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Sample records for bee bombus terrestris

  1. Safety and acquisition potential of Metarhizium anisopliae in entomovectoring with bumble bees, Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Smagghe, Guy; De Meyer, Laurens; Meeus, Ivan; Mommaerts, Veerle

    2013-02-01

    In the context of integrated pest management with biological control and reduced pesticide use, dissemination of entomopathogenic fungi with insects has the potency to protect crops and specifically their flowers against pests and diseases. But before implementation of such entomovectoring system, a measurement of risks of the microbial biocontrol agent toward the vectoring insect is crucial. The essential contributions of this project are that 1) exposure of bumble bees, Bombus terrestris (L.) to powder containing 10(7) spores of the commercial biocontrol agent Metarhizium anisopliae strain F52 (Biol020) per gram, was safe; and 2) that when bumble bees had walked through this spore concentration (10(7) spores per gram) in a dispenser, their body carried 9.3 +/- 1 x 10(6) spores/bumble bee, and this was still 2.6 10(6) spores after a flight of 60 s, representing the average time to fly from the dispenser to the crop flowers. 3) In contrast, a 100-fold higher spore concentration (10(9) spores per gram powder) was highly toxic and the acquisition on the bumble bee body was only 2.5 times higher. Based on these data, future studies can start investigating the protection efficacy of this entomovector system with M. anisopliae and bumble bees without harming the vector and with a loading of the vector considered enough to obtain a good inoculation into and protection of the flowers. PMID:23448041

  2. Effects of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid pesticide, on reproduction in worker bumble bees (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Laycock, Ian; Lenthall, Kate M; Barratt, Andrew T; Cresswell, James E

    2012-10-01

    Bumble bees are important pollinators whose populations have declined over recent years, raising widespread concern. One conspicuous threat to bumble bees is their unintended exposure to trace residues of systemic neonicotinoid pesticides, such as imidacloprid, which are ingested when bees forage on the nectar and pollen of treated crops. However, the demographic consequences for bumble bees of exposure to dietary neonicotinoids have yet to be fully established. To determine whether environmentally realistic levels of imidacloprid are capable of making a demographic impact on bumble bees, we exposed queenless microcolonies of worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris, to a range of dosages of dietary imidacloprid between zero and 125 μg L(-1) and examined the effects on ovary development and fecundity. Microcolonies showed a dose-dependent decline in fecundity, with environmentally realistic dosages in the range of 1 μg L(-1) capable of reducing brood production by one third. In contrast, ovary development was unimpaired by dietary imidacloprid except at the highest dosage. Imidacloprid reduced feeding on both syrup and pollen but, after controlling statistically for dosage, microcolonies that consumed more syrup and pollen produced more brood. We therefore speculate that the detrimental effects of imidacloprid on fecundity emerge principally from nutrient limitation imposed by the failure of individuals to feed. Our findings raise concern about the impact of neonicotinoids on wild bumble bee populations. However, we recognize that to fully evaluate impacts on wild colonies it will be necessary to establish the effect of dietary neonicotinoids on the fecundity of bumble bee queens. PMID:22614036

  3. Changes in Learning and Foraging Behaviour within Developing Bumble Bee (Bombus terrestris) Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Lisa J.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2014-01-01

    Organisation in eusocial insect colonies emerges from the decisions and actions of its individual members. In turn, these decisions and actions are influenced by the individual's behaviour (or temperament). Although there is variation in the behaviour of individuals within a colony, we know surprisingly little about how (or indeed if) the types of behaviour present in a colony change over time. Here, for the first time, we assessed potential changes in the behavioural type of foragers during colony development. Using an ecologically relevant foraging task, we measured the decision speed and learning ability of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) at different stages of colony development. We determined whether individuals that forage early in the colony life cycle (the queen and early emerging workers) behaved differently from workers that emerge and forage at the end of colony development. Whilst we found no overall change in the foraging behaviour of workers with colony development, there were strong differences in foraging behaviour between queens and their workers. Queens appeared to forage more cautiously than their workers and were also quicker to learn. These behaviours could allow queens to maximise their nectar collecting efficiency whilst avoiding predation. Because the foundress queen is crucial to the survival and success of a bumble bee colony, more efficient foraging behaviour in queens may have strong adaptive value. PMID:24599144

  4. Effects of the neonicotinoid pesticide thiamethoxam at field-realistic levels on microcolonies of Bombus terrestris worker bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Laycock, Ian; Cotterell, Katie C; O'Shea-Wheller, Thomas A; Cresswell, James E

    2014-02-01

    Neonicotinoid pesticides are currently implicated in the decline of wild bee populations. Bumble bees, Bombus spp., are important wild pollinators that are detrimentally affected by ingestion of neonicotinoid residues. To date, imidacloprid has been the major focus of study into the effects of neonicotinoids on bumble bee health, but wild populations are increasingly exposed to alternative neonicotinoids such as thiamethoxam. To investigate whether environmentally realistic levels of thiamethoxam affect bumble bee performance over a realistic exposure period, we exposed queenless microcolonies of Bombus terrestris L. workers to a wide range of dosages up to 98 μgkg(-1) in dietary syrup for 17 days. Results showed that bumble bee workers survived fewer days when presented with syrup dosed at 98 μg thiamethoxamkg(-1), while production of brood (eggs and larvae) and consumption of syrup and pollen in microcolonies were significantly reduced by thiamethoxam only at the two highest concentrations (39, 98 μgkg(-1)). In contrast, we found no detectable effect of thiamethoxam at levels typically found in the nectars of treated crops (between 1 and 11 μgkg(-1)). By comparison with published data, we demonstrate that during an exposure to field-realistic concentrations lasting approximately two weeks, brood production in worker bumble bees is more sensitive to imidacloprid than thiamethoxam. We speculate that differential sensitivity arises because imidacloprid produces a stronger repression of feeding in bumble bees than thiamethoxam, which imposes a greater nutrient limitation on production of brood. PMID:24238719

  5. A new threat to bees? Entomopathogenic nematodes used in biological pest control cause rapid mortality in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Dutka, Alexandrea; McNulty, Alison; Williamson, Sally M

    2015-01-01

    There is currently a great deal of concern about population declines in pollinating insects. Many potential threats have been identified which may adversely affect the behaviour and health of both honey bees and bumble bees: these include pesticide exposure, and parasites and pathogens. Whether biological pest control agents adversely affect bees has been much less well studied: it is generally assumed that biological agents are safer for wildlife than chemical pesticides. The aim of this study was to test whether entomopathogenic nematodes sold as biological pest control products could potentially have adverse effects on the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. One product was a broad spectrum pest control agent containing both Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp., the other product was specifically for weevil control and contained only Steinernema kraussei. Both nematode products caused ≥80% mortality within the 96 h test period when bees were exposed to soil containing entomopathogenic nematodes at the recommended field concentration of 50 nematodes per cm(2) soil. Of particular concern is the fact that nematodes from the broad spectrum product could proliferate in the carcasses of dead bees, and therefore potentially infect a whole bee colony or spread to the wider environment. PMID:26618084

  6. A new threat to bees? Entomopathogenic nematodes used in biological pest control cause rapid mortality in Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Dutka, Alexandrea; McNulty, Alison

    2015-01-01

    There is currently a great deal of concern about population declines in pollinating insects. Many potential threats have been identified which may adversely affect the behaviour and health of both honey bees and bumble bees: these include pesticide exposure, and parasites and pathogens. Whether biological pest control agents adversely affect bees has been much less well studied: it is generally assumed that biological agents are safer for wildlife than chemical pesticides. The aim of this study was to test whether entomopathogenic nematodes sold as biological pest control products could potentially have adverse effects on the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. One product was a broad spectrum pest control agent containing both Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp., the other product was specifically for weevil control and contained only Steinernema kraussei. Both nematode products caused ≥80% mortality within the 96 h test period when bees were exposed to soil containing entomopathogenic nematodes at the recommended field concentration of 50 nematodes per cm2 soil. Of particular concern is the fact that nematodes from the broad spectrum product could proliferate in the carcasses of dead bees, and therefore potentially infect a whole bee colony or spread to the wider environment. PMID:26618084

  7. A Novel Behavioral Assay to Investigate Gustatory Responses of Individual, Freely-moving Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Ma, Carolyn; Kessler, Sébastien; Simpson, Alexander; Wright, Geraldine

    2016-01-01

    Generalist pollinators like the buff-tailed bumble bee, Bombus terrestris, encounter both nutrients and toxins in the floral nectar they collect from flowering plants. Only a few studies have described the gustatory responses of bees toward toxins in food, and these experiments have mainly used the proboscis extension response on restrained honey bees. Here, a new behavioral assay is presented for measuring the feeding responses of freely-moving, individual worker bumble bees to nutrients and toxins. This assay measures the amount of solution ingested by each bumble bee and identifies how tastants in food influence the microstructure of the feeding behavior. The solutions are presented in a microcapillary tube to individual bumble bees that have been previously starved for 2-4 hr. The behavior is captured on digital video. The fine structure of the feeding behavior is analyzed by continuously scoring the position of the proboscis (mouthparts) from video recordings using event logging software. The position of the proboscis is defined by three different behavioral categories: (1) proboscis is extended and in contact with the solution, (2) proboscis is extended but not in contact with the solution and (3) proboscis is stowed under the head. Furthermore the speed of the proboscis retracting away from the solution is also estimated. In the present assay the volume of solution consumed, the number of feeding bouts, the duration of the feeding bouts and the speed of the proboscis retraction after the first contact is used to evaluate the phagostimulatory or the deterrent activity of the compounds tested. This new taste assay will allow researchers to measure how compounds found in nectar influence the feeding behavior of bees and will also be useful to pollination biologists, toxicologists and neuroethologists studying the bumble bee's taste system. PMID:27500630

  8. Repression and Recuperation of Brood Production in Bombus terrestris Bumble Bees Exposed to a Pulse of the Neonicotinoid Pesticide Imidacloprid

    PubMed Central

    Laycock, Ian; Cresswell, James E.

    2013-01-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and some blame the residues of neonicotinoid pesticides in the nectar and pollen of treated crops. Bumble bees are important wild pollinators that are widely exposed to dietary neonicotinoids by foraging in agricultural environments. In the laboratory, we tested the effect of a pulsed exposure (14 days ‘on dose’ followed by 14 days ‘off dose’) to a common neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, on the amount of brood (number of eggs and larvae) produced by Bombus terrestris L. bumble bees in small, standardised experimental colonies (a queen and four adult workers). During the initial ‘on dose’ period we observed a dose-dependent repression of brood production in colonies, with productivity decreasing as dosage increased up to 98 µg kg−1 dietary imidacloprid. During the following ‘off dose’ period, colonies showed a dose-dependent recuperation such that total brood production during the 28-day pulsed exposure was not correlated with imidacloprid up to 98 µg kg−1. Our findings raise further concern about the threat to wild bumble bees from neonicotinoids, but they also indicate some resilience to a pulsed exposure, such as that arising from the transient bloom of a treated mass-flowering crop. PMID:24224015

  9. Reproductive workers show queenlike gene expression in an intermediately eusocial insect, the buff-tailed bumble bee Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Mark C; Hammond, Robert L; Mallon, Eamonn B

    2015-06-01

    Bumble bees represent a taxon with an intermediate level of eusociality within Hymenoptera. The clear division of reproduction between a single founding queen and the largely sterile workers is characteristic for highly eusocial species, whereas the morphological similarity between the bumble bee queen and the workers is typical for more primitively eusocial hymenopterans. Also, unlike other highly eusocial hymenopterans, division of labour among worker subcastes is plastic and not predetermined by morphology or age. We conducted a differential expression analysis based on RNA-seq data from 11 combinations of developmental stage and caste to investigate how a single genome can produce the distinct castes of queens, workers and males in the buff-tailed bumble bee Bombus terrestris. Based on expression patterns, we found males to be the most distinct of all adult castes (2411 transcripts differentially expressed compared to nonreproductive workers). However, only relatively few transcripts were differentially expressed between males and workers during development (larvae: 71 and pupae: 162). This indicates the need for more distinct expression patterns to control behaviour and physiology in adults compared to those required to create different morphologies. Among female castes, reproductive workers and their nonreproductive sisters displayed differential expression in over ten times more transcripts compared to the differential expression found between reproductive workers and their mother queen. This suggests a strong shift towards a more queenlike behaviour and physiology when a worker becomes fertile. This contrasts with eusocial species where reproductive workers are more similar to nonreproductive workers than the queen. PMID:25913260

  10. Effect of oral infection with Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus on bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Meeus, Ivan; de Miranda, Joachim R; de Graaf, Dirk C; Wäckers, Felix; Smagghe, Guy

    2014-09-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) together with Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and Kashmir bee virus (KBV) constitute a complex of closely related dicistroviruses. They are infamous for their high mortality after injection in honeybees. These viruses have also been reported in non-Apis hymenopteran pollinators such as bumblebees, which got infected with IAPV when placed in the same greenhouse with IAPV infected honeybee hives. Here we orally infected Bombus terrestris workers with different doses of either IAPV or KBV viral particles. The success of the infection was established by analysis of the bumblebees after the impact studies: 50days after infection. Doses of 0.5×10(7) and 1×10(7) virus particles per bee were infectious over this period, for IAPV and KBV respectively, while a dose of 0.5×10(6) IAPV particles per bee was not infectious. The impact of virus infection was studied in micro-colonies consisting of 5 bumblebees, one of which becomes a pseudo-queen which proceeds to lay unfertilized (drone) eggs. The impact parameters studied were: the establishment of a laying pseudo-queen, the timing of egg-laying, the number of drones produced, the weight of these drones and worker mortality. In this setup KBV infection resulted in a significant slower colony startup and offspring production, while only the latter can be reported for IAPV. Neither virus increased worker mortality, at the oral doses used. We recommend further studies on how these viruses transmit between different pollinator species. It is also vital to understand how viral prevalence can affect wild bee populations because disturbance of the natural host-virus association may deteriorate the already critically endangered status of many bumblebee species. PMID:25004171

  11. Reproductive competition in the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris: do workers advertise sterility?

    PubMed Central

    Amsalem, Etya; Twele, Robert; Francke, Wittko; Hefetz, Abraham

    2009-01-01

    Reproductive competition in social insects is generally mediated through specific fertility pheromones. By analysing Dufour's gland secretion in queens and workers of Bombus terrestris under varying social conditions, we demonstrate here that the volatile constituents of the secretion exhibit a context-dependent composition. The secretion of egg-laying queens is composed of a series of aliphatic hydrocarbons (alkanes and alkenes), while that of sterile workers contains in addition octyl esters, dominated by octyl hexadecanoate and octyl oleate. These esters disappear in workers with developed ovaries, whether queenright (QR) or queenless (QL), rendering their secretion queen-like. This constitutes an unusual case in which the sterile caste, rather than the fertile one, possesses extra components. Individually isolated (socially deprived) workers developed ovaries successfully, but failed to oviposit, and still possessed the octyl esters. Thus, whereas social interactions are not needed in order to develop ovaries, they appear essential for oviposition and compositional changes in Dufour's gland secretion (ester disappearance). The apparent link between high ester levels and an inability to lay eggs lends credence to the hypothesis that these esters signal functional sterility. We hypothesize that by producing a sterility-specific secretion, workers signal that ‘I am out of the competition’, and therefore are not attacked, either by the queen or by the reproductive workers. This enables proper colony function and brood care, in particular sexual brood, even under the chaotic conditions of the competition phase. PMID:19129137

  12. Reproductive competition in the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris: do workers advertise sterility?

    PubMed

    Amsalem, Etya; Twele, Robert; Francke, Wittko; Hefetz, Abraham

    2009-04-01

    Reproductive competition in social insects is generally mediated through specific fertility pheromones. By analysing Dufour's gland secretion in queens and workers of Bombus terrestris under varying social conditions, we demonstrate here that the volatile constituents of the secretion exhibit a context-dependent composition. The secretion of egg-laying queens is composed of a series of aliphatic hydrocarbons (alkanes and alkenes), while that of sterile workers contains in addition octyl esters, dominated by octyl hexadecanoate and octyl oleate. These esters disappear in workers with developed ovaries, whether queenright (QR) or queenless (QL), rendering their secretion queen-like. This constitutes an unusual case in which the sterile caste, rather than the fertile one, possesses extra components. Individually isolated (socially deprived) workers developed ovaries successfully, but failed to oviposit, and still possessed the octyl esters. Thus, whereas social interactions are not needed in order to develop ovaries, they appear essential for oviposition and compositional changes in Dufour's gland secretion (ester disappearance). The apparent link between high ester levels and an inability to lay eggs lends credence to the hypothesis that these esters signal functional sterility. We hypothesize that by producing a sterility-specific secretion, workers signal that 'I am out of the competition', and therefore are not attacked, either by the queen or by the reproductive workers. This enables proper colony function and brood care, in particular sexual brood, even under the chaotic conditions of the competition phase. PMID:19129137

  13. Specific recognition of reproductive parasite workers by nest-entrance guards in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The impact of social parasites on their hosts’ fitness is a strong selective pressure that can lead to the evolution of adapted defence strategies. Guarding the nest to prevent the intrusion of parasites is a widespread response of host species. If absolute rejection of strangers provides the best protection against parasites, more fine-tuned strategies can prove more adaptive. Guarding is indeed costly and not all strangers constitute a real threat. That is particularly true for worker reproductive parasitism in social insects since only a fraction of non-nestmate visitors, the fertile ones, can readily engage in parasitic reproduction. Guards should thus be more restrictive towards fertile than sterile non-nestmate workers. We here tested this hypothesis by examining the reaction of nest-entrance guards towards nestmate and non-nestmate workers with varying fertility levels in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. Because social recognition in social insects mainly relies on cuticular lipids (CLs), chemical analysis was also conducted to examine whether workers’ CLs could convey the relevant information upon which guards could base their decision. We thus aimed to determine whether an adapted defensive strategy to worker reproductive parasitism has evolved in B. terrestris colonies. Results Chemical analysis revealed that the cuticular chemical profiles of workers encode information about both their colony membership and their current fertility, therefore providing potential recognition cues for a suitable adjustment of the guards’ defensive decisions. We found that guards were similarly tolerant towards sterile non-nestmate workers than towards nestmate workers. However, as predicted, guards responded more aggressively towards fertile non-nestmates. Conclusion Our results show that B. terrestris guards discriminate non-nestmates that differ in their reproductive potential and respond more strongly to the individuals that are a greatest threat for

  14. Invasive Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae) parasitized by a flagellate (Euglenozoa: Kinetoplastea) and a neogregarine (Apicomplexa: Neogregarinorida).

    PubMed

    Plischuk, Santiago; Lange, Carlos E

    2009-11-01

    The flagellate Crithidia bombi and the neogregarine Apicystis bombi have been found in individuals of Bombus terrestris, a Palaearctic species of bumble bee commercially reared and shipped worldwide for pollination services. B. terrestris has recently entered into the northwestern Patagonia region of Argentina from Chile, where it was introduced in 1998. Prevalence was 21.6% for C. bombi and 3.6% for A. bombi (n=111). The pathogens were not detected in 441 bumble bees belonging to five of the eight known Argentine native species (Bombus atratus, Bombus morio, Bombus bellicosus, Bombus opifex, Bombus tucumanus) collected elsewhere in the country. Although the absence of natural occurrence of C. bombi and A. bombi in Argentine native bumble bees cannot be ascertained at present due to the limited surveys performed, it is important to report their detection in invasive B. terrestris. The invasion event is relatively recent and the accompanying pathogens are not species specific within the genus Bombus. PMID:19682459

  15. Effects of Fastac 50 EC on bumble bee Bombus terrestris L. respiration: DGE disappearance does not lead to increasing water loss.

    PubMed

    Muljar, Riin; Karise, Reet; Viik, Eneli; Kuusik, Aare; Williams, Ingrid; Metspalu, Luule; Hiiesaar, Külli; Must, Anne; Luik, Anne; Mänd, Marika

    2012-11-01

    Sublethal effects of pesticides in insects can be observed through physiological changes, which are commonly estimated by metabolic rate and respiratory patterns, more precisely by the patterns of discontinuous gas-exchange (DGE) cycles. The aim of the present research was to study the effect of some low concentrations of Fastac 50 EC on the cycles of CO(2) release and respiratory water loss rates (WLR) in bumble bee Bombus terrestris L. foragers. Bumble bees were dipped into 0.004% and 0.002% Fastac 50 EC solution. Flow-through respirometry was used to record the respiration and WLR 3h before and after the treatment. The respirometry was combined with infrared actography to enable simultaneous recording of abdominal movements. Our results show that Fastac 50 EC has an after-effect on bumble bee respiratory rhythms and muscle activity but does not affect WLR. Treatment with 0.004% Fastac 50 EC solution resulted in disappearance of the respiration cycles; also the lifespan of treated bumble bees was significantly shorter. Treatment with 0.002% Fastac 50 EC solution had no significant effect on respiration patterns or longevity. We found no evidence for the DGE cycles functioning as a water saving mechanism. PMID:22960306

  16. Bee pathogens found in Bombus atratus from Colombia: A case study.

    PubMed

    Gamboa, Viviana; Ravoet, Jorgen; Brunain, Marleen; Smagghe, Guy; Meeus, Ivan; Figueroa, Judith; Riaño, Diego; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-07-01

    Bombus atratus bumblebees from Colombia that were caught in the wild and from breeding programs were screened for a broad set of bee pathogens. We discovered for the first time Lake Sinai Virus and confirmed the infection by other common viruses. The prevalence of Apicystis bombi, Crithidia bombi and Nosema ceranae was remarkably high. According to other studies the former two could have been co-introduced in South America with exotic bumble bees as Bombus terrestris or Bombus ruderatus. Given the fact that none of these species occur in Colombia, our data puts a new light on the spread of these pathogens over the South American continent. PMID:26031564

  17. Spatial Vision in Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Chakravarthi, Aravin; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie; Kelber, Almut

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris is one of the most commonly used insect models to investigate visually guided behavior and spatial vision in particular. Two fundamental measures of spatial vision are spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. In this study, we report the threshold of spatial resolution in B. terrestris and characterize the contrast sensitivity function of the bumblebee visual system for a dual choice discrimination task. We trained bumblebees in a Y-maze experimental set-up to associate a vertical sinusoidal grating with a sucrose reward, and a horizontal grating with absence of a reward. Using a logistic psychometric function, we estimated a resolution threshold of 0.21 cycles deg−1 of visual angle. This resolution is in the same range but slightly lower than that found in honeybees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana) and another bumblebee species (B. impatiens). We also found that the contrast sensitivity of B. terrestris was 1.57 for the spatial frequency 0.090 cycles deg−1 and 1.26 for 0.18 cycles deg−1. PMID:26912998

  18. Spatial Vision in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Chakravarthi, Aravin; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie; Kelber, Almut

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris is one of the most commonly used insect models to investigate visually guided behavior and spatial vision in particular. Two fundamental measures of spatial vision are spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. In this study, we report the threshold of spatial resolution in B. terrestris and characterize the contrast sensitivity function of the bumblebee visual system for a dual choice discrimination task. We trained bumblebees in a Y-maze experimental set-up to associate a vertical sinusoidal grating with a sucrose reward, and a horizontal grating with absence of a reward. Using a logistic psychometric function, we estimated a resolution threshold of 0.21 cycles deg(-1) of visual angle. This resolution is in the same range but slightly lower than that found in honeybees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana) and another bumblebee species (B. impatiens). We also found that the contrast sensitivity of B. terrestris was 1.57 for the spatial frequency 0.090 cycles deg(-1) and 1.26 for 0.18 cycles deg(-1). PMID:26912998

  19. The safety of thiamethoxam to pollinating bumble bees (Bombus terrestris L.) when applied to tomato plants through drip irrigation.

    PubMed

    Alarcón, A L; Cánovas, M; Senn, R; Correia, R

    2005-01-01

    Thiamethoxam, mainly sold under the trademark of Actara, is a neonicotinoid widely used in covered vegetables for the control of aphids and whiteflies. In these crops, and particularly in covered tomatoes, bumble-bees are used for cross-pollination as an alternative to labour intensive manual techniques. In this study, made on tomatoes grown in separated greenhouse plots in Murcia, Southern Spain, thiamethoxam was applied through drip irrigation at a rate of 200 g ai/ha, and as a split application of the same rate, to evaluate the effects on pollinating bumble bees compared to a foliar application of a toxic standard. The results showed that the toxic foliar standard had a clear effect on the pollination of tomato flowers, declining to zero pollination two weeks after application, whereas both the single and split drip irrigation applications of Actara had no effect on pollination when compared to the control plots. The count of dead adults and larvae did not show any differences between the treatments, whereas the measurement of sugar water consumption was shown to correlate well with pollination. The consumption of sugar water declined in the toxic standard plots by 69% with respect to the control, whilst the decline in lower dose drip irrigation application was only 3%. In regard to hive weight, and number of adults and brood after destructive sampling; there were no statistical differences between the treatments but a negative effect of the foliar treatment was observed. Based on these results we can conclude that a split application of Actara applied in drip irrigation to the soil/substrate has no effect on the bumble-bees used in tomatoes for pollination. PMID:16628891

  20. Teppeki, selective insecticide about Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Fanigliulo, Angela; Filì, Vittorio; Pacella, Rosa; Comes, Soccorsa; Crescenzi, Aniello

    2009-01-01

    At a time when a highly controversial debate about the causes of the widespread deaths of bees is taking place all over Europe, which accused the agriculture and its practices with particular reference to the harmful effects of some insecticides, it seems important to point out as another insecticide, the Teppeki, can be selective about bumble and have a good compatibility with the activity of the apiaries. This insecticide has the active ingredient flonicamid (500 g/kg) belonging to a new chemical class, called pyridinecarboxamides: the product works systemic and is known as having a long lasting efficacy against all important aphid species. Bioagritest test facility of Pignola (PZ, Italy) has conducted in two successive production cycles an experimental trial on a tomato hydroponic cultivation within the Agricola Bonsai farm in Sibari (CS, Italy), whose objective was to measure the selectivity of flonicamid on Bombus terrestris, insects playing an important role in the pollination of certain species grown in greenhouse such as Tomato, Eggplant, Pepper and Cucumber. On the pollinated flower B. terrestris leaves some trace of its visit, a typical dark trademark: on the detection of the marking of flowers was based the testing program conducted by Bioagritest. Two thesis were compared: A, standard) treatment with a foliar insecticide, the neonicotinoide acetamiprid, normally used for control of aphids and whiteflies (unlike other neonicotinoides--imidacloprid and thiametoxam--quite selective about B. terrestris) and B, Teppeki) foliar treatment with Teppeki, to the maximum dose indicated on the label. The experimental design included the use of randomized blocks with 4 repetitions (4 plots/thesis with 100 plants each). In every thesis six B. terrestris hives were placed 2 days before treatment: the respective holes remained closed during the treatment and the 12 following hours. In order to verify the pollination, by the detection of the flower marking, 2 flowers

  1. Altitudinal variation in bumble bee (Bombus) critical thermal limits.

    PubMed

    Oyen, K Jeannet; Giri, Susma; Dillon, Michael E

    2016-07-01

    Organism critical thermal limits are often tightly linked to current geographic distribution and can therefore help predict future range shifts driven by changing environmental temperatures. Thermal tolerance of diverse organisms often varies predictably with latitude, with upper thermal limits changing little and lower thermal limits decreasing with latitude. Despite similarly steep gradients in environmental temperatures across altitude, few studies have investigated altitudinal variation in critical thermal limits. We estimated critical thermal minimum (CTmin), critical thermal maximum (CTmax) and recovery temperature (Trec) by tracking righting response of three bumble bee species during thermal ramps: Bombus huntii collected from 2180m asl, and Bombus bifarius and Bombus sylvicola collected from 3290m asl in Wyoming, USA. Overall, larger bees could tolerate more extreme temperatures, likely due to a thermal inertia driven lag between core body temperatures and air temperatures. Despite their smaller size, high altitude bumble bees tolerated colder air temperatures: they had ~1°C lower CTmin and recovered from cold exposure at ~3-4°C lower air temperatures. Conversely, low altitude bees tolerated ~5°C hotter air temperatures. These altitudinal differences in thermal tolerance parallel differences in average daily minimum (1.2°C) and maximum (7.5°C) temperatures between these sites. These results provide one of the few measurements of organism thermal tolerance across altitude and the first evidence for geographical differences in tolerance of temperature extremes in heterothermic bumble bees. PMID:27264888

  2. The final moments of landing in bumblebees, Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Reber, Therese; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie

    2016-04-01

    In comparison to other insects, like honeybees, bumblebees are very effective pollinators. Even though landing is a crucial part of pollination, little is known about how bumblebees orchestrate the final, critical moments of landing. Here, we use high-speed recordings to capture the fine details of the landing behaviour of free-flying bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), while landing on a flat platform with different orientations. We find that the bees have a fairly constant body and head orientation at the moment of leg extension, irrespective of platform tilt. At the same moment in time, the distance to the platform is held constant at around 8 mm (with the exception of low platform tilts). The orientation of the antennae and the first appendage that touches the platform vary between platform orientations, while the duration of the hover phase does not. Overall, the final moments of landing in bumblebees and their close relatives, the honeybees, are similar. However, the distance to the platform at the moment of leg extension and the duration of the hover phase are different in bumblebees and honeybees, suggesting that they are primarily adapted to land on surfaces with different orientations. PMID:26868924

  3. 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

  4. Gonadotropic and Physiological Functions of Juvenile Hormone in Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) Workers

    PubMed Central

    Shpigler, Hagai; Amsalem, Etya; Huang, Zachary Y.; Cohen, Mira; Siegel, Adam J.; Hefetz, Abraham; Bloch, Guy

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of advanced sociality in bees is associated with apparent modifications in juvenile hormone (JH) signaling. By contrast to most insects in which JH is a gonadotropin regulating female fertility, in the highly eusocial honey bee (Apis mellifera) JH has lost its gonadotrophic function in adult females, and instead regulates age-related division of labor among worker bees. In order to shed light on the evolution of JH signaling in bees we performed allatectomy and replacement therapies to manipulate JH levels in workers of the "primitively eusocial" bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Allatectomized worker bees showed remarkable reduction in ovarian development, egg laying, Vitellogenin and Krüppel homolog 1 fat body transcript levels, hemolymph Vitellogenin protein abundance, wax secretion, and egg-cell construction. These effects were reverted, at least partially, by treating allatectomized bees with JH-III, the natural JH of bees. Allatectomy also affected the amount of ester component in Dufour's gland secretion, which is thought to convey a social signal relating to worker fertility. These findings provide a strong support for the hypothesis that in contrast to honey bees, JH is a gonadotropin in bumblebees and lend credence to the hypothesis that the evolution of advanced eusociality in honey bees was associated with major modifications in JH signaling. PMID:24959888

  5. Precocene-I inhibits juvenile hormone biosynthesis, ovarian activation, aggression and alters sterility signal production in bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) workers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Juvenile hormone (JH) is an important regulator of development and physiology in insects. While in many insect species, including bumble bees, JH function as gonadotropin in adults, in some highly eusocial insects its role has shifted to regulate social behavior including division of labor, dominanc...

  6. Patterns of range-wide genetic variation in six North American bumble bee (Apidae: Bombus) species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The increasing evidence for population declines in bumble bee (Bombus) species worldwide has accelerated research efforts to explain losses in these important native pollinators. In North America, a number of once widespread Bombus species have suffered serious reductions in range and abundance, alt...

  7. Winter Active Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) Achieve High Foraging Rates in Urban Britain

    PubMed Central

    Stelzer, Ralph J.; Chittka, Lars; Carlton, Marc; Ings, Thomas C.

    2010-01-01

    Background Foraging bumblebees are normally associated with spring and summer in northern Europe. However, there have been sightings of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris during the warmer winters in recent years in southern England. But what floral resources are they relying upon during winter and how much winter forage can they collect? Methodology/Principal Findings To test if urban areas in the UK provide a rich foraging niche for bees we set up colonies of B. terrestris in the field during two late winter periods (2005/6 & 2006/7) in London, UK, and measured their foraging performance. Fully automatic radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology was used in 2006/7 to enable us to record the complete foraging activity of individually tagged bees. The number of bumblebees present during winter (October 2007 to March 2008) and the main plants they visited were also recorded during transect walks. Queens and workers were observed throughout the winter, suggesting a second generation of bee colonies active during the winter months. Mass flowering shrubs such as Mahonia spp. were identified as important food resources. The foraging experiments showed that bees active during the winter can attain nectar and pollen foraging rates that match, and even surpass, those recorded during summer. Conclusions/Significance B. terrestris in the UK are now able to utilise a rich winter foraging resource in urban parks and gardens that might at present still be under-exploited, opening up the possibility of further changes in pollinator phenology. PMID:20221445

  8. USBombus, a database of contemporary survey data for North American Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) distributed in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper describes USBombus, a large dataset that represents the outcomes of one of the largest standardized surveys of bee pollinators (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) globally. The motivation to collect live bumble bees across the US was to examine the decline and conservation status of Bombus affi...

  9. Detoxification and stress response genes expressed in a western North American bumble bee, Bombus huntii (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Hunt bumble bee (Bombus huntii Greene, Hymenoptera: Apidae) is a holometabolous, social insect important as a pollinator in natural and agricultural ecosystems in western North America. Bumble bees spend a significant amount of time foraging on a wide variety of flowering plants, and this activity exposes them to both plant toxins and pesticides, posing a threat to individual and colony survival. Little is known about what detoxification pathways are active in bumble bees, how the expression of detoxification genes changes across life stages, or how the number of detoxification genes expressed in B. huntii compares to other insects. Results We found B. huntii expressed at least 584 genes associated with detoxification and stress responses. The expression levels of some of these genes, such as those encoding the cytochrome P450s, glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) and glycosidases, vary among different life stages to a greater extent than do other genes. We also found that the number of P450s, GSTs and esterase genes expressed by B. huntii is similar to the number of these genes found in the genomes of other bees, namely Bombus terrestris, Bombus impatiens, Apis mellifera and Megachile rotundata, but many fewer than are found in the fly Drosophila melanogaster. Conclusions Bombus huntii has transcripts for a large number of detoxification and stress related proteins, including oxidation and reduction enzymes, conjugation enzymes, hydrolytic enzymes, ABC transporters, cadherins, and heat shock proteins. The diversity of genes expressed within some detoxification pathways varies among the life stages and castes, and we typically identified more genes in the adult females than in larvae, pupae, or adult males, for most pathways. Meanwhile, we found the numbers of detoxification and stress genes expressed by B. huntii to be more similar to other bees than to the fruit fly. The low number of detoxification genes, first noted in the honey bee, appears to be

  10. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

    PubMed Central

    Moffat, Christopher; Pacheco, Joao Goncalves; Sharp, Sheila; Samson, Andrew J.; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey; Buckland, Stephen T.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2015-01-01

    The global decline in the abundance and diversity of insect pollinators could result from habitat loss, disease, and pesticide exposure. The contribution of the neonicotinoid insecticides (e.g., clothianidin and imidacloprid) to this decline is controversial, and key to understanding their risk is whether the astonishingly low levels found in the nectar and pollen of plants is sufficient to deliver neuroactive levels to their site of action: the bee brain. Here we show that bumblebees (Bombus terrestris audax) fed field levels [10 nM, 2.1 ppb (w/w)] of neonicotinoid accumulate between 4 and 10 nM in their brains within 3 days. Acute (minutes) exposure of cultured neurons to 10 nM clothianidin, but not imidacloprid, causes a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-dependent rapid mitochondrial depolarization. However, a chronic (2 days) exposure to 1 nM imidacloprid leads to a receptor-dependent increased sensitivity to a normally innocuous level of acetylcholine, which now also causes rapid mitochondrial depolarization in neurons. Finally, colonies exposed to this level of imidacloprid show deficits in colony growth and nest condition compared with untreated colonies. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the poor navigation and foraging observed in neonicotinoid treated bumblebee colonies.—Moffat, C., Pacheco, J. G., Sharp, S., Samson, A. J., Bollan, K. A., Huang, J., Buckland, S. T., Connolly, C. N. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). PMID:25634958

  11. Patterns of range-wide genetic variation in six North American bumble bee (Apidae: Bombus) species.

    PubMed

    Lozier, Jeffrey D; Strange, James P; Stewart, Isaac J; Cameron, Sydney A

    2011-12-01

    The increasing evidence for population declines in bumble bee (Bombus) species worldwide has accelerated research efforts to explain losses in these important pollinators. In North America, a number of once widespread Bombus species have suffered serious reductions in range and abundance, although other species remain healthy. To examine whether declining and stable species exhibit different levels of genetic diversity or population fragmentation, we used microsatellite markers to genotype populations sampled across the geographic distributions of two declining (Bombus occidentalis and Bombus pensylvanicus) and four stable (Bombus bifarius; Bombus vosnesenskii; Bombus impatiens and Bombus bimaculatus) Bombus species. Populations of declining species generally have reduced levels of genetic diversity throughout their range compared to codistributed stable species. Genetic diversity can be affected by overall range size and degree of isolation of local populations, potentially confounding comparisons among species in some cases. We find no evidence for consistent differences in gene flow among stable and declining species, with all species exhibiting weak genetic differentiation over large distances (e.g. >1000 km). Populations on islands and at high elevations experience relatively strong genetic drift, suggesting that some conditions lead to genetic isolation in otherwise weakly differentiated species. B. occidentalis and B. bifarius exhibit stronger genetic differentiation than the other species, indicating greater phylogeographic structure consistent with their broader geographic distributions across topographically complex regions of western North America. Screening genetic diversity in North American Bombus should prove useful for identifying species that warrant monitoring, and developing management strategies that promote high levels of gene flow will be a key component in efforts to maintain healthy populations. PMID:22035452

  12. Landscape heterogeneity predicts gene flow in a widespread polymorphic bumble bee, Bombus bifarius (Hymentoptera: Apidae).

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bombus bifarius is a widespread bumble bee that occurs in montane regions of western North America. This species has several major color polymorphisms, and shows evidence of genetic structuring among regional populations. We test whether this structure is evidence for discrete gene flow barriers tha...

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

    PubMed Central

    Bernauer, Olivia M.; Gaines-Day, Hannah R.; Steffan, Shawn A.

    2015-01-01

    Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possible culprit contributing to bee declines. Even fungicides, generally considered safe for bees, have been shown to disrupt honey bee development and impair bumble bee behavior. Little is known, however, how fungicides may affect bumble bee colony growth. We conducted a controlled cage study to determine the effects of fungicide exposure on colonies of a native bumble bee species (Bombus impatiens). Colonies of B. impatiens were exposed to flowers treated with field-relevant levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil over the course of one month. Colony success was assessed by the number and biomass of larvae, pupae, and adult bumble bees. Bumble bee colonies exposed to fungicide produced fewer workers, lower total bee biomass, and had lighter mother queens than control colonies. Our results suggest that fungicides negatively affect the colony success of a native bumble bee species and that the use of fungicides during bloom has the potential to severely impact the success of native bumble bee populations foraging in agroecosystems. PMID:26463198

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

    PubMed

    Bernauer, Olivia M; Gaines-Day, Hannah R; Steffan, Shawn A

    2015-01-01

    Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possible culprit contributing to bee declines. Even fungicides, generally considered safe for bees, have been shown to disrupt honey bee development and impair bumble bee behavior. Little is known, however, how fungicides may affect bumble bee colony growth. We conducted a controlled cage study to determine the effects of fungicide exposure on colonies of a native bumble bee species (Bombus impatiens). Colonies of B. impatiens were exposed to flowers treated with field-relevant levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil over the course of one month. Colony success was assessed by the number and biomass of larvae, pupae, and adult bumble bees. Bumble bee colonies exposed to fungicide produced fewer workers, lower total bee biomass, and had lighter mother queens than control colonies. Our results suggest that fungicides negatively affect the colony success of a native bumble bee species and that the use of fungicides during bloom has the potential to severely impact the success of native bumble bee populations foraging in agroecosystems. PMID:26463198

  15. Mechanosensory hairs in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) detect weak electric fields

    PubMed Central

    Sutton, Gregory P.; Clarke, Dominic; Morley, Erica L.; Robert, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) use information from surrounding electric fields to make foraging decisions. Electroreception in air, a nonconductive medium, is a recently discovered sensory capacity of insects, yet the sensory mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we investigate two putative electric field sensors: antennae and mechanosensory hairs. Examining their mechanical and neural response, we show that electric fields cause deflections in both antennae and hairs. Hairs respond with a greater median velocity, displacement, and angular displacement than antennae. Extracellular recordings from the antennae do not show any electrophysiological correlates to these mechanical deflections. In contrast, hair deflections in response to an electric field elicited neural activity. Mechanical deflections of both hairs and antennae increase with the electric charge carried by the bumblebee. From this evidence, we conclude that sensory hairs are a site of electroreception in the bumblebee. PMID:27247399

  16. Mechanosensory hairs in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) detect weak electric fields.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Gregory P; Clarke, Dominic; Morley, Erica L; Robert, Daniel

    2016-06-28

    Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) use information from surrounding electric fields to make foraging decisions. Electroreception in air, a nonconductive medium, is a recently discovered sensory capacity of insects, yet the sensory mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we investigate two putative electric field sensors: antennae and mechanosensory hairs. Examining their mechanical and neural response, we show that electric fields cause deflections in both antennae and hairs. Hairs respond with a greater median velocity, displacement, and angular displacement than antennae. Extracellular recordings from the antennae do not show any electrophysiological correlates to these mechanical deflections. In contrast, hair deflections in response to an electric field elicited neural activity. Mechanical deflections of both hairs and antennae increase with the electric charge carried by the bumblebee. From this evidence, we conclude that sensory hairs are a site of electroreception in the bumblebee. PMID:27247399

  17. Variation in gut microbial communities and its association with pathogen infection in wild bumble bees (Bombus)

    PubMed Central

    Cariveau, Daniel P; Elijah Powell, J; Koch, Hauke; Winfree, Rachael; Moran, Nancy A

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial gut symbiont communities are critical for the health of many insect species. However, little is known about how microbial communities vary among host species or how they respond to anthropogenic disturbances. Bacterial communities that differ in richness or composition may vary in their ability to provide nutrients or defenses. We used deep sequencing to investigate gut microbiota of three species in the genus Bombus (bumble bees). Bombus are among the most economically and ecologically important non-managed pollinators. Some species have experienced dramatic declines, probably due to pathogens and land-use change. We examined variation within and across bee species and between semi-natural and conventional agricultural habitats. We categorized as ‘core bacteria' any operational taxonomic units (OTUs) with closest hits to sequences previously found exclusively or primarily in the guts of honey bees and bumble bees (genera Apis and Bombus). Microbial community composition differed among bee species. Richness, defined as number of bacterial OTUs, was highest for B. bimaculatus and B. impatiens. For B. bimaculatus, this was due to high richness of non-core bacteria. We found little effect of habitat on microbial communities. Richness of non-core bacteria was negatively associated with bacterial abundance in individual bees, possibly due to deeper sampling of non-core bacteria in bees with low populations of core bacteria. Infection by the gut parasite Crithidia was negatively associated with abundance of the core bacterium Gilliamella and positively associated with richness of non-core bacteria. Our results indicate that Bombus species have distinctive gut communities, and community-level variation is associated with pathogen infection. PMID:24763369

  18. Variation in gut microbial communities and its association with pathogen infection in wild bumble bees (Bombus).

    PubMed

    Cariveau, Daniel P; Elijah Powell, J; Koch, Hauke; Winfree, Rachael; Moran, Nancy A

    2014-12-01

    Bacterial gut symbiont communities are critical for the health of many insect species. However, little is known about how microbial communities vary among host species or how they respond to anthropogenic disturbances. Bacterial communities that differ in richness or composition may vary in their ability to provide nutrients or defenses. We used deep sequencing to investigate gut microbiota of three species in the genus Bombus (bumble bees). Bombus are among the most economically and ecologically important non-managed pollinators. Some species have experienced dramatic declines, probably due to pathogens and land-use change. We examined variation within and across bee species and between semi-natural and conventional agricultural habitats. We categorized as 'core bacteria' any operational taxonomic units (OTUs) with closest hits to sequences previously found exclusively or primarily in the guts of honey bees and bumble bees (genera Apis and Bombus). Microbial community composition differed among bee species. Richness, defined as number of bacterial OTUs, was highest for B. bimaculatus and B. impatiens. For B. bimaculatus, this was due to high richness of non-core bacteria. We found little effect of habitat on microbial communities. Richness of non-core bacteria was negatively associated with bacterial abundance in individual bees, possibly due to deeper sampling of non-core bacteria in bees with low populations of core bacteria. Infection by the gut parasite Crithidia was negatively associated with abundance of the core bacterium Gilliamella and positively associated with richness of non-core bacteria. Our results indicate that Bombus species have distinctive gut communities, and community-level variation is associated with pathogen infection. PMID:24763369

  19. Structural Analysis of Hand Drawn Bumblebee Bombus terrestris Silk.

    PubMed

    Woodhead, Andrea L; Sutherland, Tara D; Church, Jeffrey S

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris, commonly known as the buff-tailed bumblebee, is native to Europe, parts of Africa and Asia. It is commercially bred for use as a pollinator of greenhouse crops. Larvae pupate within a silken cocoon that they construct from proteins produced in modified salivary glands. The amino acid composition and protein structure of hand drawn B. terrestris, silk fibres was investigated through the use of micro-Raman spectroscopy. Spectra were obtained from single fibres drawn from the larvae salivary gland at a rate of 0.14 cm/s. Raman spectroscopy enabled the identification of poly(alanine), poly(alanine-glycine), phenylalanine, tryptophan, and methionine, which is consistent with the results of amino acid analysis. The dominant protein conformation was found to be coiled coil (73%) while the β-sheet content of 10% is, as expected, lower than those reported for hornets and ants. Polarized Raman spectra revealed that the coiled coils were highly aligned along the fibre axis while the β-sheet and random coil components had their peptide carbonyl groups roughly perpendicular to the fibre axis. The protein orientation distribution is compared to those of other natural and recombinant silks. A structural model for the B. terrestris silk fibre is proposed based on these results. PMID:27447623

  20. Structural Analysis of Hand Drawn Bumblebee Bombus terrestris Silk

    PubMed Central

    Woodhead, Andrea L.; Sutherland, Tara D.; Church, Jeffrey S.

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris, commonly known as the buff-tailed bumblebee, is native to Europe, parts of Africa and Asia. It is commercially bred for use as a pollinator of greenhouse crops. Larvae pupate within a silken cocoon that they construct from proteins produced in modified salivary glands. The amino acid composition and protein structure of hand drawn B. terrestris, silk fibres was investigated through the use of micro-Raman spectroscopy. Spectra were obtained from single fibres drawn from the larvae salivary gland at a rate of 0.14 cm/s. Raman spectroscopy enabled the identification of poly(alanine), poly(alanine-glycine), phenylalanine, tryptophan, and methionine, which is consistent with the results of amino acid analysis. The dominant protein conformation was found to be coiled coil (73%) while the β-sheet content of 10% is, as expected, lower than those reported for hornets and ants. Polarized Raman spectra revealed that the coiled coils were highly aligned along the fibre axis while the β-sheet and random coil components had their peptide carbonyl groups roughly perpendicular to the fibre axis. The protein orientation distribution is compared to those of other natural and recombinant silks. A structural model for the B. terrestris silk fibre is proposed based on these results. PMID:27447623

  1. A scientific note on Bombus (Psithyrus) insularis invasions of bumble bee nests and honey bee hives in the western United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees (genus Bombus) are critical pollinators of flowering plants, yet some species are obligate social parasites that do little pollinating and reduce the fitness of the colonies they invade. In 2012 we observed an outbreak of the parasitic Bombus insularis in the Cache Valley of Northern Ut...

  2. Constructing a Species Database and Historic Range Maps for North American Bumble Bees (Bombus sensu stricto Latreille) to Inform Conservation Decisions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees (Bombus Latrielle) are some of the most important native pollinators in North America, pollinating both wild flowers and agricultural crops often where other pollinators such as honey bees are absent. In the last decade at least six North American species of bumble bees (Bombus Latreill...

  3. Fertility signals in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sramkova, A.; Schulz, C.; Twele, R.; Francke, W.; Ayasse, M.

    2008-06-01

    In eusocial Hymenoptera, queen control over workers is probably inseparable from the mechanism of queen recognition. In primitively eusocial bumblebees ( Bombus), worker reproduction is controlled not only by the presence or absence of a dominant queen but also by other dominant workers. Furthermore, it was shown that the queen dominance is maintained by pheromonal cues. We investigated whether there is a similar odor signal released by egg-laying queens and workers that may have a function as a fertility signal. We collected cuticular surface extracts from nest-searching and breeding Bombus terrestris queens and workers that were characterized by their ovarian stages. In chemical analyses, we identified 61 compounds consisting of aldehydes, alkanes, alkenes, and fatty acid esters. Nest-searching queens and all groups of breeding females differed significantly in their odor bouquets. Furthermore, workers before the competition point (time point of colony development where workers start to develop ovaries and lay eggs) differed largely from queens and all other groups of workers. Breeding queens showed a unique bouquet of chemical compounds and certain queen-specific compounds, and the differences toward workers decrease with an increasing development of the workers’ ovaries, hinting the presence of a reliable fertility signal. Among the worker groups, the smallest differences were found after the competition point. Egg-laying females contained higher total amounts of chemical compounds and of relative proportions of wax-type esters and aldehydes than nest-searching queens and workers before the competition point. Therefore, these compounds may have a function as a fertility signal present in queens and workers.

  4. Rearing and foraging affects bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Newbold, Lindsay K; Oliver, Anna E; Cuthbertson, Leah; Walkington, Sarah E; Gweon, Hyun S; Heard, Matthew S; van der Gast, Christopher J

    2015-08-01

    Bumblebees are ecologically and economically important as pollinators of crop and wild plants, especially in temperate systems. Species, such as the buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), are reared commercially to pollinate high-value crops. Their highly specific gut microbiota, characterized by low diversity, may affect nutrition and immunity and are likely to be important for fitness and colony health. However, little is known about how environmental factors affect bacterial community structure. We analysed the gut microbiota from three groups of worker bumblebees (B. terrestris) from distinct colonies that varied in rearing and foraging characteristics: commercially reared with restricted foraging (RR); commercially reared with outside foraging (RF); and wild-caught workers (W). Contrary to previous studies, which indicate that bacterial communities are highly conserved across workers, we found that RF individuals had an intermediate community structure compared with RR and W types. Further, this was shaped by differences in the abundances of common operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and the diversity of rare OTUs present, which we propose results from an increase in the variety of carbohydrates obtained through foraging. PMID:25994560

  5. Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) use social information as an indicator of safety in dangerous environments

    PubMed Central

    Dawson, Erika H.; Chittka, Lars

    2014-01-01

    Avoiding predation is one of the most important challenges that an animal faces. Several anti-predation behaviours can be employed, yet simply using the presence of conspecifics can be a good signal of safety in an environment with potential predation hazards. Here, we show, for the first time, that past experience of predation causes bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) to aggregate with conspecifics, facilitating the identification of safe foraging patches. Bees were trained to differentiate between flowers that harboured predators and flowers that were predator free. When test subjects were subsequently presented solely with the previously predator-infested flower species, there was a significant preference to only land on flowers occupied by other feeding conspecifics. Yet, when safe flowers were made available to subjects previously entrained to discriminate safe from predator-occupied flowers, subjects ignored other bees and the social information potentially provided by them, demonstrating that attraction towards conspecifics is confined to dangerous situations. Our findings demonstrate a previously unknown social interaction in pollinators which may have important implications for plant–pollinator interactions. PMID:24789891

  6. Genetic and Morphometric Evidence for the Conspecific Status of the Bumble Bees, Bombus melanopygus and Bombus edwardsii

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Robin E.; Whidden, Troy L.; Plowright, R.C.

    2010-01-01

    The taxonomic status of closely related bumble bee species is often unclear. The relationship between the two nominate taxa, Bombus melanopygus Nylander (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Bombus edwardsii Cresson (Hymenoptera: Apidae), was investigated using genetic (enzyme electrophoretic) and morphometric analyses. The taxa differ in the color of the abdominal terga two and three, being ferruginous in B. melanopygus and black in B. edwardsii. B. edwardsii occurs throughout California, while B. melanopygus extends north through Oregon, to Alaska and Canada. They are sympatric only in southern Oregon and northern California. The taxonomic status of these taxa was questioned when Owen and Plowright (1980) reared colonies from queens collected in the area of sympatry, and discovered that pile coloration was due to a single, biallelic Mendelian gene, with the red (R) allele dominant to the black (r). Here it is shown that all the taxa, whether from California, Oregon, or Alberta, have the same electrophoretic profile and cannot be reliably distinguished by wing morphometrics. This strongly supports the conclusion that B. melanopygus and B. edwardsii are conspecific and should be synonymized under the name B. melanopygus. Hence, there is a gene frequency cline running from north to south, where the red allele is completely replaced by the black allele over a distance of about 600 km. PMID:20874396

  7. Nest wax triggers worker reproduction in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Rottler-Hoermann, Ann-Marie; Schulz, Stefan; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Social insects are well known for their high level of cooperation. Workers of the primitively eusocial bumblebee Bombus terrestris are able to produce male offspring in the presence of a queen. Nonetheless, they only compete for reproduction, in the so-called competition phase, when the workforce is large enough to support the rearing of reproductives. So far, little is known about the proximate mechanisms underlying the shift between altruism and selfish behaviour in bumblebee workers. In this study, we have examined the influence of chemical cues from the nest wax on the onset of worker reproduction. Chemical analyses of wax extracts have revealed that the patterns and amounts of cuticular lipids change considerably during colony development. These changes in wax scent mirror worker abundance and the presence of fertile workers. In bioassays with queen-right worker groups, wax affects the dominance behaviour and ovarian development of workers. When exposed to wax from a colony in competition phase, workers start to compete for reproduction. We suggest that wax scent enables workers to time their reproduction by providing essential information concerning the social condition of the colony. PMID:26909189

  8. Nest wax triggers worker reproduction in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Rottler-Hoermann, Ann-Marie; Schulz, Stefan; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Social insects are well known for their high level of cooperation. Workers of the primitively eusocial bumblebee Bombus terrestris are able to produce male offspring in the presence of a queen. Nonetheless, they only compete for reproduction, in the so-called competition phase, when the workforce is large enough to support the rearing of reproductives. So far, little is known about the proximate mechanisms underlying the shift between altruism and selfish behaviour in bumblebee workers. In this study, we have examined the influence of chemical cues from the nest wax on the onset of worker reproduction. Chemical analyses of wax extracts have revealed that the patterns and amounts of cuticular lipids change considerably during colony development. These changes in wax scent mirror worker abundance and the presence of fertile workers. In bioassays with queen-right worker groups, wax affects the dominance behaviour and ovarian development of workers. When exposed to wax from a colony in competition phase, workers start to compete for reproduction. We suggest that wax scent enables workers to time their reproduction by providing essential information concerning the social condition of the colony. PMID:26909189

  9. The effects of single and mixed infections of Apicystis bombi and deformed wing virus in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Graystock, Peter; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; Goulson, Dave; Hughes, William O H

    2016-03-01

    Many pollinators are currently suffering from declines, diminishing their gene pool and increasing their vulnerability to parasites. Recently, an increasing diversity of parasites has been recorded in bumblebees, yet for many, knowledge of their virulence and hence the risk their presence poses, is lacking. The deformed wing virus (DWV), known to be ubiquitous in honey bees, has now been detected in bumblebees. In addition, the neogregarine Apicystis bombi has been discovered to be more prevalent than previously thought. Here, we assess for the first time the lethal and sublethal effects of these parasites during single and mixed infections of worker bumblebees (Bombus terrestris). Fifteen days after experimental exposure, 22% of bees exposed to A. bombi, 50% of bees exposed to DWV and 86% of bees exposed to both parasites had died. Bumblebees that had ingested A. bombi had increased sucrose sensitivity (SS) and a lower lipid:body size ratio than control bees. While dual infected bumblebees showed no increase in SS. Overall, we find that A. bombi exhibits both lethal and sublethal effects. DWV causes lethal effect and may reduce the sub lethal effects imposed by A. bombi. The results show that both parasites have significant, negative effects on bumblebee health, making them potentially of conservation concern. PMID:26646676

  10. Leg tendon glands in male bumblebees ( Bombus terrestris): structure, secretion chemistry, and possible functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarau, Stefan; Žáček, Petr; Šobotník, Jan; Vrkoslav, Vladimír; Hadravová, Romana; Coppée, Audrey; Vašíčková, Soňa; Jiroš, Pavel; Valterová, Irena

    2012-12-01

    Among the large number of exocrine glands described in bees, the tarsal glands were thought to be the source of footprint scent marks. However, recent studies showed that the compounds used for marking by stingless bees are secreted by leg tendon instead of tarsal glands. Here, we report on the structure of leg tendon glands in males of Bombus terrestris, together with a description of the chemical composition of their secretions and respective changes of both during the males' lives. The ultrastructure of leg tendon glands shows that the secretory cells are located in three independent regions, separated from each other by unmodified epidermal cells: in the femur, tibia, and basitarsus. Due to the common site of secretion release, the organ is considered a single secretory gland. The secretion of the leg tendon glands of B. terrestris males differs in its composition from those of workers and queens, in particular by (1) having larger proportions of compounds with longer chain lengths, which we identified as wax esters; and (2) by the lack of certain hydrocarbons (especially long chain dienes). Other differences consist in the distribution of double bond positions in the unsaturated hydrocarbons that are predominantly located at position 9 in males but distributed at seven to nine different positions in the female castes. Double bond positions may change chemical and physical properties of a molecule, which can be recognized by the insects and, thus, may serve to convey specific information. The function of male-specific compounds identified from their tendon glands remains elusive, but several possibilities are discussed.

