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Sample records for european honey bees

  1. The Honey Bee Pathosphere of Mongolia: European Viruses in Central Asia

    PubMed Central

    Tsevegmid, Khaliunaa; Neumann, Peter; Yañez, Orlando

    2016-01-01

    Parasites and pathogens are apparent key factors for the detrimental health of managed European honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera. Apicultural trade is arguably the main factor for the almost global distribution of most honey bee diseases, thereby increasing chances for multiple infestations/infections of regions, apiaries, colonies and even individual bees. This imposes difficulties to evaluate the effects of pathogens in isolation, thereby creating demand to survey remote areas. Here, we conducted the first comprehensive survey for 14 honey bee pathogens in Mongolia (N = 3 regions, N = 9 locations, N = 151 colonies), where honey bee colonies depend on humans to overwinter. In Mongolia, honey bees, Apis spp., are not native and colonies of European A. mellifera subspecies have been introduced ~60 years ago. Despite the high detection power and large sample size across Mongolian regions with beekeeping, the mite Acarapis woodi, the bacteria Melissococcus plutonius and Paenibacillus larvae, the microsporidian Nosema apis, Acute bee paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus and Lake Sinai virus strain 2 were not detected, suggesting that they are either very rare or absent. The mite Varroa destructor, Nosema ceranae and four viruses (Sacbrood virus, Black queen cell virus, Deformed wing virus (DWV) and Chronic bee paralysis virus) were found with different prevalence. Despite the positive correlation between the prevalence of V. destructor mites and DWV, some areas had only mites, but not DWV, which is most likely due to the exceptional isolation of apiaries (up to 600 km). Phylogenetic analyses of the detected viruses reveal their clustering and European origin, thereby supporting the role of trade for pathogen spread and the isolation of Mongolia from South-Asian countries. In conclusion, this survey reveals the distinctive honey bee pathosphere of Mongolia, which offers opportunities for exciting future research. PMID:26959221

  2. The Honey Bee Pathosphere of Mongolia: European Viruses in Central Asia.

    PubMed

    Tsevegmid, Khaliunaa; Neumann, Peter; Yañez, Orlando

    2016-01-01

    Parasites and pathogens are apparent key factors for the detrimental health of managed European honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera. Apicultural trade is arguably the main factor for the almost global distribution of most honey bee diseases, thereby increasing chances for multiple infestations/infections of regions, apiaries, colonies and even individual bees. This imposes difficulties to evaluate the effects of pathogens in isolation, thereby creating demand to survey remote areas. Here, we conducted the first comprehensive survey for 14 honey bee pathogens in Mongolia (N = 3 regions, N = 9 locations, N = 151 colonies), where honey bee colonies depend on humans to overwinter. In Mongolia, honey bees, Apis spp., are not native and colonies of European A. mellifera subspecies have been introduced ~60 years ago. Despite the high detection power and large sample size across Mongolian regions with beekeeping, the mite Acarapis woodi, the bacteria Melissococcus plutonius and Paenibacillus larvae, the microsporidian Nosema apis, Acute bee paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus and Lake Sinai virus strain 2 were not detected, suggesting that they are either very rare or absent. The mite Varroa destructor, Nosema ceranae and four viruses (Sacbrood virus, Black queen cell virus, Deformed wing virus (DWV) and Chronic bee paralysis virus) were found with different prevalence. Despite the positive correlation between the prevalence of V. destructor mites and DWV, some areas had only mites, but not DWV, which is most likely due to the exceptional isolation of apiaries (up to 600 km). Phylogenetic analyses of the detected viruses reveal their clustering and European origin, thereby supporting the role of trade for pathogen spread and the isolation of Mongolia from South-Asian countries. In conclusion, this survey reveals the distinctive honey bee pathosphere of Mongolia, which offers opportunities for exciting future research. PMID:26959221

  3. Functional morphology of the honey stomach wall of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The honey bee crop, or honey stomach, is designed with cords of muscles that are numerous enough in both latitudinal and longitudinal directions to fully enclose and confine the underlying, cuticle-lines epithelium. Although appressed against the inner wall of this enclosure by the crop's contents,...

  4. Africanized honey bees are slowere learners than their European counterparts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The range of Africanized honeybees continues to expand, superseding the common European honeybees in the southern United States. Are superior learning and memory the reason for their ecological success? Surprisingly, a comparison in a classical conditioning test of the two bee races shows that few...

  5. Brains and brain components in African and European honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) - a volumetric comparison

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A study was conducted to determine if the volume of major regions of the brain and the capacity for associative learning differed between European (AHB) and African honey bees (AHB). Associative learning was measured in 14-day old workers and foragers using proboscis extension response to odor-suga...

  6. Managed European-Derived Honey Bee, Apis mellifera sspp, Colonies Reduce African-Matriline Honey Bee, A. m. scutellata, Drones at Regional Mating Congregations

    PubMed Central

    Mortensen, Ashley N.; Ellis, James D.

    2016-01-01

    African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) dramatically changed the South American beekeeping industry as they rapidly spread through the Americas following their introduction into Brazil. In the present study, we aimed to determine if the management of European-derived honey bees (A. mellifera sspp.) could reduce the relative abundance of African-matriline drones at regional mating sites known as drone congregation areas (DCAs). We collected 2,400 drones at six DCAs either 0.25 km or >2.8 km from managed European-derived honey bee apiaries. The maternal ancestry of each drone was determined by Bgl II enzyme digestion of an amplified portion of the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene. Furthermore, sibship reconstruction via nuclear microsatellites was conducted for a subset of 1,200 drones to estimate the number of colonies contributing drones to each DCA. Results indicate that DCAs distant to managed European apiaries (>2.8 km) had significantly more African−matriline drones (34.33% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA) than did DCAs close (0.25 km) to managed European apiaries (1.83% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA). Furthermore, nuclear sibship reconstruction demonstrated that the reduction in the proportion of African matriline drones at DCAs near apiaries was not simply an increase in the number of European matriline drones at the DCAs but also the result of fewer African matriline colonies contributing drones to the DCAs. Our data demonstrate that the management of European honey bee colonies can dramatically influence the proportion of drones with African matrilines at nearby drone congregation areas, and would likely decreasing the probability that virgin European queens will mate with African drones at those drone congregation areas. PMID:27518068

  7. Managed European-Derived Honey Bee, Apis mellifera sspp, Colonies Reduce African-Matriline Honey Bee, A. m. scutellata, Drones at Regional Mating Congregations.

    PubMed

    Mortensen, Ashley N; Ellis, James D

    2016-01-01

    African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) dramatically changed the South American beekeeping industry as they rapidly spread through the Americas following their introduction into Brazil. In the present study, we aimed to determine if the management of European-derived honey bees (A. mellifera sspp.) could reduce the relative abundance of African-matriline drones at regional mating sites known as drone congregation areas (DCAs). We collected 2,400 drones at six DCAs either 0.25 km or >2.8 km from managed European-derived honey bee apiaries. The maternal ancestry of each drone was determined by Bgl II enzyme digestion of an amplified portion of the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene. Furthermore, sibship reconstruction via nuclear microsatellites was conducted for a subset of 1,200 drones to estimate the number of colonies contributing drones to each DCA. Results indicate that DCAs distant to managed European apiaries (>2.8 km) had significantly more African-matriline drones (34.33% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA) than did DCAs close (0.25 km) to managed European apiaries (1.83% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA). Furthermore, nuclear sibship reconstruction demonstrated that the reduction in the proportion of African matriline drones at DCAs near apiaries was not simply an increase in the number of European matriline drones at the DCAs but also the result of fewer African matriline colonies contributing drones to the DCAs. Our data demonstrate that the management of European honey bee colonies can dramatically influence the proportion of drones with African matrilines at nearby drone congregation areas, and would likely decreasing the probability that virgin European queens will mate with African drones at those drone congregation areas. PMID:27518068

  8. 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

  9. Methods for comparing beebread made by Africanized and European honey bees and the effects on hemolymph protein titers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The influence of genotype on the conversion of pollen to beebread and on the ability of bees to acquire protein from it was examined using European and Africanized honey bees (EHB and AHB respectively). Both subspecies were provided with the same pollen source. Pollen stored and converted to beebr...

  10. Migrations of European honey bee lineages into Africa, Asia, and North America during the Oligocene and Miocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotthoff, Ulrich; Wappler, Torsten; Engel, Michael

    2013-04-01

    Today honey bees, principally the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, represent a multi-billion dollar agricultural industry. Through the efforts of humans they have become established well outside of their modern native ranges, having been introduced multiple times into the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, and many areas of Oceania. The native, i.e., non-human influenced, distribution and migration of honey bee species and populations has been a matter of serious and continued debate. Apicultural dogma informs us that the center of origin of honey bees (genus Apis) resides in Asia, with subsequent migration and diversification into Europe and Asia. Recent population genetic studies of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, slightly modified this received wisdom by suggesting that this species originated in Africa and subsequently reinvaded Eurasia. Research into the historical biogeography of honey bees has ignored entirely the abundant fossil evidence distributed through a variety of Late Paleogene (Oligocene) and Early Neogene (Miocene) deposits, a diversity which is predominantly European in origin, particularly among the most basal species of the genus. We have examined the morphological disparity and affinities of the full living and fossil diversity of honey bees ranging from their earliest origins to the present day. This analysis indicates that honey bees exhibited a greater morphological disparity during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs, a time when the principal lineages were established, and that Apis apparently originated in Europe, spreading from there into Asia, Africa, and North America, with subsequent diversification in the former two regions and extinction in the latter. During the human migrations and colonization honey bees were once again introduced multiple times into the Americas, as well as into Australia and Asia.

  11. A comparison of bee bread made by Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) and its effects on hemolymph protein titers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genetic influence on nutrient acquisition was examined using European and African honey bees (EHB and AHB). Both races collected the same pollen and stored it in comb cells where it was converted to a fermented food called bee bread. We compared pH, protein and amino acid concentrations in the...

  12. Mandibular gland components of european and africanized honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Pankiw, T; Winston, M L; Plettner, E; Slessor, K N; Pettis, J S; Taylor, O R

    1996-04-01

    The composition of the five-component honey bee queen mandibular gland pheromone (QMP) of mated European honey bee queens was compared to those of virgin and drone-laying (i.e., laying only haploid unfertilized eggs that develop into males), European queens and Africanized mated queens. QMP of mated European queens showed significantly greater quantities of individual components than all queen types compared, except for a significantly greater quantity of 9-hydroxy-(E)-2-decenoic acid (9-HDA) found in Africanized queens. Glands of European drone-laying queens contained quantities intermediate between virgin and mated queens, reflecting their intermediate reproductive state and age. QMP ontogeny shifts from a high proportion of 9-keto-(E)-2-decenoic acid (ODA) in young unmated queens to roughly equal proportions of ODA and 9-HDA in mated queens. A biosynthetic shift occurs after mating that results in a greater proportion of 9-HDA, methylp-hydroxybenzoate (HOB), and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylethanol (HVA) production, accompanied by a decreased proportion of ODA. Africanized QMP proportions of ODA and 9-HDA were significantly different from European queens. A quantitative definition of a "queen equivalent" of QMP is proposed for the various queen types, and a standard queen equivalent for mated European honeybee queen mandibular gland pheromone is adopted as 200µg ODA, 80µg 9-HDA, 20µg HOB, and 2 µg HVA. PMID:24227572

  13. First Insights into the Genome of Fructobacillus sp. EFB-N1, Isolated from Honey Bee Larva Infected with European Foulbrood

    PubMed Central

    Djukic, Marvin; Poehlein, Anja

    2015-01-01

    European foulbrood is a worldwide disease affecting the honey bee brood. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Fructobacillus sp. EFB-N1, which was isolated from an infected honey bee larva derived from a Swiss European foulbrood outbreak. The genome consists of 68 contigs and harbors 1,629 predicted protein-encoding genes. PMID:26227611

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. Microbial gut diversity of Africanized and European honey bee larval instars

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The first step in understanding gut microbial ecology is determining the presence and potential niche breadth of associated microbes. While the core gut bacteria of adult honey bees is becoming increasingly apparent, there is very little and inconsistent information concerning symbiotic bacterial co...

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  2. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. Methods for Comparing Nutrients in Beebread Made by Africanized and European Honey Bees and the Effects on Hemolymph Protein Titers

    PubMed Central

    Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Eckholm, Bruce; Huang, Ming

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees obtain nutrients from pollen they collect and store in the hive as beebread. We developed methods to control the pollen source that bees collect and convert to beebread by placing colonies in a specially constructed enclosed flight area. Methods were developed to analyze the protein and amino acid composition of the pollen and beebread. We also describe how consumption of the beebread was measured and methods used to determine adult worker bee hemolymph protein titers after feeding on beebread for 4, 7 and 11 days after emergence. Methods were applied to determine if genotype affects the conversion of pollen to beebread and the rate that bees consume and acquire protein from it. Two subspecies (European and Africanized honey bees; EHB and AHB respectively) were provided with the same pollen source. Based on the developed methods, beebread made by both subspecies had lower protein concentrations and pH values than the pollen. In general, amino acid concentrations in beebread made by either EHB or AHB were similar and occurred at higher levels in beebread than in pollen. Both AHB and EHB consumed significantly more of the beebread made by AHB than by EHB. Though EHB and AHB consumed similar amounts of each type of beebread, hemolymph protein concentrations in AHB were higher than in EHB. Differences in protein acquisition between AHB and EHB might reflect environmental adaptations related to the geographic region where each subspecies evolved. These differences could contribute to the successful establishment of AHB populations in the New World because of the effects on brood rearing and colony growth. PMID:25867246

  7. Maturation of tergal gland alkene profiles in European honey bee queens,Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Smith, R K; Spivak, M; Taylor, O R; Bennett, C; Smith, M L

    1993-01-01

    In a series of husbandry and stop-time chemical experiments with honey bee queens, the production of tergal gland alkenes was found to be stimulated by natural mating and not by instrumental insemination. Carbon dioxide, physical manipulation of the sting chamber and vagina, presence of sperm in the spermatheca, egg production, and chemicals transferred via drone semen are demonstrated to not initiate the synthesis of the tergal gland alkenes. The compounds probably do not function as sex pheromones. However, the circumstances and timing of the initiation of production of the tergal gland alkenes strongly suggests a communication role for the compounds within the hive. PMID:24248518

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. Inhibitory Effect of Gut Bacteria from the Japanese Honey Bee, Apis cerana japonica, Against Melissococcus plutonius, the Causal Agent of European Foulbrood Disease

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Meihua; Sugimura, Yuya; Iwata, Kyoko; Takaya, Noriko; Takamatsu, Daisuke; Kobayashi, Masaru; Taylor, DeMar; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Yoshiyama, Mikio

    2014-01-01

    European foulbrood is a contagious bacterial disease of honey bee larvae. Studies have shown that the intestinal bacteria of insects, including honey bees, act as probiotic organisms. Microbial flora from the gut of the Japanese honey bee, Apis cerana japonica F. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), were characterized and evaluated for their potential to inhibit the growth of Melissococcus plutonius corrig. (ex White) Bailey and Collins (Lactobacillales: Enterococcaceae), the causative agent of European foulbrood. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences from 17 bacterial strains isolated by using a culture-dependent method revealed that most isolates belonged to Bacillus, Staphylococcus, and Pantoea. The isolates were screened against the pathogenic bacterium M. plutonius by using an in vitro growth inhibition assay, and one isolate (Acja3) belonging to the genus Bacillus exhibited inhibitory activity against M. plutonius. In addition, in vivo feeding assays revealed that isolate Acja3 decreased the mortality of honey bee larvae infected with M. plutonius, suggesting that this bacterial strain could potentially be used as a probiotic agent against European foulbrood. PMID:25368073

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee

    PubMed Central

    Brutscher, Laura M.; Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees play an important agricultural and ecological role as pollinators of numerous agricultural crops and other plant species. Therefore, investigating the factors associated with high annual losses of honey bee colonies in the US is an important and active area of research. Pathogen incidence and abundance correlate with Colony Collapse Disorder- (CCD-) affected colonies in the US and colony losses in the US and in some European countries. Honey bees are readily infected by single-stranded positive sense RNA viruses. Largely dependent on the host immune response, virus infections can either remain asymptomatic or result in deformities, paralysis, or death of adults or larvae. RNA interference (RNAi) is an important antiviral defense mechanism in insects, including honey bees. Herein, we review the role of RNAi in honey bee antiviral defense and highlight some parallels between insect and mammalian immune systems. A more thorough understanding of the role of pathogens on honey bee health and the immune mechanisms bees utilize to combat infectious agents may lead to the development of strategies that enhance honey bee health and result in the discovery of additional mechanisms of immunity in metazoans. PMID:26798663

  15. Multitrophic interaction facilitates parasite-host relationship between an invasive beetle and the honey bee.

    PubMed

    Torto, Baldwyn; Boucias, Drion G; Arbogast, Richard T; Tumlinson, James H; Teal, Peter E A

    2007-05-15

    Colony defense by honey bees, Apis mellifera, is associated with stinging and mass attack, fueled by the release of alarm pheromones. Thus, alarm pheromones are critically important to survival of honey bee colonies. Here we report that in the parasitic relationship between the European honey bee and the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, the honey bee's alarm pheromones serve a negative function because they are potent attractants for the beetle. Furthermore, we discovered that the beetles from both Africa and the United States vector a strain of Kodamaea ohmeri yeast, which produces these same honey bee alarm pheromones when grown on pollen in hives. The beetle is not a pest of African honey bees because African bees have evolved effective methods to mitigate beetle infestation. However, European honey bees, faced with disease and pest management stresses different from those experienced by African bees, are unable to effectively inhibit beetle infestation. Therefore, the environment of the European honey bee colony provides optimal conditions to promote the unique bee-beetle-yeast-pollen multitrophic interaction that facilitates effective infestation of hives at the expense of the European honey bee. PMID:17483478

  16. 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...

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

    Kono, Yoshiaki; Kohn, Joshua R.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee health is mainly affected by Varroa destructor, viruses, Nosema spp., pesticide residues and poor nutrition. Interactions between these proposed factors may be responsible for the colony losses reported worldwide in recent years. In the present study, the effects of a honey bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), on the foraging behaviors and homing ability of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were investigated based on proboscis extension response (PER) assays and radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. The pollen forager honey bees originated from colonies that had no detectable level of honey bee viruses and were manually inoculated with IAPV to induce the viral infection. The results showed that IAPV-inoculated honey bees were more responsive to low sucrose solutions compared to that of non-infected foragers. After two days of infection, around 107 copies of IAPV were detected in the heads of these honey bees. The homing ability of IAPV-infected foragers was depressed significantly in comparison to the homing ability of uninfected foragers. The data provided evidence that IAPV infection in the heads may enable the virus to disorder foraging roles of honey bees and to interfere with brain functions that are responsible for learning, navigation, and orientation in the honey bees, thus, making honey bees have a lower response threshold to sucrose and lose their way back to the hive. PMID:24130876

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. No apparent correlation between honey bee forager gut microbiota and honey production

    PubMed Central

    Horton, Melissa A.; Oliver, Randy

    2015-01-01

    One of the best indicators of colony health for the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is its performance in the production of honey. Recent research into the microbial communities naturally populating the bee gut raise the question as to whether there is a correlation between microbial community structure and colony productivity. In this work, we used 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to explore the microbial composition associated with forager bees from honey bee colonies producing large amounts of surplus honey (productive) and compared them to colonies producing less (unproductive). As supported by previous work, the honey bee microbiome was found to be dominated by three major phyla: the Proteobacteria, Bacilli and Actinobacteria, within which we found a total of 23 different bacterial genera, including known “core” honey bee microbiome members. Using discriminant function analysis and correlation-based network analysis, we identified highly abundant members (such as Frischella and Gilliamella) as important in shaping the bacterial community; libraries from colonies with high quantities of these Orbaceae members were also likely to contain fewer Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species (such as Firm-4). However, co-culture assays, using isolates from these major clades, were unable to confirm any antagonistic interaction between Gilliamella and honey bee gut bacteria. Our results suggest that honey bee colony productivity is associated with increased bacterial diversity, although this mechanism behind this correlation has yet to be determined. Our results also suggest researchers should not base inferences of bacterial interactions solely on correlations found using sequencing. Instead, we suggest that depth of sequencing and library size can dramatically influence statistically significant results from sequence analysis of amplicons and should be cautiously interpreted. PMID:26623177

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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. Nosema Ceranae is a long present and wide spread microsporidian infection of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) in the United States.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nosema is a serious disease of adult honey bees and a major threat to the beekeeping industry. To investigate the presence, distribution, and historical occurrence of two different Nosema species, N. apis and N. ceranae, in the United States, we examined bee samples collected between 1995 and 2007...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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 ...

  6. Statistical methods to quantify the effect of mite parasitism on the probability of death in honey bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Varroa destructor is a mite parasite of European honey bees, Apis mellifera, that weakens the population, can lead to the death of an entire honey bee colony, and is believed to be the parasite with the most economic impact on beekeeping. The purpose of this study was to estimate the probability of ...

  7. Phenotypic and genetic analyses of the Varroa Sensitive Hygienic trait in Russian Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Varroa destructor continues to threaten colonies of European honey bees. General hygiene and more specific VarroaVarroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) provide resistance toward the Varroa mite in a number of stocks. In this study, Russian (RHB) and Italian honey bees were assessed for the VSH trait. Two...

  8. 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...

  9. 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)…

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Russian Honey Bees and Their Response Toward Brood Infested with Small Hive Beetles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    African bees are known to preferentially remove brood that is infested with small hive beetles (SHB). European honey bees (EHB) also remove infested brood but at a lower frequency. The response of different stocks of EHB to brood infested with SHB has not been studied. Therefore, this study was cond...

  1. Russian Honey Bees And Their Response Toward Brood Infested With Small Hive Beetles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    African bees are known to preferentially remove brood that is infested with small hive beetles (SHB). European honey bees (EHB) also remove infested brood but at a lower frequency. The response of different stocks of EHB to brood infested with SHB has not been studied. Therefore, this study was cond...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    The emerging field of sociogenomics explores the relations between social behavior and genome structure and function. An important question is the extent to which associations between social behavior and gene expression are conserved among the Metazoa. Prior experimental work in an invertebrate model of social behavior, the honey bee, revealed distinct brain gene expression patterns in African and European honey bees, and within European honey bees with different behavioral phenotypes. The present work is a computational study of these previous findings in which we analyze, by orthology determination, the extent to which genes that are socially regulated in honey bees are conserved across the Metazoa. We found that the differentially expressed gene sets associated with alarm pheromone response, the difference between old and young bees, and the colony influence on soldier bees, are enriched in widely conserved genes, indicating that these differences have genomic bases shared with many other metazoans. By contrast, the sets of differentially expressed genes associated with the differences between African and European forager and guard bees are depleted in widely conserved genes, indicating that the genomic basis for this social behavior is relatively specific to honey bees. For the alarm pheromone response gene set, we found a particularly high degree of conservation with mammals, even though the alarm pheromone itself is bee-specific. Gene Ontology identification of human orthologs to the strongly conserved honey bee genes associated with the alarm pheromone response shows overrepresentation of protein metabolism, regulation of protein complex formation, and protein folding, perhaps associated with remodeling of critical neural circuits in response to alarm pheromone. We hypothesize that such remodeling may be an adaptation of social animals to process and respond appropriately to the complex patterns of conspecific communication essential for social organization

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

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Gene E.; Jakobsson, Eric

    2016-01-01

    The emerging field of sociogenomics explores the relations between social behavior and genome structure and function. An important question is the extent to which associations between social behavior and gene expression are conserved among the Metazoa. Prior experimental work in an invertebrate model of social behavior, the honey bee, revealed distinct brain gene expression patterns in African and European honey bees, and within European honey bees with different behavioral phenotypes. The present work is a computational study of these previous findings in which we analyze, by orthology determination, the extent to which genes that are socially regulated in honey bees are conserved across the Metazoa. We found that the differentially expressed gene sets associated with alarm pheromone response, the difference between old and young bees, and the colony influence on soldier bees, are enriched in widely conserved genes, indicating that these differences have genomic bases shared with many other metazoans. By contrast, the sets of differentially expressed genes associated with the differences between African and European forager and guard bees are depleted in widely conserved genes, indicating that the genomic basis for this social behavior is relatively specific to honey bees. For the alarm pheromone response gene set, we found a particularly high degree of conservation with mammals, even though the alarm pheromone itself is bee-specific. Gene Ontology identification of human orthologs to the strongly conserved honey bee genes associated with the alarm pheromone response shows overrepresentation of protein metabolism, regulation of protein complex formation, and protein folding, perhaps associated with remodeling of critical neural circuits in response to alarm pheromone. We hypothesize that such remodeling may be an adaptation of social animals to process and respond appropriately to the complex patterns of conspecific communication essential for social organization

  8. 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...

  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 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Honey

    MedlinePlus

    ... moisturizer in soaps and cosmetics. Don’t confuse honey with bee pollen, bee venom, and royal jelly. ... research suggests that applying a combination of Egyptian bee honey and royal jelly in the vagina increases pregnancy ...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. Deformed wing virus is not related to honey bees' aggressiveness

    PubMed Central

    Rortais, Agnès; Tentcheva, Diana; Papachristoforou, Alexandros; Gauthier, Laurent; Arnold, Gérard; Colin, Marc Edouard; Bergoin, Max

    2006-01-01

    Guards of Cyprian honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera cypria, display a great defensive behaviour against hornets' attacks. The deformed wing virus (DWV) and the kakugo virus (KV) genomes are very similar, but unlike KV, the presence of DWV is not related to honey bees' aggressiveness. This discrepancy is further discussed. PMID:16942620

  3. Antioxidants in wax cappings of honey bee brood

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This is the first time that non-food items from honey bee colonies were assessed for antioxidant activity as it related to Varroa-infestation. Antioxidant activity may be an indication of bee health and while antioxidants are present in honey, propolis, pollen and royal jelly, little work has been...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. The effects of Imidacloprid and Varroa destructor on the survival and health of European honey bees, Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the past decade, there has been growing concern over the decline in populations of honeybees and other pollinators which are vital part of our food security. It is therefore imperative to identify factors that are responsible for accelerated decline in bee population and develop solutions toward ...

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Gibson, Joshua D; Hunt, Greg J

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Démares, Fabien J; Crous, Kendall L; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed. PMID:27272274

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

    PubMed Central

    Démares, Fabien J.; Crous, Kendall L.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Nicolson, Susan W.; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed. PMID:27272274

  10. 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'.

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

    PubMed

    Abramson, Charles I; Aquino, Italo S

    2002-01-01

    Experiments on basic classical conditioning phenomena in adult and young Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are described. Phenomena include conditioning to various stimuli, extinction (both unpaired and CS only), conditioned inhibition, color and odor discrimination. In addition to work on basic phenomena, experiments on practical applications of conditioning methodology are illustrated with studies demonstrating the effects of insecticides on learning and the reaction of bees to consumer products. Electron microscope photos are presented of Africanized workers, drones, and queen bees. Possible sub-species differences between Africanized and European bees are discussed. PMID:12097861

  12. 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.

  13. Genetic structure of the gentle Africanized honey bee population (gAHB) in Puerto Rico

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Africanized honey bee is one of the most spectacular invasions in the Americas. African bees escaped from apiaries in Brazil in 1956, spread over Americas and by 1994 they were reported in Puerto Rico. In contrast to other places, the oceanic island conditions in Puerto Rico may mean a single introduction and different dynamics of the resident European and new-coming Africanized bees. To examine the genetic variation of honey bee feral populations and colonies from different locations in Puerto Rico, we used eight known polymorphic microsatellite loci. Results In Puerto Rico, gAHB population does not show any genetic structure (Fst = 0.0783), and is best described as one honey bee population, product of hybridization of AHB and EHB. The genetic variability in this Africanized population was similar to that reported in studies from Texas. We observed that European private allele frequencies are high in all but one locus. This contrasts with mainland Africanized populations, where European allele frequencies are diminished. Two loci with European private alleles, one on Linkage Group 7, known to carry two known defensiveness Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs), and the other on Linkage Group 1, known to carry three functionally studied genes and 11 candidate genes associated with Varroa resistance mechanisms were respectively, significantly greater or lower in European allele frequency than the other loci with European private alleles. Conclusions Genetic structure of Puerto Rico gAHB differs from mainland AHB populations, probably representing evolutionary processes on the island. PMID:23915100

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

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Marsha M; Robinson, Gene E

    2014-01-01

    Severe declines in honey bee populations have made it imperative to understand key factors impacting honey bee health. Of major concern is nutrition, as malnutrition in honey bees is associated with immune system impairment and increased pesticide susceptibility. Beekeepers often feed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucrose after harvesting honey or during periods of nectar dearth. We report that, relative to honey, chronic feeding of either of these two alternative carbohydrate sources elicited hundreds of differences in gene expression in the fat body, a peripheral nutrient-sensing tissue analogous to vertebrate liver and adipose tissues. These expression differences included genes involved in protein metabolism and oxidation-reduction, including some involved in tyrosine and phenylalanine metabolism. Differences between HFCS and sucrose diets were much more subtle and included a few genes involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Our results suggest that bees receive nutritional components from honey that are not provided by alternative food sources widely used in apiculture. PMID:25034029

  15. Biodemographic analysis of male honey bee mortality.

    PubMed

    Rueppell, Olav; Fondrk, M Kim; Page, Robert E

    2005-02-01

    Biodemographic studies of insects have significantly enhanced our understanding of the biology of aging. Eusocial insects have evolved to form different groups of colony members that are specialized for particular tasks and highly dependent on each other. These different groups (castes and sexes) also differ strongly in their life expectancy but relatively little is known about their mortality dynamics. In this study we present data on the age-specific flight activity and mortality of male honey bees from two different genetic lines that are exclusively dedicated to reproduction. We show that males initiating flight at a young age experience more flight events during their lifetime. No (negative) relation between the age at flight initiation and lifespan exists, as might be predicted on the basis of the antagonistic pleiotropy theory of aging. Furthermore, we fit our data to different aging models and conclude that overall a slight deceleration of the age-dependent mortality increase at advanced ages occurs. However, mortality risk increases according to the Gompertz-Makeham model when only days with flight activity (active days) are taken into account. Our interpretation of the latter is that two mortality components act on honey bee males during flight: increasing, age-dependent deaths (possibly from wear-and-tear), and age-independent deaths (possibly due to predation). The overall mortality curve is caused by the interaction of the distribution of age at foraging initiation and the mortality function during the active (flight) lifespan. PMID:15659209

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Feral honey bee populations have been reported to be in decline due to the spread of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite that when left uncontrolled leads to virus build-up and colony death. While pests and diseases are known causes of large-scale managed honey bee colony losses, no studies to date have considered the wider pathogen burden in feral colonies, primarily due to the difficulty in locating and sampling colonies, which often nest in inaccessible locations such as church spires and tree tops. In addition, little is known about the provenance of feral colonies and whether they represent a reservoir of Varroa tolerant material that could be used in apiculture. Samples of forager bees were collected from paired feral and managed honey bee colonies and screened for the presence of ten honey bee pathogens and pests using qPCR. Prevalence and quantity was similar between the two groups for the majority of pathogens, however feral honey bees contained a significantly higher level of deformed wing virus than managed honey bee colonies. An assessment of the honey bee race was completed for each colony using three measures of wing venation. There were no apparent differences in wing morphometry between feral and managed colonies, suggesting feral colonies could simply be escapees from the managed population. Interestingly, managed honey bee colonies not treated for Varroa showed similar, potentially lethal levels of deformed wing virus to that of feral colonies. The potential for such findings to explain the large fall in the feral population and the wider context of the importance of feral colonies as potential pathogen reservoirs is discussed. PMID:25126840

  19. Variation in and responses to brood pheromone of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Brood pheromone was characterized from same-stage larvae derived from honey bee sources having European mitochondrial DNA from Texas and Georgia, USA and African mitochondrial DNA from Texas, USA and Pretoria, South Africa. The proportions of the 10 fatty acid ester components (blend) were sufficie...

  20. Asymmetrical Coexistence of Nosema ceranae and N. apis in Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Globalization has provided opportunities for parasites/pathogens to cross geographic boundaries and expand to new hosts. Recent studies showed that Nosema ceranae, originally considered as a microsporidian parasite of Eastern honey bees, Apis ceranae, was the disease agent of Nosemosis in European ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus), the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens. We also measured worker survival in a laboratory bioassay. We found that pathogen pressure on honey bees increased with urbanization and management, and the probability of worker survival declined 3-fold along our urbanization gradient. The effect of management on pathogens appears to be mediated by immunity, with feral bees expressing immune genes at nearly twice the levels of managed bees following an immune challenge. The effect of urbanization, however, was not linked with immunity; instead, urbanization may favor viability and transmission of some disease agents. Feral colonies, with lower disease burdens and stronger immune responses, may illuminate ways to improve honey bee management. The previously unexamined effects of urbanization on honey-bee disease are concerning, suggesting that urban areas may favor problematic diseases of pollinators. PMID:26536606

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

    PubMed Central

    López-Uribe, Margarita M.; Tarpy, David R.; Frank, Steven D.

    2015-01-01

    Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus), the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens. We also measured worker survival in a laboratory bioassay. We found that pathogen pressure on honey bees increased with urbanization and management, and the probability of worker survival declined 3-fold along our urbanization gradient. The effect of management on pathogens appears to be mediated by immunity, with feral bees expressing immune genes at nearly twice the levels of managed bees following an immune challenge. The effect of urbanization, however, was not linked with immunity; instead, urbanization may favor viability and transmission of some disease agents. Feral colonies, with lower disease burdens and stronger immune responses, may illuminate ways to improve honey bee management. The previously unexamined effects of urbanization on honey-bee disease are concerning, suggesting that urban areas may favor problematic diseases of pollinators. PMID:26536606

  3. PC BEEPOP - A PERSONAL COMPUTER HONEY BEE POPULATION DYNAMICS MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    PC BEEPOP is a computer model that simulates honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colony population dynamics. he model consists of a system of interdependent elements, including colony condition, environmental variability, colony energetics, and contaminant exposure. t includes a mortal...

