods for chemical ecology research in Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper describes basic methods essential in elucidating chemically-mediated behavioural interactions among honey bees, and between honey bees and other arthropods. These range from bioassay methods used to demonstrate the role of specific behaviours, techniques and equipment used to collect and ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Chemosensory proteins of the eastern honeybee, Apis cerana: Identification, tissue distribution and olfactory related functional characterization.

    PubMed

    Li, Hong-Liang; Ni, Cui-Xia; Tan, Jing; Zhang, Lin-Ya; Hu, Fu-Liang

    2016-01-01

    Chemosensory proteins (CSPs), a class of small soluble proteins, are thought to be involved in insect chemoreceptive behavior. Here, six CSP genes, AcerCSP1-6 from Apis cerana, were cloned and characterized from worker bees' antennae. Results revealed that the AcerCSPs' amino acid sequences shared high similarity with the homologous genes of Apis mellifera, but low similarity with other insect species. Compared with corresponding CSPs of A. mellifera, AcerCSPs (1, 3, 4, and 6) exhibit quite similar gene expression profiling. On the contrary, AcerCSP2 showed a higher expression level in the forager antennae and legs than CSP2 of A. mellifera. Furthermore, AcerCSP5 was not specifically expressed in larvae, unlike CSP5 of A. mellifera. In a ligand-binding assay, AcerCSP1 and AcerCSP2, which exhibited the highest expression in antennae of A. cerana, had a stronger affinity with candidate floral chemicals and pheromones than AcerCSP4, the results of which was supported by docking analysis, suggesting that the relevance of them with A. cerana olfactory functions. Taken together, these results suggest that despite the quasi-similarity of protein sequences between A. cerana and A. mellifera, differences in tissue expression and functional characteristics between the two species still exist, indicating that homologous proteins potentially perform different tasks even in related species. PMID:26773657

  16. Honey bee stock genotypes do not affect the level of physiological responses to chalkbrood fungus, Ascosphaera apis.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Breeding honey bees (Apis mellifera) for physiological resistance to diseases is a highly desirable and environmentally safe approach to increasing colony survival. Selection of desirable traits is a critical element of any breeding program. In this study we investigate whether honey bee stocks dif...

  17. API Global Sourcing Strategies 2010.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Shannon

    2010-09-01

    The API Global Sourcing Strategies 2010 Conference, held in Berlin, included topics covering new developments in the field of global sourcing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). This conference report highlights selected presentations on development in Eastern API markets, specifically India and China, factors influencing changes in global API sourcing, and risk mitigation in API sourcing. PMID:20799139

  18. Proteomic characterization of royal jelly proteins in Chinese (Apis cerana cerana) and European (Apis mellifera) honeybees.

    PubMed

    Qu, Ning; Jiang, Jie; Sun, Liangxian; Lai, Changcheng; Sun, Lifang; Wu, Xueji

    2008-06-01

    In this study, the proteins contained in royal jelly (RJ) derived from Chinese and European honeybees have been analyzed in detail and compared. Remarkable differences were found in the heterogeneity of major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs), MRJP2 and MRJP3, in terms of molecular weight and isoelectric points between the two species of RJ. MRJP2 and MRJP3 produced by Chinese honeybee are less polymorphic than those produced by European honeybee. This study is a contribution to the description of the royal jelly proteome. PMID:18620533

  19. Consequences of Nosema apis infection for male honey bees and their fertility

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Yan; Baer-Imhoof, Barbara; Harvey Millar, A.; Baer, Boris

    2015-01-01

    The queens of eusocial bees, ants and wasps mate only during a very short period early in life and males therefore produce ejaculates consisting of large numbers of high quality sperm. Such extreme selection for high fecundity resulted in males investing minimally into their somatic survival, including their immune system. However, if susceptible males are unable to protect their reproductive tissue from infections, they compromise queen fitness if they transfer pathogens during mating. We used the honey bee Apis mellifera and investigated the course of infection of the sexually transmitted pathogen Nosema apis. We predicted that honey bee males are susceptible but protect their reproductive tissues from infections. We investigated the effects of N. apis infections on the midgut, the accessory glands and the accessory testes and quantified the consequences of infection on male survival and fecundity. We found that N. apis is able to infect males, and as infections progressed, it significantly impacted fertility and survival in older males. Even though we confirm males to be able to minimize N. apis infections of their reproductive tissues, the parasite is present in ejaculates of older males. Consequently N. apis evolved alternative routes to successfully infect ejaculates and get sexually transmitted. PMID:26123530