  11. Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus spp.) of Interior Alaska: Species Composition, Distribution, Seasonal Biology, and Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Pampell, Rehanon; Pantoja, Alberto; Holloway, Patricia; Knight, Charles; Ranft, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Despite the ecological and agricultural significance of bumble bees in Alaska, very little is known and published about this important group at the regional level. The objectives of this study were to provide baseline data on species composition, distribution, seasonal biology, and parasites of the genus Bombus at three major agricultural locations within Alaska: Fairbanks, Delta Junction, and Palmer, to lay the groundwork for future research on bumble bee pollination in Alaska. New information A total of 8,250 bumble bees representing 18 species was collected from agricultural settings near Delta Junction, Fairbanks, and Palmer, Alaska in 2009 and 2010. Of the 8,250 specimens, 51% were queens, 32.7% were workers, and 16.2% were males. The species composition and relative abundances varied among sites and years. Delta Junction had the highest relative abundance of bumble bees, representing 51.6% of the specimens collected; the other two locations, Fairbanks and Palmer represented 26.5% and 21.8% of the overall catch respectively. The species collected were: Bombus bohemicus Seidl 1837 (= B. ashtoni (Cresson 1864)), B. balteatus Dahlbom 1832, B. bifarius Cresson 1878, B. centralis Cresson 1864, B. cryptarum (Fabricius 1775) (=B. moderatus Cresson 1863), B. distinguendus Morawitz 1869, B. flavidus Eversmann 1852 (=B. fernaldae Franklin 1911), B. flavifrons Cresson 1863, B. frigidus Smith 1854, B. insularis (Smith 1861), B. jonellus (Kirby 1802), B. melanopygus Nylander 1848, B. mixtus Cresson 1878, B. neoboreus Sladen 1919, B. occidentalis Greene 1858, B. perplexus Cresson 1863, B. rufocinctus Cresson 1863, and B. sylvicola Kirby 1837. Overall, the most common bumble bees near agricultural lands were B. centralis, B. frigidus, B. jonellus, B. melanopygus, B. mixtus, and B. occidentalis. Species' relative population densities and local diversity were highly variable from year to year. Bombus occidentalis, believed to be in decline in the Pacific

  12. Interspecific mating of the introduced bumblebee Bombus terrestris and the native Japanese bumblebee Bombus hypocrita sapporoensis results in inviable hybrids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanbe, Yuya; Okada, Ikuko; Yoneda, Masahiro; Goka, Koichi; Tsuchida, Koji

    2008-10-01

    The bumblebee Bombus terrestris is not only an effective pollinator, but also a potential invasive alien species outside its native range. Recently, nearly 30% of queens of the Japanese native species Bombus hypocrita sapporoensis and B. hypocrita hypocrita were estimated to copulate with B. terrestris males in the field, suggesting that indigenous bumblebees could be genetically deteriorated through hybrid production with the introduced species. In this study, we evaluated hybrid production between the introduced B. terrestris and the indigenous B. hypocrita sapporoensis under laboratory conditions. The hatching rate of eggs derived from interspecific matings was 0% and 8.6% depending on the direction of the cross, which was significantly lower than that from intraspecific matings of B. terrestris (76.9%) and B. hypocrita sapporoensis (78.9%). Genetic studies using microsatellite markers revealed that both haploid and diploid individuals were present in the egg stage, whereas all hatched larvae were haploid. In addition, histological studies revealed that eggs derived from interspecific matings terminated development 2 days after oviposition. These results strongly suggested that eggs derived from interspecific matings are inviable due to post-mating isolation mechanisms. Mass release of exotic pollinators could cause serious population declines of native bumblebee species.

  13. Bumble Bees (Bombus spp) along a Gradient of Increasing Urbanization

    PubMed Central

    Ahrné, Karin; Bengtsson, Jan; Elmqvist, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    Background Bumble bees and other wild bees are important pollinators of wild flowers and several cultivated crop plants, and have declined in diversity and abundance during the last decades. The main cause of the decline is believed to be habitat destruction and fragmentation associated with urbanization and agricultural intensification. Urbanization is a process that involves dramatic and persistent changes of the landscape, increasing the amount of built-up areas while decreasing the amount of green areas. However, urban green areas can also provide suitable alternative habitats for wild bees. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied bumble bees in allotment gardens, i.e. intensively managed flower rich green areas, along a gradient of urbanization from the inner city of Stockholm towards more rural (periurban) areas. Keeping habitat quality similar along the urbanization gradient allowed us to separate the effect of landscape change (e.g. proportion impervious surface) from variation in habitat quality. Bumble bee diversity (after rarefaction to 25 individuals) decreased with increasing urbanization, from around eight species on sites in more rural areas to between five and six species in urban allotment gardens. Bumble bee abundance and species composition were most affected by qualities related to the management of the allotment areas, such as local flower abundance. The variability in bumble bee visits between allotment gardens was higher in an urban than in a periurban context, particularly among small and long-tongued bumble bee species. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that allotment gardens and other urban green areas can serve as important alternatives to natural habitats for many bumble bee species, but that the surrounding urban landscape influences how many species that will be present. The higher variability in abundance of certain species in the most urban areas may indicate a weaker reliability of the ecosystem service pollination in

  14. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of spinosad on bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson).

    PubMed

    Morandin, Lora A; Winston, Mark L; Franklin, Michelle T; Abbott, Virginia A

    2005-07-01

    Recent developments of new families of pesticides and growing awareness of the importance of wild pollinators for crop pollination have stimulated interest in potential effects of novel pesticides on wild bees. Yet pesticide toxicity studies on wild bees remain rare, and few studies have included long-term monitoring of bumble bee colonies or testing of foraging ability after pesticide exposure. Larval bees feeding on exogenous pollen and exposed to pesticides during development may result in lethal or sub-lethal effects during the adult stage. We tested the effects of a naturally derived biopesticide, spinosad, on bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) colony health, including adult mortality, brood development, weights of emerging bees and foraging efficiency of adults that underwent larval development during exposure to spinosad. We monitored colonies from an early stage, over a 10-week period, and fed spinosad to colonies in pollen at four levels: control, 0.2, 0.8 and 8.0 mg kg(-1), during weeks 2 through 5 of the experiment. At concentrations that bees would likely encounter in pollen in the wild (0.2-0.8 mg kg(-1)) we detected minimal negative effects to bumble bee colonies. Brood and adult mortality was high at 8.0 mg kg(-1) spinosad, about twice the level that bees would be exposed to in a 'worst case' field scenario, resulting in colony death two to four weeks after initial pesticide exposure. At more realistic concentrations there were potentially important sub-lethal effects. Adult worker bees exposed to spinosad during larval development at 0.8 mg kg(-1) were slower foragers on artificial complex flower arrays than bees from low or no spinosad treated colonies. Inclusion of similar sub-lethal assays to detect effects of pesticides on pollinators would aid in development of environmentally responsible pest management strategies. PMID:15880684

  15. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Moffat, Christopher; Pacheco, Joao Goncalves; Sharp, Sheila; Samson, Andrew J; Bollan, Karen A; Huang, Jeffrey; Buckland, Stephen T; Connolly, Christopher N

    2015-05-01

    The global decline in the abundance and diversity of insect pollinators could result from habitat loss, disease, and pesticide exposure. The contribution of the neonicotinoid insecticides (e.g., clothianidin and imidacloprid) to this decline is controversial, and key to understanding their risk is whether the astonishingly low levels found in the nectar and pollen of plants is sufficient to deliver neuroactive levels to their site of action: the bee brain. Here we show that bumblebees (Bombus terrestris audax) fed field levels [10 nM, 2.1 ppb (w/w)] of neonicotinoid accumulate between 4 and 10 nM in their brains within 3 days. Acute (minutes) exposure of cultured neurons to 10 nM clothianidin, but not imidacloprid, causes a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-dependent rapid mitochondrial depolarization. However, a chronic (2 days) exposure to 1 nM imidacloprid leads to a receptor-dependent increased sensitivity to a normally innocuous level of acetylcholine, which now also causes rapid mitochondrial depolarization in neurons. Finally, colonies exposed to this level of imidacloprid show deficits in colony growth and nest condition compared with untreated colonies. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the poor navigation and foraging observed in neonicotinoid treated bumblebee colonies. PMID:25634958

  16. Pollen foraging: learning a complex motor skill by bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raine, Nigel E.; Chittka, Lars

    2007-06-01

    To investigate how bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) learn the complex motor skills involved in pollen foraging, we observed naïve workers foraging on arrays of nectarless poppy flowers (Papaver rhoeas) in a greenhouse. Foraging skills were quantified by measuring the pollen load collected during each foraging bout and relating this to the number of flowers visited and bout duration on two consecutive days. The pollen standing crop (PSC) in each flower decreased drastically from 0530 to 0900 hours. Therefore, we related foraging performance to the changing levels of pollen available (per flower) and found that collection rate increased over the course of four consecutive foraging bouts (comprising between 277 and 354 individual flower visits), suggesting that learning to forage for pollen represents a substantial time investment for individual foragers. The pollen collection rate and size of pollen loads collected at the start of day 2 were markedly lower than at the end of day 1, suggesting that components of pollen foraging behaviour could be subject to imperfect overnight retention. Our results suggest that learning the necessary motor skills to collect pollen effectively from morphologically simple flowers takes three times as many visits as learning how to handle the most morphologically complex flowers to extract nectar, potentially explaining why bees are more specialised in their choice of pollen flowers.

  17. The Adaptive Significance of Sensory Bias in a Foraging Context: Floral Colour Preferences in the Bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Raine, Nigel E.; Chittka, Lars

    2007-01-01

    Innate sensory biases could play an important role in helping naïve animals to find food. As inexperienced bees are known to have strong innate colour biases we investigated whether bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) colonies with stronger biases for the most rewarding flower colour (violet) foraged more successfully in their local flora. To test the adaptive significance of variation in innate colour bias, we compared the performance of colour-naïve bees, from nine bumblebee colonies raised from local wild-caught queens, in a laboratory colour bias paradigm using violet (bee UV-blue) and blue (bee blue) artificial flowers. The foraging performance of the same colonies was assessed under field conditions. Colonies with a stronger innate bias for violet over blue flowers in the laboratory harvested more nectar per unit time under field conditions. In fact, the colony with the strongest bias for violet (over blue) brought in 41% more nectar than the colony with the least strong bias. As violet flowers in the local area produce more nectar than blue flowers (the next most rewarding flower colour), these data are consistent with the hypothesis that local variation in flower traits could drive selection for innate colour biases. PMID:17579727

  18. Nutrient balancing of the adult worker bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) depends on the dietary source of essential amino acids

    PubMed Central

    Stabler, Daniel; Paoli, Pier P.; Nicolson, Susan W.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Animals carefully regulate the amount of protein that they consume. The quantity of individual essential amino acids (EAAs) obtained from dietary protein depends on the protein source, but how the proportion of EAAs in the diet affects nutrient balancing has rarely been studied. Recent research using the Geometric Framework for Nutrition has revealed that forager honeybees who receive much of their dietary EAAs from floral nectar and not from solid protein have relatively low requirements for dietary EAAs. Here, we examined the nutritional requirements for protein and carbohydrates of foragers of the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. By using protein (sodium caseinate) or an equimolar mixture of the 10 EAAs, we found that the intake target (nutritional optimum) of adult workers depended on the source and proportion of dietary EAAs. When bees consumed caseinate-containing diets in a range of ratios between 1:250 and 1:25 (protein to carbohydrate), they achieved an intake target (IT) of 1:149 (w/w). In contrast to those fed protein, bees fed the EAA diets had an IT more biased towards carbohydrates (1:560 w/w) but also had a greater risk of death than those fed caseinate. We also tested how the dietary source of EAAs affected free AAs in bee haemolymph. Bees fed diets near their IT had similar haemolymph AA profiles, whereas bees fed diets high in caseinate had elevated levels of leucine, threonine, valine and alanine in the haemolymph. We found that like honeybees, bumblebee workers prioritize carbohydrate intake and have a relatively low requirement for protein. The dietary source of EAAs influenced both the ratio of protein/EAA to carbohydrate and the overall amount of carbohydrate eaten. Our data support the idea that EAAs and carbohydrates in haemolymph are important determinants of nutritional state in insects. PMID:25617453

  19. Observational Conditioning in Flower Choice Copying by Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris): Influence of Observer Distance and Demonstrator Movement

    PubMed Central

    Avarguès-Weber, Aurore; Chittka, Lars

    2014-01-01

    Background Bumblebees use information provided inadvertently by conspecifics when deciding between different flower foraging options. Such social learning might be explained by relatively simple associative learning mechanism: the bee may learn to associate conspecifics with nectar or pollen reward through previous experience of foraging jointly. However, in some studies, observers were guided by choices of ‘demonstrators’ viewed through a screen, so no reward was given to the observers at the time of seeing other bees’ flowers choice and no demonstrator bee was present at the moment of decision. This behaviour, referred to observational conditioning, implies an additional associative step as the positive value of conspecific is transferred to the associated flower. Here we explore the role of demonstrator movement, and the distance between observers and demonstrators that is required for observation conditioning to take place. Methodology/Principal Findings We identify the conditions under which observational conditioning occurs in the widespread European species Bombus terrestris. The presence of artificial demonstrator bees leads to a significant change in individual colour preference toward the indicated colour if demonstrators were moving and observation distance was limited (15 cm), suggesting that observational conditioning could only influence relatively short-range foraging decisions. In addition, the movement of demonstrators is a crucial factor for observational conditioning, either due to the more life-like appearance of moving artificial bees or an enhanced detectability of moving demonstrators, and an increased efficiency at directing attention to the indicated flower colour. Conclusion Bumblebees possess the capacity to learn the quality of a flower by distal observation of other foragers’ choices. This confirms that social learning in bees involves more advanced processes than simple associative learning, and indicates that observational

  20. Host Range Expansion of Honey Bee Black Queen Cell Virus in the Bumble Bee, Bombus huntii

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee viruses display a host range that is not restricted to their original host, European honey bees, Apis mellifera. Here we provide the first evidence that Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV), one of the most prevalent honey bee viruses, can cause an infection in both laboratory-reared and field-co...

  1. Higher order visual input to the mushroom bodies in the bee, Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Paulk, Angelique C.; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2008-01-01

    To produce appropriate behaviors based on biologically relevant associations, sensory pathways conveying different modalities are integrated by higher-order central brain structures, such as insect mushroom bodies. To address this function of sensory integration, we characterized the structure and response of optic lobe neurons projecting to the calyces of the mushroom bodies in bees. Bees are well known for their visual learning and memory capabilities and their brains possess major direct visual input from the optic lobes to the mushroom bodies. To functionally characterize these visual inputs to the mushroom bodies, we recorded intracellularly from neurons in bumblebees (Apidae: Bombus impatiens) and a single neuron in a honeybee (Apidae: Apis mellifera) while presenting color and motion stimuli. All of the mushroom body input neurons were color sensitive while a subset was motion sensitive. Additionally, most of the mushroom body input neurons would respond to the first, but not to subsequent, presentations of repeated stimuli. In general, the medulla or lobula neurons projecting to the calyx signaled specific chromatic, temporal, and motion features of the visual world to the mushroom bodies, which included sensory information required for the biologically relevant associations bees form during foraging tasks. PMID:18635397

  2. Macronutrient ratios in pollen shape bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) foraging strategies and floral preferences.

    PubMed

    Vaudo, Anthony D; Patch, Harland M; Mortensen, David A; Tooker, John F; Grozinger, Christina M

    2016-07-12

    To fuel their activities and rear their offspring, foraging bees must obtain a sufficient quality and quantity of nutritional resources from a diverse plant community. Pollen is the primary source of proteins and lipids for bees, and the concentrations of these nutrients in pollen can vary widely among host-plant species. Therefore we hypothesized that foraging decisions of bumble bees are driven by both the protein and lipid content of pollen. By successively reducing environmental and floral cues, we analyzed pollen-foraging preferences of Bombus impatiens in (i) host-plant species, (ii) pollen isolated from these host-plant species, and (iii) nutritionally modified single-source pollen diets encompassing a range of protein and lipid concentrations. In our semifield experiments, B impatiens foragers exponentially increased their foraging rates of pollen from plant species with high protein:lipid (P:L) ratios; the most preferred plant species had the highest ratio (∼4.6:1). These preferences were confirmed in cage studies where, in pairwise comparisons in the absence of other floral cues, B impatiens workers still preferred pollen with higher P:L ratios. Finally, when presented with nutritionally modified pollen, workers were most attracted to pollen with P:L ratios of 5:1 and 10:1, but increasing the protein or lipid concentration (while leaving ratios intact) reduced attraction. Thus, macronutritional ratios appear to be a primary factor driving bee pollen-foraging behavior and may explain observed patterns of host-plant visitation across the landscape. The nutritional quality of pollen resources should be taken into consideration when designing conservation habitats supporting bee populations. PMID:27357683

  3. Initial recommendations for higher-tier risk assessment protocols for bumble bees, Bombus spp. (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Cabrera, Ana R; Almanza, Maria Teresa; Cutler, G Christopher; Fischer, David L; Hinarejos, Silvia; Lewis, Gavin; Nigro, Daniel; Olmstead, Allen; Overmyer, Jay; Potter, Daniel A; Raine, Nigel E; Stanley-Stahr, Cory; Thompson, Helen; van der Steen, Jozef

    2016-04-01

    Global declines of bumble bees and other pollinator populations are of concern because of their critical role for crop production and maintenance of wild plant biodiversity. Although the consensus among scientists is that the interaction of many factors, including habitat loss, forage scarcity, diseases, parasites, and pesticides, potentially plays a role in causing these declines, pesticides have received considerable attention and scrutiny. In response, regulatory agencies have introduced more stringent pollinator testing requirements for registration and reregistration of pesticides, to ensure that the risks to pollinators are minimized. In this context, guidelines for testing bumble bees (Bombus spp.) in regulatory studies are not yet available, and a pressing need exists to develop suitable protocols for routine higher-tier studies with these non-Apis sp., social bees. To meet this need, Bayer CropScience LP, Syngenta Crop Protection LLC US, and Valent USA. Corporation organized a workshop bringing together a group of global experts on bumble bee behavior, ecology, and ecotoxicology to discuss and develop draft protocols for both semi-field (Tier II) and field (Tier III) studies. The workshop was held May 8-9, 2014, at the Bayer Bee Care Center, North Carolina, USA. The participants represented academic, consulting, and industry scientists from Europe, Canada, the United States, and Brazil. The workshop identified a clear protection goal and generated proposals for basic experimental designs, relevant measurements, and endpoints for both semifield (tunnel) and field tests. These initial recommendations are intended to form the basis of discussions to help advance the development of appropriate protocol guidelines. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2016;12:222-229. © 2015 The Authors. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management Published by SETAC. PMID:26108565

  4. Reliability of the entomovector technology using Prestop-Mix and Bombus terrestris L. as a fungal disease biocontrol method in open field.

    PubMed

    Karise, Reet; Dreyersdorff, Gerit; Jahani, Mona; Veromann, Eve; Runno-Paurson, Eve; Kaart, Tanel; Smagghe, Guy; Mänd, Marika

    2016-01-01

    Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr. is a major plant pathogen, and a new approach is needed for its control in strawberry to minimise the increasing use of synthetic fungicides. The biofungicide Prestop-Mix, which contains Gliocladium catenulatum, is effective against Botrytis infections; however, the need for frequent applications increases the costs for farmers. Here, we demonstrate that bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L., effectively disseminate the preparation onto flowers in open field conditions. Over the course of three years, we found a highly significant decrease in the rate of Botrytis infection. Pathogen control was achieved with relatively low numbers of G. catenulatum spores per flower, even using flowers that are not highly attractive to bumble bees. An even distribution of spores was detected up to 100 m from the hives, either due to primary inoculation by bumble bees or secondary distribution by other flower visitors such as honey bees and solitary bees. We showed that the application of a biocontrol agent by bumble bees is reliable for the use of environmentally friendly pest control strategies in northern climatic conditions. This low cost technology is especially relevant for organic farming. This study provides valuable information for introducing this method into practice in open strawberry fields. PMID:27530075

  5. Reliability of the entomovector technology using Prestop-Mix and Bombus terrestris L. as a fungal disease biocontrol method in open field

    PubMed Central

    Karise, Reet; Dreyersdorff, Gerit; Jahani, Mona; Veromann, Eve; Runno-Paurson, Eve; Kaart, Tanel; Smagghe, Guy; Mänd, Marika

    2016-01-01

    Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr. is a major plant pathogen, and a new approach is needed for its control in strawberry to minimise the increasing use of synthetic fungicides. The biofungicide Prestop-Mix, which contains Gliocladium catenulatum, is effective against Botrytis infections; however, the need for frequent applications increases the costs for farmers. Here, we demonstrate that bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L., effectively disseminate the preparation onto flowers in open field conditions. Over the course of three years, we found a highly significant decrease in the rate of Botrytis infection. Pathogen control was achieved with relatively low numbers of G. catenulatum spores per flower, even using flowers that are not highly attractive to bumble bees. An even distribution of spores was detected up to 100 m from the hives, either due to primary inoculation by bumble bees or secondary distribution by other flower visitors such as honey bees and solitary bees. We showed that the application of a biocontrol agent by bumble bees is reliable for the use of environmentally friendly pest control strategies in northern climatic conditions. This low cost technology is especially relevant for organic farming. This study provides valuable information for introducing this method into practice in open strawberry fields. PMID:27530075

  6. Reproductive disturbance of Japanese bumblebees by the introduced European bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondo, Natsuko Ito; Yamanaka, Daisei; Kanbe, Yuya; Kunitake, Yoko Kawate; Yoneda, Masahiro; Tsuchida, Koji; Goka, Koichi

    2009-04-01

    The European bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, is an invasive eusocial species whose distribution is expanding greatly beyond its native range because numerous colonies are imported to or locally produced in non-native countries for pollination of agricultural crops. Closely related species exist in Japan where the unrestricted import and use of B. terrestris has resulted in the establishment of wild colonies. Laboratory studies previously showed that B. terrestris and Japanese native species can copulate and produce fertilized eggs. Although these eggs do not hatch, the interspecific mating can cause a serious reproductive disturbance to native bumblebees. In this study, we determined the frequencies of interspecies mating between B. terrestris males and native bumblebee queens in the wild on the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu by analyzing the DNA sequences of spermatozoa stored in spermathecae of native queens. We found that 20.2% of B. hypocrita hypocrita queens and 30.2% of B. hypocrita sapporoensis queens had spermatozoa of B. terrestris males in their spermathecae. Given that a Bombus queen generally mates only once in her life, such high frequencies of interspecific mating with B. terrestris pose serious threats to the populations of native bumblebees in Japan.

  7. Israeli acute paralysis virus associated paralysis symptoms, viral tissue distribution and Dicer-2 induction in bumblebee workers (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Wang, Haidong; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy

    2016-08-01

    Although it is known that Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) can cause bee mortality, the symptoms of paralysis and the distribution of the virus in different body tissues and their potential to respond with an increase of the siRNA antiviral immune system have not been studied. In this project we worked with Bombus terrestris, which is one of the most numerous bumblebee species in Europe and an important pollinator for wild flowers and many crops in agriculture. Besides the classic symptoms of paralysis and trembling prior to death, we report a new IAPV-related symptom, crippled/immobilized forelegs. Reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR showed that IAPV accumulates in different body tissues (midgut, fat body, brain and ovary). The highest levels of IAPV were observed in the fat body. With fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) we detected IAPV in the Kenyon cells of mushroom bodies and neuropils from both antennal and optic lobes of the brain in IAPV-infected workers. Finally, we observed an induction of Dicer-2, a core gene of the RNAi antiviral immune response, in the IAPV-infected tissues of B. terrestris workers. According to our results, tissue tropism and the induction strength of Dicer-2 could not be correlated with virus-related paralysis symptoms. PMID:27230225

  8. Tubulinosema pampeana sp. n. (Microsporidia, Tubulinosematidae), a pathogen of the South American bumble bee Bombus atratus.

    PubMed

    Plischuk, Santiago; Sanscrainte, Neil D; Becnel, James J; Estep, Alden S; Lange, Carlos E

    2015-03-01

    An undescribed microsporidium was detected and isolated from the South American bumble bee Bombus atratus collected in the Pampas region of Argentina. Infection intensity in workers averaged 8.2 × 10(7)spores/bee. The main site of infection was adipose tissue where hypertrophy of adipocytes resulted in cyst-like body formation. Mature spores were ovoid and monomorphic. They measured 4.00 μm × 2.37 μm (fresh) or 3.98 μm × 1.88 μm (fixed). All stages were diplokariotic and developed in direct contact with host cytoplasm. Isofilar polar filament was arranged in 16 coils in one or, posteriorly, two layers. Coiling angle was variable, between perpendicular and almost parallel to major spore axis. Late meronts and sporogonial stages were surrounded by vesicles of approximately 60 nm in diameter. Based on both new and already designed primers, a 1827 bp (SSUrRNA, ITS, LSUrRNA) sequence was obtained. Data analyses suggest that this microsporidium is a new species of the genus Tubulinosema. The name Tubulinosema pampeana sp. n. is proposed. PMID:25637516

  9. DNA Amplification from Pin Mounted Bumble Bees (Bombus) in a Museum Collection: Effects of Fragment Size and Specimen Age on Successful PCR

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historic data in the form of pinned specimens in entomological collections offer the potential to determine trends in genetic diversity of bumble bees (Bombus). We screened eight microsatellite loci for amplification success in pinned bumble bee specimens from the U.S. National Pollinating Insects C...

  10. USBombus, a database of contemporary survey data for North American Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) distributed in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Lozier, Jeffrey; Strange, James P.; Ikerd, Harold; Griswold, Terry; Cordes, Nils; Solter, Leellen; Stewart, Isaac; Cameron, Sydney A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombus) are pollinators of wild and economically important flowering plants. However, at least four bumble bee species have declined significantly in population abundance and geographic range relative to historic estimates, and one species is possibly extinct. While a wealth of historic data is now available for many of the North American species found to be in decline in online databases, systematic survey data of stable species is still not publically available. The availability of contemporary survey data is critically important for the future monitoring of wild bumble bee populations. Without such data, the ability to ascertain the conservation status of bumble bees in the United States will remain challenging. New information This paper describes USBombus, a large database that represents the outcomes of one of the largest standardized surveys of bumble bee pollinators (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) globally. The motivation to collect live bumble bees across the United States was to examine the decline and conservation status of Bombus affinis, B. occidentalis, B. pensylvanicus, and B. terricola. Prior to our national survey of bumble bees in the United States from 2007 to 2010, there have only been regional accounts of bumble bee abundance and richness. In addition to surveying declining bumble bees, we also collected and documented a diversity of co-occuring bumble bees. However we have not yet completely reported their distribution and diversity onto a public online platform. Now, for the first time, we report the geographic distribution of bumble bees reported to be in decline (Cameron et al. 2011), as well as bumble bees that appeared to be stable on a large geographic scale in the United States (not in decline). In this database we report a total of 17,930 adult occurrence records across 397 locations and 39 species of Bombus detected in our national survey. We summarize their abundance and

  11. Are queen Bombus terrestris giant workers or are workers dwarf queens? Solving the 'chicken and egg' problem in a bumblebee species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cnaani, Jonathan; Hefetz, Abraham

    2001-01-01

    In the social bee, Bombus terrestris, the two castes differ in size and physiology, but not in any other morphological and anatomical aspects. The size differences between the castes are the result of longer instar duration in prospective queen larvae. It appears that queen larvae are programmed to have a higher molting weight at the end of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th instars. Calculation of the growth ratio, the ratio between the logarithm of molting weight at two successive instars, revealed that queen larvae have a linear growth ratio over the entire larval development as predicted by Dyar's rule. In the worker larvae, in contrast, linearity of the growth ratio breaks after the second instar, resulting in larval molting at lower weights than expected by Dyar's rule. We therefore suggest that workers' development is abnormally shortened, either by parental manipulation or by adopting a different growth plan in response to the queen's signal.

  12. 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

  13. Potential increase in mating frequency of queens in feral colonies of Bombus terrestris introduced into Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inoue, Maki N.; Saito, Fuki; Tsuchida, Koji; Goka, Koichi

    2012-10-01

    With the exception of several species, bumblebees are monandrous. We examined mating frequency in feral colonies of the introduced bumblebee Bombus terrestris in Japan . Using microsatellite markers, genotyping of sperm DNA stored in the spermatheca of nine queens detected multiple insemination paternities in one queen; the others were singly mated. The average effective paternity frequency estimated from the genotypes of queens and workers was 1.23; that estimated from the workers' genotype alone was 2.12. These values were greater than those of laboratory-reared colonies in the native ranges of B. terrestris. The genotypes of one or two workers did not match those of their queens or showed paternities different from those of their nestmates; this may have arisen from either queen takeover or drifting of workers. These alien workers were responsible for the heterogeneous genotype distribution within each B. terrestris colony, resulting in higher estimates of paternity frequency than of insemination frequency. The high mating frequency of introduced B. terrestris may have occurred by artificial selection through mass breeding for commercialization. Moreover, polyandrous queens may be selectively advantageous, because reproduction by such queens is less likely to be disturbed by interspecific mating than that by monandrous queens.

  14. Nest Initiation in Three North American Species of Bumble Bees (Bombus): Effects of Gyne Number and Worker Helpers on Colony Size and Establishment Success

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three species of bumble bees, Bombus appositus, B. bifarius, and B. centralis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) were evaluated for nest initiation success under three sets of initial conditions. In the spring, queens of each species were caught in the wild and introduced to nest boxes in one of three ways. Qu...

  15. Dynamics of immune system gene expression upon bacterial challenge and wounding in a social insect (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Erler, Silvio; Popp, Mario; Lattorff, H Michael G

    2011-01-01

    The innate immune system which helps individuals to combat pathogens comprises a set of genes representing four immune system pathways (Toll, Imd, JNK and JAK/STAT). There is a lack of immune genes in social insects (e.g. honeybees) when compared to Diptera. Potentially, this might be compensated by an advanced system of social immunity (synergistic action of several individuals). The bumble bee, Bombus terrestris, is a primitively eusocial species with an annual life cycle and colonies headed by a single queen. We used this key pollinator to study the temporal dynamics of immune system gene expression in response to wounding and bacterial challenge.Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) (abaecin, defensin 1, hymenoptaecin) were strongly up-regulated by wounding and bacterial challenge, the latter showing a higher impact on the gene expression level. Sterile wounding down-regulated TEP A, an effector gene of the JAK/STAT pathway, and bacterial infection influenced genes of the Imd (relish) and JNK pathway (basket). Relish was up-regulated within the first hour after bacterial challenge, but decreased strongly afterwards. AMP expression following wounding and bacterial challenge correlates with the expression pattern of relish whereas correlated expression with dorsal was absent. Although expression of AMPs was high, continuous bacterial growth was observed throughout the experiment.Here we demonstrate for the first time the temporal dynamics of immune system gene expression in a social insect. Wounding and bacterial challenge affected the innate immune system significantly. Induction of AMP expression due to wounding might comprise a pre-adaptation to accompanying bacterial infections. Compared with solitary species this social insect exhibits reduced immune system efficiency, as bacterial growth could not be inhibited. A negative feedback loop regulating the Imd-pathway is suggested. AMPs, the end product of the Imd-pathway, inhibited the up-regulation of the transcription

  16. Using Diagnostic Radioentomology for Non-Invasive Observations of Colonies of the Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Greco, Mark K.; Sadd, Ben M.

    2012-01-01

    Bumblebees have been the focus of a broad range of scientific research due to their behavior, social life, and a number of other intriguing traits. Current methods for examining their nest structure, such as natal cells and contents of storage cells, are destructive in nature because the cells need to be opened for physical inspections. This research describes how the internal structures of the artificial nests of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris L. (Hymentoptera: Apidae) were non-invasively viewed and assessed by using diagnostic radioentomology. For the first time, B. terrestris nest structures, and their contents such as larvae, pupae and eggs, were non-invaseively viewed and assessed. This technique will enable future experiments to take morphological measurements of egg, larval, and pupal development over time. Moreover, combining these measurements with measures of food-storage will provide a good assessment of colony health. The method will also allow tracking of individually marked adults, to monitor their behaviour and help gain a better understanding of the processes involved in the global declines of B. terrestris, which will in turn promote better management of these valuable pollinators. PMID:23421622

  17. Insect vision models under scrutiny: what bumblebees ( Bombus terrestris terrestris L.) can still tell us

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Telles, Francismeire Jane; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A.

    2015-02-01

    Three contending models address the ability of bees to detect and discriminate colours: the colour opponent coding (COC) model, the colour hexagon (CH) model and the receptor noise-limited (RN) model, but few studies attempt to determine which model fits experimental data best. To assess whether the models provide an accurate description of bumblebee colour space, we trained bees to discriminate four colour pairs. The perceptual distance between the colours of each pair was similar according to the CH model but varied widely according to the COC and RN models. The time that bees required to select a flower and the proportion of correct choices differed between groups: decision times decreased as achromatic contrast increased, and the proportion of correct choices increased with achromatic contrast and perceptual distance, as predicted by the COC and RN models. These results suggest that both chromatic and achromatic contrasts affected the discriminability of colour pairs. Since flower colour affects the foraging choices of bees and foraging choices affect the reproductive success of plants, a better understanding of which model is more accurate under each circumstance is required to predict bee behaviour and the ecological implications of flower choice and colour.

  18. In vivo study of Dicer-2-mediated immune response of the small interfering RNA pathway upon systemic infections of virulent and avirulent viruses in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Niu, Jinzhi; Smagghe, Guy; De Coninck, Dieter I M; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Deforce, Dieter; Meeus, Ivan

    2016-03-01

    Recent studies suggest a potent role of the small interfering RNA (siRNA) pathway in the control of bee viruses and its usefulness to tackle these viral diseases. However, the involvement of the siRNA pathway in the defense against different bee viruses is still poorly understood. Therefore, in this report, we comprehensively analyzed the response of the siRNA pathway in bumblebees of Bombus terrestris to systemic infections of the virulent Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) and the avirulent slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV). Our results showed that IAPV and SBPV infections induced the expression of Dicer-2. IAPV infections also triggered the production of predominantly 22 nt-long virus-derived siRNAs (vsiRNAs). Intriguingly, these 22 nt-long vsiRNAs showed a high proportion of antigenomic IAPV sequences. Conversely, these predominantly 22 nt-long vsiRNAs of SBPV were not detected in SBPV infected bees. Furthermore, an "RNAi-of-RNAi" experiment on Dicer-2 did not result in altered genome copy numbers of IAPV (n = 17-18) and also not of SBPV (n = 11-12). Based on these results, we can speculate about the importance of the siRNA pathway in bumblebees for the antiviral response. During infection of IAPV, this pathway is probably recruited but it might be insufficient to control viral infection in our experimental setup. The host can control SBPV infection, but aside from the induction of Dicer-2 expression, no further evidence of the antiviral activity of the siRNA pathway was observed. This report may also enhance the current understanding of the siRNA pathway in the innate immunity of non-model insects upon different viral infections. PMID:26711439

  19. Age- and task-dependent foraging gene expression in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Tobback, Julie; Mommaerts, Veerle; Vandersmissen, Hans Peter; Smagghe, Guy; Huybrechts, Roger

    2011-01-01

    In eusocial insects, the division of labor within a colony, based on either age or size, is correlated with a differential foraging (for) gene expression and PKG activity. This article presents in the first part a study on the for gene, encoding a cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Cloning of the open reading frame allowed phylogenetic tracing, which showed conservation of PKGs among social insects. Our results confirm the proposed role for PKGs in division of labor. Btfor gene expression is significantly higher in the larger foragers compared with the smaller sized nurses. More importantly, we discovered an age-related decrease in Btfor expression in both nursing and foraging bumblebees. We therefore speculate that the presence of BtFOR is required for correct adaptation to new external stimuli and rapid learning for foraging. In a second series of experiments, worker bumblebees of B. terrestris were treated with two insecticides imidacloprid and kinoprene, which have shown to cause impaired foraging behavior. Compared with controls, only the latter treatment resulted in a decreased Btfor expression, which concurs with a stimulation of ovarian growth and a shift in labor toward nest-related tasks. The data are discussed in relation to Btfor expression in the complex physiological event of foraging and side-effects by pesticides. PMID:21136525

  20. Protein-poor diet reduces host-specific immune gene expression in Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Brunner, Franziska S.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Barribeau, Seth M.

    2014-01-01

    Parasites infect hosts non-randomly as genotypes of hosts vary in susceptibility to the same genotypes of parasites, but this specificity may be modulated by environmental factors such as nutrition. Nutrition plays an important role for any physiological investment. As immune responses are costly, resource limitation should negatively affect immunity through trade-offs with other physiological requirements. Consequently, nutritional limitation should diminish immune capacity in general, but does it also dampen differences among hosts? We investigated the effect of short-term pollen deprivation on the immune responses of our model host Bombus terrestris when infected with the highly prevalent natural parasite Crithidia bombi. Bumblebees deprived of pollen, their protein source, show reduced immune responses to infection. They failed to upregulate a number of genes, including antimicrobial peptides, in response to infection. In particular, they also showed less specific immune expression patterns across individuals and colonies. These findings provide evidence for how immune responses on the individual-level vary with important elements of the environment and illustrate how nutrition can functionally alter not only general resistance, but also alter the pattern of specific host–parasite interactions. PMID:24850921

  1. Molecular heterochrony and the evolution of sociality in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

    PubMed Central

    Woodard, S. Hollis; Bloch, Guy M.; Band, Mark R.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2014-01-01

    Sibling care is a hallmark of social insects, but its evolution remains challenging to explain at the molecular level. The hypothesis that sibling care evolved from ancestral maternal care in primitively eusocial insects has been elaborated to involve heterochronic changes in gene expression. This elaboration leads to the prediction that workers in these species will show patterns of gene expression more similar to foundress queens, who express maternal care behaviour, than to established queens engaged solely in reproductive behaviour. We tested this idea in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) using a microarray platform with approximately 4500 genes. Unlike the wasp Polistes metricus, in which support for the above prediction has been obtained, we found that patterns of brain gene expression in foundress and queen bumblebees were more similar to each other than to workers. Comparisons of differentially expressed genes derived from this study and gene lists from microarray studies in Polistes and the honeybee Apis mellifera yielded a shared set of genes involved in the regulation of related social behaviours across independent eusocial lineages. Together, these results suggest that multiple independent evolutions of eusociality in the insects might have involved different evolutionary routes, but nevertheless involved some similarities at the molecular level. PMID:24552837

  2. Hazards and uptake of chitin synthesis inhibitors in bumblebees Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Mommaerts, Veerle; Sterk, Guido; Smagghe, Guy

    2006-08-01

    This research project examined the potential hazards of a major class of insect growth regulators (IGRs) to survival, reproduction and larval growth in bumblebees Bombus terrestris L. Eight chitin synthesis inhibitors (CSIs) were tested: buprofezin, cyromazine, diflubenzuron, flucycloxuron, flufenoxuron, lufenuron, novaluron and teflubenzuron. These different IGRs, which are important in the control of pest insects in greenhouses, were applied via three different routes of exposure under laboratory conditions: dermal contact, and orally via the drinking of sugar/water and via pollen. The compounds were tested at their respective maximum field recommended concentrations (MFRC) and also in dose-response assays to calculate LC(50) values. In general, none of the CSIs showed acute worker toxicity. However, there was a dramatic reduction in brood production, especially after oral treatment with pollen and sugar/water. Conspicuously, egg fertility was reduced in all treatments with diflubenzuron and teflubenzuron. In addition to egg mortality, the worker bumblebees removed larvae from the treated nest, and in most cases these individuals were dead first-second instars. Under a binocular microscope, such larvae showed an abnormally formed cuticle leading to mechanical weakness and death. In another series of experiments using (14)C-diflubenzuron and (14)C-flufenoxuron, cuticular penetration in workers was studied for a better understanding of the differences in toxicity. With (14)C-diflubenzuron, transovarial transport and accumulation in the deposited eggs supported the strong reproductive effects. Overall, the present results suggest that CSIs should be applied with caution in combination with bumblebees. The compatibility of each compound to be used in combination with B. terrestris is discussed in relation to calculated LC(50) values, routes of uptake and effects. PMID:16786494

  3. Lethal and sublethal effects of azadirachtin on the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Wagner Faria; De Meyer, Laurens; Guedes, Raul Narciso C; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Azadirachtin is a biorational insecticide commonly reported as selective to a range of beneficial insects. Nonetheless, only few studies have been carried out with pollinators, usually emphasizing the honeybee Apis mellifera and neglecting other important pollinator species such as the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Here, lethal and sublethal effects of azadirachtin were studied on B. terrestris via oral exposure in the laboratory to bring out the potential risks of the compound to this important pollinator. The compound was tested at different concentrations above and below the maximum concentration that is used in the field (32 mg L(-1)). As most important results, azadirachtin repelled bumblebee workers in a concentration-dependent manner. The median repellence concentration (RC50) was estimated as 504 mg L(-1). Microcolonies chronically exposed to azadirachtin via treated sugar water during 11 weeks in the laboratory exhibited a high mortality ranging from 32 to 100 % with a range of concentrations between 3.2 and 320 mg L(-1). Moreover, no reproduction was scored when concentrations were higher than 3.2 mg L(-1). At 3.2 mg L(-1), azadirachtin significantly inhibited the egg-laying and, consequently, the production of drones during 6 weeks. Ovarian length decreased with the increase of the azadirachtin concentration. When azadirachtin was tested under an experimental setup in the laboratory where bumblebees need to forage for food, the sublethal effects were stronger as the numbers of drones were reduced already with a concentration of 0.64 mg L(-1). Besides, a negative correlation was found between the body mass of male offspring and azadirachtin concentration. In conclusion, our results as performed in the laboratory demonstrated that azadirachtin can affect B. terrestris with a range of sublethal effects. Taking into account that sublethal effects are as important as lethal effects for the development and survival of the colonies of B. terrestris

  4. Can red flowers be conspicuous to bees? Bombus dahlbomii and South American temperate forest flowers as a case in point.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Harms, J; Palacios, A G; Márquez, N; Estay, P; Arroyo, M T K; Mpodozis, J

    2010-02-15

    It has been argued that trichromatic bees with photoreceptor spectral sensitivity peaks in the ultraviolet (UV), blue and green areas of the spectrum are blind to long wavelengths (red to humans). South American temperate forests (SATF) contain a large number of human red-looking flowers that are reported to be visited by the bumblebee Bombus dahlbomii. In the present study, B. dahlbomii's spectral sensitivity was measured through electroretinogram (ERG) recordings. No extended sensitivity to long wavelengths was found in B. dahlbomii. The spectral reflectance curves from eight plant species with red flowers were measured. The color loci occupied by these flowers in the bee color space was evaluated using the receptor noise-limited model. Four of the plant species have pure red flowers with low levels of chromatic contrast but high levels of negative L-receptor contrast. Finally, training experiments were performed in order to assess the role of achromatic cues in the detection and discrimination of red targets by B. dahlbomii. The results of the training experiments suggest that the bumblebee relies on achromatic contrast provided by the L-receptor to detect and discriminate red targets. These findings are discussed in the context of the evolutionary background under which the relationship between SATF species and their flower visitors may have evolved. PMID:20118307

  5. A second generation genetic map of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758) reveals slow genome and chromosome evolution in the Apidae

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The bumblebee Bombus terrestris is an ecologically and economically important pollinator and has become an important biological model system. To study fundamental evolutionary questions at the genomic level, a high resolution genetic linkage map is an essential tool for analyses ranging from quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping to genome assembly and comparative genomics. We here present a saturated linkage map and match it with the Apis mellifera genome using homologous markers. This genome-wide comparison allows insights into structural conservations and rearrangements and thus the evolution on a chromosomal level. Results The high density linkage map covers ~ 93% of the B. terrestris genome on 18 linkage groups (LGs) and has a length of 2'047 cM with an average marker distance of 4.02 cM. Based on a genome size of ~ 430 Mb, the recombination rate estimate is 4.76 cM/Mb. Sequence homologies of 242 homologous markers allowed to match 15 B. terrestris with A. mellifera LGs, five of them as composites. Comparing marker orders between both genomes we detect over 14% of the genome to be organized in synteny and 21% in rearranged blocks on the same homologous LG. Conclusions This study demonstrates that, despite the very high recombination rates of both A. mellifera and B. terrestris and a long divergence time of about 100 million years, the genomes' genetic architecture is highly conserved. This reflects a slow genome evolution in these bees. We show that data on genome organization and conserved molecular markers can be used as a powerful tool for comparative genomics and evolutionary studies, opening up new avenues of research in the Apidae. PMID:21247459

  6. Colonies of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) produce fewer workers, less bee biomass, and have smaller mother queens following fungicide exposure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing serious declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possib...

  7. Unraveling the venom proteome of the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) by integrating a combinatorial peptide ligand library approach with FT-ICR MS.

    PubMed

    Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Smagghe, Guy; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-08-01

    Within the Apidae, the largest family of bees with over 5600 described species, the honeybee is the sole species with a well studied venom proteome. So far, only little research has focused on bumblebee venom. Recently, the genome sequence of the European large earth bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) became available and this allowed the first in-depth proteomic analysis of its venom composition. We identified 57 compounds, with 52 of them never described in bumblebee venom. Remarkably, 72% of the detected compounds were found to have a honeybee venom homolog, which reflects the similar defensive function of both venoms and the high degree of homology between both genomes. However, both venoms contain a selection of species-specific toxins, revealing distinct damaging effects that may have evolved in response to species-specific attackers. Further, this study extends the list of potential venom allergens. The availability of both the honeybee and bumblebee venom proteome may help to develop a strategy that solves the current issue of false double sensitivity in allergy diagnosis, which is caused by cross-reactivity between both venoms. A correct diagnosis is important as it is recommended to perform an immunotherapy with venom of the culprit species. PMID:26071081

  8. Dumb and Lazy? A Comparison of Color Learning and Memory Retrieval in Drones and Workers of the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, by Means of PER Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Lichtenstein, Leonie; Sommerlandt, Frank M. J.; Spaethe, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    More than 100 years ago, Karl von Frisch showed that honeybee workers learn and discriminate colors. Since then, many studies confirmed the color learning capabilities of females from various hymenopteran species. Yet, little is known about visual learning and memory in males despite the fact that in most bee species males must take care of their own needs and must find rewarding flowers to obtain food. Here we used the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm to study the color learning capacities of workers and drones of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris. Light stimuli were paired with sucrose reward delivered to the insects’ antennae and inducing a reflexive extension of the proboscis. We evaluated color learning (i.e. conditioned PER to color stimuli) in absolute and differential conditioning protocols and mid-term memory retention was measured two hours after conditioning. Different monochromatic light stimuli in combination with neutral density filters were used to ensure that the bumblebees could only use chromatic and not achromatic (e.g. brightness) information. Furthermore, we tested if bees were able to transfer the learned information from the PER conditioning to a novel discrimination task in a Y-maze. Both workers and drones were capable of learning and discriminating between monochromatic light stimuli and retrieved the learned stimulus after two hours. Drones performed as well as workers during conditioning and in the memory test, but failed in the transfer test in contrast to workers. Our data clearly show that bumblebees can learn to associate a color stimulus with a sugar reward in PER conditioning and that both workers and drones reach similar acquisition and mid-term retention performances. Additionally, we provide evidence that only workers transfer the learned information from a Pavlovian to an operant situation. PMID:26230643

  9. Dumb and Lazy? A Comparison of Color Learning and Memory Retrieval in Drones and Workers of the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, by Means of PER Conditioning.

    PubMed

    Lichtenstein, Leonie; Sommerlandt, Frank M J; Spaethe, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    More than 100 years ago, Karl von Frisch showed that honeybee workers learn and discriminate colors. Since then, many studies confirmed the color learning capabilities of females from various hymenopteran species. Yet, little is known about visual learning and memory in males despite the fact that in most bee species males must take care of their own needs and must find rewarding flowers to obtain food. Here we used the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm to study the color learning capacities of workers and drones of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris. Light stimuli were paired with sucrose reward delivered to the insects' antennae and inducing a reflexive extension of the proboscis. We evaluated color learning (i.e. conditioned PER to color stimuli) in absolute and differential conditioning protocols and mid-term memory retention was measured two hours after conditioning. Different monochromatic light stimuli in combination with neutral density filters were used to ensure that the bumblebees could only use chromatic and not achromatic (e.g. brightness) information. Furthermore, we tested if bees were able to transfer the learned information from the PER conditioning to a novel discrimination task in a Y-maze. Both workers and drones were capable of learning and discriminating between monochromatic light stimuli and retrieved the learned stimulus after two hours. Drones performed as well as workers during conditioning and in the memory test, but failed in the transfer test in contrast to workers. Our data clearly show that bumblebees can learn to associate a color stimulus with a sugar reward in PER conditioning and that both workers and drones reach similar acquisition and mid-term retention performances. Additionally, we provide evidence that only workers transfer the learned information from a Pavlovian to an operant situation. PMID:26230643

  10. The abundance and pollen foraging behaviour of bumble bees in relation to population size of whortleberry (Vaccinium uliginosum).

    PubMed

    Mayer, Carolin; Michez, Denis; Chyzy, Alban; Brédat, Elise; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2012-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation can have severe effects on plant pollinator interactions, for example changing the foraging behaviour of pollinators. To date, the impact of plant population size on pollen collection by pollinators has not yet been investigated. From 2008 to 2010, we monitored nine bumble bee species (Bombus campestris, Bombus hortorum s.l., Bombus hypnorum, Bombus lapidarius, Bombus pascuorum, Bombus pratorum, Bombus soroensis, Bombus terrestris s.l., Bombus vestalis s.l.) on Vaccinium uliginosum (Ericaceae) in up to nine populations in Belgium ranging in size from 80 m(2) to over 3.1 ha. Bumble bee abundance declined with decreasing plant population size, and especially the proportion of individuals of large bumble bee species diminished in smaller populations. The most remarkable and novel observation was that bumble bees seemed to switch foraging behaviour according to population size: while they collected both pollen and nectar in large populations, they largely neglected pollen collection in small populations. This pattern was due to large bumble bee species, which seem thus to be more likely to suffer from pollen shortages in smaller habitat fragments. Comparing pollen loads of bumble bees we found that fidelity to V. uliginosum pollen did not depend on plant population size but rather on the extent shrub cover and/or openness of the site. Bumble bees collected pollen only from three plant species (V.uliginosum, Sorbus aucuparia and Cytisus scoparius). We also did not discover any pollination limitation of V. uliginosum in small populations. We conclude that habitat fragmentation might not immediately threaten the pollination of V. uliginosum, nevertheless, it provides important nectar and pollen resources for bumble bees and declining populations of this plant could have negative effects for its pollinators. The finding that large bumble bee species abandon pollen collection when plant populations become small is of interest when considering plant and

  11. Bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus spp.) of interior Alaska: Species composition, distribution, seasonal biology, and parasites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Despite the ecological and agricultural significance of bumble bees in Alaska, very little is known and published about this important group at the regional level. The objectives of this study were to provide baseline data on species composition, distribution, seasonal biology, and parasites of the ...

  12. Assessment of side-effects by Ludox TMA silica nanoparticles following a dietary exposure on the bumblebee Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Mommaerts, Veerle; Jodko, Katarzyna; Thomassen, Leen C J; Martens, Johan A; Kirsch-Volders, Micheline; Smagghe, Guy

    2012-08-01

    We assessed lethal and sublethal side-effects of Ludox TMA silica nanoparticles on a terrestrial pollinator, Bombus terrestris (Linnaeus), via a dietary exposure. Dynamic light scattering analysis confirmed that silica Ludox TMA nanoparticles remained in suspension in the drinking sugar water. Exposure of bumblebee microcolonies during 7 weeks to the different nanoparticle concentrations (high: 34, 170 and 340 mg/l and low: 34 and 340 μg/l) did not cause worker mortality compared to the controls. Also no effect on the worker foraging behavior was observed after exposure to nanoparticles concentrations up to 340 μg/l. In contrast, the high concentrations (≥34 mg/l) resulted in a total loss of reproduction. Using histological analysis we confirmed severe midgut epithelial injury in intoxicated workers (≥34 mg/l). Despite the fact that these concentrations are much higher than the predicted environmental concentrations, precaution is still needed as information regarding their fate in the terrestrial environment and their potency to bioaccumulate and biomagnificate is lacking. PMID:21675822

  13. The Effect of Oral Administration of dsRNA on Viral Replication and Mortality in Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Piot, Niels; Snoeck, Simon; Vanlede, Maarten; Smagghe, Guy; Meeus, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), a single-stranded RNA virus, has a worldwide distribution and affects honeybees as well as other important pollinators. IAPV infection in honeybees has been successfully repressed by exploiting the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway of the insect’s innate immune response with virus-specific double stranded RNA (dsRNA). Here we investigated the effect of IAPV infection in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris and its tissue tropism. B. terrestris is a common pollinator of wild flowers in Europe and is used for biological pollination in agriculture. Infection experiments demonstrated a similar pathology and tissue tropism in bumblebees as reported for honeybees. The effect of oral administration of virus-specific dsRNA was examined and resulted in an effective silencing of the virus, irrespective of the length. Interestingly, we observed that non-specific dsRNA was also efficient against IAPV. However further study is needed to clarify the precise mechanism behind this effect. Finally we believe that our data are indicative of the possibility to use dsRNA for a broad range viral protection in bumblebees. PMID:26110584

  14. The Effect of Oral Administration of dsRNA on Viral Replication and Mortality in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Piot, Niels; Snoeck, Simon; Vanlede, Maarten; Smagghe, Guy; Meeus, Ivan

    2015-06-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), a single-stranded RNA virus, has a worldwide distribution and affects honeybees as well as other important pollinators. IAPV infection in honeybees has been successfully repressed by exploiting the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway of the insect's innate immune response with virus-specific double stranded RNA (dsRNA). Here we investigated the effect of IAPV infection in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris and its tissue tropism. B. terrestris is a common pollinator of wild flowers in Europe and is used for biological pollination in agriculture. Infection experiments demonstrated a similar pathology and tissue tropism in bumblebees as reported for honeybees. The effect of oral administration of virus-specific dsRNA was examined and resulted in an effective silencing of the virus, irrespective of the length. Interestingly, we observed that non-specific dsRNA was also efficient against IAPV. However further study is needed to clarify the precise mechanism behind this effect. Finally we believe that our data are indicative of the possibility to use dsRNA for a broad range viral protection in bumblebees. PMID:26110584

  15. Quantitative Trait Loci for Light Sensitivity, Body Weight, Body Size, and Morphological Eye Parameters in the Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Maebe, Kevin; Meeus, Ivan; De Riek, Jan; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Bumblebees such as Bombus terrestris are essential pollinators in natural and managed ecosystems. In addition, this species is intensively used in agriculture for its pollination services, for instance in tomato and pepper greenhouses. Here we performed a quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis on B. terrestris using 136 microsatellite DNA markers to identify genes linked with 20 traits including light sensitivity, body size and mass, and eye and hind leg measures. By composite interval mapping (IM), we found 83 and 34 suggestive QTLs for 19 of the 20 traits at the linkage group wide significance levels of p = 0.05 and 0.01, respectively. Furthermore, we also found five significant QTLs at the genome wide significant level of p = 0.05. Individual QTLs accounted for 7.5-53.3% of the phenotypic variation. For 15 traits, at least one QTL was confirmed with multiple QTL model mapping. Multivariate principal components analysis confirmed 11 univariate suggestive QTLs but revealed three suggestive QTLs not identified by the individual traits. We also identified several candidate genes linked with light sensitivity, in particular the Phosrestin-1-like gene is a primary candidate for its phototransduction function. In conclusion, we believe that the suggestive and significant QTLs, and markers identified here, can be of use in marker-assisted breeding to improve selection towards light sensitive bumblebees, and thus also the pollination service of bumblebees. PMID:25928544

  16. Location, location, location: larvae position inside the nest is correlated with adult body size in worker bumble-bees (Bombus impatiens).

    PubMed

    Couvillon, Margaret J; Dornhaus, Anna

    2009-07-01

    Social insects display task-related division of labour. In some species, division of labour is related to differences in body size, and worker caste members display morphological adaptations suited for particular tasks. Bumble-bee workers (Bombus spp.) can vary in mass by eight- to tenfold within a single colony, which previous work has linked to division of labour. However, little is known about the proximate mechanism behind the production of this wide range of size variation within the worker caste. Here, we quantify the larval feeding in Bombus impatiens in different nest zones of increasing distance from the centre. There was a significant difference in the number of feedings per larva across zones, with a significant decrease in feeding rates as one moved outwards from the centre of the nest. Likewise, the diameter of the pupae in the peripheral zones was significantly smaller than that of pupae in the centre. Therefore, we conclude that the differential feeding of larvae within a nest, which leads to the size variation within the worker caste, is based on the location of brood clumps. Our work is consistent with the hypothesis that some larvae are 'forgotten', providing a possible first mechanism for the creation of size polymorphism in B. impatiens. PMID:19364744

  17. Location, location, location: larvae position inside the nest is correlated with adult body size in worker bumble-bees (Bombus impatiens)

    PubMed Central

    Couvillon, Margaret J.; Dornhaus, Anna

    2009-01-01

    Social insects display task-related division of labour. In some species, division of labour is related to differences in body size, and worker caste members display morphological adaptations suited for particular tasks. Bumble-bee workers (Bombus spp.) can vary in mass by eight- to tenfold within a single colony, which previous work has linked to division of labour. However, little is known about the proximate mechanism behind the production of this wide range of size variation within the worker caste. Here, we quantify the larval feeding in Bombus impatiens in different nest zones of increasing distance from the centre. There was a significant difference in the number of feedings per larva across zones, with a significant decrease in feeding rates as one moved outwards from the centre of the nest. Likewise, the diameter of the pupae in the peripheral zones was significantly smaller than that of pupae in the centre. Therefore, we conclude that the differential feeding of larvae within a nest, which leads to the size variation within the worker caste, is based on the location of brood clumps. Our work is consistent with the hypothesis that some larvae are ‘forgotten’, providing a possible first mechanism for the creation of size polymorphism in B. impatiens. PMID:19364744

  18. Comparative genetic analyses of historical and contemporary collections highlight contrasting demographic histories for the bumble bees Bombus pensylvanicus and B. impatiens in Illinois.