  4. PC BEEPOP - AN ECTOXICOLOGICAL SIMULATION MODEL FOR HONEY BEE POPULATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    PC BEEPOP is a computer model that simulates honey bee colony population dynamics. he model consists of a feedback system of interdependent elements, including colony condition, environmental variability, and contaminant exposures. t includes a mortality module (BEEKILL) and a ch...

  5. 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

  6. A Quantitative Model of Honey Bee Colony Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, David S.; Myerscough, Mary R.; Barron, Andrew B.

    2011-01-01

    Since 2006 the rate of honey bee colony failure has increased significantly. As an aid to testing hypotheses for the causes of colony failure we have developed a compartment model of honey bee colony population dynamics to explore the impact of different death rates of forager bees on colony growth and development. The model predicts a critical threshold forager death rate beneath which colonies regulate a stable population size. If death rates are sustained higher than this threshold rapid population decline is predicted and colony failure is inevitable. The model also predicts that high forager death rates draw hive bees into the foraging population at much younger ages than normal, which acts to accelerate colony failure. The model suggests that colony failure can be understood in terms of observed principles of honey bee population dynamics, and provides a theoretical framework for experimental investigation of the problem. PMID:21533156

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Resin collection and social immunity in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We determined if the use of resins, complex plant secretions with diverse antimicrobial properties, acts as a colony-level immune defense by honey bees. Colonies were enriched with extracts of Brazilian or Minnesotan propolis (a bee mixture of resins and wax) or were left as controls. We measured ge...

  12. Interactions between Cooccurring Lactic Acid Bacteria in Honey Bee Hives.

    PubMed

    Rokop, Z P; Horton, M A; Newton, I L G

    2015-10-01

    In contrast to the honey bee gut, which is colonized by a few characteristic bacterial clades, the hive of the honey bee is home to a diverse array of microbes, including many lactic acid bacteria (LAB). In this study, we used culture, combined with sequencing, to sample the LAB communities found across hive environments. Specifically, we sought to use network analysis to identify microbial hubs sharing nearly identical operational taxonomic units, evidence which may indicate cooccurrence of bacteria between environments. In the process, we identified interactions between noncore bacterial members (Fructobacillus and Lactobacillaceae) and honey bee-specific "core" members. Both Fructobacillus and Lactobacillaceae colonize brood cells, bee bread, and nectar and may serve the role of pioneering species, establishing an environment conducive to the inoculation by honey bee core bacteria. Coculture assays showed that these noncore bacterial members promote the growth of honey bee-specific bacterial species. Specifically, Fructobacillus by-products in spent medium supported the growth of the Firm-5 honey bee-specific clade in vitro. Metabolic characterization of Fructobacillus using carbohydrate utilization assays revealed that this strain is capable of utilizing the simple sugars fructose and glucose, as well as the complex plant carbohydrate lignin. We tested Fructobacillus for antibiotic sensitivity and found that this bacterium, which may be important for establishment of the microbiome, is sensitive to the commonly used antibiotic tetracycline. Our results point to the possible significance of "noncore" and environmental microbial community members in the modulation of honey bee microbiome dynamics and suggest that tetracycline use by beekeepers should be limited. PMID:26253685

  13. Interactions between Cooccurring Lactic Acid Bacteria in Honey Bee Hives

    PubMed Central

    Rokop, Z. P.; Horton, M. A.

    2015-01-01

    In contrast to the honey bee gut, which is colonized by a few characteristic bacterial clades, the hive of the honey bee is home to a diverse array of microbes, including many lactic acid bacteria (LAB). In this study, we used culture, combined with sequencing, to sample the LAB communities found across hive environments. Specifically, we sought to use network analysis to identify microbial hubs sharing nearly identical operational taxonomic units, evidence which may indicate cooccurrence of bacteria between environments. In the process, we identified interactions between noncore bacterial members (Fructobacillus and Lactobacillaceae) and honey bee-specific “core” members. Both Fructobacillus and Lactobacillaceae colonize brood cells, bee bread, and nectar and may serve the role of pioneering species, establishing an environment conducive to the inoculation by honey bee core bacteria. Coculture assays showed that these noncore bacterial members promote the growth of honey bee-specific bacterial species. Specifically, Fructobacillus by-products in spent medium supported the growth of the Firm-5 honey bee-specific clade in vitro. Metabolic characterization of Fructobacillus using carbohydrate utilization assays revealed that this strain is capable of utilizing the simple sugars fructose and glucose, as well as the complex plant carbohydrate lignin. We tested Fructobacillus for antibiotic sensitivity and found that this bacterium, which may be important for establishment of the microbiome, is sensitive to the commonly used antibiotic tetracycline. Our results point to the possible significance of “noncore” and environmental microbial community members in the modulation of honey bee microbiome dynamics and suggest that tetracycline use by beekeepers should be limited. PMID:26253685

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Morimoto, Tomomi; Kojima, Yuriko; Toki, Taku; Komeda, Yayoi; Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Nirasawa, Keijiro; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    The honey bee is a major insect used for pollination of many commercial crops worldwide. Although the use of honey bees for pollination can disrupt the habitat, the effects on their physiology have never been determined. Recently, honey bee colonies have often collapsed when introduced in greenhouses for pollination in Japan. Thus, suppressing colony collapses and maintaining the number of worker bees in the colonies is essential for successful long-term pollination in greenhouses and recycling of honey bee colonies. To understand the physiological states of honey bees used for long-term pollination in greenhouses, we characterized their gene expression profiles by microarray. We found that the greenhouse environment changes the gene expression profiles and induces immune-suppression and oxidative stress in honey bees. In fact, the increase of the number of Nosema microsporidia and protein carbonyl content was observed in honey bees during pollination in greenhouses. Thus, honey bee colonies are likely to collapse during pollination in greenhouses when heavily infested with pathogens. Degradation of honey bee habitat by changing the outside environment of the colony, during pollination services for example, imposes negative impacts on honey bees. Thus, worldwide use of honey bees for crop pollination in general could be one of reasons for the decline of managed honey bee colonies. PMID:22393496

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Flight behavior and pheromone changes associated to Nosema ceranae infection of honey bee workers (Apis mellifera) in field conditions.

    PubMed

    Dussaubat, Claudia; Maisonnasse, Alban; Crauser, Didier; Beslay, Dominique; Costagliola, Guy; Soubeyrand, Samuel; Kretzchmar, André; Le Conte, Yves

    2013-05-01

    Parasites are known to cause the loss of individuals in social insects. In honey bee colonies the disappearance of foragers is a common factor of the wide extended colony losses. The emergent parasite of the European honey bee Nosema ceranae has been found to reduce homing and orientation skills and alter metabolism of forager bees. N. ceranae-infected bees also show changes in Ethyl Oleate (EO) levels, which is so far the only primer pheromone identified in workers that is involved in foraging behavior. Thus, we hypothesized that N. ceranae (i) modifies flight activity of honey bees and (ii) induces EO changes that can alter foraging behavior of nestmates. We compared flight activity of infected bees and non-infected bees in small colonies using an electronic optic bee counter during 28 days. We measured EO levels by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and spore-counts. Bee mortality was estimated at the end of the experiment. Infected bees showed precocious and a higher flight activity than healthy bees, which agreed with the more elevated EO titers of infected bees and reduced lifespan. Our results suggest that the higher EO levels of infected bees might delay the behavioral maturation of same age healthy bees, which might explain their lower level of activity. We propose that delayed behavioral maturation of healthy bees might be a protective response to infection, as healthy bees would be performing less risky tasks inside the hive, thus extending their lifespan. We also discuss the potential of increased flight activity of infected bees to reduce pathogen transmission inside the hive. Further research is needed to understand the consequences of host behavioral changes on pathogen transmission. This knowledge may contribute to enhance natural colony defense behaviors through beekeeping practices to reduce probability of colony losses. PMID:23352958

  20. 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

  1. Pollination Ecology: Overview of Pollination and the Foraging Behavior of Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee pollination is an essential part of the production of crops that comprise more than a third of U.S. agriculture. This chapter of "The Hive and the Honey Bee" contains an overview of how honey bee foraging behavior results in the pollination of flowers and the formation of seeds, fruits an...

  2. Sublethal imidacloprid effects on honey bee flower choices when foraging.

    PubMed

    Karahan, Ahmed; Çakmak, Ibrahim; Hranitz, John M; Karaca, Ismail; Wells, Harrington

    2015-11-01

    Neonicotinoids, systemic neuro-active pesticides similar to nicotine, are widely used in agriculture and are being investigated for a role in honey bee colony losses. We examined one neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, for its effects on the foraging behavior of free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera anatoliaca) visiting artificial blue and white flowers. Imidacloprid doses, ranging from 1/5 to 1/50 of the reported LD50, were fed to bees orally. The study consisted of three experimental parts performed sequentially without interruption. In Part 1, both flower colors contained a 4 μL 1 M sucrose solution reward. Part 2 offered bees 4 μL of 1.5 M sucrose solution in blue flowers and a 4 μL 0.5 M sucrose solution reward in white flowers. In Part 3 we reversed the sugar solution rewards, while keeping the flower color consistent. Each experiment began 30 min after administration of the pesticide. We recorded the percentage of experimental bees that returned to forage after treatment. We also recorded the visitation rate, number of flowers visited, and floral reward choices of the bees that foraged after treatment. The forager return rate declined linearly with increasing imidacloprid dose. The number of foraging trips by returning bees was also affected adversely. However, flower fidelity was not affected by imidacloprid dose. Foragers visited both blue and white flowers extensively in Part 1, and showed greater fidelity for the flower color offering the higher sugar solution reward in Parts 2 and 3. Although larger samples sizes are needed, our study suggests that imidacloprid may not affect the ability to select the higher nectar reward when rewards were reversed. We observed acute, mild effects on foraging by honey bees, so mild that storage of imidacloprid tainted-honey is very plausible and likely to be found in honey bee colonies. PMID:26415950

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  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. Spore Loads May Not be Used Alone as a Direct Indicator of the Severity of Nosema ceranae Infection in Honey Bees Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera:Apidae).

    PubMed

    Zheng, Huo-Qing; Lin, Zhe-Guang; Huang, Shao-Kang; Sohr, Alex; Wu, Lyman; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-12-01

    Nosema ceranae Fries et al., 1996, a microsporidian parasite recently transferred from Asian honey bees Apis cerana F., 1793, to European honey bees Apis mellifera L., 1758, has been suspected as one of the major culprits of the worldwide honey bee colony losses. Spore load is a commonly used criterion to describe the intensity of Nosema infection. In this study, by providing Nosema-infected bees with sterilized pollen, we confirmed that pollen feeding increased the spore loads of honey bees by several times either in the presence or absence of a queen. By changing the amount of pollen consumed by bees in cages, we showed that spore loads increased with an increase in pollen consumption. Nosema infections decrease honey bee longevity and transcription of vitellogenin, either with or without pollen feeding. However, the reduction of pollen consumption had a greater impact on honey bee longevity and vitellogenin level than the increase of spore counts caused by pollen feeding. These results indicate that spore loads may not be used alone as a direct indicator of the severity of N. ceranae infection in honey bees. PMID:26470067

  6. Pollution monitoring using networks of honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Bromenshenk, J.J.; Dewart, M.L.; Thomas, J.M.

    1983-08-01

    Each year thousands of chemicals in large quantities are introduced into the global environment and the need for effective methods of monitoring these substances has steadily increased. Most monitoring programs rely upon instrumentation to measure specific contaminants in air, water, or soil. However, it has become apparent that humans and their environment are exposed to complex mixtures of chemicals rather than single entities. As our ability to detect ever smaller quantities of pollutants has increased, the biological significance of these findings has become more uncertain. Also, it is clear that monitoring efforts should shift from short-term studies of easily identifiable sources in localized areas to long-term studies of multiple sources over widespread regions. Our investigations aim at providing better tools to meet these exigencies. Honey bees are discussed as an effective, long-term, self-sustaining system for monitoring environmental impacts. Our results indicate that the use of regional, and possibly national or international, capability can be realized with the aid of beekeepers in obtaining samples and conducting measurements. This approach has the added advantage of public involvement in environmental problem solving and protection of human health and environmental quality.

  7. Functionality of Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) When Used for Western U.S. Honey Production and Almond Pollination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, were evaluated for performance when used for honey production in Montana, USA, and for almond pollination the following winter. Colonies of Russian honey bees (RHB) and outcrossed honey bees with...

  8. 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

  9. Learning Impairment in Honey Bees Caused by Agricultural Spray Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Ciarlo, Timothy J.; Mullin, Christopher A.; Frazier, James L.; Schmehl, Daniel R.

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees perform robustly in different conditioning paradigms. This makes them excellent candidates for studying mechanisms of learning and memory at both an individual and a population level. Here we introduce a novel method of honey bee conditioning: APIS, the Automatic Performance Index System. In an enclosed walking arena where the interior is covered with an electric grid, presentation of odors from either end can be combined with weak electric shocks to form aversive associations. To quantify behavioral responses, we continuously monitor the movement of the bee by an automatic tracking system. We found that escapes from one side to the other, changes in velocity as well as distance and time spent away from the punished odor are suitable parameters to describe the bee's learning capabilities. Our data show that in a short-term memory test the response rate for the conditioned stimulus (CS) in APIS correlates well with response rate obtained from conventional Proboscis Extension Response (PER)-conditioning. Additionally, we discovered that bees modulate their behavior to aversively learned odors by reducing their rate, speed and magnitude of escapes and that both generalization and extinction seem to be different between appetitive and aversive stimuli. The advantages of this automatic system make it ideal for assessing learning rates in a standardized and convenient way, and its flexibility adds to the toolbox for studying honey bee behavior. PMID:23616753

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-28

    As a managed pollinator, the honey bee Apis mellifera is critical to the American agricultural enterprise. Recent colony losses have thus raised concerns; possible explanations for bee decline include nutritional deficiencies and exposures to pesticides and pathogens. We determined that constituents found in honey, including p-coumaric acid, pinocembrin, and pinobanksin 5-methyl ether, specifically induce detoxification genes. These inducers are primarily found not in nectar but in pollen in the case of p-coumaric acid (a monomer of sporopollenin, the principal constituent of pollen cell walls) and propolis, a resinous material gathered and processed by bees to line wax cells. RNA-seq analysis (massively parallel RNA sequencing) revealed that p-coumaric acid specifically up-regulates all classes of detoxification genes as well as select antimicrobial peptide genes. This up-regulation has functional significance in that that adding p-coumaric acid to a diet of sucrose increases midgut metabolism of coumaphos, a widely used in-hive acaricide, by ∼60%. As a major component of pollen grains, p-coumaric acid is ubiquitous in the natural diet of honey bees and may function as a nutraceutical regulating immune and detoxification processes. The widespread apicultural use of honey substitutes, including high-fructose corn syrup, may thus compromise the ability of honey bees to cope with pesticides and pathogens and contribute to colony losses. PMID:23630255

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    As a managed pollinator, the honey bee Apis mellifera is critical to the American agricultural enterprise. Recent colony losses have thus raised concerns; possible explanations for bee decline include nutritional deficiencies and exposures to pesticides and pathogens. We determined that constituents found in honey, including p-coumaric acid, pinocembrin, and pinobanksin 5-methyl ether, specifically induce detoxification genes. These inducers are primarily found not in nectar but in pollen in the case of p-coumaric acid (a monomer of sporopollenin, the principal constituent of pollen cell walls) and propolis, a resinous material gathered and processed by bees to line wax cells. RNA-seq analysis (massively parallel RNA sequencing) revealed that p-coumaric acid specifically up-regulates all classes of detoxification genes as well as select antimicrobial peptide genes. This up-regulation has functional significance in that that adding p-coumaric acid to a diet of sucrose increases midgut metabolism of coumaphos, a widely used in-hive acaricide, by ∼60%. As a major component of pollen grains, p-coumaric acid is ubiquitous in the natural diet of honey bees and may function as a nutraceutical regulating immune and detoxification processes. The widespread apicultural use of honey substitutes, including high-fructose corn syrup, may thus compromise the ability of honey bees to cope with pesticides and pathogens and contribute to colony losses. PMID:23630255

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

    PubMed

    Ozkirim, A; Keskin, N

    2001-01-01

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

  18. Nosema ceranae has been present in Brazil for more than three decades infecting Africanized honey bees.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Erica Weinstein; Santos, Lubiane Guimarães Dos; Sattler, Aroni; Message, Dejair; Alves, Maria Luisa Teles Marques Florencio; Martins, Marta Fonseca; Grassi-Sella, Marina Lopes; Francoy, Tiago Mauricio

    2013-11-01

    Until the mid-1990s, the only microsporidium known to infect bees of the genus Apis was Nosema apis. A second species, Nosema ceranae, was first identified in 1996 from Asian honey bees; it is postulated that this parasite was transmitted from the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, to the European honey bee, Apis mellifera. Currently, N. ceranae is found on all continents and has often been associated with honey bee colony collapse and other reports of high bee losses. Samples of Africanized drones collected in 1979, preserved in alcohol, were analyzed by light microscopy to count spores and were subjected to DNA extraction, after which duplex PCR was conducted. All molecular analyses (triplicate) indicated that the drones were infected with both N. ceranae and N. apis. PCR products were sequenced and matched to sequences reported in the GenBank (Acc. Nos. JQ639316.1 and JQ639301.1). The venation pattern of the wings of these males was compared to those of the current population living in the same area and with the pattern of drones collected in 1968 from Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil, from a location close to where African swarms first escaped in 1956. The morphometric results indicated that the population collected in 1979 was significantly different from the current living population, confirming its antiquity. Considering that the use of molecular tools for identifying Nosema species is relatively recent, it is possible that previous reports of infections (which used only light microscopy, without ultrastructural analysis) wrongly identified N. ceranae as N. apis. Although we can conclude that N. ceranae has been affecting Africanized honeybees in Brazil for at least 34 years, the impact of this pathogen remains unclear. PMID:24025844

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Genetic Stock Identification Of Production Colonies Of Russian Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The prevalence of Nosema ceranae in managed honey bee colonies has increased dramatically in the past 10 – 20 years worldwide. A variety of genetic testing methods for species identification and prevalence are now available. However sample size and preservation method of samples prior to testing hav...

  2. Presence of Russian honey bee genotypes in swarms in Louisiana.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Swarm traps were placed in an area around USDA, ARS apiaries near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which had contained ARS Russian and other honey bees for several years. Eighty swarms were sampled and analyzed for their genotype (Russian, hybrid or non-Russian) and mite infestation percentages. Ten swarms...

  3. Pollen collection and honey bee forager distribution in cantaloupe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera, L.) pollen collection and forager distribution were examined during the summer of 2002 in a cantaloupe (Cucumis melo, L., Cruiser cv.) field provided with plastic mulch and drip irrigation. The experimental site was located near the INIFAP Campo Experimental La Laguna, Ma...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. SWEETNESS AND LIGHT: ILLUMINATING THE HONEY BEE GENOME

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genome sequence and annotated gene list of the honey bee Apis mellifera is the first genome of the Hymenoptera to be deciphered. As such it has already, and will continue, to provide an avalanche of insights into insect biology and the genetic basis of social behavior. The project was centered a...

  6. Genetic diversity affects colony survivorship in commercial honey bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens mate with unusually high numbers of males (average of approximately 12 drones), although there is much variation among queens. One main consequence of such extreme polyandry is an increased diversity of worker genotypes within a colony, which has been shown empirica...

  7. Pests, pathogens, and parasites of honey bees in Asia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Asia is home to at least nine honey bee species, including the introduced Apis mellifera. Despite both A. mellifera and Apis cerana being widely employed for commerical beekeeping, the remaining non-managed species also have important ecological and economic roles on the continent. Species distribut...

  8. Antioxidant activity of honey supplemented with bee products.

    PubMed

    Juszczak, Lesław; Gałkowska, Dorota; Ostrowska, Małgorzata; Socha, Robert

    2016-06-01

    The aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of supplementation of multiflower honey with bee products on the phenolic compound content and on antioxidant activity. Average total phenolic and flavonoids contents in the multiflower honeys were 36.06 ± 10.18 mg GAE/100 g and 4.48 ± 1.69 mg QE/100 g, respectively. The addition of royal jelly did not affect significantly the phenolic compound content and antioxidant activity. Supplementation of honey with other bee products, i.e. beebread, propolis, pollen, resulted in significant increase in the total phenolic and flavonoids contents, and in antiradical activity and reducing power, with the largest effect found for addition of beebread. Significant linear correlations between the total phenolic and flavonoids contents and antiradical activity and reducing power were found. PMID:26153086

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Hydroxymethylfurfural: a possible emergent cause of honey bee mortality?

    PubMed

    Zirbes, Lara; Nguyen, Bach Kim; de Graaf, Dirk C; De Meulenaer, Bruno; Reybroeck, Wim; Haubruge, Eric; Saegerman, Claude

    2013-12-11

    Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a common product of hexose degradation occurring during the Maillard reaction and caramelization, has been found toxic for rats and mice. It could cause a potential health risk for humans due to its presence in many foods, sometimes exceeding 1 g/kg (in certain dried fruits and caramel products), although the latter still is controversial. HMF can also be consumed by honey bees through bad production batches of sugar syrups that are offered as winter feeding. In Belgium, abnormal losses of honey bee colonies were observed in colonies that were fed with syrup of inverted beet sugar containing high concentrations of HMF (up to 475 mg/kg). These losses suggest that HMF could be implicated in bee mortality, a topic that so far has received only little attention. This paper reviews the current knowledge of the presence of HMF in honey bee environment and possible consequences on bee mortality. Some lines of inquiry for further toxicological analysis are likewise proposed. PMID:24127696

  12. Effects of Infection on Honey Bee Population Dynamics: A Model

    PubMed Central

    Betti, Matt I.; Wahl, Lindi M.; Zamir, Mair

    2014-01-01

    We propose a model that combines the dynamics of the spread of disease within a bee colony with the underlying demographic dynamics of the colony to determine the ultimate fate of the colony under different scenarios. The model suggests that key factors in the survival or collapse of a honey bee colony in the face of an infection are the rate of transmission of the infection and the disease-induced death rate. An increase in the disease-induced death rate, which can be thought of as an increase in the severity of the disease, may actually help the colony overcome the disease and survive through winter. By contrast, an increase in the transmission rate, which means that bees are being infected at an earlier age, has a drastic deleterious effect. Another important finding relates to the timing of infection in relation to the onset of winter, indicating that in a time interval of approximately 20 days before the onset of winter the colony is most affected by the onset of infection. The results suggest further that the age of recruitment of hive bees to foraging duties is a good early marker for the survival or collapse of a honey bee colony in the face of infection, which is consistent with experimental evidence but the model provides insight into the underlying mechanisms. The most important result of the study is a clear distinction between an exposure of the honey bee colony to an environmental hazard such as pesticides or insecticides, or an exposure to an infectious disease. The results indicate unequivocally that in the scenarios that we have examined, and perhaps more generally, an infectious disease is far more hazardous to the survival of a bee colony than an environmental hazard that causes an equal death rate in foraging bees. PMID:25329468

  13. Estimating reproductive success of Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) in honey bee colonies by trapping emigrating larvae.

    PubMed

    Arbogast, Richard T; Torto, Baldwyn; Willms, Steve; Fombong, Ayuka T; Duehl, Adrian; Teal, Peter E A

    2012-02-01

    The small hive beetle (Aethina tumida Murray) is a scavenger and facultative predator in honey bee colonies, where it feeds on pollen, honey, and bee brood. Although a minor problem in its native Africa, it is an invasive pest of honey bees in the United States and Australia. Adult beetles enter bee hives to oviposit and feed. Larval development occurs within the hive, but mature larvae leave the hive to pupate in soil. The numbers leaving, which can be estimated by trapping, measure the reproductive success of adult beetles in the hive over any given period of time. We describe a trap designed to intercept mature larvae as they reach the end of the bottom board on their way to the ground. Trap efficiency was estimated by releasing groups of 100 larvae into empty brood boxes and counting the numbers trapped. Some larvae escaped, but mean efficiency ranged from 87.2 to 94.2%. We envision the trap as a research tool for study of beetle population dynamics, and we used it to track numbers of larvae leaving active hives for pupation in the soil. The traps detected large increases and then decreases in numbers of larvae leaving colonies that weakened and died. They also detected small numbers of larvae leaving strong European and African colonies, even when no larvae were observed in the hives. PMID:22525070

  14. Population dynamics of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in commercial honey bee colonies and implications for control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Treatment schedules to maintain low levels of Varroa mites in honey bee colonies were tested in hives started from either package bees or splits of larger colonies. The schedules were developed based on predictions of Varroa population growth generated from a mathematical model of honey bee colony ...

  15. Preliminary results on the evaluation of honey bee stocks for susceptibility to deformed wing virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We assessed the susceptibility of honey bee stocks to Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) infection. Three stocks (n = 4 colonies per stock) were evaluated: Italian (IHB), Pol-line (POL, hybrid Varroa Sensitive Hygienic bees) and Russian honey bees (RHB). Each queen was caged to obtain uniformly-aged larvae....

  16. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Himalayan honey bee, Apis laboriosa.

    PubMed

    Chhakchhuak, Liansangmawii; De Mandal, Surajit; Gurusubramanian, Guruswami; Sudalaimuthu, Naganeeswaran; Gopalakrishnan, Chellappa; Mugasimangalam, Raja C; Senthil Kumar, Nachimuthu

    2016-09-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of Himalayan bee Apis laboriosa, from Mizoram, India, has been sequenced using Illumina NextSeq500 platform and analysed. The mitogenome was assembled and found to be 15 266 bp in length and the gene arrangement is similar to other honey bee species. The A. laboriosa mitogenome comprises of 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 tRNAs, 2 rRNAs and an A + T-rich region of 346 bp. Based on the concatenated PCGs, in the phylogenetic tree, A. laboriosa is placed as a sister group along with the cavity nesting honey bees. The present study reports the first complete mitochondrial genome sequence of A. laboriosa, which will enhance our knowledge on Apinae mitogenomes and phylogeny. PMID:26360118

  17. The Importance of Microbes in Nutrition and Health of Honey Bee Colonies Part-2: Factors Affecting the Microbial Community in Honey Bee Colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee colonies have innumerable symbiotic bacteria and fungi that are essential to the health of the colony. In the first part of this series, we discussed the importance of microbes in maintaining the health of honey bee colonies. The bacteria, yeasts and molds that live in a healthy colony a...

  18. A Scientific Note on the Lactic Acid Bacterial Flora Discovered in the Honey Stomach of Swedish honey bees - a continuing study on honey bees in the U.S.A.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beneficial bacteria have been found in honey stomachs of the honey bee, Apis mellifera; a unique flora that appears to have coevolved with the honey bees. The health of our most important pollinators has come into focus during the last few years, because of yet unexplained conditions and diseases t...

  19. Intraspecific Aggression in Giant Honey Bees (Apis dorsata)

    PubMed Central

    Weihmann, Frank; Waddoup, Dominique; Hötzl, Thomas; Kastberger, Gerald

    2014-01-01

    We investigated intraspecific aggression in experimental nests (expN1, expN2) of the giant honey bee Apis dorsata in Chitwan (Nepal), focusing on interactions between surface bees and two other groups of bees approaching the nest: (1) homing “nestmate” foragers landing on the bee curtain remained unmolested by guards; and (2) supposed “non-nestmate” bees, which were identified by their erratic flight patterns in front of the nest, such as hovering or sideways scanning and splaying their legs from their body, and were promptly attacked by the surface bees after landing. These supposed non-nestmate bees only occurred immediately before and after migration swarms, which had arrived in close vicinity (and were most likely scouting for a nesting site). In total, 231 of the “nestmate” foragers (fb) and 102 approaches of such purported “non-nestmate” scouts (sc) were analysed (total observation time expN1: 5.43 min) regarding the evocation of shimmering waves (sh). During their landing the “nestmate” foragers provoked less shimmering waves (relnsh[fb] = 23/231 = 0.0996, relnsh[sc] = 75/102 = 0.7353; p <0.001, χ2-test) with shorter duration (Dsh[fb] = 197 ± 17 ms, Dsh[sc] = 488 ± 16 ms; p <0.001; t-test) than “non-nestmates”. Moreover, after having landed on the nest surface, the “non-nestmates” were attacked by the surface bees (expN1, expN2: observation time >18 min) quite similarly to the defensive response against predatory wasps. Hence, the surface members of settled colonies respond differently to individual giant honey bees approaching the nest, depending on whether erratic flight patterns are displayed or not. PMID:26462834

  20. 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

  1. Honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) foraging in response to preconditioning with onion flower scent compounds.

    PubMed

    Silva, Erin M; Dean, Bill B; Hiller, Larry K

    2003-10-01

    Onion (Allium cepa L.) seed production has long been plagued with yield problems because of lack of pollination by the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. To attempt to attract more pollinators to the onion seed production field, honey bees were conditioned to associate onion floral odor components with a reward. Isolated nucleus hives of honey bees were fed 30% sucrose solutions scented with a 0.2% solution of onion floral odor compounds. After feeding on these solutions for 6 wk, bees were not found to prefer onion flowers to two competing food sources, carrot and alfalfa flowers, at the 5% significance level. However, there was an overall trend indicating a change in honey bee behavior, with fewer "trained" bees visiting alfalfa and carrot and more visiting onion. Thus, it may be possible to alter honey bee behavior with preconditioning but probably not to a degree that would be economically significant. PMID:14650525

  2. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) as explosives detectors: exploring proboscis extension reflex conditioned response to trinitrotolulene (TNT)

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor-mccabe, Kirsten J; Wingo, Robert M; Haarmann, Timothy K

    2008-01-01

    We examined honey bee's associative learning response to conditioning with trinitrotolulene (TNT) vapor concentrations generated at three temperatures and their ability to be reconditioned after a 24 h period. We used classical conditioning of the proboscis extension (PER) in honey bees using TNT vapors as the conditioned stimulus and sucrose as the unconditioned stimulus. We conducted fifteen experimental trials with an explosives vapor generator set at 43 C, 25 C and 5 C, producing three concentrations of explosives (1070 ppt, 57 ppt, and 11 ppt). Our objective was to test the honey bee's ability to exhibit a conditioned response to TNT vapors at all three concentrations by comparing the mean percentage of honey bees successfully exhibiting a conditioned response within each temperature group. Furthermore, we conducted eight experimental trials to test the honey bee's ability to retain their ability to exhibit a conditioned response to TNT after 24h period by comparing the mean percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response TNT on the first day compared to the percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response to TNT on the second day. Results indicate that there was no significant difference between the mean percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response to TNT vapors between three temperature groups. There was a significant difference between the percentage of honey bees exhibiting conditioned response on the first day of training compared to the percentage of honey bees exhibiting conditioned response 24 h after training. Our experimental results indicate that honey bees can be trained to exhibit a conditioned response to a range of TNT concentrations via PER However, it appears that the honey bee's ability to retain the conditioned response to TNT vapors after 24h significantly decreases.

  3. Differentially expressed regulatory genes in honey bee caste development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepperle, C.; Hartfelder, K.

    2001-03-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Honey bee is one of the most important insects considering its role in agriculture,ecology and economy as a whole. In this study, the genetic diversity of different Iranian honey bee populations was evaluated using inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. During May to September 2014, 108 young worker honey bees were collected from six different populations in 30 different geoclimatic locations from Golestan, Mazendaran, Guilan, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardebil provinces of Iran. DNA was extracted from the worker honey bees. The quality and quantity of extracted DNA were measured. A set of ten primers were screened with the laboratory populations of honey bees. The number of fragments produced in the different honey bee populations varied from 3 to 10, varying within 150 to 1500 bp. The used ten ISSR primers generated 40 polymorphic fragments, and the average heterozygosity for each primer was 0.266. Maximum numbers of bands were recorded for primer A1. A dendrogram based on the Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean (UPGMA) method generated two sub-clusters. Honey bee populations of Golestan, Mazendaran, Guilan provinces were located in the first group. The second group included honey bee populations of Ardebil, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan provinces, but this group showed a close relationship with other populations. The results showed obviously the ability of the ISSR marker technique to detect the genetic diversity among the honey bee populations. PMID:27188735

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. A Pragmatic Approach to Assess the Exposure of the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) When Subjected to Pesticide Spray

    PubMed Central

    Poquet, Yannick; Bodin, Laurent; Tchamitchian, Marc; Fusellier, Marion; Giroud, Barbara; Lafay, Florent; Buleté, Audrey; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Cousin, Marianne; Pélissier, Michel; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Belzunces, Luc P.