  20. Genetic reincarnation of workers as queens in the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, M J; Tan, K; Wang, Z; Oldroyd, B P; Beekman, M

    2015-01-01

    Thelytokous parthenogenesis, or the asexual production of female offspring, is rare in the animal kingdom, but relatively common in social Hymenoptera. However, in honeybees, it is only known to be ubiquitous in one subspecies of Apis mellifera, the Cape honeybee, A. mellifera capensis. Here we report the appearance of queen cells in two colonies of the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana that no longer contained a queen or queen-produced brood to rear queens from. A combination of microsatellite genotyping and the timing of the appearance of these individuals excluded the possibility that they had been laid by the original queen. Based on the genotypes of these individuals, thelytokous production by natal workers is the most parsimonious explanation for their existence. Thus, we present the first example of thelytoky in a honeybee outside A. mellifera. We discuss the evolutionary and ecological consequences of thelytoky in A. cerana, in particular the role thelytoky may play in the recent invasions by populations of this species. PMID:25052414

  1. Genetic reincarnation of workers as queens in the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana.

    PubMed

    Holmes, M J; Tan, K; Wang, Z; Oldroyd, B P; Beekman, M

    2015-01-01

    Thelytokous parthenogenesis, or the asexual production of female offspring, is rare in the animal kingdom, but relatively common in social Hymenoptera. However, in honeybees, it is only known to be ubiquitous in one subspecies of Apis mellifera, the Cape honeybee, A. mellifera capensis. Here we report the appearance of queen cells in two colonies of the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana that no longer contained a queen or queen-produced brood to rear queens from. A combination of microsatellite genotyping and the timing of the appearance of these individuals excluded the possibility that they had been laid by the original queen. Based on the genotypes of these individuals, thelytokous production by natal workers is the most parsimonious explanation for their existence. Thus, we present the first example of thelytoky in a honeybee outside A. mellifera. We discuss the evolutionary and ecological consequences of thelytoky in A. cerana, in particular the role thelytoky may play in the recent invasions by populations of this species. PMID:25052414

  2. Ecology, Behaviour and Control of Apis cerana with a Focus on Relevance to the Australian Incursion

    PubMed Central

    Koetz, Anna H.

    2013-01-01

    Apis cerana Fabricius is endemic to most of Asia, where it has been used for honey production and pollination services for thousands of years. Since the 1980s, A. cerana has been introduced to areas outside its natural range (namely New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Australia), which sparked fears that it may become a pest species that could compete with, and negatively affect, native Australian fauna and flora, as well as commercially kept A. mellifera and commercial crops. This literature review is a response to these concerns and reviews what is known about the ecology and behaviour of A. cerana. Differences between temperate and tropical strains of A. cerana are reviewed, as are A. cerana pollination, competition between A. cerana and A. mellifera, and the impact and control strategies of introduced A. cerana, with a particular focus on gaps of current knowledge. PMID:26462524

  3. Gigantism in honeybees: Apis cerana queens reared in mixed-species colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Ken; Hepburn, H. R.; He, Shaoyu; Radloff, S. E.; Neumann, P.; Fang, Xiang

    2006-07-01

    The development of animals depends on both genetic and environmental effects to a varying extent. Their relative influences can be evaluated in the social insects by raising the intracolonial diversity to an extreme in nests consisting of workers from more than one species. In this study, we studied the effects of mixed honeybee colonies of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana on the rearing of grafted queen larvae of A. cerana. A. mellifera sealed worker brood was introduced into A. cerana colonies and on emergence, the adults were accepted. Then, A. cerana larvae were grafted for queen rearing into two of these mixed-species colonies. Similarly, A. cerana larvae and A. mellifera larvae were also grafted conspecifically as controls. The success rate of A. cerana queen rearing in the test colonies was 64.5%, surpassing all previous attempts at interspecific queen rearing. After emergence, all virgin queens obtained from the three groups ( N=90) were measured morphometrically. The A. cerana queens from the mixed-species colonies differed significantly in size and pigmentation from the A. cerana control queens and closely approximated the A. mellifera queens. It is inferred that these changes in the A. cerana queens reared in the mixed-species colonies can be attributed to feeding by heterospecific nurse bees and/or chemical differences in royal jelly. Our data show a strong impact of environment on the development of queens. The results further suggest that in honeybees the cues for brood recognition can be learned by heterospecific workers after eclosion, thereby providing a novel analogy to slave making in ants.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. Apis mellifera octopamine receptor 1 (AmOA1) expression in antennal lobe networks of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) and fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Sinakevitch, Irina T.; Smith, Adrian N.; Locatelli, Fernando; Huerta, Ramon; Bazhenov, Maxim; Smith, Brian H.