    PubMed

    Lozier, Jeffrey D; Cameron, Sydney A

    2009-05-01

    Direct comparison of genetic patterns between museum specimens and contemporary collections can be a powerful approach for detecting recent demographic changes. Using microsatellite markers, we examined historical and contemporary genetic variation from an apparently declining bumble bee species, Bombus pensylvanicus, and from a stable species, Bombus impatiens, in central Illinois. For each species, we genotyped specimens from the Illinois Natural History Survey collected from three populations between 1969-1972 and from a resurvey of the same areas conducted in 2008. Population structure in B. pensylvanicus increased markedly over the last four decades (from theta(ST) = 0.001 to 0.027) while no structure was detected in B. impatiens for either time period (theta(ST) = -0.006 to -0.003). Changes in genetic diversity were not significant for either species, although small reductions were observed for B. pensylvanicus in all three populations. Coalescent simulations incorporating both contemporary and historical samples suggest that this small change is not surprising for recent population declines, as large reductions in genetic diversity were only apparent under the most severe bottleneck scenarios. These results demonstrate how comparisons of genetic patterns between temporal periods and species can help elucidate potential threats to population health and suggest several strategies that might be useful in the conservation of B. pensylvanicus in the Midwestern USA. PMID:19344350

  19. Does the queen win it all? Queen-worker conflict over male production in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alaux, Cédric; Savarit, Fabrice; Jaisson, Pierre; Hefetz, Abraham

    Social insects provide a useful model for studying the evolutionary balance between cooperation and conflict linked to genetic structure. We investigated the outcome of this conflict in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, whose annual colony life cycle is characterized by overt competition over male production. We established artificial colonies composed of a queen and unrelated workers by daily exchange of callow workers between colony pairs of distinct genetic make-up. Using microsatellite analysis, this procedure allowed an exact calculation of the proportion of worker-derived males. The development and social behavior of these artificial colonies were similar to those of normal colonies. Despite a high worker reproduction attempt (63.8% of workers had developed ovaries and 38.4% were egg-layers), we found that on average 95% of the males produced during the competition phase (CPh) were queen-derived. However, in four colonies, queen death resulted in a considerable amount of worker-derived male production. The different putative ultimate causes of this efficient control by the queen are discussed, and we suggest a possible scenario of an evolutionary arms race that may occur between these two female castes.

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

    PubMed

    Lunau, Klaus; Unseld, Katrin; Wolter, Franziska

    2009-12-01

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

  1. Population genetic structure of Bombus terrestris in Europe: Isolation and genetic differentiation of Irish and British populations.

    PubMed

    Moreira, António S; Horgan, Finbarr G; Murray, Tomás E; Kakouli-Duarte, Thomais

    2015-07-01

    The genetic structure of the earth bumblebee (Bombus terrestris L.) was examined across 22 wild populations and two commercially reared populations using eight microsatellite loci and two mitochondrial genes. Our study included wild bumblebee samples from six populations in Ireland, one from the Isle of Man, four from Britain and 11 from mainland Europe. A further sample was acquired from New Zealand. Observed levels of genetic variability and heterozygosity were low in Ireland and the Isle of Man, but relatively high in continental Europe and among commercial populations. Estimates of Fst revealed significant genetic differentiation among populations. Bayesian cluster analysis indicated that Irish populations were highly differentiated from British and continental populations, the latter two showing higher levels of admixture. The data suggest that the Irish Sea and prevailing south westerly winds act as a considerable geographical barrier to gene flow between populations in Ireland and Britain; however, some immigration from the Isle of Man to Ireland was detected. The results are discussed in the context of the recent commercialization of bumblebees for the European horticultural industry. PMID:25958977

  2. Visual targeting of components of floral colour patterns in flower-naïve bumblebees ( Bombus terrestris; Apidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunau, Klaus; Fieselmann, Gabriele; Heuschen, Britta; van de Loo, Antje

    2006-07-01

    Floral colour patterns are contrasting colour patches on flowers, a part of the signalling apparatus that was considered to display shape and colour signals used by flower-visitors to detect flowers and locate the site of floral reward. Here, we show that flower-naïve bumblebees ( Bombus terrestris) spontaneously direct their approach towards the outside margin of artificial flowers, which provides contrast between these dummy flowers and the background. If no floral guides are present, the bumblebees continue to approach the margin and finally touch the marginal area of the dummy flower with the tips of their antennae. Whilst approaching dummy flowers that also have a central floral guide, the bumblebees change their direction of flight: Initially, they approach the margin, later they switch to approaching the colour guide, and finally they precisely touch the floral guide with their antennae. Variation of the shape of equally sized dummy flowers did not alter the bumblebees’ preferential orientation towards the guide. Using reciprocal combinations of guide colour and surrounding colour, we showed that the approach from a distance towards the corolla and the antennal contact with the guide are elicited by the same colour parameter: spectral purity. As a consequence, the dummy flowers eliciting the greatest frequency of antennal reactions at the guide are those that combine a floral guide of high spectral purity with a corolla of less spectral purity. Our results support the hypothesis that floral guides direct bumblebees’ approaches to the site of first contact with the flower, which is achieved by the tips of the antennae.

  3. Characterisation of Acetyl-CoA Thiolase: The First Enzyme in the Biosynthesis of Terpenic Sex Pheromone Components in the Labial Gland of Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Brabcová, Jana; Demianová, Zuzana; Kindl, Jiří; Pichová, Iva; Valterová, Irena; Zarevúcka, Marie

    2015-05-01

    Buff-tailed bumblebees, Bombus terrestris, use a male sex pheromone for premating communication. Its main component is a sesquiterpene, 2,3-dihydrofarnesol. This paper reports the isolation of a thiolase (acetyl-CoA thiolase, AACT_BT), the first enzyme involved in the biosynthetic pathway leading to formation of isoprenoids in the B. terrestris male sex pheromone. Characterisation of AACT_BT might contribute to a better understanding of pheromonogenesis in the labial gland of B. terrestris males. The protein was purified to apparent homogeneity by column chromatography with subsequent stepwise treatment. AACT_BT showed optimum acetyltransferase activity at pH 7.1 and was strongly inhibited by iodoacetamide. The enzyme migrated as a band with an apparent mass of 42.9 kDa on SDS-PAGE. MS analysis of an AACT_BT tryptic digest revealed high homology to representatives of the thiolase family. AACT_BT has 96 % amino acid sequence identity with the previously reported Bombus impatiens thiolase. PMID:25801592

  4. Detoxification and stress response genes expressed in a western North American bumble bee, Bombus huntii (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees are generalist floral visitors, meaning they pollinate a wide variety of plants. Their pollination activities expose them to both plant toxins and pesticides, yet little is known about what detoxification pathways are active in bumble bees, how the expression of detoxification genes chan...

  5. Ambient Air Temperature Does Not Predict whether Small or Large Workers Forage in Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens)

    PubMed Central

    Couvillon, Margaret J.; Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Dornhaus, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Bumble bees are important pollinators of crops and other plants. However, many aspects of their basic biology remain relatively unexplored. For example, one important and unusual natural history feature in bumble bees is the massive size variation seen between workers of the same nest. This size polymorphism may be an adaptation for division of labor, colony economics, or be nonadaptive. It was also suggested that perhaps this variation allows for niche specialization in workers foraging at different temperatures: larger bees might be better suited to forage at cooler temperatures and smaller bees might be better suited to forage at warmer temperatures. This we tested here using a large, enclosed growth chamber, where we were able to regulate the ambient temperature. We found no significant effect of ambient or nest temperature on the average size of bees flying to and foraging from a suspended feeder. Instead, bees of all sizes successfully flew and foraged between 16°C and 36°C. Thus, large bees foraged even at very hot temperatures, which we thought might cause overheating. Size variation therefore could not be explained in terms of niche specialization for foragers at different temperatures. PMID:26005222

  6. Bombus huntii, Bombus impatiens and Bombus vosnesenskii (Hymenoptera: Apidae) pollinate greenhouse-grown tomatoes in western North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are the primary pollinators of tomatoes grown in greenhouses and can significantly increase fruit weight compared to tomatoes that receive no supplemental pollination. Due to mounting concerns over the transportation of bumble bees outside of their native ranges, several specie...

  7. A scientific note on the comparison of airborne volatiles produced by commercial bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) and honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Small hive beetles have been documented as being able to successfully invade commercial bumble bee colonies and find the hives through odors produced by the colonies. We tested the hypothesis that volatiles emanating from Bumble bee and Honeybee colonies were similar by collecting volatiles from wo...

  8. 16S rRNA Amplicon Sequencing Demonstrates that Indoor-Reared Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) Harbor a Core Subset of Bacteria Normally Associated with the Wild Host

    PubMed Central

    Meeus, Ivan; Parmentier, Laurian; Billiet, Annelies; Maebe, Kevin; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Deforce, Dieter; Wäckers, Felix; Vandamme, Peter; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    A MiSeq multiplexed 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of the gut microbiota of wild and indoor-reared Bombus terrestris (bumblebees) confirmed the presence of a core set of bacteria, which consisted of Neisseriaceae (Snodgrassella), Orbaceae (Gilliamella), Lactobacillaceae (Lactobacillus), and Bifidobacteriaceae (Bifidobacterium). In wild B. terrestris we detected several non-core bacteria having a more variable prevalence. Although Enterobacteriaceae are unreported by non next-generation sequencing studies, it can become a dominant gut resident. Furthermore the presence of some non-core lactobacilli were associated with the relative abundance of bifidobacteria. This association was not observed in indoor-reared bumblebees lacking the non-core bacteria, but having a more standardized microbiota compared to their wild counterparts. The impact of the bottleneck microbiota of indoor-reared bumblebees when they are used in the field for pollination purpose is discussed. PMID:25923917

  9. Kodamaea ohmeri (Ascomycota: Saccharomycotina) presence in commercial Bombus impatiens Cresson and feral Bombus pensylvanicus DeGeer (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study, eight commercial and three feral bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson and Bombus pensylvanicus DeGeer respectively, Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies were tested for the presence of Kodamaea ohmeri (Ascomycota: Saccharomycotina), a yeast known to attract small hive beetles (SHB) (Aethina ...

  10. Differential sensitivity of honey bees and bumble bees to a dietary insecticide (imidacloprid).

    PubMed

    Cresswell, James E; Page, Christopher J; Uygun, Mehmet B; Holmbergh, Marie; Li, Yueru; Wheeler, Jonathan G; Laycock, Ian; Pook, Christopher J; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel; Smirnoff, Nick; Tyler, Charles R

    2012-12-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and the sustainability of pollination services. One potential threat to bees is the unintended impact of systemic insecticides, which are ingested by bees in the nectar and pollen from flowers of treated crops. To establish whether imidacloprid, a systemic neonicotinoid and insect neurotoxin, harms individual bees when ingested at environmentally realistic levels, we exposed adult worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), and honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), to dietary imidacloprid in feeder syrup at dosages between 0.08 and 125μg l(-1). Honey bees showed no response to dietary imidacloprid on any variable that we measured (feeding, locomotion and longevity). In contrast, bumble bees progressively developed over time a dose-dependent reduction in feeding rate with declines of 10-30% in the environmentally relevant range of up to 10μg l(-1), but neither their locomotory activity nor longevity varied with diet. To explain their differential sensitivity, we speculate that honey bees are better pre-adapted than bumble bees to feed on nectars containing synthetic alkaloids, such as imidacloprid, by virtue of their ancestral adaptation to tropical nectars in which natural alkaloids are prevalent. We emphasise that our study does not suggest that honey bee colonies are invulnerable to dietary imidacloprid under field conditions, but our findings do raise new concern about the impact of agricultural neonicotinoids on wild bumble bee populations. PMID:23044068

  11. Bumblebee calligraphy: the design and control of flight motifs in the learning and return flights of Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Philippides, Andrew; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel; Riabinina, Olena; Collett, Thomas S

    2013-03-15

    Many wasps and bees learn the position of their nest relative to nearby visual features during elaborate 'learning' flights that they perform on leaving the nest. Return flights to the nest are thought to be patterned so that insects can reach their nest by matching their current view to views of their surroundings stored during learning flights. To understand how ground-nesting bumblebees might implement such a matching process, we have video-recorded the bees' learning and return flights and analysed the similarities and differences between the principal motifs of their flights. Loops that take bees away from and bring them back towards the nest are common during learning flights and less so in return flights. Zigzags are more prominent on return flights. Both motifs tend to be nest based. Bees often both fly towards and face the nest in the middle of loops and at the turns of zigzags. Before and after flight direction and body orientation are aligned, the two diverge from each other so that the nest is held within the bees' fronto-lateral visual field while flight direction relative to the nest can fluctuate more widely. These and other parallels between loops and zigzags suggest that they are stable variations of an underlying pattern, which enable bees to store and reacquire similar nest-focused views during learning and return flights. PMID:23447668

  12. Bombus huntii, Bombus impatiens, and Bombus vosnesenskii (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Pollinate Greenhouse-Grown Tomatoes in Western North America.

    PubMed

    Strange, James P

    2015-06-01

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are the primary pollinators of tomatoes grown in greenhouses and can significantly increase fruit weight compared with tomatoes that receive no supplemental pollination. More than a million colonies are sold worldwide annually to meet pollination needs. Due to mounting concerns over the transportation of bumble bees outside of their native ranges, several species native to western North American are currently being investigated as potential commercial pollinators. Here, two western, Bombus huntii Greene and Bombus vosnesenskii Radoszkowski, and one eastern species, Bombus impatiens Cresson, are compared for their efficacy as pollinators of greenhouse-grown tomatoes. In two experiments, colonies were placed in greenhouses and compared with control plants that received no supplemental pollination. In the first experiment, seed set was significantly increased with B. huntii pollination in one variety of cherry tomatoes. In the second experiment comparing all three bumble bee species, fruit weight was an average of 25.2 g heavier per fruit pollinated by bees versus the control, and the number of days to harvest was 2.9 d shorter for bee-pollinated fruit. In some rounds of pollination, differences were found among bumble bee species, but these were inconsistent across replicates and not statistically significant overall. Additionally, fruit weight was shown to be highly correlated to fruit diameter and seed set in all tests and, thus, is shown to be a reliable metric for assessing pollination in future studies. These results suggest that commercialization of western bumble bees is a viable alternative to the current practices of moving of nonnative bees into western North America to pollinate tomatoes. PMID:26470206

  13. Polyphenism in social insects: insights from a transcriptome-wide analysis of gene expression in the life stages of the key pollinator, Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Understanding polyphenism, the ability of a single genome to express multiple morphologically and behaviourally distinct phenotypes, is an important goal for evolutionary and developmental biology. Polyphenism has been key to the evolution of the Hymenoptera, and particularly the social Hymenoptera where the genome of a single species regulates distinct larval stages, sexual dimorphism and physical castes within the female sex. Transcriptomic analyses of social Hymenoptera will therefore provide unique insights into how changes in gene expression underlie such complexity. Here we describe gene expression in individual specimens of the pre-adult stages, sexes and castes of the key pollinator, the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Results cDNA was prepared from mRNA from five life cycle stages (one larva, one pupa, one male, one gyne and two workers) and a total of 1,610,742 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated using Roche 454 technology, substantially increasing the sequence data available for this important species. Overlapping ESTs were assembled into 36,354 B. terrestris putative transcripts, and functionally annotated. A preliminary assessment of differences in gene expression across non-replicated specimens from the pre-adult stages, castes and sexes was performed using R-STAT analysis. Individual samples from the life cycle stages of the bumblebee differed in the expression of a wide array of genes, including genes involved in amino acid storage, metabolism, immunity and olfaction. Conclusions Detailed analyses of immune and olfaction gene expression across phenotypes demonstrated how transcriptomic analyses can inform our understanding of processes central to the biology of B. terrestris and the social Hymenoptera in general. For example, examination of immunity-related genes identified high conservation of important immunity pathway components across individual specimens from the life cycle stages while olfactory-related genes

  14. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessler, Sébastien C.; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-05-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

  15. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides.

    PubMed

    Kessler, Sébastien C; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Radcliffe, Amy; Stout, Jane C; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-05-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees. PMID:25901684

  16. PCR reveals high prevalence of non-sporulating Nosema bombi(Microsporidia) infections in bumble bees (Bombus)in northern Arizona

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    About 20% of bumble bee species are in decline in North America, and the microsporidian pathogen, Nosema bombi, may be a factor in these declines. We performed a comprehensive survey of N. bombi infections in the bumble bee communities throughout the flight season along an elevation gradient in Nort...

  17. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    PubMed Central

    Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-01-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies1-3. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants4. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure4,5. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly-used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO) in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX, and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees’ mouthparts nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a significant hazard to foraging bees. PMID:25901684

  18. From silkworms to bees: Diseases of beneficial insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The diseases of the silkworm (Bombyx mori) and managed bees, including the honey bee (Apis mellifera), bumbles bees (Bombus spp.), the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata), and mason bees (Osmia spp.) are reviewed, with diagnostic descriptions and a summary of control methods for production...

  19. Historical changes in northeastern US bee pollinators related to shared ecological traits.

    PubMed

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Ascher, John S; Gibbs, Jason; Danforth, Bryan N; Wagner, David L; Hedtke, Shannon M; Winfree, Rachael

    2013-03-19

    Pollinators such as bees are essential to the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. However, despite concerns about a global pollinator crisis, long-term data on the status of bee species are limited. We present a long-term study of relative rates of change for an entire regional bee fauna in the northeastern United States, based on >30,000 museum records representing 438 species. Over a 140-y period, aggregate native species richness weakly decreased, but richness declines were significant only for the genus Bombus. Of 187 native species analyzed individually, only three declined steeply, all of these in the genus Bombus. However, there were large shifts in community composition, as indicated by 56% of species showing significant changes in relative abundance over time. Traits associated with a declining relative abundance include small dietary and phenological breadth and large body size. In addition, species with lower latitudinal range boundaries are increasing in relative abundance, a finding that may represent a response to climate change. We show that despite marked increases in human population density and large changes in anthropogenic land use, aggregate native species richness declines were modest outside of the genus Bombus. At the same time, we find that certain ecological traits are associated with declines in relative abundance. These results should help target conservation efforts focused on maintaining native bee abundance and diversity and therefore the important ecosystems services that they provide. PMID:23487768

  20. Varroa destructor Macula-like virus, Lake Sinai virus and other new RNA viruses in wild bumblebee hosts (Bombus pascuorum, Bombus lapidarius and Bombus pratorum).

    PubMed

    Parmentier, Laurian; Smagghe, Guy; de Graaf, Dirk C; Meeus, Ivan

    2016-02-01

    Pollinators such as bumblebees (Bombus spp.) are in decline worldwide which poses a threat not only for ecosystem biodiversity but also to human crop production services. One main cause of pollinator decline may be the infection and transmission of diseases including RNA viruses. Recently, new viruses have been discovered in honeybees, but information on the presence of these in wild bumblebees is largely not available. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of new RNA viruses in Bombus species, and can report for the first time Varroa destructor Macula-like virus (VdMLV) and Lake Sinai virus (LSV) infection in multiple wild bumblebee hosts of Bombus pascuorum, Bombus lapidarius and Bombus pratorum. We sampled in 4 locations in Flanders, Belgium. Besides, we confirmed Slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV) in wild bumblebees, but no positive samples were obtained for Big Sioux river virus (BSRV). Secondly, we screened for the influence of apiaries on the prevalence of these viruses. Our results indicated a location effect for the prevalence of VdMLV in Bombus species, with a higher prevalence in the proximity of honeybee apiaries mainly observed in one location. For LSV, the prevalence was not different in the proximity or at a 1.5 km-distance of apiaries, but we reported a different isolate with similarities to LSV-2 and "LSV-clade A" as described by Ravoet et al. (2015), which was detected both in Apis mellifera and Bombus species. In general, our results indicate the existence of a disease pool of new viruses that seems to be associated to a broad range of Apoidae hosts, including multiple Bombus species. PMID:26706994

  1. The status of Bombus occidentalis and B. moderatus in Alaska with special focus on Nosema bombi incidence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Technical Abstract: Four North American bumble bee species in the subgenus Bombus sensu stricto, including Bombus occidentalis (Hymenoptera: Apidae), are experiencing dramatic declines in population abundance, range and genetic diversity. The prevailing hypothesis concerning their decline is the ‘s...

  2. Bifidobacterium commune sp. nov. isolated from the bumble bee gut.

    PubMed

    Praet, Jessy; Meeus, Ivan; Cnockaert, Margo; Aerts, Maarten; Smagghe, Guy; Vandamme, Peter

    2015-05-01

    Bifidobacteria were isolated from the gut of Bombus lapidarius, Bombus terrestris and Bombus hypnorum bumble bees by direct isolation on modified trypticase phytone yeast extract agar. The MALDI-TOF MS profiles of four isolates (LMG 28292(T), R-53560, R-53124, LMG 28626) were found to be identical and did not cluster with the profiles of established Bifidobacterium species. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence of strain LMG 28292(T) revealed that LMG 28292(T) is most closely related to the Bifidobacterium bohemicum type strain (96.8%), which was also isolated from bumble bee gut specimens. The hsp60 gene of strain LMG 28292(T) shows 85.8% sequence similarity to that of the B. bohemicum type strain. The (GTG)5-PCR profiles and the hsp60 sequences of all four isolates were indistinguishable; however, three different phenotypes were observed among the four isolates by means of the API 50CHL microtest system. Based on the phylogenetic, genotypic and phenotypic data, we propose to classify the four isolates within the novel species Bifidobacterium commune sp. nov., with LMG 28292(T) (= DSM 28792(T)) as the type strain. PMID:25753540

  3. Bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bee, Claire Preston, is a book written generally for the layperson, but may be of interest to those working in entomology. This review seeks to help entomologists who may have interest in the subject to decide whether or not to invest time into reading the book. The review is generally positive an...

  4. Impacts of the use of nonnative commercial bumble bees for pollinator supplementation in raspberry.

    PubMed

    Lye, G C; Jennings, S N; Osborne, J L; Goulson, D

    2011-02-01

    Evidence for pollinator declines has led to concern that inadequate pollination services may limit crop yields. The global trade in commercial bumble bee (Bombus spp.) colonies provides pollination services for both glasshouse and open-field crops. For example, in the United Kingdom, commercial colonies of nonnative subspecies of the bumble bee Bombus terrestris L. imported from mainland Europe are widely used for the pollination of raspberries, Rubus idaeus L. The extent to which these commercial colonies supplement the services provided by wild pollinators has not been formally quantified and the impact of commercial bumble bees on native bees visiting the crop is unknown. Here, the impacts of allowing commercially available bumble bee colonies to forage on raspberry canes are assessed in terms of the yield of marketable fruit produced and the pollinator communities found foraging on raspberry flowers. No differences were found in the abundance, diversity, or composition of social bee species observed visiting raspberry flowers when commercial bumble bees were deployed compared with when they were absent. However, weight of marketable raspberries produced increased when commercial bees were present, indicating that wild pollinator services alone are inadequate for attaining maximum yields. The findings of the study suggests that proportional yield increases associated with deployment of commercial colonies may be small, but that nevertheless, investment in commercial colonies for raspberry pollination could produce very significant increases in net profit for the grower. Given potential environmental risks associated with the importation of nonnative bumble bees, the development of alternative solutions to the pollination deficit in raspberry crops in the United Kingdom may be beneficial. PMID:21404847

  5. Phylogenetic analysis of honey bee behavioral evolution.

    PubMed

    Raffiudin, Rika; Crozier, Ross H

    2007-05-01

    DNA sequences from three mitochondrial (rrnL, cox2, nad2) and one nuclear gene (itpr) from all 9 known honey bee species (Apis), a 10th possible species, Apis dorsata binghami, and three outgroup species (Bombus terrestris, Melipona bicolor and Trigona fimbriata) were used to infer Apis phylogenetic relationships using Bayesian analysis. The dwarf honey bees were confirmed as basal, and the giant and cavity-nesting species to be monophyletic. All nodes were strongly supported except that grouping Apis cerana with A. nigrocincta. Two thousand post-burnin trees from the phylogenetic analysis were used in a Bayesian comparative analysis to explore the evolution of dance type, nest structure, comb structure and dance sound within Apis. The ancestral honey bee species was inferred with high support to have nested in the open, and to have more likely than not had a silent vertical waggle dance and a single comb. The common ancestor of the giant and cavity-dwelling bees is strongly inferred to have had a buzzing vertical directional dance. All pairwise combinations of characters showed strong association, but the multiple comparisons problem reduces the ability to infer associations between states between characters. Nevertheless, a buzzing dance is significantly associated with cavity-nesting, several vertical combs, and dancing vertically, a horizontal dance is significantly associated with a nest with a single comb wrapped around the support, and open nesting with a single pendant comb and a silent waggle dance. PMID:17123837

  6. Bees use honest floral signals as indicators of reward when visiting flowers.

    PubMed

    Knauer, A C; Schiestl, F P

    2015-02-01

    Pollinators visit flowers for rewards and should therefore have a preference for floral signals that indicate reward status, so called 'honest signals'. We investigated honest signalling in Brassica rapa L. and its relevance for the attraction of a generalised pollinator, the bumble bee Bombus terrestris (L.). We found a positive association between reward amount (nectar sugar and pollen) and the floral scent compound phenylacetaldehyde. Bumble bees developed a preference for phenylacetaldehyde over other scent compounds after foraging on B. rapa. When foraging on artificial flowers scented with synthetic volatiles, bumble bees developed a preference for those specific compounds that honestly indicated reward status. These results show that the honesty of floral signals can play a key role in their attractiveness to pollinators. In plants, a genetic constraint, resource limitation in reward and signal production, and sanctions against cheaters may contribute to the evolution and maintenance of honest signalling. PMID:25491788

  7. Bumble bees of the western United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees (genus Bombus) are critical pollinators of flowering plants. Thirty species of bumble bees are native to the western United States and this publication is a guide to the natural history and identification of these species. We present phenology graphs, host-plant associations, detailed ...

  8. Sphaerularia bombi (Nematoda: Sphaerulariidae) parasitizing Bombus atratus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in southern South America.

    PubMed

    Plischuk, Santiago; Lange, Carlos E

    2012-08-01

    Bumble bees are some of the most important insect pollinators. However, knowledge on parasites associated to bumble bees in South America is very limited. This study reports the first isolation of a sphaerularid nematode parasitizing queens of the native bumble bee Bombus atratus in Argentina. Measurements and morphological characters of eggs, juveniles, and adults strongly suggest that the species is Sphaerularia bombi, a parasite that affects the reproduction and foraging behavior of the host. The nematode was detected in bumble bees of San Carlos de Bariloche, northwestern Patagonia region, and the surroundings of La Plata, northeastern Pampas region. Prevalence varied between 8% and 20%. PMID:22350676

  9. Comparison and examination of Bombus occidentalis and Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in tomato greenhouses.

    PubMed

    Whittington, Robin; Winston, Mark L

    2004-08-01

    Experiments were conducted in commercial tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Miller (Solanaceae), greenhouses to compare the relative foraging effort of two bumble bee species, Bombus occidentalis Greene and Bombus impatiens Cresson, to examine interspecific competition between B. occidentalis and B. impatiens, and to determine whether bumble bee colonies grew to their full population potential in commercial tomato greenhouses. B. impatiens colonies had more brood and workers and made more foraging trips per hour than B. occidentalis colonies. However, B. impatiens returned to the colony without pollen loads and left their colonies without dropping off their pollen loads more frequently than B. occidentalis greenhouse colonies. Our data also suggest that the presence of B. impatiens had a detrimental effect on B. occidentalis populations. Furthermore, B. occidentalis colonies did not grow to their full population potential in tomato greenhouses, with fewer workers in greenhouse colonies than in colonies placed outside in a natural environment, or in colonies that were physically enclosed and protected from external mortality. Together, this study suggests that B. impatiens is a better pollinator than B. occidentalis. It also shows that unknown factors are limiting the size of B. occidentalis colonies in tomato greenhouses. PMID:15384352

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

    PubMed

    Thomson, Diane M

    2016-10-01

    Time series of abundances are critical for understanding how abiotic factors and species interactions affect population dynamics, but are rarely linked with experiments and also scarce for bee pollinators. This gap is important given concerns about declines in some bee species. I monitored honey bee (Apis mellifera) and bumble bee (Bombus spp.) foragers in coastal California from 1999, when feral A. mellifera populations were low due to Varroa destructor, until 2014. Apis mellifera increased substantially, except between 2006 and 2011, coinciding with declines in managed populations. Increases in A. mellifera strongly correlated with declines in Bombus and reduced diet overlap between them, suggesting resource competition consistent with past experimental results. Lower Bombus numbers also correlated with diminished floral resources. Declines in floral abundances were associated with drought and reduced spring rainfall. These results illustrate how competition with an introduced species may interact with climate to drive local decline of native pollinators. PMID:27539950

  11. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining abundance and range shifts of bumble bee (Bombus) species have been observed in Europe and Asia. However, the status of North America’s bumble bee species has been largely unstudied. Recent reports based on local or regional observations suggest that parallel declines are taking place in N...

  12. Patterns of widespread decline in North America bumble bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining abundance and range shifts of bumble bee (Bombus) species have been observed in Europe and Asia. However, the status of North America’s bumble bee species has been largely unstudied. Recent reports based on local or regional observations suggest that parallel declines are taking place in N...

  13. The tracheal mite Locustacarus buchneri in South American native bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Plischuk, Santiago; Pocco, Martina E; Lange, Carlos E

    2013-12-01

    As in other regions of the world, bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are important pollinators in the neotropics. Despite its relevance, knowledge on their health is still limited in the region. While external acari are known to occur in these insects, presence of the internal, tracheal mite Locustacarus buchneri is here reported for first time. After the examination of 2,508 individuals of eight Bombus species from Argentina, two workers of Bombus bellicosus and one of Bombus atratus were found parasitized by L. buchneri in localities within San Luis and Buenos Aires provinces, respectively. The rare occurrence recorded agrees with findings from elsewhere in the world. PMID:23872435

  14. The translation into Spanish of the OIE Manual of diagnostic tests and vaccines for terrestrial animals (mammals, birds and bees): problems, solutions and conclusions.

    PubMed

    Crespo León, F; Gutiérrez Díez, F; Rodríguez Ferri, F; León Vizcaíno, L; Cuello Gijón, F; Gimeno, E J; Zepeda Sein, C; Sánchez Vizcaíno Rodríguez, J M; Cerón Madrigal, J J; Cantos Gómez, P; Schudel, A

    2005-12-01

    In order to carry out the translation into Spanish of the Manual of diagnostic tests and vaccines for terrestrial animals (mammals, birds and bees) ensuring full scientific and linguistic accuracy, its authors relied on coordination between three types of experts: linguistic, translational and veterinary. In this paper the planning, execution and quality control of such work, which was undertaken with the support and guarantee of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), is reported. In the conclusions the authors describe what they view as necessary guidelines for the OIE to apply in the future regarding its linguistic policy. The working methodology reported in connection with the translation of the Terrestrial Manual into Spanish will be useful for the translation of the Terrestrial Manual or other texts into languages other than Spanish, whether or not they are among the official languages of the OIE. PMID:16642778

  15. Geographic profiling applied to testing models of bumble-bee foraging

    PubMed Central

    Raine, Nigel E.; Rossmo, D. Kim; Le Comber, Steven C.

    2008-01-01

    Geographic profiling (GP) was originally developed as a statistical tool to help police forces prioritize lists of suspects in investigations of serial crimes. GP uses the location of related crime sites to make inferences about where the offender is most likely to live, and has been extremely successful in criminology. Here, we show how GP is applicable to experimental studies of animal foraging, using the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris. GP techniques enable us to simplify complex patterns of spatial data down to a small number of parameters (2–3) for rigorous hypothesis testing. Combining computer model simulations and experimental observation of foraging bumble-bees, we demonstrate that GP can be used to discriminate between foraging patterns resulting from (i) different hypothetical foraging algorithms and (ii) different food item (flower) densities. We also demonstrate that combining experimental and simulated data can be used to elucidate animal foraging strategies: specifically that the foraging patterns of real bumble-bees can be reliably discriminated from three out of nine hypothetical foraging algorithms. We suggest that experimental systems, like foraging bees, could be used to test and refine GP model predictions, and that GP offers a useful technique to analyse spatial animal behaviour data in both the laboratory and field. PMID:18664426

  16. Size-related variation in protein abundance in the brain and abdominal tissue of bumble bee workers.

    PubMed

    Wolschin, F; Shpigler, H; Amdam, G V; Bloch, G

    2012-06-01

    Female bumble bee workers of the same species often show a profound body size variation that is linked to a division of labour. Large individuals are more likely to forage whereas small individuals are more likely to perform in-nest activities. A higher sensory sensitivity, stronger circadian rhythms as well as better learning and memory performances appear to better equip large individuals for outdoor activities compared to their smaller siblings. The molecular mechanisms underlying worker functional polymorphism remain unclear. Proteins are major determinants of an individual's morphology and behaviour. We hypothesized that the abundance of proteins such as metabolic enzymes as well as proteins involved in neuronal functions would differ with body size and provide insights into the mechanisms underlying size-dependent physiological specialization in bumble bee workers. We conducted protein quantification measurements based on liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry on tissue samples derived from small and large Bombus impatiens and Bombus terrestris workers. Proteins found to differ significantly in abundance between small and large workers belong to the categories of structure, energy metabolism and stress response. These findings provide the first proteomic insight into mechanisms associated with size-based division of labour in social insects. PMID:22568679

  17. Sex ratios in bumble bees

    PubMed Central

    Bourke, A. F. G.

    1997-01-01

    The median proportion of investment in females among 11 populations of seven bumble bee (Bombus) species was 0.32 (range 0.07 to 0.64). By contrast, two species of workerless social parasites in the related genus Psithyrus had female-biased sex allocation, the reasons for which remain unclear. Male-biased sex allocation in Bombus contradicts the predictions of Trivers and Hare's sex ratio model for the social Hymenoptera, which are that the population sex investment ratio should be 0.5 (1:1) under queen control and 0.75 (3:1 females:males) under worker control (assuming single, once-mated, outbred queens and non-reproductive workers). Male bias in Bombus does not appear to be either an artefact, or purely the result of symbiotic sex ratio distorters. According to modifications of the Trivers–Hare model, the level of worker male-production in Bombus is insufficient to account for observed levels of male bias. There is also no evidence that male bias arises from either local resource competition (related females compete for resources) or local mate enhancement (related males cooperate in securing mates). Bulmer presented models predicting sexual selection for protandry (males are produced before females) in annual social Hymenoptera and, as a consequence (given some parameter values), male-biased sex allocation. Bumble bees fit the assumptions of Bulmer's models and are protandrous. These models therefore represent the best current explanation for the bees' male-biased sex investment ratios. This conclusion suggests that the relative timing of the production of the sexes strongly influences sex allocation in the social Hymenoptera.

  18. Flight performance of bumble bee as a possible pollinator in space agriculture under partial gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Mitsuhata, Masahiro; Sasaki, Masami; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    Space agriculture is an advanced life support concept for habitation on extraterrestrial bodies based on biological and ecological function. Flowering plant species are core member of space agriculture to produce food and revitalize air and water. Selection of crop plant species is made on the basis of nutritional requirements to maintain healthy life of space crew. Species selected for space agriculture have several mode of reproduction. For some of plant species, insect pollination is effective to increase yield and quality of food. In terrestrial agriculture, bee is widely introduced to pollinate flower. For pollinator insect on Mars, working environment is different from Earth. Magnitude of gravity is 0.38G on Mars surface. In order to confirm feasibility of insect pollination for space agriculture, capability of flying pollinator insect under such exotic condition should be examined. Even bee does not possess evident gravity sensory system, gravity dominates flying performance and behavior. During flight or hovering, lifting force produced by wing beat sustains body weight, which is the product of body mass and gravitational acceleration. Flying behavior of bumble bee, Bombus ignitus, was documented under partial or micro-gravity produced by parabolic flight of jet plane. Flying behavior at absence of gravity differed from that under normal gravity. Ability of bee to fly under partial gravity was examined at the level of Mars, Moon and the less, to determine the threshold level of gravity for bee flying maneuver. Adaptation process of bee flying under different gravity level was evaluated as well by successive documentation of parabolic flight experiment.

  19. The conservation and restoration of wild bees.

    PubMed

    Winfree, Rachael

    2010-05-01

    Bees pollinate most of the world's wild plant species and provide economically valuable pollination services to crops; yet knowledge of bee conservation biology lags far behind other taxa such as vertebrates and plants. There are few long-term data on bee populations, which makes their conservation status difficult to assess. The best-studied groups are the genus Bombus (the bumble bees), and bees in the EU generally; both of these are clearly declining. However, it is not known to what extent these groups represent the approximately 20,000 species of bees globally. As is the case for insects in general, bees are underrepresented in conservation planning and protection efforts. For example, only two bee species are on the global IUCN Red List, and no bee is listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, even though many bee species are known to be in steep decline or possibly extinct. At present, bee restoration occurs mainly in agricultural contexts, funded by government programs such as agri-environment schemes (EU) and the Farm Bill (USA). This is a promising approach given that many bee species can use human-disturbed habitats, and bees provide valuable pollination services to crops. However, agricultural restorations only benefit species that persist in agricultural landscapes, and they are more expensive than preserving natural habitat elsewhere. Furthermore, such restorations benefit bees in only about half of studied cases. More research is greatly needed in many areas of bee conservation, including basic population biology, bee restoration in nonagricultural contexts, and the identification of disturbance-sensitive bee species. PMID:20536823

  20. Monitoring Flower Visitation Networks and Interactions between Pairs of Bumble Bees in a Large Outdoor Flight Cage

    PubMed Central

    Lihoreau, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, Nigel E.

    2016-01-01

    Pollinators, such as bees, often develop multi-location routes (traplines) to exploit subsets of flower patches within larger plant populations. How individuals establish such foraging areas in the presence of other foragers is poorly explored. Here we investigated the foraging patterns of pairs of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) released sequentially into an 880m2 outdoor flight cage containing 10 feeding stations (artificial flowers). Using motion-sensitive video cameras mounted on flowers, we mapped the flower visitation networks of both foragers, quantified their interactions and compared their foraging success over an entire day. Overall, bees that were released first (residents) travelled 37% faster and collected 77% more nectar, thereby reaching a net energy intake rate 64% higher than bees released second (newcomers). However, this prior-experience advantage decreased as newcomers became familiar with the spatial configuration of the flower array. When both bees visited the same flower simultaneously, the most frequent outcome was for the resident to evict the newcomer. On the rare occasions when newcomers evicted residents, the two bees increased their frequency of return visits to that flower. These competitive interactions led to a significant (if only partial) spatial overlap between the foraging patterns of pairs of bees. While newcomers may initially use social cues (such as olfactory footprints) to exploit flowers used by residents, either because such cues indicate higher rewards and/or safety from predation, residents may attempt to preserve their monopoly over familiar resources through exploitation and interference. We discuss how these interactions may favour spatial partitioning, thereby maximising the foraging efficiency of individuals and colonies. PMID:26982030

  1. Monitoring Flower Visitation Networks and Interactions between Pairs of Bumble Bees in a Large Outdoor Flight Cage.

    PubMed

    Lihoreau, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, Nigel E

    2016-01-01

    Pollinators, such as bees, often develop multi-location routes (traplines) to exploit subsets of flower patches within larger plant populations. How individuals establish such foraging areas in the presence of other foragers is poorly explored. Here we investigated the foraging patterns of pairs of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) released sequentially into an 880m2 outdoor flight cage containing 10 feeding stations (artificial flowers). Using motion-sensitive video cameras mounted on flowers, we mapped the flower visitation networks of both foragers, quantified their interactions and compared their foraging success over an entire day. Overall, bees that were released first (residents) travelled 37% faster and collected 77% more nectar, thereby reaching a net energy intake rate 64% higher than bees released second (newcomers). However, this prior-experience advantage decreased as newcomers became familiar with the spatial configuration of the flower array. When both bees visited the same flower simultaneously, the most frequent outcome was for the resident to evict the newcomer. On the rare occasions when newcomers evicted residents, the two bees increased their frequency of return visits to that flower. These competitive interactions led to a significant (if only partial) spatial overlap between the foraging patterns of pairs of bees. While newcomers may initially use social cues (such as olfactory footprints) to exploit flowers used by residents, either because such cues indicate higher rewards and/or safety from predation, residents may attempt to preserve their monopoly over familiar resources through exploitation and interference. We discuss how these interactions may favour spatial partitioning, thereby maximising the foraging efficiency of individuals and colonies. PMID:26982030

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Diapause is the key adaptation allowing insects to survive unfavourable conditions and inhabit an array of environments. Physiological changes during diapause are largely conserved across species and are hypothesized to be regulated by a conserved suite of genes (a 'toolkit'). Furthermore, it is hypothesized that in social insects, this toolkit was co-opted to mediate caste differentiation between long-lived, reproductive, diapause-capable queens and short-lived, sterile workers. Using Bombus terrestris queens, we examined the physiological and transcriptomic changes associated with diapause and CO2 treatment, which causes queens to bypass diapause. We performed comparative analyses with genes previously identified to be associated with diapause in the Dipteran Sarcophaga crassipalpis and with caste differentiation in bumble bees. As in Diptera, diapause in bumble bees is associated with physiological and transcriptional changes related to nutrient storage, stress resistance and core metabolic pathways. There is a significant overlap, both at the level of transcript and gene ontology, between the genetic mechanisms mediating diapause in B. terrestris and S. crassipalpis, reaffirming the existence of a conserved insect diapause genetic toolkit. However, a substantial proportion (10%) of the differentially regulated transcripts in diapausing queens have no clear orthologs in other species, and key players regulating diapause in Diptera (juvenile hormone and vitellogenin) appear to have distinct functions in bumble bees. We also found a substantial overlap between genes related to caste determination and diapause in bumble bees. Thus, our studies demonstrate an intriguing interplay between pathways underpinning adaptation to environmental extremes and the evolution of sociality in insects. PMID:26453894

  3. Interspecific geographic distribution and variation of two bumble bee pathogens, Nosema bombi and Crithidia bombi, in United States populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several bumble bee (Bombus) species in North America have undergone range reductions and rapid declines in relative abundance. Pathogens have been suggested as causal factors, however, baseline data on pathogen distributions in a large number of bumble bee species have not been available to rigorous...

  4. The plight of the bees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spivak, Marla; Mader, Eric; Vaughan, Mace; Euliss, Ned H.

    2011-01-01

    Some environmental issues polarize people, producing weary political stalemates of indecision and inaction. Others, however, grab hold of our most primeval instincts, causing us to reach deeply into our memories of childhood, and our first direct experiences with nature: the bumble bee nest we poked at with a stick; the man at the county fair with the bee beard. Those memories expand backward in time to our barefoot ancestors who climbed trees and robbed honey. They help define the human experience and provide context to our own place in the world.And so the plight of the bees strikes a common chord. For a brief moment simple matters of politics, economics, and nationality seem irrelevant. Colony collapse disorder, the name for the syndrome causing honey bees (Apis mellifera) to suddenly and mysteriously disappear from their hives - thousands of individual worker bees literally flying off to die - captured public consciousness when it was first named in 2007 (1). Since then, the story of vanishing honey bees has become ubiquitous in popular consciousness - driving everything from ice cream marketing campaigns to plots for The Simpsons. The untold story is that these hive losses are simply a capstone to more than a half-century of more prosaic day-to-day losses that beekeepers already faced from parasites, diseases, poor nutrition, and pesticide poisoning (2). The larger story still is that while honey bees are charismatic and important to agriculture, other important bees are also suffering, and in some cases their fates are far worse (3). These other bees are a subset of the roughly 4000 species of wild bumble bees (Bombus), leafcutter bees (Megachile), and others that are native to North America. While the honey bee was originally imported from Europe by colonists in the early 17th century, it is these native bees that have evolved with our local ecosystems, and, along with honey bees, are valuable crop pollinators. People want to know why bees are dying and how

  5. Bumble bee fauna of Palouse Prairie: survey of native bee pollinators in a fragmented ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Hatten, T D; Looney, C; Strange, J P; Bosque-Pérez, N A

    2013-01-01

    Bumble bees, Bombus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae:), are dominant pollinators in the northern hemisphere, providing important pollination services for commercial crops and innumerable wild plants. Nationwide declines in several bumble bee species and habitat losses in multiple ecosystems have raised concerns about conservation of this important group. In many regions, such as the Palouse Prairie, relatively little is known about bumble bee communities, despite their critical ecosystem functions. Pitfall trap surveys for ground beetles in Palouse prairie remnants conducted in 2002-2003 contained considerable by-catch of bumble bees. The effects of landscape context, remnant features, year, and season on bumble bee community composition were examined. Additionally, bees captured in 2002-2003 were compared with historic records for the region to assess changes in the presence of individual species. Ten species of bumble bee were captured, representing the majority of the species historically known from the region. Few detectable differences in bumble bee abundances were found among remnants. Community composition differed appreciably, however, based on season, landscape context, and elevation, resulting in different bee assemblages between western, low-lying remnants and eastern, higherelevation remnants. The results suggest that conservation of the still species-rich bumble bee fauna should take into account variability among prairie remnants, and further work is required to adequately explain bumble bee habitat associations on the Palouse. PMID:23902138

  6. Bumble Bee Fauna of Palouse Prairie: Survey of Native Bee Pollinators in a Fragmented Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Hatten, T. D.; Looney, C.; Strange, J. P.; Bosque-Pérez, N. A.

    2013-01-01

    Bumble bees, Bombus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae:), are dominant pollinators in the northern hemisphere, providing important pollination services for commercial crops and innumerable wild plants. Nationwide declines in several bumble bee species and habitat losses in multiple ecosystems have raised concerns about conservation of this important group. In many regions, such as the Palouse Prairie, relatively little is known about bumble bee communities, despite their critical ecosystem functions. Pitfall trap surveys for ground beetles in Palouse prairie remnants conducted in 2002–2003 contained considerable by-catch of bumble bees. The effects of landscape context, remnant features, year, and season on bumble bee community composition were examined. Additionally, bees captured in 2002–2003 were compared with historic records for the region to assess changes in the presence of individual species. Ten species of bumble bee were captured, representing the majority of the species historically known from the region. Few detectable differences in bumble bee abundances were found among remnants. Community composition differed appreciably, however, based on season, landscape context, and elevation, resulting in different bee assemblages between western, low-lying remnants and eastern, higherelevation remnants. The results suggest that conservation of the still species-rich bumble bee fauna should take into account variability among prairie remnants, and further work is required to adequately explain bumble bee habitat associations on the Palouse. PMID:23902138

  7. Effects of habitat composition and landscape structure on worker foraging distances of five bumble bee species.

    PubMed

    Redhead, John W; Dreier, Stephanie; Bourke, Andrew F G; Heard, Matthew S; Jordan, William C; Sumner, Seirian; Wang, Jinliang; Carvell, Claire

    2016-04-01

    Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are important pollinators of both crops and wildflowers. Their contribution to this essential ecosystem service has been threatened over recent decades by changes in land use, which have led to declines in their populations. In order to design effective conservation measures, it is important to understand the effects of variation in landscape composition and structure on the foraging activities of worker bumble bees. This is because the viability of individual colonies is likely to be affected by the trade-off between the energetic costs of foraging over greater distances and the potential gains from access to additional resources. We used field surveys, molecular genetics, and fine resolution remote sensing to estimate the locations of wild bumble bee nests and to infer foraging distances across a 20-km² agricultural landscape in southern England, UK. We investigated five species, including the rare B. ruderatus and ecologically similar but widespread B. hortorum. We compared worker foraging distances between species and examined how variation in landscape composition and structure affected foraging distances at the colony level. Mean worker foraging distances differed significantly between species. Bombus terrestris, B. lapidarius, and B. ruderatus exhibited significantly greater mean foraging distances (551, 536, and 501 m, respectively) than B. hortorum and B. pascuorum (336 and 272 m, respectively). There was wide variation in worker foraging distances between colonies of the same species, which was in turn strongly influenced by the amount and spatial configuration of available foraging habitats. Shorter foraging distances were found for colonies where the local landscape had high coverage and low fragmentation of semi-natural vegetation, including managed agri-environmental field margins. The strength of relationships between different landscape variables and foraging distance varied between species, for example the strongest

  8. Bee Pollen

    MedlinePlus

    ... Don’t confuse bee pollen with bee venom, honey, or royal jelly. People take bee pollen for ... Pollen, Extrait de Pollen d’Abeille, Honeybee Pollen, Honey Bee Pollen, Maize Pollen, Pine Pollen, Polen de ...

  9. Exploring the role of juvenile hormone and vitellogenin in reproduction and social behavior in bumble bees

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The genetic and physiological pathways regulating behavior in solitary species are hypothesized to have been co-opted to regulate social behavior in social species. One classic example is the interaction between vitellogenin (an egg-yolk and storage protein) and juvenile hormone, which are positively correlated in most insect species but have modified interactions in highly eusocial insects. In some of these species (including some termites, ants, and the honey bee), juvenile hormone and vitellogenin levels are negatively correlated and juvenile hormone has shifted its role from a gonadotropin to a regulator of maturation and division of labor in the primarily sterile workers. The function of vitellogenin also seems to have broadened to encompass similar roles. Thus, the functions and molecular interactions of juvenile hormone and vitellogenin are hypothesized to have undergone changes during the evolution of eusociality, but the mechanisms underlying these changes are unknown. Bumble bees offer an excellent model system for testing how the relationship between juvenile hormone and vitellogenin evolved from solitary to social species. Bumble bee colonies are primitively eusocial and comprised of a single reproductive queen and facultatively sterile workers. In Bombus terrestris, juvenile hormone retains its ancestral role as a gonadotropin and is also hypothesized to regulate aggressive behavior. However, the function of vitellogenin and its interactions with juvenile hormone have not yet been characterized. Results By characterizing vitellogenin RNA expression levels (vg) in B. terrestris we show that vg is not associated with task and only partially associated with worker age, queen presence, and caste (queen vs worker). The correlations of vg with ovarian activation were not consistent across experiments, but both vg and ovarian activation were significantly associated with levels of aggression experienced by workers. Treatment with juvenile hormone

  10. Effect of Number of Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Visits on Eggplant Yield.

    PubMed

    Lowenstein, David M; Minor, Emily S

    2015-06-01

    Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is a crop with perfect flowers capable of self-pollination. Insect pollination enhances fruit set, but little is known about how pollination success varies by number of visits from bumble bees. To quantify the efficiency of bumble bees at pollinating eggplants, we allowed 1, 2, 6, and 12 bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) to visit eggplant flowers and compared percentage of flowers that set fruit, fruit weight, and seed set after 3 wk. We compared yield from these visit numbers to eggplant flowers that were left open for unlimited visitation. Eggplant flowers set the most fruit from open-pollination and 12 visits. Larger, seedier fruits were formed in open-pollinated flowers. However, fruit characteristics in the 12 visit treatment were similar to lower visitation frequencies. We confirm B. impatiens as an efficient eggplant pollinator and document the greatest benefit from 12 bumble bee visits and open-pollinated flowers. To maintain effective eggplant pollination, local conditions must be conducive for bumble bee colony establishment and repeated pollen foraging trips. PMID:26470277

  11. Fine-scale spatial genetic structure of common and declining bumble bees across an agricultural landscape

    PubMed Central

    Dreier, Stephanie; Redhead, John W; Warren, Ian A; Bourke, Andrew F G; Heard, Matthew S; Jordan, William C; Sumner, Seirian; Wang, Jinliang; Carvell, Claire

    2014-01-01

    Land-use changes have threatened populations of many insect pollinators, including bumble bees. Patterns of dispersal and gene flow are key determinants of species' ability to respond to land-use change, but have been little investigated at a fine scale (<10 km) in bumble bees. Using microsatellite markers, we determined the fine-scale spatial genetic structure of populations of four common Bombus species (B. terrestris, B. lapidarius, B. pascuorum and B. hortorum) and one declining species (B. ruderatus) in an agricultural landscape in Southern England, UK. The study landscape contained sown flower patches representing agri-environment options for pollinators. We found that, as expected, the B. ruderatus population was characterized by relatively low heterozygosity, number of alleles and colony density. Across all species, inbreeding was absent or present but weak (FIS = 0.01–0.02). Using queen genotypes reconstructed from worker sibships and colony locations estimated from the positions of workers within these sibships, we found that significant isolation by distance was absent in B. lapidarius, B. hortorum and B. ruderatus. In B. terrestris and B. pascuorum, it was present but weak; for example, in these two species, expected relatedness of queens founding colonies 1 m apart was 0.02. These results show that bumble bee populations exhibit low levels of spatial genetic structure at fine spatial scales, most likely because of ongoing gene flow via widespread queen dispersal. In addition, the results demonstrate the potential for agri-environment scheme conservation measures to facilitate fine-scale gene flow by creating a more even distribution of suitable habitats across landscapes. PMID:24980963

  12. Fine-scale spatial genetic structure of common and declining bumble bees across an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Dreier, Stephanie; Redhead, John W; Warren, Ian A; Bourke, Andrew F G; Heard, Matthew S; Jordan, William C; Sumner, Seirian; Wang, Jinliang; Carvell, Claire

    2014-07-01

    Land-use changes have threatened populations of many insect pollinators, including bumble bees. Patterns of dispersal and gene flow are key determinants of species' ability to respond to land-use change, but have been little investigated at a fine scale (<10 km) in bumble bees. Using microsatellite markers, we determined the fine-scale spatial genetic structure of populations of four common Bombus species (B. terrestris, B. lapidarius, B. pascuorum and B. hortorum) and one declining species (B. ruderatus) in an agricultural landscape in Southern England, UK. The study landscape contained sown flower patches representing agri-environment options for pollinators. We found that, as expected, the B. ruderatus population was characterized by relatively low heterozygosity, number of alleles and colony density. Across all species, inbreeding was absent or present but weak (FIS  = 0.01-0.02). Using queen genotypes reconstructed from worker sibships and colony locations estimated from the positions of workers within these sibships, we found that significant isolation by distance was absent in B. lapidarius, B. hortorum and B. ruderatus. In B. terrestris and B. pascuorum, it was present but weak; for example, in these two species, expected relatedness of queens founding colonies 1 m apart was 0.02. These results show that bumble bee populations exhibit low levels of spatial genetic structure at fine spatial scales, most likely because of ongoing gene flow via widespread queen dispersal. In addition, the results demonstrate the potential for agri-environment scheme conservation measures to facilitate fine-scale gene flow by creating a more even distribution of suitable habitats across landscapes. PMID:24980963

  13. The corbiculate bees arose from New World oil-collecting bees: implications for the origin of pollen baskets.

    PubMed

    Martins, Aline C; Melo, Gabriel A R; Renner, Susanne S

    2014-11-01

    The economically most important group of bees is the "corbiculates", or pollen basket bees, some 890 species of honeybees (Apis), bumblebees (Bombus), stingless bees (Meliponini), and orchid bees (Euglossini). Molecular studies have indicated that the corbiculates are closest to the New World genera Centris, with 230 species, and Epicharis, with 35, albeit without resolving the precise relationships. Instead of concave baskets, these bees have hairy hind legs on which they transport pollen mixed with floral oil, collected with setae on the anterior and middle legs. We sampled two-thirds of all Epicharis, a third of all Centris, and representatives of the four lineages of corbiculates for four nuclear gene regions, obtaining a well-supported phylogeny that has the corbiculate bees nested inside the Centris/Epicharis clade. Fossil-calibrated molecular clocks, combined with a biogeographic reconstruction incorporating insights from the fossil record, indicate that the corbiculate clade arose in the New World and diverged from Centris 84 (72-95)mya. The ancestral state preceding corbiculae thus was a hairy hind leg, perhaps adapted for oil transport as in Epicharis and Centris bees. Its replacement by glabrous, concave baskets represents a key innovation, allowing efficient transport of plant resins and large pollen/nectar loads and freeing the corbiculate clade from dependence on oil-offering flowers. The transformation could have involved a novel function of Ubx, the gene known to change hairy into smooth pollen baskets in Apis and Bombus. PMID:25034728

  14. Bee poison

    MedlinePlus

    ... is caused by a sting from a bee, wasp , or yellow jacket. This article is for information ... Bee, wasp, and yellow jacket stings contain a substance called venom. Africanized bee colonies are very sensitive to being ...

  15. Annual dynamics of wild bee densities: attractiveness and productivity effects of oilseed rape.

    PubMed

    Riedinger, Verena; Mitesser, Oliver; Hovestadt, Thomas; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Holzschuh, Andrea

    2015-05-01

    Mass-flowering crops may affect long-term population dynamics, but effects on pollinators have never been studied across several years. We monitored wild bees in oilseed rape fields in 16 landscapes in Germany in two consecutive years. Effects on bee densities of landscape oilseed rape cover in the years of monitoring and in the previous years were evaluated with landscape data from three consecutive years. We fit empirical data to a mechanistic model to provide estimates for oilseed rape attractiveness and its effect on bee productivity in comparison to the rest of the landscape, and we evaluated consequences for pollinator densities in consecutive years. Our results show that high oilseed rape cover in the previous year enhances current densities of wild bees (except for bumble bees). Moreover, we show a strong attractiveness of and dilution on (i.e., decreasing bee densities with increasing landscape oilseed rape cover) oilseed rape for bees during flowering in the current year, modifying the effect of the previous year's oilseed rape cover in the case of wild bees (excluding Bombus). As long as other factors such as nesting sites or natural enemies do not limit bee reproduction, our findings suggest long-term positive effects of mass-flowering crops on bee populations, at least for non-Bombus generalists, which possibly help to maintain crop pollination services even when crop area increases. Similar effects are conceivable for other organisms providing ecosystem services in annual crops and should be considered in future studies. PMID:26236848

  16. Comparative efficiency of Nannotrigona perilampoides, Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), and mechanical vibration on fruit production of enclosed habanero pepper.