    2014-01-01

    Plant protection spray treatments may expose non-target organisms to pesticides. In the pesticide registration procedure, the honey bee represents one of the non-target model species for which the risk posed by pesticides must be assessed on the basis of the hazard quotient (HQ). The HQ is defined as the ratio between environmental exposure and toxicity. For the honey bee, the HQ calculation is not consistent because it corresponds to the ratio between the pesticide field rate (in mass of pesticide/ha) and LD50 (in mass of pesticide/bee). Thus, in contrast to all other species, the HQ can only be interpreted empirically because it corresponds to a number of bees/ha. This type of HQ calculation is due to the difficulty in transforming pesticide field rates into doses to which bees are exposed. In this study, we used a pragmatic approach to determine the apparent exposure surface area of honey bees submitted to pesticide treatments by spraying with a Potter-type tower. The doses received by the bees were quantified by very efficient chemical analyses, which enabled us to determine an apparent surface area of 1.05 cm2/bee. The apparent surface area was used to calculate the exposure levels of bees submitted to pesticide sprays and then to revisit the HQ ratios with a calculation mode similar to that used for all other living species. X-tomography was used to assess the physical surface area of a bee, which was 3.27 cm2/bee, and showed that the apparent exposure surface was not overestimated. The control experiments showed that the toxicity induced by doses calculated with the exposure surface area was similar to that induced by treatments according to the European testing procedure. This new approach to measure risk is more accurate and could become a tool to aid the decision-making process in the risk assessment of pesticides. PMID:25412103

  9. 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

  10. Varroa-Virus Interaction in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Francis, Roy M.; Nielsen, Steen L.; Kryger, Per

    2013-01-01

    Varroa mites and viruses are the currently the high-profile suspects in collapsing bee colonies. Therefore, seasonal variation in varroa load and viruses (Acute-Kashmir-Israeli complex (AKI) and Deformed Wing Virus (DWV)) were monitored in a year-long study. We investigated the viral titres in honey bees and varroa mites from 23 colonies (15 apiaries) under three treatment conditions: Organic acids (11 colonies), pyrethroid (9 colonies) and untreated (3 colonies). Approximately 200 bees were sampled every month from April 2011 to October 2011, and April 2012. The 200 bees were split to 10 subsamples of 20 bees and analysed separately, which allows us to determine the prevalence of virus-infected bees. The treatment efficacy was often low for both treatments. In colonies where varroa treatment reduced the mite load, colonies overwintered successfully, allowing the mites and viruses to be carried over with the bees into the next season. In general, AKI and DWV titres did not show any notable response to the treatment and steadily increased over the season from April to October. In the untreated control group, titres increased most dramatically. Viral copies were correlated to number of varroa mites. Most colonies that collapsed over the winter had significantly higher AKI and DWV titres in October compared to survivors. Only treated colonies survived the winter. We discuss our results in relation to the varroa-virus model developed by Stephen Martin. PMID:23526946

  11. Orchard Pollination in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA. Honey Bees or Native Bees?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unlike most National Parks in the United States, Capitol Reef National Park in central Utah includes an agricultural component. The Park surrounds 22 rosaceous fruit orchards started over a century ago by Mormon pioneers. During bloom, hives of the alien honey bee are imported to pollinate the flow...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-09-01

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

  13. Honey Bee Mating Optimization Vector Quantization Scheme in Image Compression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horng, Ming-Huwi

    The vector quantization is a powerful technique in the applications of digital image compression. The traditionally widely used method such as the Linde-Buzo-Gray (LBG) algorithm always generated local optimal codebook. Recently, particle swarm optimization (PSO) is adapted to obtain the near-global optimal codebook of vector quantization. In this paper, we applied a new swarm algorithm, honey bee mating optimization, to construct the codebook of vector quantization. The proposed method is called the honey bee mating optimization based LBG (HBMO-LBG) algorithm. The results were compared with the other two methods that are LBG and PSO-LBG algorithms. Experimental results showed that the proposed HBMO-LBG algorithm is more reliable and the reconstructed images get higher quality than those generated form the other three methods.

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

    PubMed

    Collins, Anita M; Mazur, Peter

    2006-08-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. A New Threat to Honey Bees, the Parasitic Phorid Fly Apocephalus borealis

    PubMed Central

    Core, Andrew; Runckel, Charles; Ivers, Jonathan; Quock, Christopher; Siapno, Travis; DeNault, Seraphina; Brown, Brian; DeRisi, Joseph; Smith, Christopher D.; Hafernik, John

    2012-01-01

    Honey bee colonies are subject to numerous pathogens and parasites. Interaction among multiple pathogens and parasites is the proposed cause for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a syndrome characterized by worker bees abandoning their hive. Here we provide the first documentation that the phorid fly Apocephalus borealis, previously known to parasitize bumble bees, also infects and eventually kills honey bees and may pose an emerging threat to North American apiculture. Parasitized honey bees show hive abandonment behavior, leaving their hives at night and dying shortly thereafter. On average, seven days later up to 13 phorid larvae emerge from each dead bee and pupate away from the bee. Using DNA barcoding, we confirmed that phorids that emerged from honey bees and bumble bees were the same species. Microarray analyses of honey bees from infected hives revealed that these bees are often infected with deformed wing virus and Nosema ceranae. Larvae and adult phorids also tested positive for these pathogens, implicating the fly as a potential vector or reservoir of these honey bee pathogens. Phorid parasitism may affect hive viability since 77% of sites sampled in the San Francisco Bay Area were infected by the fly and microarray analyses detected phorids in commercial hives in South Dakota and California's Central Valley. Understanding details of phorid infection may shed light on similar hive abandonment behaviors seen in CCD. PMID:22235317

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

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

  20. Admixture increases diversity in managed honey bees: reply to De la Rúa et al. (2013).

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    De la Rúa et al. (2013) express some concerns about the conclusions of our recent study showing that management increases genetic diversity of honey bees (Apis mellifera) by promoting admixture (Harpur et al. 2012). We provide a brief review of the literature on the population genetics of A. mellifera and show that we utilized appropriate sampling methods to estimate genetic diversity in the focal populations. Our finding of higher genetic diversity in two managed A. mellifera populations on two different continents is expected to be the norm given the large number of studies documenting admixture in honey bees. Our study focused on elucidating how management affects genetic diversity in honey bees, not on how to best manage bee colonies. We do not endorse the intentional admixture of honey bee populations, and we agree with De la Rúa et al. (2013) that native honey bee subspecies should be conserved. PMID:24433573

  1. Evolution and mechanisms of long life and high fertility in queen honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Kimberly A.

    2008-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are eusocial insects that exhibit striking caste-specific differences in longevity. Queen honey bees live on average 1–2 years whereas workers live on average 15–38 days in the summer and 150–200 days in the winter. Previous studies of senescence in the honey bee have focused on establishing the importance of extrinsic mortality factors (predation, weather) and behavior (nursing and foraging) in worker bee longevity. However, few studies have tried to elucidate the mechanisms that allow queen honey bees to achieve their long lifespan without sacrificing fecundity. Here, we review both types of studies and emphasize the importance of understanding both proximate and ultimate causes of the unusual life history of honey bee queens. PMID:19424867

  2. Genetic diversity affects colony survivorship in commercial honey bee colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarpy, David R.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Pettis, Jeffrey S.

    2013-08-01

    Honey bee ( Apis mellifera) queens mate with unusually high numbers of males (average of approximately 12 drones), although there is much variation among queens. One main consequence of such extreme polyandry is an increased diversity of worker genotypes within a colony, which has been shown empirically to confer significant adaptive advantages that result in higher colony productivity and survival. Moreover, honey bees are the primary insect pollinators used in modern commercial production agriculture, and their populations have been in decline worldwide. Here, we compare the mating frequencies of queens, and therefore, intracolony genetic diversity, in three commercial beekeeping operations to determine how they correlate with various measures of colony health and productivity, particularly the likelihood of queen supersedure and colony survival in functional, intensively managed beehives. We found the average effective paternity frequency ( m e ) of this population of honey bee queens to be 13.6 ± 6.76, which was not significantly different between colonies that superseded their queen and those that did not. However, colonies that were less genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e ≤ 7.0) were 2.86 times more likely to die by the end of the study when compared to colonies that were more genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e > 7.0). The stark contrast in colony survival based on increased genetic diversity suggests that there are important tangible benefits of increased queen mating number in managed honey bees, although the exact mechanism(s) that govern these benefits have not been fully elucidated.

  3. Genetic diversity affects colony survivorship in commercial honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Tarpy, David R; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Pettis, Jeffrey S

    2013-08-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens mate with unusually high numbers of males (average of approximately 12 drones), although there is much variation among queens. One main consequence of such extreme polyandry is an increased diversity of worker genotypes within a colony, which has been shown empirically to confer significant adaptive advantages that result in higher colony productivity and survival. Moreover, honey bees are the primary insect pollinators used in modern commercial production agriculture, and their populations have been in decline worldwide. Here, we compare the mating frequencies of queens, and therefore, intracolony genetic diversity, in three commercial beekeeping operations to determine how they correlate with various measures of colony health and productivity, particularly the likelihood of queen supersedure and colony survival in functional, intensively managed beehives. We found the average effective paternity frequency (m e ) of this population of honey bee queens to be 13.6 ± 6.76, which was not significantly different between colonies that superseded their queen and those that did not. However, colonies that were less genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e  ≤ 7.0) were 2.86 times more likely to die by the end of the study when compared to colonies that were more genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e  > 7.0). The stark contrast in colony survival based on increased genetic diversity suggests that there are important tangible benefits of increased queen mating number in managed honey bees, although the exact mechanism(s) that govern these benefits have not been fully elucidated. PMID:23728203

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

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, RM

    2015-01-01

    Foraging honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) can routinely travel as far as several kilometers from their hive in the process of collecting nectar and pollen from floral patches within the surrounding landscape. Since the availability of floral resources at the landscape scale is a function of landscape composition, apiculturists have long recognized that landscape composition is a critical determinant of honey bee colony success. Nevertheless, very few studies present quantitative data relating colony success metrics to local landscape composition. We employed a beekeeper survey in conjunction with GIS-based landscape analysis to model colony success as a function of landscape composition in the State of Ohio, USA, a region characterized by intensive cropland, urban development, deciduous forest, and grassland. We found that colony food accumulation and wax production were positively related to cropland and negatively related to forest and grassland, a pattern that may be driven by the abundance of dandelion and clovers in agricultural areas compared to forest or mature grassland. Colony food accumulation was also negatively correlated with urban land cover in sites dominated by urban and agricultural land use, which does not support the popular opinion that the urban environment is more favorable to honey bees than cropland. PMID:25802808

  5. Population structure of honey bees in the Carpathian Basin (Hungary) confirms introgression from surrounding subspecies.

    PubMed

    Péntek-Zakar, Erika; Oleksa, Andrzej; Borowik, Tomasz; Kusza, Szilvia

    2015-12-01

    Carniolan honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica) are considered as an indigenous subspecies in Hungary adapted to most of the ecological and climatic conditions in this area. However, during the last decades Hungarian beekeepers have recognized morphological signs of the Italian honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica). As the natural distribution of the honey bee subspecies can be affected by the importation of honey bee queens or by natural gene flow, we aimed at determining the genetic structure and characteristics of the local honey bee population using molecular markers. All together, 48 Hungarian and 84 foreign (Italian, Polish, Spanish, Liberian) pupae and/or workers were used for mitochondrial DNA analysis. Additionally, 53 sequences corresponding to 10 subspecies and the Buckfast hybrid were downloaded from GenBank. For the nuclear analysis, 236 Hungarian and 106 foreign honey bees were genotyped using nine microsatellites. Heterozygosity values, population-specific alleles, FST values, principal coordinate analysis, assignment tests, structure analysis, and dendrograms were calculated. Haplotype and nucleotide diversity values showed moderate values. We found that one haplotype (H9) was dominant in Hungary. The presence of the black honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) was negligible, but a few individuals resembling other subspecies were identified. We proved that the Hungarian honey bee population is nearly homogeneous but also demonstrated introgression from the foreign subspecies. Both mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite analyses corroborated the observations of the beekeepers. Molecular analyses suggested that Carniolan honey bee in Hungary is slightly affected by Italian and black honey bee introgression. Genetic differences were detected between Polish and Hungarian Carniolan honey bee populations, suggesting the existence of at least two different gene pools within A. m. carnica. PMID:27069597

  6. Differential diagnosis of the honey bee trypanosomatids Crithidia mellificae and Lotmaria passim.

    PubMed

    Ravoet, Jorgen; Schwarz, Ryan S; Descamps, Tine; Yañez, Orlando; Tozkar, Cansu Ozge; Martin-Hernandez, Raquel; Bartolomé, Carolina; De Smet, Lina; Higes, Mariano; Wenseleers, Tom; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Neumann, Peter; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko; Evans, Jay D; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-09-01

    Trypanosomatids infecting honey bees have been poorly studied with molecular methods until recently. After the description of Crithidia mellificae (Langridge and McGhee, 1967) it took about forty years until molecular data for honey bee trypanosomatids became available and were used to identify and describe a new trypanosomatid species from honey bees, Lotmaria passim (Evans and Schwarz, 2014). However, an easy method to distinguish them without sequencing is not yet available. Research on the related bumble bee parasites Crithidia bombi and Crithidia expoeki revealed a fragment length polymorphism in the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1), which enabled species discrimination. In search of fragment length polymorphisms for differential diagnostics in honey bee trypanosomatids, we studied honey bee trypanosomatid cell cultures of C. mellificae and L. passim. This research resulted in the identification of fragment length polymorphisms in ITS1 and ITS1-2 markers, which enabled us to develop a diagnostic method to differentiate both honey bee trypanosomatid species without the need for sequencing. However, the amplification success of the ITS1 marker depends probably on the trypanosomatid infection level. Further investigation confirmed that L. passim is the dominant species in Belgium, Japan and Switzerland. We found C. mellificae only rarely in Belgian honey bee samples, but not in honey bee samples from other countries. C. mellificae was also detected in mason bees (Osmia bicornis and Osmia cornuta) besides in honey bees. Further, the characterization and comparison of additional markers from L. passim strain SF (published as C. mellificae strain SF) and a Belgian honey bee sample revealed very low divergence in the 18S rRNA, ITS1-2, 28S rRNA and cytochrome b sequences. Nevertheless, a variable stretch was observed in the gp63 virulence factor. PMID:26146231

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian parasite of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, that is found worldwide and in multiple Apis spp.; however, little is known about the effects of N. ceranae on A. mellifera. Previous studies using spore counts suggest that there is no longer a seasonal cycle for N. ceranae and that it is found year round with little variation in infection intensity among months. Our goal was to determine whether infection levels differ in bees collected from different areas of the hive and if there may be seasonal differences in N. ceranae infections. A multiplex species-specific real-time PCR assay was used for the detection and quantification of N. ceranae. Colonies were sampled monthly from September 2009-2010 by collecting workers from honey supers, the fringe of the brood nest, and the brood nest. We found that all bees sampled were infected with N. ceranae and that there was no significant difference in infection levels among the different groups of bees sampled (P=0.74). However, significant differences in colony infection levels were found at different times of the year (P<0.01) with the highest levels in April-June and lower levels in the fall and winter. While our study was only performed for one year, it sheds light on the fact that there may be a seasonality to N. ceranae infections. Being able to predict future N. ceranae infections can be used to better advise beekeepers on N. ceranae management. PMID:22085836

  8. 75 FR 12171 - Notice of Availability of a Draft Pest Risk Assessment on Honey Bees Imported from Australia

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-15

    ... Honey Bees Imported from Australia AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION... importation of honey bees from Australia. The draft pest risk assessment considers potential pest risks... introduction into the United States in imports of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) from Australia. The...

  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. Polarization lidar measurements of honey bees in flight for locating land mines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, Joseph A.; Seldomridge, Nathan L.; Dunkle, Dustin L.; Nugent, Paul W.; Spangler, Lee H.; Bromenshenk, Jerry J.; Henderson, Colin B.; Churnside, James H.; Wilson, James J.

    2005-07-01

    A scanning polarized lidar was used to detect flying honey bees trained to locate buried land mines through odor detection. A lidar map of bee density shows good correlation with maps of chemical plume strength and bee density determined by visual and video counts. The co-polarized lidar backscatter signal was found to be more effective than the crosspolarized signal for detecting honey bees in flight. Laboratory measurements show that the depolarization ratio of scattered light is near zero for bee wings and up to 30% for bee bodies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

    Experiments are reported on learning in virgin Africanized honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.). Queens restrained in a "Pavlovian harness" received a pairing of hexanal odor with a 1.8-M feeding of sucrose solution. Compared to explicitly unpaired controls, acquisition was rapid in reaching about 90%. Acquisition was also rapid in queens receiving an unconditioned stimulus of "bee candy" or an unconditioned stimulus administered by worker bees. During extinction the conditioned response declines. The steepest decline was observed in queens receiving an unconditioned stimulus of bee candy. These findings extend previous work on learning of Afrianized honey bee workers to a population of queen bees. PMID:15362396

  12. Polarization lidar measurements of honey bees in flight for locating land mines.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Joseph; Seldomridge, Nathan; Dunkle, Dustin; Nugent, Paul; Spangler, Lee; Bromenshenk, Jerry; Henderson, Colin; Churnside, James; Wilson, James

    2005-07-25

    A scanning polarized lidar was used to detect flying honey bees trained to locate buried land mines through odor detection. A lidar map of bee density shows good correlation with maps of chemical plume strength and bee density determined by visual and video counts. The co-polarized lidar backscatter signal was found to be more effective than the crosspolarized signal for detecting honey bees in flight. Laboratory measurements show that the depolarization ratio of scattered light is near zero for bee wings and up to 30% for bee bodies. PMID:19498590

  13. Impact of the Phoretic Phase on Reproduction and Damage Caused by Varroa destructor (Anderson and Trueman) to Its Host, the European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Piou, Vincent; Tabart, Jérémy; Urrutia, Virginie; Hemptinne, Jean-Louis; Vétillard, Angélique

    2016-01-01

    Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite of the honeybee that causes thousands of colony losses worldwide. The parasite cycle is composed of a phoretic and a reproductive phase. During the former, mites stay on adult bees, mostly on nurses, to feed on hemolymph. During the latter, the parasites enter brood cells and reproduce. We investigated if the type of bees on which Varroa stays during the phoretic phase and if the duration of this stay influenced the reproductive success of the parasite and the damage caused to bees. For that purpose, we used an in vitro rearing method developed in our laboratory to assess egg laying rate and the presence and number of fully molted daughters. The expression level of two Varroa vitellogenin genes (VdVg1 and VdVg2), known to vary throughout reproduction, was also quantified. Results showed that the status of the bees or time spent during the phoretic phase impacts neither reproduction parameters nor the Varroa vitellogenin genes levels of expression. However, we correlated these parameters to the gene expression and demonstrated that daughters expressed the vitellogenin genes at lower levels than their mother. Regarding the damage to bees, the data indicated that a longer stay on adult bees during the phoretic phase resulted in more frequent physical deformity in newborn bees. We showed that those mites carry more viral loads of the Deformed Wing Virus and hence trigger more frequently overt infections. This study provides new perspectives towards a better understanding of the Varroa-honeybee interactions. PMID:27096154

  14. Impact of the Phoretic Phase on Reproduction and Damage Caused by Varroa destructor (Anderson and Trueman) to Its Host, the European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Piou, Vincent; Tabart, Jérémy; Urrutia, Virginie; Hemptinne, Jean-Louis; Vétillard, Angélique

    2016-01-01

    Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite of the honeybee that causes thousands of colony losses worldwide. The parasite cycle is composed of a phoretic and a reproductive phase. During the former, mites stay on adult bees, mostly on nurses, to feed on hemolymph. During the latter, the parasites enter brood cells and reproduce. We investigated if the type of bees on which Varroa stays during the phoretic phase and if the duration of this stay influenced the reproductive success of the parasite and the damage caused to bees. For that purpose, we used an in vitro rearing method developed in our laboratory to assess egg laying rate and the presence and number of fully molted daughters. The expression level of two Varroa vitellogenin genes (VdVg1 and VdVg2), known to vary throughout reproduction, was also quantified. Results showed that the status of the bees or time spent during the phoretic phase impacts neither reproduction parameters nor the Varroa vitellogenin genes levels of expression. However, we correlated these parameters to the gene expression and demonstrated that daughters expressed the vitellogenin genes at lower levels than their mother. Regarding the damage to bees, the data indicated that a longer stay on adult bees during the phoretic phase resulted in more frequent physical deformity in newborn bees. We showed that those mites carry more viral loads of the Deformed Wing Virus and hence trigger more frequently overt infections. This study provides new perspectives towards a better understanding of the Varroa-honeybee interactions. PMID:27096154

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides (NIs) and their transformation products were detected in honey, pollen and honey bees, (Apis mellifera) from hives located within 30 km of the City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam were the most frequently detected NIs, found in 68 and 75% of honey samples at mean concentrations of 8.2 and 17.2 ng g(-1) wet mass, (wm), respectively. Clothianidin was also found in >50% of samples of bees and pollen. Concentrations of clothianidin in bees exceed the LD50 in 2 of 28 samples, while for other NIs concentrations were typically 10-100-fold less than the oral LD50. Imidaclorpid was detected in ∼30% of samples of honey, but only 5% of pollen and concentrations were bees. Transformation products of Imidaclorpid, imidaclorpid-Olefin and imidacloprid-5-Hydroxy were detected with greater frequency and at greater mean concentrations indicating a need for more focus on potential effects of these transformation products than the untransformed, active ingredient NIs. Results of an assessment of the potential dietary uptake of NIs from honey and pollen by bees over winter, during which worker bees live longer than in summer, suggested that, in some hives, consumption of honey and pollen during over-wintering might have adverse effects on bees. PMID:26606186

  17. Intracolonial genetic diversity in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies increases pollen foraging efficiency

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Multiple mating by honey bee queens results in colonies of genotypically diverse workers. Recent studies have demonstrated that increased genetic diversity within a honey bee colony increases the variation in the frequency of tasks performed by workers. We show that genotypically diverse colonies, ...

  18. Effective gene silencing of a microsporidian parasite associated with honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony declines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee colonies are vulnerable to parasites and pathogens ranging from viruses to vertebrates. An increasingly prevalent disease of managed honey bees is caused by the microsporidian, Nosema ceranae. Microsporidia are basal fungi and obligate parasites with much reduced genomic and cellular compo...

  19. Ligand selectivity in tachykinin and natalisin neuropeptidergic systems of the honey bee parasitic mite Varroa destructor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The varroa mite, Varroa destructor, is a devastating ectoparasite of the honey bees Apis mellifera and A. cerana. Control of these mites in beehives is a challenge in part due to the lack of toxic agents that are specific to mites and not to the host honey bee. In searching for a specific toxic targ...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Populations of pollinators are in decline worldwide. These declines are best documented in honey bees and are due to a combination of stressors. In particular, pesticides have been linked to decreased longevity and performance in honey bees; however, the molecular and physiological pathways mediatin...

  1. The potential for using ozone to decrease pesticide residues in honey bee comb

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As a strong oxidizer, ozone is known to breakdown some organic pesticides, and we evaluated the potential for using a gaseous fumigation of ozone to decontaminate honeycomb and empty honey bee hives. Honey bees are inadvertently exposed to pesticides when they forage for nectar and pollen in agricul...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Scientific note on mass collection and hatching of honey bee embryos

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees provide excellent opportunities for studying development, behavior, and defenses against natural parasites and pathogens. They are also a critical component of modern agriculture, through their leading role in pollinating the world’s crops. Research and diagnostic methods for honey bees r...

  4. Genomic analyses of the microsporidian Nosema ceranae, an emergent pathogen of honey bees.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent steep declines in honey bee health have severely impacted the beekeeping industry, presenting new risks for agricultural commodities that depend on insect pollination. Honey bee declines could reflect increased pressures from parasites and pathogens. The incidence of the microsporidian pathog...

  5. Microsatellite loci for the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, a nest parasite of honey bees.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aethina tumida, a beetle parasite of honey bees, has recently and dramatically expanded its range and now parasitizes honey bees on three continents. Polymorphic microsatellite loci for this beetle species will help map this continuing range expansion, and will also prove useful for exploring the m...

  6. Xenobiotic Effects on Intestinal Stem Cell Proliferation in Adult Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L) Workers

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The causes of the current global decline in honey bee health are unknown. One major group of hypotheses invokes the pesticides and other xenobiotics to which this important pollinator species is often exposed. Most studies have focused on mortality or behavioral deficiencies in exposed honey bees while neglecting other biological functions and target organs. The midgut epithelium of honey bees presents an important interface between the insect and its environment. It is maintained by proliferation of intestinal stem cells throughout the adult life of honey bees. We used caged honey bees to test multiple xenobiotics for effects on the replicative activity of the intestinal stem cells under laboratory conditions. Most of the tested compounds did not alter the replicative activity of intestinal stem cells. However, colchicine, methoxyfenozide, tetracycline, and a combination of coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate significantly affected proliferation rate. All substances except methoxyfenozide decreased proliferation rate. Thus, the results indicate that some xenobiotics frequently used in apiculture and known to accumulate in honey bee hives may have hitherto unknown physiological effects. The nutritional status and the susceptibility to pathogens of honey bees could be compromised by the impacts of xenobiotics on the maintenance of the midgut epithelium. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence that more comprehensive testing of xenobiotics may be required before novel or existing compounds can be considered safe for honey bees and other non-target species. PMID:24608542

  7. Seasonal inconsistencies in the relationship between honey bee longevity in field colonies and laboratory cages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee longevity during winter might be improved through selective breeding. Measuring winter longevity in field colonies is difficult and might be accomplished using laboratory cages. Hence, The relationship between honey bee longevity in field colonies and laboratory cages was investigated. T...

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

    PubMed

    Khilnani, Jasmin C; Wing, Helen J

    2015-10-01

    Paenibacillus larvae is the causal agent of the honey bee disease American Foulbrood. Two enhanced protocols that allow the activity of antimicrobial peptides to be tested against P. larvae are presented. Proof of principle experiments demonstrate that the honey bee antimicrobial peptide defensin 1 is active in both assays. PMID:26210039

  9. 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...

  10. Does swarming cause honey bees to update their solar ephemerides?

    PubMed

    Towne, William F; Baer, Christopher M; Fabiny, Sarah J; Shinn, Lisa M

    2005-11-01

    Spatial orientation in the social insects offers several examples of specialized learning mechanisms that underlie complex learning tasks. Here we study one of these systems: the processes by which honey bees update, or fail to update, their memories of the sun's daily pattern of movement (the solar ephemeris function) in relation to the landscape. Specifically, we ask whether bees that have initially learned the solar ephemeris function relative to a conspicuous treeline at their natal site can later realign the ephemeris to a differently oriented treeline. We first confirm and clarify an earlier finding that bees transplanted passively (by being carried) do not re-learn the solar ephemeris in relation to the new treeline. When they cannot detect the sun directly, as on overcast days, these transplanted bees use a solar ephemeris function appropriate for their natal site, despite days or weeks of experience at the new site. We then ask whether bees put through a swarming process as they are transplanted are induced to re-learn the solar ephemeris function at the new site, as swarming is a natural process wherein bees transplant themselves. Most of the swarmed bees failed to re-learn, even though they did extensive learning flights (in comparison with those of non-swarmed controls) as they first emerged from the hive at the new site. We hypothesize that the bees' representation of the solar ephemeris function is stored in an encapsulated cognitive module in which the ephemeris is inextricably linked to the reference landscape in which it was learned. PMID:16244164

  11. Measurement of optical activity of honey bee

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Starving honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae signal pheromonally to worker bees.

    PubMed

    He, Xu Jiang; Zhang, Xue Chuan; Jiang, Wu Jun; Barron, Andrew B; Zhang, Jian Hui; Zeng, Zhi Jiang

    2016-01-01

    Cooperative brood care is diagnostic of animal societies. This is particularly true for the advanced social insects, and the honey bee is the best understood of the insect societies. A brood pheromone signaling the presence of larvae in a bee colony has been characterised and well studied, but here we explored whether honey bee larvae actively signal their food needs pheromonally to workers. We show that starving honey bee larvae signal to workers via increased production of the volatile pheromone E-β-ocimene. Analysis of volatile pheromones produced by food-deprived and fed larvae with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry showed that starving larvae produced more E-β-ocimene. Behavioural analyses showed that adding E-β-ocimene to empty cells increased the number of worker visits to those cells, and similarly adding E-β-ocimene to larvae increased worker visitation rate to the larvae. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analysis identified 3 genes in the E-β-ocimene biosynthetic pathway that were upregulated in larvae following 30 minutes of starvation, and these genes also upregulated in 2-day old larvae compared to 4-day old larvae (2-day old larvae produce the most E-β-ocimene). This identifies a pheromonal mechanism by which brood can beg for food from workers to influence the allocation of resources within the colony. PMID:26924295

  13. Starving honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae signal pheromonally to worker bees

    PubMed Central

    He, Xu Jiang; Zhang, Xue Chuan; Jiang, Wu Jun; Barron, Andrew B.; Zhang, Jian Hui; Zeng, Zhi Jiang

    2016-01-01

    Cooperative brood care is diagnostic of animal societies. This is particularly true for the advanced social insects, and the honey bee is the best understood of the insect societies. A brood pheromone signaling the presence of larvae in a bee colony has been characterised and well studied, but here we explored whether honey bee larvae actively signal their food needs pheromonally to workers. We show that starving honey bee larvae signal to workers via increased production of the volatile pheromone E-β-ocimene. Analysis of volatile pheromones produced by food-deprived and fed larvae with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry showed that starving larvae produced more E-β-ocimene. Behavioural analyses showed that adding E-β-ocimene to empty cells increased the number of worker visits to those cells, and similarly adding E-β-ocimene to larvae increased worker visitation rate to the larvae. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analysis identified 3 genes in the E-β-ocimene biosynthetic pathway that were upregulated in larvae following 30 minutes of starvation, and these genes also upregulated in 2-day old larvae compared to 4-day old larvae (2-day old larvae produce the most E-β-ocimene). This identifies a pheromonal mechanism by which brood can beg for food from workers to influence the allocation of resources within the colony. PMID:26924295

  14. The tarsal taste of honey bees: behavioral and electrophysiological analyses

    PubMed Central

    de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela; Lorenzo, Esther; Su, Songkun; Liu, Fanglin; Zhan, Yi; Giurfa, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Taste plays a crucial role in the life of honey bees as their survival depends on the collection and intake of nectar and pollen, and other natural products. Here we studied the tarsal taste of honey bees through a series of behavioral and electrophysiological analyses. We characterized responsiveness to various sweet, salty and bitter tastants delivered to gustatory sensilla of the fore tarsi. Behavioral experiments showed that stimulation of opposite fore tarsi with sucrose and bitter substances or water yielded different outcomes depending on the stimulation sequence. When sucrose was applied first, thereby eliciting proboscis extension, no bitter substance could induce proboscis retraction, thus suggesting that the primacy of sucrose stimulation induced a central excitatory state. When bitter substances or water were applied first, sucrose stimulation could still elicit proboscis extension but to a lower level, thus suggesting central inhibition based on contradictory gustatory input on opposite tarsi. Electrophysiological experiments showed that receptor cells in the gustatory sensilla of the tarsomeres are highly sensitive to saline solutions at low concentrations. No evidence for receptors responding specifically to sucrose or to bitter substances was found in these sensilla. Receptor cells in the gustatory sensilla of the claws are highly sensitive to sucrose. Although bees do not possess dedicated bitter-taste receptors in the tarsi, indirect bitter detection is possible because bitter tastes inhibit sucrose receptor cells of the claws when mixed with sucrose solution. By combining behavioral and electrophysiological approaches, these results provide the first integrative study on tarsal taste detection in the honey bee. PMID:24550801

  15. Critical Structure for Telescopic Movement of Honey bee (Insecta: Apidae) Abdomen: Folded Intersegmental Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jieliang; Yan, Shaoze; Wu, Jianing

    2016-01-01

    The folded intersegmental membrane is a structure that interconnects two adjacent abdominal segments; this structure is distributed in the segments of the honey bee abdomen. The morphology of the folded intersegmental membrane has already been documented. However, the ultrastructure of the intersegmental membrane and its assistive role in the telescopic movements of the honey bee abdomen are poorly understood. To explore the morphology and ultrastructure of the folded intersegmental membrane in the honey bee abdomen, frozen sections were analyzed under a scanning electron microscope. The intersegmental membrane between two adjacent terga has a Z–S configuration that greatly influences the daily physical activities of the honey bee abdomen. The dorsal intersegmental membrane is 2 times thicker than the ventral one, leading to asymmetric abdominal motion. Honey bee abdominal movements were recorded using a high-speed camera and through phase-contrast computed tomography. These movements conformed to the structural features of the folded intersegmental membrane. PMID:27456912

  16. Non-Specific dsRNA-Mediated Antiviral Response in the Honey Bee

    PubMed Central

    Flenniken, Michelle L.; Andino, Raul

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees are essential pollinators of numerous agricultural crops. Since 2006, honey bee populations have suffered considerable annual losses that are partially attributed to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is an unexplained phenomenon that correlates with elevated incidence of pathogens, including RNA viruses. Honey bees are eusocial insects that live in colonies of genetically related individuals that work in concert to gather and store nutrients. Their social organization provides numerous benefits, but also facilitates pathogen transmission between individuals. To investigate honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms, we developed an RNA virus infection model and discovered that administration of dsRNA, regardless of sequence, reduced virus infection. Our results suggest that dsRNA, a viral pathogen associated molecular pattern (PAMP), triggers an antiviral response that controls virus infection in honey bees. PMID:24130869

  17. Critical Structure for Telescopic Movement of Honey bee (Insecta: Apidae) Abdomen: Folded Intersegmental Membrane.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jieliang; Yan, Shaoze; Wu, Jianing

    2016-01-01

    The folded intersegmental membrane is a structure that interconnects two adjacent abdominal segments; this structure is distributed in the segments of the honey bee abdomen. The morphology of the folded intersegmental membrane has already been documented. However, the ultrastructure of the intersegmental membrane and its assistive role in the telescopic movements of the honey bee abdomen are poorly understood. To explore the morphology and ultrastructure of the folded intersegmental membrane in the honey bee abdomen, frozen sections were analyzed under a scanning electron microscope. The intersegmental membrane between two adjacent terga has a Z-S configuration that greatly influences the daily physical activities of the honey bee abdomen. The dorsal intersegmental membrane is 2 times thicker than the ventral one, leading to asymmetric abdominal motion. Honey bee abdominal movements were recorded using a high-speed camera and through phase-contrast computed tomography. These movements conformed to the structural features of the folded intersegmental membrane. PMID:27456912

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lindström, Anders; Korpela, Seppo; Fries, Ingemar

    2008-09-01

    Within colony transmission of Paenibacillus larvae spores was studied by giving spore-contaminated honey comb or comb containing 100 larvae killed by American foulbrood to five experimental colonies respectively. We registered the impact of the two treatments on P. larvae spore loads in adult bees and honey and on larval mortality by culturing for spores in samples of adult bees and honey, respectively, and by measuring larval survival. The results demonstrate a direct effect of treatment on spore levels in adult bees and honey as well as on larval mortality. Colonies treated with dead larvae showed immediate high spore levels in adult bee samples, while the colonies treated with contaminated honey showed a comparable spore load but the effect was delayed until the bees started to utilize the honey at the end of the flight season. During the winter there was a build up of spores in the adult bees, which may increase the risk for infection in spring. The results confirm that contaminated honey can act as an environmental reservoir of P. larvae spores and suggest that less spores may be needed in honey, compared to in diseased brood, to produce clinically diseased colonies. The spore load in adult bee samples was significantly related to larval mortality but the spore load of honey samples was not. PMID:18640122

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Eyer, Michael; Neumann, Peter; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees, Apis species, obtain carbohydrates from nectar and honeydew. These resources are ripened into honey in wax cells that are capped for long-term storage. These stores are used to overcome dearth periods when foraging is not possible. Despite the economic and ecological importance of honey, little is known about the processes of its production by workers. Here, we monitored the usage of storage cells and the ripening process of honey in free-flying A. mellifera colonies. We provided the colonies with solutions of different sugar concentrations to reflect the natural influx of nectar with varying quality. Since the amount of carbohydrates in a solution affects its density, we used computer tomography to measure the sugar concentration of cell content over time. The data show the occurrence of two cohorts of cells with different provisioning and ripening dynamics. The relocation of the content of many cells before final storage was part of the ripening process, because sugar concentration of the content removed was lower than that of content deposited. The results confirm the mixing of solutions of different concentrations in cells and show that honey is an inhomogeneous matrix. The last stage of ripening occurred when cell capping had already started, indicating a race against water absorption. The storage and ripening processes as well as resource use were context dependent because their dynamics changed with sugar concentration of the food. Our results support hypotheses regarding honey production proposed in earlier studies and provide new insights into the mechanisms involved. PMID:27560969

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

    PubMed Central

    Eyer, Michael; Neumann, Peter; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees, Apis species, obtain carbohydrates from nectar and honeydew. These resources are ripened into honey in wax cells that are capped for long-term storage. These stores are used to overcome dearth periods when foraging is not possible. Despite the economic and ecological importance of honey, little is known about the processes of its production by workers. Here, we monitored the usage of storage cells and the ripening process of honey in free-flying A. mellifera colonies. We provided the colonies with solutions of different sugar concentrations to reflect the natural influx of nectar with varying quality. Since the amount of carbohydrates in a solution affects its density, we used computer tomography to measure the sugar concentration of cell content over time. The data show the occurrence of two cohorts of cells with different provisioning and ripening dynamics. The relocation of the content of many cells before final storage was part of the ripening process, because sugar concentration of the content removed was lower than that of content deposited. The results confirm the mixing of solutions of different concentrations in cells and show that honey is an inhomogeneous matrix. The last stage of ripening occurred when cell capping had already started, indicating a race against water absorption. The storage and ripening processes as well as resource use were context dependent because their dynamics changed with sugar concentration of the food. Our results support hypotheses regarding honey production proposed in earlier studies and provide new insights into the mechanisms involved. PMID:27560969

  5. Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Perry, Clint J; Søvik, Eirik; Myerscough, Mary R; Barron, Andrew B

    2015-03-17

    Many complex factors have been linked to the recent marked increase in honey bee colony failure, including pests and pathogens, agrochemicals, and nutritional stressors. It remains unclear, however, why colonies frequently react to stressors by losing almost their entire adult bee population in a short time, resulting in a colony population collapse. Here we examine the social dynamics underlying such dramatic colony failure. Bees respond to many stressors by foraging earlier in life. We manipulated the demography of experimental colonies to induce precocious foraging in bees and used radio tag tracking to examine the consequences of precocious foraging for their performance. Precocious foragers completed far fewer foraging trips in their life, and had a higher risk of death in their first flights. We constructed a demographic model to explore how this individual reaction of bees to stress might impact colony performance. In the model, when forager death rates were chronically elevated, an increasingly younger forager force caused a positive feedback that dramatically accelerated terminal population decline in the colony. This resulted in a breakdown in division of labor and loss of the adult population, leaving only brood, food, and few adults in the hive. This study explains the social processes that drive rapid depopulation of a colony, and we explore possible strategies to prevent colony failure. Understanding the process of colony failure helps identify the most effective strategies to improve colony resilience. PMID:25675508

  6. Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Clint J.; Myerscough, Mary R.; Barron, Andrew B.