    2013-01-01

    Octopamine (OA) underlies reinforcement during appetitive conditioning in the honey bee and fruit fly, acting via different subtypes of receptors. Recently, antibodies raised against a peptide sequence of one honey bee OA receptor, AmOA1, were used to study the distribution of these receptors in the honey bee brain (Sinakevitch et al., 2011). These antibodies also recognize an isoform of the AmOA1 ortholog in the fruit fly (OAMB, mushroom body OA receptor). Here we describe in detail the distribution of AmOA1 receptors in different types of neurons in the honey bee and fruit fly antennal lobes. We integrate this information into a detailed anatomical analysis of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), uni- and multi-glomerular projection neurons (uPNs, and mPNs) and local interneurons (LNs) in glomeruli of the antennal lobe. These neurons were revealed by dye injection into the antennal nerve, antennal lobe, medial and lateral antenno-protocerbral tracts (m-APT and l-APT), and lateral protocerebral lobe (LPL) by use of labeled cell lines in the fruit fly or by staining with anti-GABA. We found that ORN receptor terminals and uPNs largely do not show immunostaining for AmOA1. About seventeen GABAergic mPNs leave the antennal lobe through the ml-APT and branch into the LPL. Many, but not all, mPNs show staining for AmOA1. AmOA1 receptors are also in glomeruli on GABAergic processes associated with LNs. The data suggest that in both species one important action of OA in the antennal lobe involves modulation of different types of inhibitory neurons via AmOA1 receptors. We integrated this new information into a model of circuitry within glomeruli of the antennal lobes of these species. PMID:24187534

  6. Databrowser API for MCL

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2004-07-01

    This code provides an application programming interface to the Macintosh OSX Carbon Databrowser from Macintosh Common Lisp. The Databrowser API is made available to Lisp via high level native CLOS classes and methods, obviating the need to write low-level Carbon code. This code is primarily ‘glue’ in that its job is to provide an interface between two extant software tools: Macintosh Common Lisp and the OSX Databrowser, both of which are COTS products from privatemore » vendors. The Databrowser is an extremely useful user interface widget that is provided with Apple’s OSX (and to some extent, OS9) operating systems. One Apple-sanctioned method for using the Databrowser is via an API called Carbon, which is designed for C and C++ programmers. We have translated the low-level Carbon programming interface to the Databrowser into high-level object-oriented Common Lisp calls, functions, methods. and classes to enable MCL programmers to more readily take advantage of the Databrowser from Lisp programs.« less

  7. Databrowser API for MCL

    SciTech Connect

    Spires, S.

    2004-07-01

    This code provides an application programming interface to the Macintosh OSX Carbon Databrowser from Macintosh Common Lisp. The Databrowser API is made available to Lisp via high level native CLOS classes and methods, obviating the need to write low-level Carbon code. This code is primarily ‘glue’ in that its job is to provide an interface between two extant software tools: Macintosh Common Lisp and the OSX Databrowser, both of which are COTS products from private vendors. The Databrowser is an extremely useful user interface widget that is provided with Apple’s OSX (and to some extent, OS9) operating systems. One Apple-sanctioned method for using the Databrowser is via an API called Carbon, which is designed for C and C++ programmers. We have translated the low-level Carbon programming interface to the Databrowser into high-level object-oriented Common Lisp calls, functions, methods. and classes to enable MCL programmers to more readily take advantage of the Databrowser from Lisp programs.