    PubMed

    Palma, Gerardo; Quezada-Euán, José Javier G; Meléndez-Ramirez, Virginia; Irigoyen, Javier; Valdovinos-Nuñez, Gustavo R; Rejón, Manuel

    2008-02-01

    The native bee Nannotrigona perilampoides Cresson (Apidae: Meliponini) has been evaluated with promising results in greenhouse pollination of Solanaceae in Mexico. However, no comparison has been done with imported bumble bees (Apidae: Bombini), which are the most common bees used for greenhouse pollination. We compared the foraging activity and fruit production of habanero pepper. Capsicum chinense Jacquin, by using N. perilampoides and Bombus impatiens Cresson in pollination cages. Both bee species collected pollen on a similar number of flowers per unit time, but N. perilampoides visited significantly more flowers per trip, lasted longer on each flower, and spent more time per foraging trip. Ambient temperature and light intensity significantly affected the foraging activity of N. perilampoides. Light intensity was the only environmental variable that affected B. impatiens. Except for the fruit set, there were not significant differences in the quality of fruit produced by both bee species; however, N. perilampoides and B. impatiens performed better than mechanical vibration for all the variables measured. The abortion of fruit caused the low fruit set produced by B. impatiens, and we speculate it might be due to an excessive visitation rate. Pollination efficiency per visit (Spear's pollination efficiency index) was similar for both bee species in spite of the significantly lower amount of pollen removed by N. perilampoides. We suggested that the highest number of flowers visited per foraging trip coupled with adequate amounts of pollen transported, and transferred between flowers, could explain the performance of N. perilampoides as a good pollinator of habanero pepper. Our experiments confirm that N. perilampoides could be used as an alternative pollinator to Bombus in hot pepper under tropical climates. PMID:18330127

  17. Comparative flight morphology in queens of invasive and native Patagonian bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Bombus).

    PubMed

    Polidori, Carlo; Nieves-Aldrey, José Luis

    2015-02-01

    Since its introduction in Chile, the European Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) has progressively reduced the abundance of the native Patagonian bumblebee, Bombus dahlbomii Guérin. Because an important cause of successful invasion of a species may depend on a potentially advantageous phenotype, we studied morphologies related to flight performance (flight muscle ratio (FMR), wing loading (WL), excess power index (EPI, which integrates FMR and WL) and wing aspect ratio (AR)) in the queens of the two species. Previous empirical studies showed that greater FMR, AR and EPI, and lower WL increase flight performance. In the Patagonian Chilean fjord where the study was carried out, B. dahlbomii was 40% heavier than B. terrestris, a difference theoretically allowing the queens of the native species to take off with heavier loads, despite the fact that the two species have virtually identical FMRs. However, FMR negatively depended on body mass at the intra-specific level. The total wing area was 35% greater in B. dahlbomii, but the difference in forewing length was only of 16%. Once taken into account the effect of body size, WL, was significantly lower in B. terrestris. AR increased with body mass and did not differ between species. EPI was weakly but significantly higher in B. terrestris. Experiments formally linking such parameters with flight performance may help to explain the observed quick and wide spread of this alien species in Patagonia in the last few years. PMID:25499798

  18. Molecular cloning and characterization of a venom phospholipase A2 from the bumblebee Bombus ignitus.

    PubMed

    Xin, Yu; Choo, Young Moo; Hu, Zhigang; Lee, Kwang Sik; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Cui, Zheng; Sohn, Hung Dae; Jin, Byung Rae

    2009-10-01

    Phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) is one of the main components of bee venom. Here, we identify a venom PLA(2) from the bumblebee, Bombus ignitus. Bumblebee venom PLA(2) (Bi-PLA(2)) cDNA, which was identified by searching B. ignitus venom gland expressed sequence tags, encodes a 180 amino acid protein. Comparison of the genomic sequence with the cDNA sequence revealed the presence of four exons and three introns in the Bi-PLA(2) gene. Bi-PLA(2) is an 18-kDa glycoprotein. It is expressed in the venom gland, cleaved between the residues Arg44 and Ile45, and then stored in the venom sac. Comparative analysis revealed that the mature Bi-PLA(2) (136 amino acids) possesses features consistent with other bee PLA(2)s, including ten conserved cysteine residues, as well as a highly conserved Ca(2+)-binding site and active site. Phylogenetic analysis of bee PLA(2)s separated the bumblebee and honeybee PLA(2) proteins into two groups. The mature Bi-PLA(2) purified from the venom of B. ignitus worker bees hydrolyzed DBPC, a known substrate of PLA(2). Immunofluorescence staining of Bi-PLA(2)-treated insect Sf9 cells revealed that Bi-PLA(2) binds at the cell membrane and induces apoptotic cell death. PMID:19539776

  19. A conserved class of queen pheromones? Re-evaluating the evidence in bumblebees (Bombus impatiens).

    PubMed

    Amsalem, Etya; Orlova, Margarita; Grozinger, Christina M

    2015-10-22

    The regulation of reproductive division of labour is a key component in the evolution of social insects. Chemical signals are important mechanisms to regulate worker reproduction, either as queen-produced pheromones that coercively inhibit worker reproduction or as queen signals that honestly advertise her fecundity. A recent study suggested that a conserved class of hydrocarbons serve as queen pheromones across three independent origins of eusociality. In bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), pentacosane (C25) was suggested to serve as a queen pheromone. Here, we repeat these studies using a different species of bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) with a more controlled experimental design. Instead of dequeened colonies, we used same-aged, three-worker queenless groups comprising either experienced or naive workers (with/without adult exposure to queen pheromone). We quantified three hydrocarbons (C23, C25 and C27) on the cuticular surfaces of females and tested their effects on the two worker types. Our results indicate differences in responses of naive and experienced workers, genetic effects on worker reproduction, and general effects of hydrocarbons and duration of egg laying on ovary resorption rates. However, we found no evidence to support the theory that a conserved class of hydrocarbons serve as queen pheromones or queen signals in Bombus impatiens. PMID:26490791

  20. Microbial Communities of Three Sympatric Australian Stingless Bee Species

    PubMed Central

    Leonhardt, Sara D.; Kaltenpoth, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial symbionts of insects have received increasing attention due to their prominent role in nutrient acquisition and defense. In social bees, symbiotic bacteria can maintain colony homeostasis and fitness, and the loss or alteration of the bacterial community may be associated with the ongoing bee decline observed worldwide. However, analyses of microbiota associated with bees have been largely confined to the social honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus spec.), revealing – among other taxa – host-specific lactic acid bacteria (LAB, genus Lactobacillus) that are not found in solitary bees. Here, we characterized the microbiota of three Australian stingless bee species (Apidae: Meliponini) of two phylogenetically distant genera (Tetragonula and Austroplebeia). Besides common plant bacteria, we find LAB in all three species, showing that LAB are shared by honeybees, bumblebees and stingless bees across geographical regions. However, while LAB of the honeybee-associated Firm4–5 clusters were present in Tetragonula, they were lacking in Austroplebeia. Instead, we found a novel clade of likely host-specific LAB in all three Australian stingless bee species which forms a sister clade to a large cluster of Halictidae-associated lactobacilli. Our findings indicate both a phylogenetic and geographical signal of host-specific LAB in stingless bees and highlight stingless bees as an interesting group to investigate the evolutionary history of the bee-LAB association. PMID:25148082

  1. Microbial communities of three sympatric Australian stingless bee species.

    PubMed

    Leonhardt, Sara D; Kaltenpoth, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial symbionts of insects have received increasing attention due to their prominent role in nutrient acquisition and defense. In social bees, symbiotic bacteria can maintain colony homeostasis and fitness, and the loss or alteration of the bacterial community may be associated with the ongoing bee decline observed worldwide. However, analyses of microbiota associated with bees have been largely confined to the social honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus spec.), revealing--among other taxa--host-specific lactic acid bacteria (LAB, genus Lactobacillus) that are not found in solitary bees. Here, we characterized the microbiota of three Australian stingless bee species (Apidae: Meliponini) of two phylogenetically distant genera (Tetragonula and Austroplebeia). Besides common plant bacteria, we find LAB in all three species, showing that LAB are shared by honeybees, bumblebees and stingless bees across geographical regions. However, while LAB of the honeybee-associated Firm4-5 clusters were present in Tetragonula, they were lacking in Austroplebeia. Instead, we found a novel clade of likely host-specific LAB in all three Australian stingless bee species which forms a sister clade to a large cluster of Halictidae-associated lactobacilli. Our findings indicate both a phylogenetic and geographical signal of host-specific LAB in stingless bees and highlight stingless bees as an interesting group to investigate the evolutionary history of the bee-LAB association. PMID:25148082

  2. Host manipulation of bumble bee queens by Sphaerularia nematodes indirectly affects foraging of non-host workers.

    PubMed

    Kadoya, Eri Z; Ishii, Hiroshi S

    2015-05-01

    Sphaerularia bombi Dufour is a major parasite of bumble bee queens that manipulates its host's behavior: parasitized queens do not breed and found nests but continue to fly into the early summer months. We examined the indirect consequences of this host manipulation on non-host workers in central Hokkaido Island, Japan. In this area, parasitism of Bombus terrestris by S. bombi is common but does not affect every queen; therefore, as summer begins, B. terrestris queens continue to dominate some flower patches and disappear from others. At sites dominated by parasitized queens, we found that the nectar standing crop of red clover was smaller, B. terrestris workers carried out fewer legitimate visits to red clover and more nectar robberies, and the workers were smaller than at other sites. Removing queens from a site increased the nectar standing crop of red clover, the frequency of worker visits to red clover, and the size of the workers. These results suggest that host manipulation by S. bombi increased competition for flower resources among host queens and non-host workers and altered the interaction between plants and non-host flower visitors. PMID:26236849

  3. Impact of currently used or potentially useful insecticides for canola agroecosystems on Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae), Megachile rotundata (Hymentoptera: Megachilidae), and Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae).

    PubMed

    Scott-Dupree, C D; Conroy, L; Harris, C R

    2009-02-01

    Pest management practices may be contributing to a decline in wild bee populations in or near canola (Brassica napus L.) agroecosystems. The objective of this study was to investigate the direct contact toxicity of five technical grade insecticides--imidacloprid, clothianidin, deltamethrin, spinosad, and novaluron--currently used, or with potential for use in canola integrated pest management on bees that may forage in canola: common eastern bumble bees [Bombus impatiens (Cresson); hereafter bumble bees], alfalfa leafcutting bees [Megachile rotundata (F.)], and Osmia lignaria Cresson. Clothianidin and to a lesser extent imidacloprid were highly toxic to all three species, deltamethrin and spinosad were intermediate in toxicity, and novaluron was nontoxic. Bumble bees were generally more tolerant to the direct contact applications > O. lignaria > leafcutting bees. However, differences in relative toxicities between the three species were not consistent, e.g., whereas clothianidin was only 4.9 and 1.3x more toxic, deltamethrin was 53 and 68x more toxic to leafcutting bees than to bumble bees and O. lignaria, respectively. Laboratory assessment of direct contact toxicity, although useful, is only one measure of potential impact, and mortality under field conditions may differ greatly depending on management practices. Research conducted using only honey bees as the indicator species may not adequately reflect the risk posed by insecticides to wild bees because of their unique biology and differential susceptibility. Research programs focused on determining nontarget impact on pollinators should be expanded to include not only the honey bee but also wild bee species representative of the agricultural system under investigation. PMID:19253634

  4. The neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, affects Bombus impatiens (bumblebee) sonication behavior when consumed at doses below the LD50.

    PubMed

    Switzer, Callin M; Combes, Stacey A

    2016-08-01

    We investigated changes in sonication (or buzz-pollination) behavior of Bombus impatiens bumblebees, after consumption of the neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid. We measured sonication frequency, sonication length, and flight (wing beat) frequency of marked bees collecting pollen from Solanum lycopsersicum (tomato), and then randomly assigned bees to consume 0, 0.0515, 0.515, or 5.15 ng of imidacloprid. We recorded the number of bees in each treatment group that resumed sonication behavior after consuming imidacloprid, and re-measured sonication and flight behavior for these bees. We did not find evidence that consuming 0.0515 ng imidacloprid affected the sonication length, sonication frequency, or flight frequency for bees that sonicated after consuming imidacloprid; we were unable to test changes in these variables for bees that consumed 0.515 or 5.15 ng because we did not observe enough of these bees sonicating after treatment. We performed Cox proportional hazard regression to determine whether consuming imidacloprid affected the probability of engaging in further sonication behavior on S. lycopersicum and found that bumblebees who consumed 0.515 or 5.15 ng of imidacloprid were significantly less likely to sonicate after treatment than bees who consumed no imidacloprid. At the end of the experiment, we classified bees as dead or alive; our data suggest a trend of increasing mortality with higher doses of imidacloprid. Our results show that even modest doses of imidacloprid can significantly affect the likelihood of bumblebees engaging in sonication, a behavior critical for the pollination of a variety of crops and other plants. PMID:27189613

  5. Responses of social and solitary bees to pulsed floral resources.

    PubMed

    Crone, Elizabeth E

    2013-10-01

    Pulsed food resources lead to mismatches between distribution of consumers and resources in space and time. Many studies have investigated how pollinators and floral resources covary in space, but few have looked at their covariance among years. I studied responses of two bee taxa, Bombus (a social genus) and Anthophora (a solitary genus), to variation in flowering by Astragalus scaphoides, a perennial herb that flowers in alternate years. First, I quantified the rate at which individual plants were visited by bees. Anthophora showed evidence of a demographic response to resource pulses--that is, more individuals were seen in the year after a high-flowering year--whereas Bombus did not. Second, I quantified pollinator behavior by following individual bees and recording the proportion of visits to A. scaphoides within single foraging bouts. The proportion of visits to A. scaphoides by both taxa increased with A. scaphoides's flowering density. Higher specialization in high-flowering years likely makes both taxa better pollinators in high-flowering years. If these taxa differ in effectiveness as pollinators, then these responses translate into variation in pollination services in space and time, specifically, more activity by Bombus in high-flowering years and more by Anthophora in years following high-flowering years. They also emphasize that pollinator activity depends in part on past-as well as current-floral resources. PMID:24021399

  6. Identification of Aspergillus nomius in Bees Visiting Brazil Nut Flowers

    PubMed Central

    Massi, Fernanda Pelisson; Penha, Rafael Elias Silva; Cavalcante, Marcelo Casimiro; Viaro, Helena Paula; da Silva, Josué José; de Souza Ferranti, Larissa; Fungaro, Maria Helena Pelegrinelli

    2015-01-01

    We designed a primer pair (BtubNomF/BtubNomR) specifically for amplifying Aspergillus nomius DNA. In vitro assays confirmed BtubNomF/BtubNomR specificity, corroborating its usefulness in detecting and identifying A. nomius. We then investigated the occurrence of A. nomius in floral visitors of Bertholletia excelsa trees by means of PCR, and A. nomius was detected in the following bees: Xylocopa frontalis, Bombus transversalis, Centris denudans, C. ferruginea, and Epicharis flava. The presence of A. nomius in bees visiting Brazil nuts opens up new avenues for obtaining novel insights into the process whereby Brazil nuts are contaminated by aflatoxin-producing fungi. PMID:26063353

  7. Identification of Aspergillus nomius in Bees Visiting Brazil Nut Flowers.

    PubMed

    Massi, Fernanda Pelisson; Penha, Rafael Elias Silva; Cavalcante, Marcelo Casimiro; Viaro, Helena Paula; da Silva, Josué José; de Souza Ferranti, Larissa; Fungaro, Maria Helena Pelegrinelli

    2015-01-01

    We designed a primer pair (BtubNomF/BtubNomR) specifically for amplifying Aspergillus nomius DNA. In vitro assays confirmed BtubNomF/BtubNomR specificity, corroborating its usefulness in detecting and identifying A. nomius. We then investigated the occurrence of A. nomius in floral visitors of Bertholletia excelsa trees by means of PCR, and A. nomius was detected in the following bees: Xylocopa frontalis, Bombus transversalis, Centris denudans, C. ferruginea, and Epicharis flava. The presence of A. nomius in bees visiting Brazil nuts opens up new avenues for obtaining novel insights into the process whereby Brazil nuts are contaminated by aflatoxin-producing fungi. PMID:26063353

  8. Bee poison

    MedlinePlus

    ... is caused by a sting from a bee, wasp , or yellow jacket. This article is for information ... anywhere in the United States. Poisonous Ingredient Bee, wasp, and yellow jacket stings contain a substance called ...

  9. Spatial encoding by bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) of a reward within an artificial flower array.

    PubMed

    Church, Dana L; Plowright, Catherine M S

    2006-04-01

    We presented bumblebees a spatial memory task similar to that used with other species (e.g., cats, dogs, and pigeons). In some conditions we allowed for presence of scent marks in addition to placing local and global spatial cues in conflict. Bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) were presented an array of artificial flowers within a flight cage, one flower offering reward (S+), while the others were empty (S-). Bees were tested with empty flowers. In Experiment 1, flowers were either moved at the time of testing or not. Bees returned to the flower in the same absolute position of the S+ (the flower-array-independent (FAI) position), even if it was in the wrong position relative to the S- and even when new flower covers prevented the use of possible scent marks. New flower covers (i.e., without possible scent marks) had the effect of lowering the frequency of probing behavior. In Experiment 2, the colony was moved between training and testing. Again, bees chose the flower in the FAI position of the S+, and not the flower that would be chosen using strictly memory for a flight vector. Together, these experiments show that to locate the S+ bees did not rely on scent marks nor the positions of the S-, though the S- were prominent objects close to the goal. Also, bees selected environmental features to remember the position of the S+ instead of relying upon a purely egocentric point of view. Similarities with honeybees and vertebrates are discussed, as well as possible encoding mechanisms. PMID:16416106

  10. Exposure Effects on the Productivity of Commercial Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Quads During Bloom in Watermelon Fields.

    PubMed

    Marchese, J I; Johnson, G J; Delaney, D A

    2015-08-01

    In light of population declines of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.), research has refocused attention on alternative pollinators and their potential to fulfill pollination services within economically important agricultural crops. Bumble bees are one such alternative, and within the past 20 yr, these pollinators have been reared and sold as commercial pollinators. Investigation into their use has been limited and more research is needed to improve pollinator effectiveness in field settings. Quad pollination units of the commercially reared native bumble bee species, the common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson), were monitored and evaluated for productivity during peak watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunberg) Matsumura & Nakai] bloom in southern Delaware. Differing colony exposures including various shade structure designs and natural shade were compared to assess the quality of the shade in regards to bumble bee activity during watermelon bloom. Quads receiving different nest treatments were evaluated on the basis of foraging activity and colony weight gain. Results indicated that colonies within quads provided with artificial or natural shade had significantly more foraging activity, weighed more, and produced more cells than colonies in quads placed in the field with no shade. Colonies within quads provided with artificial and natural shade peaked later in terms of foraging and weight gain, suggesting that growers could extend harvest to take advantage of later markets and possible movement into fields that were planted later. PMID:26470323

  11. Efficiacy of bumble bee disseminated biological control agents for control of Botrytis Blossom blight of Rabbiteye Blueberry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botrytis blossom blight caused by Botrytis cinerea may cause severe crop loss in rabbiteye blueberry, necessitating applications of expensive fungicides. Commercial bumble bees, Bombus impatiens, were tested as vectors of the fungicidal biological control agents (BCAs), Prestop® Gliocladium catenula...

  12. Evidence for Bombus occidentalis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Populations in the Olympic Peninsula, the Palouse Prairie, and Forests of Northern Idaho.

    PubMed

    Rhoades, Paul R; Koch, Jonathan B; Waits, Lisette P; Strange, James P; Eigenbrode, Sanford D

    2016-01-01

    Since the mid-1990s, Bombus occidentalis (Green) has declined from being one of the most common to one of the rarest bumble bee species in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Although its conservation status is unresolved, a petition to list this species as endangered or threatened was recently submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To shed light on the conservation situation and inform the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision, we report on the detection and abundance of B. occidentalis following bumble bee collection between 2012 and 2014 across the Pacific Northwest. Collection occurred from the San Juan Islands and Olympic peninsula east to northern Idaho and northeastern Oregon, excluding the arid region in central Washington. B. occidentalis was observed at 23 collection sites out of a total of 234. With the exception of three sites on the Olympic peninsula, all of these were in the southeastern portion of the collection range. PMID:26856817

  13. Evidence for Bombus occidentalis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Populations in the Olympic Peninsula, the Palouse Prairie, and Forests of Northern Idaho

    PubMed Central

    Rhoades, Paul R.; Koch, Jonathan B.; Waits, Lisette P.; Strange, James P.; Eigenbrode, Sanford D.

    2016-01-01

    Since the mid-1990s, Bombus occidentalis (Green) has declined from being one of the most common to one of the rarest bumble bee species in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Although its conservation status is unresolved, a petition to list this species as endangered or threatened was recently submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To shed light on the conservation situation and inform the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision, we report on the detection and abundance of B. occidentalis following bumble bee collection between 2012 and 2014 across the Pacific Northwest. Collection occurred from the San Juan Islands and Olympic peninsula east to northern Idaho and northeastern Oregon, excluding the arid region in central Washington. B. occidentalis was observed at 23 collection sites out of a total of 234. With the exception of three sites on the Olympic peninsula, all of these were in the southeastern portion of the collection range. PMID:26856817

  14. Environment or kin: whence do bees obtain acidophilic bacteria?

    PubMed

    McFrederick, Quinn S; Wcislo, William T; Taylor, Douglas R; Ishak, Heather D; Dowd, Scot E; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2012-04-01

    As honey bee populations decline, interest in pathogenic and mutualistic relationships between bees and microorganisms has increased. Honey bees and bumble bees appear to have a simple intestinal bacterial fauna that includes acidophilic bacteria. Here, we explore the hypothesis that sweat bees can acquire acidophilic bacteria from the environment. To quantify bacterial communities associated with two species of North American and one species of Neotropical sweat bees, we conducted 16S rDNA amplicon 454 pyrosequencing of bacteria associated with the bees, their brood cells and their nests. Lactobacillus spp. were the most abundant bacteria in many, but not all, of the samples. To determine whether bee-associated lactobacilli can also be found in the environment, we reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships of the genus Lactobacillus. Previously described groups that associate with Bombus and Apis appeared relatively specific to these genera. Close relatives of several bacteria that have been isolated from flowers, however, were isolated from bees. Additionally, all three sweat bee species associated with lactobacilli related to flower-associated lactobacilli. These data suggest that there may be at least two different means by which bees acquire putative probiotics. Some lactobacilli appear specific to corbiculate apids, possibly because they are largely maternally inherited (vertically transmitted). Other lactobacilli, however, may be regularly acquired from environmental sources such as flowers. Sweat bee-associated lactobacilli were found to be abundant in the pollen and frass inside the nests of halictids, suggesting that they could play a role in suppressing the growth of moulds and other spoilage organisms. PMID:22340254

  15. Conservation genetics, foraging distance and nest density of the scarce Great Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus).

    PubMed

    Charman, Thomas G; Sears, Jane; Green, Rhys E; Bourke, Andrew F G

    2010-07-01

    The conservation genetics of bees is of particular interest because many bee species are in decline, so jeopardizing the essential ecosystem service of plant pollination that they provide. In addition, as social haplodiploids, inbred bees may be vulnerable to the extra genetic load represented by the production of sterile diploid males. Using microsatellite markers, we investigated the genetic structure of populations of the Great Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus Morawitz) in the UK, where this species has undergone a precipitous decline. By means of a mixture of analytical methods and simulation, we also extended--and then applied--genetic methods for estimating foraging distance and nest density in wild bees. B. distinguendus populations were characterized by low expected heterozygosity and allelic richness, inbreeding coefficients not significantly different from zero, absence of detected diploid males, absence of substantial demographic bottlenecking, and population substructuring at large (c. 100+ km) but not small (10s of km) spatial scales. The minimum average effective population size at our sampling sites was low (c. 25). In coastal grassland (machair), the estimated modal foraging distance of workers was 391 m, with 95% of foraging activity occurring within 955 m of the nest, and estimated nest density was 19.3 nests km(-2). These findings show that B. distinguendus exhibits some genetic features of scarce, declining or fragmented populations. Moreover, B. distinguendus workers appear to forage over above-average distances and nests remain thinly distributed even in current strongholds. These considerations should inform future conservation actions for this and similar species. PMID:20561194

  16. Bumble bee nest abundance, foraging distance, and host-plant reproduction: implications for management and conservation.

    PubMed

    Geib, Jennifer C; Strange, James P; Galenj, Candace

    2015-04-01

    Recent reports of global declines in pollinator species imply an urgent need to assess the abundance of native pollinators and density-dependent benefits for linked plants. In this study, we investigated (1) pollinator nest distributions and estimated colony abundances, (2) the relationship between abundances of foraging workers and the number of nests they represent, (3) pollinator foraging ranges, and (4) the relationship between pollinator abundance and plant reproduction. We examined these questions in an alpine ecosystem in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, focusing on four alpine bumble bee species (Bombus balteatus, B. flavifrons, B. bifarius, and B. sylvicola), and two host plants that differ in their degrees of pollinator specialization (Trifolium dasyphyllum and T. parryi). Using microsatellites, we found that estimated colony abundances among Bombus species ranged from ~18 to 78 colonies/0.01 km2. The long-tongued species B. balteatus was most common, especially high above treeline, but the subalpine species B. bifarius was unexpectedly abundant for this elevation range. Nests detected among sampled foragers of each species were correlated with the number of foragers caught. Foraging ranges were smaller than expected for all Bombus species, ranging from 25 to 110 m. Fruit set for the specialized plant, Trifolium parryi, was positively related to the abundance of its Bombus pollinator. In contrast, fruit set for the generalized plant, T. dasyphyllum, was related to abundance of all Bombus species. Because forager abundance was related to nest abundance of each Bombus species and was an equally effective predictor of plant fecundity, forager inventories are probably suitable for assessing the health of outcrossing plant populations. However, nest abundance, rather than forager abundance, better reflects demographic and genetic health in populations of eusocial pollinators such as bumble bees. Development of models incorporating the parameters we have measured

  17. Bumble bee colony dynamics: quantifying the importance of land use and floral resources for colony growth and queen production.

    PubMed

    Crone, Elizabeth E; Williams, Neal M

    2016-04-01

    Bumble bee (Bombus) species are ecologically and economically important pollinators, and many species are in decline. In this article, we develop a mechanistic model to analyse growth trajectories of Bombus vosnesenskii colonies in relation to floral resources and land use. Queen production increased with floral resources and was higher in semi-natural areas than on conventional farms. However, the most important parameter for queen production was the colony growth rate per flower, as opposed to the average number of available flowers. This result indicates the importance of understanding mechanisms of colony growth, in order to predict queen production and enhance bumble bee population viability. Our work highlights the importance of interpreting bumble bee conservation efforts in the context of overall population dynamics and provides a framework for doing so. PMID:26913696

  18. Floral nectar guide patterns discourage nectar robbing by bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Anne S; Brent, Joshua; Papaj, Daniel R; Dornhaus, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Floral displays are under selection to both attract pollinators and deter antagonists. Here we show that a common floral trait, a nectar guide pattern, alters the behavior of bees that can act opportunistically as both pollinators and as antagonists. Generally, bees access nectar via the floral limb, transporting pollen through contact with the plant's reproductive structures; however bees sometimes extract nectar from a hole in the side of the flower that they or other floral visitors create. This behavior is called "nectar robbing" because bees may acquire the nectar without transporting pollen. We asked whether the presence of a symmetric floral nectar guide pattern on artificial flowers affected bumble bees' (Bombus impatiens) propensity to rob or access nectar "legitimately." We discovered that nectar guides made legitimate visits more efficient for bees than robbing, and increased the relative frequency of legitimate visits, compared to flowers lacking nectar guides. This study is the first to show that beyond speeding nectar discovery, a nectar guide pattern can influence bees' flower handling in a way that could benefit the plant. PMID:23418475

  19. Absence of Leishmaniinae and Nosematidae in stingless bees

    PubMed Central

    Nunes-Silva, Patrícia; Piot, Niels; Meeus, Ivan; Blochtein, Betina; Smagghe, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Bee pollination is an indispensable component of global food production and plays a crucial role in sustainable agriculture. The worldwide decline of bee populations, including wild pollinators, poses a threat to this system. However, most studies to date are situated in temperate regions where Apini and Bombini are very abundant pollinators. Tropical and subtropical regions where stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) are generally very common, are often overlooked. These bees also face pressure due to deforestation and agricultural intensification as well as the growing use and spread of exotic pollinators as Apis mellifera and Bombus species. The loss or decline of this important bee tribe would have a large impact on their provided ecosystem services, in both wild and agricultural landscapes. The importance of pollinator diseases, which can contribute to decline, has not been investigated so far in this bee tribe. Here we report on the first large pathogen screening of Meliponini species in southern Brazil. Remarkably we observed that there was an absence of Leishmaniinae and Nosematidae, and a very low occurrence of Apicystis bombi. Our data on disease prevalence in both understudied areas and species, can greatly improve our knowledge on the distribution of pathogens among bee species. PMID:27586080

  20. Absence of Leishmaniinae and Nosematidae in stingless bees.

    PubMed

    Nunes-Silva, Patrícia; Piot, Niels; Meeus, Ivan; Blochtein, Betina; Smagghe, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Bee pollination is an indispensable component of global food production and plays a crucial role in sustainable agriculture. The worldwide decline of bee populations, including wild pollinators, poses a threat to this system. However, most studies to date are situated in temperate regions where Apini and Bombini are very abundant pollinators. Tropical and subtropical regions where stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) are generally very common, are often overlooked. These bees also face pressure due to deforestation and agricultural intensification as well as the growing use and spread of exotic pollinators as Apis mellifera and Bombus species. The loss or decline of this important bee tribe would have a large impact on their provided ecosystem services, in both wild and agricultural landscapes. The importance of pollinator diseases, which can contribute to decline, has not been investigated so far in this bee tribe. Here we report on the first large pathogen screening of Meliponini species in southern Brazil. Remarkably we observed that there was an absence of Leishmaniinae and Nosematidae, and a very low occurrence of Apicystis bombi. Our data on disease prevalence in both understudied areas and species, can greatly improve our knowledge on the distribution of pathogens among bee species. PMID:27586080

  1. Distribution and diversity of Nosema bombi (Microsporidia: Nosematidae) in the natural populations of bumblebees (Bombus spp.) from West Siberia.

    PubMed

    Vavilova, Valeriya; Sormacheva, Irina; Woyciechowski, Michal; Eremeeva, Natalia; Fet, Victor; Strachecka, Aneta; Bayborodin, Sergey I; Blinov, Alexander

    2015-09-01

    Nosema bombi is an obligate intracellular parasite of bumblebees (Hymenoptera, Bombus spp.), which has significant negative effect on individual bumblebees, colony fitness, and development. Recently, several new genetic variants of N. bombi without a defined taxonomic status were identified in natural bumblebee populations from Russia, China, and several European countries, as well as N. ceranae, originally isolated from honey bees, was described in bumblebee species. Thus, it is required to investigate more Nosema variability in bumblebee populations for identifying new genetic Nosema variants. In our study, we used several methods such as total DNA isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, cloning, sequencing, and comparative and phylogenetic analysis to investigate a prevalence of N. bombi and its diversity in the natural populations of bumblebees across West Siberia. DNA was extracted from intestinal bumblebee tissues. Identification of the parasite was conducted, using PCR with primers specific for the ribosomal RNA gene cluster and methionine aminopeptidase 2 gene of N. bombi followed by sequencing. Seven hundred twenty-seven individual bumblebees belonging to 16 species were tested; 64 specimens revealed presence of the parasite. Prevalence of Nosema bombi infection was different in each region and varied from 4 to 20 %. No infection was found in Bombus agrorum (n = 194) and Bombus equestris (n = 132), both common bumblebees in West Siberia. Three different genetic variants of the same species, N. bombi, were identified. The first variant belonged to N. bombi (AY008373) identified by Fies et al. (J Apicult Res 40:91-96, 2001), second (N. bombi WS2) was identical to the West Siberian variant identified by Szentgyörgyi et al. (Polish Journal of Ecology 59:599-610, 2011), and the last variant, N. bombi WS3, was new. The results led us to suggest that the prevalence of the N. bombi is related to the population structure of bumblebees and

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Eusocial insects provide special insights into the genetic pathways influencing aging because of their long-lived queens and flexible aging schedules. Using qRT-PCR in the primitively eusocial bumble bee Bombus terrestris (Linnaeus), we investigated expression levels of four candidate genes associated with taxonomically widespread age-related pathways (coenzyme Q biosynthesis protein 7, COQ7; DNA methyltransferase 3, Dnmt3; foraging, for; and vitellogenin, vg). In Experiment 1, we tested how expression changes with queen relative age and productivity. We found a significant age-related increase in COQ7 expression in queen ovary. In brain, all four genes showed higher expression with increasing female (queen plus worker) production, with this relationship strengthening as queen age increased, suggesting a link with the positive association of fecundity and longevity found in eusocial insect queens. In Experiment 2, we tested effects of relative age and social environment (worker removal) in foundress queens and effects of age and reproductive status in workers. In this experiment, workerless queens showed significantly higher for expression in brain, as predicted if downregulation of for is associated with the cessation of foraging by foundress queens following worker emergence. Workers showed a significant age-related increase in Dnmt3 expression in fat body, suggesting a novel association between aging and methylation in B. terrestris. Ovary activation was associated with significantly higher vg expression in fat body and, in younger workers, in brain, consistent with vitellogenin's ancestral role in regulating egg production. Overall, our findings reveal a mixture of novel and conserved features in age-related genetic pathways under primitive eusociality. PMID:26883339

  3. Managing honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) for greenhouse tomato pollination.

    PubMed

    Sabara, Holly A; Winston, Mark L

    2003-06-01

    Although commercially reared colonies of bumble bees (Bombus sp.) are the primary pollinator world-wide for greenhouse tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) previous research indicates that honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) might be a feasible alternative or supplement to bumble bee pollination. However, management methods for honey bee greenhouse tomato pollination scarcely have been explored. We 1) tested the effect of initial amounts of brood on colony population size and flight activity in screened greenhouses during the winter, and 2) compared foraging from colonies with brood used within screened and unscreened greenhouses during the summer. Brood rearing was maintained at low levels in both brood and no-brood colonies after 21 d during the winter, and emerging honey bees from both treatments had significantly lower weights than bees from outdoor colonies. Honey bee flight activity throughout the day and over the 21 d in the greenhouse was not influenced by initial brood level. In our summer experiment, brood production in screened greenhouses neared zero after 21 d but higher levels of brood were reared in unscreened greenhouses with access to outside forage. Flower visitation measured throughout the day and over the 21 d the colonies were in the greenhouse was not influenced by screening treatment. An economic analysis indicated that managing honey bees for greenhouse tomato pollination would be financially viable for both beekeepers and growers. We conclude that honey bees can be successfully managed for greenhouse tomato pollination in both screened and unscreened greenhouses if the foraging force is maintained by replacing colonies every 3 wk. PMID:12852587

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

    PubMed

    Putra, Ramadhani Eka; Kinasih, Ida

    2014-01-01

    Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is considered as one of major agricultural commodity of Indonesia farming. However, monthly production is unstable due to lack of pollination services. Common pollinator agent of tomatoes is bumblebees which is unsuitable for tropical climate of Indonesia and the possibility of alteration of local wild plant interaction with their pollinator. Indonesia is rich with wild bees and some of the species already domesticated for years with prospect as pollinating agent for tomatoes. This research aimed to assess the efficiency of local honey bee (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis), as pollinator of tomato. During this research, total visitation rate and total numbers of pollinated flowers by honey bee and stingless bee were compared between them with bagged flowers as control. Total fruit production, average weight and size also measured in order to correlated pollination efficiency with quantity and quality of fruit produced. Result of this research showed that A. cerana has slightly higher rate of visitation (p>0.05) and significantly shorter handling time (p < 0.05) than T. iridipennis due to their larger colony demand and low reward provide by tomato flowers. However, honey bee pollinated tomato flowers more efficient pollinator than stingless bee (80.3 and 70.2% efficiency, respectively; p < 0.05) even though the average weight and size of tomatoes were similar (p>0.05). Based on the results, it is concluded that the use of Apis cerana and Trigona spp., for pollinating tomatoes in tropical climates could be an alternative to the use of non-native Apis mellifera and bumblebees (Bombus spp.). However, more researches are needed to evaluate the cost/benefit on large-scale farming and greenhouse pollination using both bees against other bee species and pollination methods. PMID:24783783

  5. High prevalence and infection levels of Nosema ceranae in bumblebees Bombus atratus and Bombus bellicosus from Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Arbulo, N; Antúnez, K; Salvarrey, S; Santos, E; Branchiccela, B; Martín-Hernández, R; Higes, M; Invernizzi, C

    2015-09-01

    Nosema ceranae is one of the most prevalent pathogens in Apis mellifera and has recently been found in multiple host species including several species of bumblebees. Prevalence and infection intensity of N. ceranae was determined in two species of native bumblebees from Uruguay. Nosema ceranae was the only microsporidia identified and mean prevalence was 72% in Bombus atratus and 63% in Bombus bellicosus, values much higher than those reported elsewhere. The presence of this pathogen in bumblebees may be threatening not only for bumblebee populations, but also to the rest of the native pollinator community and to honeybees. PMID:26248064

  6. Floral Nectar Guide Patterns Discourage Nectar Robbing by Bumble Bees

    PubMed Central

    Leonard, Anne S.; Brent, Joshua; Papaj, Daniel R.; Dornhaus, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Floral displays are under selection to both attract pollinators and deter antagonists. Here we show that a common floral trait, a nectar guide pattern, alters the behavior of bees that can act opportunistically as both pollinators and as antagonists. Generally, bees access nectar via the floral limb, transporting pollen through contact with the plant’s reproductive structures; however bees sometimes extract nectar from a hole in the side of the flower that they or other floral visitors create. This behavior is called “nectar robbing” because bees may acquire the nectar without transporting pollen. We asked whether the presence of a symmetric floral nectar guide pattern on artificial flowers affected bumble bees’ (Bombus impatiens) propensity to rob or access nectar “legitimately.” We discovered that nectar guides made legitimate visits more efficient for bees than robbing, and increased the relative frequency of legitimate visits, compared to flowers lacking nectar guides. This study is the first to show that beyond speeding nectar discovery, a nectar guide pattern can influence bees’ flower handling in a way that could benefit the plant. PMID:23418475

  7. Increased Acetylcholinesterase Expression in Bumble Bees During Neonicotinoid-Coated Corn Sowing.

    PubMed

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas; Fournier, Valérie

    2015-01-01

    While honey bee exposure to systemic insecticides has received much attention, impacts on wild pollinators have not been as widely studied. Neonicotinoids have been shown to increase acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in honey bees at sublethal doses. High AChE levels may therefore act as a biomarker of exposure to neonicotinoids. This two-year study focused on establishing whether bumble bees living and foraging in agricultural areas using neonicotinoid crop protection show early biochemical signs of intoxication. Bumble bee colonies (Bombus impatiens) were placed in two different agricultural cropping areas: 1) control (≥ 3 km from fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds) or 2) exposed (within 500 m of fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds), and maintained for the duration of corn sowing. As determined by Real Time qPCR, AChE mRNA expression was initially significantly higher in bumble bees from exposed sites, then decreased throughout the planting season to reach a similar endpoint to that of bumble bees from control sites. These findings suggest that exposure to neonicotinoid seed coating particles during the planting season can alter bumble bee neuronal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report in situ that bumble bees living in agricultural areas exhibit signs of neonicotinoid intoxication. PMID:26223214

  8. Increased Acetylcholinesterase Expression in Bumble Bees During Neonicotinoid-Coated Corn Sowing

    PubMed Central

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas; Fournier, Valérie

    2015-01-01

    While honey bee exposure to systemic insecticides has received much attention, impacts on wild pollinators have not been as widely studied. Neonicotinoids have been shown to increase acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in honey bees at sublethal doses. High AChE levels may therefore act as a biomarker of exposure to neonicotinoids. This two-year study focused on establishing whether bumble bees living and foraging in agricultural areas using neonicotinoid crop protection show early biochemical signs of intoxication. Bumble bee colonies (Bombus impatiens) were placed in two different agricultural cropping areas: 1) control (≥3 km from fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds) or 2) exposed (within 500 m of fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds), and maintained for the duration of corn sowing. As determined by Real Time qPCR, AChE mRNA expression was initially significantly higher in bumble bees from exposed sites, then decreased throughout the planting season to reach a similar endpoint to that of bumble bees from control sites. These findings suggest that exposure to neonicotinoid seed coating particles during the planting season can alter bumble bee neuronal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report in situ that bumble bees living in agricultural areas exhibit signs of neonicotinoid intoxication. PMID:26223214

  9. Bee Stings & Their Consequences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rupp, Robert M.

    1991-01-01

    Relevant information concerning bee stings is provided. Possible reactions to a bee sting and their symptoms, components of bee venom, diagnosis of hypersensitivity, and bee sting prevention and treatment are topics of discussion. The possibility of bee stings occurring during field trips and the required precautions are discussed. (KR)

  10. Bee, Definition of

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees constitute a small genus of highly derived bees. Bees as a group are ubiquitous, often predominant wildland pollinators. Today, 16,000 species of bees are known. They have proliferated wherever flowers grow. Several hundred species of bees exist at most locales. Sociality is unusual a...

  11. Alkali Bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alkali bee, Nomia melanderi, is native to deserts and semi-arid desert basins of the western United States. It is a very effective and manageable pollinator for the production of seed in alfalfa (=lucerne) and some other crops, such as onion. It is the world’s only intensively managed ground-n...

  12. Bee Weekend.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beidler, Peter G.

    1987-01-01

    Recounts weekend at a bee farm, an activity for a required Lehigh University freshman English composition course designed to facilitate socialization and exchange of ideas and to provide experiences for students to write about. Uses excerpts from journals of nine students. (NEC)

  13. Wing shape of four new bee fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) provides insights to bee evolution.

    PubMed

    Dehon, Manuel; Michez, Denis; Nel, André; Engel, Michael S; De Meulemeester, Thibaut

    2014-01-01

    Bees (Anthophila) are one of the major groups of angiosperm-pollinating insects and accordingly are widely studied in both basic and applied research, for which it is essential to have a clear understanding of their phylogeny, and evolutionary history. Direct evidence of bee evolutionary history has been hindered by a dearth of available fossils needed to determine the timing and tempo of their diversification, as well as episodes of extinction. Here we describe four new compression fossils of bees from three different deposits (Miocene of la Cerdanya, Spain; Oligocene of Céreste, France; and Eocene of the Green River Formation, U.S.A.). We assess the similarity of the forewing shape of the new fossils with extant and fossil taxa using geometric morphometrics analyses. Predictive discriminant analyses show that three fossils share similar forewing shapes with the Apidae [one of uncertain tribal placement and perhaps near Euglossini, one definitive bumble bee (Bombini), and one digger bee (Anthophorini)], while one fossil is more similar to the Andrenidae. The corbiculate fossils are described as Euglossopteryx biesmeijeri De Meulemeester, Michez, & Engel, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Euglossopteryx Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) and Bombus cerdanyensis Dehon, De Meulemeester, & Engel, sp. nov. They provide new information on the distribution and timing of particular corbiculate groups, most notably the extension into North America of possible Eocene-Oligocene cooling-induced extinctions. Protohabropoda pauli De Meulemeester & Michez, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Protohabropoda Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) reinforces previous hypotheses of anthophorine evolution in terms of ecological shifts by the Oligocene from tropical to mesic or xeric habitats. Lastly, a new fossil of the Andreninae, Andrena antoinei Michez & De Meulemeester, sp. nov., further documents the presence of the today widespread genus Andrena Fabricius in the Late Oligocene of France. PMID

  14. Wing Shape of Four New Bee Fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) Provides Insights to Bee Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Dehon, Manuel; Michez, Denis; Nel, André; Engel, Michael S.; De Meulemeester, Thibaut

    2014-01-01

    Bees (Anthophila) are one of the major groups of angiosperm-pollinating insects and accordingly are widely studied in both basic and applied research, for which it is essential to have a clear understanding of their phylogeny, and evolutionary history. Direct evidence of bee evolutionary history has been hindered by a dearth of available fossils needed to determine the timing and tempo of their diversification, as well as episodes of extinction. Here we describe four new compression fossils of bees from three different deposits (Miocene of la Cerdanya, Spain; Oligocene of Céreste, France; and Eocene of the Green River Formation, U.S.A.). We assess the similarity of the forewing shape of the new fossils with extant and fossil taxa using geometric morphometrics analyses. Predictive discriminant analyses show that three fossils share similar forewing shapes with the Apidae [one of uncertain tribal placement and perhaps near Euglossini, one definitive bumble bee (Bombini), and one digger bee (Anthophorini)], while one fossil is more similar to the Andrenidae. The corbiculate fossils are described as Euglossopteryx biesmeijeri De Meulemeester, Michez, & Engel, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Euglossopteryx Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) and Bombus cerdanyensis Dehon, De Meulemeester, & Engel, sp. nov. They provide new information on the distribution and timing of particular corbiculate groups, most notably the extension into North America of possible Eocene-Oligocene cooling-induced extinctions. Protohabropoda pauli De Meulemeester & Michez, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Protohabropoda Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) reinforces previous hypotheses of anthophorine evolution in terms of ecological shifts by the Oligocene from tropical to mesic or xeric habitats. Lastly, a new fossil of the Andreninae, Andrena antoinei Michez & De Meulemeester, sp. nov., further documents the presence of the today widespread genus Andrena Fabricius in the Late Oligocene of France. PMID

  15. Modeling Honey Bee Populations

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. First Detection of the Larval Chalkbrood Disease Pathogen Ascosphaera apis (Ascomycota: Eurotiomycetes: Ascosphaerales) in Adult Bumble Bees

    PubMed Central

    Maxfield-Taylor, Sarah A.; Mujic, Alija B.; Rao, Sujaya

    2015-01-01

    Fungi in the genus Ascosphaera (Ascomycota: Eurotiomycetes: Ascosphaerales) cause chalkbrood disease in larvae of bees. Here, we report the first-ever detection of the fungus in adult bumble bees that were raised in captivity for studies on colony development. Wild queens of Bombus griseocollis, B. nevadensis and B. vosnesenskii were collected and maintained for establishment of nests. Queens that died during rearing or that did not lay eggs within one month of capture were dissected, and tissues were examined microscopically for the presence of pathogens. Filamentous fungi that were detected were plated on artificial media containing broad spectrum antibiotics for isolation and identification. Based on morphological characters, the fungus was identified as Ascosphaera apis (Maasen ex Claussen) Olive and Spiltoir, a species that has been reported earlier only from larvae of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, and the carpenter bee Xylocopa californica arizonensis. The identity of the fungus was confirmed using molecular markers and phylogenetic analysis. Ascosphaera apis was detected in queens of all three bumble bee species examined. Of 150 queens dissected, 12 (8%) contained vegetative and reproductive stages of the fungus. Both fungal stages were also detected in two workers collected from colonies with Ascosphaera-infected B. nevadensis queens. In this study, wild bees could have been infected prior to capture for rearing, or, the A. apis infection could have originated via contaminated European honey bee pollen fed to the bumble bees in captivity. Thus, the discovery of A. apis in adult bumble bees in the current study has important implications for commercial production of bumble bee colonies and highlights potential risks to native bees via pathogen spillover from infected bees and infected pollen. PMID:25885679

  17. First detection of the larval chalkbrood disease pathogen Ascosphaera apis (Ascomycota: Eurotiomycetes: Ascosphaerales) in adult bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Maxfield-Taylor, Sarah A; Mujic, Alija B; Rao, Sujaya

    2015-01-01

    Fungi in the genus Ascosphaera (Ascomycota: Eurotiomycetes: Ascosphaerales) cause chalkbrood disease in larvae of bees. Here, we report the first-ever detection of the fungus in adult bumble bees that were raised in captivity for studies on colony development. Wild queens of Bombus griseocollis, B. nevadensis and B. vosnesenskii were collected and maintained for establishment of nests. Queens that died during rearing or that did not lay eggs within one month of capture were dissected, and tissues were examined microscopically for the presence of pathogens. Filamentous fungi that were detected were plated on artificial media containing broad spectrum antibiotics for isolation and identification. Based on morphological characters, the fungus was identified as Ascosphaera apis (Maasen ex Claussen) Olive and Spiltoir, a species that has been reported earlier only from larvae of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, and the carpenter bee Xylocopa californica arizonensis. The identity of the fungus was confirmed using molecular markers and phylogenetic analysis. Ascosphaera apis was detected in queens of all three bumble bee species examined. Of 150 queens dissected, 12 (8%) contained vegetative and reproductive stages of the fungus. Both fungal stages were also detected in two workers collected from colonies with Ascosphaera-infected B. nevadensis queens. In this study, wild bees could have been infected prior to capture for rearing, or, the A. apis infection could have originated via contaminated European honey bee pollen fed to the bumble bees in captivity. Thus, the discovery of A. apis in adult bumble bees in the current study has important implications for commercial production of bumble bee colonies and highlights potential risks to native bees via pathogen spillover from infected bees and infected pollen. PMID:25885679

  18. The Bee Microbiome: Impact on Bee Health and Model for Evolution and Ecology of Host-Microbe Interactions.

    PubMed

    Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, R Scott; Dainat, Jacques; de Miranda, Joachim R; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Song, Se Jin; Schwarz, Ryan S; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Dainat, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health. PMID:27118586

  19. The Bee Microbiome: Impact on Bee Health and Model for Evolution and Ecology of Host-Microbe Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Kwong, Waldan K.; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E.; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, R. Scott; Dainat, Jacques; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D.; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L.; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A.; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G.; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J.; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Schwarz, Ryan S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health. PMID:27118586

  20. The bee microbiome: Impact on bee health and model for evolution and ecology of host-microbe interactions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K.; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E.; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, Robert S.; Dainat, Jacques; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D.; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L.; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A.; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G.; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J.; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Song, Se Jin; Schwarz, Ryan S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Dainat, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health.

  1. A survey of bees (hymenoptera: Apoidea) of the Indiana dunes and Northwest Indiana, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, R.; Jean, R.P.; Frohnapple, K.J.; Gibbs, J.; Glowacki, G.A.; Pavlovic, N.B.

    2011-01-01

    The Indiana Dunes, and nearby natural areas in northwest Indiana, are floristically rich Midwest U.S. locales with many habitat types. We surveyed bees along a habitat gradient ranging from grasslands to forests in these locales, collecting at least 175 bee species along this gradient plus 29 additional species in other nearby habitats. About 25% of all species were from the genus Lasioglossum and 12% of the species were associated with sandy soils. Several bumblebee (Bombus) species of conservation concern that should occur in this region were not collected during our surveys. Similarity of the northwest Indiana bee fauna to other published U.S. faunas decreased about 1.3% per 100 km distance from northwest Indiana. Thirty percent of bees netted from flowers were males. Males and females differed significantly in their frequency of occurrence on different plant species. For bees collected in bowl traps, the percentage captured in fluorescent yellow traps declined and in fluorescent blue traps increased from spring to late summer. Capture rates for different bee genera varied temporally, with about a quarter of the genera being captured most frequently in late spring and a quarter in late summer. Capture rates for most genera were higher in more open than in more closed canopy habitats. The maximum number of plant species on which a single bee species was captured plateaued at 24, on average. Forty-nine percent of bee species known to occur in Indiana were found at these northwest Indiana sites. Having this relatively high proportion of the total Indiana bee fauna is consistent with Indiana Dunes existing at a biogeographic crossroads where grassland and forest biomes meet in a landscape whose climate and soils are affected by proximity to Lake Michigan. The resulting habitat, plant, edaphic, and climatic diversity likely produces the diverse bee community documented.

  2. Photoreceptor Processing Speed and Input Resistance Changes during Light Adaptation Correlate with Spectral Class in the Bumblebee, Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Skorupski, Peter; Chittka, Lars

    2011-01-01

    Colour vision depends on comparison of signals from photoreceptors with different spectral sensitivities. However, response properties of photoreceptor cells may differ in ways other than spectral tuning. In insects, for example, broadband photoreceptors, with a major sensitivity peak in the green region of the spectrum (>500 nm), drive fast visual processes, which are largely blind to chromatic signals from more narrowly-tuned photoreceptors with peak sensitivities in the blue and UV regions of the spectrum. In addition, electrophysiological properties of the photoreceptor membrane may result in differences in response dynamics of photoreceptors of similar spectral class between species, and different spectral classes within a species. We used intracellular electrophysiological techniques to investigate response dynamics of the three spectral classes of photoreceptor underlying trichromatic colour vision in the bumblebee, Bombus impatiens, and we compare these with previously published data from a related species, Bombus terrestris. In both species, we found significantly faster responses in green, compared with blue- or UV-sensitive photoreceptors, although all 3 photoreceptor types are slower in B. impatiens than in B. terrestris. Integration times for light-adapted B. impatiens photoreceptors (estimated from impulse response half-width) were 11.3±1.6 ms for green photoreceptors compared with 18.6±4.4 ms and 15.6±4.4 for blue and UV, respectively. We also measured photoreceptor input resistance in dark- and light-adapted conditions. All photoreceptors showed a decrease in input resistance during light adaptation, but this decrease was considerably larger (declining to about 22% of the dark value) in green photoreceptors, compared to blue and UV (41% and 49%, respectively). Our results suggest that the conductances associated with light adaptation are largest in green photoreceptors, contributing to their greater temporal processing speed. We suggest that the

  3. Comparison of buckwheat, red clover, and purple tansy as potential surrogate plants for use in semi-field pesticide risk assessments with Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Cutler, G. Christopher; Frewin, Andrew J.; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D.

    2016-01-01

    Background. Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are important wild and managed pollinators. There is increased interest in incorporating data on bumble bees into risk assessments for pesticides, but standardized methods for assessing hazards of pesticides in semi-field and field settings have not yet been established for bumble bees. During semi-field studies, colonies are caged with pesticide-treated flowering surrogate plants, which must be attractive to foragers to ensure colony exposure to the test compound, and must produce an ample nectar and pollen to sustain colonies during testing. However, it is not known which plant(s) are suitable for use in semi-field studies with bumble bees. Materials and Methods. We compared B. impatiens foraging activity and colony development on small plots of flowering buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum, var. common), red clover (Trifolium pratense), and purple tansy (Phacelia tanacetifolia) under semi-field conditions to assess their suitability as surrogate plants for pesticide risk assessment studies with bumble bees. We also compared the growth characteristics and input requirements of each plant type. Results. All three plant types generally established and grew well. Red clover and purple tansy experienced significant weed pressure and/or insect pest damage. In contrast, pest pressure was extremely low in buckwheat. Overall, B. impatiens foraging activity was significantly greater on buckwheat plots than red clover or purple tansy, but plant type had no effect on number of individuals produced per colony or colony weight. Discussion. Because of the consistently high foraging activity and successful colony development observed on buckwheat plots, combined with its favourable growth characteristics and low maintenance requirements, we recommend buckwheat as a surrogate plant for use in semi-field pesticide toxicity assessments with B. impatiens. PMID:27478712

  4. Comparison of buckwheat, red clover, and purple tansy as potential surrogate plants for use in semi-field pesticide risk assessments with Bombus impatiens.

    PubMed

    Gradish, Angela E; Cutler, G Christopher; Frewin, Andrew J; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D

    2016-01-01

    Background. Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are important wild and managed pollinators. There is increased interest in incorporating data on bumble bees into risk assessments for pesticides, but standardized methods for assessing hazards of pesticides in semi-field and field settings have not yet been established for bumble bees. During semi-field studies, colonies are caged with pesticide-treated flowering surrogate plants, which must be attractive to foragers to ensure colony exposure to the test compound, and must produce an ample nectar and pollen to sustain colonies during testing. However, it is not known which plant(s) are suitable for use in semi-field studies with bumble bees. Materials and Methods. We compared B. impatiens foraging activity and colony development on small plots of flowering buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum, var. common), red clover (Trifolium pratense), and purple tansy (Phacelia tanacetifolia) under semi-field conditions to assess their suitability as surrogate plants for pesticide risk assessment studies with bumble bees. We also compared the growth characteristics and input requirements of each plant type. Results. All three plant types generally established and grew well. Red clover and purple tansy experienced significant weed pressure and/or insect pest damage. In contrast, pest pressure was extremely low in buckwheat. Overall, B. impatiens foraging activity was significantly greater on buckwheat plots than red clover or purple tansy, but plant type had no effect on number of individuals produced per colony or colony weight. Discussion. Because of the consistently high foraging activity and successful colony development observed on buckwheat plots, combined with its favourable growth characteristics and low maintenance requirements, we recommend buckwheat as a surrogate plant for use in semi-field pesticide toxicity assessments with B. impatiens. PMID:27478712

  5. Bee-Wild about Pollinators!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Bonnie; Kil, Jenny; Evans, Elaine; Koomen, Michele Hollingsworth

    2014-01-01

    With their sunny stripes and fuzzy bodies, bees are beloved--but unfortunately, they are in trouble. Bee decline, of both wild bees as well as managed bees like honey bees, has been in the news for the last several years. Habitat loss, diseases, pests, and pesticides have made it difficult for bees to survive in many parts of our world (Walsh…

  6. Assessing insecticide hazard to bumble bees foraging on flowering weeds in treated lawns.

    PubMed

    Larson, Jonathan L; Redmond, Carl T; Potter, Daniel A

    2013-01-01

    Maintaining bee-friendly habitats in cities and suburbs can help conserve the vital pollination services of declining bee populations. Despite label precautions not to apply them to blooming plants, neonicotinoids and other residual systemic insecticides may be applied for preventive control of lawn insect pests when spring-flowering weeds are present. Dietary exposure to neonicotinoids adversely affects bees, but the extent of hazard from field usage is controversial. We exposed colonies of the bumble bee Bombus impatiens to turf with blooming white clover that had been treated with clothianidin, a neonicotinoid, or with chlorantraniliprole, the first anthranilic diamide labeled for use on lawns. The sprays were applied at label rate and lightly irrigated. After residues had dried, colonies were confined to forage for six days, and then moved to a non-treated rural site to openly forage and develop. Colonies exposed to clothianidin-treated weedy turf had delayed weight gain and produced no new queens whereas those exposed to chlorantraniliprole-treated plots developed normally compared with controls. Neither bumble bees nor honey bees avoided foraging on treated white clover in open plots. Nectar from clover blooms directly contaminated by spray residues contained 171±44 ppb clothianidin. Notably, neither insecticide adversely impacted bee colonies confined on the treated turf after it had been mown to remove clover blooms present at the time of treatment, and new blooms had formed. Our results validate EPA label precautionary statements not to apply neonicotinoids to blooming nectar-producing plants if bees may visit the treatment area. Whatever systemic hazard through lawn weeds they may pose appears transitory, however, and direct hazard can be mitigated by adhering to label precautions, or if blooms inadvertently are contaminated, by mowing to remove them. Chlorantraniliprole usage on lawns appears non-hazardous to bumble bees. PMID:23776667

  7. Assessing Insecticide Hazard to Bumble Bees Foraging on Flowering Weeds in Treated Lawns

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Jonathan L.; Redmond, Carl T.; Potter, Daniel A.