    2015-01-01

    Many complex factors have been linked to the recent marked increase in honey bee colony failure, including pests and pathogens, agrochemicals, and nutritional stressors. It remains unclear, however, why colonies frequently react to stressors by losing almost their entire adult bee population in a short time, resulting in a colony population collapse. Here we examine the social dynamics underlying such dramatic colony failure. Bees respond to many stressors by foraging earlier in life. We manipulated the demography of experimental colonies to induce precocious foraging in bees and used radio tag tracking to examine the consequences of precocious foraging for their performance. Precocious foragers completed far fewer foraging trips in their life, and had a higher risk of death in their first flights. We constructed a demographic model to explore how this individual reaction of bees to stress might impact colony performance. In the model, when forager death rates were chronically elevated, an increasingly younger forager force caused a positive feedback that dramatically accelerated terminal population decline in the colony. This resulted in a breakdown in division of labor and loss of the adult population, leaving only brood, food, and few adults in the hive. This study explains the social processes that drive rapid depopulation of a colony, and we explore possible strategies to prevent colony failure. Understanding the process of colony failure helps identify the most effective strategies to improve colony resilience. PMID:25675508

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

    PubMed

    Dolezal, Adam G; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W Allen; Bonning, Bryony C; Toth, Amy L

    2016-01-01

    As key pollinators, honey bees are crucial to many natural and agricultural ecosystems. An important factor in the health of honey bees is the availability of diverse floral resources. However, in many parts of the world, high-intensity agriculture could result in a reduction in honey bee forage. Previous studies have investigated how the landscape surrounding honey bee hives affects some aspects of honey bee health, but to our knowledge there have been no investigations of the effects of intensively cultivated landscapes on indicators of individual bee health such as nutritional physiology and pathogen loads. Furthermore, agricultural landscapes in different regions vary greatly in forage and land management, indicating a need for additional information on the relationship between honey bee health and landscape cultivation. Here, we add to this growing body of information by investigating differences in nutritional physiology between honey bees kept in areas of comparatively low and high cultivation in an area generally high agricultural intensity in the Midwestern United States. We focused on bees collected directly before winter, because overwintering stress poses one of the most serious problems for honey bees in temperate climates. We found that honey bees kept in areas of lower cultivation exhibited higher lipid levels than those kept in areas of high cultivation, but this effect was observed only in colonies that were free of Varroa mites. Furthermore, we found that the presence of mites was associated with lower lipid levels and higher titers of deformed wing virus (DWV), as well as a non-significant trend towards higher overwinter losses. Overall, these results show that mite infestation interacts with landscape, obscuring the effects of landscape alone and suggesting that the benefits of improved foraging landscape could be lost without adequate control of mite infestations. PMID:27070422

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

    PubMed Central

    Dolezal, Adam G; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W. Allen; Bonning, Bryony C.; Toth, Amy L.

    2016-01-01

    As key pollinators, honey bees are crucial to many natural and agricultural ecosystems. An important factor in the health of honey bees is the availability of diverse floral resources. However, in many parts of the world, high-intensity agriculture could result in a reduction in honey bee forage. Previous studies have investigated how the landscape surrounding honey bee hives affects some aspects of honey bee health, but to our knowledge there have been no investigations of the effects of intensively cultivated landscapes on indicators of individual bee health such as nutritional physiology and pathogen loads. Furthermore, agricultural landscapes in different regions vary greatly in forage and land management, indicating a need for additional information on the relationship between honey bee health and landscape cultivation. Here, we add to this growing body of information by investigating differences in nutritional physiology between honey bees kept in areas of comparatively low and high cultivation in an area generally high agricultural intensity in the Midwestern United States. We focused on bees collected directly before winter, because overwintering stress poses one of the most serious problems for honey bees in temperate climates. We found that honey bees kept in areas of lower cultivation exhibited higher lipid levels than those kept in areas of high cultivation, but this effect was observed only in colonies that were free of Varroa mites. Furthermore, we found that the presence of mites was associated with lower lipid levels and higher titers of deformed wing virus (DWV), as well as a non-significant trend towards higher overwinter losses. Overall, these results show that mite infestation interacts with landscape, obscuring the effects of landscape alone and suggesting that the benefits of improved foraging landscape could be lost without adequate control of mite infestations. PMID:27070422

  9. 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

  10. The Bacterial Communities Associated with Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Foragers

    PubMed Central

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Maes, Patrick; Anderson, Kirk E.

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee is a key pollinator species in decline worldwide. As part of a commercial operation, bee colonies are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of individuals and the hive. While many recent studies support the idea of a core microbiota in guts of younger in-hive bees, it is unknown whether this core is present in forager bees or the pollen they carry back to the hive. Additionally, several studies hypothesize that the foregut (crop), a key interface between the pollination environment and hive food stores, contains a set of 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that inoculate collected pollen and act in synergy to preserve pollen stores. Here, we used a combination of 454 based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial communities of forager guts, crops, and corbicular pollen and crop plate counts to show that (1) despite a very different diet, forager guts contain a core microbiota similar to that found in younger bees, (2) corbicular pollen contains a diverse community dominated by hive-specific, environmental or phyllosphere bacteria that are not prevalent in the gut or crop, and (3) the 13 LAB found in culture-based studies are not specific to the crop but are a small subset of midgut or hindgut specific bacteria identified in many recent 454 amplicon-based studies. The crop is dominated by Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae), highly osmotolerant and acid resistant bacteria found in stored pollen and honey. Crop taxa at low abundance include core hindgut bacteria in transit to their primary niche, and potential pathogens or food spoilage organisms seemingly vectored from the pollination environment. We conclude that the crop microbial environment is influenced by worker task, and may function in both decontamination and inoculation. PMID:24740297

  11. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettis, Jeffery S.; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Johnson, Josephine; Dively, Galen

    2012-02-01

    Global pollinator declines have been attributed to habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change or some combination of these factors, and managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, are part of worldwide pollinator declines. Here we exposed honey bee colonies during three brood generations to sub-lethal doses of a widely used pesticide, imidacloprid, and then subsequently challenged newly emerged bees with the gut parasite, Nosema spp. The pesticide dosages used were below levels demonstrated to cause effects on longevity or foraging in adult honey bees. Nosema infections increased significantly in the bees from pesticide-treated hives when compared to bees from control hives demonstrating an indirect effect of pesticides on pathogen growth in honey bees. We clearly demonstrate an increase in pathogen growth within individual bees reared in colonies exposed to one of the most widely used pesticides worldwide, imidacloprid, at below levels considered harmful to bees. The finding that individual bees with undetectable levels of the target pesticide, after being reared in a sub-lethal pesticide environment within the colony, had higher Nosema is significant. Interactions between pesticides and pathogens could be a major contributor to increased mortality of honey bee colonies, including colony collapse disorder, and other pollinator declines worldwide.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queens mate early in life and store sperm for years. Male bees likely contribute significantly to sperm survival. Proteins were extracted from seminal vesicles and semen of mature drones, separated by electrophoresis, and analysed by peptide mass fingerprinting. Computer searches against three databases, general species, honey bees and fruit flies, were performed. Spectra were used to query the recently generated honey bee genome protein list as well as general species and fruit fly databases. Of the 69 unique honey bee proteins found, 66 are also in Drosophila melanogaster. Two proteins only matched honey bee genes and one is a widespread protein lost from the fly genome. There is over-representation of genes implicated in the glycolysis pathway. Metabolism-associated proteins were found primarily in the seminal vesicle. Male accessory gland proteins as identified in Drosophila rarely had orthologs among proteins found in the honey bee. A complete listing of gel spots chosen including honey bee genome matches and Mascot searches of MALDI-TOF results with statistics is in the Supplementary table. MALDI-TOF spectra and more complete Mascot peptide mass fingerprinting data are available on request. Supplementary figs 1–3 show the stained protein gels. PMID:17069630

  15. Antimicrobial activity and rutin identification of honey produced by the stingless bee Melipona compressipes manaosensis and commercial honey

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Honey has been identified as a potential alternative to the widespread use of antibiotics, which are of significant concern considering the emergence of resistant bacteria. In this context, this study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of honey samples produced by a stingless bee species and by Apis sp. against pathogenic bacteria, as well as to identify the presence of phenolic compounds. Methods Honey samples from the stingless bee M. compressipes manaosensis were collected twice, during the dry and rainy seasons. Three commercial honey samples from Apis sp. were also included in this study. Two different assays were performed to evaluate the antibacterial potential of the honey samples: agar-well diffusion and broth macrodilution. Liquid-liquid extraction was used to assess phenolic compounds from honey. HPLC analysis was performed in order to identify rutin and apigenin on honey samples. Chromatograms were recorded at 340 and 290 nm. Results Two honey samples were identified as having the highest antimicrobial activity using the agar diffusion method. Honey produced by Melipona compressipes manaosensis inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (0157: H7), Proteus vulgaris, Shigella sonnei and Klebsiella sp. A sample of honey produced by Apis sp. also inhibited the growth of Salmonella paratyphi. The macrodilution technique presented greater sensitivity for the antibacterial testing, since all honey samples showed activity. Flavonoid rutin was identified in the honey sample produced by the stingless bee. Conclusions Honey samples tested in this work showed antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The results reported herein highlight the potential of using honey to control bacterial growth. PMID:23815879

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Little information is available regarding the adverse effects of pesticides on natural honey bee populations. This study highlights the detrimental effects of pesticides on honey bee olfaction through behavioural studies, scanning electron microscopic imaging of antennal sensillae and confocal microscopic studies of honey bee brains for calcium ions on Apis cerana, a native Indian honey bee species. There was a significant decrease in proboscis extension response and biologically active free calcium ions and adverse changes in antennal sensillae in pesticide exposed field honey bee populations compared to morphometrically similar honey bees sampled from low/no pesticide sites. Controlled laboratory experiments corroborated these findings. This study reports for the first time the changes in antennal sensillae, expression of Calpain 1(an important calcium binding protein) and resting state free calcium in brains of honey bees exposed to pesticide stress. PMID:26212690

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    Little information is available regarding the adverse effects of pesticides on natural honey bee populations. This study highlights the detrimental effects of pesticides on honey bee olfaction through behavioural studies, scanning electron microscopic imaging of antennal sensillae and confocal microscopic studies of honey bee brains for calcium ions on Apis cerana, a native Indian honey bee species. There was a significant decrease in proboscis extension response and biologically active free calcium ions and adverse changes in antennal sensillae in pesticide exposed field honey bee populations compared to morphometrically similar honey bees sampled from low/no pesticide sites. Controlled laboratory experiments corroborated these findings. This study reports for the first time the changes in antennal sensillae, expression of Calpain 1(an important calcium binding protein) and resting state free calcium in brains of honey bees exposed to pesticide stress.

  18. Honey bee foraging preferences, effects of sugars, and fruit fly toxic bait components.

    PubMed

    Mangan, Robert L; Moreno, Aleena Tarshis

    2009-08-01

    Field tests were carried out to evaluate the repellency of the Dow AgroSciences fruit fly toxic bait GF-120 (NF Naturalyte) to domestic honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). GF-120 is an organically registered attractive bait for tephritid fruit flies composed of spinosad, hydrolyzed protein (Solulys), high-fructose corn syrup (ADM CornSweet 42 high-fructose corn syrup, referred to as invertose sugar or invertose here), vegetable oils, adjuvants, humectants, and attractants. Tests were carried out with non-Africanized honey bees in February and March 2005 and 2007 during periods of maximum hunger for these bees. In all tests, bees were first trained to forage from plates of 30% honey-water (2005) or 30% invertose (2007). In 2005 bees were offered choices between honey-water and various bait components, including the complete toxic bait. In 2007, similar tests were performed except bees were attracted with 30% invertose then offered the bait components or complete bait as no-choice tests. Initially, the 2005 tests used all the components of GF-120 except the spinosad as the test bait. After we were convinced that bees would not collect or be contaminated by the bait, we tested the complete GF-120. Behavior of the bees indicated that during initial attraction and after switching the baits, the bait components and the complete bait were repellent to honey bees, but the honey-water remained attractive. Invertose was shown to be less attractive to bees, addition of Solulys eliminated almost all bee activity, and addition of ammonium acetate completely eliminated feeding in both choice and no-choice tests. These results confirm previous tests showing that bees do not feed on GF-120 and also show that honey bees are repelled by the fruit fly attractant components of the bait in field tests. PMID:19736759

  19. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Lehrman, Anna

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Transcriptome Analysis of the Asian Honey Bee Apis cerana cerana

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zachary Y.; Wu, Xiao Bo; Yan, Wei Yu; Zeng, Zhi Jiang

    2012-01-01

    Background The Eastern hive honey bee, Apis cerana cerana is a native and widely bred honey bee species in China. Molecular biology research about this honey bee species is scarce, and genomic information for A. c. cerana is not currently available. Transcriptome and expression profiling data for this species are therefore important resources needed to better understand the biological mechanisms of A. c. cerana. In this study, we obtained the transcriptome information of A. c. cerana by RNA-sequencing and compared gene expression differences between queens and workers of A. c. cerana by digital gene expression (DGE) analysis. Results Using high-throughput Illumina RNA sequencing we obtained 51,581,510 clean reads corresponding to 4.64 Gb total nucleotides from a single run. These reads were assembled into 46,999 unigenes with a mean length of 676 bp. Based on a sequence similarity search against the five public databases (NR, Swissport, GO, COG, KEGG) with a cut-off E-value of 10−5 using BLASTX, a total of 24,630 unigenes were annotated with gene descriptions, gene ontology terms, or metabolic pathways. Using these transcriptome data as references we analyzed the gene expression differences between the queens and workers of A. c. cerana using a tag-based digital gene expression method. We obtained 5.96 and 5.66 million clean tags from the queen and worker samples, respectively. A total of 414 genes were differentially expressed between them, with 189 up-regulated and 225 down-regulated in queens. Conclusions Our transcriptome data provide a comprehensive sequence resource for future A. c. cerana study, establishing an important public information platform for functional genomic studies in A. c. cerana. Furthermore, the DGE data provide comprehensive gene expression information for the queens and workers, which will facilitate our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the different physiological aspects of the two castes. PMID:23112877

  2. Effects of Insemination Quantity on Honey Bee Queen Physiology

    PubMed Central

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Tarpy, David R.; Grozinger, Christina M.

    2007-01-01

    Mating has profound effects on the physiology and behavior of female insects, and in honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens, these changes are permanent. Queens mate with multiple males during a brief period in their early adult lives, and shortly thereafter they initiate egg-laying. Furthermore, the pheromone profiles of mated queens differ from those of virgins, and these pheromones regulate many different aspects of worker behavior and colony organization. While it is clear that mating causes dramatic changes in queens, it is unclear if mating number has more subtle effects on queen physiology or queen-worker interactions; indeed, the effect of multiple matings on female insect physiology has not been broadly addressed. Because it is not possible to control the natural mating behavior of queens, we used instrumental insemination and compared queens inseminated with semen from either a single drone (single-drone inseminated, or SDI) or 10 drones (multi-drone inseminated, or MDI). We used observation hives to monitor attraction of workers to SDI or MDI queens in colonies, and cage studies to monitor the attraction of workers to virgin, SDI, and MDI queen mandibular gland extracts (the main source of queen pheromone). The chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of virgin, SDI, and MDI queens were characterized using GC-MS. Finally, we measured brain expression levels in SDI and MDI queens of a gene associated with phototaxis in worker honey bees (Amfor). Here, we demonstrate for the first time that insemination quantity significantly affects mandibular gland chemical profiles, queen-worker interactions, and brain gene expression. Further research will be necessary to elucidate the mechanistic bases for these effects: insemination volume, sperm and seminal protein quantity, and genetic diversity of the sperm may all be important factors contributing to this profound change in honey bee queen physiology, queen behavior, and social interactions in the colony. PMID

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

    PubMed

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Tarpy, David R; Grozinger, Christina M

    2007-01-01

    Mating has profound effects on the physiology and behavior of female insects, and in honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens, these changes are permanent. Queens mate with multiple males during a brief period in their early adult lives, and shortly thereafter they initiate egg-laying. Furthermore, the pheromone profiles of mated queens differ from those of virgins, and these pheromones regulate many different aspects of worker behavior and colony organization. While it is clear that mating causes dramatic changes in queens, it is unclear if mating number has more subtle effects on queen physiology or queen-worker interactions; indeed, the effect of multiple matings on female insect physiology has not been broadly addressed. Because it is not possible to control the natural mating behavior of queens, we used instrumental insemination and compared queens inseminated with semen from either a single drone (single-drone inseminated, or SDI) or 10 drones (multi-drone inseminated, or MDI). We used observation hives to monitor attraction of workers to SDI or MDI queens in colonies, and cage studies to monitor the attraction of workers to virgin, SDI, and MDI queen mandibular gland extracts (the main source of queen pheromone). The chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of virgin, SDI, and MDI queens were characterized using GC-MS. Finally, we measured brain expression levels in SDI and MDI queens of a gene associated with phototaxis in worker honey bees (Amfor). Here, we demonstrate for the first time that insemination quantity significantly affects mandibular gland chemical profiles, queen-worker interactions, and brain gene expression. Further research will be necessary to elucidate the mechanistic bases for these effects: insemination volume, sperm and seminal protein quantity, and genetic diversity of the sperm may all be important factors contributing to this profound change in honey bee queen physiology, queen behavior, and social interactions in the colony. PMID

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

    PubMed

    Rangberg, A; Mathiesen, G; Amdam, G V; Diep, D B

    2015-01-01

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a domestic insect of high value to human societies, as a crop pollinator in agriculture and a model animal in scientific research. The honey bee, however, has experienced massive mortality worldwide due to the phenomenon Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), resulting in alarming prospects for crop failure in Europe and the USA. The reasons for CCD are complex and much debated, but several honey bee pathogens are believed to be involved. Paratransgenesis is a Trojan horse strategy, where endogenous microorganisms are used to express effector molecules that antagonise pathogen development. For use in honey bees, paratransgenesis must rely on a set of criteria that the candidate paratransgenic microorganism must fulfil in order to obtain a successful outcome: (1) the candidate must be genetically modifiable to express effector molecules; (2) the modified organism should have no adverse effects on honey bee health upon reintroduction; and (3) it must survive together with other non-pathogenic bee-associated microorganisms. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are common gut bacteria in vertebrates and invertebrates, and some have naturally beneficial properties in their host. In the present work we aimed to find a potential paratransgenic candidate within this bacterial group for use in honey bees. Among isolated LAB associated with bee gut microbiota, we found the fructophilic Lactobacillus kunkeei to be the most predominant species during foraging seasons. Four genetically different strains of L. kunkeei were selected for further assessment. We demonstrated (1) that L. kunkeei is transformable; (2) that the transformed cells had no obvious adverse effect on honey bee survival; and (3) that transformed cells survived well in the gut environment of bees upon reintroduction. Our study demonstrates that L. kunkeei fulfils the three criteria for paratransgenesis and can be a suitable candidate for further research on this strategy in honey bees. PMID

  5. Superinfection exclusion and the long-term survival of honey bees in Varroa-infested colonies.

    PubMed

    Mordecai, Gideon J; Brettell, Laura E; Martin, Stephen J; Dixon, David; Jones, Ian M; Schroeder, Declan C

    2016-05-01

    Over the past 50 years, many millions of European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies have died as the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has spread around the world. Subsequent studies have indicated that the mite's association with a group of RNA viral pathogens (Deformed Wing Virus, DWV) correlates with colony death. Here, we propose a phenomenon known as superinfection exclusion that provides an explanation of how certain A. mellifera populations have survived, despite Varroa infestation and high DWV loads. Next-generation sequencing has shown that a non-lethal DWV variant 'type B' has become established in these colonies and that the lethal 'type A' DWV variant fails to persist in the bee population. We propose that this novel stable host-pathogen relationship prevents the accumulation of lethal variants, suggesting that this interaction could be exploited for the development of an effective treatment that minimises colony losses in the future. PMID:26505829

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-09-01

    Several series of experiments are reported that investigate learning in the Africanized honey bee. In the first series, classical conditioning of proboscis extension was studied by confining bees to small metal tubes where they received pairings of an odor with a 3-s feeding of sucrose. After a number of odor-sucrose pairings, the bees began to extend their proboscis to the odor. Controls include Unpaired, Discrimination, and Pseudoconditioning Groups. This technique was used to look at conditioning to a light CS, and to the odors of beeswax, geraniol, citral, and hexanal. The results indicate that acquisition was best when sucrose was paired with the odor of beeswax. Conditioning to the remaining odors was roughly similar, but acquisition did not occur using a light. In a second series of experiments, odors were no longer followed by sucrose feedings and the conditioned response slowly disappeared. With the exception of geraniol as a CS, this extinction effect did not occur if the animals continued to be fed on an unpaired schedule. In a third series of experiments, conditioned inhibition was demonstrated when geraniol was used as conditioned stimuli, but no effect was found when the odors of hexanal, citral and wax were used. In a fourth series of experiments, unrestrained bees flew back and forth from the laboratory to the hive, where they were taught to distinguish targets based on color and odor. With this technique, color and odor discrimination in the Africanized bees was demonstrated. In addition, it was found that more intruder bees visited the experimental station when the stimuli used were olfactory rather than visual. PMID:9272679

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Honey bee colonies in the United States have suffered from an increased rate of die-off in recent years, stemming from a complex set of interacting stresses that remain poorly described. While we have some understanding of the physiological stress responses in the honey bee, our molecular understanding of honey bee cellular stress responses is incomplete. Thus, we sought to identify and began functional characterization of the components of the UPR in honey bees. The IRE1-dependent splicing of the mRNA for the transcription factor Xbp1, leading to translation of an isoform with more transactivation potential, represents the most conserved of the UPR pathways. Honey bees and other Apoidea possess unique features in the Xbp1 mRNA splice site, which we reasoned could have functional consequences for the IRE1 pathway. However, we find robust induction of target genes upon UPR stimulation. In addition, the IRE1 pathway activation, as assessed by splicing of Xbp1 mRNA upon UPR, is conserved. By providing foundational knowledge about the UPR in the honey bee and the relative sensitivity of this species to divergent stresses, this work stands to improve our understanding of the mechanistic underpinnings of honey bee health and disease. PMID:26699660

  8. Heat Shielding: A Novel Method of Colonial Thermoregulation in Honey Bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starks, Philip T.; Gilley, David C.

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, maintain constant colony temperatures throughout the year. Honey bees fan their wings to cool the colony, and often spread fluid in conjunction with this behavior to induce evaporative cooling. We present an additional, previously undescribed mechanism used by the honey bee to maintain constant colony temperature in response to localized temperature increases. Worker bees shield the comb from external heat sources by positioning themselves on hot interior regions of the hive's walls. Although honey comb and brood comb were both shielded, the temperature-sensitive brood received a greater number of heat shielders and was thus better protected from overheating. Heat shielding appears to be a context-dependent adaptive behavior performed by worker bees who would previously have been considered "unemployed."

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

    PubMed

    Lach, Lori; Kratz, Madlen; Baer, Boris

    2015-09-01

    Research into loss of pollination capacity has focused primarily on documenting pollinator declines and their causes with comparatively little attention paid to how stressors may affect pollinating behavior of surviving pollinators. The European honey bee, Apis mellifera is one of the world's most important generalist pollinators, and Nosema apis is a widespread microsporidian gut parasite of adult A. mellifera. We individually fed 960 newly eclosed A. mellifera workers either a sucrose solution or 400 N. apis spores in a sucrose solution and tagged them with a unique radio frequency identification (RFID) tag to monitor their foraging behavior. We found spore-fed bees were less likely to forage than those fed sugar only. Those that did forage started foraging when they were older and stopped foraging when they were younger than bees fed sugar only. However, inoculated and non-inoculated bees did not significantly differ in the number of foraging trips taken per day, the total hours foraged over their lifetime, or homing ability. Inoculated returning foragers were 4.3 times less likely to be carrying available pollen than non-inoculated returning foragers and the number of pollen grains carried was negatively correlated with the number of N. apis spores. In an arena of artificial flowers, inoculated bees had a tendency (p=0.061) to choose sugar flowers over pollen flowers, compared to non-inoculated bees which visited pollen and sugar flowers equally. These results demonstrate that even a relatively low dose of a widespread disease of A. mellifera may adversely affect bees' ability to pollinate. PMID:26149824

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two important traits that contribute to honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony survival are resistance to Varroa destructor and longevity of worker bees. We investigated the relationship between a panel of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and three phenotypic measurements of colonies: a) perc...

  11. Early-life experience affects honey bee aggression and resilience to immune challenge.

    PubMed

    Rittschof, Clare C; Coombs, Chelsey B; Frazier, Maryann; Grozinger, Christina M; Robinson, Gene E

    2015-01-01

    Early-life social experiences cause lasting changes in behavior and health for a variety of animals including humans, but it is not well understood how social information ''gets under the skin'' resulting in these effects. Adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) exhibit socially coordinated collective nest defense, providing a model for social modulation of aggressive behavior. Here we report for the first time that a honey bee's early-life social environment has lasting effects on individual aggression: bees that experienced high-aggression environments during pre-adult stages showed increased aggression when they reached adulthood relative to siblings that experienced low-aggression environments, even though all bees were kept in a common environment during adulthood. Unlike other animals including humans however, high-aggression honey bees were more, rather than less, resilient to immune challenge, assessed as neonicotinoid pesticide susceptibility. Moreover, aggression was negatively correlated with ectoparasitic mite presence. In honey bees, early-life social experience has broad effects, but increased aggression is decoupled from negative health outcomes. Because honey bees and humans share aspects of their physiological response to aggressive social encounters, our findings represent a step towards identifying ways to improve individual resiliency. Pre-adult social experience may be crucial to the health of the ecologically threatened honey bee. PMID:26493190

  12. 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

  13. Quantitative trait loci for honey bee stinging behavior and body size.

    PubMed

    Hunt, G J; Guzmán-Novoa, E; Fondrk, M K; Page, R E

    1998-03-01

    A study was conducted to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that affect colony-level stinging behavior and individual body size of honey bees. An F1 queen was produced from a cross between a queen of European origin and a drone descended from an African subspecies. Haploid drones from the hybrid queen were individually backcrossed to sister European queens to produce 172 colonies with backcross workers that were evaluated for tendency to sting. Random amplified polymorphic DNA markers were scored from the haploid drone fathers of these colonies. Wings of workers and drones were used as a measure of body size because Africanized bees in the Americas are smaller than European bees. Standard interval mapping and multiple QTL models were used to analyze data. One possible QTL was identified with a significant effect on tendency to sting (LOD 3.57). Four other suggestive QTLs were also observed (about LOD 1.5). Possible QTLs also were identified that affect body size and were unlinked to defensive-behavior QTLs. Two of these were significant (LOD 3.54 and 5.15). PMID:9539435

  14. Molecular epidemiology and population structure of the honey bee brood pathogen Melissococcus plutonius.

    PubMed

    Budge, Giles E; Shirley, Mark D F; Jones, Benjamin; Quill, Emiline; Tomkies, Victoria; Feil, Edward J; Brown, Mike A; Haynes, Edward G

    2014-08-01

    Melissococcus plutonius is the causative agent of European foulbrood (EFB), which is a serious brood disease of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). EFB remains a threat because of a poor understanding of disease epidemiology. We used a recently published multi-locus sequence typing method to characterise 206 M. plutonius isolates recovered from outbreaks in England and Wales over the course of 2 years. We detected 15 different sequence types (STs), which were resolved by eBURST and phylogenetic analysis into three clonal complexes (CCs) 3, 12 and 13. Single and double locus variants within CC3 were the most abundant and widespread genotypes, accounting for 85% of the cases. In contrast, CCs 12 and 13 were rarer and predominantly found in geographical regions of high sampling intensity, consistent with a more recent introduction and localised spread. K-function analysis and interpoint distance tests revealed significant geographical clustering in five common STs, but pointed to different dispersal patterns between STs. We noted that CCs appeared to vary in pathogenicity and that infection caused by the more pathogenic variants is more likely to lead to honey bee colony destruction, as opposed to treatment. The importance of these findings for improving our understanding of disease aetiology and control are discussed. PMID:24599072

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Jiang, S; Robertson, T; Mostajeran, M; Robertson, A J; Qiu, X

    2016-06-01

    Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite of honey bees (Apis mellifera), is the most serious pest threatening the apiculture industry. In our honey bee breeding programme, two honey bee colonies showing extreme phenotypes for varroa tolerance/resistance (S88) and susceptibility (G4) were identified by natural selection from a large gene pool over a 6-year period. To investigate potential defence mechanisms for honey bee tolerance to varroa infestation, we employed DNA microarray and real time quantitative (PCR) analyses to identify differentially expressed genes in the tolerant and susceptible colonies at pupa and adult stages. Our results showed that more differentially expressed genes were identified in the tolerant bees than in bees from the susceptible colony, indicating that the tolerant colony showed an increased genetic capacity to respond to varroa mite infestation. In both colonies, there were more differentially expressed genes identified at the pupa stage than at the adult stage, indicating that pupa bees are more responsive to varroa infestation than adult bees. Genes showing differential expression in the colony phenotypes were categorized into several groups based on their molecular functions, such as olfactory signalling, detoxification processes, exoskeleton formation, protein degradation and long-chain fatty acid metabolism, suggesting that these biological processes play roles in conferring varroa tolerance to naturally selected colonies. Identification of differentially expressed genes between the two colony phenotypes provides potential molecular markers for selecting and breeding varroa-tolerant honey bees. PMID:26919127

  17. A fluorescent method for visualization of Nosema infection in whole-mount honey bee tissues.

    PubMed

    Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-03-01

    Honey bees are critical pollinators in both agricultural and ecological settings. The Nosema species, ceranae and apis, are microsporidian parasites that are pathogenic to honey bees. While current methods for detecting Nosema infection have key merits, additional techniques with novel properties for studying the cell biology of Nosema infection are highly desirable. We demonstrate that whole-mount staining of honey bee midgut tissue with chitin-binding agent Fluorescent Brightener 28 and DNA dye Propidium Iodide allows for observation of Nosema infection in structurally intact tissue, providing a new tool for increasing our understanding of Nosema infection at the cellular and tissue level. PMID:26802732

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Celik, Yuksel; Ulker, Erkan

    2013-01-01

    Marriage in honey bees optimization (MBO) is a metaheuristic optimization algorithm developed by inspiration of the mating and fertilization process of honey bees and is a kind of swarm intelligence optimizations. In this study we propose improved marriage in honey bees optimization (IMBO) by adding Levy flight algorithm for queen mating flight and neighboring for worker drone improving. The IMBO algorithm's performance and its success are tested on the well-known six unconstrained test functions and compared with other metaheuristic optimization algorithms. PMID:23935416

  20. An Improved Marriage in Honey Bees Optimization Algorithm for Single Objective Unconstrained Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Celik, Yuksel; Ulker, Erkan

    2013-01-01

    Marriage in honey bees optimization (MBO) is a metaheuristic optimization algorithm developed by inspiration of the mating and fertilization process of honey bees and is a kind of swarm intelligence optimizations. In this study we propose improved marriage in honey bees optimization (IMBO) by adding Levy flight algorithm for queen mating flight and neighboring for worker drone improving. The IMBO algorithm's performance and its success are tested on the well-known six unconstrained test functions and compared with other metaheuristic optimization algorithms. PMID:23935416

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Insecticides are thought to be among the major factors contributing to current declines in bee populations. However, detoxification mechanisms in healthy, unstressed honey bees are poorly characterised. Alkaloids are naturally encountered in pollen and nectar, and we used nicotine as a model compound to identify the mechanisms involved in detoxification processes in honey bees. Nicotine and neonicotinoids have similar modes of action in insects. Our metabolomic and proteomic analyses show active detoxification of nicotine in bees, associated with increased energetic investment and also antioxidant and heat shock responses. The increased energetic investment is significant in view of the interactions of pesticides with diseases such as Nosema spp which cause energetic stress and possible malnutrition. Understanding how healthy honey bees process dietary toxins under unstressed conditions will help clarify how pesticides, alone or in synergy with other stress factors, lead to declines in bee vitality. PMID:26134631

  2. Brood pheromone regulates foraging activity of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Pankiw, Tanya

    2004-06-01

    Brood pheromone modulated the foraging behavior of commercial honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colonies pollinating a 10-ha market garden of cucumber, Cucurbita pepo L., and zucchini, Cucumis saticus L., in Texas in late autumn. Six colonies were randomly selected to receive 2000 larval equivalents of brood pheromone and six received a blank control. The ratio of pollen to nonpollen foragers entering colonies was significantly greater in pheromone-treated colonies 1 h after treatment. Pheromone-treated foragers returned with pollen load weights that were significantly heavier than controls. Pollen returned by pheromone-treated foragers was 43% more likely to originate from the target crop. Number of pollen grains washed from the bodies of nonpollen foragers from pheromone-treated colonies was significantly greater than controls and the pollen was 54% more likely to originate from the target crop. Increasing the foraging stimulus environment with brood pheromone increased colony-level foraging and individual forager efforts. Brood pheromone is a promising technology for increasing the pollination activity and efficiency of commercial honey bee colonies. PMID:15279247

  3. Honey bee protein atlas at organ-level resolution.

    PubMed

    Chan, Queenie W T; Chan, Man Yi; Logan, Michelle; Fang, Yuan; Higo, Heather; Foster, Leonard J

    2013-11-01

    Genome sequencing has provided us with gene lists but cannot tell us where and how their encoded products work together to support life. Complex organisms rely on differential expression of subsets of genes/proteins in organs and tissues, and, in concert, evolved to their present state as they function together to improve an organism's overall reproductive fitness. Proteomics studies of individual organs help us understand their basic functions, but this reductionist approach misses the larger context of the whole organism. This problem could be circumvented if all the organs in an organism were comprehensively studied by the same methodology and analyzed together. Using honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) as a model system, we report here an initial whole proteome of a complex organism, measuring 29 different organ/tissue types among the three honey bee castes: queen, drone, and worker. The data reveal that, e.g., workers have a heightened capacity to deal with environmental toxins and queens have a far more robust pheromone detection system than their nestmates. The data also suggest that workers altruistically sacrifice not only their own reproductive capacity but also their immune potential in favor of their queen. Finally, organ-level resolution of protein expression offers a systematic insight into how organs may have developed. PMID:23878156

  4. Honey bee protein atlas at organ-level resolution

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Queenie W.T.; Chan, Man Yi; Logan, Michelle; Fang, Yuan; Higo, Heather; Foster, Leonard J.