  8. Three-dimensional DEM-CFD analysis of air-flow-induced detachment of API particles from carrier particles in dry powder inhalers.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jiecheng; Wu, Chuan-Yu; Adams, Michael

    2014-02-01

    Air flow and particle-particle/wall impacts are considered as two primary dispersion mechanisms for dry powder inhalers (DPIs). Hence, an understanding of these mechanisms is critical for the development of DPIs. In this study, a coupled DEM-CFD (discrete element method-computational fluid dynamics) is employed to investigate the influence of air flow on the dispersion performance of the carrier-based DPI formulations. A carrier-based agglomerate is initially formed and then dispersed in a uniformed air flow. It is found that air flow can drag API particles away from the carrier and those in the downstream air flow regions are prone to be dispersed. Furthermore, the influence of the air velocity and work of adhesion are also examined. It is shown that the dispersion number (i.e., the number of API particles detached from the carrier) increases with increasing air velocity, and decreases with increasing the work of adhesion, indicating that the DPI performance is controlled by the balance of the removal and adhesive forces. It is also shown that the cumulative Weibull distribution function can be used to describe the DPI performance, which is governed by the ratio of the fluid drag force to the pull-off force. PMID:26579364

  9. Three-dimensional DEM–CFD analysis of air-flow-induced detachment of API particles from carrier particles in dry powder inhalers

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jiecheng; Wu, Chuan-Yu; Adams, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Air flow and particle–particle/wall impacts are considered as two primary dispersion mechanisms for dry powder inhalers (DPIs). Hence, an understanding of these mechanisms is critical for the development of DPIs. In this study, a coupled DEM–CFD (discrete element method–computational fluid dynamics) is employed to investigate the influence of air flow on the dispersion performance of the carrier-based DPI formulations. A carrier-based agglomerate is initially formed and then dispersed in a uniformed air flow. It is found that air flow can drag API particles away from the carrier and those in the downstream air flow regions are prone to be dispersed. Furthermore, the influence of the air velocity and work of adhesion are also examined. It is shown that the dispersion number (i.e., the number of API particles detached from the carrier) increases with increasing air velocity, and decreases with increasing the work of adhesion, indicating that the DPI performance is controlled by the balance of the removal and adhesive forces. It is also shown that the cumulative Weibull distribution function can be used to describe the DPI performance, which is governed by the ratio of the fluid drag force to the pull-off force. PMID:26579364

  10. Physico-chemical analysis and antimicrobial potential of Apis dorsata, Apis mellifera and Ziziphus jujube honey samples from Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    Fahim, Hira; Dasti, Javid Iqbal; Ali, Ihsan; Ahmed, Safia; Nadeem, Muhammad

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate physico-chemical properties and antimicrobial potential of indigenous honey samples against different reference strains including Escherichia coli ATCC 8739, Enterobacter aerogenes ATCC 13048, Pseudomonas aeroginosa ATCC 9027, Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, Salmonella typhi ATCC 14028, Klebsiella pneumonia ATCC 13883, Aspergillus niger ATCC 16404, Rhizopus oligosporus PCSIR1, Candida albicans ATCC 14053 and Candida utilis ATCC 9950. Methods By using standard methods samples were evaluated for their antimicrobial properties including additive effect of starch and non-peroxidase activity, antioxidative properties (phenol contents, flavonoid contents, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity). Prior to this evaluation, complete physico-chemical properties including pH, color, ash contents, protein contents, moisture contents, hydroxymethyl furfural contents, total sugar contents, reducing sugar and non-reducing sugar contents were analyzed. Results Relatively higher ash contents were found in the Siddar honey i.e. (0.590 0±0.033 6)% and small honey showed relatively higher protein contents i.e. (777.598±9.880) mg/kg. The moisture contents of tested honey samples ranged between 13.8%-16.6%, total sugar contents from 61.672%-72.420% and non-reducing sugar contents from 1.95%-3.93%. Presences of phenolic contents indicate higher antioxidant potential of these honey samples. All bacteria showed clear inhibition zones in response to tested honey samples whereas fungi and yeast showed inhibition at higher concentrations of these honey samples. For Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeroginosa and Aspergillus niger, overall the small honey showed the higher activity than other honey samples. Conclusion Physico-chemical analysis of honey samples confirmed good quality of honey according to the standards set by European Union Commission and Codex Alimentarius Commission. Evaluation of these honey samples confirms antimicrobial potential of particular types of honeys indigenous to Pakistan. PMID:25183333