    2013-01-01

    Maintaining bee-friendly habitats in cities and suburbs can help conserve the vital pollination services of declining bee populations. Despite label precautions not to apply them to blooming plants, neonicotinoids and other residual systemic insecticides may be applied for preventive control of lawn insect pests when spring-flowering weeds are present. Dietary exposure to neonicotinoids adversely affects bees, but the extent of hazard from field usage is controversial. We exposed colonies of the bumble bee Bombus impatiens to turf with blooming white clover that had been treated with clothianidin, a neonicotinoid, or with chlorantraniliprole, the first anthranilic diamide labeled for use on lawns. The sprays were applied at label rate and lightly irrigated. After residues had dried, colonies were confined to forage for six days, and then moved to a non-treated rural site to openly forage and develop. Colonies exposed to clothianidin-treated weedy turf had delayed weight gain and produced no new queens whereas those exposed to chlorantraniliprole-treated plots developed normally compared with controls. Neither bumble bees nor honey bees avoided foraging on treated white clover in open plots. Nectar from clover blooms directly contaminated by spray residues contained 171±44 ppb clothianidin. Notably, neither insecticide adversely impacted bee colonies confined on the treated turf after it had been mown to remove clover blooms present at the time of treatment, and new blooms had formed. Our results validate EPA label precautionary statements not to apply neonicotinoids to blooming nectar-producing plants if bees may visit the treatment area. Whatever systemic hazard through lawn weeds they may pose appears transitory, however, and direct hazard can be mitigated by adhering to label precautions, or if blooms inadvertently are contaminated, by mowing to remove them. Chlorantraniliprole usage on lawns appears non-hazardous to bumble bees. PMID:23776667

  8. Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Apiformes)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An illustrated overview of natural histories of bees is provided, including their evolutionary history, diversity, biogeography, development, nesting, mating, sociality, foraging, parasitism, and floral relationships. Each of the families of bees is then briefly reviewed....

  9. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Sydney A; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Strange, James P; Koch, Jonathan B; Cordes, Nils; Solter, Leellen F; Griswold, Terry L

    2011-01-11

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are vitally important pollinators of wild plants and agricultural crops worldwide. Fragmentary observations, however, have suggested population declines in several North American species. Despite rising concern over these observations in the United States, highlighted in a recent National Academy of Sciences report, a national assessment of the geographic scope and possible causal factors of bumble bee decline is lacking. Here, we report results of a 3-y interdisciplinary study of changing distributions, population genetic structure, and levels of pathogen infection in bumble bee populations across the United States. We compare current and historical distributions of eight species, compiling a database of >73,000 museum records for comparison with data from intensive nationwide surveys of >16,000 specimens. We show that the relative abundances of four species have declined by up to 96% and that their surveyed geographic ranges have contracted by 23-87%, some within the last 20 y. We also show that declining populations have significantly higher infection levels of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema bombi and lower genetic diversity compared with co-occurring populations of the stable (nondeclining) species. Higher pathogen prevalence and reduced genetic diversity are, thus, realistic predictors of these alarming patterns of decline in North America, although cause and effect remain uncertain. PMID:21199943

  10. Inbreeding in Mimulus guttatus Reduces Visitation by Bumble Bee Pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Carr, David E.; Roulston, T’ai H.; Hart, Haley

    2014-01-01

    Inbreeding in plants typically reduces individual fitness but may also alter ecological interactions. This study examined the effect of inbreeding in the mixed-mating annual Mimulus guttatus on visitation by pollinators (Bombus impatiens) in greenhouse experiments. Previous studies of M. guttatus have shown that inbreeding reduced corolla size, flower number, and pollen quantity and quality. Using controlled crosses, we produced inbred and outbred families from three different M. guttatus populations. We recorded the plant genotypes that bees visited and the number of flowers probed per visit. In our first experiment, bees were 31% more likely to visit outbred plants than those selfed for one generation and 43% more likely to visit outbred plants than those selfed for two generations. Inbreeding had only a small effect on the number of flowers probed once bees arrived at a genotype. These differences were explained partially by differences in mean floral display and mean flower size, but even when these variables were controlled statistically, the effect of inbreeding remained large and significant. In a second experiment we quantified pollen viability from inbred and self plants. Bees were 37–54% more likely to visit outbred plants, depending on the population, even when controlling for floral display size. Pollen viability proved to be as important as floral display in predicting pollinator visitation in one population, but the overall explanatory power of a multiple regression model was weak. Our data suggested that bees use cues in addition to display size, flower size, and pollen reward quality in their discrimination of inbred plants. Discrimination against inbred plants could have effects on plant fitness and thereby reinforce selection for outcrossing. Inbreeding in plant populations could also reduce resource quality for pollinators, potentially resulting in negative effects on pollinator populations. PMID:25036035

  11. Foraging Bumble Bees Weigh the Reliability of Personal and Social Information.

    PubMed

    Dunlap, Aimee S; Nielsen, Matthew E; Dornhaus, Anna; Papaj, Daniel R

    2016-05-01

    Many animals, including insects, make decisions using both personally gathered information and social information derived from the behavior of other, usually conspecific, individuals [1]. Moreover, animals adjust use of social versus personal information appropriately under a variety of experimental conditions [2-5]. An important factor in how information is used is the information's reliability, that is, how consistently the information is correlated with something of relevance in the environment [6]. The reliability of information determines which signals should be attended to during communication [6-9], which types of stimuli animals should learn about, and even whether learning should evolve [10, 11]. Here, we show that bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) account for the reliability of personally acquired information (which flower color was previously associated with reward) and social information (which flowers are chosen by other bees) in making foraging decisions; however, the two types of information are not treated equally. Bees prefer to use social information if it predicts a reward at all, but if social information becomes entirely unreliable, flower color will be used instead. This greater sensitivity to the reliability of social information, and avoidance of conspecifics in some cases, may reflect the specific ecological circumstances of bee foraging. Overall, the bees' ability to make decisions based on both personally acquired and socially derived information, and the relative reliability of both, demonstrates a new level of sophistication and flexibility in animal, particularly insect, decision-making. PMID:27133871

  12. Resource diversity and landscape-level homogeneity drive native bee foraging

    PubMed Central

    Jha, Shalene; Kremen, Claire

    2013-01-01

    Given widespread declines in pollinator communities and increasing global reliance on pollinator-dependent crops, there is an acute need to develop a mechanistic understanding of native pollinator population and foraging biology. Using a population genetics approach, we determine the impact of habitat and floral resource distributions on nesting and foraging patterns of a critical native pollinator, Bombus vosnesenskii. Our findings demonstrate that native bee foraging is far more plastic and extensive than previously believed and does not follow a simple optimal foraging strategy. Rather, bumble bees forage further in pursuit of species-rich floral patches and in landscapes where patch-to-patch variation in floral resources is less, regardless of habitat composition. Thus, our results reveal extreme foraging plasticity and demonstrate that floral diversity, not density, drives bee foraging distance. Furthermore, we find a negative impact of paved habitat and a positive impact of natural woodland on bumble bee nesting densities. Overall, this study reveals that natural and human-altered landscapes can be managed for increased native bee nesting and extended foraging, dually enhancing biodiversity and the spatial extent of pollination services. PMID:23267118

  13. Flowers help bees cope with uncertainty: signal detection and the function of floral complexity

    PubMed Central

    Leonard, Anne S.; Dornhaus, Anna; Papaj, Daniel R.

    2011-01-01

    Plants often attract pollinators with floral displays composed of visual, olfactory, tactile and gustatory stimuli. Since pollinators' responses to each of these stimuli are usually studied independently, the question of why plants produce multi-component floral displays remains relatively unexplored. Here we used signal detection theory to test the hypothesis that complex displays reduce a pollinator's uncertainty about the floral signal. Specifically, we asked whether one component of the floral display, scent, improved a bee's certainty about the value of another component, color hue. We first trained two groups of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) to discriminate between rewarding and unrewarding artificial flowers of slightly different hues in the presence vs absence of scent. In a test phase, we presented these bees with a gradient of floral hues and assessed their ability to identify the hue rewarded during training. We interpreted the extent to which bees' preferences were biased away from the unrewarding hue (‘peak shift’) as an indicator of uncertainty in color discrimination. Our data show that the presence of an olfactory signal reduces uncertainty regarding color: not only was color learning facilitated on scented flowers but also bees showed a lower amount of peak shift in the presence of scent. We explore potential mechanisms by which scent might reduce uncertainty about color, and discuss the broader significance of our results for our understanding of signal evolution. PMID:21147975

  14. Bees as Biosensors: Chemosensory Ability, Honey Bee Monitoring Systems, and Emergent Sensor Technologies Derived from the Pollinator Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Bromenshenk, Jerry J.; Henderson, Colin B.; Seccomb, Robert A.; Welch, Phillip M.; Debnam, Scott E.; Firth, David R.

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on critical milestones in the development path for the use of bees, mainly honey bees and bumble bees, as sentinels and biosensors. These keystone species comprise the most abundant pollinators of agro-ecosystems. Pollinating 70%–80% of flowering terrestrial plants, bees and other insects propel the reproduction and survival of plants and themselves, as well as improve the quantity and quality of seeds, nuts, and fruits that feed birds, wildlife, and us. Flowers provide insects with energy, nutrients, and shelter, while pollinators are essential to global ecosystem productivity and stability. A rich and diverse milieu of chemical signals establishes and maintains this intimate partnership. Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle. In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals. In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management. PMID:26529030

  15. Bees as Biosensors: Chemosensory Ability, Honey Bee Monitoring Systems, and Emergent Sensor Technologies Derived from the Pollinator Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Bromenshenk, Jerry J; Henderson, Colin B; Seccomb, Robert A; Welch, Phillip M; Debnam, Scott E; Firth, David R

    2015-12-01

    This review focuses on critical milestones in the development path for the use of bees, mainly honey bees and bumble bees, as sentinels and biosensors. These keystone species comprise the most abundant pollinators of agro-ecosystems. Pollinating 70%-80% of flowering terrestrial plants, bees and other insects propel the reproduction and survival of plants and themselves, as well as improve the quantity and quality of seeds, nuts, and fruits that feed birds, wildlife, and us. Flowers provide insects with energy, nutrients, and shelter, while pollinators are essential to global ecosystem productivity and stability. A rich and diverse milieu of chemical signals establishes and maintains this intimate partnership. Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle. In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals. In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management. PMID:26529030

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Solitary bees and honey bees from a neighbouring apiary were screened for a broad set of putative pathogens including protists, fungi, spiroplasmas and viruses. Most sampled bees appeared to be infected with multiple parasites. Interestingly, viruses exclusively known from honey bees such as Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus were also discovered in solitary bees. A microsporidium found in Andrena vaga showed most resemblance to Nosema thomsoni. Our results suggest that bee hives represent a putative source of pathogens for other pollinators. Similarly, solitary bees may act as a reservoir of honey bee pathogens. PMID:25196470

  17. Individual lifetime pollen and nectar foraging preferences in bumble bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagbery, Jessica; Nieh, James C.

    2012-10-01

    Foraging specialization plays an important role in the ability of social insects to efficiently allocate labor. However, relatively little is known about the degree to which individual bumble bees specialize on collecting nectar or pollen, when such preferences manifest, and if individuals can alter their foraging preferences in response to changes in the colony workforce. Using Bombus impatiens, we monitored all foraging visits made by every bee in multiple colonies and showed that individual foragers exhibit consistent lifetime foraging preferences. Based upon the distribution of foraging preferences, we defined three forager types (pollen specialists, nectar specialists, and generalists). In unmanipulated colonies, 16-36 % of individuals specialized (≥90 % of visits) on nectar or pollen only. On its first day of foraging, an individual's foraging choices (nectar only, pollen only, or nectar and pollen) significantly predicted its lifetime foraging preferences. Foragers that only collected pollen on their first day of foraging made 1.61- to 1.67-fold more lifetime pollen foraging visits (as a proportion of total trips) than foragers that only collected nectar on their first foraging day. Foragers were significantly larger than bees that stayed only in the nest. We also determined the effect of removing pollen specialists at early (brood present) or later (brood absent) stages in colony life. These results suggest that generalists can alter their foraging preferences in response to the loss of a small subset of foragers. Thus, bumble bees exhibit individual lifetime foraging preferences that are established early in life, but generalists may be able to adapt to colony needs.

  18. 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

  19. Hitting an Unintended Target: Phylogeography of Bombus brasiliensis Lepeletier, 1836 and the First New Brazilian Bumblebee Species in a Century (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    PubMed Central

    Santos Júnior, José Eustáquio; Santos, Fabrício R.; Silveira, Fernando A.

    2015-01-01

    This work tested whether or not populations of Bombus brasiliensis isolated on mountain tops of southeastern Brazil belonged to the same species as populations widespread in lowland areas in the Atlantic coast and westward along the Paraná-river valley. Phylogeographic and population genetic analyses showed that those populations were all conspecific. However, they revealed a previously unrecognized, apparently rare, and potentially endangered species in one of the most threatened biodiversity hotspots of the World, the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. This species is described here as Bombus bahiensis sp. n., and included in a revised key for the identification of the bumblebee species known to occur in Brazil. Phylogenetic analyses based on two mtDNA markers suggest this new species to be sister to B. brasiliensis, from which its workers and queens can be easily distinguished by the lack of a yellow hair-band on the first metasomal tergum. The results presented here are consistent with the hypothesis that B. bahiensis sp. n. may have originated from an ancestral population isolated in an evergreen-forest refuge (the so-called Bahia refuge) during cold, dry periods of the Pleistocene. This refuge is also known as an important area of endemism for several animal taxa, including other bees. Secondary contact between B. bahiensis and B. brasiliensis may be presently prevented by a strip of semi-deciduous forest in a climate zone characterized by relatively long dry seasons. Considering the relatively limited range of this new species and the current anthropic pressure on its environment, attention should be given to its conservation status. PMID:25992624

  20. Male bumblebees, Bombus terrestris, perform equally well as workers in a serial colour-learning task

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Stephan; Chittka, Lars

    2016-01-01

    The learning capacities of males and females may differ with sex-specific behavioural requirements. Bumblebees provide a useful model system to explore how different lifestyles are reflected in learning abilities, because their (female but sterile) workers and males engage in fundamentally different behaviour routines. Bumblebee males, like workers, embark on active flower foraging but in contrast to workers they have to trade off their feeding with mate search, potentially affecting their abilities to learn and utilize floral cues efficiently during foraging. We used a serial colour-learning task with freely flying males and workers to compare their ability to flexibly learn visual floral cues with reward in a foraging scenario that changed over time. Male bumblebees did not differ from workers in both their learning speed and their ability to overcome previously acquired associations, when these ceased to predict reward. In all foraging tasks we found a significant improvement in choice accuracy in both sexes over the course of the training. In both sexes, the characteristics of the foraging performance depended largely on the colour difference of the two presented feeder types. Large colour distances entailed fast and reliable learning of the rewarding feeders whereas choice accuracy on highly similar colours improved significantly more slowly. Conversely, switching from a learned feeder type to a novel one was fastest for similar feeder colours and slow for highly different ones. Overall, we show that behavioural sex dimorphism in bumblebees did not affect their learning abilities beyond the mating context. We discuss the possible drivers and limitations shaping the foraging abilities of males and workers and implications for pollination ecology. We also suggest stingless male bumblebees as an advantageous alternative model system for the study of pollinator cognition. PMID:26877542

  1. How floral odours are learned inside the bumblebee ( Bombus terrestris) nest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molet, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, Nigel E.

    2009-02-01

    Recruitment in social insects often involves not only inducing nestmates to leave the nest, but also communicating crucial information about finding profitable food sources. Although bumblebees transmit chemosensory information (floral scent), the transmission mechanism is unknown as mouth-to-mouth fluid transfer (as in honeybees) does not occur. Because recruiting bumblebees release a pheromone in the nest that triggers foraging in previously inactive workers, we tested whether this pheromone helps workers learn currently rewarding floral odours, as found in food social learning in rats. We exposed colonies to artificial recruitment pheromone, paired with anise scent. The pheromone did not facilitate learning of floral scent. However, we found that releasing floral scent in the air of the colony was sufficient to trigger learning and that learning performance was improved when the chemosensory cue was provided in the nectar in honeypots; probably because it guarantees a tighter link between scent and reward, and possibly because gustatory cues are involved in addition to olfaction. Scent learning was maximal when anise-scented nectar was brought into the nest by demonstrator foragers, suggesting that previously unidentified cues provided by successful foragers play an important role in nestmates learning new floral odours.

  2. Deep Sequencing and Ecological Characterization of Gut Microbial Communities of Diverse Bumble Bee Species

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Haw Chuan; Chu, Chia-Ching; Seufferheld, Manfredo J.; Cameron, Sydney A.

    2015-01-01

    Gut bacterial communities of bumble bees are correlated with defense against pathogens. Further understanding this host-microbe association is vitally important as bumble bees are currently experiencing global population declines, potentially due in part to emergent diseases. In this study, we used pyrosequencing and community fingerprinting (ARISA) to characterize the gut microbial communities of nine bumble species from across the Bombus phylogeny. Overall, we delimited 74 bacterial taxa (operational taxonomic units or OTUs) belonging to Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Bacilli, Actinobacteria, Flavobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. Each bacterial community was taxonomically simple, containing an average of 1.9 common (relative abundance per sample > 5%) bacterial OTUs. The most abundant and prevalent (occurring in 92% of the samples) bacterial OTU, based on 16S rRNA sequences, closely matched that of the previously described Betaproteobacteria species Snodgrassella alvi. Bacteria that were first described in bee-related external environments dominated a number of gut bacterial communities, suggesting that they are not strictly dependent on the internal gut environment. The ARISA data showed a correlation between bacterial community structures and the geographic locations where the bees were sampled, suggesting that at least a subset of the bacterial species may be transmitted environmentally. Using light and fluorescent microscopy, we demonstrated that the gut bacteria form a biofilm on the internal epithelial surface of the ileum, corroborating results obtained from Apis mellifera. PMID:25768110

  3. One World: Service Bees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomason, Rhonda

    2009-01-01

    Bees are a vital part of the ecology. People of conscience are a vital part of society. In Nina Frenkel's "One World" poster, the bee is also a metaphor for the role of the individual in a diverse society. This article presents a lesson that uses Frenkel's poster to help early-grades students connect these ideas and explore both the importance of…

  4. Honey Bee Viruses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Viruses are significant threats to the health and well-being of the honey bee, Apis mellifera. To alleviate the threats posed by these invasive organisms, a better understanding of bee viral infections will be of crucial importance in developing effective and environmentally-benign disease control ...

  5. Honey bee toxicology.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Reed M

    2015-01-01

    Insecticides are chemicals used to kill insects, so it is unsurprising that many insecticides have the potential to harm honey bees (Apis mellifera). However, bees are exposed to a great variety of other potentially toxic chemicals, including flavonoids and alkaloids that are produced by plants; mycotoxins produced by fungi; antimicrobials and acaricides that are introduced by beekeepers; and fungicides, herbicides, and other environmental contaminants. Although often regarded as uniquely sensitive to toxic compounds, honey bees are adapted to tolerate and even thrive in the presence of toxic compounds that occur naturally in their environment. The harm caused by exposure to a particular concentration of a toxic compound may depend on the level of simultaneous exposure to other compounds, pathogen levels, nutritional status, and a host of other factors. This review takes a holistic view of bee toxicology by taking into account the spectrum of xenobiotics to which bees are exposed. PMID:25341092

  6. Chronic Exposure of Imidacloprid and Clothianidin Reduce Queen Survival, Foraging, and Nectar Storing in Colonies of Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Scholer, Jamison; Krischik, Vera

    2014-01-01

    In an 11-week greenhouse study, caged queenright colonies of Bombus impatiens Cresson, were fed treatments of 0 (0 ppb actual residue I, imidacloprid; C, clothianidin), 10 (14 I, 9 C), 20 (16 I, 17C), 50 (71 I, 39 C) and 100 (127 I, 76 C) ppb imidacloprid or clothianidin in sugar syrup (50%). These treatments overlapped the residue levels found in pollen and nectar of many crops and landscape plants, which have higher residue levels than seed-treated crops (less than 10 ppb, corn, canola and sunflower). At 6 weeks, queen mortality was significantly higher in 50 ppb and 100 ppb and by 11 weeks in 20 ppb–100 ppb neonicotinyl-treated colonies. The largest impact for both neonicotinyls starting at 20 (16 I, 17 C) ppb was the statistically significant reduction in queen survival (37% I, 56% C) ppb, worker movement, colony consumption, and colony weight compared to 0 ppb treatments. Bees at feeders flew back to the nest box so it appears that only a few workers were collecting syrup in the flight box and returning the syrup to the nest. The majority of the workers sat immobilized for weeks on the floor of the flight box without moving to fed at sugar syrup feeders. Neonicotinyl residues were lower in wax pots in the nest than in the sugar syrup that was provided. At 10 (14) ppb I and 50 (39) ppb C, fewer males were produced by the workers, but queens continued to invest in queen production which was similar among treatments. Feeding on imidacloprid and clothianidin can cause changes in behavior (reduced worker movement, consumption, wax pot production, and nectar storage) that result in detrimental effects on colonies (queen survival and colony weight). Wild bumblebees depending on foraging workers can be negatively impacted by chronic neonicotinyl exposure at 20 ppb. PMID:24643057

  7. Variable effects of nicotine, anabasine, and their interactions on parasitized bumble bees

    PubMed Central

    Thorburn, Lukas P.; Adler, Lynn S.; Irwin, Rebecca E.; Palmer-Young, Evan C.

    2015-01-01

    Secondary metabolites in floral nectar have been shown to reduce parasite load in two common bumble bee species. Previous studies on the effects of nectar secondary metabolites on parasitized bees have focused on single compounds in isolation; however, in nature, bees are simultaneously exposed to multiple compounds. We tested for interactions between the effects of two alkaloids found in the nectar of Nicotiana spp. plants, nicotine and anabasine, on parasite load and mortality in bumble bees ( Bombus impatiens) infected with the intestinal parasite Crithidia bombi. Adult worker bees inoculated with C. bombi were fed nicotine and anabasine diet treatments in a factorial design, resulting in four nectar treatment combinations:  2 ppm nicotine, 5 ppm anabasine, 2ppm nicotine and 5 ppm anabasine together, or a control alkaloid-free solution. We conducted the experiment twice: first, with bees incubated under variable environmental conditions (‘Variable’; temperatures varied from 10-35°C with ambient lighting); and second, under carefully controlled environmental conditions (‘Stable’; 27°C incubator, constant darkness). In ‘Variable’, each alkaloid alone significantly decreased parasite loads, but this effect was not realized with the alkaloids in combination, suggesting an antagonistic interaction. Nicotine but not anabasine significantly increased mortality, and the two compounds had no interactive effects on mortality. In ‘Stable’, nicotine significantly increased parasite loads, the opposite of its effect in ‘Variable’. While not significant, the relationship between anabasine and parasite loads was also positive. Interactive effects between the two alkaloids on parasite load were non-significant, but the pattern of antagonistic interaction was similar to that in the variable experiment. Neither alkaloid, nor their interaction, significantly affected mortality under controlled conditions. Our results do not indicate synergy between Nicotiana

  8. Inorganic Nitrogen Derived from Foraging Honey Bees Could Have Adaptive Benefits for the Plants They Visit

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Archana; Afik, Ohad; Cabrera, Miguel L.; Delaplane, Keith S.; Mowrer, Jason E.

    2013-01-01

    In most terrestrial ecosystems, nitrogen (N) is the most limiting nutrient for plant growth. Honey bees may help alleviate this limitation because their feces (frass) have high concentration of organic nitrogen that may decompose in soil and provide inorganic N to plants. However, information on soil N processes associated with bee frass is not available. The objectives of this work were to 1) estimate the amount of bee frass produced by a honey bee colony and 2) evaluate nitrogen mineralization and ammonia volatilization from bee frass when surface applied or incorporated into soil. Two cage studies were conducted to estimate the amount of frass produced by a 5000-bee colony, and three laboratory studies were carried out in which bee frass, surface-applied or incorporated into soil, was incubated at 25oC for 15 to 45 days. The average rate of bee frass production by a 5,000-bee colony was estimated at 2.27 to 2.69 g N month−1. Nitrogen mineralization from bee frass during 30 days released 20% of the organic N when bee frass was surface applied and 34% when frass was incorporated into the soil. Volatilized NH3 corresponded to 1% or less of total N. The potential amount of inorganic N released to the soil by a typical colony of 20,000 bees foraging in an area similar to that of the experimental cages (3.24 m2) was estimated at 0.62 to 0.74 g N m−2 month−1 which may be significant at a community scale in terms of soil microbial activity and plant growth. Thus, the deposition of available N by foraging bees could have adaptive benefits for the plants they visit, a collateral benefit deriving from the primary activity of pollination. PMID:23923006

  9. Inorganic nitrogen derived from foraging honey bees could have adaptive benefits for the plants they visit.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Archana; Afik, Ohad; Cabrera, Miguel L; Delaplane, Keith S; Mowrer, Jason E

    2013-01-01

    In most terrestrial ecosystems, nitrogen (N) is the most limiting nutrient for plant growth. Honey bees may help alleviate this limitation because their feces (frass) have high concentration of organic nitrogen that may decompose in soil and provide inorganic N to plants. However, information on soil N processes associated with bee frass is not available. The objectives of this work were to 1) estimate the amount of bee frass produced by a honey bee colony and 2) evaluate nitrogen mineralization and ammonia volatilization from bee frass when surface applied or incorporated into soil. Two cage studies were conducted to estimate the amount of frass produced by a 5000-bee colony, and three laboratory studies were carried out in which bee frass, surface-applied or incorporated into soil, was incubated at 25(o)C for 15 to 45 days. The average rate of bee frass production by a 5,000-bee colony was estimated at 2.27 to 2.69 g N month(-1). Nitrogen mineralization from bee frass during 30 days released 20% of the organic N when bee frass was surface applied and 34% when frass was incorporated into the soil. Volatilized NH3 corresponded to 1% or less of total N. The potential amount of inorganic N released to the soil by a typical colony of 20,000 bees foraging in an area similar to that of the experimental cages (3.24 m(2)) was estimated at 0.62 to 0.74 g N m(-2) month(-1) which may be significant at a community scale in terms of soil microbial activity and plant growth. Thus, the deposition of available N by foraging bees could have adaptive benefits for the plants they visit, a collateral benefit deriving from the primary activity of pollination. PMID:23923006

  10. The innate responses of bumble bees to flower patterns: separating the nectar guide from the nectary changes bee movements and search time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodale, Eben; Kim, Edward; Nabors, Annika; Henrichon, Sara; Nieh, James C.

    2014-06-01

    Nectar guides can enhance pollinator efficiency and plant fitness by allowing pollinators to more rapidly find and remember the location of floral nectar. We tested if a radiating nectar guide around a nectary would enhance the ability of naïve bumble bee foragers to find nectar. Most experiments that test nectar guide efficacy, specifically radiating linear guides, have used guides positioned around the center of a radially symmetric flower, where nectaries are often found. However, the flower center may be intrinsically attractive. We therefore used an off-center guide and nectary and compared "conjunct" feeders with a nectar guide surrounding the nectary to "disjunct" feeders with a nectar guide separated from the nectary. We focused on the innate response of novice bee foragers that had never previously visited such feeders. We hypothesized that a disjunct nectar guide would conflict with the visual information provided by the nectary and negatively affect foraging. Approximately, equal numbers of bumble bees ( Bombus impatiens) found nectar on both feeder types. On disjunct feeders, however, unsuccessful foragers spent significantly more time (on average 1.6-fold longer) searching for nectar than any other forager group. Successful foragers on disjunct feeders approached these feeders from random directions unlike successful foragers on conjunct feeders, which preferentially approached the combined nectary and nectar guide. Thus, the nectary and a surrounding nectar guide can be considered a combination of two signals that attract naïve foragers even when not in the floral center.

  11. Queen pheromones modulate DNA methyltransferase activity in bee and ant workers.

    PubMed

    Holman, Luke; Trontti, Kalevi; Helanterä, Heikki

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation is emerging as an important regulator of polyphenism in the social insects. Research has concentrated on differences in methylation between queens and workers, though we hypothesized that methylation is involved in mediating other flexible phenotypes, including pheromone-dependent changes in worker behaviour and physiology. Here, we find that exposure to queen pheromone affects the expression of two DNA methyltransferase genes in Apis mellifera honeybees and in two species of Lasius ants, but not in Bombus terrestris bumblebees. These results suggest that queen pheromones influence the worker methylome, pointing to a novel proximate mechanism for these key social signals. PMID:26814223

  12. The bumblebees of North China (Apidae, Bombus Latreille).

    PubMed

    An, Jiandong; Huang, Jiaxing; Shao, Youquan; Zhang, Shiwen; Wang, Biao; Liu, Xinyu; Wu, Jie; Williams, Paul H

    2014-01-01

    Bumblebees are important pollinators for wild flowers and agricultural crops. North China is a region of varied geomorphology and vegetation, with plateaus, plains, mountains and deserts, and is part of the greatest hotspot of bumblebee diversity worldwide. We report on a field survey of the bumblebees of North China made between 2005-2012. A sample of 21,636 bumblebee specimens are assigned to 76 species. One older specimen held in London added one more species to this list. Together, these 77 species represent 10 subgenera of the genus Bombus. Seven species are recorded from North China for the first time: B. (St.) distinguendus, B. (Th.) anachoreta, B. (Th.) pseudobaicalensis, B. (Th.) exil, B. (Ps.) campestris, B. (Pr.) infirmus and B. (Ag.) validus. We provide identification keys for both males and females, photographs of the common colour patterns, and distribution maps for all species. We describe variation in local species richness and abundance, and list the food plants used by bumblebees in North China. The most abundant 10 bumblebee species are: B. (Ml.) pyrosoma, B. (Bo.) lantschouensis, B. (Bo.) patagiatus, B. (St.) melanurus, B. (Sb.) sibiricus, B. (Bo.) ignitus, B. (Th.) hedini, B. (Pr.) picipes, B. (Mg.) trifasciatus and B. (Mg.) longipes. Bumblebees are distributed widely within North China, from low elevations near the edge of the North-China plain to high elevations at the edge of the east Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (65-4011 m). The highest species richness is found in meadows of the high elevation east Qinghai-Tibetan plateau and in forests of the Qilianshan mountains in southwestern Gansu. The 337 food plant species recorded here belong to 49 families, showing that bumblebees play an important role in interconnecting agricultural and natural ecosystems in North China.  PMID:25081273

  13. [Poisoning by bee sting].

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo R; Salomón, Oscar D; Orduna, Tomás A; Robles Ortiz, Luis E; Paniagua Solís, Jorge F; Alagón Cano, Alejandro

    2005-01-01

    Among the human pathologies produced by venomous animals, bee stings constitute the largest number of accidents in several countries, exceeding the mortality rate caused by other venomous animals such as snakes, spiders or scorpions. The clinical picture after the bee sting may include anaphylaxis or poisoning. The latter is produced by massive attacks and is a serious problem that may put the patient's life at risk. People that are poisoned display hemolysis, rhabdomiolysis and acute renal failure that together with other systemic failures can bring about death. The knowledge of the physiopathological mechanisms involved in the massive attack of bees is crucial for health care professionals as to date we do not have antivenoms with proven clinical efficacy. In this review we include the bee's biological aspects, venom composition and its relation with the occurrence and severity of accidents as well as epidemiological data that can be useful for this type of accidents. PMID:16025987

  14. A Buzzing Bee.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donovan, Edward P.; Barnes, Eb

    1996-01-01

    Presents an activity enabling students of grades four to nine to construct a "Buzzing Bee" model using simple materials. Provides students with the opportunity to explore the concepts of sound and the Doppler effect. (MKR)

  15. Terrestrial sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Charlie Byrer

    2008-03-10

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  16. Terrestrial sequestration

    ScienceCinema

    Charlie Byrer

    2010-01-08

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  17. Habitat and forage associations of a naturally colonising insect pollinator, the tree bumblebee Bombus hypnorum.

    PubMed

    Crowther, Liam P; Hein, Pierre-Louis; Bourke, Andrew F G

    2014-01-01

    Bumblebees (Bombus species) are major pollinators of commercial crops and wildflowers but factors affecting their abundance, including causes of recent population declines, remain unclear. Investigating the ecology of species with expanding ranges provides a potentially powerful means of elucidating these factors. Such species may also bring novel pollination services to their new ranges. We therefore investigated landscape-scale habitat use and foraging preferences of the Tree Bumblebee, B. hypnorum, a recent natural colonist that has rapidly expanded its range in the UK over the past decade. Counts of B. hypnorum and six other Bombus species were made in March-June 2012 within a mixed landscape in south-eastern Norfolk, UK. The extent of different landscape elements around each transect was quantified at three scales (250 m, 500 m and 1500 m). We then identified the landscape elements that best predicted the density of B. hypnorum and other Bombus species. At the best fitting scale (250 m), B. hypnorum density was significantly positively associated with extent of both urban and woodland cover and significantly negatively associated with extent of oilseed rape cover. This combination of landscape predictors was unique to B. hypnorum. Urban and woodland cover were associated with B. hypnorum density at three and two, respectively, of the three scales studied. Relative to other Bombus species, B. hypnorum exhibited a significantly higher foraging preference for two flowering trees, Crataegus monogyna and Prunus spinosa, and significantly lower preferences for Brassica napus, Glechoma hederacea and Lamium album. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for an association of B. hypnorum with urban and woodland landscape elements. Range expansion in B. hypnorum appears to depend, on exploitation of widespread habitats underutilised by native Bombus species, suggesting B. hypnorum will readily co-exist with these species. These findings suggest that management

  18. Habitat and Forage Associations of a Naturally Colonising Insect Pollinator, the Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum

    PubMed Central

    Crowther, Liam P.; Hein, Pierre-Louis; Bourke, Andrew F. G.

    2014-01-01

    Bumblebees (Bombus species) are major pollinators of commercial crops and wildflowers but factors affecting their abundance, including causes of recent population declines, remain unclear. Investigating the ecology of species with expanding ranges provides a potentially powerful means of elucidating these factors. Such species may also bring novel pollination services to their new ranges. We therefore investigated landscape-scale habitat use and foraging preferences of the Tree Bumblebee, B. hypnorum, a recent natural colonist that has rapidly expanded its range in the UK over the past decade. Counts of B. hypnorum and six other Bombus species were made in March-June 2012 within a mixed landscape in south-eastern Norfolk, UK. The extent of different landscape elements around each transect was quantified at three scales (250 m, 500 m and 1500 m). We then identified the landscape elements that best predicted the density of B. hypnorum and other Bombus species. At the best fitting scale (250 m), B. hypnorum density was significantly positively associated with extent of both urban and woodland cover and significantly negatively associated with extent of oilseed rape cover. This combination of landscape predictors was unique to B. hypnorum. Urban and woodland cover were associated with B. hypnorum density at three and two, respectively, of the three scales studied. Relative to other Bombus species, B. hypnorum exhibited a significantly higher foraging preference for two flowering trees, Crataegus monogyna and Prunus spinosa, and significantly lower preferences for Brassica napus, Glechoma hederacea and Lamium album. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for an association of B. hypnorum with urban and woodland landscape elements. Range expansion in B. hypnorum appears to depend, on exploitation of widespread habitats underutilised by native Bombus species, suggesting B. hypnorum will readily co-exist with these species. These findings suggest that management

  19. Magnetic effect on dancing bees

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindauer, M.; Martin, H.

    1972-01-01

    Bee sensitivity to the earth's magnetic field is studied. Data cover sensitivity range and the use of magnetoreception for orientation purposes. Experimental results indicate bee orientation is aided by gravity fields when the magnetic field is compensated.

  20. Water homeostasis in bees, with the emphasis on sociality.

    PubMed

    Nicolson, Susan W

    2009-02-01

    Avenues of water gain and loss in bees are examined here at two levels of organisation: the individual and the colony. Compared with the majority of terrestrial insects, bees have a high water turnover. This is due to their nectar diet and, in larger species, substantial metabolic water production during flight, counteracted by high evaporative and excretory losses. Water fluxes at the colony level can also be very high. When incoming nectar is dilute, honeybees need to remove large volumes of water by evaporation. On the other hand, water is not stored in the nest and must be collected for evaporative cooling and for feeding the brood. Water regulation has many similarities at individual and colony levels. In particular, manipulation of nectar or water on the tongue is extensively used by bees to increase evaporation for either food-concentrating or cooling purposes. PMID:19151218

  1. Genomic Features of a Bumble Bee Symbiont Reflect Its Host Environment

    PubMed Central

    Magoc, Tanja; Koch, Hauke; Salzberg, Steven L.; Moran, Nancy A.

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the genome of one gammaproteobacterial member of the gut microbiota, for which we propose the name “Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi,” that was inadvertently sequenced alongside the genome of its host, the bumble bee, Bombus impatiens. This symbiont is a member of the recently described bacterial order Orbales, which has been collected from the guts of diverse insect species; however, “Ca. Schmidhempelia” has been identified exclusively with bumble bees. Metabolic reconstruction reveals that “Ca. Schmidhempelia” lacks many genes for a functioning NADH dehydrogenase I, all genes for the high-oxygen cytochrome o, and most genes in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. “Ca. Schmidhempelia” has retained NADH dehydrogenase II, the low-oxygen specific cytochrome bd, anaerobic nitrate respiration, mixed-acid fermentation pathways, and citrate fermentation, which may be important for survival in low-oxygen or anaerobic environments found in the bee hindgut. Additionally, a type 6 secretion system, a Flp pilus, and many antibiotic/multidrug transporters suggest complex interactions with its host and other gut commensals or pathogens. This genome has signatures of reduction (2.0 megabase pairs) and rearrangement, as previously observed for genomes of host-associated bacteria. A survey of wild and laboratory B. impatiens revealed that “Ca. Schmidhempelia” is present in 90% of individuals and, therefore, may provide benefits to its host. PMID:24747890

  2. Test of the invasive pathogen hypothesis of bumble bee decline in North America.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Sydney A; Lim, Haw Chuan; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Duennes, Michelle A; Thorp, Robbin

    2016-04-19

    Emergent fungal diseases are critical factors in global biodiversity declines. The fungal pathogenNosema bombiwas recently found to be widespread in declining species of North American bumble bees (Bombus), with circumstantial evidence suggesting an exotic introduction from Europe. This interpretation has been hampered by a lack of knowledge of global genetic variation, geographic origin, and changing prevalence patterns ofN. bombiin declining North American populations. Thus, the temporal and spatial emergence ofN. bombiand its potential role in bumble bee decline remain speculative. We analyzeNosemaprevalence and genetic variation in the United States and Europe from 1980, before an alleged introduction in the early 1990s, to 2011, extractingNosemaDNA fromBombusnatural history collection specimens from across this time period.Nosema bombiprevalence increased significantly from low detectable frequency in the 1980s to significantly higher frequency in the mid- to late-1990s, corresponding to a period of reported massive infectious outbreak ofN. bombiin commercial bumble bee rearing stocks in North America. Despite the increased frequency, we find no conclusive evidence of an exoticN. bombiorigin based on genetic analysis of globalNosemapopulations; the widespreadNosemastrain found currently in declining United States bumble bees was present in the United States before commercial colony trade. Notably, the USN. bombiis not detectably different from that found predominantly throughout Western Europe, with both regions characterized by low genetic diversity compared with high levels of diversity found in Asia, where commercial bee breeding activities are low or nonexistent. PMID:27044096

  3. Chalkbrood disease in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chalkbrood is an invasive mycosis in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) produced by Ascosphaera apis (Maassen ex Claussen) Olive and Spiltoir (Spiltoir, 1955) that exclusively affects bee brood. Although fatal to individual larvae, the disease does not usually destroy an entire bee colony. However, it c...

  4. Bee Line BR-1 Racer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1926-01-01

    Bee Line BR-1 Racer: The Bee Line BR-1 was a racing aircraft used to compete in the 1922 Pulitzer Air Race. The aircraft and its sister ship, the Bee Line BR-2, came to Langley and the NACA in 1926. The BR-1 is shown in the NACA hangar at Langley Field in early 1926.

  5. Honey Bees, Satellites and Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esaias, W.

    2008-05-01

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

  6. Flight control and landing precision in the nocturnal bee Megalopta is robust to large changes in light intensity.

    PubMed

    Baird, Emily; Fernandez, Diana C; Wcislo, William T; Warrant, Eric J

    2015-01-01

    Like their diurnal relatives, Megalopta genalis use visual information to control flight. Unlike their diurnal relatives, however, they do this at extremely low light intensities. Although Megalopta has developed optical specializations to increase visual sensitivity, theoretical studies suggest that this enhanced sensitivity does not enable them to capture enough light to use visual information to reliably control flight in the rainforest at night. It has been proposed that Megalopta gain extra sensitivity by summing visual information over time. While enhancing the reliability of vision, this strategy would decrease the accuracy with which they can detect image motion-a crucial cue for flight control. Here, we test this temporal summation hypothesis by investigating how Megalopta's flight control and landing precision is affected by light intensity and compare our findings with the results of similar experiments performed on the diurnal bumblebee Bombus terrestris, to explore the extent to which Megalopta's adaptations to dim light affect their precision. We find that, unlike Bombus, light intensity does not affect flight and landing precision in Megalopta. Overall, we find little evidence that Megalopta uses a temporal summation strategy in dim light, while we find strong support for the use of this strategy in Bombus. PMID:26578977

  7. Flight control and landing precision in the nocturnal bee Megalopta is robust to large changes in light intensity

    PubMed Central

    Baird, Emily; Fernandez, Diana C.; Wcislo, William T.; Warrant, Eric J.

    2015-01-01

    Like their diurnal relatives, Megalopta genalis use visual information to control flight. Unlike their diurnal relatives, however, they do this at extremely low light intensities. Although Megalopta has developed optical specializations to increase visual sensitivity, theoretical studies suggest that this enhanced sensitivity does not enable them to capture enough light to use visual information to reliably control flight in the rainforest at night. It has been proposed that Megalopta gain extra sensitivity by summing visual information over time. While enhancing the reliability of vision, this strategy would decrease the accuracy with which they can detect image motion—a crucial cue for flight control. Here, we test this temporal summation hypothesis by investigating how Megalopta's flight control and landing precision is affected by light intensity and compare our findings with the results of similar experiments performed on the diurnal bumblebee Bombus terrestris, to explore the extent to which Megalopta's adaptations to dim light affect their precision. We find that, unlike Bombus, light intensity does not affect flight and landing precision in Megalopta. Overall, we find little evidence that Megalopta uses a temporal summation strategy in dim light, while we find strong support for the use of this strategy in Bombus. PMID:26578977

  8. Identification of Candidate Agents Active against N. ceranae Infection in Honey Bees: Establishment of a Medium Throughput Screening Assay Based on N. ceranae Infected Cultured Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

    Many flowering plants in both natural ecosytems and agriculture are dependent on insect pollination for fruit set and seed production. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera) and wild bees are key pollinators providing this indispensable eco- and agrosystem service. Like all other organisms, bees are attacked by numerous pathogens and parasites. Nosema apis is a honey bee pathogenic microsporidium which is widely distributed in honey bee populations without causing much harm. Its congener Nosema ceranae was originally described as pathogen of the Eastern honey bee (Apis cerana) but jumped host from A. cerana to A. mellifera about 20 years ago and spilled over from A. mellifera to Bombus spp. quite recently. N. ceranae is now considered a deadly emerging parasite of both Western honey bees and bumblebees. Hence, novel and sustainable treatment strategies against N. ceranae are urgently needed to protect honey and wild bees. We here present the development of an in vitro medium throughput screening assay for the identification of candidate agents active against N. ceranae infections. This novel assay is based on our recently developed cell culture model for N. ceranae and coupled with an RT-PCR-ELISA protocol for quantification of N. ceranae in infected cells. The assay has been adapted to the 96-well microplate format to allow automated analysis. Several substances with known (fumagillin) or presumed (surfactin) or no (paromomycin) activity against N. ceranae were tested as well as substances for which no data concerning N. ceranae inhibition existed. While fumagillin and two nitroimidazoles (metronidazole, tinidazole) totally inhibited N. ceranae proliferation, all other test substances were inactive. In summary, the assay proved suitable for substance screening and demonstrated the activity of two synthetic antibiotics against N. ceranae. PMID:25658121

  9. Identification of candidate agents active against N. ceranae infection in honey bees: establishment of a medium throughput screening assay based on N. ceranae infected cultured cells.

    PubMed

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

    Many flowering plants in both natural ecosytems and agriculture are dependent on insect pollination for fruit set and seed production. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera) and wild bees are key pollinators providing this indispensable eco- and agrosystem service. Like all other organisms, bees are attacked by numerous pathogens and parasites. Nosema apis is a honey bee pathogenic microsporidium which is widely distributed in honey bee populations without causing much harm. Its congener Nosema ceranae was originally described as pathogen of the Eastern honey bee (Apis cerana) but jumped host from A. cerana to A. mellifera about 20 years ago and spilled over from A. mellifera to Bombus spp. quite recently. N. ceranae is now considered a deadly emerging parasite of both Western honey bees and bumblebees. Hence, novel and sustainable treatment strategies against N. ceranae are urgently needed to protect honey and wild bees. We here present the development of an in vitro medium throughput screening assay for the identification of candidate agents active against N. ceranae infections. This novel assay is based on our recently developed cell culture model for N. ceranae and coupled with an RT-PCR-ELISA protocol for quantification of N. ceranae in infected cells. The assay has been adapted to the 96-well microplate format to allow automated analysis. Several substances with known (fumagillin) or presumed (surfactin) or no (paromomycin) activity against N. ceranae were tested as well as substances for which no data concerning N. ceranae inhibition existed. While fumagillin and two nitroimidazoles (metronidazole, tinidazole) totally inhibited N. ceranae proliferation, all other test substances were inactive. In summary, the assay proved suitable for substance screening and demonstrated the activity of two synthetic antibiotics against N. ceranae. PMID:25658121

  10. Bee Pollination in Agricultural Eco-Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For many agricultural crops, bees play a vital role as pollinators, and this book discusses the interplay between bees, agriculture and the environment. Although honey bees are well recognized as pollinators, managed bumble bees and solitary bees are also critical for the successful pollination of c...

  11. The complete nucleotide sequence and gene organization of the mitochondrial genome of the bumblebee, Bombus ignitus (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Cha, So Young; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Lee, Eun Mee; Yoon, Myung Hee; Hwang, Jae Sam; Jin, Byung Rae; Han, Yeon Soo; Kim, Iksoo

    2007-05-01

    The complete 16,434-bp nucleotide sequence of the mitogenome of the bumble bee, Bombus ignitus (Hymenoptera: Apidae), was determined. The genome contains the base composition and codon usage typical of metazoan mitogenomes. An unusual feature of the B. ignitus mitogenome is the presence of five tRNA-like structures: two each of the tRNALeu(UUR)-like and tRNASer(AGN)-like sequences and one tRNAPhe-like sequence. These tRNA-like sequences have proper folding structures and anticodon sequences, but their functionality in their respective amino acid transfers remained uncertain. Among these sequences, the tRNALeu(UUR)-like sequence and the tRNASer(AGN)-like sequence are seemingly located within the A+T-rich region. This tRNASer(AGN)-like sequence is highly unusual in that its sequence homology is very high compared to the tRNAMet of other insects, including Apis mellifera, but it contains the anticodon ACT, which designates it as tRNASer(AGN). All PCG and rRNAs are conserved in positions observed most frequently in insect mitogenome structures, but the positions of the tRNAs are highly variable, presenting a new arrangement for an insect mitogenome. As a whole, the B. ignitus mitogenome contains the highest A+T content (86.9%) found in any of the complete insects mt sequences determined to date. All protein-coding sequences started with a typical ATN codon. Nine of the 13 PCGs have a complete termination codon (all TAA), but the remaining four genes terminate with the incomplete TA or T. All tRNAs have the typical clover-leaf structures of mt tRNAs, except for tRNASer(AGN), in which the DHU arm forms a simple loop. All anticodons of B. ignitus tRNAs are identical to those of A. mellifera. In the A+T-rich region, a highly conserved sequence block that was previously described in Orthoptera and Diptera was also present. The stem-and-loop structures that may play a role in the initiation of mtDNA replication were also found in this region. Phylogenetic analysis among

  12. Bee a Reader.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Holly, Ed.; Marmolejo, Jill, Ed.

    This publication is a tutor's guide to teaching basic literacy using The Fresno Bee, a California newspaper, as the primary "textbook." The course is aimed at English-speaking adults and is designed to teach reading in an interesting and entertaining way that promotes self-motivated study, both in the classroom and at home. The guide is divided…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Several viruses found in the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) have recently been detected in other bee species, raising the possibility of spill-over from managed to wild bee species. Alternatively, these viruses may be shared generalists across flower-visiting insects. Here we explore the former hypothesis, pointing out weaknesses in the current evidence, particularly in relation to deformed wing virus (DWV), and highlighting research areas that may help test it. Data so far suggest that DWV spills over from managed to wild bee species and has the potential to cause population decline. That DWV and other viruses of A. mellifera are found in other bee species needs to be considered for the sustainable management of bee populations. PMID:27351468

  14. TERRESTRIAL ECOTOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Terrestrial ecotoxicology is the study of how environmental pollutants affect land-dependent organisms and their environment. It requires three elements: (1) a source, (2) a receptor, and (3) an exposure pathway. This article reviews the basic principles of each of each element...

  15. Determination of Flower Constancy in Bombus atratus Franklin and Bombus bellicosus Smith (Hymenoptera: Apidae) through Palynological Analysis of Nectar and Corbicular Pollen Loads.

    PubMed

    Rossi, N; Santos, E; Salvarrey, S; Arbulo, N; Invernizzi, C

    2015-12-01

    The flower constancy (the visit to a single plant species during a foraging trip) in pollinator insects is a theme widely discussed in behavioral ecology and has an important implication in the evolution of angiosperms. This behavior was studied in the bumblebees Bombus atratus Franklin and Bombus bellicosus Smith through palynological analysis of the nectar and pollen loads of individuals captured while foraging in a restricted area. In both species, there were more individuals with constant flights than with non-constant ones, although in the nectar loads of B. atratus there were no significant differences between individuals with each flight types. It was verified that the nectar loads of the individuals that made either constant or non-constant flights did not differ in the number of pollen grains they contained. Considering this measurement as an estimate for flight duration, the results would indicate that the probability of changing between plant species during nectar collection is independent of the foraging trip duration. In both species, most individuals who collected nectar and/or pollen from more than one plant species visited just two plant species. In these cases, the pollen of one plant species was predominant. In the bumblebees in which it was possible to analyze nectar and pollen loads, the botanical origin of both resources was the same or they shared the principal species (with the exception of two individuals), showing that bumblebees do not often use a botanical source in an exclusive way to collect nectar and another to collect pollen. PMID:26283191

  16. Plasticity of the worker bumble bee brain in relation to age and rearing environment

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Beryl M.; Leonard, Anne S.; Papaj, Daniel R.; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2014-01-01

    The environment experienced during development can dramatically affect the brain, with possible implications for sensory processing, learning and memory. Although the effects of single sensory modalities on brain development have been repeatedly explored, the additive or interactive effects of multiple modalities have been less thoroughly investigated. We asked how experience with multisensory stimuli affected brain development in the bumble bee, Bombus impatiens. First, to establish the timeline of brain development during early adulthood, we estimated regional brain volumes across a range of ages. We discovered significant age-related volume changes in nearly every region of the brain. Next, to determine whether these changes were dependent upon certain environmental stimuli, we manipulated the visual and olfactory stimuli available to newly emerged bumble bee workers in a factorial manner. Newly emerged bumble bees were maintained in the presence or absence of supplemental visual and/or olfactory stimuli for seven days, after which the volumes of several brain regions were estimated. We found that the volumes of the mushroom body lobes and calyces were larger in the absence of visual stimuli. Additionally, visual deprivation was associated with the expression of larger antennal lobes, the primary olfactory processing regions of the brain. In contrast, exposure to plant-derived olfactory stimuli did not have a significant effect on brain region volumes. This study is the first to explore the separate and interactive effects of visual and olfactory stimuli on bee brain development. Assessing the timing and sensitivity of brain development is a first step toward understanding how different rearing environments differentially affect regional brain volumes in this species. Our findings suggest that environmental factors experienced during the first week of adulthood can modify bumble brain development in many subtle ways. PMID:24281415

  17. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Intelligent Control for the BEES Flyer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krishnakumar, K.; Gundy-Burlet, Karen; Aftosmis, Mike; Nemec, Marian; Limes, Greg; Berry, Misty; Logan, Michael

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes the effort to provide a preliminary capability analysis and a neural network based adaptive flight control system for the JPL-led BEES aircraft project. The BEES flyer was envisioned to be a small, autonomous platform with sensing and control systems mimicking those of biological systems for the purpose of scientific exploration on the surface of Mars. The platform is physically tightly constrained by the necessity of efficient packing within rockets for the trip to Mars. Given the physical constraints, the system is not an ideal configuration for aerodynamics or stability and control. The objectives of this effort are to evaluate the aerodynamics characteristics of the existing design, to make recommendaaons as to potential improvements and to provide a control system that stabilizes the existing aircraft for nominal flight and damaged conditions. Towards this several questions are raised and analyses are presented to arrive at answers to some of the questions raised. CART3D, a high-fidelity inviscid analysis package for conceptual and preliminary aerodynamic design, was used to compute a parametric set of solutions over the expected flight domain. Stability and control derivatives were extracted from the database and integrated with the neural flight control system. The Integrated Vehicle Modeling Environment (IVME) was also used for estimating aircraft geometric, inertial, and aerodynamic characteristics. A generic neural flight control system is used to provide adaptive control without the requirement for extensive gain scheduling or explicit system identification. The neural flight control system uses reference models to specify desired handling qualities in the roll, pitch, and yaw axes, and incorporates both pre-trained and on-line learning neural networks in the inverse model portion of the controller. Results are presented for the BEES aircraft in the subsonic regime for terrestrial and Martian environments.

  19. Bees brought to their knees: Microbes affecting honey bee health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biology and health of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, has been of interest to human societies since the advent of beekeeping. Descriptive scientific research on pathogens affecting honey bees have been published for nearly a century, but it wasn’t until the recent outbreak of heavy colony losses...

  20. Testing Dose-Dependent Effects of the Nectar Alkaloid Anabasine on Trypanosome Parasite Loads in Adult Bumble Bees

    PubMed Central

    Anthony, Winston E.; Palmer-Young, Evan C.; Leonard, Anne S.; Irwin, Rebecca E.; Adler, Lynn S.

    2015-01-01

    The impact of consuming biologically active compounds is often dose-dependent, where small quantities can be medicinal while larger doses are toxic. The consumption of plant secondary compounds can be toxic to herbivores in large doses, but can also improve survival in parasitized herbivores. In addition, recent studies have found that consuming nectar secondary compounds may decrease parasite loads in pollinators. However, the effect of compound dose on bee survival and parasite loads has not been assessed. To determine how secondary compound consumption affects survival and pathogen load in Bombus impatiens, we manipulated the presence of a common gut parasite, Crithidia bombi, and dietary concentration of anabasine, a nectar alkaloid produced by Nicotiana spp. using four concentrations naturally observed in floral nectar. We hypothesized that increased consumption of secondary compounds at concentrations found in nature would decrease survival of uninfected bees, but improve survival and ameliorate parasite loads in infected bees. We found medicinal effects of anabasine in infected bees; the high-anabasine diet decreased parasite loads and increased the probability of clearing the infection entirely. However, survival time was not affected by any level of anabasine concentration, or by interactive effects of anabasine concentration and infection. Crithidia infection reduced survival time by more than two days, but this effect was not significant. Our results support a medicinal role for anabasine at the highest concentration; moreover, we found no evidence for a survival-related cost of anabasine consumption across the concentration range found in nectar. Our results suggest that consuming anabasine at the higher levels of the natural range could reduce or clear pathogen loads without incurring costs for healthy bees. PMID:26545106

  1. Line following terrestrial insect biobots.

    PubMed

    Latif, Tahmid; Bozkurt, Alper

    2012-01-01

    The present day technology falls short in offering centimeter scale mobile robots that can function effectively under unknown and dynamic environmental conditions. Insects, on the other hand, exhibit an unmatched ability to navigate through a wide variety of environments and overcome perturbations by successfully maintaining control and stability. In this study, we use neural stimulation systems to wirelessly navigate cockroaches to follow lines to enable terrestrial insect biobots. We also propose a system-on-chip based ZigBee enabled wireless neurostimulation backpack system with on-board tissue-electrode bioelectrical coupling verification. Such a capability ensures an electrochemically safe stimulation and avoids irreversible damage to the interface which is often misinterpreted as habituation of the insect to the applied stimulation. PMID:23366056

  2. Succession Influences Wild Bees in a Temperate Forest Landscape: The Value of Early Successional Stages in Naturally Regenerated and Planted Forests

    PubMed Central

    Taki, Hisatomo; Okochi, Isamu; Okabe, Kimiko; Inoue, Takenari; Goto, Hideaki; Matsumura, Takeshi; Makino, Shun'ichi

    2013-01-01

    In many temperate terrestrial forest ecosystems, both natural human disturbances drive the reestablishment of forests. Succession in plant communities, in addition to reforestation following the creation of open sites through harvesting or natural disturbances, can affect forest faunal assemblages. Wild bees perform an important ecosystem function in human-altered and natural or seminatural ecosystems, as they are essential pollinators for both crops and wild flowering plants. To maintain high abundance and species richness for pollination services, it is important to conserve and create seminatural and natural land cover with optimal successional stages for wild bees. We examined the effects of forest succession on wild bees. In particular, we evaluated the importance of early successional stages for bees, which has been suspected but not previously demonstrated. A range of successional stages, between 1 and 178 years old, were examined in naturally regenerated and planted forests. In total 4465 wild bee individuals, representing 113 species, were captured. Results for total bees, solitary bees, and cleptoparasitic bees in both naturally regenerated and planted conifer forests indicated a higher abundance and species richness in the early successional stages. However, higher abundance and species richness of social bees in naturally regenerated forest were observed as the successional stages progressed, whereas the abundance of social bees in conifer planted forest showed a concave-shaped relationship when plotted. The results suggest that early successional stages of both naturally regenerated and conifer planted forest maintain a high abundance and species richness of solitary bees and their cleptoparasitic bees, although social bees respond differently in the early successional stages. This may imply that, in some cases, active forest stand management policies, such as the clear-cutting of planted forests for timber production, would create early successional

  3. Genetic toolkits for bee health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beekeepers, inspectors, and researchers have a shared interest in checking bees and hives for clues related to bee health and disease. These checks take many forms, from lifting fall supers prior to feeding decisions to carrying out sticky board or jar tests for estimating varroa populations. Most d...