    2013-01-01

    Genome sequencing has provided us with gene lists but cannot tell us where and how their encoded products work together to support life. Complex organisms rely on differential expression of subsets of genes/proteins in organs and tissues, and, in concert, evolved to their present state as they function together to improve an organism's overall reproductive fitness. Proteomics studies of individual organs help us understand their basic functions, but this reductionist approach misses the larger context of the whole organism. This problem could be circumvented if all the organs in an organism were comprehensively studied by the same methodology and analyzed together. Using honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) as a model system, we report here an initial whole proteome of a complex organism, measuring 29 different organ/tissue types among the three honey bee castes: queen, drone, and worker. The data reveal that, e.g., workers have a heightened capacity to deal with environmental toxins and queens have a far more robust pheromone detection system than their nestmates. The data also suggest that workers altruistically sacrifice not only their own reproductive capacity but also their immune potential in favor of their queen. Finally, organ-level resolution of protein expression offers a systematic insight into how organs may have developed. PMID:23878156

  5. Assessing the mating 'health' of commercial honey bee queens.

    PubMed

    Tarpy, David R; Keller, Jennifer J; Caren, Joel R; Delaney, Deborah A

    2012-02-01

    Honey bee queens mate with multiple males, which increases the total genetic diversity within colonies and has been shown to confer numerous benefits for colony health and productivity. Recent surveys of beekeepers have suggested that 'poor queens' are a top management concern, thus investigating the reproductive quality and mating success of commercially produced honey bee queens is warranted. We purchased 80 commercially produced queens from large queen breeders in California and measured them for their physical size (fresh weigh and thorax width), insemination success (stored sperm counts and sperm viability), and mating number (determined by patriline genotyping of worker offspring). We found that queens had an average of 4.37 +/- 1.446 million stored sperm in their spermathecae with an average viability of 83.7 +/- 13.33%. We also found that the tested queens had mated with a high number of drones (average effective paternity frequency: 17.0 +/- 8.98). Queen "quality" significantly varied among commercial sources for physical characters but not for mating characters. These findings suggest that it may be more effective to improve overall queen reproductive potential by culling lower-quality queens rather than systematically altering current queen production practices. PMID:22420250

  6. Longevity of microwave-treated (2. 45 GHz continuous wave) honey bees in observation hives

    SciTech Connect

    Gary, N.E.; Westerdahl, B.B.

    1981-12-15

    Adult honey bees were exposed for 30 min to 2.45 GHz of continuous wave microwave radiation at power densities ranging from 3 to 50 mW/cm/sup 2/. After exposure, bees were returned to glass-walled observation hives, and their longevity was compared with that of control bees. No significant differences were found between microwave- and sham-treated bees at any of the power densities tested.

  7. MicroRNAs of host honey bees, Apis mellifera respond to the infection of Microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In order to clarify the impacts of Nosema ceranae infection on the expression levels of honey bees’ MicroRNAs (miRNAs), we deep-sequenced honey bee miRNAs daily across a full 6-day parasite reproduction cycle. 18 miRNAs were significantly differentially expressed in honey bees infected by N. ceranae...

  8. Highly Dynamic and Adaptive Traffic Congestion Avoidance in Real-Time Inspired by Honey Bee Behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wedde, Horst F.; Lehnhoff, Sebastian; van Bonn, Bernhard; Bay, Z.; Becker, S.; Böttcher, S.; Brunner, C.; Büscher, A.; Fürst, T.; Lazarescu, A. M.; Rotaru, E.; Senge, S.; Steinbach, B.; Yilmaz, F.; Zimmermann, T.

    Traffic congestions have become a major problem in metropolitan areas world-wide, within and between cities, to an extent where they make driving and transportation times largely unpredictable. Due to the highly dynamic character of congestion building and dissolving this phenomenon appears even to resist a formal treatment. Static approaches, and even more their global management, have proven counterproductive in practice. Given the latest progress in VANET technology and the remarkable commercially driven efforts like in the European C2C consortium, or the VSC Project in the US, allow meanwhile to tackle various aspects of traffic regulation through VANET communication. In this paper we introduce a novel, completely decentralized multi-agent routing algorithm (termed BeeJamA) which we have derived from the foraging behavior of honey bees. It is highly dynamic, adaptive, robust, and scalable, and it allows for both avoiding congestions, and minimizing traveling times to individual destinations. Vehicle guidance is provided well ahead of every intersection, depending on the individual speeds. Thus strict deadlines are imposed on, and respected by, the BeeJamA algorithm. We report on extensive simulation experiments which show the superior performance of BeeJamA over conventional approaches.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  11. Honey bee colonies act as reservoirs for two Spiroplasma facultative symbionts and incur complex, multiyear infection dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Ryan S; Teixeira, Érica Weinstein; Tauber, James P; Birke, Juliane M; Martins, Marta Fonseca; Fonseca, Isabela; Evans, Jay D

    2014-01-01

    Two species of Spiroplasma (Mollicutes) bacteria were isolated from and described as pathogens of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, ∼30 years ago but recent information on them is lacking despite global concern to understand bee population declines. Here we provide a comprehensive survey for the prevalence of these two Spiroplasma species in current populations of honey bees using improved molecular diagnostic techniques to assay multiyear colony samples from North America (U.S.A.) and South America (Brazil). Significant annual and seasonal fluctuations of Spiroplasma apis and Spiroplasma melliferum prevalence in colonies from the U.S.A. (n = 616) and Brazil (n = 139) occurred during surveys from 2011 through 2013. Overall, 33% of U.S.A. colonies and 54% of Brazil colonies were infected by Spiroplasma spp., where S. melliferum predominated over S. apis in both countries (25% vs. 14% and 44% vs. 38% frequency, respectively). Colonies were co-infected by both species more frequently than expected in both countries and at a much higher rate in Brazil (52%) compared to the U.S.A. (16.5%). U.S.A. samples showed that both species were prevalent not only during spring, as expected from prior research, but also during other seasons. These findings demonstrate that the model of honey bee spiroplasmas as springtime-restricted pathogens needs to be broadened and their role as occasional pathogens considered in current contexts. PMID:24771723

  12. Functionality of Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) When Used in Migratory Beekeeping for Crop Pollination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., that were bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman were evaluated for performance when used for beekeeping in an intensive, migratory crop pollination system. Colonies of these stocks (Russian honey bees [RHB] and outcrosses of bees with...

  13. Shifts in the Midgut/Pyloric Microbiota Composition within a Honey Bee Apiary throughout a Season

    PubMed Central

    Ludvigsen, Jane; Rangberg, Anbjørg; Avershina, Ekaterina; Sekelja, Monika; Kreibich, Claus; Amdam, Gro; Rudi, Knut

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are prominent crop pollinators and are, thus, important for effective food production. The honey bee gut microbiota is mainly host specific, with only a few species being shared with other insects. It currently remains unclear how environmental/dietary conditions affect the microbiota within a honey bee population over time. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to characterize the composition of the midgut/pyloric microbiota of a honey bee apiary throughout a season. The rationale for investigating the midgut/pyloric microbiota is its dynamic nature. Monthly sampling of a demographic homogenous population of bees was performed between May and October, with concordant recording of the honey bee diet. Mixed Sanger-and Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing in combination with a quantitative PCR analysis were used to determine the bacterial composition. A marked increase in α-diversity was detected between May and June. Furthermore, we found that four distinct phylotypes belonging to the Proteobacteria dominated the microbiota, and these displayed major shifts throughout the season. Gilliamella apicola dominated the composition early on, and Snodgrassella alvi began to dominate when the other bacteria declined to an absolute low in October. In vitro co-culturing revealed that G. apicola suppressed S. alvi. No shift was detected in the composition of the microbiota under stable environment/dietary conditions between November and February. Therefore, environmental/dietary changes may trigger the shifts observed in the honey bee midgut/pyloric microbiota throughout a season. PMID:26330094

  14. Early-life experience affects honey bee aggression and resilience to immune challenge

    PubMed Central

    Rittschof, Clare C.; Coombs, Chelsey B.; Frazier, Maryann; Grozinger, Christina M.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2015-01-01

    Early-life social experiences cause lasting changes in behavior and health for a variety of animals including humans, but it is not well understood how social information ‘‘gets under the skin’’ resulting in these effects. Adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) exhibit socially coordinated collective nest defense, providing a model for social modulation of aggressive behavior. Here we report for the first time that a honey bee’s early-life social environment has lasting effects on individual aggression: bees that experienced high-aggression environments during pre-adult stages showed increased aggression when they reached adulthood relative to siblings that experienced low-aggression environments, even though all bees were kept in a common environment during adulthood. Unlike other animals including humans however, high-aggression honey bees were more, rather than less, resilient to immune challenge, assessed as neonicotinoid pesticide susceptibility. Moreover, aggression was negatively correlated with ectoparasitic mite presence. In honey bees, early-life social experience has broad effects, but increased aggression is decoupled from negative health outcomes. Because honey bees and humans share aspects of their physiological response to aggressive social encounters, our findings represent a step towards identifying ways to improve individual resiliency. Pre-adult social experience may be crucial to the health of the ecologically threatened honey bee. PMID:26493190

  15. Shifts in the Midgut/Pyloric Microbiota Composition within a Honey Bee Apiary throughout a Season.

    PubMed

    Ludvigsen, Jane; Rangberg, Anbjørg; Avershina, Ekaterina; Sekelja, Monika; Kreibich, Claus; Amdam, Gro; Rudi, Knut

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are prominent crop pollinators and are, thus, important for effective food production. The honey bee gut microbiota is mainly host specific, with only a few species being shared with other insects. It currently remains unclear how environmental/dietary conditions affect the microbiota within a honey bee population over time. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to characterize the composition of the midgut/pyloric microbiota of a honey bee apiary throughout a season. The rationale for investigating the midgut/pyloric microbiota is its dynamic nature. Monthly sampling of a demographic homogenous population of bees was performed between May and October, with concordant recording of the honey bee diet. Mixed Sanger-and Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing in combination with a quantitative PCR analysis were used to determine the bacterial composition. A marked increase in α-diversity was detected between May and June. Furthermore, we found that four distinct phylotypes belonging to the Proteobacteria dominated the microbiota, and these displayed major shifts throughout the season. Gilliamella apicola dominated the composition early on, and Snodgrassella alvi began to dominate when the other bacteria declined to an absolute low in October. In vitro co-culturing revealed that G. apicola suppressed S. alvi. No shift was detected in the composition of the microbiota under stable environment/dietary conditions between November and February. Therefore, environmental/dietary changes may trigger the shifts observed in the honey bee midgut/pyloric microbiota throughout a season. PMID:26330094

  16. Africanization of a feral honey bee (Apis mellifera) population in South Texas: does a decade make a difference?

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; Giresi, Melissa; Pinto, Maria Alice; Baum, Kristen A; Rubink, William L; Coulson, Robert N; Johnston, John Spencer

    2016-04-01

    The arrival to the United States of the Africanized honey bee, a hybrid between European subspecies and the African subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata, is a remarkable model for the study of biological invasions. This immigration has created an opportunity to study the dynamics of secondary contact of honey bee subspecies from African and European lineages in a feral population in South Texas. An 11-year survey of this population (1991-2001) showed that mitochondrial haplotype frequencies changed drastically over time from a resident population of eastern and western European maternal ancestry, to a population dominated by the African haplotype. A subsequent study of the nuclear genome showed that the Africanization process included bidirectional gene flow between European and Africanized honey bees, giving rise to a new panmictic mixture of A. m. scutellata- and European-derived genes. In this study, we examined gene flow patterns in the same population 23 years after the first hybridization event occurred. We found 28 active colonies inhabiting 92 tree cavities surveyed in a 5.14 km(2) area, resulting in a colony density of 5.4 colonies/km(2). Of these 28 colonies, 25 were of A. m. scutellata maternal ancestry, and three were of western European maternal ancestry. No colonies of eastern European maternal ancestry were detected, although they were present in the earlier samples. Nuclear DNA revealed little change in the introgression of A. m. scutellata-derived genes into the population compared to previous surveys. Our results suggest this feral population remains an admixed swarm with continued low levels of European ancestry and a greater presence of African-derived mitochondrial genetic composition. PMID:27069571

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Christen, Verena; Mittner, Fabian; Fent, Karl

    2016-04-01

    Neonicotinoids are implicated in the decline of bee populations. As agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, they disturb acetylcholine receptor signaling leading to neurotoxicity. Several behavioral studies showed the link between neonicotinoid exposure and adverse effects on foraging activity and reproduction. However, molecular effects underlying these effects are poorly understood. Here we elucidated molecular effects at environmental realistic levels of three neonicotinoids and nicotine, and compared laboratory studies to field exposures with acetamiprid. We assessed transcriptional alterations of eight selected genes in caged honey bees exposed to different concentrations of the neonicotinoids acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloporid, and thiamethoxam, as well as nicotine. We determined transcripts of several targets, including nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α 1 and α 2 subunit, the multifunctional gene vitellogenin, immune system genes apidaecin and defensin-1, stress-related gene catalase and two genes linked to memory formation, pka and creb. Vitellogenin showed a strong increase upon neonicotinoid exposures in the laboratory and field, while creb and pka transcripts were down-regulated. The induction of vitellogenin suggests adverse effects on foraging activity, whereas creb and pka down-regulation may be implicated in decreased long-term memory formation. Transcriptional alterations occurred at environmental concentrations and provide an explanation for the molecular basis of observed adverse effects of neonicotinoids to bees. PMID:26990785

  19. Honey bee microRNAs respond to infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae.

    PubMed

    Huang, Qiang; Chen, Yanping; Wang, Rui Wu; Schwarz, Ryan S; Evans, Jay D

    2015-01-01

    In order to study the effects of Nosema ceranae infection on honey bee microRNA (miRNA) expression, we deep-sequenced honey bee miRNAs daily across a full 6-day parasite reproduction cycle. Seventeen miRNAs were differentially expressed in honey bees infected by N. ceranae that potentially target over 400 genes predicted to primarily involve ion binding, signaling, the nucleus, transmembrane transport, and DNA binding. Based on Enzyme Code analysis, nine biological pathways were identified by screening target genes against the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database, seven of which involved metabolism. Our results suggest that differentially expressed miRNAs regulate metabolism related genes of host honey bees in response to N. ceranae infection. PMID:26620304

  20. Honey bee microRNAs respond to infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Qiang; Chen, Yanping; Wang, Rui Wu; Schwarz, Ryan S.; Evans, Jay D.

    2015-01-01

    In order to study the effects of Nosema ceranae infection on honey bee microRNA (miRNA) expression, we deep-sequenced honey bee miRNAs daily across a full 6-day parasite reproduction cycle. Seventeen miRNAs were differentially expressed in honey bees infected by N. ceranae that potentially target over 400 genes predicted to primarily involve ion binding, signaling, the nucleus, transmembrane transport, and DNA binding. Based on Enzyme Code analysis, nine biological pathways were identified by screening target genes against the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database, seven of which involved metabolism. Our results suggest that differentially expressed miRNAs regulate metabolism related genes of host honey bees in response to N. ceranae infection. PMID:26620304

  1. Non-cultivated plants present a season-long route of pesticide exposure for honey bees.

    PubMed

    Long, Elizabeth Y; Krupke, Christian H

    2016-01-01

    Recent efforts to evaluate the contribution of neonicotinoid insecticides to worldwide pollinator declines have focused on honey bees and the chronic levels of exposure experienced when foraging on crops grown from neonicotinoid-treated seeds. However, few studies address non-crop plants as a potential route of pollinator exposure to neonicotinoid and other insecticides. Here we show that pollen collected by honey bee foragers in maize- and soybean-dominated landscapes is contaminated throughout the growing season with multiple agricultural pesticides, including the neonicotinoids used as seed treatments. Notably, however, the highest levels of contamination in pollen are pyrethroid insecticides targeting mosquitoes and other nuisance pests. Furthermore, pollen from crop plants represents only a tiny fraction of the total diversity of pollen resources used by honey bees in these landscapes, with the principle sources of pollen originating from non-cultivated plants. These findings provide fundamental information about the foraging habits of honey bees in these landscapes. PMID:27240870

  2. Non-cultivated plants present a season-long route of pesticide exposure for honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Long, Elizabeth Y.; Krupke, Christian H.

    2016-01-01

    Recent efforts to evaluate the contribution of neonicotinoid insecticides to worldwide pollinator declines have focused on honey bees and the chronic levels of exposure experienced when foraging on crops grown from neonicotinoid-treated seeds. However, few studies address non-crop plants as a potential route of pollinator exposure to neonicotinoid and other insecticides. Here we show that pollen collected by honey bee foragers in maize- and soybean-dominated landscapes is contaminated throughout the growing season with multiple agricultural pesticides, including the neonicotinoids used as seed treatments. Notably, however, the highest levels of contamination in pollen are pyrethroid insecticides targeting mosquitoes and other nuisance pests. Furthermore, pollen from crop plants represents only a tiny fraction of the total diversity of pollen resources used by honey bees in these landscapes, with the principle sources of pollen originating from non-cultivated plants. These findings provide fundamental information about the foraging habits of honey bees in these landscapes. PMID:27240870

  3. Critical aspects of the Nosema spp. diagnostic sampling in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies.

    PubMed

    Botías, Cristina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Meana, Aránzazu; Higes, Mariano

    2012-06-01

    Nosemosis is one of the most widespread of the adult honey bee diseases and causes major economic losses to beekeepers. Two microsporidia have been described infecting honey bees worldwide, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, whose seasonality and pathology differ markedly. An increasing prevalence of microsporidian infections in honey bees has been observed worldwide during the last years. Because nosemosis has detrimental effects on both strength and productivity of the infected colonies, an accurate and reliable method to evaluate the presence of Nosema in honey bee colonies is needed. In this study a high degree of variability in the detection of microsporidia depending on the random subsample analyzed was found, suggesting that both sample size and the time of collection (month and day of sampling) notably affect the diagnosis. PMID:22193523

  4. Draft genome sequences of two Bifidobacterium sp. from the honey bee (Apis mellifera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We provide genome sequences for two strains of honey bee associated Bifidobacterium. Reflecting an oxygen-rich niche, both strains possessed catalase, peroxidase, superoxide-dismutase and respiratory chain enzymes indicative of oxidative metabolism. The strains show markedly different carbohydrate ...

  5. Comparison of acute effects of heroin and Kerack on sensory and motor activity of honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Hassanpour-Ezatti, Majid

    2015-01-01

    Objective(s): Previous studies demonstrated a functional similarity between vertebrate and honey bee nervous systems. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of heroin and Iranian street Kerack, a combination of heroin and caffeine, on sensory threshold and locomotor activity in honey bees. Materials and Methods: All drugs were given orally to honey bees 30 min before each experiment. The levels of these drugs and their metabolites in brain samples of honey bees were determined by GC/MS. The sucrose sensitivity test was used for evaluation of changes in honey bees’ sensory threshold. Following the administration of both drugs, the honey bees’ locomotor activity changes were evaluated in open fields. Results: 6-acetylmorphine had a higher concentration in comparison with other heroin metabolites in honey bees’ brains. Concentration of the compound in the brain was directly proportional to the amount ingested. Heroin reduced the sensory threshold of honey bees, but Kerack increased it in the same doses. Locomotor activity of honey bee in open field was enhanced after the administration of both drugs. However, immobility time of honey bees was only affected by high doses of heroin. Conclusion: Acute effects of heroin andKerack on the sensory and motor functions of honey bees were different. Findings of this research suggest that these differences originated from the activation of different neurotransmitter systems by caffeine together with activation of opioid receptors by heroin. PMID:26019799

  6. The power and promise of applying genomics to honey bee health

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Gene E.

    2015-01-01

    New genomic tools and resources are now being used to both understand honey bee health and develop tools to better manage it. Here, we describe the use of genomic approaches to identify and characterize bee parasites and pathogens, examine interactions among these parasites and pathogens, between them and their bee hosts, and to identify genetic markers for improved breeding of more resilient bee stocks. We also discuss several new genomic techniques that can be used to more efficiently study, monitor and improve bee health. In the case of using RNAi-based technologies to mitigate diseases in bee populations, we highlight advantages, disadvantages and strategies to reduce risk. The increased use of genomic analytical tools and manipulative technologies has already led to significant advances, and holds great promise for improvements in the health of honey bees and other critical pollinator species. PMID:26273565

  7. Microsatellite loci for the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, a nest parasite of honey bees.

    PubMed

    Evans, J D; Spiewok, S; Teixeira, E W; Neumann, P

    2008-05-01

    Aethina tumida, a beetle parasite of honey bee colonies, has recently and dramatically expanded its range and now parasitizes honey bees on three continents. Polymorphic microsatellite loci for this beetle species will help map this continuing range expansion, and will also prove useful for exploring the mating system and local gene flow patterns for this important parasite. We describe 15 loci that are polymorphic in both the native and introduced ranges of this species, showing from two to 22 alleles. PMID:21585875

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    There is no clear single factor to date that explains colony loss in bees, but one factor proposed is the wide-spread application of agrochemicals. Concentrations of 14 organophosphorous insecticides (OPs) in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and hive matrices (honey and pollen) were measured to assess their hazard to honey bees. Samples were collected during spring and summer of 2013, from 5 provinces in the middle delta of Egypt. LC/MS-MS was used to identify and quantify individual OPs by use of a modified Quick Easy Cheap Effective Rugged Safe (QuEChERS) method. Pesticides were detected more frequently in samples collected during summer. Pollen contained the greatest concentrations of OPs. Profenofos, chlorpyrifos, malation and diazinon were the most frequently detected OPs. In contrast, ethoprop, phorate, coumaphos and chlorpyrifos-oxon were not detected. A toxic units approach, with lethality as the endpoint was used in an additive model to assess the cumulative potential for adverse effects posed by OPs. Hazard quotients (HQs) in honey and pollen ranged from 0.01-0.05 during spring and from 0.02-0.08 during summer, respectively. HQs based on lethality due to direct exposure of adult worker bees to OPs during spring and summer ranged from 0.04 to 0.1 for best and worst case respectively. It is concluded that direct exposure and/or dietary exposure to OPs in honey and pollen pose little threat due to lethality of bees in Egypt. PMID:25574845

  11. Using DNA Metabarcoding to Identify the Floral Composition of Honey: A New Tool for Investigating Honey Bee Foraging Preferences.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, Jennifer; de Vere, Natasha; Griffith, Adelaide; Ford, Col R; Allainguillaume, Joel; Hegarty, Matthew J; Baillie, Les; Adams-Groom, Beverley

    2015-01-01

    Identifying the floral composition of honey provides a method for investigating the plants that honey bees visit. We compared melissopalynology, where pollen grains retrieved from honey are identified morphologically, with a DNA metabarcoding approach using the rbcL DNA barcode marker and 454-pyrosequencing. We compared nine honeys supplied by beekeepers in the UK. DNA metabarcoding and melissopalynology were able to detect the most abundant floral components of honey. There was 92% correspondence for the plant taxa that had an abundance of over 20%. However, the level of similarity when all taxa were compared was lower, ranging from 22-45%, and there was little correspondence between the relative abundance of taxa found using the two techniques. DNA metabarcoding provided much greater repeatability, with a 64% taxa match compared to 28% with melissopalynology. DNA metabarcoding has the advantage over melissopalynology in that it does not require a high level of taxonomic expertise, a greater sample size can be screened and it provides greater resolution for some plant families. However, it does not provide a quantitative approach and pollen present in low levels are less likely to be detected. We investigated the plants that were frequently used by honey bees by examining the results obtained from both techniques. Plants with a broad taxonomic range were detected, covering 46 families and 25 orders, but a relatively small number of plants were consistently seen across multiple honey samples. Frequently found herbaceous species were Rubus fruticosus, Filipendula ulmaria, Taraxacum officinale, Trifolium spp., Brassica spp. and the non-native, invasive, Impatiens glandulifera. Tree pollen was frequently seen belonging to Castanea sativa, Crataegus monogyna and species of Malus, Salix and Quercus. We conclude that although honey bees are considered to be supergeneralists in their foraging choices, there are certain key species or plant groups that are particularly

  12. Using DNA Metabarcoding to Identify the Floral Composition of Honey: A New Tool for Investigating Honey Bee Foraging Preferences

    PubMed Central

    Griffith, Adelaide; Ford, Col R.; Allainguillaume, Joel; Hegarty, Matthew J.; Baillie, Les; Adams-Groom, Beverley

    2015-01-01

    Identifying the floral composition of honey provides a method for investigating the plants that honey bees visit. We compared melissopalynology, where pollen grains retrieved from honey are identified morphologically, with a DNA metabarcoding approach using the rbcL DNA barcode marker and 454-pyrosequencing. We compared nine honeys supplied by beekeepers in the UK. DNA metabarcoding and melissopalynology were able to detect the most abundant floral components of honey. There was 92% correspondence for the plant taxa that had an abundance of over 20%. However, the level of similarity when all taxa were compared was lower, ranging from 22–45%, and there was little correspondence between the relative abundance of taxa found using the two techniques. DNA metabarcoding provided much greater repeatability, with a 64% taxa match compared to 28% with melissopalynology. DNA metabarcoding has the advantage over melissopalynology in that it does not require a high level of taxonomic expertise, a greater sample size can be screened and it provides greater resolution for some plant families. However, it does not provide a quantitative approach and pollen present in low levels are less likely to be detected. We investigated the plants that were frequently used by honey bees by examining the results obtained from both techniques. Plants with a broad taxonomic range were detected, covering 46 families and 25 orders, but a relatively small number of plants were consistently seen across multiple honey samples. Frequently found herbaceous species were Rubus fruticosus, Filipendula ulmaria, Taraxacum officinale, Trifolium spp., Brassica spp. and the non-native, invasive, Impatiens glandulifera. Tree pollen was frequently seen belonging to Castanea sativa, Crataegus monogyna and species of Malus, Salix and Quercus. We conclude that although honey bees are considered to be supergeneralists in their foraging choices, there are certain key species or plant groups that are particularly

  13. Honey Bee Gut Microbiome Is Altered by In-Hive Pesticide Exposures.

    PubMed

    Kakumanu, Madhavi L; Reeves, Alison M; Anderson, Troy D; Rodrigues, Richard R; Williams, Mark A

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the primary pollinators of major horticultural crops. Over the last few decades, a substantial decline in honey bees and their colonies have been reported. While a plethora of factors could contribute to the putative decline, pathogens, and pesticides are common concerns that draw attention. In addition to potential direct effects on honey bees, indirect pesticide effects could include alteration of essential gut microbial communities and symbionts that are important to honey bee health (e.g., immune system). The primary objective of this study was to determine the microbiome associated with honey bees exposed to commonly used in-hive pesticides: coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, and chlorothalonil. Treatments were replicated at three independent locations near Blacksburg Virginia, and included a no-pesticide amended control at each location. The microbiome was characterized through pyrosequencing of V2-V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS region. Pesticide exposure significantly affected the structure of bacterial but not fungal communities. The bee bacteriome, similar to other studies, was dominated by sequences derived from Bacilli, Actinobacteria, α-, β-, γ-proteobacteria. The fungal community sequences were dominated by Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes. The Multi-response permutation procedures (MRPP) and subsequent Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) analysis indicated that chlorothalonil caused significant change to the structure and functional potential of the honey bee gut bacterial community relative to control. Putative genes for oxidative phosphorylation, for example, increased while sugar metabolism and peptidase potential declined in the microbiome of chlorothalonil exposed bees. The results of this field-based study suggest the potential for pesticide induced changes to the honey bee gut microbiome that warrant further investigation. PMID:27579024

  14. Honey Bee Gut Microbiome Is Altered by In-Hive Pesticide Exposures

    PubMed Central

    Kakumanu, Madhavi L.; Reeves, Alison M.; Anderson, Troy D.; Rodrigues, Richard R.; Williams, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the primary pollinators of major horticultural crops. Over the last few decades, a substantial decline in honey bees and their colonies have been reported. While a plethora of factors could contribute to the putative decline, pathogens, and pesticides are common concerns that draw attention. In addition to potential direct effects on honey bees, indirect pesticide effects could include alteration of essential gut microbial communities and symbionts that are important to honey bee health (e.g., immune system). The primary objective of this study was to determine the microbiome associated with honey bees exposed to commonly used in-hive pesticides: coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, and chlorothalonil. Treatments were replicated at three independent locations near Blacksburg Virginia, and included a no-pesticide amended control at each location. The microbiome was characterized through pyrosequencing of V2–V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS region. Pesticide exposure significantly affected the structure of bacterial but not fungal communities. The bee bacteriome, similar to other studies, was dominated by sequences derived from Bacilli, Actinobacteria, α-, β-, γ-proteobacteria. The fungal community sequences were dominated by Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes. The Multi-response permutation procedures (MRPP) and subsequent Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) analysis indicated that chlorothalonil caused significant change to the structure and functional potential of the honey bee gut bacterial community relative to control. Putative genes for oxidative phosphorylation, for example, increased while sugar metabolism and peptidase potential declined in the microbiome of chlorothalonil exposed bees. The results of this field-based study suggest the potential for pesticide induced changes to the honey bee gut microbiome that warrant further investigation. PMID:27579024