  11. Synergistic effects of non-Apis bees and honey bees for pollination services.

    PubMed

    Brittain, Claire; Williams, Neal; Kremen, Claire; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2013-03-01

    In diverse pollinator communities, interspecific interactions may modify the behaviour and increase the pollination effectiveness of individual species. Because agricultural production reliant on pollination is growing, improving pollination effectiveness could increase crop yield without any increase in agricultural intensity or area. In California almond, a crop highly dependent on honey bee pollination, we explored the foraging behaviour and pollination effectiveness of honey bees in orchards with simple (honey bee only) and diverse (non-Apis bees present) bee communities. In orchards with non-Apis bees, the foraging behaviour of honey bees changed and the pollination effectiveness of a single honey bee visit was greater than in orchards where non-Apis bees were absent. This change translated to a greater proportion of fruit set in these orchards. Our field experiments show that increased pollinator diversity can synergistically increase pollination service, through species interactions that alter the behaviour and resulting functional quality of a dominant pollinator species. These results of functional synergy between species were supported by an additional controlled cage experiment with Osmia lignaria and Apis mellifera. Our findings highlight a largely unexplored facilitative component of the benefit of biodiversity to ecosystem services, and represent a way to improve pollinator-dependent crop yields in a sustainable manner. PMID:23303545

  12. A Review on Genomics APIs

    PubMed Central

    Swaminathan, Rajeswari; Huang, Yungui; Moosavinasab, Soheil; Buckley, Ronald; Bartlett, Christopher W.; Lin, Simon M.

    2015-01-01

    The constant improvement and falling prices of whole human genome Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) has resulted in rapid adoption of genomic information at both clinics and research institutions. Considered together, the complexity of genomics data, due to its large volume and diversity along with the need for genomic data sharing, has resulted in the creation of Application Programming Interface (API) for secure, modular, interoperable access to genomic data from different applications, platforms, and even organizations. The Genomics APIs are a set of special protocols that assist software developers in dealing with multiple genomic data sources for building seamless, interoperable applications leading to the advancement of both genomic and clinical research. These APIs help define a standard for retrieval of genomic data from multiple sources as well as to better package genomic information for integration with Electronic Health Records. This review covers three currently available Genomics APIs: a) Google Genomics, b) SMART Genomics, and c) 23andMe. The functionalities, reference implementations (if available) and authentication protocols of each API are reviewed. A comparative analysis of the different features across the three APIs is provided in the Discussion section. Though Genomics APIs are still under active development and have yet to reach widespread adoption, they hold the promise to make building of complicated genomics applications easier with downstream constructive effects on healthcare. PMID:26702340

  13. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays for rapid detection and differentiation of Nosema apis and N. ceranae in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Ptaszyńska, Aneta A; Borsuk, Grzegorz; Woźniakowski, Grzegorz; Gnat, Sebastian; Małek, Wanda

    2014-08-01

    Nosemosis is a contagious disease of honeybees (Apis mellifera) manifested by increased winter mortality, poor spring build-up and even the total extinction of infected bee colonies. In this paper, loop-mediated isothermal amplifications (LAMP) were used for the first time to identify and differentiate N. apis and N. ceranae, the causative agents of nosemosis. LAMP assays were performed at a constant temperature of 60 °C using two sets of six species-specific primers, recognising eight distinct fragments of 16S rDNA gene and GspSSD polymerase with strand displacement activity. The optimal time for LAMP and its Nosema species sensitivity and specificity were assessed. LAMP only required 30 min for robust identification of the amplicons. Ten-fold serial dilutions of total DNA isolated from bees infected with microsporidia were used to determine the detection limit of N. apis and N. ceranae DNAs by LAMP and standard PCR assays. LAMP appeared to be 10(3) -fold more sensitive than a standard PCR in detecting N. apis and N. ceranae. LAMP methods developed by us are highly Nosema species specific and allow to identify and differentiate N. apis and N. ceranae. PMID:24975021

  14. Volatilisation of terpenes from Salvia mellifera

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tyson, B. J.; Dement, W. A.; Mooney, H. A.