  4. Honey Bees: Sweetness and Mites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. Hey! A Bee Stung Me!

    MedlinePlus

    ... from flowers. Then they turn the nectar into honey for food. Wasps are closely related to bees, but instead of only feeding on pollen and honey, wasps eat animal food, other insects, or spiders. They are not fuzzy like bees, but seem kind of smooth and shiny, and ...

  6. Safety with Wasps and Bees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hackett, Erla

    This guide is designed to provide elementary school teachers with safe learning activities concerning bees and wasps. The following topics are included: (1) the importance of a positive teacher attitude towards bees and wasps; (2) special problems posed by paper wasps; (3) what to do when a child is bothered by a wasp; (4) what to do if a wasp…

  7. Native bees and plant pollination

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.

    2004-01-01

    Bees are important pollinators, but evidence suggests that numbers of some species are declining. Decreases have been documented in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (which was introduced to North America), but there are no monitoring programs for the vast majority of native species, so we cannot be sure about the extent of this problem. Recent efforts to develop standardized protocols for bee sampling will help us collect the data needed to assess trends in bee populations. Unfortunately, diversity of bee life cycles and phenologies, and the large number of rare species, make it difficult to assess trends in bee faunas. Changes in bee populations can affect plant reproduction, which can influence plant population density and cover, thus potentially modifying horizontal and vertical structure of a community, microclimate near the ground, patterns of nitrogen deposition, etc. These potential effects of changes in pollination patterns have not been assessed in natural communities. Effects of management actions on bees and other pollinators should be considered in conservation planning.

  8. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  9. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  10. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  11. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  12. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  13. The bees of Colorado (Hymenoptra: Apoidea: Anthophila)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Colorado Bee List contains 940 valid extant bee species in 66 genera. Distributional data are presented at the county level for each bee species found within Colorado. The history of bee research in Colorado is reviewed and important contributors are noted. Gaps in our current understanding o...

  14. Bees in Nature and on the Farm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This publication is the introductory chapter for the book, "Bees in Agricultural Ecosystems." The chapter enlightens the reader on the natural history and evolution of bees, why bees are important for pollination, and why plants are important to bees. The intent of the book and a summary of its co...

  15. Past and Present Management of Alfalfa Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This book chapter covers the history of alfalfa pollination by bees. The management of alkali bees, Nomia melanderi, and alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata, is described. Concerns surrounding the current and future use of these bee species as commercial pollinators are discussed....

  16. Polychlorinated biphenyls in honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Morse, R.A.; Culliney, T.W.; Gutenmann, W.H.; Littman, C.B.; Lisk, D.J.

    1987-02-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) may traverse a radius of several miles from their hives and contact innumerable surfaces during their collection of nectar, pollen, propolis and water. In the process, they may become contaminated with surface constituents which are indicative of the type of environmental pollution in their particular foraging area. Honey has also been analyzed as a possible indicator of heavy metal pollution. Insecticides used in the vicinity of bee hives have been found in bees and honey. It has been recently reported that appreciable concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been found in honey bees sampled throughout Connecticut. In the work reported here, an analytical survey was conducted on PCBs in honey bees, honey, propolis and related samples in several states to learn the extent of contamination and possible sources.

  17. Chemical ecology of bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Ayasse, Manfred; Jarau, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Bumble bees are of major importance, ecologically and economically as pollinators in cool and temperate biomes and as model organisms for scientific research. Chemical signals and cues have been shown to play an outstanding role in intraspecific and interspecific communication systems within and outside of a bumble bee colony. In the present review we compile and critically assess the literature on the chemical ecology of bumble bees, including cuckoo bumble bees. The development of new and more sensitive analytical tools and improvements in sociogenetic methods significantly enhanced our knowledge about chemical compounds that mediate the regulation of reproduction in the social phase of colony development, about the interactions between host bumble bees and their social parasites, about pheromones involved in mating behavior, as well as about the importance of signals, cues and context-dependent learning in foraging behavior. Our review intends to stimulate new studies on the many unresolved questions concerning the chemical ecology of these fascinating insects. PMID:24160431

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

    PubMed

    Genersch, Elke

    2010-06-01

    Managed honey bees are the most important commercial pollinators of those crops which depend on animal pollination for reproduction and which account for 35% of the global food production. Hence, they are vital for an economic, sustainable agriculture and for food security. In addition, honey bees also pollinate a variety of wild flowers and, therefore, contribute to the biodiversity of many ecosystems. Honey and other hive products are, at least economically and ecologically rather, by-products of beekeeping. Due to this outstanding role of honey bees, severe and inexplicable honey bee colony losses, which have been reported recently to be steadily increasing, have attracted much attention and stimulated many research activities. Although the phenomenon "decline of honey bees" is far from being finally solved, consensus exists that pests and pathogens are the single most important cause of otherwise inexplicable colony losses. This review will focus on selected bee pathogens and parasites which have been demonstrated to be involved in colony losses in different regions of the world and which, therefore, are considered current threats to honey bees and beekeeping. PMID:20401479

  19. A simple model for pollen-parent fecundity distributions in bee-pollinated forage legume polycrosses.

    PubMed

    Riday, Heathcliffe; Smith, Mark A; Peel, Michael D

    2015-09-01

    A simple Weibull distribution based empirical model that predicts pollen-parent fecundity distributions based on polycross size alone has been developed in outbred forage legume species for incorporation into quantitative genetic theory. Random mating or panmixis is a fundamental assumption in quantitative genetic theory. Random mating is sometimes thought to occur in actual fact, although a large body of empirical work shows that this is often not the case in nature. Models have been developed to explain many non-random mating phenomena. This paper measured pollen-parent fecundity distributions among outbred perennial forage legume species [autotetraploid alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), autohexaploid kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum M. Bieb.), and diploid red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)] in ten polycrosses ranging in size (N) from 9 to 94 pollinated with bee pollinators [Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens Cr.) and leafcutter bees (Megachile rotundata F.)]. A Weibull distribution best fit the observed pollen-parent fecundity distributions. After standardizing data among the 10 polycrosses, a single Weibull distribution-based model was obtained with an R (2) of 0.978. The model is able to predict pollen-parent fecundity distributions based on polycross size alone. The model predicts that the effective polycross size will be approximately 9 % smaller than under random mating (i.e., N e/N ~ 0.91). The model is simple and can easily be incorporated into other models or simulations requiring a pollen-parent fecundity distribution. Further work is needed to determine how widely applicable the model is. PMID:26105686

  20. Potential host shift of the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida Murray) to bumblebee colonies (Bombus impatiens Cresson)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study examined the attractiveness of bumblebee, Bombus impatiens, colonies to small hive beetles, Aethina tumida, and explored potential defence mechanisms that bumblebees could use to repel small hive beetles. Our findings show that small hive beetles do not prefer honeybee, Apis mellifera, c...

  1. Myocardial infarction following bee sting.

    PubMed

    Puvanalingam, A; Karpagam, P; Sundar, C; Venkatesan, S; Ragunanthanan

    2014-08-01

    Bee stings are commonly encountered worldwide. Various manifestations after bee sting have been described. Local reactions are common. Unusually, manifestations like vomiting, diarrhoea, dyspnoea, generalised oedema, acute renal failure, hypotension and collapse may occur. Rarely vasculitis, serum sickness, neuritis and encephalitis have been described which generally develop days to weeks after a sting. Acute coronary syndromes after hymenoptera stings and other environmental exposures are referred to as the Kounis syndrome or allergic myocardial ischaemia and infarction. We report a 60 year old male who developed myocardial infarction after multiple bee stings over his body. PMID:25856951

  2. Extracting the Behaviorally Relevant Stimulus: Unique Neural Representation of Farnesol, a Component of the Recruitment Pheromone of Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Strube-Bloss, Martin F.; Brown, Austin; Spaethe, Johannes; Schmitt, Thomas; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    To trigger innate behavior, sensory neural networks are pre-tuned to extract biologically relevant stimuli. Many male-female or insect-plant interactions depend on this phenomenon. Especially communication among individuals within social groups depends on innate behaviors. One example is the efficient recruitment of nest mates by successful bumblebee foragers. Returning foragers release a recruitment pheromone in the nest while they perform a ‘dance’ behavior to activate unemployed nest mates. A major component of this pheromone is the sesquiterpenoid farnesol. How farnesol is processed and perceived by the olfactory system, has not yet been identified. It is much likely that processing farnesol involves an innate mechanism for the extraction of relevant information to trigger a fast and reliable behavioral response. To test this hypothesis, we used population response analyses of 100 antennal lobe (AL) neurons recorded in alive bumblebee workers under repeated stimulation with four behaviorally different, but chemically related odorants (geraniol, citronellol, citronellal and farnesol). The analysis identified a unique neural representation of the recruitment pheromone component compared to the other odorants that are predominantly emitted by flowers. The farnesol induced population activity in the AL allowed a reliable separation of farnesol from all other chemically related odor stimuli we tested. We conclude that the farnesol induced population activity may reflect a predetermined representation within the AL-neural network allowing efficient and fast extraction of a behaviorally relevant stimulus. Furthermore, the results show that population response analyses of multiple single AL-units may provide a powerful tool to identify distinct representations of behaviorally relevant odors. PMID:26340263

  3. Extracting the Behaviorally Relevant Stimulus: Unique Neural Representation of Farnesol, a Component of the Recruitment Pheromone of Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Strube-Bloss, Martin F; Brown, Austin; Spaethe, Johannes; Schmitt, Thomas; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    To trigger innate behavior, sensory neural networks are pre-tuned to extract biologically relevant stimuli. Many male-female or insect-plant interactions depend on this phenomenon. Especially communication among individuals within social groups depends on innate behaviors. One example is the efficient recruitment of nest mates by successful bumblebee foragers. Returning foragers release a recruitment pheromone in the nest while they perform a 'dance' behavior to activate unemployed nest mates. A major component of this pheromone is the sesquiterpenoid farnesol. How farnesol is processed and perceived by the olfactory system, has not yet been identified. It is much likely that processing farnesol involves an innate mechanism for the extraction of relevant information to trigger a fast and reliable behavioral response. To test this hypothesis, we used population response analyses of 100 antennal lobe (AL) neurons recorded in alive bumblebee workers under repeated stimulation with four behaviorally different, but chemically related odorants (geraniol, citronellol, citronellal and farnesol). The analysis identified a unique neural representation of the recruitment pheromone component compared to the other odorants that are predominantly emitted by flowers. The farnesol induced population activity in the AL allowed a reliable separation of farnesol from all other chemically related odor stimuli we tested. We conclude that the farnesol induced population activity may reflect a predetermined representation within the AL-neural network allowing efficient and fast extraction of a behaviorally relevant stimulus. Furthermore, the results show that population response analyses of multiple single AL-units may provide a powerful tool to identify distinct representations of behaviorally relevant odors. PMID:26340263

  4. Polarimetric applications to identify bee honey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espinosa-Luna, Rafael; Saucedo-Orozco, Izcoatl; Santiago-Lona, Cynthia V.; Franco-Sánchez, Juan M.; Magallanes-Luján, Alejandro

    2011-10-01

    A polarimetric characterization, consisting of the Mueller matrix determination and the measurement of the refractive index, is employed to study bee honey and corn syrup differences. Two samples of commercial marks of bee honey and one sample of commercial mark corn syrup are studied. Results show the corn syrup and one of the bee honey samples have a similar polarimetric behavior, which differs from the second bee honey sample. This behavior can be employed as a simple, qualitative test, to discriminate true bee honey from corn syrup or from adulterated bee honey.s-powe

  5. Seasonal cycles, phylogenetic assembly, and functional diversity of orchid bee communities

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Santiago R; Hernández, Carlos; Link, Andres; López-Uribe, Margarita M

    2015-01-01

    Neotropical rainforests sustain some of the most diverse terrestrial communities on Earth. Euglossine (or orchid) bees are a diverse lineage of insect pollinators distributed throughout the American tropics, where they provide pollination services to a staggering diversity of flowering plant taxa. Elucidating the seasonal patterns of phylogenetic assembly and functional trait diversity of bee communities can shed new light into the mechanisms that govern the assembly of bee pollinator communities and the potential effects of declining bee populations. Male euglossine bees collect, store, and accumulate odoriferous compounds (perfumes) to subsequently use during courtship display. Thus, synthetic chemical baits can be used to attract and monitor euglossine bee populations. We conducted monthly censuses of orchid bees in three sites in the Magdalena valley of Colombia – a region where Central and South American biotas converge – to investigate the structure, diversity, and assembly of euglossine bee communities through time in relation to seasonal climatic cycles. In particular, we tested the hypothesis that phylogenetic community structure and functional trait diversity changed in response to seasonal rainfall fluctuations. All communities exhibited strong to moderate phylogenetic clustering throughout the year, with few pronounced bursts of phylogenetic overdispersion that coincided with the transition from wet-to-dry seasons. Despite the heterogeneous distribution of functional traits (e.g., body size, body mass, and proboscis length) and the observed seasonal fluctuations in phylogenetic diversity, we found that functional trait diversity, evenness, and divergence remained constant during all seasons in all communities. However, similar to the pattern observed with phylogenetic diversity, functional trait richness fluctuated markedly with rainfall in all sites. These results emphasize the importance of considering seasonal fluctuations in community assembly

  6. Cocaine tolerance in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Søvik, Eirik; Cornish, Jennifer L; Barron, Andrew B

    2013-01-01

    Increasingly invertebrates are being used to investigate the molecular and cellular effects of drugs of abuse to explore basic mechanisms of addiction. However, in mammals the principle factors contributing to addiction are long-term adaptive responses to repeated drug use. Here we examined whether adaptive responses to cocaine are also seen in invertebrates using the honey bee model system. Repeated topical treatment with a low dose of cocaine rendered bees resistant to the deleterious motor effects of a higher cocaine dose, indicating the development of physiological tolerance to cocaine in bees. Cocaine inhibits biogenic amine reuptake transporters, but neither acute nor repeated cocaine treatments caused measurable changes in levels of biogenic amines measured in whole bee brains. Our data show clear short and long-term behavioural responses of bees to cocaine administration, but caution that, despite the small size of the bee brain, measures of biogenic amines conducted at the whole-brain level may not reveal neurochemical effects of the drug. PMID:23741423

  7. Effects of varroa mites and bee diseases on pollination efficacy of honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Varroa mites and viral diseases are known to affect the efficiency of crop pollination by honey. This study elucidates effects of varroa mites and bee diseases on the foraging behavior of adult bees and the consequences on successful fruit pollination. Four honey bee colonies of about 4,500 bees eac...

  8. Revisiting comparisons of genetic diversity in stable and declining species: assessing genome-wide polymorphism in North American bumble bees using RAD sequencing.

    PubMed

    Lozier, J D

    2014-02-01

    Genetic variation is of key importance for a species' evolutionary potential, and its estimation is a major component of conservation studies. New DNA sequencing technologies have enabled the analysis of large portions of the genome in nonmodel species, promising highly accurate estimates of such population genetic parameters. Restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) is used to analyse thousands of variants in the bumble bee species Bombus impatiens, which is common, and Bombus pensylvanicus, which is in decline. Previous microsatellite-based analyses have shown that gene diversity is lower in the declining B. pensylvanicus than in B. impatiens. RADseq nucleotide diversities appear much more similar in the two species. Both species exhibit allele frequencies consistent with historical population expansions. Differences in diversity observed at microsatellites thus do not appear to have arisen from long-term differences in population size and are either recent in origin or may result from mutational processes. Additional research is needed to explain these discrepancies and to investigate the best ways to integrate next-generation sequencing data and more traditional molecular markers in studies of genetic diversity. PMID:24351120

  9. Honey Bees Inspired Optimization Method: The Bees Algorithm.

    PubMed

    Yuce, Baris; Packianather, Michael S; Mastrocinque, Ernesto; Pham, Duc Truong; Lambiase, Alfredo

    2013-01-01

    Optimization algorithms are search methods where the goal is to find an optimal solution to a problem, in order to satisfy one or more objective functions, possibly subject to a set of constraints. Studies of social animals and social insects have resulted in a number of computational models of swarm intelligence. Within these swarms their collective behavior is usually very complex. The collective behavior of a swarm of social organisms emerges from the behaviors of the individuals of that swarm. Researchers have developed computational optimization methods based on biology such as Genetic Algorithms, Particle Swarm Optimization, and Ant Colony. The aim of this paper is to describe an optimization algorithm called the Bees Algorithm, inspired from the natural foraging behavior of honey bees, to find the optimal solution. The algorithm performs both an exploitative neighborhood search combined with random explorative search. In this paper, after an explanation of the natural foraging behavior of honey bees, the basic Bees Algorithm and its improved versions are described and are implemented in order to optimize several benchmark functions, and the results are compared with those obtained with different optimization algorithms. The results show that the Bees Algorithm offering some advantage over other optimization methods according to the nature of the problem. PMID:26462528

  10. Pollution monitoring using bees: a new service provided by honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Bromenshenk, J.J.; Thomas, J.M.; Simpson, J.C.; Bishop, M.

    1983-10-01

    The objectives are to provide a tool for assessing pollutant distributions and the effects of pollutants on living systems. The potential of bees as pollution monitors was studied by examining bees exposed to toxic metals near a smelter in Montana and bees in the area surrounding a hazardous waste disposal site near Puget Sound, Washington. Levels of toxic metals in the bees and brood survival were examined. It was concluded bees were, indeed, suitable indicators of pollution levels. (ACR)

  11. Visual choice behavior by bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) confirms unsupervised neural network's predictions.

    PubMed

    Orbán, Levente L; Plowright, Catherine M S; Chartier, Sylvain; Thompson, Emma; Xu, Vicki

    2015-08-01

    The behavioral experiment herein tests the computational load hypothesis generated by an unsupervised neural network to examine bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) behavior at 2 visual properties: spatial frequency and symmetry. Untrained "flower-naïve" bumblebees were hypothesized to prefer symmetry only when the spatial frequency of artificial flowers is high and therefore places great information-processing demands on the bumblebees' visual system. Bumblebee choice behavior was recorded using high-definition motion-sensitive camcorders. The results support the computational model's prediction: 1-axis symmetry influenced bumblebees' preference behavior at low and high spatial frequency patterns. Additionally, increasing the level of symmetry from 1 axis to 4 axes amplified preference toward the symmetric patterns of both low and high spatial frequency patterns. The results are discussed in the context of the artificial neural network model and other hypotheses generated from the behavioral literature. PMID:25984936

  12. Workers dominate male production in the neotropical bumblebee Bombus wilmattae (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Cooperation and conflict in social insects are closely linked to the genetic structure of the colony. Kin selection theory predicts conflict over the production of males between the workers and the queen and between the workers themselves, depending on intra-colonial relatedness but also on other factors like colony efficiency, sex ratios, cost of worker reproduction and worker dominance behaviour. In most bumblebee (Bombus) species the queen wins this conflict and often dominates male production. However, most studies in bumblebees have been conducted with only a few selected, mostly single mated species from temperate climate regions. Here we study the genetic colony composition of the facultative polyandrous neotropical bumblebee Bombus wilmattae, to assess the outcome of the queen-worker conflict over male production and to detect potential worker policing. Results A total of 120 males from five colonies were genotyped with up to nine microsatellite markers to infer their parentage. Four of the five colonies were queen right at point of time of male sampling, while one had an uncertain queen status. The workers clearly dominated production of males with an average of 84.9% +/- 14.3% of males being worker sons. In the two doubly mated colonies 62.5% and 96.7% of the male offspring originated from workers and both patrilines participated in male production. Inferring the mother genotypes from the male offspring, between four to eight workers participated in the production of males. Conclusions In this study we show that the workers clearly win the queen-worker conflict over male production in B. wilmattae, which sets them apart from the temperate bumblebee species studied so far. Workers clearly dominated male production in the singly as well the doubly mated colonies, with up to eight workers producing male offspring in a single colony. Moreover no monopolization of reproduction by single workers occurred. PMID:21651814

  13. Hologenome theory and the honey bee pathosphere

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent research shows substantial genomic diversity among the parasites and pathogens honey bees encounter, a robust microbiota living within bees, and a genome-level view of relationships across global honey bee races. Different combinations of these genomic complexes may explain regional variatio...

  14. Global Status of Honey Bee Mites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Parasitic bee mites have become a major problem to both beekeepers and honey bees. This chapter updates the latest information we have on the three mite species, Acarapis (tracheal), Varroa and Tropilaelaps that are currently a threat to honey bees. It also updates the current information on the ...

  15. A Review of Bee Virology Progress

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees play a vital role in global food production and sustainable ecological systems. However, honey bee colony losses at the rate of 20%-30% per year in recent years have been devastating to the agricultural industry and ecosystem that rely on honey bees for pollination. Among biotic and abiot...

  16. Antioxidant Activity of Sonoran Desert Bee Pollen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bee products have been consumed by mankind since antiquity and their health benefits are becoming more apparent. Bee pollen (pollen collected by honey bees) was collected in the high intensity ultraviolet (UV) Sonoran desert and was analyzed by the anti-2,2-diphenyl-1-picryhydrazyl (DPPH) assay and...

  17. Preventing bee mortality with RNA interference

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We present a real world example of the successful use of an RNAi product for disease control. RNAi increased bee health in the presence of the bee viral pathogen, IAPV. The importance of honey bees to the world economy far surpasses their contribution in terms of honey production; they are responsib...

  18. Do Honey Bees Increase Sunflower See Yields?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ten self-fertile commercial sunflowers cultivars were evaluated for seed set with and without exposure to bees. In the first planting, the number of foraging honey bees was smaller than in the second, and seed set for most cultivars did not differ between those excluding bees and ones that were ope...

  19. Ambient air concentration of sulfur dioxide affects flight activity in bees

    SciTech Connect

    Ginevan, M.E.; Lane, D.D.; Greenberg, L.

    1980-10-01

    Three long-term (16 to 29 days) low-level (0.14 to 0.28 ppM) sulfur dioxide fumigations showed that exposure tothis gas has deleterious effects on male sweat bees (Lasioglossum zephrum). Although effects on mortality were equivocal, flight activity was definitely reduced. Because flight is necessary for successful mating behavior, the results suggest that sulfur dioxide air pollution could adversely affect this and doubtless other terrestrial insects.

  20. Structural studies of bee melittin

    SciTech Connect

    Eisenberg, D.; Terwilliger, T.C.; Tsui, F.

    1980-10-01

    The question of how proteins refold in passing from an aqueous phase to an amphipathic environment such as a membrane is beig addressed by a structural study of bee melittin. Melittin is the toxic, main protein of bee venom, and has been shown by others to integrate into natural and synthetic membranes and to lyse a variety of cells. This function is presumably related to its unusual sequence. Except for charges at the N-terminus and at lysine 7, the first 20 residues are largely apolar. In contrast, the last six residues contain four charges and two polar residues.

  1. The plight of the bees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spivak, M.; Mader, E.; Vaughan, M.; Euliss, N.H.

    2011-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity is a trend that is garnering much concern. As organisms have evolved mutualistic and synergistic relationships, the loss of one or a few species can have a much wider environmental impact. Since much pollination is facilitated by bees, the reported colony collapse disorder has many worried of widespread agricultural fallout and thus deleterious impact on human foodstocks. In this Feature, Spivak et al. review what is known of the present state of bee populations and provide information on how to mitigate and reverse the trend. ?? 2010 American Chemical Society.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Rising atmospheric CO2 is reducing the protein concentration of a floral pollen source essential for North American bees.

    PubMed

    Ziska, Lewis H; Pettis, Jeffery S; Edwards, Joan; Hancock, Jillian E; Tomecek, Martha B; Clark, Andrew; Dukes, Jeffrey S; Loladze, Irakli; Polley, H Wayne

    2016-04-13

    At present, there is substantive evidence that the nutritional content of agriculturally important food crops will decrease in response to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, Ca However, whether Ca-induced declines in nutritional quality are also occurring for pollinator food sources is unknown. Flowering late in the season, goldenrod (Solidago spp.) pollen is a widely available autumnal food source commonly acknowledged by apiarists to be essential to native bee (e.g. Bombus spp.) and honeybee (Apis mellifera) health and winter survival. Using floral collections obtained from the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, we quantified Ca-induced temporal changes in pollen protein concentration of Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), the most wide spread Solidago taxon, from hundreds of samples collected throughout the USA and southern Canada over the period 1842-2014 (i.e. a Ca from approx. 280 to 398 ppm). In addition, we conducted a 2 year in situtrial of S. Canadensis populations grown along a continuous Ca gradient from approximately 280 to 500 ppm. The historical data indicated a strong significant correlation between recent increases in Ca and reductions in pollen protein concentration (r(2)= 0.81). Experimental data confirmed this decrease in pollen protein concentration, and indicated that it would be ongoing as Ca continues to rise in the near term, i.e. to 500 ppm (r(2)= 0.88). While additional data are needed to quantify the subsequent effects of reduced protein concentration for Canada goldenrod on bee health and population stability, these results are the first to indicate that increasing Ca can reduce protein content of a floral pollen source widely used by North American bees. PMID:27075256

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. Conditional discrimination and response chains by worker bumblebees (Bombus impatiens Cresson, Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Mirwan, Hamida B; Kevan, Peter G

    2015-09-01

    We trained worker bumblebees to discriminate arrays of artificial nectaries (one, two, and three microcentrifuge tubes inserted into artificial flowers) from which they could forage in association with their location in a three-compartmental maze. Additionally, we challenged bees to learn to accomplish three different tasks in a fixed sequence during foraging. To enter the main three-compartmented foraging arena, they had first to slide open doors in an entry box to be able to proceed to an artificial flower patch in the main arena where they had to lift covers to the artificial nectaries from which they then fed. Then, the bees had to return to the entrance way to their hive, but to actually enter, were challenged to rotate a vertically oriented disc to expose the entry hole. The bees were adept at associating the array of nectaries with their position in the compartmental maze (one nectary in compartment one, two in two, and three in three), taking about six trials to arrive at almost error-free foraging. Over all it took the bees three days of shaping to become more or less error free at the multi-step suite of sequential task performances. Thus, they had learned where they were in the chain sequence, which array and in which compartment was rewarding, how to get to the rewarding array in the appropriate compartment, and finally how to return as directly as possible to their hive entrance, open the entrance, and re-enter the hive. Our experiments were not designed to determine the specific nature of the cues the bees used, but our results strongly suggest that the tested bees developed a sense of subgoals that needed to be achieved by recognizing the array of elements in a pattern and possibly chain learning in order to achieve the ultimate goal of successfully foraging and returning to their colony. Our results also indicate that the bees had organized their learning by a hierarchy as evidenced by their proceeding to completion of the ultimate goal without

  6. Ants, Wasps, and Bees (Hymenoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stinging wasps, bees, and ants are a problem for farm workers, particularly at harvest when these insects are attracted to ripe fruits. Researchers at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, WA, together with personnel at Oral Roberts University compiled available information o...

  7. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Pollination value of male bees: The specialist bee Peponapis pruinosa (Apidae) at summer squash (Cucurbita pepo)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Males can comprise a substantial fraction of the bees that visit flowers, particularly at floral hosts of those bee species that are taxonomic floral specialists for pollen. Despite their prevalence in a number of pollination guilds, contributions of male bees to host pollination have been largely ...

  10. The spatial frequency tuning of optic-flow-dependent behaviors in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Dyhr, Jonathan P.; Higgins, Charles M.

    2010-01-01

    Insects use visual estimates of flight speed for a variety of behaviors, including visual navigation, odometry, grazing landings and flight speed control, but the neuronal mechanisms underlying speed detection remain unknown. Although many models and theories have been proposed for how the brain extracts the angular speed of the retinal image, termed optic flow, we lack the detailed electrophysiological and behavioral data necessary to conclusively support any one model. One key property by which different models of motion detection can be differentiated is their spatiotemporal frequency tuning. Numerous studies have suggested that optic-flow-dependent behaviors are largely insensitive to the spatial frequency of a visual stimulus, but they have sampled only a narrow range of spatial frequencies, have not always used narrowband stimuli, and have yielded slightly different results between studies based on the behaviors being investigated. In this study, we present a detailed analysis of the spatial frequency dependence of the centering response in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens using sinusoidal and square wave patterns. PMID:20435814

  11. Expression profile of the sex determination gene doublesex in a gynandromorph of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus.

    PubMed

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Matsuo, Koshiro; Kubo, Ryohei; Sasaki, Tetsuhiko; Ono, Masato

    2016-04-01

    Gynandromorphy that has both male and female features is known in many insect orders, including Hymenoptera. In most cases, however, only external morphology and behavioral aspects have been studied. We found a gynandromorph of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus, that showed almost bilateral distribution of external sexual traits, with male characters observed on the left side and female characters on the right side. This individual never exhibited sexual behavior toward new queens. The dissection of the head part showed that it had bilaterally dimorphic labial glands, only the left of which was well developed and synthesized male-specific pheromone components. In contrast, the gynandromorph possessed an ovipositor and a pair of ovaries in the abdominal part, suggesting that it had a uniformly female reproductive system. Furthermore, we characterized several internal organs of the gynandromorph by a molecular biological approach. The expression analyses of a sex determination gene, doublesex, in the brain, the fat bodies, the hindgut, and the ovaries of the gynandromorph revealed a male-type expression pattern exclusively in the left brain hemisphere and consistent female-type expression in other tissues. These findings clearly indicate the sexual discordance between external traits and internal organs in the gynandromorph. The results of genetic analyses using microsatellite markers suggested that this individual consisted of both genetically male- and female-type tissues. PMID:26868001

  12. Expression profile of the sex determination gene doublesex in a gynandromorph of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Matsuo, Koshiro; Kubo, Ryohei; Sasaki, Tetsuhiko; Ono, Masato

    2016-04-01

    Gynandromorphy that has both male and female features is known in many insect orders, including Hymenoptera. In most cases, however, only external morphology and behavioral aspects have been studied. We found a gynandromorph of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus, that showed almost bilateral distribution of external sexual traits, with male characters observed on the left side and female characters on the right side. This individual never exhibited sexual behavior toward new queens. The dissection of the head part showed that it had bilaterally dimorphic labial glands, only the left of which was well developed and synthesized male-specific pheromone components. In contrast, the gynandromorph possessed an ovipositor and a pair of ovaries in the abdominal part, suggesting that it had a uniformly female reproductive system. Furthermore, we characterized several internal organs of the gynandromorph by a molecular biological approach. The expression analyses of a sex determination gene, doublesex, in the brain, the fat bodies, the hindgut, and the ovaries of the gynandromorph revealed a male-type expression pattern exclusively in the left brain hemisphere and consistent female-type expression in other tissues. These findings clearly indicate the sexual discordance between external traits and internal organs in the gynandromorph. The results of genetic analyses using microsatellite markers suggested that this individual consisted of both genetically male- and female-type tissues.

  13. Honey Bee Hemocyte Profiling by Flow Cytometry

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Multiple stress factors in honey bees are causing loss of bee colonies worldwide. Several infectious agents of bees are believed to contribute to this problem. The mechanisms of honey bee immunity are not completely understood, in part due to limited information about the types and abundances of hemocytes that help bees resist disease. Our study utilized flow cytometry and microscopy to examine populations of hemolymph particulates in honey bees. We found bee hemolymph includes permeabilized cells, plasmatocytes, and acellular objects that resemble microparticles, listed in order of increasing abundance. The permeabilized cells and plasmatocytes showed unexpected differences with respect to properties of the plasma membrane and labeling with annexin V. Both permeabilized cells and plasmatocytes failed to show measurable mitochondrial membrane potential by flow cytometry using the JC-1 probe. Our results suggest hemolymph particulate populations are dynamic, revealing significant differences when comparing individual hive members, and when comparing colonies exposed to diverse conditions. Shifts in hemocyte populations in bees likely represent changing conditions or metabolic differences of colony members. A better understanding of hemocyte profiles may provide insight into physiological responses of honey bees to stress factors, some of which may be related to colony failure. PMID:25285798

  14. Solar/terrestrial physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov-Kholodnyi, G. S.; Lotova, N. A.; Obridko, V. N.; Fel'Dshtein, Ia. I.; Fomichev, V. V.

    The history of the development of solar/terrestrial physics research at IZMIRAN (the Soviet Institute for the Study of Terrestrial Magnetism, the Ionosphere, and the Propagation of Radio Waves) is reviewed, and the activity of the Institute in organizing international solar/terrestrial physics research is examined. Particular attention is given to investigations of solar corpuscular radiation and its effect on the ionosphere; and to studies of auroras and the interplanetary medium.

  15. Salt preferences of honey bee water foragers.

    PubMed

    Lau, Pierre W; Nieh, James C

    2016-03-01

    The importance of dietary salt may explain why bees are often observed collecting brackish water, a habit that may expose them to harmful xenobiotics. However, the individual salt preferences of water-collecting bees were not known. We measured the proboscis extension reflex (PER) response of Apis mellifera water foragers to 0-10% w/w solutions of Na, Mg and K, ions that provide essential nutrients. We also tested phosphate, which can deter foraging. Bees exhibited significant preferences, with the most PER responses for 1.5-3% Na and 1.5% Mg. However, K and phosphate were largely aversive and elicited PER responses only for the lowest concentrations, suggesting a way to deter bees from visiting contaminated water. We then analyzed the salt content of water sources that bees collected in urban and semi-urban environments. Bees collected water with a wide range of salt concentrations, but most collected water sources had relatively low salt concentrations, with the exception of seawater and swimming pools, which had >0.6% Na. The high levels of PER responsiveness elicited by 1.5-3% Na may explain why bees are willing to collect such salty water. Interestingly, bees exhibited high individual variation in salt preferences: individual identity accounted for 32% of variation in PER responses. Salt specialization may therefore occur in water foragers. PMID:26823100

  16. The Plight of the Honey Bee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hockridge, Emma

    2010-01-01

    The decline of colonies of honey bees across the world is threatening local plant biodiversity and human food supplies. Neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated as a major cause of the problem and are banned or suspended in several countries. Other factors could also be lowering the resistance of bees to opportunist infections by, for…

  17. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World’s most important centers...

  18. Cell culture techniques in honey bee research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Biological effects of ultraviolet irradiation on bees

    SciTech Connect

    Es`kov, E.K.

    1995-09-01

    The influence of natural solar and artificial ultraviolet irradiation on developing bees was studied. Lethal exposures to irradiation at different stages of development were determined. The influence of irradiation on the variability of the morphometric features of bees was revealed. 5 refs., 1 fig.

  20. Pathogen webs in collapsing honey bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent losses in honey bee colonies are unusual in their severity, geographical distribution, and, in some cases, failure to present recognized symptoms of known disease. Domesticated honey bees face numerous pests and pathogens, tempting hypotheses that colony collapses arise from exposure to new o...

  1. The problem of disease when domesticating bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When disease strikes a hive of bees, it can devastate the colony and spread to the entire beekeeping operation. All bees are susceptible to diseases, and when they are domesticated, their population densities increase to suit human needs, making them more susceptible. Most attempts at disease contro...

  2. Meeting wild bees' needs on rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Some arid rangeland regions, notably those with warm dry climates of the temperate zones, host great diversities of native bees, primarily non-social species among which are many floral specialists. Rangeland bee faunas are threatened indirectly by invasive exotic weeds wherever these displace nat...

  3. Physiology and biochemistry of honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. Bees diversified in the age of eudicots

    PubMed Central

    Cardinal, Sophie; Danforth, Bryan N.

    2013-01-01

    Reliable estimates on the ages of the major bee clades are needed to further understand the evolutionary history of bees and their close association with flowering plants. Divergence times have been estimated for a few groups of bees, but no study has yet provided estimates for all major bee lineages. To date the origin of bees and their major clades, we first perform a phylogenetic analysis of bees including representatives from every extant family, subfamily and almost all tribes, using sequence data from seven genes. We then use this phylogeny to place 14 time calibration points based on information from the fossil record for an uncorrelated relaxed clock divergence time analysis taking into account uncertainties in phylogenetic relationships and the fossil record. We explore the effect of placing a hard upper age bound near the root of the tree and the effect of different topologies on our divergence time estimates. We estimate that crown bees originated approximately 123 Ma (million years ago) (113–132 Ma), concurrently with the origin or diversification of the eudicots, a group comprising 75 per cent of angiosperm species. All of the major bee clades are estimated to have originated during the Middle to Late Cretaceous, which is when angiosperms became the dominant group of land plants. PMID:23363629

  5. TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM SIMULATOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Terrestrial Habitats Project at the Western Ecology Division (Corvallis, OR) is developing tools and databases to meet the needs of Program Office clients for assessing risks to wildlife and terrestrial ecosystems. Because habitat is a dynamic condition in real-world environm...

  6. Terrestrial Planets: Comparative Planetology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    Papers were presented at the 47th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting on the Comparative planetology of Terrestrial Planets. Subject matter explored concerning terrestrial planets includes: interrelationships among planets; plaentary evolution; planetary structure; planetary composition; planetary Atmospheres; noble gases in meteorites; and planetary magnetic fields.

  7. Bee Ranges and Almond Orchard Locations: Contemporary Visualization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When trapping pollen from almonds, a site map showing the location of bee hives and their flight range provided information on where the bees were flying and from what type of terrain the bees were collecting forage. We used this information to determine where bees might be flying to collect food s...

  8. Assessing grooming behavior of Russian honey bees toward Varroa destructor.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The grooming behavior of Russian bees was compared to Italian bees. Overall, Russian bees had significantly lower numbers of mites than the Italian bees with a mean of 1,937 ± 366 and 5,088 ± 733 mites, respectively. This low mite population in the Russian colonies was probably due to the increased ...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Diseases and other stress factors working synergistically weaken honey bee health and may play a major role in the losses of bee populations in recent years. Among a large number of bee diseases, chalkbrood has been on the rise. We present here the experimental identification of honey bee genes that...

  10. Allee effects and colony collapse disorder in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. Effects of long distance transportation on honey bee physiology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Despite the requirement of long distance transportation of honey bees used for pollination, we understand little how transportation affects honey bees. Three trials were conducted to study the effects of long distance transportation on honey bee physiology. Newly emerged bees from one colony were sp...

  12. HONEY BEES AT YOUR SWIMMING POOL: NOT A GOOD MIX

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In order to keep bees from becoming a nuisance around residential areas, certain steps must be taken by homeowners. Bees will forage any open water source. Making the water unpalatable, by adding soap or vinegar, will reduce bee visitation. In addition, eliminating bees as they forage on water ou...

  13. Hot spots in the bee hive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bujok, Brigitte; Kleinhenz, Marco; Fuchs, Stefan; Tautz, Jürgen

    2002-06-01

    Honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera) maintain temperatures of 35-36°C in their brood nest because the brood needs high and constant temperature conditions for optimal development. We show that incubation of the brood at the level of individual honeybees is done by worker bees performing a particular and not yet specified behaviour: such bees raise the brood temperature by pressing their warm thoraces firmly onto caps under which the pupae develop. The bees stay motionless in a characteristic posture and have significantly higher thoracic temperatures than bees not assuming this posture in the brood area. The surface of the brood caps against which warm bees had pressed their thorax were up to 3.2°C warmer than the surrounding area, confirming that effective thermal transfer had taken place.

  14. Antiviral Defense Mechanisms in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World's most important centers of apiculture, harboring five subspecies of Apis mellifera L., approximately 20% of the honey bee subspecies in the world. We use deep ILLUMINA-based RNA sequencing to capture RNA species for the honey bee and a sampling of all non-endogenous species carried by bees. After trimming and mapping these reads to the honey bee genome, approximately 10% of the sequences (9–10 million reads per library) remained. These were then mapped to a curated set of public sequences containing ca. Sixty megabase-pairs of sequence representing known microbial species associated with honey bees. Levels of key honey bee pathogens were confirmed using quantitative PCR screens. We contrast microbial matches across different sites in Turkey, showing new country recordings of Lake Sinai virus, two Spiroplasma bacterium species, symbionts Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi, Frischella perrara, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, Lactobacillus spp.), neogregarines, and a trypanosome species. By using metagenomic analysis, this study also reveals deep molecular evidence for the presence of bacterial pathogens (Melissococcus plutonius, Paenibacillus larvae), Varroa destructor-1 virus, Sacbrood virus, and fungi. Despite this effort we did not detect KBV, SBPV, Tobacco ringspot virus, VdMLV (Varroa Macula like virus), Acarapis spp., Tropilaeleps spp. and Apocephalus (phorid fly). We discuss possible impacts of management practices and honey bee subspecies on microbial retinues. The described workflow and curated microbial database will be generally useful for microbial surveys of healthy and declining honey bees. PMID:25852743

  16. Genetic stock identification of Russian honey bees.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

    A genetic stock certification assay was developed to distinguish Russian honey bees from other European (Apis mellifera L.) stocks that are commercially produced in the United States. In total, 11 microsatellite and five single-nucleotide polymorphism loci were used. Loci were selected for relatively high levels of homogeneity within each group and for differences in allele frequencies between groups. A baseline sample consisted of the 18 lines of Russian honey bees released to the Russian Bee Breeders Association and bees from 34 queen breeders representing commercially produced European honey bee stocks. Suitability tests of the baseline sample pool showed high levels of accuracy. The probability of correct assignment was 94.2% for non-Russian bees and 93.3% for Russian bees. A neighbor-joining phenogram representing genetic distance data showed clear distinction of Russian and non-Russian honey bee stocks. Furthermore, a test of appropriate sample size showed a sample of eight bees per colony maximizes accuracy and consistency of the results. An additional 34 samples were tested as blind samples (origin unknown to those collecting data) to determine accuracy of individual assignment tests. Only one of these samples was incorrectly assigned. The 18 current breeding lines were represented among the 2009 blind sampling, demonstrating temporal stability of the genetic stock identification assay. The certification assay will be used through services provided by a service laboratory, by the Russian Bee Breeders Association to genetically certify their stock. The genetic certification will be used in conjunction with continued selection for favorable traits, such as honey production and varroa and tracheal mite resistance. PMID:20568639

  17. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World's most important centers of apiculture, harboring five subspecies of Apis mellifera L., approximately 20% of the honey bee subspecies in the world. We use deep ILLUMINA-based RNA sequencing to capture RNA species for the honey bee and a sampling of all non-endogenous species carried by bees. After trimming and mapping these reads to the honey bee genome, approximately 10% of the sequences (9-10 million reads per library) remained. These were then mapped to a curated set of public sequences containing ca. Sixty megabase-pairs of sequence representing known microbial species associated with honey bees. Levels of key honey bee pathogens were confirmed using quantitative PCR screens. We contrast microbial matches across different sites in Turkey, showing new country recordings of Lake Sinai virus, two Spiroplasma bacterium species, symbionts Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi, Frischella perrara, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, Lactobacillus spp.), neogregarines, and a trypanosome species. By using metagenomic analysis, this study also reveals deep molecular evidence for the presence of bacterial pathogens (Melissococcus plutonius, Paenibacillus larvae), Varroa destructor-1 virus, Sacbrood virus, and fungi. Despite this effort we did not detect KBV, SBPV, Tobacco ringspot virus, VdMLV (Varroa Macula like virus), Acarapis spp., Tropilaeleps spp. and Apocephalus (phorid fly). We discuss possible impacts of management practices and honey bee subspecies on microbial retinues. The described workflow and curated microbial database will be generally useful for microbial surveys of healthy and declining honey bees. PMID:25852743

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  19. A sting in the spit: widespread cross-infection of multiple RNA viruses across wild and managed bees.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Dino P; Fürst, Matthias A; Caspar, Jesicca; Theodorou, Panagiotis; Brown, Mark J F; Paxton, Robert J

    2015-05-01

    Declining populations of bee pollinators are a cause of concern, with major repercussions for biodiversity loss and food security. RNA viruses associated with honeybees represent a potential threat to other insect pollinators, but the extent of this threat is poorly understood. This study aims to attain a detailed understanding of the current and ongoing risk of emerging infectious disease (EID) transmission between managed and wild pollinator species across a wide range of RNA viruses. Within a structured large-scale national survey across 26 independent sites, we quantify the prevalence and pathogen loads of multiple RNA viruses in co-occurring managed honeybee (Apis mellifera) and wild bumblebee (Bombus spp.) populations. We then construct models that compare virus prevalence between wild and managed pollinators. Multiple RNA viruses associated with honeybees are widespread in sympatric wild bumblebee populations. Virus prevalence in honeybees is a significant predictor of virus prevalence in bumblebees, but we remain cautious in speculating over the principle direction of pathogen transmission. We demonstrate species-specific differences in prevalence, indicating significant variation in disease susceptibility or tolerance. Pathogen loads within individual bumblebees may be high and in the case of at least one RNA virus, prevalence is higher in wild bumblebees than in managed honeybee populations. Our findings indicate widespread transmission of RNA viruses between managed and wild bee pollinators, pointing to an interconnected network of potential disease pressures within and among pollinator species. In the context of the biodiversity crisis, our study emphasizes the importance of targeting a wide range of pathogens and defining host associations when considering potential drivers of population decline. PMID:25646973

  20. Honey bees selectively avoid difficult choices

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Clint J.; Barron, Andrew B.

    2013-01-01

    Human decision-making strategies are strongly influenced by an awareness of certainty or uncertainty (a form of metacognition) to increase the chances of making a right choice. Humans seek more information and defer choosing when they realize they have insufficient information to make an accurate decision, but whether animals are aware of uncertainty is currently highly contentious. To explore this issue, we examined how honey bees (Apis mellifera) responded to a visual discrimination task that varied in difficulty between trials. Free-flying bees were rewarded for a correct choice, punished for an incorrect choice, or could avoid choosing by exiting the trial (opting out). Bees opted out more often on difficult trials, and opting out improved their proportion of successful trials. Bees could also transfer the concept of opting out to a novel task. Our data show that bees selectively avoid difficult tasks they lack the information to solve. This finding has been considered as evidence that nonhuman animals can assess the certainty of a predicted outcome, and bees’ performance was comparable to that of primates in a similar paradigm. We discuss whether these behavioral results prove bees react to uncertainty or whether associative mechanisms can explain such findings. To better frame metacognition as an issue for neurobiological investigation, we propose a neurobiological hypothesis of uncertainty monitoring based on the known circuitry of the honey bee brain. PMID:24191024

  1. Gentle Africanized bees on an oceanic island

    PubMed Central

    Rivera-Marchand, Bert; Oskay, Devrim; Giray, Tugrul

    2012-01-01

    Oceanic islands have reduced resources and natural enemies and potentially affect life history traits of arriving organisms. Among the most spectacular invasions in the Western hemisphere is that of the Africanized honeybee. We hypothesized that in the oceanic island Puerto Rico, Africanized bees will exhibit differences from the mainland population such as for defensiveness and other linked traits. We evaluated the extent of Africanization through three typical Africanized traits: wing size, defensive behavior, and resistance to Varroa destructor mites. All sampled colonies were Africanized by maternal descent, with over 65% presence of European alleles at the S-3 nuclear locus. In two assays evaluating defense, Puerto Rican bees showed low defensiveness similar to European bees. In morphology and resistance to mites, Africanized bees from Puerto Rico are similar to other Africanized bees. In behavioral assays on mechanisms of resistance to Varroa, we directly observed that Puerto Rican Africanized bees groomed-off and bit the mites as been observed in other studies. In no other location, Africanized bees have reduced defensiveness while retaining typical traits such as wing size and mite resistance. This mosaic of traits that has resulted during the invasion of an oceanic island has implications for behavior, evolution, and agriculture. PMID:23144660

  2. The effects of plant density and nectar reward on bee visitation to the endangered orchid Spiranthes romanzoffiana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffy, Karl J.; Stout, Jane C.

    2008-09-01

    Density can affect attraction of pollinators, with rare plants receiving fewer pollinating visits compared with more common co-flowering species. However, if a locally rare species is very attractive in terms of the rewards it offers pollinators, it may be preferentially visited. Spiranthes romanzoffiana is a nectar rewarding, geographically rare, endangered orchid species which forms small populations in Ireland, co-flowering with more common, florally rewarding species. We examined visitation rates to S. romanzoffiana and two nectar rewarding co-flowering species ( Mentha aquatica and Prunella vulgaris) in the west of Ireland. These three plant species were visited by three bee species ( Bombus pascuorum, B. hortorum and Apis mellifera). B. pascuorum was the most common visitor, while A. mellifera was least common. Our results suggest that individual S. romanzoffiana inflorescences compete intraspecifically for visitation from pollinators at high densities. The relationship between visitation to S. romanzoffiana and total floral density appeared to be positive, suggesting interspecific facilitation of pollinator visitation at high densities. Nectar standing crop varied through the season, among species and between open and bagged flowers. Nectar standing crop was not correlated with visitation in S. romanzoffiana. Despite relatively high visitation, S. romanzoffiana produced no mature fruit during this flowering season. The lack of fruit maturation in this species may be a major factor causing its rarity in Europe.

  3. Soldiers in a Stingless Bee.

    PubMed

    Hammel, Benedikt; Vollet-Neto, Ayrton; Menezes, Cristiano; Nascimento, Fabio S; Engels, Wolf; Grüter, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    The differentiation of workers into morphological subcastes (e.g., soldiers) represents an important evolutionary transition and is thought to improve division of labor in social insects. Soldiers occur in many ant and termite species, where they make up a small proportion of the workforce. A common assumption of worker caste evolution is that soldiers are behavioral specialists. Here, we report the first test of the "rare specialist" hypothesis in a eusocial bee. Colonies of the stingless bee Tetragonisca angustula are defended by a small group of morphologically differentiated soldiers. Contrary to the rare specialist hypothesis, we found that soldiers worked more (+34%-41%) and performed a greater variety of tasks (+23%-34%) than other workers, particularly early in life. Our results suggest a "rare elite" function of soldiers in T. angustula, that is, that they perform a disproportionately large amount of the work. Division of labor was based on a combination of temporal and physical castes, but soldiers transitioned faster from one task to the next. We discuss why the rare specialist assumption might not hold in species with a moderate degree of worker differentiation. PMID:27277408

  4. Terrestrial photovoltaic measurements, 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The following major topics are discussed; (1) Terrestrial solar irradiance; (2) Solar simulation and reference cell calibration; and (3) Cell and array measurement procedures. Numerous related subtopics are also discussed within each major topic area.

  5. Bee Pollen: Chemical Composition and Therapeutic Application

    PubMed Central

    Komosinska-Vassev, Katarzyna; Olczyk, Pawel; Kaźmierczak, Justyna; Olczyk, Krystyna

    2015-01-01

    Bee pollen is a valuable apitherapeutic product greatly appreciated by the natural medicine because of its potential medical and nutritional applications. It demonstrates a series of actions such as antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anticancer immunostimulating, and local analgesic. Its radical scavenging potential has also been reported. Beneficial properties of bee pollen and the validity for their therapeutic use in various pathological condition have been discussed in this study and with the currently known mechanisms, by which bee pollen modulates burn wound healing process. PMID:25861358

  6. Genetic component in learning ability in bees.

    PubMed

    Kerr, W E; Moura Duarte, F A; Oliveira, R S

    1975-10-01

    Twenty-five bees, five from each of five hives, were trained to collect food at a table. When the bee reached the table, time was recorded for 12 visits. Then a blue and yellow pan was substituted for the original metal pan, and time and correct responses were recorded for 30 trips (discrimination phase). Finally, food was taken from the pan and extinction was recorded as incorrect responses for 20 visits. Variance analysis was carried out, and genetic variance was undetected for discrimination, but was detected for extinction. It is concluded that learning is very important for bees, so that any impairment in such ability affects colony survival. PMID:1191157

  7. African bees to control African elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

    Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

  8. Why do leafcutter bees cut leaves? New insights into the early evolution of bees.

    PubMed

    Litman, Jessica R; Danforth, Bryan N; Eardley, Connal D; Praz, Christophe J

    2011-12-01

    Stark contrasts in clade species diversity are reported across the tree of life and are especially conspicuous when observed in closely related lineages. The explanation for such disparity has often been attributed to the evolution of key innovations that facilitate colonization of new ecological niches. The factors underlying diversification in bees remain poorly explored. Bees are thought to have originated from apoid wasps during the Mid-Cretaceous, a period that coincides with the appearance of angiosperm eudicot pollen grains in the fossil record. The reliance of bees on angiosperm pollen and their fundamental role as angiosperm pollinators have contributed to the idea that both groups may have undergone simultaneous radiations. We demonstrate that one key innovation--the inclusion of foreign material in nest construction--underlies both a massive range expansion and a significant increase in the rate of diversification within the second largest bee family, Megachilidae. Basal clades within the family are restricted to deserts and exhibit plesiomorphic features rarely observed among modern bees, but prevalent among apoid wasps. Our results suggest that early bees inherited a suite of behavioural traits that acted as powerful evolutionary constraints. While the transition to pollen as a larval food source opened an enormous ecological niche for the early bees, the exploitation of this niche and the subsequent diversification of bees only became possible after bees had evolved adaptations to overcome these constraints. PMID:21490010

  9. Why do leafcutter bees cut leaves? New insights into the early evolution of bees

    PubMed Central

    Litman, Jessica R.; Danforth, Bryan N.; Eardley, Connal D.; Praz, Christophe J.

