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Sample records for apis mellifera por

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. [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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. [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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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...

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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...

  13. 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…

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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)...

  2. [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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.)...

  6. 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…

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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).

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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