    1974-01-01

    The study demonstrates significant terpene volatilisation from Salvia mellifera. Net photosynthesis and dark respiration were measured in an intact branch of a potted plant using a gas analysis system. Photosynthesis and respiration rates were determined for various temperatures. The rates were directly proportional to leaf temperature and were the same in both light and dark reactions. Using the temperature curve for the steady-state rate of terpene volatilisation and the gas exchange characteristics, the daily carbon gain and terpene loss were calculated.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. Varroa destructor, a potential vector of Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus in honey bees, Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although the role of the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, as a vector in transmission of viruses between honey bees is well established, no study has shown that it can similarly transmit Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), a virus that was found to be associated with Colony Collapse Disorder (CC...

  17. The effects of pesticides on queen rearing and virus titers in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of sublethal pesticide exposure on queen emergence and virus titers were examined. Queen rearing colonies were fed pollen with chlorpyrifos (CPF) alone (pollen-1) and with CPF and the fungicide Pristine® (pollen-2). Fewer queens emerged when larvae from open foraging (i.e., outside) colo...

  18. Social immunity in honey bees (Apis mellifera): transcriptome analysis of varroa-hygienic behaviour

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees tend to have a reduced number of immune genes compared to solitary insects. They actually developed an alternative collective defence consisting in the cooperation of individuals to decrease disease development. We identified a set of genes involved in this social immunity by comparing br...

  19. Starving honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae signal pheromonally to worker bees.

    PubMed

    He, Xu Jiang; Zhang, Xue Chuan; Jiang, Wu Jun; Barron, Andrew B; Zhang, Jian Hui; Zeng, Zhi Jiang

    2016-01-01

    Cooperative brood care is diagnostic of animal societies. This is particularly true for the advanced social insects, and the honey bee is the best understood of the insect societies. A brood pheromone signaling the presence of larvae in a bee colony has been characterised and well studied, but here we explored whether honey bee larvae actively signal their food needs pheromonally to workers. We show that starving honey bee larvae signal to workers via increased production of the volatile pheromone E-β-ocimene. Analysis of volatile pheromones produced by food-deprived and fed larvae with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry showed that starving larvae produced more E-β-ocimene. Behavioural analyses showed that adding E-β-ocimene to empty cells increased the number of worker visits to those cells, and similarly adding E-β-ocimene to larvae increased worker visitation rate to the larvae. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analysis identified 3 genes in the E-β-ocimene biosynthetic pathway that were upregulated in larvae following 30 minutes of starvation, and these genes also upregulated in 2-day old larvae compared to 4-day old larvae (2-day old larvae produce the most E-β-ocimene). This identifies a pheromonal mechanism by which brood can beg for food from workers to influence the allocation of resources within the colony. PMID:26924295

  20. Larval starvation improves metabolic response to adult starvation in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Campbell, Jacob B; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V; Harrison, Jon F

    2016-04-01

    Environmental changes during development have long-term effects on adult phenotypes in diverse organisms. Some of the effects play important roles in helping organisms adapt to different environments, such as insect polymorphism. Others, especially those resulting from an adverse developmental environment, have a negative effect on adult health and fitness. However, recent studies have shown that those phenotypes influenced by early environmental adversity have adaptive value under certain (anticipatory) conditions that are similar to the developmental environment, though evidence is mostly from morphological and behavioral observations and it is still rare at physiological and molecular levels. In the companion study, we applied a short-term starvation treatment to fifth instar honey bee larvae and measured changes in adult morphology, starvation resistance, hormonal and metabolic physiology and gene expression. Our results suggest that honey bees can adaptively respond to the predicted nutritional stress. In the present study, we further hypothesized that developmental starvation specifically improves the metabolic response of adult bees to starvation instead of globally affecting metabolism under well-fed conditions. Here, we produced adult honey bees that had experienced a short-term larval starvation, then we starved them for 12 h and monitored metabolic rate, blood sugar concentrations and metabolic reserves. We found that the bees that experienced larval starvation were able to shift to other fuels faster and better maintain stable blood sugar levels during starvation. However, developmental nutritional stress did not change metabolic rates or blood sugar levels in adult bees under normal conditions. Overall, our study provides further evidence that early larval starvation specifically improves the metabolic responses to adult starvation in honey bees. PMID:27030776

  1. Bridging the Synaptic Gap: Neuroligins and Neurexin I in Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Sunita; Russell, Robyn J.; Jackson, Colin J.; Vidovic, Maria; Ganeshina, Olga; Oakeshott, John G.; Claudianos, Charles