  15. Patterns of viral infection in honey bee queens.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    The well-being of a colony and replenishment of the workers depends on a healthy queen. Diseases in queens are seldom reported, and our knowledge on viral infection in queens is limited. In this study, 86 honey bee queens were collected from beekeepers in Denmark. All queens were tested separately by two real-time PCRs: one for the presence of deformed wing virus (DWV), and one that would detect sequences of acute bee-paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus (AKI complex). Worker bees accompanying the queen were also analysed. The queens could be divided into three groups based on the level of infection in their head, thorax, ovary, intestines and spermatheca. Four queens exhibited egg-laying deficiency, but visually all queens appeared healthy. Viral infection was generally at a low level in terms of AKI copy numbers, with 134/430 tissues (31 %) showing the presence of viral infection ranging from 10(1) to 10(5) copies. For DWV, 361/340 tissues (84 %) showed presence of viral infection (DWV copies ranging from 10(2) to 10(12)), with 50 tissues showing viral titres >10(7) copies. For both AKI and DWV, the thorax was the most frequently infected tissue and the ovaries were the least frequently infected. Relative to total mass, the spermatheca showed significantly higher DWV titres than the other tissues. The ovaries had the lowest titre of DWV. No significant differences were found among tissues for AKI. A subsample of 14 queens yielded positive results for the presence of negative-sense RNA strands, thus demonstrating active virus replication in all tissues. PMID:23223622

  16. Patterns of viral infection in honey bee queens

    PubMed Central

    Francis, Roy Mathew; Nielsen, Steen Lykke

    2013-01-01

    The well-being of a colony and replenishment of the workers depends on a healthy queen. Diseases in queens are seldom reported, and our knowledge on viral infection in queens is limited. In this study, 86 honey bee queens were collected from beekeepers in Denmark. All queens were tested separately by two real-time PCRs: one for the presence of deformed wing virus (DWV), and one that would detect sequences of acute bee-paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus (AKI complex). Worker bees accompanying the queen were also analysed. The queens could be divided into three groups based on the level of infection in their head, thorax, ovary, intestines and spermatheca. Four queens exhibited egg-laying deficiency, but visually all queens appeared healthy. Viral infection was generally at a low level in terms of AKI copy numbers, with 134/430 tissues (31 %) showing the presence of viral infection ranging from 101 to 105 copies. For DWV, 361/340 tissues (84 %) showed presence of viral infection (DWV copies ranging from 102 to 1012), with 50 tissues showing viral titres >107 copies. For both AKI and DWV, the thorax was the most frequently infected tissue and the ovaries were the least frequently infected. Relative to total mass, the spermatheca showed significantly higher DWV titres than the other tissues. The ovaries had the lowest titre of DWV. No significant differences were found among tissues for AKI. A subsample of 14 queens yielded positive results for the presence of negative-sense RNA strands, thus demonstrating active virus replication in all tissues. PMID:23223622

  17. INTERIM PROTOCOL FOR TESTING THE EFFECTS OF MICROBIAL PATHOGENS ON THE HONEY BEE, APIS MELLIFERA L. (HYMENOPTERA:APIDAE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Registration of Microbial Pest Control Agents (MPCAs) under Subsection M of the EPA Pesticide Assessment Guidelines requires that the susceptibility of nontarget species be tested. Honey bees as supplemental pollinators of many entomophilous crop species and as producers of honey...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

  20. Direct effect of acaricides on pathogen loads and gene expression levels in honey bees Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Boncristiani, Humberto; Underwood, Robyn; Schwarz, Ryan; Evans, Jay D; Pettis, Jeffery; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2012-05-01

    The effect of using acaricides to control varroa mites has long been a concern to the beekeeping industry due to unintended negative impacts on honey bee health. Irregular ontogenesis, suppression of immune defenses, and impairment of normal behavior have been linked to pesticide use. External stressors, including parasites and the pathogens they vector, can confound studies on the effects of pesticides on the metabolism of honey bees. This is the case of Varroa destructor, a mite that negatively affects honey bee health on many levels, from direct parasitism, which diminishes honey bee productivity, to vectoring and/or activating other pathogens, including many viruses. Here we present a gene expression profile comprising genes acting on diverse metabolic levels (detoxification, immunity, and development) in a honey bee population that lacks the influence of varroa mites. We present data for hives treated with five different acaricides; Apiguard (thymol), Apistan (tau-fluvalinate), Checkmite (coumaphos), Miteaway (formic acid) and ApiVar (amitraz). The results indicate that thymol, coumaphos and formic acid are able to alter some metabolic responses. These include detoxification gene expression pathways, components of the immune system responsible for cellular response and the c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, and developmental genes. These could potentially interfere with the health of individual honey bees and entire colonies. PMID:22212860

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

    Genetically modified Bt crops are increasingly used worldwide but side effects and especially sublethal effects on beneficial insects remain poorly studied. Honey bees are beneficial insects for natural and cultivated ecosystems through pollination. The goal of the present study was to assess potential effects of two concentrations of Cry1Ab protein (3 and 5000 ppb) on young adult honey bees. Following a complementary bioassay, our experiments evaluated effects of the Cry1Ab on three major life traits of young adult honey bees: (a) survival of honey bees during sub-chronic exposure to Cry1Ab, (b) feeding behaviour, and (c) learning performance at the time that honey bees become foragers. The latter effect was tested using the proboscis extension reflex (PER) procedure. The same effects were also tested using a chemical pesticide, imidacloprid, as positive reference. The tested concentrations of Cry1Ab protein did not cause lethal effects on honey bees. However, honey bee feeding behaviour was affected when exposed to the highest concentration of Cry1Ab protein, with honey bees taking longer to imbibe the contaminated syrup. Moreover, honey bees exposed to 5000 ppb of Cry1Ab had disturbed learning performances. Honey bees continued to respond to a conditioned odour even in the absence of a food reward. Our results show that transgenic crops expressing Cry1Ab protein at 5000 ppb may affect food consumption or learning processes and thereby may impact honey bee foraging efficiency. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of risks of transgenic Bt crops for honey bees. PMID:18206234

  2. Efficiency of QuEChERS approach for determining 52 pesticide residues in honey and honey bees.

    PubMed

    Calatayud-Vernich, Pau; Calatayud, Fernando; Simó, Enrique; Picó, Yolanda

    2016-01-01

    A comparison between QuEChERS and other pesticide extraction procedures for honey and honey bee matrices is discussed. Honey bee matrix was extracted by solvent based procedure whereas solid phase extraction was the protocol for the honey matrix. The citrate buffered QuEChERS method was used for both matrices. The methods were evaluated regarding cost (equipment and reagents), time, accuracy, precision, sensitivity and versatility. The results proved that the QuEChERS protocol was the most efficient method for the extraction of the selected pesticides in both matrices. •QuEChERS is the most economical and less time-consuming procedure.•SPE and solvent-based extraction procedures show equivalent recoveries to QuEChERS.•QuEChERS can be used to extract pesticide residues from both matrices. PMID:27331025

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

    PubMed

    Krupke, Christian H; Hunt, Greg J; Eitzer, Brian D; Andino, Gladys; Given, Krispn

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Acceptance of mated Queens and Queen Cells in Colonies of Russian and Italian Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Requeening colonies is a standard beekeeping practice with both mated queens and queen cells. More beekeepers are requeening with Russian honey bees queens because of their significantly higher resistance to varroa and tracheal mites, their good honey production and their overwintering abilities. ...

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

    PubMed Central

    Mogren, Christina L.; Lundgren, Jonathan G.

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic. PMID:27412495

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

    PubMed

    Mogren, Christina L; Lundgren, Jonathan G

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic. PMID:27412495

  7. Earth sheltered bee wintering and solar honey house. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    The construction and operation of an indoor wintering facility and a passive solar honey house are discussed. Goals for the project included both energy savings and financial savings for the beekeeping industry. The underground winter shelter provided a control temperature of approximately 46/sup 0/F in order to decrease both mortality rates and honey consumption rates of the bees. Three hundred square feet of glazing combined with wall insulation maintained comfortable work space temperatures for the ground level storage of honey. (BCS)

  8. An Algorithmic Analysis of the Honey-Bee Game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleischer, Rudolf; Woeginger, Gerhard J.

    The Honey-Bee game is a two-player board game that is played on a connected hexagonal colored grid, or in a generalized setting, on a connected graph with colored nodes. In a single move, a player calls a color and thereby conquers all nodes of that color that are adjacent to his own territory. Both players want to conquer the majority of the nodes. We show that winning the game is PSPACE-hard in general, NP-hard on series-parallel graphs, but easy on outerplanar graphs. The solitaire version, where the goal is to conquer the entire graph with a minimum number of moves, is NP-hard on trees and split graphs, but can be solved in polynomial time on co-comparability graphs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Most pollination in large-scale agriculture is dependent on managed colonies of a single species, the honey bee Apis mellifera. More than 1 million hives are transported to California each year just to pollinate the almonds, and bees are trucked across the country for various cropping systems. Concerns have been raised about whether such "migratory management" causes bees undue stress; however to date there have been no longer-term studies rigorously addressing whether migratory management is detrimental to bee health. To address this issue, we conducted field experiments comparing bees from commercial and experimental migratory beekeeping operations to those from stationary colonies to quantify effects on lifespan, colony health and productivity, and levels of oxidative damage for individual bees. We detected a significant decrease in lifespan of migratory adult bees relative to stationary bees. We also found that migration affected oxidative stress levels in honey bees, but that food scarcity had an even larger impact; some detrimental effects of migration may be alleviated by a greater abundance of forage. In addition, rearing conditions affect levels of oxidative damage incurred as adults. This is the first comprehensive study on impacts of migratory management on the health and oxidative stress of honey bees. PMID:27554200

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Most pollination in large-scale agriculture is dependent on managed colonies of a single species, the honey bee Apis mellifera. More than 1 million hives are transported to California each year just to pollinate the almonds, and bees are trucked across the country for various cropping systems. Concerns have been raised about whether such “migratory management” causes bees undue stress; however to date there have been no longer-term studies rigorously addressing whether migratory management is detrimental to bee health. To address this issue, we conducted field experiments comparing bees from commercial and experimental migratory beekeeping operations to those from stationary colonies to quantify effects on lifespan, colony health and productivity, and levels of oxidative damage for individual bees. We detected a significant decrease in lifespan of migratory adult bees relative to stationary bees. We also found that migration affected oxidative stress levels in honey bees, but that food scarcity had an even larger impact; some detrimental effects of migration may be alleviated by a greater abundance of forage. In addition, rearing conditions affect levels of oxidative damage incurred as adults. This is the first comprehensive study on impacts of migratory management on the health and oxidative stress of honey bees. PMID:27554200

  11. Effects of high-voltage transmission lines on honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Greenberg, B.; Bindokas, V.P.

    1981-04-01

    Data are reported on the effect of hive height and current distribution on honey bees hived under a 765 kV line (E-field ca. 7 kV/m). Hive height was standardized with adjustable collectors to 1 meter (59 ..mu..A total hive current) or 1.5 meter (85 ..mu..A) equivalents; controls were shielded. A 1.5 meter group with completely painted supers was included. After 8 or 16 weeks of exposure there was no effect on honey moisture content or weight of young workers in any group. Worker capped brood was not affected in 1 m hives but declined significantly in 1.5 m hives after 4 weeks of exposure and this was associated with queen loss, abnormal queen cell production, and colony failure. Weight gain was depressed in all hives after 2 weeks of exposure and was dose related, with the taller hives more severely affected. Only the exposed hives propolized entrances but the amount and time of onset were not dose related. The 1.5 m hives with painted interiors behaved like the 1 m hives with unpainted interiors in all respects, although their total hive current approximated the other group of 1.5 m hives. Reversal of treatments at midseason resulted in reversal of colony behavior, manifested most clearly with respect to hive weight, less with respect to brood. When first exposed, colonies exhibit pronounced but transient elevations in hive temperature. Bio-effects were more severe during the first period when hives had fewer bees. Total hive current was greater in wet than in dry periods. All these factors influence observed bioeffects.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-15

    The ectoparasitic Varroa destructor mite is a major contributor to the ongoing honey bee health crisis. Varroa interacts with honey bee viruses, exacerbating their pathogenicity. In addition to vectoring viruses, immunosuppression of the developing honey bee hosts by Varroa has been proposed to explain the synergy between viruses and mites. However, the evidence for honey bee immune suppression by V. destructor is contentious. We systematically studied the quantitative effects of experimentally introduced V. destructor mites on immune gene expression at five specific time points during the development of the honey bee hosts. Mites reproduced normally and were associated with increased titers of deformed wing virus in the developing bees. Our data on different immune genes show little evidence for immunosuppression of honey bees by V. destructor. Experimental wounding of developing bees increases relative immune gene expression and deformed wing virus titers. Combined, these results suggest that mite feeding activity itself and not immunosuppression may contribute to the synergy between viruses and mites. However, our results also suggest that increased expression of honey bee immune genes decreases mite reproductive success, which may be explored to enhance mite control strategies. Finally, our expression data for multiple immune genes across developmental time and different experimental treatments indicates co-regulation of several of these genes and thus improves our understanding of the understudied honey bee immune system. PMID:24829325

  13. Determination of neonicotinoid insecticides and their metabolites in honey bee and honey by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Gbylik-Sikorska, Malgorzata; Sniegocki, Tomasz; Posyniak, Andrzej

    2015-05-15

    The original analytical method for the simultaneous determination and confirmation of neonicotinoids insecticides (imidacloprid, clothianidin, acetamiprid, thiametoxam, thiacloprid, nitenpyram, dinotefuran) and some of their metabolites (imidacloprid guanidine, imidacloprid olefin, imidacloprid urea, desnitro-imidacloprid hydrochloride, thiacloprid-amid and acetamiprid-N-desmethyl) in honey bee and honey was developed. Preparation of honey bee samples involves the extraction with mixture of acetonitrile and ethyl acetate followed by cleaned up using the Sep-Pak Alumina N Plus Long cartridges. Honey samples were dissolved in 1% mixture of acetonitrile and ethyl acetate with addition of TEA, then extracts were cleaned up with Strata X-CW cartridges. The identity of analytes was confirmed using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. All compounds were separated on a Luna C18 column with gradient elution. The whole procedure was validated according to the requirements of SANCO 12571/2013. The average recoveries of the analytes ranged from 85.3% to 112.0%, repeatabilities were in the range of 2.8-11.2%, within-laboratory reproducibility was in the range of 3.3-14.6%, the limits of quantitation were in the range of 0.1-0.5μgkg(-1), depending of analyte and matrices. The validated method was successfully applied for the determination of clothianidin, imidacloprid and imidacloprid urea in real incurred honey bee samples and clothianidin in honey. PMID:25864015

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. Effects of brood type on Varroa-sensitive hygiene (VSH) by worker honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees have been selectively bred for varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH), which is the removal of pupae that are infested by Varroa destructor from capped brood cells. This hygienic behavior is a complex interaction of bees and brood in which brood cells are inspected, and then brood is either remo...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Infectivity and virulence of Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis in commercially available North American honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nosema ceranae infection is ubiquitous in western honey bees, Apis mellifera. In the US, displacement of N. apis in bee colonies suggests that N. ceranae has competitive advantages. Our study, however, showed that N. ceranae was significantly less infective and less virulent than N. apis in commerc...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Patriline variation of Nosema ceranae levels in Russian and Italian honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The microsporidian Nosema ceranae has invaded managed honey bee colonies throughout the world. While the presence of N. ceranae is common, infection levels are highly variable, even among bees within a single colony. The underlying mechanisms driving this variation are not well-understood. The high ...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. How hives collapse: Allee effects, ecological resilience, and the honey bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We construct a mathematical model to quantify the loss of resilience in collapsing honey bee colonies due to the presence of a strong Allee effect. In the model, recruitment and mortality of adult bees have substantial social components, with recruitment enhanced and mortality reduced by additional ...

  3. Age and reproductive status of adult Varroa mites affect grooming success of honey bees.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study evaluated for the first time the grooming response of honey bees to different ages and reproductive statuses of varroa mites in the laboratory. Plastic cages containing a section of dark comb and about 200 bees were inoculated with groups of four different classes of mites: gravid, phoret...

  4. Molecular genetic analysis of tracheal mite resistance of colonies and individual honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee resistance to the potentially damaging parasitic tracheal mite is known to be mediated by autogrooming. During autogrooming bees use their midlegs to remove migrating foundress mites, thereby reducing infestation rates in their trachea. We investigated the relationship between markers iden...

  5. Preliminary assessment of genetic diversity of Italian honey bees in the USA and Italy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining numbers of breeder queens and the concomitant loss of genetic diversity potentially could result in inbreeding and increased susceptibility to pests and disease in honey bees. Genetic diversity of commercial Italian bee colonies in the United States and Italy was assessed using microsatell...

  6. Comparative reproduction of Varroa destructor in different types of Russian and Italian honey bee combs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We studied whether or not older comb supported less varroa reproduction in both Russian and Italian honey bees, whether Russian bees produced comb which inhibited varroa reproduction and whether comb foundation contained enough acaricides to influence varroa reproduction. The major differences foun...

  7. Lessons learned by the Managed Pollinator CAP: The impact of Varroa parasitism on honey bee health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several years of work consolidated under the Cooperative Agricultural Project (CAP) has allowed a multi-institutional group of scientists to address complex questions related to the decline of honey bee populations. The group implemented a coordinated multi-state approach to improve bee management...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), honey bee colonies inexplicably lose all of their workers. CCD has resulted in a loss of 50-90% of colonies in beekeeping operations across the United States. The observation that irradiated combs from affected colonies can be repopulated with naïve bees suggests a...

  10. Collection of volatiles from honey bee larvae and adults enclosed on brood frames

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many key interactions of honey bees are mediated by volatile compounds released by bees or their hive environment. To better understand these interactions, researchers require accurate techniques for the quantification of volatiles from the native comb environment. We describe a system for the in ...

  11. 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 ...

  12. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS ON SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE AND CATALASE ACTIVITY AND EXPRESSION IN HONEY BEE.

    PubMed

    Nikolić, Tatjana V; Purać, Jelena; Orčić, Snežana; Kojić, Danijela; Vujanović, Dragana; Stanimirović, Zoran; Gržetić, Ivan; Ilijević, Konstantin; Šikoparija, Branko; Blagojević, Duško P

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the cellular stress response in honey bees will significantly contribute to their conservation. The aim of this study was to analyze the response of the antioxidative enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase in honey bees related to the presence of toxic metals in different habitats. Three locations were selected: (i) Tunovo on the mountain Golija, as control area, without industry and large human impact, (ii) Belgrade as urban area, and (iii) Zajača, as mining and industrial zone. Our results showed that the concentrations of lead (Pb) in whole body of bees vary according to habitat, but there was very significant increase of Pb in bees from investigated industrial area. Bees from urban and industrial area had increased expression of both Sod1 and Cat genes, suggesting adaptation to increased oxidative stress. However, in spite increased gene expression, the enzyme activity of catalase was lower in bees from industrial area suggesting inhibitory effect of Pb on catalase. PMID:26314562

  13. The growing prevalence of Nosema ceranae in honey bees in Spain, an emerging problem for the last decade.

    PubMed

    Botías, Cristina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; González-Porto, Amelia; Martínez-Salvador, Amparo; De la Rúa, Pilar; Meana, Aránzazu; Higes, Mariano

    2012-08-01

    Microsporidiosis caused by infection with Nosema apis or Nosema ceranae has become one of the most widespread diseases of honey bees and can cause important economic losses for beekeepers. Honey can be contaminated by spores of both species and it has been reported as a suitable matrix to study the field prevalence of other honey bee sporulated pathogens. Historical honey sample collections from the CAR laboratory (Centro Apícola Regional) were analyzed by PCR to identify the earliest instance of emergence, and to determine whether the presence of Nosema spp. in honey was linked to the spread of these microsporidia in honey bee apiaries. A total of 240 frozen honey samples were analyzed by PCR and the results compared with rates of Nosema spp. infection in worker bee samples from different years and geographical areas. The presence of Nosema spp. in hive-stored honey from naturally infected honey bee colonies (from an experimental apiary) was also monitored, and although collected honey bees resulted in a more suitable sample to study the presence of microsporidian parasites in the colonies, a high probability of finding Nosema spp. in their hive-stored honey was observed. The first honey sample in which N. ceranae was detected dates back to the year 2000. In subsequent years, the number of samples containing N. ceranae tended to increase, as did the detection of Nosema spp. in adult worker bees. The presence of N. ceranae as early as 2000, long before generalized bee depopulation and colony losses in 2004 may be consistent with a long incubation period for nosemosis type C or related with other unknown factors. The current prevalence of nosemosis, primarily due to N. ceranae, has reached epidemic levels in Spain as confirmed by the analysis of worker honey bees and commercial honey. PMID:21906767

  14. Effects of pollen dilution on infection of Nosema ceranae in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Jack, Cameron J; Uppala, Sai Sree; Lucas, Hannah M; Sagili, Ramesh R

    2016-04-01

    Multiple stressors are currently threatening honey bee health, including pests and pathogens. Among honey bee pathogens, Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian found parasitizing the western honey bee (Apis mellifera) relatively recently. Honey bee colonies are fed pollen or protein substitute during pollen dearth to boost colony growth and immunity against pests and pathogens. Here we hypothesize that N. ceranae intensity and prevalence will be low in bees receiving high pollen diets, and that honey bees on high pollen diets will have higher survival and/or increased longevity. To test this hypothesis we examined the effects of different quantities of pollen on (a) the intensity and prevalence of N. ceranae and (b) longevity and nutritional physiology of bees inoculated with N. ceranae. Significantly higher spore intensities were observed in treatments that received higher pollen quantities (1:0 and 1:1 pollen:cellulose) when compared to treatments that received relatively lower pollen quantities. There were no significant differences in N. ceranae prevalence among different pollen diet treatments. Interestingly, the bees in higher pollen quantity treatments also had significantly higher survival despite higher intensities of N. ceranae. Significantly higher hypopharyngeal gland protein was observed in the control (no Nosema infection, and receiving a diet of 1:0 pollen:cellulose), followed by 1:0 pollen:cellulose treatment that was inoculated with N. ceranae. Here we demonstrate that diet with higher pollen quantity increases N. ceranae intensity, but also enhances the survival or longevity of honey bees. The information from this study could potentially help beekeepers formulate appropriate protein feeding regimens for their colonies to mitigate N. ceranae problems. PMID:26802559

  15. Unequal subfamily proportions among honey bee queen and worker brood

    PubMed

    Tilley; Oldroyd

    1997-12-01

    Queens from three colonies of feral honey bees, Apis mellifera were removed and placed in separate nucleus colonies. For each colony, eggs and larvae were taken from the nucleus and placed in the main hive on each of 3-4 consecutive weeks. Workers in the queenless parts selected young larvae to rear as queens. Queen pupae, together with the surrounding worker pupae, were removed from each colony and analysed at two to three microsatellite loci to determine their paternity. In all three colonies, the paternity of larvae chosen by the bees to rear as queens was not a random sample of the paternities in the worker brood, with certain subfamilies being over-represented in queens. These results support an important prediction of kin selection theory: when colonies are queenless, unequal relatedness within colonies could lead to the evolution of reproductive competition, that is some subfamilies achieving greater reproductive success than others. The mechanism by which such dominance is achieved could be through a system of kin recognition and nepotism, but we conclude that genetically based differential attractiveness of larvae for rearing as queens is more likely.Copyright 1997 The Association for the Study of Animal BehaviourCopyright 1997The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:9521799

  16. Bees, honey and pollen as sentinels for lead environmental contamination.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Olivier; Piroux, Mélanie; Puyo, Sophie; Thorin, Chantal; Larhantec, Michaëlle; Delbac, Frédéric; Pouliquen, Hervé

    2012-11-01

    Three beehive matrices, sampled in eighteen apiaries from West France, were analysed for the presence of lead (Pb). Samples were collected during four different periods in both 2008 and 2009. Honey was the matrix the least contaminated by Pb (min = 0.004 μg g(-1); max = 0.378 μg g(-1); mean = 0.047 μg g(-1); sd = 0.057). The contamination of bees (min = 0.001 μg g(-1); max = 1.869 μg g(-1); mean = 0.223 μg g(-1); sd = 0.217) and pollen (min = 0.004 μg g(-1); max = 0.798 μg g(-1); mean = 0.240 μg g(-1); sd = 0.200) showed similar levels and temporal variations but bees seemed to be more sensitive bringing out the peaks of Pb contamination. Apiaries in urban and hedgerow landscapes appeared more contaminated than apiaries in cultivated and island landscapes. Sampling period had a significant effect on Pb contamination with higher Pb concentrations determined in dry seasons. PMID:22842054

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Multiple stressors, such as chemicals and pathogens, are likely to be detrimental for the health and lifespan of Apis mellifera, a bee species frequently exposed to both factors in the field and inside hives. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate comparatively the health of Carniolan and Africanized honey bees (AHB) co-exposed to thiamethoxam and Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae) spores. Newly-emerged worker honey bees were exposed solely with different sublethal doses of thiamethoxam (2% and 0.2% of LD50 for AHB), which could be consumed by bees under field conditions. Toxicity tests for the Carniolan bees were performed, and the LD50 of thiamethoxam for Carniolan honey bees was 7.86 ng bee(-1). Immunohistological analyses were also performed to detect cell death in the midgut of thiamethoxam and/or N. ceranae treated bees. Thiamethoxam exposure had no negative impact on Nosema development in experimental conditions, but it clearly inhibited cell death in the midgut of thiamethoxam and Nosema-exposed bees, as demonstrated by immunohistochemical data. Indeed, thiamethoxam exposure only had a minor synergistic toxic effect on midgut tissue when applied as a low dose simultaneously with N. ceranae to AHB and Carniolan honey bees, in comparison with the effect caused by both stressors separately. Our data provides insights into the effects of the neonicotenoid thiamethoxam on the AHB and Carniolan honey bee life span, as well as the effects of simultaneous application of thiamethoxam and N. ceranae spores to honey bees. PMID:26774296

  19. 5-HMF and carbohydrates content in stingless bee honey by CE before and after thermal treatment.

    PubMed

    Biluca, Fabíola C; Della Betta, Fabiana; de Oliveira, Gabriela Pirassol; Pereira, Lais Morilla; Gonzaga, Luciano Valdemiro; Costa, Ana Carolina Oliveira; Fett, Roseane

    2014-09-15

    This study aimed to assess 5-hydroximethylfurfural and carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, and sucrose) in 13 stingless bee honey samples before and after thermal treatment using a capillary electrophoresis method. The methods were validated for the parameters of linearity, matrix effects, precision, and accuracy. A factorial design was implemented to determine optimal thermal treatment conditions and then verify the postprocedural 5-HMF formation, but once 5-HMF were honey presented higher 5-HMF content than stingless bee honey. Results suggest that a high temperature related to briefer thermal treatment could be an efficient way to extend shelf life without affecting 5-HMF content in stingless bee honey. PMID:24767051

  20. Genetics, Synergists, and Age Affect Insecticide Sensitivity of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Rinkevich, Frank D; Margotta, Joseph W; Pittman, Jean M; Danka, Robert G; Tarver, Matthew R; Ottea, James A; Healy, Kristen B

    2015-01-01

    The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While much research has been conducted on insecticides and bees, there have been very limited studies to elucidate the role that bee genotype and age has on the toxicity of these insecticides. The goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in insecticide sensitivity between honey bees of different genetic backgrounds (Carniolan, Italian, and Russian stocks) and assess if insecticide sensitivity varies with age. We found that Italian bees were the most sensitive of these stocks to insecticides, but variation was largely dependent on the class of insecticide tested. There were almost no differences in organophosphate bioassays between honey bee stocks (<1-fold), moderate differences in pyrethroid bioassays (1.5 to 3-fold), and dramatic differences in neonicotinoid bioassays (3.4 to 33.3-fold). Synergism bioassays with piperonyl butoxide, amitraz, and coumaphos showed increased phenothrin sensitivity in all stocks and also demonstrated further physiological differences between stocks. In addition, as bees aged, the sensitivity to phenothrin significantly decreased, but the sensitivity to naled significantly increased. These results demonstrate the variation arising from the genetic background and physiological transitions in honey bees as they age. This information can be used to determine risk assessment, as well as establishing baseline data for future comparisons to explain the variation in toxicity differences for honey bees reported in the literature. PMID

  1. Genetics, Synergists, and Age Affect Insecticide Sensitivity of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Rinkevich, Frank D.; Margotta, Joseph W.; Pittman, Jean M.; Danka, Robert G.; Tarver, Matthew R.; Ottea, James A.; Healy, Kristen B.

    2015-01-01

    The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While much research has been conducted on insecticides and bees, there have been very limited studies to elucidate the role that bee genotype and age has on the toxicity of these insecticides. The goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in insecticide sensitivity between honey bees of different genetic backgrounds (Carniolan, Italian, and Russian stocks) and assess if insecticide sensitivity varies with age. We found that Italian bees were the most sensitive of these stocks to insecticides, but variation was largely dependent on the class of insecticide tested. There were almost no differences in organophosphate bioassays between honey bee stocks (<1-fold), moderate differences in pyrethroid bioassays (1.5 to 3-fold), and dramatic differences in neonicotinoid bioassays (3.4 to 33.3-fold). Synergism bioassays with piperonyl butoxide, amitraz, and coumaphos showed increased phenothrin sensitivity in all stocks and also demonstrated further physiological differences between stocks. In addition, as bees aged, the sensitivity to phenothrin significantly decreased, but the sensitivity to naled significantly increased. These results demonstrate the variation arising from the genetic background and physiological transitions in honey bees as they age. This information can be used to determine risk assessment, as well as establishing baseline data for future comparisons to explain the variation in toxicity differences for honey bees reported in the literature. PMID

  2. Regulation of behaviorally associated gene networks in worker honey bee ovaries.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Kocher, Sarah D; Linksvayer, Timothy A; Grozinger, Christina M; Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V

    2012-01-01

    Several lines of evidence support genetic links between ovary size and division of labor in worker honey bees. However, it is largely unknown how ovaries influence behavior. To address this question, we first performed transcriptional profiling on worker ovaries from two genotypes that differ in social behavior and ovary size. Then, we contrasted the differentially expressed ovarian genes with six sets of available brain transcriptomes. Finally, we probed behavior-related candidate gene networks in wild-type ovaries of different sizes. We found differential expression in 2151 ovarian transcripts in these artificially selected honey bee strains, corresponding to approximately 20.3% of the predicted gene set of honey bees. Differences in gene expression overlapped significantly with changes in the brain transcriptomes. Differentially expressed genes were associated with neural signal transmission (tyramine receptor, TYR) and ecdysteroid signaling; two independently tested nuclear hormone receptors (HR46 and ftz-f1) were also significantly correlated with ovary size in wild-type bees. We suggest that the correspondence between ovary and brain transcriptomes identified here indicates systemic regulatory networks among hormones (juvenile hormone and ecdysteroids), pheromones (queen mandibular pheromone), reproductive organs and nervous tissues in worker honey bees. Furthermore, robust correlations between ovary size and neuraland endocrine response genes are consistent with the hypothesized roles of the ovaries in honey bee behavioral regulation. PMID:22162860

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

    PubMed

    Suryanarayanan, Sainath

    2013-01-01

    Amidst ongoing declines in honey bee health, the contributory role of the newer systemic insecticides continues to be intensely debated. Scores of toxicological field experiments, which bee scientists and regulators in the United States have looked to for definitive causal evidence, indicate a lack of support. This paper analyzes the methodological norms that shape the design and interpretation of field toxicological studies. I argue that contemporary field studies of honey bees and pesticides are underpinned by a "control-oriented" approach, which precludes a serious investigation of the indirect and multifactorial ways in which pesticides could drive declines in honey bee health. I trace the historical rise to prominence of this approach in honey bee toxicology to the development of entomology as a science of insecticide development in the United States. Drawing on "complexity-oriented" knowledge practices in ecology, epidemiology, beekeeping and sociology, I suggest an alternative socio-ecological systems approach, which would entail in situ studies that are less concerned with isolating individual factors and more attentive to the interactive and place-based mix of factors affecting honey bee health. PMID:26466800

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

    PubMed Central

    Suryanarayanan, Sainath

    2013-01-01

    Amidst ongoing declines in honey bee health, the contributory role of the newer systemic insecticides continues to be intensely debated. Scores of toxicological field experiments, which bee scientists and regulators in the United States have looked to for definitive causal evidence, indicate a lack of support. This paper analyzes the methodological norms that shape the design and interpretation of field toxicological studies. I argue that contemporary field studies of honey bees and pesticides are underpinned by a “control-oriented” approach, which precludes a serious investigation of the indirect and multifactorial ways in which pesticides could drive declines in honey bee health. I trace the historical rise to prominence of this approach in honey bee toxicology to the development of entomology as a science of insecticide development in the United States. Drawing on “complexity-oriented” knowledge practices in ecology, epidemiology, beekeeping and sociology, I suggest an alternative socio-ecological systems approach, which would entail in situ studies that are less concerned with isolating individual factors and more attentive to the interactive and place-based mix of factors affecting honey bee health. PMID:26466800

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Patrick; Grozinger, Christina M.

    2008-08-01

    Most animals can modulate nutrient storage pathways according to changing environmental conditions, but in honey bees nutrient storage is also modulated according to changing behavioral tasks within a colony. Specifically, bees involved in brood care (nurses) have higher lipid stores in their abdominal fat bodies than forager bees. Pheromone communication plays an important role in regulating honey bee behavior and physiology. In particular, queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) slows the transition from nursing to foraging. We tested the effects of QMP exposure on starvation resistance, lipid storage, and gene expression in the fat bodies of worker bees. We found that indeed QMP-treated bees survived much longer compared to control bees when starved and also had higher lipid levels. Expression of vitellogenin RNA, which encodes a yolk protein that is found at higher levels in nurses than foragers, was also higher in the fat bodies of QMP-treated bees. No differences were observed in expression of genes involved in insulin signaling pathways, which are associated with nutrient storage and metabolism in a variety of species; thus, other mechanisms may be involved in increasing the lipid stores. These studies demonstrate that pheromone exposure can modify nutrient storage pathways and fat body gene expression in honey bees and suggest that chemical communication and social interactions play an important role in altering metabolic pathways.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Electrophoresis characterisation of protein as a method to establish the entomological origin of stingless bee honeys.