    2011-01-01

    Stark contrasts in clade species diversity are reported across the tree of life and are especially conspicuous when observed in closely related lineages. The explanation for such disparity has often been attributed to the evolution of key innovations that facilitate colonization of new ecological niches. The factors underlying diversification in bees remain poorly explored. Bees are thought to have originated from apoid wasps during the Mid-Cretaceous, a period that coincides with the appearance of angiosperm eudicot pollen grains in the fossil record. The reliance of bees on angiosperm pollen and their fundamental role as angiosperm pollinators have contributed to the idea that both groups may have undergone simultaneous radiations. We demonstrate that one key innovation—the inclusion of foreign material in nest construction—underlies both a massive range expansion and a significant increase in the rate of diversification within the second largest bee family, Megachilidae. Basal clades within the family are restricted to deserts and exhibit plesiomorphic features rarely observed among modern bees, but prevalent among apoid wasps. Our results suggest that early bees inherited a suite of behavioural traits that acted as powerful evolutionary constraints. While the transition to pollen as a larval food source opened an enormous ecological niche for the early bees, the exploitation of this niche and the subsequent diversification of bees only became possible after bees had evolved adaptations to overcome these constraints. PMID:21490010

  10. Synergistic effects of non-Apis bees and honey bees for pollination services.

    PubMed

    Brittain, Claire; Williams, Neal; Kremen, Claire; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2013-03-01

    In diverse pollinator communities, interspecific interactions may modify the behaviour and increase the pollination effectiveness of individual species. Because agricultural production reliant on pollination is growing, improving pollination effectiveness could increase crop yield without any increase in agricultural intensity or area. In California almond, a crop highly dependent on honey bee pollination, we explored the foraging behaviour and pollination effectiveness of honey bees in orchards with simple (honey bee only) and diverse (non-Apis bees present) bee communities. In orchards with non-Apis bees, the foraging behaviour of honey bees changed and the pollination effectiveness of a single honey bee visit was greater than in orchards where non-Apis bees were absent. This change translated to a greater proportion of fruit set in these orchards. Our field experiments show that increased pollinator diversity can synergistically increase pollination service, through species interactions that alter the behaviour and resulting functional quality of a dominant pollinator species. These results of functional synergy between species were supported by an additional controlled cage experiment with Osmia lignaria and Apis mellifera. Our findings highlight a largely unexplored facilitative component of the benefit of biodiversity to ecosystem services, and represent a way to improve pollinator-dependent crop yields in a sustainable manner. PMID:23303545

  11. Seed coating with a neonicotinoid insecticide negatively affects wild bees.

    PubMed

    Rundlöf, Maj; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Fries, Ingemar; Hederström, Veronica; Herbertsson, Lina; Jonsson, Ove; Klatt, Björn K; Pedersen, Thorsten R; Yourstone, Johanna; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-05-01

    Understanding the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees is vital because of reported declines in bee diversity and distribution and the crucial role bees have as pollinators in ecosystems and agriculture. Neonicotinoids are suspected to pose an unacceptable risk to bees, partly because of their systemic uptake in plants, and the European Union has therefore introduced a moratorium on three neonicotinoids as seed coatings in flowering crops that attract bees. The moratorium has been criticized for being based on weak evidence, particularly because effects have mostly been measured on bees that have been artificially fed neonicotinoids. Thus, the key question is how neonicotinoids influence bees, and wild bees in particular, in real-world agricultural landscapes. Here we show that a commonly used insecticide seed coating in a flowering crop can have serious consequences for wild bees. In a study with replicated and matched landscapes, we found that seed coating with Elado, an insecticide containing a combination of the neonicotinoid clothianidin and the non-systemic pyrethroid β-cyfluthrin, applied to oilseed rape seeds, reduced wild bee density, solitary bee nesting, and bumblebee colony growth and reproduction under field conditions. Hence, such insecticidal use can pose a substantial risk to wild bees in agricultural landscapes, and the contribution of pesticides to the global decline of wild bees may have been underestimated. The lack of a significant response in honeybee colonies suggests that reported pesticide effects on honeybees cannot always be extrapolated to wild bees. PMID:25901681

  12. Control of self-motion in dynamic fluids: fish do it differently from bees.

    PubMed

    Scholtyssek, Christine; Dacke, Marie; Kröger, Ronald; Baird, Emily

    2014-05-01

    To detect and avoid collisions, animals need to perceive and control the distance and the speed with which they are moving relative to obstacles. This is especially challenging for swimming and flying animals that must control movement in a dynamic fluid without reference from physical contact to the ground. Flying animals primarily rely on optic flow to control flight speed and distance to obstacles. Here, we investigate whether swimming animals use similar strategies for self-motion control to flying animals by directly comparing the trajectories of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) moving through the same experimental tunnel. While moving through the tunnel, black and white patterns produced (i) strong horizontal optic flow cues on both walls, (ii) weak horizontal optic flow cues on both walls and (iii) strong optic flow cues on one wall and weak optic flow cues on the other. We find that the mean speed of zebrafish does not depend on the amount of optic flow perceived from the walls. We further show that zebrafish, unlike bumblebees, move closer to the wall that provides the strongest visual feedback. This unexpected preference for strong optic flow cues may reflect an adaptation for self-motion control in water or in environments where visibility is limited. PMID:24872463

  13. Octopamine influences honey bee foraging preference.

    PubMed

    Giray, Tugrul; Galindo-Cardona, Alberto; Oskay, Devrim

    2007-07-01

    Colony condition and differences in individual preferences influence forage type collected by bees. Physiological bases for the changing preferences of individual foragers are just beginning to be examined. Recently, for honey bees octopamine is shown to influence age at onset of foraging and probability of dance for rewards. However, octopamine has not been causally linked with foraging preference in the field. We tested the hypothesis that changes in octopamine may alter forage type (preference hypothesis). We treated identified foragers orally with octopamine or its immediate precursor, tyramine, or sucrose syrup (control). Octopamine-treated foragers switched type of material collected; control bees did not. Tyramine group results were not different from the control group. In addition, sugar concentrations of nectar collected by foragers after octopamine treatment were lower than before treatment, indicating change in preference. In contrast, before and after nectar concentrations for bees in the control group were similar. These results, taken together, support the preference hypothesis. PMID:17574568

  14. Octopamine influences honey bee foraging preference

    PubMed Central

    Giray, Tugrul; Galindo, Alberto; Oskay, Devrim

    2010-01-01

    Colony condition and differences in individual preferences influence forage type collected by bees. Physiological bases for the changing preferences of individual foragers are just beginning to be examined. Recently, for honey bees octopamine is shown to influence age at onset of foraging and probability of dance for rewards. However, octopamine has not been causally linked with foraging preference in the field. We tested the hypothesis that changes in octopamine may alter forage type (preference hypothesis). We treated identified foragers orally with octopamine or its immediate precursor, tyramine, or sucrose syrup (control). Octopamine treated foragers switched type of material collected, control bees did not. Tyramine group results were not different from the control group. In addition, sugar concentrations of nectar collected by foragers after octopamine treatment were lower than before treatment, indicating change in preference. In contrast, before and after nectar concentrations for bees in the control group were similar. These results, taken together, support the preference hypothesis. PMID:17574568

  15. Gut microbial communities of social bees.

    PubMed

    Kwong, Waldan K; Moran, Nancy A

    2016-06-01

    The gut microbiota can have profound effects on hosts, but the study of these relationships in humans is challenging. The specialized gut microbial community of honey bees is similar to the mammalian microbiota, as both are mostly composed of host-adapted, facultatively anaerobic and microaerophilic bacteria. However, the microbial community of the bee gut is far simpler than the mammalian microbiota, being dominated by only nine bacterial species clusters that are specific to bees and that are transmitted through social interactions between individuals. Recent developments, which include the discovery of extensive strain-level variation, evidence of protective and nutritional functions, and reports of eco-physiological or disease-associated perturbations to the microbial community, have drawn attention to the role of the microbiota in bee health and its potential as a model for studying the ecology and evolution of gut symbionts. PMID:27140688

  16. Mass envenomations by honey bees and wasps.

    PubMed Central

    Vetter, R S; Visscher, P K; Camazine, S

    1999-01-01

    Stinging events involving honey bees and wasps are rare; most deaths or clinically important incidents involve very few stings (< 10) and anaphylactic shock. However, mass stinging events can prove life-threatening via the toxic action of the venom when injected in large amounts. With the advent of the Africanized honey bee in the southwestern United States and its potential for further spread, mass envenomation incidents will increase. Here we review the literature on mass stinging events involving honey bees and wasps (i.e., yellowjackets, wasps, and hornets). Despite different venom composition in the two insect groups, both may cause systemic damage and involve hemolysis, rhabdomyolysis, and acute renal failure. Victim death may occur due to renal failure or cardiac complications. With supportive care, however, most victims should be able to survive attacks from hundreds of wasps or approximately 1000 honey bees. PMID:10344177

  17. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances. PMID:26459072

  18. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances. PMID:26459072

  19. Field-Level Sublethal Effects of Approved Bee Hive Chemicals on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L)

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    In a study replicated across two states and two years, we tested the sublethal effects on honey bees of the miticides Apistan (tau fluvalinate) and Check Mite+ (coumaphos) and the wood preservative copper naphthenate applied at label rates in field conditions. A continuous covariate, a colony Varroa mite index, helped us disambiguate the effects of the chemicals on bees while adjusting for a presumed benefit of controlling mites. Mite levels in colonies treated with Apistan or Check Mite+ were not different from levels in non-treated controls. Experimental chemicals significantly decreased 3-day brood survivorship and increased construction of queen supercedure cells compared to non-treated controls. Bees exposed to Check Mite+ as immatures had higher legacy mortality as adults relative to non-treated controls, whereas bees exposed to Apistan had improved legacy mortality relative to non-treated controls. Relative to non-treated controls, Check Mite+ increased adult emergence weight. Although there was a treatment effect on a test of associative learning, it was not possible to statistically separate the treatment means, but bees treated with Apistan performed comparatively well. And finally, there were no detected effects of bee hive chemical on colony bee population, amount of brood, amount of honey, foraging rate, time required for marked released bees to return to their nest, percentage of released bees that return to the nest, and colony Nosema spore loads. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine sublethal effects of bee hive chemicals applied at label rates under field conditions while disambiguating the results from mite control benefits realized from the chemicals. Given the poor performance of the miticides at reducing mites and their inconsistent effects on the host, these results defend the use of bee health management practices that minimize use of exotic hive chemicals. PMID:24204638

  20. Decline and conservation of bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Goulson, D; Lye, G C; Darvill, B

    2008-01-01

    Declines in bumble bee species in the past 60 years are well documented in Europe, where they are driven primarily by habitat loss and declines in floral abundance and diversity resulting from agricultural intensification. Impacts of habitat degradation and fragmentation are likely to be compounded by the social nature of bumble bees and their largely monogamous breeding system, which renders their effective population size low. Hence, populations are susceptible to stochastic extinction events and inbreeding. In North America, catastrophic declines of some bumble bee species since the 1990s are probably attributable to the accidental introduction of a nonnative parasite from Europe, a result of global trade in domesticated bumble bee colonies used for pollination of greenhouse crops. Given the importance of bumble bees as pollinators of crops and wildflowers, steps must be taken to prevent further declines. Suggested measures include tight regulation of commercial bumble bee use and targeted use of environmentally comparable schemes to enhance floristic diversity in agricultural landscapes. PMID:17803456

  1. Bumble bee fauna of Palouse Prairie: survey of native bee pollinators in a fragmented ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees are dominant pollinators in the northern hemisphere, providing important pollination services for commercial crops and innumerable wild plants. Nationwide declines in several bumble bee species and habitat loss in multiple ecosystems have raised concern about conservation of this import...

  2. Cage-Fighting Bees: Can Aggressive Competition Increase Pollination Efficacy for an Oligolectic Native Bee?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pollination efficacy of the oligolectic bee Ptilothrix bombiformis was measured as the number of pollen grains delivered to virgin Hibiscus stigmas. Such specialized bee foragers are often assumed to be highly efficient pollinators. Intriguingly, however, we discovered females fight over host blooms...

  3. Imidacloprid Alters Foraging and Decreases Bee Avoidance of Predators

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Ken; Chen, Weiwen; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb) imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana) showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera), to other important bee species. PMID:25025334

  4. Recipe for a busy bee: microRNAs in Honey Bee caste determination.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiangqian; Su, Songkun; Skogerboe, Geir; Dai, Shuanjin; Li, Wenfeng; Li, Zhiguo; Liu, Fang; Ni, Ruifeng; Guo, Yu; Chen, Shenglu; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Runsheng

    2013-01-01

    Social caste determination in the honey bee is assumed to be determined by the dietary status of the young larvae and translated into physiological and epigenetic changes through nutrient-sensing pathways. We have employed Illumina/Solexa sequencing to examine the small RNA content in the bee larval food, and show that worker jelly is enriched in miRNA complexity and abundance relative to royal jelly. The miRNA levels in worker jelly were 7-215 fold higher than in royal jelly, and both jellies showed dynamic changes in miRNA content during the 4(th) to 6(th) day of larval development. Adding specific miRNAs to royal jelly elicited significant changes in queen larval mRNA expression and morphological characters of the emerging adult queen bee. We propose that miRNAs in the nurse bee secretions constitute an additional element in the regulatory control of caste determination in the honey bee. PMID:24349106

  5. Recipe for a Busy Bee: MicroRNAs in Honey Bee Caste Determination

    PubMed Central

    Skogerboe, Geir; Dai, Shuanjin; Li, Wenfeng; Li, Zhiguo; Liu, Fang; Ni, Ruifeng; Guo, Yu; Chen, Shenglu; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Runsheng

    2013-01-01

    Social caste determination in the honey bee is assumed to be determined by the dietary status of the young larvae and translated into physiological and epigenetic changes through nutrient-sensing pathways. We have employed Illumina/Solexa sequencing to examine the small RNA content in the bee larval food, and show that worker jelly is enriched in miRNA complexity and abundance relative to royal jelly. The miRNA levels in worker jelly were 7–215 fold higher than in royal jelly, and both jellies showed dynamic changes in miRNA content during the 4th to 6th day of larval development. Adding specific miRNAs to royal jelly elicited significant changes in queen larval mRNA expression and morphological characters of the emerging adult queen bee. We propose that miRNAs in the nurse bee secretions constitute an additional element in the regulatory control of caste determination in the honey bee. PMID:24349106

  6. Terrestrial Gravity Fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harms, Jan

    2015-12-01

    Different forms of fluctuations of the terrestrial gravity field are observed by gravity experiments. For example, atmospheric pressure fluctuations generate a gravity-noise foreground in measurements with super-conducting gravimeters. Gravity changes caused by high-magnitude earthquakes have been detected with the satellite gravity experiment GRACE, and we expect high-frequency terrestrial gravity fluctuations produced by ambient seismic fields to limit the sensitivity of ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. Accordingly, terrestrial gravity fluctuations are considered noise and signal depending on the experiment. Here, we will focus on ground-based gravimetry. This field is rapidly progressing through the development of GW detectors. The technology is pushed to its current limits in the advanced generation of the LIGO and Virgo detectors, targeting gravity strain sensitivities better than 10^-23 Hz^-1/2 above a few tens of a Hz. Alternative designs for GW detectors evolving from traditional gravity gradiometers such as torsion bars, atom interferometers, and superconducting gradiometers are currently being developed to extend the detection band to frequencies below 1 Hz. The goal of this article is to provide the analytical framework to describe terrestrial gravity perturbations in these experiments. Models of terrestrial gravity perturbations related to seismic fields, atmospheric disturbances, and vibrating, rotating or moving objects, are derived and analyzed. The models are then used to evaluate passive and active gravity noise mitigation strategies in GW detectors, or alternatively, to describe their potential use in geophysics. The article reviews the current state of the field, and also presents new analyses especially with respect to the impact of seismic scattering on gravity perturbations, active gravity noise cancellation, and time-domain models of gravity perturbations from atmospheric and seismic point sources. Our understanding of

  7. 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...

  8. Terrestrial-Imaging Spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vane, Gregg A.; Goetz, Alexander F. H.

    1990-01-01

    Report reviews history and state of art of terrestrial imaging spectroscopy. Discusses history, design, and performance of Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS), which is pioneering sensor for terrestrial high-resolution remote sensing. Also discusses recent developments described in literature of imaging spectroscopy from three points of view: techniques for handling and analysis of spectral-image data, geological research, and botanical research. This field encompasses use of airborne and spaceborne imaging spectrometers to generate specialized maps for use in agriculture, geology, ecology, and related disciplines.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Background Recent elevated winter loss of honey bee colonies is a major concern. The presence of the mite Varroa destructor in colonies places an important pressure on bee health. V. destructor shortens the lifespan of individual bees, while long lifespan during winter is a primary requirement to survive until the next spring. We investigated in two subsequent years the effects of different levels of V. destructor infestation during the transition from short-lived summer bees to long-lived winter bees on the lifespan of individual bees and the survival of bee colonies during winter. Colonies treated earlier in the season to reduce V. destructor infestation during the development of winter bees were expected to have longer bee lifespan and higher colony survival after winter. Methodology/Principal Findings Mite infestation was reduced using acaricide treatments during different months (July, August, September, or not treated). We found that the number of capped brood cells decreased drastically between August and November, while at the same time, the lifespan of the bees (marked cohorts) increased indicating the transition to winter bees. Low V. destructor infestation levels before and during the transition to winter bees resulted in an increase in lifespan of bees and higher colony survival compared to colonies that were not treated and that had higher infestation levels. A variety of stress-related factors could have contributed to the variation in longevity and winter survival that we found between years. Conclusions/Significance This study contributes to theory about the multiple causes for the recent elevated colony losses in honey bees. Our study shows the correlation between long lifespan of winter bees and colony loss in spring. Moreover, we show that colonies treated earlier in the season had reduced V. destructor infestation during the development of winter bees resulting in longer bee lifespan and higher colony survival after winter. PMID:22558421

  10. POLLUTION MONITORING OF PUGET SOUND WITH HONEY BEES

    EPA Science Inventory

    To show that honey bees are effective biological monitors of environmental contaminants over large geographic areas, beekeepers of Puget Sound, Washington, collected pollen and bees for chemical analysis. From these data, kriging maps of arsenic, cadmium, and fluoride were genera...

  11. Pollution monitoring of Puget Sound with honey bees

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-02-08

    To show that honey bees are effective biological monitors of environmental contaminants over large geographic areas, beekeepers of Puget Sound, Washington, collected pollen and bees for chemical analysis. From these data, kriging maps of arsenic, cadmium, and fluoride were generated. Results, based on actual concentrations of contaminants in bee tissues, show that the greatest concentrations of contaminants occur close to Commencement Bay and that honey bees are effective as large-scale monitors. 27 references, 2 figures.

  12. Terrestrial planet formation

    PubMed Central

    Righter, K.; O’Brien, D. P.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (∼106 y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few × 106 y), and finally embryos to planets (107–108 y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  13. Batteries for terrestrial applications

    SciTech Connect

    Kulin, T.M.

    1998-07-01

    Extensive research has been conducted in the design and manufacture of very long life vented and sealed maintenance free nickel-cadmium aircraft batteries. These batteries have also been used in a number of terrestrial applications with good success. This study presents an overview of the Ni-Cd chemistry and technology as well as detailed analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the Ni-Cd couple for terrestrial applications. The performance characteristics of both sealed and vented Ni-Cd's are presented. Various charge algorithms are examined and evaluated for effectiveness and ease of implementation. Hardware requirements for charging are also presented and evaluated. The discharge characteristics of vented and sealed Ni-Cd's are presented and compared to other battery chemistries. The performance of Ni-Cd's under extreme environmental conditions is also compared to other battery chemistries. The history of various terrestrial applications is reviewed and some of the lessons learned are presented. Applications discussed include the NASA Middeck Payload Battery, Raytheon Aegis Missile System Battery, THAAD Launcher battery, and the Titan IV battery. The suitability of the Ni-Cd chemistry for other terrestrial applications such as electric vehicles and Uninterruptible Power Supply is discussed.

  14. Diterpenoids of terrestrial origin.

    PubMed

    Hanson, James R

    2015-12-19

    Covering January to December 2014. Previous review, Nat. Prod. Rep., 2015, 32, 76-87 This review covers the isolation and chemistry of diterpenoids from terrestrial as opposed to marine sources and includes, labdanes, clerodanes, abietanes, pimaranes, kauranes, cembranes and their cyclization products. There are 200 references. PMID:26514379

  15. INTRODUCED TERRESTRIAL SPECIES (FUTURE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    These data represent predicted future potential distributions of terrestrial plants, animals, and pathogens non-native to the Middle-Atlantic region. These data are available for 8-digit HUCs. The data are a weighted proportion of appropriate habitat overlapped by the potential...

  16. The terrestrial silica pump.

    PubMed

    Carey, Joanna C; Fulweiler, Robinson W

    2012-01-01

    Silicon (Si) cycling controls atmospheric CO(2) concentrations and thus, the global climate, through three well-recognized means: chemical weathering of mineral silicates, occlusion of carbon (C) to soil phytoliths, and the oceanic biological Si pump. In the latter, oceanic diatoms directly sequester 25.8 Gton C yr(-1), accounting for 43% of the total oceanic net primary production (NPP). However, another important link between C and Si cycling remains largely ignored, specifically the role of Si in terrestrial NPP. Here we show that 55% of terrestrial NPP (33 Gton C yr(-1)) is due to active Si-accumulating vegetation, on par with the amount of C sequestered annually via marine diatoms. Our results suggest that similar to oceanic diatoms, the biological Si cycle of land plants also controls atmospheric CO(2) levels. In addition, we provide the first estimates of Si fixed in terrestrial vegetation by major global biome type, highlighting the ecosystems of most dynamic Si fixation. Projected global land use change will convert forests to agricultural lands, increasing the fixation of Si by land plants, and the magnitude of the terrestrial Si pump. PMID:23300825

  17. The Terrestrial Silica Pump

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Joanna C.; Fulweiler, Robinson W.

    2012-01-01

    Silicon (Si) cycling controls atmospheric CO2 concentrations and thus, the global climate, through three well-recognized means: chemical weathering of mineral silicates, occlusion of carbon (C) to soil phytoliths, and the oceanic biological Si pump. In the latter, oceanic diatoms directly sequester 25.8 Gton C yr−1, accounting for 43% of the total oceanic net primary production (NPP). However, another important link between C and Si cycling remains largely ignored, specifically the role of Si in terrestrial NPP. Here we show that 55% of terrestrial NPP (33 Gton C yr−1) is due to active Si-accumulating vegetation, on par with the amount of C sequestered annually via marine diatoms. Our results suggest that similar to oceanic diatoms, the biological Si cycle of land plants also controls atmospheric CO2 levels. In addition, we provide the first estimates of Si fixed in terrestrial vegetation by major global biome type, highlighting the ecosystems of most dynamic Si fixation. Projected global land use change will convert forests to agricultural lands, increasing the fixation of Si by land plants, and the magnitude of the terrestrial Si pump. PMID:23300825

  18. Terrestrial planet formation.

    PubMed

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  19. Assessing Patterns of Admixture and Ancestry in Canadian Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Canada has a large beekeeping industry comprised of 8483 beekeepers managing 672094 23 colonies. Canadian honey bees, like all honey bees in the New World, originate from centuries of importation of predominately European honey bees, but their precise ancestry remains unknown. There have been no i...

  20. The Thinker versus a Quilting Bee: Contrasting Images.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thayer-Bacon, Barbara J.

    1999-01-01

    Offers the image of the quilting bee as a contrasting representation of critical thinking (or constructive thinking), comparing the two images, discussing a quilting bee representation of knowledge construction in terms of the tools used by quilters (knowers), and summarizing the transformation of critical thinking theory that a quilting bee image…

  1. Creating and Evaluating Artificial Domiciles for Bumble Bees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Golick, Douglas A.; Ellis, Marion D.; Beecham, Brady

    2006-01-01

    Bumble bees are valuable pollinators of native and cultivated flora. Despite our knowledge of bumble bee nest site selection, most efforts to attract bumble bees to artificial domiciles have been met with limited success. Creating and evaluating artificial domiciles provides students an opportunity to investigate a real problem. In this lesson,…

  2. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  3. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  4. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  5. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  6. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  7. Thermoperiodism in the cavity nesting alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata is the most intensively managed solitary bee, and is the third most used pollinator in the United States. Previous studies have indicated that while the eclosion pattern of this cavity nesting bee is unaffected by photoperiod, a thermoperiod can give...

  8. Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Global information sampling in the honey bee

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Brian R.

    2008-06-01

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

  10. Stingless Bees as Alternative Pollinators of Canola.

    PubMed

    Witter, Sidia; Nunes-Silva, Patrícia; Lisboa, Bruno B; Tirelli, Flavia P; Sattler, Aroni; Both Hilgert-Moreira, Suzane; Blochtein, Betina

    2015-06-01

    Alternative pollinators can ensure pollination services if the availability of the managed or most common pollinator is compromised. In this study, the behavior and pollination efficiency of Apis mellifera L. and two species of stingless bees, Plebeia emerina Friese and Tetragonisca fiebrigi Schwarz, were evaluated and compared in flowers of Brassica napus L. 'Hyola 61'. A. mellifera was an efficient pollinator when collecting nectar because it effectively touched the reproductive organs of the flower. In contrast, stingless bees were efficient pollinators only when collecting pollen. The number of pollen grains deposited on the stigma after a single visit by worker bees of the three species was greater than the number of grains resulting from pollination without the bee visits. On average, the three species deposited enough pollen grains to fertilize all of the flower ovules. A. mellifera and P. emerina had similar pollination efficiency because no significant differences were observed in the characteristics of the siliques produced. Although T. fiebrigi is also an effective pollinator, the seed mass produced by their pollination was lower. Native bees promoted similar rates of fruit set compared with A. mellifera. Thus, P. emerina has potential to be used for pollination in canola crops. PMID:26470207

  11. Does bee pollen cause to eosinophilic gastroenteropathy?

    PubMed Central

    Güç, Belgin Usta; Asilsoy, Suna; Canan, Oğuz; Kayaselçuk, Fazilet

    2015-01-01

    Bee pollen is given to children by mothers in order to strengthen their immune systems. There are no studies related with the side effects of bee polen in the literature. In this article, the literature was reviewed by presenting a case of allergic eosinophilic gastropathy related with bee polen. A 5-year old child was admitted due to abdominal pain. Edema was detected on the eyelids and pretibial region. In laboratory investigations, pathology was not detected in terms of hepatic and renal causes that would explain the protein loss of the patient diagnosed with hypoproteinemia and hypoalbuminemia. Urticaria was detected during the follow-up visit. When the history of the patient was deepened, it was learned that bee pollen was given to the patient every day. The total eosinophil count was found to be 1 800/mm3. Allergic gastroenteropathy was considered because of hypereosinophilia and severe abdominal pain and endoscopy was performed. Biopsy revealed abundant eosinophils in the whole gastric mucosa. A diagnosis of allergic eosinophilic gastropathy was made. Bee polen was discontinued. Abdominal pain and edema disappeared in five days. Four weeks later, the levels of serum albumin and total eosinophil returned to normal. PMID:26568697

  12. Does bee pollen cause to eosinophilic gastroenteropathy?

    PubMed

    Güç, Belgin Usta; Asilsoy, Suna; Canan, Oğuz; Kayaselçuk, Fazilet

    2015-09-01

    Bee pollen is given to children by mothers in order to strengthen their immune systems. There are no studies related with the side effects of bee polen in the literature. In this article, the literature was reviewed by presenting a case of allergic eosinophilic gastropathy related with bee polen. A 5-year old child was admitted due to abdominal pain. Edema was detected on the eyelids and pretibial region. In laboratory investigations, pathology was not detected in terms of hepatic and renal causes that would explain the protein loss of the patient diagnosed with hypoproteinemia and hypoalbuminemia. Urticaria was detected during the follow-up visit. When the history of the patient was deepened, it was learned that bee pollen was given to the patient every day. The total eosinophil count was found to be 1 800/mm(3). Allergic gastroenteropathy was considered because of hypereosinophilia and severe abdominal pain and endoscopy was performed. Biopsy revealed abundant eosinophils in the whole gastric mucosa. A diagnosis of allergic eosinophilic gastropathy was made. Bee polen was discontinued. Abdominal pain and edema disappeared in five days. Four weeks later, the levels of serum albumin and total eosinophil returned to normal. PMID:26568697

  13. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Daughenbaugh, Katie F.; Martin, Madison; Brutscher, Laura M.; Cavigli, Ian; Garcia, Emma; Lavin, Matt; Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees are critical pollinators of important agricultural crops. Recently, high annual losses of honey bee colonies have prompted further investigation of honey bee infecting viruses. To better characterize the recently discovered and very prevalent Lake Sinai virus (LSV) group, we sequenced currently circulating LSVs, performed phylogenetic analysis, and obtained images of LSV2. Sequence analysis resulted in extension of the LSV1 and LSV2 genomes, the first detection of LSV4 in the US, and the discovery of LSV6 and LSV7. We detected LSV1 and LSV2 in the Varroa destructor mite, and determined that a large proportion of LSV2 is found in the honey bee gut, suggesting that vector-mediated, food-associated, and/or fecal-oral routes may be important for LSV dissemination. Pathogen-specific quantitative PCR data, obtained from samples collected during a small-scale monitoring project, revealed that LSV2, LSV1, Black queen cell virus (BQCV), and Nosema ceranae were more abundant in weak colonies than strong colonies within this sample cohort. Together, these results enhance our current understanding of LSVs and illustrate the importance of future studies aimed at investigating the role of LSVs and other pathogens on honey bee health at both the individual and colony levels. PMID:26110586

  14. Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses.

    PubMed

    Daughenbaugh, Katie F; Martin, Madison; Brutscher, Laura M; Cavigli, Ian; Garcia, Emma; Lavin, Matt; Flenniken, Michelle L

    2015-06-01

    Honey bees are critical pollinators of important agricultural crops. Recently, high annual losses of honey bee colonies have prompted further investigation of honey bee infecting viruses. To better characterize the recently discovered and very prevalent Lake Sinai virus (LSV) group, we sequenced currently circulating LSVs, performed phylogenetic analysis, and obtained images of LSV2. Sequence analysis resulted in extension of the LSV1 and LSV2 genomes, the first detection of LSV4 in the US, and the discovery of LSV6 and LSV7. We detected LSV1 and LSV2 in the Varroa destructor mite, and determined that a large proportion of LSV2 is found in the honey bee gut, suggesting that vector-mediated, food-associated, and/or fecal-oral routes may be important for LSV dissemination. Pathogen-specific quantitative PCR data, obtained from samples collected during a small-scale monitoring project, revealed that LSV2, LSV1, Black queen cell virus (BQCV), and Nosema ceranae were more abundant in weak colonies than strong colonies within this sample cohort. Together, these results enhance our current understanding of LSVs and illustrate the importance of future studies aimed at investigating the role of LSVs and other pathogens on honey bee health at both the individual and colony levels. PMID:26110586

  16. Mapping Sleeping Bees within Their Nest: Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Worker Honey Bee Sleep

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Barrett Anthony; Stiegler, Martin; Klein, Arno; Tautz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns. PMID:25029445

  17. BeeDoctor, a versatile MLPA-based diagnostic tool for screening bee viruses.

    PubMed

    De Smet, Lina; Ravoet, Jorgen; de Miranda, Joachim R; Wenseleers, Tom; Mueller, Matthias Y; Moritz, Robin F A; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2012-01-01

    The long-term decline of managed honeybee hives in the world has drawn significant attention to the scientific community and bee-keeping industry. A high pathogen load is believed to play a crucial role in this phenomenon, with the bee viruses being key players. Most of the currently characterized honeybee viruses (around twenty) are positive stranded RNA viruses. Techniques based on RNA signatures are widely used to determine the viral load in honeybee colonies. High throughput screening for viral loads necessitates the development of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction approach in which different viruses can be targeted simultaneously. A new multiparameter assay, called "BeeDoctor", was developed based on multiplex-ligation probe dependent amplification (MLPA) technology. This assay detects 10 honeybee viruses in one reaction. "BeeDoctor" is also able to screen selectively for either the positive strand of the targeted RNA bee viruses or the negative strand, which is indicative for active viral replication. Due to its sensitivity and specificity, the MLPA assay is a useful tool for rapid diagnosis, pathogen characterization, and epidemiology of viruses in honeybee populations. "BeeDoctor" was used for screening 363 samples from apiaries located throughout Flanders; the northern half of Belgium. Using the "BeeDoctor", virus infections were detected in almost eighty percent of the colonies, with deformed wing virus by far the most frequently detected virus and multiple virus infections were found in 26 percent of the colonies. PMID:23144717

  18. BeeDoctor, a Versatile MLPA-Based Diagnostic Tool for Screening Bee Viruses

    PubMed Central

    De Smet, Lina; Ravoet, Jorgen; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Wenseleers, Tom; Mueller, Matthias Y.; Moritz, Robin F. A.; de Graaf, Dirk C.

    2012-01-01

    The long-term decline of managed honeybee hives in the world has drawn significant attention to the scientific community and bee-keeping industry. A high pathogen load is believed to play a crucial role in this phenomenon, with the bee viruses being key players. Most of the currently characterized honeybee viruses (around twenty) are positive stranded RNA viruses. Techniques based on RNA signatures are widely used to determine the viral load in honeybee colonies. High throughput screening for viral loads necessitates the development of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction approach in which different viruses can be targeted simultaneously. A new multiparameter assay, called “BeeDoctor”, was developed based on multiplex-ligation probe dependent amplification (MLPA) technology. This assay detects 10 honeybee viruses in one reaction. “BeeDoctor” is also able to screen selectively for either the positive strand of the targeted RNA bee viruses or the negative strand, which is indicative for active viral replication. Due to its sensitivity and specificity, the MLPA assay is a useful tool for rapid diagnosis, pathogen characterization, and epidemiology of viruses in honeybee populations. “BeeDoctor” was used for screening 363 samples from apiaries located throughout Flanders; the northern half of Belgium. Using the “BeeDoctor”, virus infections were detected in almost eighty percent of the colonies, with deformed wing virus by far the most frequently detected virus and multiple virus infections were found in 26 percent of the colonies. PMID:23144717

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Klein, Barrett Anthony; Stiegler, Martin; Klein, Arno; Tautz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns. PMID:25029445

  1. Native and Non-Native Supergeneralist Bee Species Have Different Effects on Plant-Bee Networks

    PubMed Central

    Giannini, Tereza C.; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Acosta, Andre L.; Silva, Juliana S.; Maia, Kate P.; Saraiva, Antonio M.; Guimarães, Paulo R.; Kleinert, Astrid M. P.

    2015-01-01

    Supergeneralists, defined as species that interact with multiple groups of species in ecological networks, can act as important connectors of otherwise disconnected species subsets. In Brazil, there are two supergeneralist bees: the honeybee Apis mellifera, a non-native species, and Trigona spinipes, a native stingless bee. We compared the role of both species and the effect of geographic and local factors on networks by addressing three questions: 1) Do both species have similar abundance and interaction patterns (degree and strength) in plant-bee networks? 2) Are both species equally influential to the network structure (nestedness, connectance, and plant and bee niche overlap)? 3) How are these species affected by geographic (altitude, temperature, precipitation) and local (natural vs. disturbed habitat) factors? We analyzed 21 plant-bee weighted interaction networks, encompassing most of the main biomes in Brazil. We found no significant difference between both species in abundance, in the number of plant species with which each bee species interacts (degree), and in the sum of their dependencies (strength). Structural equation models revealed the effect of A. mellifera and T. spinipes, respectively, on the interaction network pattern (nestedness) and in the similarity in bee’s interactive partners (bee niche overlap). It is most likely that the recent invasion of A. mellifera resulted in its rapid settlement inside the core of species that retain the largest number of interactions, resulting in a strong influence on nestedness. However, the long-term interaction between native T. spinipes and other bees most likely has a more direct effect on their interactive behavior. Moreover, temperature negatively affected A. mellifera bees, whereas disturbed habitats positively affected T. spinipes. Conversely, precipitation showed no effect. Being positively (T. spinipes) or indifferently (A. mellifera) affected by disturbed habitats makes these species prone to

  2. The challenge of accurately documenting bee species richness in agroecosystems: bee diversity in eastern apple orchards.

    PubMed

    Russo, Laura; Park, Mia; Gibbs, Jason; Danforth, Bryan

    2015-09-01

    Bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops, and bee diversity has been shown to be closely associated with pollination, a valuable ecosystem service. Higher functional diversity and species richness of bees have been shown to lead to higher crop yield. Bees simultaneously represent a mega-diverse taxon that is extremely challenging to sample thoroughly and an important group to understand because of pollination services. We sampled bees visiting apple blossoms in 28 orchards over 6 years. We used species rarefaction analyses to test for the completeness of sampling and the relationship between species richness and sampling effort, orchard size, and percent agriculture in the surrounding landscape. We performed more than 190 h of sampling, collecting 11,219 specimens representing 104 species. Despite the sampling intensity, we captured <75% of expected species richness at more than half of the sites. For most of these, the variation in bee community composition between years was greater than among sites. Species richness was influenced by percent agriculture, orchard size, and sampling effort, but we found no factors explaining the difference between observed and expected species richness. Competition between honeybees and wild bees did not appear to be a factor, as we found no correlation between honeybee and wild bee abundance. Our study shows that the pollinator fauna of agroecosystems can be diverse and challenging to thoroughly sample. We demonstrate that there is high temporal variation in community composition and that sites vary widely in the sampling effort required to fully describe their diversity. In order to maximize pollination services provided by wild bee species, we must first accurately estimate species richness. For researchers interested in providing this estimate, we recommend multiyear studies and rarefaction analyses to quantify the gap between observed and expected species richness. PMID:26380684

  3. How Does Pollen Chemistry Impact Development and Feeding Behaviour of Polylectic Bees?

    PubMed Central

    Rasmont, Pierre; Lognay, Georges; Wathelet, Bernard; Wattiez, Ruddy; Michez, Denis

    2014-01-01

    Larvae and imagos of bees rely exclusively on floral rewards as a food source but host-plant range can vary greatly among bee species. While oligolectic species forage on pollen from a single family of host plants, polylectic bees, such as bumblebees, collect pollen from many families of plants. These polylectic species contend with interspecific variability in essential nutrients of their host-plants but we have only a limited understanding of the way in which chemicals and chemical combinations influence bee development and feeding behaviour. In this paper, we investigated five different pollen diets (Calluna vulgaris, Cistus sp., Cytisus scoparius, Salix caprea and Sorbus aucuparia) to determine how their chemical content affected bumblebee colony development and pollen/syrup collection. Three compounds were used to characterise pollen content: polypeptides, amino acids and sterols. Several parameters were used to determine the impact of diet on micro-colonies: (i) Number and weight of larvae (total and mean weight of larvae), (ii) weight of pollen collected, (iii) pollen efficacy (total weight of larvae divided by weight of the pollen collected) and (iv) syrup collection. Our results show that pollen collection is similar regardless of chemical variation in pollen diet while syrup collection is variable. Micro-colonies fed on S. aucuparia and C. scoparius pollen produced larger larvae (i.e. better mates and winter survivors) and fed less on nectar compared to the other diets. Pollen from both of these species contains 24-methylenecholesterol and high concentrations of polypeptides/total amino acids. This pollen nutritional “theme” seems therefore to promote worker reproduction in B. terrestris micro-colonies and could be linked to high fitness for queenright colonies. As workers are able to selectively forage on pollen of high chemical quality, plants may be evolutionarily selected for their pollen content, which might attract and increase the degree of

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. First Complete Genome Sequence of Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus Isolated from Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Beibei; Hou, Chunsheng; Deng, Shuai; Zhang, Xuefeng; Chu, Yanna; Yuan, Chunying; Diao, Qingyun

    2016-01-01

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is a serious viral disease affecting adult bees. We report here the complete genome sequence of CBPV, which was isolated from a honey bee colony with the symptom of severe crawling. The genome of CBPV consists of two segments, RNA 1 and RNA 2, containing respective overlapping fragments. PMID:27491983

  6. First Complete Genome Sequence of Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus Isolated from Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) in China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Beibei; Deng, Shuai; Zhang, Xuefeng; Chu, Yanna; Yuan, Chunying

    2016-01-01

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is a serious viral disease affecting adult bees. We report here the complete genome sequence of CBPV, which was isolated from a honey bee colony with the symptom of severe crawling. The genome of CBPV consists of two segments, RNA 1 and RNA 2, containing respective overlapping fragments. PMID:27491983

  7. Solitary invasive orchid bee outperforms co-occurring native bees to promote fruit set in an invasive Solanum.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Little is known about the potential effects of naturalized solitary or semi-social bees on the environment. We took advantage of the recent naturalization of an orchid bee, Euglossa viridissima, in southern Florida to study the effects of this semi-social bee on reproduction of Solanum torvum, an in...

  8. The Bee Disease Diagnostic Service - 100 Years and Growing at the USDA Bee Research laboratory, Beltsville, MD

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article discusses the history of honey bee research in the Washington, D.C. area including the 100 year old bee disease diagnostic service available for beekeepers and apiary inspectors. This service provides the Bee Research Laboratory with first-hand knowledge of the problems facing the beek...

  9. Collective thermoregulation in bee clusters.

    PubMed

    Ocko, Samuel A; Mahadevan, L

    2014-02-01

    Swarming is an essential part of honeybee behaviour, wherein thousands of bees cling onto each other to form a dense cluster that may be exposed to the environment for several days. This cluster has the ability to maintain its core temperature actively without a central controller. We suggest that the swarm cluster is akin to an active porous structure whose functional requirement is to adjust to outside conditions by varying its porosity to control its core temperature. Using a continuum model that takes the form of a set of advection-diffusion equations for heat transfer in a mobile porous medium, we show that the equalization of an effective 'behavioural pressure', which propagates information about the ambient temperature through variations in density, leads to effective thermoregulation. Our model extends and generalizes previous models by focusing the question of mechanism on the form and role of the behavioural pressure, and allows us to explain the vertical asymmetry of the cluster (as a consequence of buoyancy-driven flows), the ability of the cluster to overpack at low ambient temperatures without breaking up at high ambient temperatures, and the relative insensitivity to large variations in the ambient temperature. Our theory also makes testable hypotheses for the response of the cluster to external temperature inhomogeneities and suggests strategies for biomimetic thermoregulation. PMID:24335563

  10. Collective thermoregulation in bee clusters

    PubMed Central

    Ocko, Samuel A.; Mahadevan, L.

    2014-01-01

    Swarming is an essential part of honeybee behaviour, wherein thousands of bees cling onto each other to form a dense cluster that may be exposed to the environment for several days. This cluster has the ability to maintain its core temperature actively without a central controller. We suggest that the swarm cluster is akin to an active porous structure whose functional requirement is to adjust to outside conditions by varying its porosity to control its core temperature. Using a continuum model that takes the form of a set of advection–diffusion equations for heat transfer in a mobile porous medium, we show that the equalization of an effective ‘behavioural pressure’, which propagates information about the ambient temperature through variations in density, leads to effective thermoregulation. Our model extends and generalizes previous models by focusing the question of mechanism on the form and role of the behavioural pressure, and allows us to explain the vertical asymmetry of the cluster (as a consequence of buoyancy-driven flows), the ability of the cluster to overpack at low ambient temperatures without breaking up at high ambient temperatures, and the relative insensitivity to large variations in the ambient temperature. Our theory also makes testable hypotheses for the response of the cluster to external temperature inhomogeneities and suggests strategies for biomimetic thermoregulation. PMID:24335563

  11. Volcanic ash - Terrestrial versus extraterrestrial

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okeefe, J. A.

    1976-01-01

    A principal difference between terrestrial and extraterrestrial lavas may consist in the greater ability of terrestrial lavas to form thin films (like those of soap bubbles) and hence foams. It would follow that, in place of the pumice and spiny shards found in terrestrial volcanic ash, an extraterrestrial ash should contain minute spherules. This hypothesis may help to explain lunar microspherules.

  12. Chronic sublethal stress causes bee colony failure

    PubMed Central

    Bryden, John; Gill, Richard J; Mitton, Robert A A; Raine, Nigel E; Jansen, Vincent A A; Hodgson, David

    2013-01-01

    Current bee population declines and colony failures are well documented yet poorly understood and no single factor has been identified as a leading cause. The evidence is equivocal and puzzling: for instance, many pathogens and parasites can be found in both failing and surviving colonies and field pesticide exposure is typically sublethal. Here, we investigate how these results can be due to sublethal stress impairing colony function. We mathematically modelled stress on individual bees which impairs colony function and found how positive density dependence can cause multiple dynamic outcomes: some colonies fail while others thrive. We then exposed bumblebee colonies to sublethal levels of a neonicotinoid pesticide. The dynamics of colony failure, which we observed, were most accurately described by our model. We argue that our model can explain the enigmatic aspects of bee colony failures, highlighting an important role for sublethal stress in colony declines. PMID:24112478

  13. Genomics of the honey bee microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Moran, Nancy A.

    2015-01-01

    The guts of honey bee workers contain a distinctive community of bacterial species. They are microaerophilic or anaerobic, and were not clearly deliniated by earlier studies relying on laboratory culture of isolates under atmospheric oxygen levels. Recently, a more complete picture of the potential metabolism and functions of these bacteria has been possible, using genomic approaches based on metagenomic samples, as well as cultured isolates. Of these, most are host-restricted and are generally absent outside adult guts. These species include both Gram negative groups, such as Gilliamella apicola and Snodgrassella alvi, and Gram positive groups such as certain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species. These gut bacterial species appear to have undergone long term coevolution with honey bee and, in some cases, bumble bee hosts. Prediction of gene functions from genome sequences suggests roles in nutrition, digestion, and potentially in defense against pathogens. In particular, genes for sugar utilization and carbohydrate breakdown are enriched in G. apicola and the Lactobacillus species. PMID:26140264

  14. Predictive Markers of Honey Bee Colony Collapse

    PubMed Central

    Dainat, Benjamin; Evans, Jay D.; Chen, Yan Ping; Gauthier, Laurent; Neumann, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Across the Northern hemisphere, managed honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, are currently affected by abrupt depopulation during winter and many factors are suspected to be involved, either alone or in combination. Parasites and pathogens are considered as principal actors, in particular the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, associated viruses and the microsporidian Nosema ceranae. Here we used long term monitoring of colonies and screening for eleven disease agents and genes involved in bee immunity and physiology to identify predictive markers of honeybee colony losses during winter. The data show that DWV, Nosema ceranae, Varroa destructor and Vitellogenin can be predictive markers for winter colony losses, but their predictive power strongly depends on the season. In particular, the data support that V. destructor is a key player for losses, arguably in line with its specific impact on the health of individual bees and colonies. PMID:22384162

  15. Why do Varroa mites prefer nurse bees?

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Xianbing; Huang, Zachary Y.; Zeng, Zhijiang

    2016-01-01

    The Varroa mite, Varroa destructor, is an acarine ecto-parasite on Apis mellifera. It is the worst pest of Apis mellifera, yet its reproductive biology on the host is not well understood. In particular, the significance of the phoretic stage, when mites feed on adult bees for a few days, is not clear. In addition, it is not clear whether the preference of mites for nurses observed in the laboratory also happens inside real colonies. We show that Varroa mites prefer nurses over both newly emerged bees and forgers in a colony setting. We then determined the mechanism behind this preference. We show that this preference maximizes Varroa fitness, although due to the fact that each mite must find a second host (a pupa) to reproduce, the fitness benefit to the mites is not immediate but delayed. Our results suggest that the Varroa mite is a highly adapted parasite for honey bees. PMID:27302644

  16. Impact of electric fields on honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Bindokas, V.P.

    1985-01-01

    Biological effects in honey bee colonies under a 765-kV, 60-Hz transmission line (electric (E) field = 7 kV/m) were confirmed using controlled dosimetry and treatment reversal to replicate findings within the same season. Hives in the same environment but shielded from E field are normal, suggesting effects are caused by interaction of E field with the hive. Bees flying through the ambient E field are not demonstrably affected. Different thresholds and severity of effects were found in colonies exposed to 7, 5.5, 4.1, 1.8, and 0.65 to 0.85 kV/m at incremental distances from the line. Most colonies exposed at 7 kV/m failed in 8 weeks and failed to overwinter at greater than or equal to4.1 kV/m. Data suggest the limit of a biological effects corridor lies between 15 and 27 m (4.1 and 1.8 kV/m) beyond the outer phase of the transmission line. Mechanisms to explain colony disturbance fall into two categories, direct perception of enhanced in-hive E fields, and perception of shock from induced currents. The same effects induced in colonies with total-hive E-field exposure can be reproduced with shock or E-field exposure of worker bees in extended hive entranceways (= porches). Full-scale experiments demonstrate bee exposure to E fields including 100 kV/m under moisture-free conditions within a non-conductive porch causes no detectable effect on colony behavior. Exposure of bees on a conductive (e.g. wet) substrate produces been disturbance, increased mortality, abnormal propolization, and possible impairment of colony growth. Thresholds for effects caused by step-potential-induced currents are: 275-350 nA - disturbance of single bees; 600 nA - onset of abnormal propolization; and 900 nA - sting.

  17. Pathogen Webs in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Cornman, R. Scott; Tarpy, David R.; Chen, Yanping; Jeffreys, Lacey; Lopez, Dawn; Pettis, Jeffery S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Evans, Jay D.

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses in honey bee colonies are unusual in their severity, geographical distribution, and, in some cases, failure to present recognized characteristics of known disease. Domesticated honey bees face numerous pests and pathogens, tempting hypotheses that colony collapses arise from exposure to new or resurgent pathogens. Here we explore the incidence and abundance of currently known honey bee pathogens in colonies suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), otherwise weak colonies, and strong colonies from across the United States. Although pathogen identities differed between the eastern and western United States, there was a greater incidence and abundance of pathogens in CCD colonies. Pathogen loads were highly covariant in CCD but not control hives, suggesting that CCD colonies rapidly become susceptible to a diverse set of pathogens, or that co-infections can act synergistically to produce the rapid depletion of workers that characterizes the disorder. We also tested workers from a CCD-free apiary to confirm that significant positive correlations among pathogen loads can develop at the level of individual bees and not merely as a secondary effect of CCD. This observation and other recent data highlight pathogen interactions as important components of bee disease. Finally, we used deep RNA sequencing to further characterize microbial diversity in CCD and non-CCD hives. We identified novel strains of the recently described Lake Sinai viruses (LSV) and found evidence of a shift in gut bacterial composition that may be a biomarker of CCD. The results are discussed with respect to host-parasite interactions and other environmental stressors of honey bees. PMID:22927991

  18. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Solitary invasive orchid bee outperforms co-occurring native bees to promote fruit set of an invasive Solanum.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hong; Pemberton, Robert W

    2009-03-01

    Our understanding of the effects of introduced invasive pollinators on plants has been exclusively drawn from studies on introduced social bees. One might expect, however, that the impacts of introduced solitary bees, with much lower population densities and fewer foragers, would be small. Yet little is known about the potential effects of naturalized solitary bees on the environment. We took advantage of the recent naturalization of an orchid bee, Euglossa viridissima, in southern Florida to study the effects of this solitary bee on reproduction of Solanum torvum, an invasive shrub. Flowers of S. torvum require specialized buzz pollination. Through timed floral visitor watches and two pollination treatments (control and pollen supplementation) at three forest edge and three open area sites, we found that the fruit set of S. torvum was pollen limited at the open sites where the native bees dominate, but was not pollen limited at the forest sites where the invasive orchid bees dominate. The orchid bee's pollination efficiency was nearly double that of the native halictid bees, and was also slightly higher than that of the native carpenter bee. Experiments using small and large mesh cages (to deny or allow E. viridissima access, respectively) at one forest site indicated that when the orchid bee was excluded, the flowers set one-quarter as many fruit as when the bee was allowed access. The orchid bee was the most important pollinator of the weed at the forest sites, which could pose additional challenges to the management of this weed in the fragmented, endangered tropical hardwood forests in the region. This specialized invasive mutualism may promote populations of both the orchid bee and this noxious weed. Invasive solitary bees, particularly species that are specialized pollinators, appear to have more importance than has previously been recognized. PMID:19066971

  1. Time Scales: Terrestrial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petit, G.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Terrestrial time is at present derived from atomic clocks. The SI second, the unit of time of the international system of units, has been defined since 1967 in terms of a hyperfine transition of the cesium atom and the best primary frequency standards now realize it with a relative uncertainty of a few parts in 1015, which makes it the most accurately measurable physical quantity. INTERNATIONAL A...

  2. The Antiquity and Evolutionary History of Social Behavior in Bees

    PubMed Central

    Cardinal, Sophie; Danforth, Bryan N.

    2011-01-01

    A long-standing controversy in bee social evolution concerns whether highly eusocial behavior has evolved once or twice within the corbiculate Apidae. Corbiculate bees include the highly eusocial honey bees and stingless bees, the primitively eusocial bumble bees, and the predominantly solitary or communal orchid bees. Here we use a model-based approach to reconstruct the evolutionary history of eusociality and date the antiquity of eusocial behavior in apid bees, using a recent molecular phylogeny of the Apidae. We conclude that eusociality evolved once in the common ancestor of the corbiculate Apidae, advanced eusociality evolved independently in the honey and stingless bees, and that eusociality was lost in the orchid bees. Fossil-calibrated divergence time estimates reveal that eusociality first evolved at least 87 Mya (78 to 95 Mya) in the corbiculates, much earlier than in other groups of bees with less complex social behavior. These results provide a robust new evolutionary framework for studies of the organization and genetic basis of social behavior in honey bees and their relatives. PMID:21695157

  3. Visible and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Detects Honey Bee Queen Insemination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The abdomens of honey bee queens, the heads of worker bees, and the ventriculi of worker bees were analyzed by visible and near-infrared spectroscopy. Mated honey bee queens could be distinguished from virgin queens by their spectra with 100% accuracy. Also, the heads of worker bees taken from the ...

  4. Visible and near-infrared spectroscopy detects queen honey bee insemination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The abdomens of honey bee queens, the heads of worker bees, and the ventriculi of worker bees were analyzed by visible and near-infrared spectroscopy. Mated honey bee queens could be distinguished from virgin queens by their spectra with 100% accuracy. Also, the heads of worker bees taken from the...

  5. Chem I Supplement: Bee Sting: The Chemistry of an Insect Venom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connor, Rod; Peck, Larry

    1980-01-01

    Considers various aspects of bee stings including the physical mechanism of the venom apparatus in the bee, categorization of physiological responses of nonprotected individuals to bee sting, chemical composition of bee venom and the mechanisms of venom action, and areas of interest in the synthesis of bee venom. (CS)

  6. Iridovirus and Microsporidian Linked to Honey Bee Colony Decline

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Bees' subtle colour preferences: how bees respond to small changes in pigment concentration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papiorek, Sarah; Rohde, Katja; Lunau, Klaus

    2013-07-01

    Variability in flower colour of animal-pollinated plants is common and caused, inter alia, by inter-individual differences in pigment concentrations. If and how pollinators, especially bees, respond to these small differences in pigment concentration is not known, but it is likely that flower colour variability impacts the choice behaviour of all flower visitors that exhibit innate and learned colour preferences. In behavioural experiments, we simulated varying pigment concentrations and studied its impact on the colour choices of bumblebees and honeybees. Individual bees were trained to artificial flowers having a specific concentration of a pigment, i.e. Acridine Orange or Aniline Blue, and then given the simultaneous choice between three test colours including the training colour, one colour of lower and one colour of higher pigment concentration. For each pigment, two set-ups were provided, covering the range of low to middle and the range of middle to high pigment concentrations. Despite the small bee-subjective perceptual contrasts between the tested stimuli and regardless of training towards medium concentrations, bees preferred neither the training stimuli nor the stimuli offering the highest pigment concentration but more often chose those stimuli offering the highest spectral purity and the highest chromatic contrast against the background. Overall, this study suggests that bees choose an intermediate pigment concentration due to its optimal conspicuousness. It is concluded that the spontaneous preferences of bees for flower colours of high spectral purity might exert selective pressure on the evolution of floral colours and of flower pigmentation.

  8. Pesticides and reduced-risk insecticides, native bees and pantropical stingless bees: pitfalls and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Wagner F; Smagghe, Guy; Guedes, Raul Narciso C

    2015-08-01

    Although invertebrates generally have a low public profile, the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., is a flagship species whose popularity likely derives from the products it provides and its perceived ecological services. Therefore, the raging debate regarding honey bee decline has surpassed the realm of beekeepers, academia, industry and regulatory agencies and now also encompasses non-governmental agencies, media, fiction writers and the general public. The early interest and concern about honey bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) soon shifted to the bigger issue of pollinator decline, with a focus on the potential involvement of pesticides in such a phenomenon. Pesticides were previously recognised as the potential culprits of the reported declines, particularly the neonicotinoid insecticides owing to their widespread and peculiar use in agriculture. However, the evidence for the potential pivotal role of these neonicotinoids in honey bee decline remains a matter of debate, with an increased recognition of the multifactorial nature of the problem and the lack of a direct association between the noted decline and neonicotinoid use. The focus on the decline of honey bee populations subsequently spread to other species, and bumblebees became another matter of concern, particularly in Europe and the United States. Other bee species, ones that are particularly important in other regions of the world, remain the object of little concern (unjustifiably so). Furthermore, the continuous focus on neonicotinoids is also in need of revision, as the current evidence suggests that a broad spectrum of compounds deserve attention. Here we address both shortcomings. PMID:25892651

  9. Way-finding in displaced clock-shifted bees proves bees use a cognitive map

    PubMed Central

    Cheeseman, James F.; Millar, Craig D.; Greggers, Uwe; Lehmann, Konstantin; Pawley, Matthew D. M.; Gallistel, Charles R.; Warman, Guy R.; Menzel, Randolf

    2014-01-01

    Mammals navigate by means of a metric cognitive map. Insects, most notably bees and ants, are also impressive navigators. The question whether they, too, have a metric cognitive map is important to cognitive science and neuroscience. Experimentally captured and displaced bees often depart from the release site in the compass direction they were bent on before their capture, even though this no longer heads them toward their goal. When they discover their error, however, the bees set off more or less directly toward their goal. This ability to orient toward a goal from an arbitrary point in the familiar environment is evidence that they have an integrated metric map of the experienced environment. We report a test of an alternative hypothesis, which is that all the bees have in memory is a collection of snapshots that enable them to recognize different landmarks and, associated with each such snapshot, a sun-compass–referenced home vector derived from dead reckoning done before and after previous visits to the landmark. We show that a large shift in the sun-compass rapidly induced by general anesthesia does not alter the accuracy or speed of the homeward-oriented flight made after the bees discover the error in their initial postrelease flight. This result rules out the sun-referenced home-vector hypothesis, further strengthening the now extensive evidence for a metric cognitive map in bees. PMID:24889633

  10. Bees' subtle colour preferences: how bees respond to small changes in pigment concentration.

    PubMed

    Papiorek, Sarah; Rohde, Katja; Lunau, Klaus

    2013-07-01

    Variability in flower colour of animal-pollinated plants is common and caused, inter alia, by inter-individual differences in pigment concentrations. If and how pollinators, especially bees, respond to these small differences in pigment concentration is not known, but it is likely that flower colour variability impacts the choice behaviour of all flower visitors that exhibit innate and learned colour preferences. In behavioural experiments, we simulated varying pigment concentrations and studied its impact on the colour choices of bumblebees and honeybees. Individual bees were trained to artificial flowers having a specific concentration of a pigment, i.e. Acridine Orange or Aniline Blue, and then given the simultaneous choice between three test colours including the training colour, one colour of lower and one colour of higher pigment concentration. For each pigment, two set-ups were provided, covering the range of low to middle and the range of middle to high pigment concentrations. Despite the small bee-subjective perceptual contrasts between the tested stimuli and regardless of training towards medium concentrations, bees preferred neither the training stimuli nor the stimuli offering the highest pigment concentration but more often chose those stimuli offering the highest spectral purity and the highest chromatic contrast against the background. Overall, this study suggests that bees choose an intermediate pigment concentration due to its optimal conspicuousness. It is concluded that the spontaneous preferences of bees for flower colours of high spectral purity might exert selective pressure on the evolution of floral colours and of flower pigmentation. PMID:23722560

  11. Distinctive gut microbiota of honey bees assessed using deep sampling from individual worker bees.

    PubMed

    Moran, Nancy A; Hansen, Allison K; Powell, J Elijah; Sabree, Zakee L

    2012-01-01

    Surveys of 16S rDNA sequences from the honey bee, Apis mellifera, have revealed the presence of eight distinctive bacterial phylotypes in intestinal tracts of adult worker bees. Because previous studies have been limited to relatively few sequences from samples pooled from multiple hosts, the extent of variation in this microbiota among individuals within and between colonies and locations has been unclear. We surveyed the gut microbiota of 40 individual workers from two sites, Arizona and Maryland USA, sampling four colonies per site. Universal primers were used to amplify regions of 16S ribosomal RNA genes, and amplicons were sequenced using 454 pyrotag methods, enabling analysis of about 330,000 bacterial reads. Over 99% of these sequences belonged to clusters for which the first blastn hits in GenBank were members of the known bee phylotypes. Four phylotypes, one within Gammaproteobacteria (corresponding to "Candidatus Gilliamella apicola") one within Betaproteobacteria ("Candidatus Snodgrassella alvi"), and two within Lactobacillus, were present in every bee, though their frequencies varied. The same typical bacterial phylotypes were present in all colonies and at both sites. Community profiles differed significantly among colonies and between sites, mostly due to the presence in some Arizona colonies of two species of Enterobacteriaceae not retrieved previously from bees. Analysis of Sanger sequences of rRNA of the Snodgrassella and Gilliamella phylotypes revealed that single bees contain numerous distinct strains of each phylotype. Strains showed some differentiation between localities, especially for the Snodgrassella phylotype. PMID:22558460

  12. Geography and Teaching: National Geography Bee?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eichen, Marc

    1988-01-01

    Questions value of the National Geography Bee proposed by the National Geographic Society because the public may see geography content as unrelated facts; students may not be motivated; and content can be trivialized. Encourages group competitions that focus on conceptual and regional themes combined with societal, environmental, and locational…

  13. Predictive markers of honey bee colony collapse

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Managed honey bee colonies are currently affected by abrupt depopulation during winter and many factors are suspected to be involved, either alone or in combination. Pathogens are considered as principal actors, contributing to weaken colony health and leaving room for secondary infections. In parti...