    2008-01-01

    Vertebrate studies show neuroligins and neurexins are binding partners in a trans-synaptic cell adhesion complex, implicated in human autism and mental retardation disorders. Here we report a genetic analysis of homologous proteins in the honey bee. As in humans, the honeybee has five large (31–246 kb, up to 12 exons each) neuroligin genes, three of which are tightly clustered. RNA analysis of the neuroligin-3 gene reveals five alternatively spliced transcripts, generated through alternative use of exons encoding the cholinesterase-like domain. Whereas vertebrates have three neurexins the bee has just one gene named neurexin I (400 kb, 28 exons). However alternative isoforms of bee neurexin I are generated by differential use of 12 splice sites, mostly located in regions encoding LNS subdomains. Some of the splice variants of bee neurexin I resemble the vertebrate α- and β-neurexins, albeit in vertebrates these forms are generated by alternative promoters. Novel splicing variations in the 3′ region generate transcripts encoding alternative trans-membrane and PDZ domains. Another 3′ splicing variation predicts soluble neurexin I isoforms. Neurexin I and neuroligin expression was found in brain tissue, with expression present throughout development, and in most cases significantly up-regulated in adults. Transcripts of neurexin I and one neuroligin tested were abundant in mushroom bodies, a higher order processing centre in the bee brain. We show neuroligins and neurexins comprise a highly conserved molecular system with likely similar functional roles in insects as vertebrates, and with scope in the honeybee to generate substantial functional diversity through alternative splicing. Our study provides important prerequisite data for using the bee as a model for vertebrate synaptic development. PMID:18974885

  2. Prolonged effects of in-hive monoterpenoids on the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Alayrangues, Julie; Hotier, Lucie; Massou, Isabelle; Bertrand, Yolaine; Armengaud, Catherine

    2016-07-01

    Honey bees are exposed in their environment to contaminants but also to biological stressors such as Varroa destructor that can weaken the colony. Preparations containing monoterpenoids that are essential oil components, can be introduced into hives to control Varroa. The long-term sublethal effects of monoterpenoids used as miticides have been poorly investigated. Analysis of behavior of free-moving bees in the laboratory is useful to evaluate the impact of chemical stressors on their cognitive functions such as vision function. Here, the walking behavior was quantified under a 200-lux light intensity. Weeks and months after introduction of the miticide (74 % thymol) into the hives, decreases of phototaxis was observed with both summer and winter bees. Curiously, in spring, bees collected in treated hives were less attracted by light in the morning than control bees. The survival of bees collected in spring was increased by treatment. After a 1-year period of observation, the colony losses were identical in treated and non-treated groups. Colony loss started earlier in the non-treated group. In public opinion, natural substances as essential oils are safer and more environmentally friendly. We demonstrated that a monoterpenoid-based treatment affects bee responses to light. The latter results have notable implications regarding the evaluation of miticides in beekeeping. PMID:26965704

  3. Molecular approaches to the Analysis of Virus Replication and Pathogenesis in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For years, understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms that underlie honey bee viral diseases has been severely hindered because of the lack of a cell culture system for virus propagation. As a result, it is very imperative to develop new methods that would permit the in vitro pathogenesis study o...

  4. Intracolonial genetic diversity in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies increases pollen foraging efficiency

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Multiple mating by honey bee queens results in colonies of genotypically diverse workers. Recent studies have demonstrated that increased genetic diversity within a honey bee colony increases the variation in the frequency of tasks performed by workers. We show that genotypically diverse colonies, ...

  5. Adult honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) abandon hemocytic, but not phenoloxidase-based immunity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hemocytes and the (prophenol-) phenoloxidase system constitute the immediate innate immune system in insects. These components of overall insect innate immunity are present at any post-embryonic life stage without previous infection. Differences between individuals and species in these immune param...

  6. Complex pleiotropy characterizes the pollen hoarding syndrome in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Page, Robert E; Fondrk, M Kim; Rueppell, Olav

    2012-11-01

    The pollen hoarding syndrome consists of a large suite of correlated traits in honey bees that may have played an important role in colony organization and consequently the social evolution of honey bees. The syndrome was first discovered in two strains that have been artificia