    PubMed

    Ramón-Sierra, Jesús Manuel; Ruiz-Ruiz, Jorge Carlos; de la Luz Ortiz-Vázquez, Elizabeth

    2015-09-15

    Increasing production of stingless-bee honey and the prospect of broader marker for natural and organic products indicate the need to establish parameters to determinate the entomological origin and authenticity of honey. In this research, honeys of Apis mellifera, Melipona beecheii and Trigona spp. were collected in Yucatan, Mexico. Stingless-bee honeys contained more water and less total sugars and reducing sugars. SDS-PAGE patterns show distinctive bands for each kind of honey. The SDS-PAGE pattern of A. mellifera proteins honey showed three bands with molecular weights between 10.2 and 74.8kDa, there were five proteins bands in M. beecheii honey with molecular weights between 6.1 and 97.0kDa and nine for Trigona spp. proteins between 9.3 and 86.7kDa. Conventional physicochemical parameters along with electrophoresis profiles of stingless-bee honeys proteins could be an alternative for determination of entomological origin. PMID:25863608

  9. Characterization of gut bacteria at different developmental stages of Asian honey bees, Apis cerana.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jun; Wu, Jie; Chen, Yanping; Evans, Jay D; Dai, Rongguo; Luo, Wenhua; Li, Jilian

    2015-05-01

    Previous surveys have shown that adult workers of the Asian honey bee Apis cerana harbor four major gut microbes (Bifidobacterium, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, and Lactobacillus). Using quantitative PCR we characterized gut bacterial communities across the life cycle of A. cerana from larvae to workers. Our results indicate that the presence and quantity of these four bacteria were low on day 1, increased rapidly after day 5, and then peaked during days 10-20. They stabilized from days 20-25 or days 25-30, then dropped to a low level at day 30. In addition, the larvae infected by Sacbrood virus or European foulbrood had significantly lower copies of 16S rRNA genes than healthy individuals. PMID:25805518

  10. Pollen Contaminated With Field-Relevant Levels of Cyhalothrin Affects Honey Bee Survival, Nutritional Physiology, and Pollen Consumption Behavior.

    PubMed

    Dolezal, Adam G; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W Allen; Bonning, Bryony C; Toth, Amy L

    2016-02-01

    Honey bees are exposed to a variety of environmental factors that impact their health, including nutritional stress, pathogens, and pesticides. In particular, there has been increasing evidence that sublethal exposure to pesticides can cause subtle, yet important effects on honey bee health and behavior. Here, we add to this body of knowledge by presenting data on bee-collected pollen containing sublethal levels of cyhalothrin, a pyrethroid insecticide, which, when fed to young honey bees, resulted in significant changes in lifespan, nutritional physiology,and behavior. For the first time, we show that when young, nest-aged bees are presented with pollen containing field-relevant levels of cyhalothrin, they reduce their consumption of contaminated pollen. This indicates that, at least for some chemicals, young bees are able to detect contamination in pollen and change their behavioral response, even if the contamination levels do not prevent foraging honey bees from collecting the contaminated pollen. PMID:26476556

  11. Operant Conditioning in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.): The Cap Pushing Response.

    PubMed

    Abramson, Charles I; Dinges, Christopher W; Wells, Harrington

    2016-01-01

    The honey bee has been an important model organism for studying learning and memory. More recently, the honey bee has become a valuable model to understand perception and cognition. However, the techniques used to explore psychological phenomena in honey bees have been limited to only a few primary methodologies such as the proboscis extension reflex, sting extension reflex, and free flying target discrimination-tasks. Methods to explore operant conditioning in bees and other invertebrates are not as varied as with vertebrates. This may be due to the availability of a suitable response requirement. In this manuscript we offer a new method to explore operant conditioning in honey bees: the cap pushing response (CPR). We used the CPR to test for difference in learning curves between novel auto-shaping and more traditional explicit-shaping. The CPR protocol requires bees to exhibit a novel behavior by pushing a cap to uncover a food source. Using the CPR protocol we tested the effects of both explicit-shaping and auto-shaping techniques on operant conditioning. The goodness of fit and lack of fit of these data to the Rescorla-Wagner learning-curve model, widely used in classical conditioning studies, was tested. The model fit well to both control and explicit-shaping results, but only for a limited number of trials. Learning ceased rather than continuing to asymptotically approach the physiological most accurate possible. Rate of learning differed between shaped and control bee treatments. Learning rate was about 3 times faster for shaped bees, but for all measures of proficiency control and shaped bees reached the same level. Auto-shaped bees showed one-trial learning rather than the asymptotic approach to a maximal efficiency. However, in terms of return-time, the auto-shaped bees' learning did not carry over to the covered-well test treatments. PMID:27626797

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Exposure scheme separates effects of electric shock and electric field for honey bees, Apis mellifera L

    SciTech Connect

    Bindokas, V.P.; Gauger, J.R.; Greenberg, B.

    1988-01-01

    Mechanisms to explain disturbance of honey bee colonies under a 765-kV, 60-Hz transmission line (electric (E) field = 7 kV/m) fall into two categories: direct bee perception of enhanced in-hive E fields, and perception of shock from induced currents. The same adverse biological effects previously observed in honey bee colonies exposed under a 765-kV transmission line can be reproduced by exposing worker bees to shock or E field within elongated hive entranceways (= tunnels). Exposure to intense E field caused disturbance only if bees were in contact with a conductive substrate. E-field and shock exposure can be separated and precisely defined within tunnels, eliminating dosimetric vagaries that occur when entire hives are exposed to E field.

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

    PubMed

    Feazel-Orr, Haley K; Catalfamo, Katelyn M; Brewster, Carlyle C; Fell, Richard D; Anderson, Troy D; Traver, Brenna E

    2016-01-01

    Honey bee colony loss continues to be an issue and no factor has been singled out as to the cause. In this study, we sought to determine whether two beekeeper-applied pesticide products, tau-fluvalinate and Fumagilin-B(®), and one agrochemical, chlorothalonil, impact the nutrient levels in honey bee workers in a natural colony environment. Treatments were performed in-hive and at three different periods (fall, spring, and summer) over the course of one year. Bees were sampled both at pre-treatment and two and four weeks post-treatment, weighed, and their protein and carbohydrate levels were determined using BCA and anthrone based biochemical assays, respectively. We report that, based on the pesticide concentrations tested, no significant negative impact of the pesticide products was observed on wet weight, protein levels, or carbohydrate levels of bees from treated colonies compared with bees from untreated control colonies. PMID:26938563

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

    PubMed Central

    Feazel-Orr, Haley K.; Catalfamo, Katelyn M.; Brewster, Carlyle C.; Fell, Richard D.; Anderson, Troy D.; Traver, Brenna E.

    2016-01-01

    Honey bee colony loss continues to be an issue and no factor has been singled out as to the cause. In this study, we sought to determine whether two beekeeper-applied pesticide products, tau-fluvalinate and Fumagilin-B®, and one agrochemical, chlorothalonil, impact the nutrient levels in honey bee workers in a natural colony environment. Treatments were performed in-hive and at three different periods (fall, spring, and summer) over the course of one year. Bees were sampled both at pre-treatment and two and four weeks post-treatment, weighed, and their protein and carbohydrate levels were determined using BCA and anthrone based biochemical assays, respectively. We report that, based on the pesticide concentrations tested, no significant negative impact of the pesticide products was observed on wet weight, protein levels, or carbohydrate levels of bees from treated colonies compared with bees from untreated control colonies. PMID:26938563

  18. How Honey Bee Colonies Survive in the Wild: Testing the Importance of Small Nests and Frequent Swarming.

    PubMed

    Loftus, J Carter; Smith, Michael L; Seeley, Thomas D

    2016-01-01

    The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, and the viruses that it transmits, kill the colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera) kept by beekeepers unless the bees are treated with miticides. Nevertheless, there exist populations of wild colonies of European honey bees that are persisting without being treated with miticides. We hypothesized that the persistence of these wild colonies is due in part to their habits of nesting in small cavities and swarming frequently. We tested this hypothesis by establishing two groups of colonies living either in small hives (42 L) without swarm-control treatments or in large hives (up to 168 L) with swarm-control treatments. We followed the colonies for two years and compared the two groups with respect to swarming frequency, Varroa infesttion rate, disease incidence, and colony survival. Colonies in small hives swarmed more often, had lower Varroa infestation rates, had less disease, and had higher survival compared to colonies in large hives. These results indicate that the smaller nest cavities and more frequent swarming of wild colonies contribute to their persistence without mite treatments. PMID:26968000

  19. How Honey Bee Colonies Survive in the Wild: Testing the Importance of Small Nests and Frequent Swarming

    PubMed Central

    Loftus, J. Carter; Smith, Michael L.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2016-01-01

    The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, and the viruses that it transmits, kill the colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera) kept by beekeepers unless the bees are treated with miticides. Nevertheless, there exist populations of wild colonies of European honey bees that are persisting without being treated with miticides. We hypothesized that the persistence of these wild colonies is due in part to their habits of nesting in small cavities and swarming frequently. We tested this hypothesis by establishing two groups of colonies living either in small hives (42 L) without swarm-control treatments or in large hives (up to 168 L) with swarm-control treatments. We followed the colonies for two years and compared the two groups with respect to swarming frequency, Varroa infesttion rate, disease incidence, and colony survival. Colonies in small hives swarmed more often, had lower Varroa infestation rates, had less disease, and had higher survival compared to colonies in large hives. These results indicate that the smaller nest cavities and more frequent swarming of wild colonies contribute to their persistence without mite treatments. PMID:26968000

  20. Honey bee stock genotypes do not affect the level of physiological responses to chalkbrood fungus, Ascosphaera apis.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Breeding honey bees (Apis mellifera) for physiological resistance to diseases is a highly desirable and environmentally safe approach to increasing colony survival. Selection of desirable traits is a critical element of any breeding program. In this study we investigate whether honey bee stocks dif...

  1. The Effects of Hive Size, Feeding, and Nosema ceranae on the Size of Winter Clusters of Russian Honey Bee Colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    USDA-ARS Russian honey bees are naturally inclined to produce smaller colonies during winter than Italian honey bees. Consequently, fewer of them are likely to meet the size standards necessary for almond pollination in February. Management procedures may result in more Russian colonies grading well...

  2. Formation of Hydroxymethylfurfural in Domestic High Fructose Corn Syrup and Its Toxicity to the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the U.S. high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has become a sucrose replacement for honey bees and has widespread use as a sweetener in many processed foods and beverages for human consumption. It is utilized by commercial beekeepers as a food for honey bees for several reasons: to promote brood produ...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. Israeli acute paralysis virus: epidemiology, pathogenesis and implications for honey bee health and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a widespread RNA virus that was linked with honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the sudden and massive die-off of honey bee colonies in the U.S. in 2006-2007. Here we describe the transmission, prevalence and genetic diversity of IAPV, host transcripti...

  5. Crop pollination exposes honey bees to pesticides which alters their susceptibility to the gut pathogen Nosema ceranae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent declines in honey bee populations and increasing demand for insect-pollinated crops raise concerns about pollinator shortages. Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large number...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Cisplatin is one of the most potent and effective chemotherapeutic agents. However, its antineoplastic use is limited due to its cumulative nephrotoxic side effects. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to examine the nephroprotective potential of dietary bee honey and royal jelly against subchronic cisplatin toxicity in rats. Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into controls, cisplatin-treated, bee honey-pretreated cisplatin-treated and royal jelly-pretreated cisplatin-treated groups. Bee honey and royal jelly were given orally at doses of 20 and 100 mg/kg, respectively. Subchronic toxicity was induced by cisplatin (1 mg/kg bw, ip), twice weekly for 10 weeks. Cisplatin treated animals revealed a significant increase in serum level of renal injury products (urea, creatinine and uric acid). Histopathologically, cisplatin produced pronounced tubulointerstitial injuries, upregulated the fibrogenic factors, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and transforming growth factor β1(TGF-β1), and downregulated the cell proliferation marker, bromodeoxyuridine (Brdu). Dietary bee honey and royal jelly normalized the elevated serum renal injury product biomarkers, improved the histopathologic changes, reduced the expression of α-SMA and TGF-β1 and increased the expression of Brdu. Therefore, it could be concluded that bee honey, and royal jelly could be used as dietary preventive natural products against subchronic cisplatin-induced renal injury. PMID:25720368

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Tritium concentrations in bees and honey at Los Alamos National Laboratory: 1979-1996

    SciTech Connect

    Fresquez, P.R.; Armstrong, D.R.; Pratt, L.H.

    1997-01-01

    Honeybees are effective monitors of environmental pollution. The objective of this study was to summarize tritium ({sup 3}H) concentrations in bees and honey collected from within and around Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) over an 18-year period. Based on the long-term average, bees from nine out of eleven hives and honey from six out of eleven hives on LANL lands contained {sup 3}H that was significantly higher (p <0.05) than background. The highest average concentration of {sup 3}H in bees (435 pCi mL{sup -1}) collected over the years was from LANL`s Technical Area (TA) 54-a low-level radioactive waste disposal site (Area G). Similarly, the highest average concentration of {sup 3}H in honey (709 pCi mL{sup - 1}) was collected from a hive located near three {sup 3}H storage ponds at LANL TA-53. The average concentrations of {sup 3}H in bees and honey from background hives was 1.0 pCi mL{sup -1} and 1.5 pCi ML{sup -1}, respectively. Although the concentrations of 3H in bees and honey from most LANL and perimeter (White Rock/Pajarito Acres) areas were significantly higher than background, most areas, with the exception of TA-53 and TA-54, generally exhibited decreasing 3H concentrations over time.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Influence of pesticide residues on honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colony health in France.

    PubMed

    Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Carpentier, Patrice; Martel, Anne-Claire; Bougeard, Stéphanie; Cougoule, Nicolas; Porta, Philippe; Lachaize, Julie; Madec, François; Aubert, Michel; Faucon, Jean-Paul

    2009-06-01

    A 3-yr field survey was carried out in France, from 2002 to 2005, to study honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colony health in relation to pesticide residues found in the colonies. This study was motivated by recent massive losses of honey bee colonies, and our objective was to examine the possible relationship between low levels of pesticide residues in apicultural matrices (honey, pollen collected by honey bees, beeswax) and colony health as measured by colony mortality and adult and brood population abundance. When all apicultural matrices were pooled together, the number of pesticide residue detected per sampling period (four sampling periods per year) and per apiary ranged from 0 to 9, with the most frequent being two (29.6%). No pesticide residues were detected during 12.7% of the sampling periods. Residues of imidacloprid and 6- chloronicotinic acid were the most frequently detected in pollen loads, honey, and honey bee matrices. Several pairs of active ingredients were present concurrently within honey bees and in pollen loads but not in beeswax and honey samples. No statistical relationship was found between colony mortality and pesticide residues. When pesticide residues from all matrices were pooled together, a mixed model analysis did not show a significant relationship between the presence of pesticide residues and the abundance of brood and adults, and no statistical relationship was found between colony mortality and pesticide residues. Thus, although certain pesticide residues were detected in apicultural matrices and occasionally with another pesticide residual, more work is needed to determine the role these residues play in affecting colony health. PMID:19508759

  11. Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Cavaliere, Valeria; Annoscia, Desiderato; Varricchio, Paola; Caprio, Emilio; Nazzi, Francesco; Gargiulo, Giuseppe; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2013-11-12

    Large-scale losses of honey bee colonies represent a poorly understood problem of global importance. Both biotic and abiotic factors are involved in this phenomenon that is often associated with high loads of parasites and pathogens. A stronger impact of pathogens in honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides has been reported, but the causal link between insecticide exposure and the possible immune alteration of honey bees remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin negatively modulates NF-κB immune signaling in insects and adversely affects honey bee antiviral defenses controlled by this transcription factor. We have identified in insects a negative modulator of NF-κB activation, which is a leucine-rich repeat protein. Exposure to clothianidin, by enhancing the transcription of the gene encoding this inhibitor, reduces immune defenses and promotes the replication of the deformed wing virus in honey bees bearing covert infections. This honey bee immunosuppression is similarly induced by a different neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, but not by the organophosphate chlorpyriphos, which does not affect NF-κB signaling. The occurrence at sublethal doses of this insecticide-induced viral proliferation suggests that the studied neonicotinoids might have a negative effect at the field level. Our experiments uncover a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and set the stage for studies on neural modulation of immunity in animals. Furthermore, this study has implications for the conservation of bees, as it will contribute to the definition of more appropriate guidelines for testing chronic or sublethal effects of pesticides used in agriculture. PMID:24145453

  12. Neonicotinoid-contaminated puddles of water represent a risk of intoxication for honey bees.

    PubMed

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Chagnon, Madeleine; Fournier, Valérie

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, populations of honey bees and other pollinators have been reported to be in decline worldwide. A number of stressors have been identified as potential contributing factors, including the extensive prophylactic use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are highly toxic to bees, in agriculture. While multiple routes of exposure to these systemic insecticides have been documented for honey bees, contamination from puddle water has not been investigated. In this study, we used a multi-residue method based on LC-MS/MS to analyze samples of puddle water taken in the field during the planting of treated corn and one month later. If honey bees were to collect and drink water from these puddles, our results showed that they would be exposed to various agricultural pesticides. All water samples collected from corn fields were contaminated with at least one neonicotinoid compound, although most contained more than one systemic insecticide. Concentrations of neonicotinoids were higher in early spring, indicating that emission and drifting of contaminated dust during sowing raises contamination levels of puddles. Although the overall average acute risk of drinking water from puddles was relatively low, concentrations of neonicotinoids ranged from 0.01 to 63 µg/L and were sufficient to potentially elicit a wide array of sublethal effects in individuals and colony alike. Our results also suggest that risk assessment of honey bee water resources underestimates the foragers' exposure and consequently miscalculates the risk. In fact, our data shows that honey bees and native pollinators are facing unprecedented cumulative exposure to these insecticides from combined residues in pollen, nectar and water. These findings not only document the impact of this route of exposure for honey bees, they also have implications for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops for which the extensive use of neonicotinoids is currently promoted. PMID:25438051

  13. Neonicotinoid-Contaminated Puddles of Water Represent a Risk of Intoxication for Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Chagnon, Madeleine; Fournier, Valérie

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, populations of honey bees and other pollinators have been reported to be in decline worldwide. A number of stressors have been identified as potential contributing factors, including the extensive prophylactic use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are highly toxic to bees, in agriculture. While multiple routes of exposure to these systemic insecticides have been documented for honey bees, contamination from puddle water has not been investigated. In this study, we used a multi-residue method based on LC-MS/MS to analyze samples of puddle water taken in the field during the planting of treated corn and one month later. If honey bees were to collect and drink water from these puddles, our results showed that they would be exposed to various agricultural pesticides. All water samples collected from corn fields were contaminated with at least one neonicotinoid compound, although most contained more than one systemic insecticide. Concentrations of neonicotinoids were higher in early spring, indicating that emission and drifting of contaminated dust during sowing raises contamination levels of puddles. Although the overall average acute risk of drinking water from puddles was relatively low, concentrations of neonicotinoids ranged from 0.01 to 63 µg/L and were sufficient to potentially elicit a wide array of sublethal effects in individuals and colony alike. Our results also suggest that risk assessment of honey bee water resources underestimates the foragers' exposure and consequently miscalculates the risk. In fact, our data shows that honey bees and native pollinators are facing unprecedented cumulative exposure to these insecticides from combined residues in pollen, nectar and water. These findings not only document the impact of this route of exposure for honey bees, they also have implications for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops for which the extensive use of neonicotinoids is currently promoted. PMID:25438051

  14. Nosema ceranae in age cohorts of the western honey bee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Smart, Matthew D; Sheppard, Walter S

    2012-01-01

    Nosemaceranae intensity (mean spores per bee) and prevalence (proportion of bees infected in a sample) were analyzed in honey bees of known ages. Sealed brood combs from five colonies were removed, emerging bees were marked with paint, released back into their colonies of origin, and collected as recently emerged (0-3 days old), as house bees (8-11 days old), and as foragers (22-25 days old). Fifty bees from each of the five colonies were processed individually at each collection date for the intensity and prevalence of N. ceranae infection. Using PCR and specific primers to differentiate Nosema species, N. ceranae was found to be the only species present during the experiment. At each collection age (recent emergence, house, forager) an additional sample from the inner hive cover (background bees=BG) of each colony was collected to compare the N. ceranae results of this sampling method, commonly used for Nosema spore quantification, to the samples comprised of marked bees of known ages. No recently emerged bees exhibited infection with N. ceranae. One house bee out of the 250 individuals analyzed (prevalence=0.4%) tested positive for N. ceranae, at an infection level of 3.35×10(6) spores. Infection levels were not statistically different between the recently emerged (mean=0 spores/bee) and house bees (mean=1.34×10(4) spores/bee) (P=0.99). Foragers exhibited the highest prevalence (8.3%) and infection intensity (mean=2.38×10(6) spores/bee), with a range of 0-8.72×10(7) spores in individual bees. The average infection level across all foragers was significantly higher than that of recently emerged bees (P=0.01) and house bees (P=0.01). Finally, the prevalence of Nosema in infected bees was found to be positively correlated with the infection intensity in the sample. PMID:22001631

  15. Toxicity of cryoprotectants to honey bee semen and queens.

    PubMed

    Wegener, J; Bienefeld, K

    2012-02-01

    Given the threats to the intraspecific biodiversity of Apis mellifera and the pressure on bee breeding to come up with disease-tolerant lines, techniques to cryopreserve drone semen are of great interest. Freeze-thawed drone semen of high viability and/or motility has repeatedly been obtained, but fertility of such semen, when it was measured, was always low. The cryoprotective agent (CPA) most frequently used with drone semen is dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), although this substance has been suspected of causing genetic damage in sperm. No form of sperm washing is currently performed. Using a membrane permeability assay, we measured the short-term toxicity of four possible replacements for DMSO, 1,3-propane diol, 2,3-butane diol, ethylene glycol, and dimethyl formamide. We also tested whether the practice of inseminating queens with CPA-containing semen affects sperm numbers in the storage organs of queens, or sperm fertility. Finally, we tested whether CPA-toxicity in vivo can be reduced by using mixtures of two CPAs, DMSO, and ethylene glycol. Our results show that, although short-term toxicity of all CPAs tested was low, the presence of single CPAs in insemination mixtures at concentrations required for slow freezing greatly reduced the number of sperm reaching the spermatheca. Contrary to earlier reports, this was also true for DMSO. Ethylene glycol was additionally shown to reduce the viability of spermatozoa reaching the storage organ. Mixtures of DMSO and EthGly performed better than either substance used singly at the same concentration. We conclude that the toxicity of CPAs, including DMSO, on honey bee semen and/or queens has been underestimated in the past. This could partly explain the discrepancy between in vitro and in vivo quality of cryopreserved drone semen, described by others. Combinations of several CPAs and techniques to partly remove CPAs after thawing could help to solve this problem. PMID:22115807

  16. Honey Bees Modulate Their Olfactory Learning in the Presence of Hornet Predators and Alarm Component

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhengwei; Qu, Yufeng; Dong, Shihao; Wen, Ping; Li, Jianjun; Tan, Ken; Menzel, Randolf

    2016-01-01

    In Southeast Asia the native honey bee species Apis cerana is often attacked by hornets (Vespa velutina), mainly in the period from April to November. During the co-evolution of these two species honey bees have developed several strategies to defend themselves such as learning the odors of hornets and releasing alarm components to inform other mates. However, so far little is known about whether and how honey bees modulate their olfactory learning in the presence of the hornet predator and alarm components of honey bee itself. In the present study, we test for associative olfactory learning of A. cerana in the presence of predator odors, the alarm pheromone component isopentyl acetate (IPA), or a floral odor (hexanal) as a control. The results show that bees can detect live hornet odors, that there is almost no association between the innately aversive hornet odor and the appetitive stimulus sucrose, and that IPA is less well associated with an appetitive stimulus when compared with a floral odor. In order to imitate natural conditions, e.g. when bees are foraging on flowers and a predator shows up, or alarm pheromone is released by a captured mate, we tested combinations of the hornet odor and floral odor, or IPA and floral odor. Both of these combinations led to reduced learning scores. This study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the prey-predator system between A. cerana and V. velutina. PMID:26919132

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Comparative resistance of Russian and Italian honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) to small hive beetles (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae).

    PubMed

    Frake, Amanda M; De Guzman, Lilia I; Rinderer, Thomas E

    2009-02-01

    To compare resistance to small hive beetles (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) between Russian and commercial Italian honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae), the numbers of invading beetles, their population levels through time and small hive beetle reproduction inside the colonies were monitored. We found that the genotype of queens introduced into nucleus colonies had no immediate effect on small hive beetle invasion. However, the influence of honey bee stock on small hive beetle invasion was pronounced once test bees populated the hives. In colonies deliberately freed from small hive beetle during each observation period, the average number of invading beetles was higher in the Italian colonies (29 +/- 5 beetles) than in the Russian honey bee colonies (16 +/- 3 beetles). A similar trend was observed in colonies that were allowed to be freely colonized by beetles throughout the experimental period (Italian, 11.46 +/- 1.35; Russian, 5.21 +/- 0.66 beetles). A linear regression analysis showed no relationships between the number of beetles in the colonies and adult bee population (r2 = 0.1034, P = 0.297), brood produced (r2 = 0.1488, P = 0.132), or amount of pollen (P = 0.1036, P = 0.295). There were more Italian colonies that supported small hive beetle reproduction than Russian colonies. Regardless of stock, the use of entrance reducers had a significant effect on the average number of small hive beetle (with reducer, 16 +/- 3; without reducer, 27 +/- 5 beetles). However, there was no effect on bee population (with reducer, 13.20 +/- 0.71; without reducer, 14.60 +/- 0.70 frames) or brood production (with reducer, 6.12 +/- 0.30; without reducer, 6.44 +/- 0.34 frames). Overall, Russian honey bees were more resistant to small hive beetle than Italian honey bees as indicated by fewer invading beetles, lower small hive beetle population through time, and lesser reproduction. PMID:19253612

  19. Behavioral response of two species of stingless bees and the honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) to GF-120.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Escobar, Enoc; Liedo, Pablo; Montoya, Pablo; Vandame, Rémy; Sánchez, Daniel

    2014-08-01

    We present the results of evaluating the response of three species of bees, Trigona fulviventris (Guérin), Scaptotrigona mexicana (Guérin-Meneville), and Apis mellifera (L.), to food sources baited with the toxic bait GF-120 (NF Naturalyte), a spinosad-based bait exclusively used to manage fruit flies. Groups of foragers were trained to collect honey and water from a feeder located 50 m from the colonies. Once a sufficient number of foragers were observed at the experimental location, the training feeder was changed to two or three feeders that offered either honey and water, GF-120, Captor (hydrolyzed protein), GF-120 and honey (4:6), or Captor and honey (1:19). T fulviventris and S. mexicana rarely visited GF-120, Captor, or their mixtures with honey, while approximately 28.5 and 1.5% of A. mellifera foragers visited the GF-120 and honey and Captor and honey mixtures, respectively. Our results show that GF-120 clearly repels T. fulviventris and S. mexicana, whereas for A. mellifera, repellence is not as marked when GF-120 is combined with highly nutritious substances like honey. PMID:25195434

  20. Increased Tolerance and Resistance to Virus Infections: A Possible Factor in the Survival of Varroa destructor-Resistant Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Locke, Barbara; Forsgren, Eva; de Miranda, Joachim R.

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has a world-wide distribution and inflicts more damage than all other known apicultural diseases. However, Varroa-induced colony mortality is more accurately a result of secondary virus infections vectored by the mite. This means that honey bee resistance to Varroa may include resistance or tolerance to virus infections. The aim of this study was to see if this is the case for a unique population of mite-resistant (MR) European honey bees on the island of Gotland, Sweden. This population has survived uncontrolled mite infestation for over a decade, developing specific mite-related resistance traits to do so. Using RT-qPCR techniques, we monitored late season virus infections, Varroa mite infestation and honey bee colony population dynamics in the Gotland MR population and compared this to mite-susceptible (MS) colonies in a close by apiary. From summer to autumn the deformed wing virus (DWV) titres increased similarly between the MR and MS populations, while the black queen cell virus (BQCV) and sacbrood virus (SBV) titres decreased substantially in the MR population compared to the MS population by several orders of magnitude. The MR colonies all survived the following winter with high mite infestation, high DWV infection, small colony size and low proportions of autumn brood, while the MS colonies all perished. Possible explanations for these changes in virus titres and their relevance to Varroa resistance and colony winter survival are discussed. PMID:24926792

  1. Increased tolerance and resistance to virus infections: a possible factor in the survival of Varroa destructor-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Locke, Barbara; Forsgren, Eva; de Miranda, Joachim R

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has a world-wide distribution and inflicts more damage than all other known apicultural diseases. However, Varroa-induced colony mortality is more accurately a result of secondary virus infections vectored by the mite. This means that honey bee resistance to Varroa may include resistance or tolerance to virus infections. The aim of this study was to see if this is the case for a unique population of mite-resistant (MR) European honey bees on the island of Gotland, Sweden. This population has survived uncontrolled mite infestation for over a decade, developing specific mite-related resistance traits to do so. Using RT-qPCR techniques, we monitored late season virus infections, Varroa mite infestation and honey bee colony population dynamics in the Gotland MR population and compared this to mite-susceptible (MS) colonies in a close by apiary. From summer to autumn the deformed wing virus (DWV) titres increased similarly between the MR and MS populations, while the black queen cell virus (BQCV) and sacbrood virus (SBV) titres decreased substantially in the MR population compared to the MS population by several orders of magnitude. The MR colonies all survived the following winter with high mite infestation, high DWV infection, small colony size and low proportions of autumn brood, while the MS colonies all perished. Possible explanations for these changes in virus titres and their relevance to Varroa resistance and colony winter survival are discussed. PMID:24926792

  2. Characterization of the Active Microbiotas Associated with Honey Bees Reveals Healthier and Broader Communities when Colonies are Genetically Diverse

    PubMed Central

    Mattila, Heather R.; Rios, Daniela; Walker-Sperling, Victoria E.; Roeselers, Guus; Newton, Irene L. G.

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected pollen into bee bread, a nutritious food product that can be stored for long periods in colonies. We used 16S rRNA pyrosequencing to comprehensively characterize in genetically diverse and genetically uniform colonies the active bacterial communities that are found on honey bees, in their digestive tracts, and in bee bread. This method provided insights that have not been revealed by past studies into the content and benefits of honey bee-associated microbial communities. Colony microbiotas differed substantially between sampling environments and were dominated by several anaerobic bacterial genera never before associated with honey bees, but renowned for their use by humans to ferment food. Colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from greater microbial diversity, reduced pathogen loads, and increased abundance of putatively helpful bacteria, particularly species from the potentially probiotic genus Bifidobacterium. Across all colonies, Bifidobacterium activity was negatively correlated with the activity of genera that include pathogenic microbes; this relationship suggests a possible target for understanding whether microbes provide protective benefits to honey bees. Within-colony diversity shapes microbiotas associated with honey bees in ways that may have important repercussions for colony function and health. Our findings illuminate the importance of honey bee-bacteria symbioses and examine their intersection with nutrition, pathogen load, and genetic diversity, factors that are considered key to understanding honey bee decline. PMID:22427917

  3. Characterization of the active microbiotas associated with honey bees reveals healthier and broader communities when colonies are genetically diverse.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Heather R; Rios, Daniela; Walker-Sperling, Victoria E; Roeselers, Guus; Newton, Irene L G

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses of honey bee colonies have led to increased interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important pollinators. A critical function that bacteria perform for their honey bee hosts, but one that is poorly understood, is the transformation of worker-collected pollen into bee bread, a nutritious food product that can be stored for long periods in colonies. We used 16S rRNA pyrosequencing to comprehensively characterize in genetically diverse and genetically uniform colonies the active bacterial communities that are found on honey bees, in their digestive tracts, and in bee bread. This method provided insights that have not been revealed by past studies into the content and benefits of honey bee-associated microbial communities. Colony microbiotas differed substantially between sampling environments and were dominated by several anaerobic bacterial genera never before associated with honey bees, but renowned for their use by humans to ferment food. Colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from greater microbial diversity, reduced pathogen loads, and increased abundance of putatively helpful bacteria, particularly species from the potentially probiotic genus Bifidobacterium. Across all colonies, Bifidobacterium activity was negatively correlated with the activity of genera that include pathogenic microbes; this relationship suggests a possible target for understanding whether microbes provide protective benefits to honey bees. Within-colony diversity shapes microbiotas associated with honey bees in ways that may have important repercussions for colony function and health. Our findings illuminate the importance of honey bee-bacteria symbioses and examine their intersection with nutrition, pathogen load, and genetic diversity, factors that are considered key to understanding honey bee decline. PMID:22427917

  4. No intracolonial nepotism during colony fissioning in honey bees.

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

  5. No intracolonial nepotism during colony fissioning in honey bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Biology of Paenibacillus larvae, a deadly pathogen of honey bee larvae.

    PubMed

    Ebeling, Julia; Knispel, Henriette; Hertlein, Gillian; Fünfhaus, Anne; Genersch, Elke

    2016-09-01

    The gram-positive bacterium Paenibacillus larvae is the etiological agent of American Foulbrood of honey bees, a notifiable disease in many countries. Hence, P. larvae can be considered as an entomopathogen of considerable relevance in veterinary medicine. P. larvae is a highly specialized pathogen with only one established host, the honey bee larva. No other natural environment supporting germination and proliferation of P. larvae is known. Over the last decade, tremendous progress in the understanding of P. larvae and its interactions with honey bee larvae at a molecular level has been made. In this review, we will present the recent highlights and developments in P. larvae research and discuss the impact of some of the findings in a broader context to demonstrate what we can learn from studying "exotic" pathogens. PMID:27394713

  8. Honey Bees' Behavior Is Impaired by Chronic Exposure to the Neonicotinoid Thiacloprid in the Field.

    PubMed

    Tison, Léa; Hahn, Marie-Luise; Holtz, Sophie; Rößner, Alexander; Greggers, Uwe; Bischoff, Gabriela; Menzel, Randolf

    2016-07-01

    The decline of pollinators worldwide is of growing concern and has been related to the use of plant-protecting chemicals. Most studies have focused on three neonicotinoid insecticides (clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam) currently subject to a moratorium in the EU. Here, we focus on thiacloprid, a widely used cyano-substituted neonicotinoid thought to be less toxic to honey bees and of which use has increased in the last years. Honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica) were exposed chronically to thiacloprid in the field for several weeks at a sublethal concentration. Foraging behavior, homing success, navigation performance, and social communication were impaired, and thiacloprid residue levels increased both in the foragers and the nest mates over time. The effects observed in the field were not due to a repellent taste of the substance. For the first time, we present the necessary data for the risk evaluation of thiacloprid taken up chronically by honey bees in field conditions. PMID:27268938

  9. Migrating Giant Honey Bees (Apis dorsata) Congregate Annually at Stopover Site in Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Willard S.