  14. Testing Honey Bees' Avoidance of Predators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Jesse Wade; Nieh, James C.; Goodale, Eben

    2012-01-01

    Many high school science students do not encounter opportunities for authentic science inquiry in their formal coursework. Ecological field studies can provide such opportunities. The purpose of this project was to teach students about the process of science by designing and conducting experiments on whether and how honey bees (Apis mellifera)…

  15. Tragedy of the commons in Melipona bees.

    PubMed Central

    Wenseleers, Tom; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2004-01-01

    In human society selfish use of common resources can lead to disaster, a situation known as the 'tragedy of the commons' (TOC). Although a TOC is usually prevented by coercion, theory predicts that close kinship ties can also favour reduced exploitation. We test this prediction using data on a TOC occurring in Melipona bee societies. PMID:15504003

  16. Genetic Stock Identification of Russian Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A genetic stock certification assay was developed to distinguish Russian honey bees from other European stocks that are commercially produced in the United States. A total of 11 microsatellite and 5 SNP loci were used. Loci were selected for relatively high levels of homogeneity within each group an...

  17. Odor compound detection in male euglossine bees.

    PubMed

    Schiestl, F P; Roubik, D W

    2003-01-01

    Male euglossine bees collect fragrances from various sources, which they store and use for as yet unknown purposes. They are attracted, often specifically, to single odor compounds and blends thereof. We used gas chromatography with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) and electroantennography (EAG) to investigate the response to 8 odor compounds by males of two euglossine species, Euglossa cybelia Moure and Eulaema polychroma (Mocsàry). In E. cybelia, we recorded EAD reactions in response to 1,8-cineole, methyl benzoate, benzyl actetate, methyl salicylate, eugenol, and methyl cinnamate. E. polychroma responded to the same compounds in EAG experiments, while (1s)(-)alpha-pinene and beta-pinene failed to trigger EAD or EAG responses in the bees. Blends of two compounds triggered larger responses than single compounds in EAG experiments with E. polychroma, however, when alpha-pinene was added, reactions decreased. In the light of existing data on the bees' behavior towards these odor compounds, our work indicates that both peripheral and central nervous processes influence the attraction of euglossine bees to odors. PMID:12647866

  18. The Problem of Disease When Domesticating Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As with all other biota on Earth, bees are susceptible to diseases, and when we domesticate them, we increase their population densities to suit our needs. This increase in population density makes them more susceptible to disease, and it also brings the natural diseases to our attention when we see...

  19. Octopamine modulates honey bee dance behavior

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees communicate the location and desirability of valuable forage sites to their nest mates via an elaborate, symbolic ‘dance language’. The dance language is a uniquely complex communication system in invertebrates, and the neural mechanisms that generate dances are largely unknown. Here we ...

  20. Virus infections in Brazilian honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Brazilian honey bees are famously resistant to disease, perhaps because of long-term introgression from Apis mellifera subsp. scutellata. Recently, colony losses were observed in the Altinópolis region of southeastern Brazil. We sampled 200 colonies from this region for Israeli acute paralysis vir...

  1. Influence of genomics in honey bee research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A large number of genomic projects have already demonstrated very important achievements that will eventually provide healthier bees and therefore better pollinators. In this paper, we illustrated some of the most prominent achievements by the community of scientists that worked together on the Hone...

  2. Quiz Time in the Classroom: Spelling Bee.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Annie

    1982-01-01

    "Spelling Bee" is a computer program (Applesoft Basic), suitable for grades K-3, consisting of several "modes" and 11 units of spelling words. "Modes" include Demonstration (teacher preview of lessons), Learning Management (test preparation), Tutorial (student practice), and Drill (spelling test, which can be designed to meet individual student…

  3. Microsatellite Analysis of Museum Specimens Reveals Historical Differences in Genetic Diversity between Declining and More Stable Bombus Species

    PubMed Central

    Maebe, Kevin; Meeus, Ivan; Ganne, Maarten; De Meulemeester, Thibaut; Biesmeijer, Koos; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Worldwide most pollinators, e.g. bumblebees, are undergoing global declines. Loss of genetic diversity can play an essential role in these observed declines. In this paper, we investigated the level of genetic diversity of seven declining Bombus species and four more stable species with the use of microsatellite loci. Hereto we genotyped a unique collection of museum specimens. Specimens were collected between 1918 and 1926, in 6 provinces of the Netherlands which allowed us to make interspecific comparisons of genetic diversity. For the stable species B. pascuorum, we also selected populations from two additional time periods: 1949–1955 and 1975–1990. The genetic diversity and population structure in B. pascuorum remained constant over the three time periods. However, populations of declining bumblebee species showed a significantly lower genetic diversity than co-occurring stable species before their major declines. This historical difference indicates that the repeatedly observed reduced genetic diversity in recent populations of declining bumblebee species is not caused solely by the decline itself. The historically low genetic diversity in the declined species may be due to the fact that these species were already rare, making them more vulnerable to the major drivers of bumblebee decline. PMID:26061732

  4. Intraspecific variation in flight metabolic rate in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens: repeatability and functional determinants in workers and drones.

    PubMed

    Darveau, Charles-A; Billardon, Fannie; Bélanger, Kasandra

    2014-02-15

    The evolution of flight energetics requires that phenotypes be variable, repeatable and heritable. We studied intraspecific variation in flight energetics in order to assess the repeatability of flight metabolic rate and wingbeat frequency, as well as the functional basis of phenotypic variation in workers and drones of the bumblebee species Bombus impatiens. We showed that flight metabolic rate and wingbeat frequency were highly repeatable in workers, even when controlling for body mass variation using residual analysis. We did not detect significant repeatability in drones, but a smaller range of variation might have prevented us from finding significant values in our sample. Based on our results and previous findings, we associated the high repeatability of flight phenotypes in workers to the functional links between body mass, thorax mass, wing size, wingbeat frequency and metabolic rate. Moreover, differences between workers and drones were as predicted from these functional associations, where drones had larger wings for their size, lower wingbeat frequency and lower flight metabolic rate. We also investigated thoracic muscle metabolic phenotypes by measuring the activity of carbohydrate metabolism enzymes, and we found positive correlations between mass-independent metabolic rate and the activity of all enzymes measured, but in workers only. When comparing workers and drones that differ in flight metabolic rate, only the activity of the enzymes hexokinase and trehalase showed the predicted differences. Overall, our study indicates that there should be correlated evolution among physiological phenotypes at multiple levels of organization and morphological traits associated with flight. PMID:24198266

  5. Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Walton, D.W.H.

    1987-01-01

    The Maritime and Continental Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems are considered in the context of environmental impacts - habitat destruction, alien introductions, and pollution. Four types of pollution are considered: nutrients, radionuclides, inert materials, and noxious chemicals. Their ability to recover from perturbation is discussed in the light of present scientific knowledge, and the methods used to control impacts are reviewed. It is concluded that techniques of waste disposal are still inadequate, adequate training in environmental and conservation principles for Antarctic personnel in many countries is lacking, and scientific investigations may be a much more serious threat than tourism to the integrity of these ecosystems. Some priorities crucial to future management are suggested.

  6. The terrestrial ionosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schunk, R. W.

    1983-01-01

    The theory relating to the basic physics governing the behavior of the terrestrial ionosphere is reviewed. The review covers the coupling of the ionosphere to both the neutral atmosphere and magnetosphere, the creation and transport of ionization in the ionosphere, and the ionospheric thermal structure. The review also covers the variation of the ionosphere with altitude, latitude, longitude, universal time, season, solar cycle, and geomagnetic activity. In addition, some unique ionospheric features are discussed, such as the polar ionization hole, the main electron density trough, the ion temperature hot spots, the high-latitude ionization tongue, the equatorial fountain, Appleton's peaks, and the polar wind.

  7. Solar terrestrial observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Eight basic solar-terrestrial scientific objectives that benefit from the Shuttle/Platform approach and a program of measurements for each are discussed. The objectives are to understand: (1) solar variability, (2) wave-particle processes, (3) magnetosphere-ionosphere mass transport, (4) the global electric circuit, (5) upper atmospheric dynamics, (6) middle atmospheric chemistry and energetics, (7) lower atmospheric turbidity, and (8) planetary atmospheric waves. A two stage approach to a multidisciplinary payload is developed: an initial STO, that uses a single platform in a low-Earth orbit, and an advanced STO that uses two platforms in differing orbits.

  8. Biological and therapeutic properties of bee pollen: a review.

    PubMed

    Denisow, Bożena; Denisow-Pietrzyk, Marta

    2016-10-01

    Natural products, including bee products, are particularly appreciated by consumers and are used for therapeutic purposes as alternative drugs. However, it is not known whether treatments with bee products are safe and how to minimise the health risks of such products. Among others, bee pollen is a natural honeybee product promoted as a valuable source of nourishing substances and energy. The health-enhancing value of bee pollen is expected due to the wide range of secondary plant metabolites (tocopherol, niacin, thiamine, biotin and folic acid, polyphenols, carotenoid pigments, phytosterols), besides enzymes and co-enzymes, contained in bee pollen. The promising reports on the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticariogenic antibacterial, antifungicidal, hepatoprotective, anti-atherosclerotic, immune enhancing potential require long-term and large cohort clinical studies. The main difficulty in the application of bee pollen in modern phytomedicine is related to the wide species-specific variation in its composition. Therefore, the variations may differently contribute to bee-pollen properties and biological activity and thus in therapeutic effects. In principle, we can unequivocally recommend bee pollen as a valuable dietary supplement. Although the bee-pollen components have potential bioactive and therapeutic properties, extensive research is required before bee pollen can be used in therapy. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. PMID:27013064

  9. Imaging Live Bee Brains using Minimally-Invasive Diagnostic Radioentomology

    PubMed Central

    Greco, Mark K; Tong, Jenna; Soleimani, Manucher; Bell, Duncan; Schäfer, Marc O

    2012-01-01

    The sensitivity of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymeonoptera: Apidae), brain volume and density to behavior (plasticity) makes it a great model for exploring the interactions between experience, behavior, and brain structure. Plasticity in the adult bee brain has been demonstrated in previous experiments. This experiment was conducted to identify the potentials and limitations of MicroCT (micro computed tomograpy) scanning “live” bees as a more comprehensive, non-invasive method for brain morphology and physiology. Bench-top and synchrotron MicroCT were used to scan live bees. For improved tissue differentiation, bees were fed and injected with radiographic contrast. Images of optic lobes, ocelli, antennal lobes, and mushroom bodies were visualized in 2D and 3D rendering modes. Scanning of live bees (for the first time) enabled minimally-invasive imaging of physiological processes such as passage of contrast from gut to haemolymph, and preliminary brain perfusion studies. The use of microCT scanning for studying insects (collectively termed ‘diagnostic radioentomology’, or DR) is increasing. Our results indicate that it is feasible to observe plasticity of the honey bee brain in vivo using diagnostic radioentomology, and that progressive, real-time observations of these changes can be followed in individual live bees. Limitations of live bee scanning, such as movement errors and poor tissue differentiation, were identified; however, there is great potential for in-vivo, non-invasive diagnostic radioentomology imaging of the honey bee for brain morphology and physiology. PMID:23421752

  10. Bee Venom Phospholipase A2: Yesterday's Enemy Becomes Today's Friend.

    PubMed

    Lee, Gihyun; Bae, Hyunsu

    2016-02-01

    Bee venom therapy has been used to treat immune-related diseases such as arthritis for a long time. Recently, it has revealed that group III secretory phospholipase A2 from bee venom (bee venom group III sPLA2) has in vitro and in vivo immunomodulatory effects. A growing number of reports have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of bee venom group III sPLA2. Notably, new experimental data have shown protective immune responses of bee venom group III sPLA2 against a wide range of diseases including asthma, Parkinson's disease, and drug-induced organ inflammation. It is critical to evaluate the beneficial and adverse effects of bee venom group III sPLA2 because this enzyme is known to be the major allergen of bee venom that can cause anaphylactic shock. For many decades, efforts have been made to avoid its adverse effects. At high concentrations, exposure to bee venom group III sPLA2 can result in damage to cellular membranes and necrotic cell death. In this review, we summarized the current knowledge about the therapeutic effects of bee venom group III sPLA2 on several immunological diseases and described the detailed mechanisms of bee venom group III sPLA2 in regulating various immune responses and physiopathological changes. PMID:26907347

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    Bee's honey is one of the most valued and appreciated natural substances known to mankind since ancient times. There are many types of bee's honey mentioned in Ayurveda. Their effects differ and 'Makshika' is considered medicinally the best. According to modern scientific view, the best bee's honey is made by Apis mellifera (Family: Apidae). In Sri Lanka, the predominant honey-maker bee is Apis cerana. The aim of this survey is to emphasize the importance of bee's honey and its multitude of medicinal, cosmetic and general values. Synonyms, details of formation, constitution, properties, and method of extraction and the usages of bee's honey are gathered from text books, traditional and Ayurvedic physicians of Western and Southern provinces, villagers of 'Kalahe' in Galle district of Sri Lanka and from few search engines. Fresh bee's honey is used in treatment of eye diseases, throat infections, bronchial asthma, tuberculosis, hiccups, thirst, dizziness, fatigue, hepatitis, worm infestation, constipation, piles, eczema, healing of wounds, ulcers and used as a nutritious, easily digestible food for weak people. It promotes semen, mental health and used in cosmetic purposes. Old bee's honey is used to treat vomiting, diarrhea, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, diabetes mellitus and in preserving meat and fruits. Highly popular in cosmetic treatment, bee's honey is used in preparing facial washes, skin moisturizers, hair conditioners and in treatment of pimples. Bee's honey could be considered as one of the finest products of nature that has a wide range of beneficial uses. PMID:23559786

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    The capacity of honey bees (Apis mellifera) to detect bitter substances is controversial because they ingest without reluctance different kinds of bitter solutions in the laboratory, whereas free-flying bees avoid them in visual discrimination tasks. Here, we asked whether the gustatory perception of bees changes with the behavioral context so that tastes that are less effective as negative reinforcements in a given context become more effective in a different context. We trained bees to discriminate an odorant paired with 1 mol l(-1) sucrose solution from another odorant paired with either distilled water, 3 mol l(-1) NaCl or 60 mmol l(-1) quinine. Training was either Pavlovian [olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) in harnessed bees], or mainly operant (olfactory conditioning of free-walking bees in a Y-maze). PER-trained and maze-trained bees were subsequently tested both in their original context and in the alternative context. Whereas PER-trained bees transferred their choice to the Y-maze situation, Y-maze-trained bees did not respond with a PER to odors when subsequently harnessed. In both conditioning protocols, NaCl and distilled water were the strongest and the weakest aversive reinforcement, respectively. A significant variation was found for quinine, which had an intermediate aversive effect in PER conditioning but a more powerful effect in the Y-maze, similar to that of NaCl. These results thus show that the aversive strength of quinine varies with the learning context, and reveal the plasticity of the bee's gustatory system. We discuss the experimental constraints of both learning contexts and focus on stress as a key modulator of taste in the honey bee. Further explorations of bee taste are proposed to understand the physiology of taste modulation in bees. PMID:25788729

  13. Bilabiate Flowers: The Ultimate Response to Bees?

    PubMed Central

    Westerkamp, Christian; Claßen-Bockhoff, Regine

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Bilabiate flowers have evolved in many lineages of the angiosperms, thus representing a convincing example of parallel evolution. Similar to keel blossoms, they have obviously evolved in order to protect pollen against pollen-collecting bees. Although many examples are known, a comprehensive survey on floral diversity and functional constraints of bilabiate flowers is lacking. Here, the concept is widened and described as a general pattern. Methods The present paper is a conceptional review including personal observations of the authors. To form a survey on the diversity of bilabiate blossoms, a search was made for examples across the angiosperms and these were combined with personal observations collected during the last 25 years, coupled with knowledge from the literature. New functional terms are introduced that are independent of morphological and taxonomic associations. Key Results Bilabiate constructions occur in at least 38 angiosperm families. They are characterized by dorsiventral organization and dorsal pollen transfer. They are most often realised on the level of a single flower, but may also be present in an inflorescence or as part of a so-called ‘walk-around flower’. Interestingly, in functional terms all nototribic blossoms represent bilabiate constructions. The great majority of specialized bee-flowers can thus be included under bilabiate and keel blossoms. The syndrome introduced here, however, also paves the way for the inclusion of larger animals such as birds and bats. The most important evolutionary trends appear to be in the saving of pollen and the precision of its transfer. With special reference to the Lamiales, selected examples of bilabiate flowers are presented and their functional significance is discussed. Conclusions Bilabiate blossoms protect their pollen against pollen-collecting bees and at the same time render their pollination more precisely. The huge diversity of realised forms indicate the high selection

  14. Aethina tumida (Coleoptera:Nitidulidae) attraction to volatiles produced by Apis mellifera(Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study, small hive beetle attraction to whole honey bee and bumble bee colony volatiles as well as volatiles from individual colony components was investigated using four-way olfactometer choice tests. This was done to determine the role olfactory cues play in SHB host location and differenti...

  15. Propagating and Managing orcahrd Mason Bees, Osmia spp. (Hymenoptera: Megachildae) for Pollinating Cultivated Blueberry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Here, we present a brief overview of our bee trap-nesting study as well as information about propagating and managing mason bees for blueberry pollination, especially the bee species Osmia ribifloris....

  16. Cultivation and characterization of the gut symbionts of honey bees and bumble bees: description of Snodgrassella alvi gen. nov., sp. nov., a member of the family Neisseriaceae of the Betaproteobacteria, and Gilliamella apicola gen. nov., sp. nov., a member of Orbaceae fam. nov., Orbales ord. nov., a sister taxon to the order 'Enterobacteriales' of the Gammaproteobacteria.

    PubMed

    Kwong, Waldan K; Moran, Nancy A

    2013-06-01

    Gut-associated bacteria were isolated in axenic culture from the honey bee Apis mellifera and the bumble bees Bombus bimaculatus and B. vagans and are here placed in the novel genera and species Snodgrassella alvi gen. nov., sp. nov. and Gilliamella apicola gen. nov., sp. nov. Two strains from A. mellifera were characterized and are proposed as the type strains of Snodgrassella alvi (type strain wkB2(T) =NCIMB 14803(T) =ATCC BAA-2449(T) =NRRL B-59751(T)) and Gilliamella apicola (type strain wkB1(T) =NCIMB 14804(T) =ATCC BAA-2448(T)), representing, respectively, phylotypes referred to as 'Betaproteobacteria' and 'Gammaproteobacteria-1'/'Gamma-1' in earlier publications. These strains grew optimally under microaerophilic conditions, and did not grow readily under a normal atmosphere. The predominant fatty acids in both strains were palmitic acid (C16:0) and cis-vaccenic acid (C18:1ω7c and/or C18:1ω6c), and both strains had ubiquinone-8 as their major respiratory quinone. The DNA G+C contents were 41.3 and 33.6 mol% for wkB2(T) and wkB1(T), respectively. The Snodgrassella alvi strains from honey bees and bumble bees formed a novel clade within the family Neisseriaceae of the Betaproteobacteria, showing about 94% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity to their closest relatives, species of Stenoxybacter, Alysiella and Kingella. The Gilliamella apicola strains showed the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence identity to Orbus hercynius CN3(T) (93.9%) and several sequences from uncultured insect-associated bacteria. Phylogenetic reconstruction using conserved, single-copy amino acid sequences showed Gilliamella apicola as sister to the order 'Enterobacteriales' of the Gammaproteobacteria. Given its large sequence divergence from and basal position to the well-established order 'Enterobacteriales', we propose to place the clade encompassing Gilliamella apicola and O. hercynius in a new family and order, Orbaceae fam. nov. and Orbales ord. nov. PMID:23041637

  17. Magnetic Sensing through the Abdomen of the Honey bee.

    PubMed

    Liang, Chao-Hung; Chuang, Cheng-Long; Jiang, Joe-Air; Yang, En-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees have the ability to detect the Earth's magnetic field, and the suspected magnetoreceptors are the iron granules in the abdomens of the bees. To identify the sensing route of honey bee magnetoreception, we conducted a classical conditioning experiment in which the responses of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) were monitored. Honey bees were successfully trained to associate the magnetic stimulus with a sucrose reward after two days of training. When the neural connection of the ventral nerve cord (VNC) between the abdomen and the thorax was cut, the honey bees no longer associated the magnetic stimulus with the sucrose reward but still responded to an olfactory PER task. The neural responses elicited in response to the change of magnetic field were also recorded at the VNC. Our results suggest that the honey bee is a new model animal for the investigation of magnetite-based magnetoreception. PMID:27005398

  18. Magnetic Sensing through the Abdomen of the Honey bee

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Chao-Hung; Chuang, Cheng-Long; Jiang, Joe-Air; Yang, En-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees have the ability to detect the Earth’s magnetic field, and the suspected magnetoreceptors are the iron granules in the abdomens of the bees. To identify the sensing route of honey bee magnetoreception, we conducted a classical conditioning experiment in which the responses of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) were monitored. Honey bees were successfully trained to associate the magnetic stimulus with a sucrose reward after two days of training. When the neural connection of the ventral nerve cord (VNC) between the abdomen and the thorax was cut, the honey bees no longer associated the magnetic stimulus with the sucrose reward but still responded to an olfactory PER task. The neural responses elicited in response to the change of magnetic field were also recorded at the VNC. Our results suggest that the honey bee is a new model animal for the investigation of magnetite-based magnetoreception. PMID:27005398

  19. Studies on Bee Venom and Its Medical Uses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Mahmoud Abdu Al-Samie Mohamed

    2012-07-01

    Use of honey and other bee products in human treatments traced back thousands of years and healing properties are included in many religious texts including the Veda, Bible and Quran. Apitherapy is the use of honey bee products for medical purposes, this include bee venom, raw honey, royal jelly, pollen, propolis, and beeswax. Whereas bee venom therapy is the use of live bee stings (or injectable venom) to treat various diseases such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, sciatica, low back pain, and tennis elbow to name a few. It refers to any use of venom to assist the body in healing itself. Bee venom contains at least 18 pharmacologically active components including various enzymes, peptides and amines. Sulfur is believed to be the main element in inducing the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands and in protecting the body from infections. Contact with bee venom produces a complex cascade of reactions in the human body. The bee venom is safe for human treatments, the median lethal dose (LD50) for an adult human is 2.8 mg of venom per kg of body weight, i.e. a person weighing 60 kg has a 50% chance of surviving injections totaling 168 mg of bee venom. Assuming each bee injects all its venom and no stings are quickly removed at a maximum of 0.3 mg venom per sting, 560 stings could well be lethal for such a person. For a child weighing 10 kg, as little as 93.33 stings could be fatal. However, most human deaths result from one or few bee stings due to allergic reactions, heart failure or suffocation from swelling around the neck or the mouth. As compare with other human diseases, accidents and other unusual cases, the bee venom is very safe for human treatments.

  20. Microbiota associated with pollen, bee bread, larvae and adults of solitary bee Osmia cornuta (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae).

    PubMed

    Lozo, J; Berić, T; Terzić-Vidojević, A; Stanković, S; Fira, D; Stanisavljević, L

    2015-08-01

    Using cultivation-dependant method, we isolated 184 strains from fresh and old bee bread, pollen, larvae and adults of solitary bee Osmia cornuta. The 16S rDNA sequencing of 79 selected isolates gave the final species-specific identification of strains. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that microbiota isolated from five different sources were represented with 29 species within three different phyla, Firmicutes with 25 species, Actinobacteria with only one species and Proteobacteria with three species of Enterobacteriaceae. Bacterial biodiversity presented with Shannon-Wiener index (H') was highest in the alimentary tract of adults and old bee bread (H' = 2.43 and H' = 2.53, respectively) and in the same time no dominance of any species was scored. On the contrary, results obtained for Simpson index (D) showed that in pollen samples the dominant species was Pantoea agglomerans (D = 0.42) while in fresh bee bread that was Staphylococcus sp. (D = 0.27). We assume that microbial diversity detected in the tested samples of solitary bee O. cornuta probably come from environment. PMID:25895542

  1. Climate-associated phenological advances in bee pollinators and bee-pollinated plants.

    PubMed

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Ascher, John S; Wagner, David; Danforth, Bryan N; Colla, Sheila; Kornbluth, Sarah; Winfree, Rachael

    2011-12-20

    The phenology of many ecological processes is modulated by temperature, making them potentially sensitive to climate change. Mutualistic interactions may be especially vulnerable because of the potential for phenological mismatching if the species involved do not respond similarly to changes in temperature. Here we present an analysis of climate-associated shifts in the phenology of wild bees, the most important pollinators worldwide, and compare these shifts to published studies of bee-pollinated plants over the same time period. We report that over the past 130 y, the phenology of 10 bee species from northeastern North America has advanced by a mean of 10.4 ± 1.3 d. Most of this advance has taken place since 1970, paralleling global temperature increases. When the best available data are used to estimate analogous rates of advance for plants, these rates are not distinguishable from those of bees, suggesting that bee emergence is keeping pace with shifts in host-plant flowering, at least among the generalist species that we investigated. PMID:22143794

  2. Pollination value of male bees: the specialist bee Peponapis pruinosa (Apidae) at summer squash (Cucurbita pepo).

    PubMed

    Cane, James H; Sampson, Blair J; Miller, Stephanie A

    2011-06-01

    Male bees can be abundant at flowers, particularly floral hosts of those bee species whose females are taxonomic pollen specialists (oligolecty). Contributions of male bees to host pollination are rarely studied directly despite their prevalence in a number of pollination guilds, including those of some crop plants. In this study, males of the oligolectic bee, Peponapis pruinosa Say, were shown to be effective pollinators of summer squash, Cucurbita pepo L. Seven sequential visits from male P. pruinosa maximized squash fruit set and growth. This number of male visits accumulated during the first hour of their foraging and mate searching at flowers soon after sunrise. Pollination efficacy of male P. pruinosa and their abundances at squash flowers were sufficient to account for most summer squash production at our study sites, and by extrapolation, to two-thirds of all 87 North American farms and market gardens growing squashes that were surveyed for pollinators by collaborators in the Squash Pollinators of the Americas Survey. We posit that the substantial pollination value of male Peponapis bees is a consequence of their species' oligolecty, their mate seeking strategy, and some extreme traits of Cucurbita flowers (massive rewards, flower size, phenology). PMID:22251639

  3. Partial ovary development is widespread in honey bees and comparable to other eusocial bees and wasps

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Michael L.; Mattila, Heather R.; Reeve, H. Kern

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee workers have few opportunities for direct reproduction because their ovary development is chemically suppressed by queens and worker-laid eggs are destroyed by workers. While workers with fully developed ovaries are rare in honey bee colonies, we show that partial ovary development is common. Across nine studies, an average of 6% to 43% of workers had partially developed ovaries in queenright colonies with naturally mated queens. This shift by workers toward potential future reproduction is linked to lower productivity, which suggests that even small investments in reproductive physiology by selfish workers reduce cooperation below a theoretical maximum. Furthermore, comparisons across 26 species of bees and wasps revealed that the level of partial ovary development in honey bees is similar to that of other eusocial Hymenoptera where there is reproductive conflict among colony members. Natural variation in the extent of partial ovary development in honey bee colonies calls for an exploration of the genetic and ecological factors that modulate shifts in cooperation within animal societies. PMID:24255737

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity. PMID:26765140

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity. PMID:26765140

  6. Terrestrial Planet Geophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, R. J.

    2008-12-01

    Terrestrial planet geophysics beyond our home sphere had its start arguably in the early 1960s, with Keith Runcorn contending that the second-degree shape of the Moon is due to convection and Mariner 2 flying past Venus and detecting no planetary magnetic field. Within a decade, in situ surface geophysical measurements were carried out on the Moon with the Apollo program, portions of the lunar magnetic and gravity fields were mapped, and Jack Lorell and his colleagues at JPL were producing spherical harmonic gravity field models for Mars using tracking data from Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. Moreover, Mariner 10 discovered a planetary magnetic field at Mercury, and a young Sean Solomon was using geological evidence of surface contraction to constrain the thermal evolution of the innermost planet. In situ geophysical experiments (such as seismic networks) were essentially never carried out after Apollo, although they were sometimes planned just beyond the believability horizon in planetary mission queues. Over the last three decades, the discipline of terrestrial planet geophysics has matured, making the most out of orbital magnetic and gravity field data, altimetric measurements of surface topography, and the integration of geochemical information. Powerful constraints are provided by tectonic and volcanic information gleaned from surface images, and the engagement of geologists in geophysical exercises is actually quite useful. Accompanying these endeavors, modeling techniques, largely adopted from the Earth Science community, have become increasingly sophisticated and have been greatly enhanced by the dramatic increase in computing power over the last two decades. The future looks bright with exciting new data sets emerging from the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the promise of the GRAIL gravity mission to the Moon, and the re-emergence of Venus as a worthy target for exploration. Who knows? With the unflagging optimism and persistence

  7. Terrestrial Coordinate Systems and Frames

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boucher, C.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    A terrestrial reference system (TRS) is a spatial reference system corotating with the Earth in its DIURNAL MOTION in space. In such a system, the positions of points anchored on the Earth's solid surface have coordinates which have only small variations with time, as a result of geophysical effects (tectonic or tidal deformations; see TECTONICS, EARTH'S INTERIOR, TIDES). A terrestrial reference ...

  8. Do bees like Van Gogh's Sunflowers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chittka, Lars; Walker, Julian

    2006-06-01

    Flower colours have evolved over 100 million years to address the colour vision of their bee pollinators. In a much more rapid process, cultural (and horticultural) evolution has produced images of flowers that stimulate aesthetic responses in human observers. The colour vision and analysis of visual patterns differ in several respects between humans and bees. Here, a behavioural ecologist and an installation artist present bumblebees with reproductions of paintings highly appreciated in Western society, such as Van Gogh's Sunflowers. We use this unconventional approach in the hope to raise awareness for between-species differences in visual perception, and to provoke thinking about the implications of biology in human aesthetics and the relationship between object representation and its biological connotations.

  9. The knowledge base of bee navigation

    PubMed

    Menzel; Geiger; Chittka; Joerges; Kunze; MÜLler

    1996-01-01

    Navigation in honeybees is discussed against the background of the types of memories employed in the navigational task. Two questions are addressed. Do bees have goal-specific expectations, and when are novel routes travelled? Expectations are deduced from (1) context stimuli as determinants for local cue memories, (2) landmark-dependent path integration, (3) sequential learning of landmarks, and (4) motivation- and context-dependent memory retrieval. Novel routes are travelled under two conditions: (1) goal-cue-based piloting and (2) integration of simultaneously activated vector memories. Our data do not support the conclusion that memory integration in bees is organised by a cognitive map. The assumption of purely separate memories that are only retrieved according to the chain of events during navigational performance also appears to be inadequate. We favour the view that multiple memories are integrated using external and internal sources of information. Such configural memories lead to both specific expectations and novel routes. PMID:9317505

  10. Interactions between the Bumblebee Bombus pascuorum and Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) Are Mediated by Plant Genetic Background

    PubMed Central

    Sands, Richard J.; Rowntree, Jennifer K.

    2016-01-01

    Wildflower mixes are often planted around field margins to provide forage for pollinators. Although seed for these mixtures is often wild-sourced, for species where agricultural cultivars are available, for example red clover (Trifolium pratense), cultivars can also be included. Previous evidence suggests that plant genetic background can have a strong influence on plant-arthropod interactions and therefore the provenance and genetic background of the plants included in wildflower mixes could impact plant-pollinator interactions. We tested the performance of five individual T. pratense cultivars against two commercially available wild-sourced T. pratense populations in terms of their ability to attract potential pollinator species (focusing on bumblebees) and their floral traits using greenhouse and garden experiments. The main bumblebee observed interacting with T. pratense was Bombus pascuorum and we found no difference in the absolute number of B. pascuorum visiting the cultivars or wild populations. However, we found variation among cultivars and between wild populations in their ability to attract bumblebees, which seems to be related to their relative investment in different floral traits. There was a positive relationship between biomass and number of inflorescences produced by the wild populations of T. pratense, which was not apparent for the cultivars. This suggests that artificial selection on the cultivars has changed the G-matrix of correlated traits. We show that agricultural cultivars of T. pratense can be as effective as wild populations at attracting pollinators such as bumblebees, but that the genetic background of both cultivars and wild populations can have a significant impact on the attractiveness of the plant to pollinators. We also show divergence in the correlated traits of T. pratense cultivars and wild populations that could lead to outbreeding depression if the plants interbreed. PMID:27552193

  11. Interactions between the Bumblebee Bombus pascuorum and Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) Are Mediated by Plant Genetic Background.

    PubMed

    Sands, Richard J; Rowntree, Jennifer K

    2016-01-01

    Wildflower mixes are often planted around field margins to provide forage for pollinators. Although seed for these mixtures is often wild-sourced, for species where agricultural cultivars are available, for example red clover (Trifolium pratense), cultivars can also be included. Previous evidence suggests that plant genetic background can have a strong influence on plant-arthropod interactions and therefore the provenance and genetic background of the plants included in wildflower mixes could impact plant-pollinator interactions. We tested the performance of five individual T. pratense cultivars against two commercially available wild-sourced T. pratense populations in terms of their ability to attract potential pollinator species (focusing on bumblebees) and their floral traits using greenhouse and garden experiments. The main bumblebee observed interacting with T. pratense was Bombus pascuorum and we found no difference in the absolute number of B. pascuorum visiting the cultivars or wild populations. However, we found variation among cultivars and between wild populations in their ability to attract bumblebees, which seems to be related to their relative investment in different floral traits. There was a positive relationship between biomass and number of inflorescences produced by the wild populations of T. pratense, which was not apparent for the cultivars. This suggests that artificial selection on the cultivars has changed the G-matrix of correlated traits. We show that agricultural cultivars of T. pratense can be as effective as wild populations at attracting pollinators such as bumblebees, but that the genetic background of both cultivars and wild populations can have a significant impact on the attractiveness of the plant to pollinators. We also show divergence in the correlated traits of T. pratense cultivars and wild populations that could lead to outbreeding depression if the plants interbreed. PMID:27552193

  12. Scent of a break-up: phylogeography and reproductive trait divergences in the red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Pleistocene climatic oscillations are considered as a major driving force of intraspecific divergence and speciation. During Ice Ages, populations isolated in allopatric glacial refugia can experience differentiation in reproductive traits through divergence in selection regimes. This phenomenon may lead to reproductive isolation and dramatically accentuates the consequences of the climatic oscillations on species. Alternatively, when reproductive isolation is incomplete and populations are expanding again, further mating between the formerly isolated populations can result in the formation of a hybrid zone, genetic introgression or reinforcement speciation through reproductive trait displacements. Therefore changes in reproductive traits driven by population movements during climatic oscillations can act as an important force in promoting pre-zygotic isolation. Notwithstanding, divergence of reproductive traits has not been approached in the context of climatic oscillations. Here we investigate the impact of population movements driven by climatic oscillations on a reproductive trait of a bumblebee species (Bombus lapidarius). We characterise the pattern of variation and differentiation across the species distribution (i) with five genes (nuclear and mitochondrial), and (ii) in the chemical composition of male marking secretions (MMS), a key trait for mate attraction in bumblebees. Results Our results provide evidence that populations have experienced a genetic allopatric differentiation, in at least three main refugia (the Balkans, Centre-Eastern Europe, and Southern Italy) during Quaternary glaciations. The comparative chemical analyses show that populations from the Southern Italian refugium have experienced MMS differentiation and an incipient speciation process from another refugium. The meeting of Southern Italian populations with other populations as a result of range expansion at a secondary contact zone seems to have led to a reinforcement

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Background The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is considered to be one of the most significant threats to apiculture around the world. Chemical cues are known to play a significant role in the host-finding behavior of Varroa. The mites distinguish between bees from different task groups, and prefer nurses over foragers. We examined the possibility of disrupting the Varroa – honey bee interaction by targeting the mite's olfactory system. In particular, we examined the effect of volatile compounds, ethers of cis 5-(2′-hydroxyethyl) cyclopent-2-en-1-ol or of dihydroquinone, resorcinol or catechol. We tested the effect of these compounds on the Varroa chemosensory organ by electrophysiology and on behavior in a choice bioassay. The electrophysiological studies were conducted on the isolated foreleg. In the behavioral bioassay, the mite's preference between a nurse and a forager bee was evaluated. Principal findings We found that in the presence of some compounds, the response of the Varroa chemosensory organ to honey bee headspace volatiles significantly decreased. This effect was dose dependent and, for some of the compounds, long lasting (>1 min). Furthermore, disruption of the Varroa volatile detection was accompanied by a reversal of the mite's preference from a nurse to a forager bee. Long-term inhibition of the electrophysiological responses of mites to the tested compounds was a good predictor for an alteration in the mite's host preference. Conclusions These data indicate the potential of the selected compounds to disrupt the Varroa - honey bee associations, thus opening new avenues for Varroa control. PMID:25226388

  16. Octopamine modulates honey bee dance behavior

    PubMed Central

    Barron, Andrew B.; Maleszka, Ryszard; Vander Meer, Robert K.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2007-01-01

    Honey bees communicate the location and desirability of valuable forage sites to their nestmates through an elaborate, symbolic “dance language.” The dance language is a uniquely complex communication system in invertebrates, and the neural mechanisms that generate dances are largely unknown. Here we show that treatments with controlled doses of the biogenic amine neuromodulator octopamine selectively increased the reporting of resource value in dances by forager bees. Oral and topical octopamine treatments modulated aspects of dances related to resource profitability in a dose-dependent manner. Dances for pollen and sucrose responded similarly to octopamine treatment, and these effects were eliminated by treatment with the octopamine antagonist mianserin. We propose that octopamine modulates the representation of floral rewards in dances by changing the processing of reward in the honey bee brain. Octopamine is known to modulate appetitive behavior in a range of solitary insects; the role of octopamine in dance provides an example of how neural substrates can be adapted for new behavioral innovations in the process of social evolution. PMID:17237217

  17. General Stress Responses in the Honey Bee.

    PubMed

    Even, Naïla; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Barron, Andrew B

    2012-01-01

    The biological concept of stress originated in mammals, where a "General Adaptation Syndrome" describes a set of common integrated physiological responses to diverse noxious agents. Physiological mechanisms of stress in mammals have been extensively investigated through diverse behavioral and physiological studies. One of the main elements of the stress response pathway is the endocrine hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which underlies the "fight-or-flight" response via a hormonal cascade of catecholamines and corticoid hormones. Physiological responses to stress have been studied more recently in insects: they involve biogenic amines (octopamine, dopamine), neuropeptides (allatostatin, corazonin) and metabolic hormones (adipokinetic hormone, diuretic hormone). Here, we review elements of the physiological stress response that are or may be specific to honey bees, given the economical and ecological impact of this species. This review proposes a hypothetical integrated honey bee stress pathway somewhat analogous to the mammalian HPA, involving the brain and, particularly, the neurohemal organ corpora cardiaca and peripheral targets, including energy storage organs (fat body and crop). We discuss how this system can organize rapid coordinated changes in metabolic activity and arousal, in response to adverse environmental stimuli. We highlight physiological elements of the general stress responses that are specific to honey bees, and the areas in which we lack information to stimulate more research into how this fascinating and vital insect responds to stress. PMID:26466739

  18. General Stress Responses in the Honey Bee

    PubMed Central

    Even, Naïla; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Barron, Andrew B.

    2012-01-01

    The biological concept of stress originated in mammals, where a “General Adaptation Syndrome” describes a set of common integrated physiological responses to diverse noxious agents. Physiological mechanisms of stress in mammals have been extensively investigated through diverse behavioral and physiological studies. One of the main elements of the stress response pathway is the endocrine hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which underlies the “fight-or-flight” response via a hormonal cascade of catecholamines and corticoid hormones. Physiological responses to stress have been studied more recently in insects: they involve biogenic amines (octopamine, dopamine), neuropeptides (allatostatin, corazonin) and metabolic hormones (adipokinetic hormone, diuretic hormone). Here, we review elements of the physiological stress response that are or may be specific to honey bees, given the economical and ecological impact of this species. This review proposes a hypothetical integrated honey bee stress pathway somewhat analogous to the mammalian HPA, involving the brain and, particularly, the neurohemal organ corpora cardiaca and peripheral targets, including energy storage organs (fat body and crop). We discuss how this system can organize rapid coordinated changes in metabolic activity and arousal, in response to adverse environmental stimuli. We highlight physiological elements of the general stress responses that are specific to honey bees, and the areas in which we lack information to stimulate more research into how this fascinating and vital insect responds to stress. PMID:26466739

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

    We examined the antibacterial activities of several types of propolis, including Africanized honey bee green propolis and propolis produced by meliponini bees. The antibacterial activity of green propolis against Micrococcus luteus and Staphylococcus aureus was superior to that of Melipona quadrifasciata and Scaptotrigona sp propolis. Only two samples of propolis (green propolis and Scaptotrigona sp propolis) were efficient against Escherichia coli. Melipona quadrifasciata propolis was better than green propolis and Scaptotrigona sp propolis against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We concluded that these resins have potential for human and veterinary medicine. PMID:19554760

  20. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination

    PubMed Central

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Howlett, Brad G.; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A.; Mayfield, Margaret M.; Arthur, Anthony D.; Andersson, Georg K. S.; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G.; Chacoff, Natacha P.; Entling, Martin H.; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M.; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R.; Gross, Caroline L.; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q.; Lindström, Sandra A. M.; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M.; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E.; de O. Pereira, Natália; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G.; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S.; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G.; Stanley, Dara A.; Stout, Jane C.; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H.; Viana, Blandina F.; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25–50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines. PMID:26621730

  1. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination.

    PubMed

    Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Garratt, Michael P D; Howlett, Brad G; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A; Mayfield, Margaret M; Arthur, Anthony D; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Chacoff, Natacha P; Entling, Martin H; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R; Gross, Caroline L; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q; Lindström, Sandra A M; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E; Pereira, Natália de O; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G; Stanley, Dara A; Stout, Jane C; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H; Viana, Blandina F; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25-50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines. PMID:26621730

  2. Impacts of Austrian Climate Variability on Honey Bee Mortality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Switanek, Matt; Brodschneider, Robert; Crailsheim, Karl; Truhetz, Heimo

    2015-04-01

    Global food production, as it is today, is not possible without pollinators such as the honey bee. It is therefore alarming that honey bee populations across the world have seen increased mortality rates in the last few decades. The challenges facing the honey bee calls into question the future of our food supply. Beside various infectious diseases, Varroa destructor is one of the main culprits leading to increased rates of honey bee mortality. Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite which strongly depends on honey bee brood for reproduction and can wipe out entire colonies. However, climate variability may also importantly influence honey bee breeding cycles and bee mortality rates. Persistent weather events affects vegetation and hence foraging possibilities for honey bees. This study first defines critical statistical relationships between key climate indicators (e.g., precipitation and temperature) and bee mortality rates across Austria, using 6 consecutive years of data. Next, these leading indicators, as they vary in space and time, are used to build a statistical model to predict bee mortality rates and the respective number of colonies affected. Using leave-one-out cross validation, the model reduces the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) by 21% with respect to predictions made with the mean mortality rate and the number of colonies. Furthermore, a Monte Carlo test is used to establish that the model's predictions are statistically significant at the 99.9% confidence level. These results highlight the influence of climate variables on honey bee populations, although variability in climate, by itself, cannot fully explain colony losses. This study was funded by the Austrian project 'Zukunft Biene'.

  3. Parallel responses of bees to Pleistocene climate change in three isolated archipelagos of the southwestern Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Groom, Scott V. C.; Stevens, Mark I.; Schwarz, Michael P.

    2014-01-01

    The impacts of glacial cycles on the geographical distribution and size of populations have been explored for numerous terrestrial and marine taxa. However, most studies have focused on high latitudes, with only a few focused on the response of biota to the last glacial maximum (LGM) in equatorial regions. Here, we examine how population sizes of key bee fauna in the southwest Pacific archipelagos of Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa have fluctuated over the Quaternary. We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM, followed by rapid expansion post-LGM. Our data therefore suggest that Pleistocene climate change has had major impacts across a very broad tropical region. While other studies indicate widespread Holarctic effects of the LGM, our data suggest a much wider range of latitudes, extending to the tropics, where these climate change repercussions were important. As key pollinators, the inferred changes in these bee faunas may have been critical in the development of the diverse Pacific island flora. The magnitude of these responses indicates future climate change scenarios may have alarming consequences for Pacific island systems involving pollinator-dependent plant communities and agricultural crops. PMID:24807250

  4. Parallel responses of bees to Pleistocene climate change in three isolated archipelagos of the southwestern Pacific.

    PubMed

    Groom, Scott V C; Stevens, Mark I; Schwarz, Michael P

    2014-06-22

    The impacts of glacial cycles on the geographical distribution and size of populations have been explored for numerous terrestrial and marine taxa. However, most studies have focused on high latitudes, with only a few focused on the response of biota to the last glacial maximum (LGM) in equatorial regions. Here, we examine how population sizes of key bee fauna in the southwest Pacific archipelagos of Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa have fluctuated over the Quaternary. We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM, followed by rapid expansion post-LGM. Our data therefore suggest that Pleistocene climate change has had major impacts across a very broad tropical region. While other studies indicate widespread Holarctic effects of the LGM, our data suggest a much wider range of latitudes, extending to the tropics, where these climate change repercussions were important. As key pollinators, the inferred changes in these bee faunas may have been critical in the development of the diverse Pacific island flora. The magnitude of these responses indicates future climate change scenarios may have alarming consequences for Pacific island systems involving pollinator-dependent plant communities and agricultural crops. PMID:24807250

  5. The vitellogenin of the bumblebee, Bombus hypocrita: studies on structural analysis of the cDNA and expression of the mRNA.

    PubMed

    Li, Jilian; Huang, Jiaxing; Cai, Wanzhi; Zhao, Zhangwu; Peng, Wenjun; Wu, Jie

    2010-02-01

    In this present study, the cDNA of Bombus hypocrita vitellogenin (Vg) was cloned and sequenced. It is composed of 5,478 bp and contains an ORF of 1,772 amino acids within a putative signal peptide of 16 residues. The deduced amino acid sequence shows significant similarity with Bombus ignitus (95%) and Apis mellifera (52%) and a high number of conserved motifs. Close to the C terminus there is a GL/ICG motif followed by nine cysteines, and a DGXR motif is located 18 residues upstream from the GL/ICG motif. Moreover, we predicted the 3D structure of B. hypocrita Vg. Furthermore, the Vg mRNA of B. hypocrita was spatio-temporally analyzed in different castes (such as queen, worker and drone) from pupae to adult. The Vg mRNA was found in the white-eyed pupal (Pw) stage in queens, and the expression increased during the entire pupal development and attained its peak in the dark brown pupal stage. It also had a high expression in the adult fat body. In workers, the Vg expression was detected in the Pw stage, and its levels increased with age with the highest in 15 days. Afterward, it decreased progressively. Vg mRNA was also observed in drones, with a higher level of expression shown in only freshly molted adult drones. PMID:20012056

  6. Tidally Heated Terrestrial Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henning, Wade Garrett

    This work models the surface and internal temperatures for hypothetical terrestrial planets in situations involving extreme tidal heating. The feasibility of such planets is evaluated in terms of the orbital perturbations that may give rise to them, their required proximity to a hoststar, and the potential for the input tidal heating to cause significant partial melting of the mantle. Trapping terrestrial planets into 2:1 resonances with migrating Hot Jupiters is considered as a reasonable way for Earth-like worlds to both maintain high eccentricities and to move to short enough orbital periods (1-20 days) for extreme tidal heating to occur. Secular resonance and secular orbital perturbations may support moderate tidal heating at a low equilibrium eccentricity. At orbital periods below 10-30 days, with eccentricities from 0.01 to 0.1, tidal heat may greatly exceed radiogenic heat production. It is unlikely to exceed insolation, except when orbiting very low luminosity hosts, and thus will have limited surface temperature expression. Observations of such bodies many not be able to detect tidal surface enhancements given a few percent uncertainty in albedo, except on the nightside of spin synchronous airless objects. Otherwise detection may occur via spectral detection of hotspots or high volcanic gas concentrations including sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. The most extreme cases may be able to produce magma oceans, or magma slush mantles with up to 40-60% melt fractions. Tides may alter the habitable zones for smaller red dwarf stars, but are generally detrimental. Multiple viscoelastic models, including the Maxwell, Voigt-Kelvin, Standard Anelastic Solid, and Burgers rheologies are explored and applied to objects such as Io and the super-Earth planet GJ 876d. The complex valued Love number for the Burgers rheology is derived and found to be a useful improvement when modeling the low temperature behavior of tidal bodies, particularly during low eccentricity

  7. Utility terrestrial biodiversity issues

    SciTech Connect

    Breece, G.A.; Ward, B.J.

    1996-11-01

    Results from a survey of power utility biologists indicate that terrestrial biodiversity is considered a major issued by only a few utilities; however, a majority believe it may be a future issue. Over half of the respondents indicated that their company is involved in some management for biodiversity, and nearly all feel that it should be a goal for resource management. Only a few utilities are funding biodiversity research, but a majority felt more research was needed. Generally, larger utilities with extensive land holdings had greater opportunities and resources for biodiversity management. Biodiversity will most likely be a concern with transmission rights-of-way construction and maintenance, endangered species issues and general land resource management, including mining reclamation and hydro relicensing commitments. Over half of the companies surveyed have established voluntary partnerships with management groups, and biodiversity is a goal in nearly all the joint projects. Endangered species management and protection, prevention of forest fragmentation, wetland protection, and habitat creation and protection are the most common partnerships involving utility companies. Common management practices and unique approaches are presented, along with details of the survey. 4 refs.

  8. Terrestrial locomotion in arachnids.

    PubMed

    Spagna, Joseph C; Peattie, Anne M

    2012-05-01

    In this review, we assess the current state of knowledge on terrestrial locomotion in Arachnida. Arachnids represent a single diverse (>100,000 species) clade containing well-defined subgroups (at both the order and subordinal levels) that vary morphologically around a basic body plan, yet exhibit highly disparate limb usage, running performance, and tarsal attachment mechanisms. Spiders (Araneae), scorpions (Scorpiones), and harvestmen (Opiliones) have received the most attention in the literature, while some orders have never been subject to rigorous mechanical characterization. Most well-characterized taxa move with gaits analogous to the alternating tripod gaits that characterize fast-moving Insecta - alternating tetrapods or alternating tripods (when one pair of legs is lifted from the ground for some other function). However, between taxa, there is considerable variation in the regularity of phasing between legs. Both large and small spiders appear to show a large amount of variation in the distribution of foot-ground contact, even between consecutive step-cycles of a single run. Mechanisms for attachment to vertical surfaces also vary, and may depend on tufts of adhesive hairs, fluid adhesives, silks, or a combination of these. We conclude that Arachnida, particularly with improvements in microelectronic force sensing technology, can serve as a powerful study system for understanding the kinematics, dynamics, and ecological correlates of sprawled-posture locomotion. PMID:22326455

  9. Space or terrestrial energy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boulet, L.

    Consideration is given to the possibility of generating sufficient energy at acceptable costs on earth to offset the need to build solar power satellite systems (SPS). Electricity usage, one of the basic driving forces of developed nations, grows with the population. Currently comprising 33 pct of the total world energy used, electricity is projected to grow to a 50-55 pct share in the 21st century. Future terrestrial electrical energy sources include carbon-based fuels, nuclear (fusion or fission), and the renewable solar technologies. Carbon-based fuel supplies can last until 2030 AD, about the same as fission plants with recycled fuel. Breeder reactors would stretch the nuclear fuels to the year 3000. Solar technologies offer more immediate solutions than fusion reactors and can produce 50 pct of the power available from the construction of the maximum number of nuclear power plants. The addition of SPS would further augment the total. Combinations of all the technologies are recommended, with local research for the most appropriate technology for each nation.

  10. Foraging bumblebees avoid flowers already visited by conspecifics or by other bumblebee species

    PubMed

    Goulson; Hawson; Stout

    1998-01-01

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, use short-lived repellent scent marks to distinguish and reject flowers that have recently been visited by themselves or by siblings, and so save time that would otherwise be spent in probing empty flowers. Conversely, both honey bees and bumblebees, Bombus spp., can mark rewarding flowers with scent marks that promote probing by conspecifics. We examined detection of recently visited flowers in a mixed community of bumblebees foraging on comfrey, Symphytum officinale, in southern England. When foraging among inflorescences on a plant, three abundant species of Bombus probed fewer inflorescences more than once than would be expected from random foraging. Bees frequently encountered inflorescences but departed without probing them for nectar. Examination of the incidence of such rejections in the two most common species, B. terrestris and B. pascuorum, revealed that the low incidence of multiple probing visits was due to two factors: bees both foraged systematically and selectively rejected inflorescences that they had previously visited. When presented with inflorescences of known history, bees selectively rejected those that had been recently visited by themselves or by conspecifics compared with randomly selected inflorescences. They were also able to distinguish inflorescences that had been visited by other Bombus species. Bees were unable to distinguish and reject inflorescences from which the nectar had been removed artificially. We conclude that these Bombus species are probably using scent marks left by previous visitors. The significance of deposition and detection of interspecific scent marks for competitive interactions between species is discussed. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:9480686

  11. The colony environment modulates sleep in honey bee workers.

    PubMed

    Eban-Rothschild, Ada; Bloch, Guy

    2015-02-01

    One of the most important and evolutionarily conserved roles of sleep is the processing and consolidation of information acquired during wakefulness. In both insects and mammals, environmental and social stimuli can modify sleep physiology and behavior, yet relatively little is known about the specifics of the wake experiences and their relative contribution to experience-dependent modulation of sleep. Honey bees provide an excellent model system in this regard because their behavioral repertoire is well characterized and the environment they experience during the day can be manipulated while keeping an ecologically and sociobiologically relevant context. We examined whether social experience modulates sleep in honey bees, and evaluated the relative contribution of different social signals. We exposed newly emerged bees to different components of their natural social environment and then monitored their sleep behavior in individual cages in a constant lab environment. We found that rich waking experience modulates subsequent sleep. Bees that experienced the colony environment for 1 or 2 days slept more than same-age sister bees that were caged individually or in small groups in the lab. Furthermore, bees placed in mesh-enclosures in the colony, that prevented direct contact with nestmates, slept similarly to bees freely moving in the colony. These results suggest that social signals that do not require direct or close distance interactions between bees are sufficiently rich to encompass almost the entire effect of the colony on sleep. Our findings provide a remarkable example of social experience-dependent modulation of an essential biological process. PMID:25524987

  12. Coordinated responses to honey bee decline in the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In response to successive years of high honey bee mortality, the United States Congress mandated the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase funding for research and education directed at reducing honey bee decline. The funding followed two administrative streams within USDA – one through the USD...

  13. Socialized Medicine: Individual and communal disease barriers in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees are attacked by numerous parasites and pathogens toward which they present defenses. In this review, we will briefly introduce the many pathogens and parasites afflicting honey bees, highlighting the biologies of specific taxonomic groups mainly as they relate to virulence and possible de...

  14. Bee Hunt! Ecojustice in Practice for Earth's Buzzing Biodiversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mueller, Michael P.; Pickering, John

    2010-01-01

    The Bee Hunt! project and curriculum are designed with cultural and environmental sensitivity in mind. In this project, K-12 students develop their awareness and understanding of science and investigate North American pollinator declines. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are integrally connected to the pollination of the world's crops for…

  15. Behavioral Genomics of Honey Bee foraging and nest defense

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We superimposed confidence intervals (CIs) with genomic sequence for seven confirmed honey bee quantitative trait loci (QTLs) influencing foraging division of labor (pollen or nectar collecting) and nest defense (stinging and guarding). The high recombination rate of the bee allowed us to narrow th...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data showing that N. ceranae infection significantly accelerated the age polyethism of young bees, causing them to exhibit behaviours typical of older bees. Bees with high N. ceranae spore counts had significantly increased walking rates and decreased attraction to queen mandibular pheromone. Infected bees also exhibited higher rates of trophallaxis (food exchange), potentially reflecting parasite manipulation to increase colony infection. However, reduction in queen contacts could help bees limit the spread of infection. Such accelerated age polyethism may provide a form of behavioural immunity, particularly if it is elicited by a wide variety of pathogens. PMID:26912310

  17. Pulsed mass recruitment by a stingless bee, Trigona hyalinata.

    PubMed

    Nieh, James C; Contrera, Felipe A L; Nogueira-Neto, Paulo

    2003-10-22

    Research on bee communication has focused on the ability of the highly social bees, stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini) and honeybees (Apidae, Apini), to communicate food location to nest-mates. Honeybees can communicate food location through the famous waggle dance. Stingless bees are closely related to honeybees and communicate food location through a variety of different mechanisms, many of which are poorly understood. We show that a stingless bee, Trigona hyalinata, uses a pulsed mass-recruitment system that is highly focused in time and space. Foragers produced an ephemeral, polarized, odour trail consisting of mandibular gland secretions. Surprisingly, the odour trail extended only a short distance away from the food source, instead of providing a complete trail between the nest and the food source (as has been described for other stingless bees). This abbreviated trail may represent an intermediate strategy between full-trail marking, found in some stingless bees, and odour marking of the food alone, found in stingless bees and honeybees. PMID:14561284

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Nutrition, immunity and viral infections in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees can be infected with viruses that can spread rapidly in colonies. Here we discuss how honey bees decrease the risk of disease outbreaks by a combination of behaviors (social immunity) and individual immunity. The effectiveness of both social and individual immunity relies on nutrition. Ho...

  20. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data showing that N. ceranae infection significantly accelerated the age polyethism of young bees, causing them to exhibit behaviours typical of older bees. Bees with high N. ceranae spore counts had significantly increased walking rates and decreased attraction to queen mandibular pheromone. Infected bees also exhibited higher rates of trophallaxis (food exchange), potentially reflecting parasite manipulation to increase colony infection. However, reduction in queen contacts could help bees limit the spread of infection. Such accelerated age polyethism may provide a form of behavioural immunity, particularly if it is elicited by a wide variety of pathogens. PMID:26912310