    2012-01-01

    Giant honey bees (Apis dorsata) of southern Asia are vital honey producers and pollinators of cultivated crops and wild plants. They are known to migrate seasonally up to 200 km. It has been assumed their migrations occur stepwise, with stops for rest and foraging, but bivouacking bees have rarely been seen by scientists. Here I report discovery of a site in northern Thailand where bivouacs appeared in large congregations during the wet seasons of 2009 and 2010. The bivouac congregation stopover site is a small mango orchard along the Pai River. Bivouacs rested in branches of mango and other tree species in the immediate vicinity. Departures were preceded by dances indicating approximate direction and apparently, distance of flights. Such consistent stopover sites likely occur throughout southern Asia and may support critical, vulnerable stages in the life history of giant honey bees that must be conserved for populations of the species to survive. PMID:23028715

  10. Sublethal Dosage of Imidacloprid Reduces the Microglomerular Density of Honey Bee Mushroom Bodies

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Yi-Chan; Yang, En-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    The dramatic loss of honey bees is a major concern worldwide. Previous studies have indicated that neonicotinoid insecticides cause behavioural abnormalities and have proven that exposure to sublethal doses of imidacloprid during the larval stage decreases the olfactory learning ability of adults. The present study shows the effect of sublethal doses of imidacloprid on the neural development of the honey bee brain by immunolabelling synaptic units in the calyces of mushroom bodies. We found that the density of the synaptic units in the region of the calyces, which are responsible for olfactory and visual functions, decreased after being exposed to a sublethal dose of imidacloprid. This not only links a decrease in olfactory learning ability to abnormal neural connectivity but also provides evidence that imidacloprid damages the development of the nervous system in regions responsible for both olfaction and vision during the larval stage of the honey bee. PMID:26757950

  11. Sublethal Dosage of Imidacloprid Reduces the Microglomerular Density of Honey Bee Mushroom Bodies.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yi-Chan; Yang, En-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    The dramatic loss of honey bees is a major concern worldwide. Previous studies have indicated that neonicotinoid insecticides cause behavioural abnormalities and have proven that exposure to sublethal doses of imidacloprid during the larval stage decreases the olfactory learning ability of adults. The present study shows the effect of sublethal doses of imidacloprid on the neural development of the honey bee brain by immunolabelling synaptic units in the calyces of mushroom bodies. We found that the density of the synaptic units in the region of the calyces, which are responsible for olfactory and visual functions, decreased after being exposed to a sublethal dose of imidacloprid. This not only links a decrease in olfactory learning ability to abnormal neural connectivity but also provides evidence that imidacloprid damages the development of the nervous system in regions responsible for both olfaction and vision during the larval stage of the honey bee. PMID:26757950

  12. Development of the honey bee gut microbiome throughout the queen-rearing process.

    PubMed

    Tarpy, David R; Mattila, Heather R; Newton, Irene L G

    2015-05-01

    The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is used extensively to produce hive products and for crop pollination, but pervasive concerns about colony health and population decline have sparked an interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important insects. Currently, only the microbiome of workers has been characterized, while little to nothing is known about the bacterial communities that are associated with queens, even though their health and proper function are central to colony productivity. Here, we provide a large-scale analysis of the gut microbiome of honey bee queens during their developmental trajectory and through the multiple colonies that host them as part of modern queen-rearing practices. We found that queen microbiomes underwent a dramatic shift in size and composition as they aged and encountered different worker populations and colony environments. Queen microbiomes were dominated by enteric bacteria in early life but were comprised primarily of alphaproteobacteria at maturity. Furthermore, queen gut microbiomes did not reflect those of the workers who tended them and, indeed, they lacked many of the bacteria that are considered vital to workers. While worker gut microbiotas were consistent across the unrelated colony populations sampled, the microbiotas of the related queens were highly variable. Bacterial communities in mature queen guts were similar in size to those of mature workers and were characterized by dominant and specific alphaproteobacterial strains known to be associated with worker hypopharyngeal glands. Our results suggest a model in which queen guts are colonized by bacteria from workers' glands, in contrast to routes of maternal inoculation for other animal microbiomes. PMID:25724964

  13. Development of the Honey Bee Gut Microbiome throughout the Queen-Rearing Process

    PubMed Central

    Tarpy, David R.; Mattila, Heather R.

    2015-01-01

    The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is used extensively to produce hive products and for crop pollination, but pervasive concerns about colony health and population decline have sparked an interest in the microbial communities that are associated with these important insects. Currently, only the microbiome of workers has been characterized, while little to nothing is known about the bacterial communities that are associated with queens, even though their health and proper function are central to colony productivity. Here, we provide a large-scale analysis of the gut microbiome of honey bee queens during their developmental trajectory and through the multiple colonies that host them as part of modern queen-rearing practices. We found that queen microbiomes underwent a dramatic shift in size and composition as they aged and encountered different worker populations and colony environments. Queen microbiomes were dominated by enteric bacteria in early life but were comprised primarily of alphaproteobacteria at maturity. Furthermore, queen gut microbiomes did not reflect those of the workers who tended them and, indeed, they lacked many of the bacteria that are considered vital to workers. While worker gut microbiotas were consistent across the unrelated colony populations sampled, the microbiotas of the related queens were highly variable. Bacterial communities in mature queen guts were similar in size to those of mature workers and were characterized by dominant and specific alphaproteobacterial strains known to be associated with worker hypopharyngeal glands. Our results suggest a model in which queen guts are colonized by bacteria from workers' glands, in contrast to routes of maternal inoculation for other animal microbiomes. PMID:25724964

  14. A dietary phytochemical alters caste-associated gene expression in honey bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    In the eusocial honey bee Apis mellifera, with reproductive queens and sterile workers, a female larva’s developmental fate depends on its diet; nurse bees feed queen-destined larvae exclusively royal jelly, a glandular secretion, but worker-destined larvae receive royal jelly for 3 days and subsequently jelly to which honey and beebread are added. RNA-Seq analysis demonstrated that p-coumaric acid, which is ubiquitous in honey and beebread, differentially regulates genes involved in caste determination. Rearing larvae in vitro on a royal jelly diet to which p-coumaric acid has been added produces adults with reduced ovary development. Thus, consuming royal jelly exclusively not only enriches the diet of queen-destined larvae but also may protect them from inhibitory effects of phytochemicals present in the honey and beebread fed to worker-destined larvae. PMID:26601244

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    Populations of honey bees are declining throughout the world, with US beekeepers losing 30% of their colonies each winter. Though multiple factors are driving these colony losses, it is increasingly clear that viruses play a major role. However, information about the molecular mechanisms mediating antiviral immunity in honey bees is surprisingly limited. Here, we examined the transcriptional and epigenetic (DNA methylation) responses to viral infection in honey bee workers. One-day old worker honey bees were fed solutions containing Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), a virus which causes muscle paralysis and death and has previously been associated with colony loss. Uninfected control and infected, symptomatic bees were collected within 20-24 hours after infection. Worker fat bodies, the primary tissue involved in metabolism, detoxification and immune responses, were collected for analysis. We performed transcriptome- and bisulfite-sequencing of the worker fat bodies to identify genome-wide gene expression and DNA methylation patterns associated with viral infection. There were 753 differentially expressed genes (FDR<0.05) in infected versus control bees, including several genes involved in epigenetic and antiviral pathways. DNA methylation status of 156 genes (FDR<0.1) changed significantly as a result of the infection, including those involved in antiviral responses in humans. There was no significant overlap between the significantly differentially expressed and significantly differentially methylated genes, and indeed, the genomic characteristics of these sets of genes were quite distinct. Our results indicate that honey bees have two distinct molecular pathways, mediated by transcription and methylation, that modulate protein levels and/or function in response to viral infections. PMID:25811620

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Many animals have individual and social mechanisms for combating pathogens. Animals may exhibit short-term physiological tradeoffs between social and individual immunity because the latter is often energetically costly. Genetic tradeoffs between these two traits can also occur if mutations that enhance social immunity diminish individual immunity, or vice versa. Physiological tradeoffs between individual and social immunity have been previously documented in insects, but there has been no study of genetic tradeoffs involving these traits. There is strong evidence that some genes influence both innate immunity and behaviour in social insects – a prerequisite for genetic tradeoffs. Quantifying genetic tradeoffs is critical for understanding the evolution of immunity in social insects and for devising effective strategies for breeding disease-resistant pollinator populations. We conducted two experiments to test the hypothesis of a genetic tradeoff between social and individual immunity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. First, we estimated the relative contribution of genetics to individual variation in innate immunity of honey bee workers, as only heritable traits can experience genetic tradeoffs. Second, we examined if worker bees with hygienic sisters have reduced individual innate immune response. We genotyped several hundred workers from two colonies and found that patriline genotype does not significantly influence the antimicrobial activity of a worker’s hemolymph. Further, we did not find a negative correlation between hygienic behaviour and the average antimicrobial activity of a worker’s hemolymph across 30 honey bee colonies. Taken together, our work indicates no genetic tradeoffs between hygienic behaviour and innate immunity in honey bees. Our work suggests that using artificial selection to increase hygienic behaviour of honey bee colonies is not expected to concurrently compromise individual innate immunity of worker bees. PMID:25162411

  19. Parallel Epigenomic and Transcriptomic Responses to Viral Infection in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Niño, Elina Lastro; Yi, Soojin; Grozinger, Christina

    2015-01-01

    Populations of honey bees are declining throughout the world, with US beekeepers losing 30% of their colonies each winter. Though multiple factors are driving these colony losses, it is increasingly clear that viruses play a major role. However, information about the molecular mechanisms mediating antiviral immunity in honey bees is surprisingly limited. Here, we examined the transcriptional and epigenetic (DNA methylation) responses to viral infection in honey bee workers. One-day old worker honey bees were fed solutions containing Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), a virus which causes muscle paralysis and death and has previously been associated with colony loss. Uninfected control and infected, symptomatic bees were collected within 20–24 hours after infection. Worker fat bodies, the primary tissue involved in metabolism, detoxification and immune responses, were collected for analysis. We performed transcriptome- and bisulfite-sequencing of the worker fat bodies to identify genome-wide gene expression and DNA methylation patterns associated with viral infection. There were 753 differentially expressed genes (FDR<0.05) in infected versus control bees, including several genes involved in epigenetic and antiviral pathways. DNA methylation status of 156 genes (FDR<0.1) changed significantly as a result of the infection, including those involved in antiviral responses in humans. There was no significant overlap between the significantly differentially expressed and significantly differentially methylated genes, and indeed, the genomic characteristics of these sets of genes were quite distinct. Our results indicate that honey bees have two distinct molecular pathways, mediated by transcription and methylation, that modulate protein levels and/or function in response to viral infections. PMID:25811620

  20. Sampling and RNA quality for diagnosis of honey bee viruses using quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Dainat, Benjamin; Evans, Jay D; Chen, Yan Ping; Neumann, Peter

    2011-06-01

    Molecular diagnoses of pathogens via ribonucleic acid (RNA) signatures are used widely in honey bee pathology. Such diagnoses can be compromised by ubiquitous and endogenous RNA-degrading enzymes activated after the death of sampled bees. RNA degradation can be minimized by storage at ultra-cold temperatures or by immersion in high-salt buffers. However, these methods are not always available in the field or are costly, driving a search for alternative methods to store and transport bees for RNA analyses. While the impact of storage conditions on RNA integrity has been evaluated, the tolerance of standard RT-qPCR diagnostic methods of honey bee pathogens for suboptimal collection and storage is unknown. Given the short regions of RNA used for pathogen diagnosis (generally amplified regions of 100-200 nucleotides), it is conceivable that even degraded RNA will provide a template for precise diagnosis. In this study, the impact of the two most convenient sample storage and handling methods (+4°C and ambient temperature) for identifying honey bee virus infections was evaluated by RT-qPCR. The aim was to streamline the methods needed to collect, transport, and store honey bee samples destined for pathogen diagnosis. The data show that samples held at room temperature for times anticipated for sample transport for up to 5 days are suitable for diagnosis of two of the most common and prevalent honey bee viruses, deformed wing virus (DWV) and black queen cell virus (BQCV). The results will be useful for the standardisation of sampling methods across countries and laboratories. PMID:21473885

  1. A meta-analysis of experiments testing the effects of a neonicotinoid insecticide (imidacloprid) on honey bees.

    PubMed

    Cresswell, James E

    2011-01-01

    Honey bees provide important pollination services to crops and wild plants. The agricultural use of systemic insecticides, such as neonicotinoids, may harm bees through their presence in pollen and nectar, which bees consume. Many studies have tested the effects on honey bees of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid, but a clear picture of the risk it poses to bees has not previously emerged, because investigations are methodologically varied and inconsistent in outcome. In a meta-analysis of fourteen published studies of the effects of imidacloprid on honey bees under laboratory and semi-field conditions that comprised measurements on 7073 adult individuals and 36 colonies, fitted dose-response relationships estimate that trace dietary imidacloprid at field-realistic levels in nectar will have no lethal effects, but will reduce expected performance in honey bees by between 6 and 20%. Statistical power analysis showed that published field trials that have reported no effects on honey bees from neonicotinoids were incapable of detecting these predicted sublethal effects with conventionally accepted levels of certainty. These findings raise renewed concern about the impact on honey bees of dietary imidacloprid, but because questions remain over the environmental relevance of predominantly laboratory-based results, I identify targets for research and provide procedural recommendations for future studies. PMID:21080222

  2. Functionality of Varroa-resistant honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) when used for western U.S. honey production and almond pollination.

    PubMed

    Rinderer, Tihomas E; Danka, Robert G; Johnson, Stephanie; Bourgeois, A Lelania; Frake, Amanda M; Villa, José D; De Guzman, Lilia I; Harris, Jeffrey W

    2014-04-01

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, were evaluated for performance when used for honey production in Montana, and for almond pollination the following winter. Colonies of Russian honey bees and outcrossed honey bees with Varroa-sensitive hygiene (VSH) were compared with control colonies of Italian honey bees. All colonies were managed without miticide treatments. In total, 185 and 175 colonies were established for trials in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, respectively. Survival of colonies with original queens or with supersedure queens was similar among stocks for both years. Colony sizes of the Varroa-resistant stocks were as large as or larger than the control colonies during periods critical to honey production and almond pollination. Honey production varied among stocks. In the first year, all stocks produced similar amounts of honey. In the second year, Russian honey bees colonies produced less honey than the control colonies. V. destructor infestations also varied among stocks. In the first year, control colonies had more infesting mites than either of the Varroa-resistant stocks, especially later in the year. In the second year, the control and outcrossed Varroa-sensitive hygiene colonies had high and damaging levels of infestation while the Russian honey bees colonies maintained lower levels of infestation. Infestations of Acarapis woodi (Rennie) were generally infrequent and low. All the stocks had similarly high Nosema ceranae infections in the spring and following winter of both years. Overall, the two Varroa-resistant stocks functioned adequately in this model beekeeping system. PMID:24772530

  3. Influence of Pollen Nutrition on Honey Bee Health: Do Pollen Quality and Diversity Matter?

    PubMed Central

    Di Pasquale, Garance; Salignon, Marion; Le Conte, Yves; Belzunces, Luc P.; Decourtye, Axel; Kretzschmar, André; Suchail, Séverine; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Alaux, Cédric

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee colonies are highly dependent upon the availability of floral resources from which they get the nutrients (notably pollen) necessary to their development and survival. However, foraging areas are currently affected by the intensification of agriculture and landscape alteration. Bees are therefore confronted to disparities in time and space of floral resource abundance, type and diversity, which might provide inadequate nutrition and endanger colonies. The beneficial influence of pollen availability on bee health is well-established but whether quality and diversity of pollen diets can modify bee health remains largely unknown. We therefore tested the influence of pollen diet quality (different monofloral pollens) and diversity (polyfloral pollen diet) on the physiology of young nurse bees, which have a distinct nutritional physiology (e.g. hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin level), and on the tolerance to the microsporidian parasite Nosemaceranae by measuring bee survival and the activity of different enzymes potentially involved in bee health and defense response (glutathione-S-transferase (detoxification), phenoloxidase (immunity) and alkaline phosphatase (metabolism)). We found that both nurse bee physiology and the tolerance to the parasite were affected by pollen quality. Pollen diet diversity had no effect on the nurse bee physiology and the survival of healthy bees. However, when parasitized, bees fed with the polyfloral blend lived longer than bees fed with monofloral pollens, excepted for the protein-richest monofloral pollen. Furthermore, the survival was positively correlated to alkaline phosphatase activity in healthy bees and to phenoloxydase activities in infected bees. Our results support the idea that both the quality and diversity (in a specific context) of pollen can shape bee physiology and might help to better understand the influence of agriculture and land-use intensification on bee nutrition and health. PMID:23940803

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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...

  6. Regulation of behavioral maturation by a primer pheromone produced by adult worker honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Leoncini, Isabelle; Le Conte, Yves; Costagliola, Guy; Plettner, Erika; Toth, Amy L.; Wang, Mianwei; Huang, Zachary; Bécard, Jean-Marc; Crauser, Didier; Slessor, Keith N.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2004-01-01

    Previous research showed that the presence of older workers causes a delayed onset of foraging in younger individuals in honey bee colonies, but a specific worker inhibitory factor had not yet been identified. Here, we report on the identification of a substance produced by adult forager honey bees, ethyl oleate, that acts as a chemical inhibitory factor to delay age at onset of foraging. Ethyl oleate is synthesized de novo and is present in highest concentrations in the bee's crop. These results suggest that worker behavioral maturation is modulated via trophallaxis, a form of food exchange that also serves as a prominent communication channel in insect societies. Our findings provide critical validation for a model of self-organization explaining how bees are able to respond to fragmentary information with actions that are appropriate to the state of the whole colony. PMID:15572455

  7. Hemolymph juvenile hormone titers in worker honey bees under normal and preswarming conditions.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Zhijiang; Huang, Zachary Y; Qin, Yuchuan; Pang, Huizhong

    2005-04-01

    Swarming is an important mechanism by which honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colonies reproduce, yet very little is known about the physiological changes in workers that are preparing to swarm. In this study, we determined the endocrine status of worker honey bees in preswarming colonies and in normal (nonswarming) colonies. Juvenile hormone (JH) titers in worker bees were similar in both groups before queen cells were present, but they became significantly lower in preswarming colonies compared with normal colonies when queen cells occurred in preswarming colonies. The lower JH titers in the preswarming colonies suggest that behavioral development is delayed in these colonies, consistent with previous reports that preswarming colonies have reduced foraging activities. Understanding the endocrine status of bees preparing for swarming will help us to better understand the biology of swarming. PMID:15889713

  8. An Investigation of the Migration of Africanized Honey Bees into the Southern United States

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Navarro, Hector

    1997-01-01

    It is estimated that Apis mellifera scutellata, a honey bee subspecies from Africa, now extends over a 20 million square kilometer range that includes much of South America and practically all of Central America, and recently has been introduced to the southern United States. African honeybees were introduced into Brazil in 1956 by a Brazilian geneticist, Mr. Warwick Kerr. At the insistence of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, in 1957, 26 colonies were accidentally released in a eucalyptus forest outside S5o Paulo. The swelling front of the bees was recorded as traveling between 80 and 500 kilometers a year. David Roubik, one of the original killer bee team members estimated that there were one trillion individual Africanized/African honey bees in Latin America. An estimate that is thought to be conservative.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-17

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from male and female kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa 'Hayward') flowers were collected by dynamic headspace sampling. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) perception of the flower VOCs was tested using gas chromatography coupled to electroantennogram detection. Honey bees consistently responded to six compounds present in the headspace of female kiwifruit flowers and five compounds in the headspace of male flowers. Analysis of the floral volatiles by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and microscale chemical derivatization showed the compounds to be nonanal, 2-phenylethanol, 4-oxoisophorone, (3E,6E)-α-farnesene, (6Z,9Z)-heptadecadiene, and (8Z)-heptadecene. Bees were then trained via olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) to synthetic mixtures of these compounds using the ratios present in each flower type. Honey bees trained to the synthetic mixtures showed a high response to the natural floral extracts, indicating that these may be the key compounds for honey bee perception of kiwifruit flower odor. PMID:26027748

  11. Physicochemical profiles of stingless bee (Apidae: Meliponini) honey from South East Asia (Thailand).

    PubMed

    Chuttong, Bajaree; Chanbang, Yaowaluk; Sringarm, Korawan; Burgett, Michael

    2016-02-01

    This study examines the physicochemical properties of stingless bee honey from SE Asia (Thailand). Twenty-eight stingless bee honey samples, from 11 stingless bee species, were examined. Results reveal an average color (67 ± 19 mm Pfund), moisture (31 ± 5.4 g/100g), ash (0.531 ± 0.632 g/100g), electrical conductivity (1.1 ± 0.780 ms/cm), pH of (3.6 ± 0.198), total acidity (164 ± 162 meq/kg), diastase activity (1.5 ± 1.6 °Gothe) and hydroxymethylfurfural (8.7 ± 12 mg/kg). The carbohydrate profile is: total sugar (51 ± 21 g/100g), fructose (17 ± 9.7 g/100g), glucose (14 ± 8.6g/100g), maltose (41 ± 15 g/100g) and sucrose (1.2 ± 2.7 g/100g). These findings are not dissimilar to those reported for stingless bee honeys from the neo-tropics. When compared with the Apis mellifera standard, stingless bee honey is characterized as possessing higher moisture content, acidity, ash and HMF but a lower level of total sugars. PMID:26304332

  12. Israeli acute paralysis virus: epidemiology, pathogenesis and implications for honey bee health.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yan Ping; Pettis, Jeffery S; Corona, Miguel; Chen, Wei Ping; Li, Cong Jun; Spivak, Marla; Visscher, P Kirk; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Boncristiani, Humberto; Zhao, Yan; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Delaplane, Keith; Solter, Leellen; Drummond, Francis; Kramer, Matthew; Lipkin, W Ian; Palacios, Gustavo; Hamilton, Michele C; Smith, Barton; Huang, Shao Kang; Zheng, Huo Qing; Li, Ji Lian; Zhang, Xuan; Zhou, Ai Fen; Wu, Li You; Zhou, Ji Zhong; Lee, Myeong-L; Teixeira, Erica W; Li, Zhi Guo; Evans, Jay D

    2014-07-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a widespread RNA virus of honey bees that has been linked with colony losses. Here we describe the transmission, prevalence, and genetic traits of this virus, along with host transcriptional responses to infections. Further, we present RNAi-based strategies for limiting an important mechanism used by IAPV to subvert host defenses. Our study shows that IAPV is established as a persistent infection in honey bee populations, likely enabled by both horizontal and vertical transmission pathways. The phenotypic differences in pathology among different strains of IAPV found globally may be due to high levels of standing genetic variation. Microarray profiles of host responses to IAPV infection revealed that mitochondrial function is the most significantly affected biological process, suggesting that viral infection causes significant disturbance in energy-related host processes. The expression of genes involved in immune pathways in adult bees indicates that IAPV infection triggers active immune responses. The evidence that silencing an IAPV-encoded putative suppressor of RNAi reduces IAPV replication suggests a functional assignment for a particular genomic region of IAPV and closely related viruses from the Family Dicistroviridae, and indicates a novel therapeutic strategy for limiting multiple honey bee viruses simultaneously and reducing colony losses due to viral diseases. We believe that the knowledge and insights gained from this study will provide a new platform for continuing studies of the IAPV-host interactions and have positive implications for disease management that will lead to mitigation of escalating honey bee colony losses worldwide. PMID:25079600

  13. Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus: Epidemiology, Pathogenesis and Implications for Honey Bee Health

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yan Ping; Pettis, Jeffery S.; Corona, Miguel; Chen, Wei Ping; Li, Cong Jun; Spivak, Marla; Visscher, P. Kirk; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Boncristiani, Humberto; Zhao, Yan; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Delaplane, Keith; Solter, Leellen; Drummond, Francis; Kramer, Matthew; Lipkin, W. Ian; Palacios, Gustavo; Hamilton, Michele C.; Smith, Barton; Huang, Shao Kang; Zheng, Huo Qing; Li, Ji Lian; Zhang, Xuan; Zhou, Ai Fen; Wu, Li You; Zhou, Ji Zhong; Lee, Myeong-L.; Teixeira, Erica W.; Li, Zhi Guo; Evans, Jay D.

    2014-01-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a widespread RNA virus of honey bees that has been linked with colony losses. Here we describe the transmission, prevalence, and genetic traits of this virus, along with host transcriptional responses to infections. Further, we present RNAi-based strategies for limiting an important mechanism used by IAPV to subvert host defenses. Our study shows that IAPV is established as a persistent infection in honey bee populations, likely enabled by both horizontal and vertical transmission pathways. The phenotypic differences in pathology among different strains of IAPV found globally may be due to high levels of standing genetic variation. Microarray profiles of host responses to IAPV infection revealed that mitochondrial function is the most significantly affected biological process, suggesting that viral infection causes significant disturbance in energy-related host processes. The expression of genes involved in immune pathways in adult bees indicates that IAPV infection triggers active immune responses. The evidence that silencing an IAPV-encoded putative suppressor of RNAi reduces IAPV replication suggests a functional assignment for a particular genomic region of IAPV and closely related viruses from the Family Dicistroviridae, and indicates a novel therapeutic strategy for limiting multiple honey bee viruses simultaneously and reducing colony losses due to viral diseases. We believe that the knowledge and insights gained from this study will provide a new platform for continuing studies of the IAPV–host interactions and have positive implications for disease management that will lead to mitigation of escalating honey bee colony losses worldwide. PMID:25079600

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    A strong immune defense is vital for honey bee health and colony survival. This defense can be weakened by environmental factors that may render honey bees more vulnerable to parasites and pathogens. Honey bees are frequently exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are being discussed as one of the stress factors that may lead to colony failure. We investigated the sublethal effects of the neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin on individual immunity, by studying three major aspects of immunocompetence in worker bees: total hemocyte number, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity of the hemolymph. In laboratory experiments, we found a strong impact of all three neonicotinoids. Thiacloprid (24h oral exposure, 200 μg/l or 2000 μg/l) and imidacloprid (1 μg/l or 10 μg/l) reduced hemocyte density, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity even at field realistic concentrations. Clothianidin had an effect on these immune parameters only at higher than field realistic concentrations (50-200 μg/l). These results suggest that neonicotinoids affect the individual immunocompetence of honey bees, possibly leading to an impaired disease resistance capacity. PMID:26776096

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide a system for studying social and food-related behavior. A caste of workers performs age-related tasks: young bees (nurses) usually feed the brood inside the nest while older bees (foragers) forage outside for pollen, a protein/lipid source, or nectar, a carbohydra...

  16. Medicinal uses of honey (Quranic medicine) and its bee flora from Dera Ismail Khan District, KPK, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Marwat, Sarfaraz Khan; Khan, Muhammad Aslam; Rehman, Fazalur; Khan, Kaleemullah

    2013-03-01

    This study was carried out during 2005-2008 to identify existing plant species visited by workers of honeybees for nectar and pollen collection in Dera Ismail Khan (D.I.Khan) District, Pakistan. The honeybee species investigated in the area were, rock bee (Apis dorsata F.), little bee (A. florea F.) and European honeybee (A. mellifera L.). A detailed list of 86 plant species both wild and cultivated was prepared, out of which 12 species, Phulai (Acacia modesta Wall.), Sarsoon (Brassica campestris L.), Kaghzi nimboo (Citrus aurantifolia L.), Khatta (C. medica L.), Malta (C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck.), Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo Roxb.), Date (Phoenix dactylifera L.), Barseen (Trifolium alexandrianum L.), Shaftal (T. resupinatum L), Makai (Zea mays L.), Ber (Zizyphus mauritiana Lam.) and Jher beri (Z. numularia (Burm. f.) Wight & Arn.,) were found as major sources (table 1) for the production of surplus honey in a year at different localities in the District. Among the minor sources various plant species were included (table 2). These plants fill the flowering gaps between the major sources in various parts of the year and help in continuous supply of food to honey bees. PMID:23455201

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Nosema ceranae Can Infect Honey Bee Larvae and Reduces Subsequent Adult Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Eiri, Daren M.; Suwannapong, Guntima; Endler, Matthew; Nieh, James C.

    2015-01-01

    Nosema ceranae causes a widespread disease that reduces honey bee health but is only thought to infect adult honey bees, not larvae, a critical life stage. We reared honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae in vitro and provide the first demonstration that N. ceranae can infect larvae and decrease subsequent adult longevity. We exposed three-day-old larvae to a single dose of 40,000 (40K), 10,000 (10K), zero (control), or 40K autoclaved (control) N. ceranae spores in larval food. Spores developed intracellularly in midgut cells at the pre-pupal stage (8 days after egg hatching) of 41% of bees exposed as larvae. We counted the number of N. ceranae spores in dissected bee midguts of pre-pupae and, in a separate group, upon adult death. Pre-pupae exposed to the 10K or 40K spore treatments as larvae had significantly elevated spore counts as compared to controls. Adults exposed as larvae had significantly elevated spore counts as compared to controls. Larval spore exposure decreased longevity: a 40K treatment decreased the age by which 75% of adult bees died by 28%. Unexpectedly, the low dose (10K) led to significantly greater infection (1.3 fold more spores and 1.5 fold more infected bees) than the high dose (40K) upon adult death. Differential immune activation may be involved if the higher dose triggered a stronger larval immune response that resulted in fewer adult spores but imposed a cost, reducing lifespan. The impact of N. ceranae on honey bee larval development and the larvae of naturally infected colonies therefore deserve further study. PMID:26018139

  20. Deposition of cadmium in tissues of Coturnix quail fed honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Stoewsand, G.S.; Morse, R.A.; Bache, C.A.; Lisk, D.J.

    1987-05-01

    Insects have been reported to concentrate cadmium probably through food or water intake or by contact with contaminated surfaces. It is conceivable that avian species consuming such insects could concentrate cadmium in their tissues. In the work reported here, domesticated honey bees were found to contain appreciable levels of cadmium. The bees were collected in quantity and fed to Coturnix quail to study the extent to which an avian species may accumulate cadmium in liver and kidney as well as in their eggs.

  1. Nosema ceranae Can Infect Honey Bee Larvae and Reduces Subsequent Adult Longevity.

    PubMed

    Eiri, Daren M; Suwannapong, Guntima; Endler, Matthew; Nieh, James C

    2015-01-01

    Nosema ceranae causes a widespread disease that reduces honey bee health but is only thought to infect adult honey bees, not larvae, a critical life stage. We reared honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae in vitro and provide the first demonstration that N. ceranae can infect larvae and decrease subsequent adult longevity. We exposed three-day-old larvae to a single dose of 40,000 (40K), 10,000 (10K), zero (control), or 40K autoclaved (control) N. ceranae spores in larval food. Spores developed intracellularly in midgut cells at the pre-pupal stage (8 days after egg hatching) of 41% of bees exposed as larvae. We counted the number of N. ceranae spores in dissected bee midguts of pre-pupae and, in a separate group, upon adult death. Pre-pupae exposed to the 10K or 40K spore treatments as larvae had significantly elevated spore counts as compared to controls. Adults exposed as larvae had significantly elevated spore counts as compared to controls. Larval spore exposure decreased longevity: a 40K treatment decreased the age by which 75% of adult bees died by 28%. Unexpectedly, the low dose (10K) led to significantly greater infection (1.3 fold more spores and 1.5 fold more infected bees) than the high dose (40K) upon adult death. Differential immune activation may be involved if the higher dose triggered a stronger larval immune response that resulted in fewer adult spores but imposed a cost, reducing lifespan. The impact of N. ceranae on honey bee larval development and the larvae of naturally infected colonies therefore deserve further study. PMID:26018139

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

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Ryan S; Moran, Nancy A; Evans, Jay D

    2016-08-16

    Microbial symbionts living within animal guts are largely composed of resident bacterial species, forming communities that often provide benefits to the host. Gut microbiomes of adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) include core residents such as the betaproteobacterium Snodgrassella alvi, alongside transient parasites such as the protozoan Lotmaria passim To test how these species affect microbiome composition and host physiology, we administered S alvi and/or L passim inocula to newly emerged worker bees from four genetic backgrounds (GH) and reared them in normal (within hives) or stressed (protein-deficient, asocial) conditions. Microbiota acquired by normal bees were abundant but quantitatively differed across treatments, indicating treatment-associated dysbiosis. Pretreatment with S. alvi made normal bees more susceptible to L. passim and altered developmental and detoxification gene expression. Stressed bees were more susceptible to L. passim and were depauperate in core microbiota, yet supplementation with S. alvi did not alter this susceptibility. Microbiomes were generally more variable by GH in stressed bees, which also showed opposing and comparatively reduced modulation of gene expression responses to treatments compared with normal bees. These data provide experimental support for a link between altered gut microbiota and increased parasite and pathogen prevalence, as observed from honey bee colony collapse disorder. PMID:27482088

  3. Antennae hold a key to Varroa-sensitive hygiene behaviour in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Mondet, Fanny; Alaux, Cédric; Severac, Dany; Rohmer, Marine; Mercer, Alison R; Le Conte, Yves

    2015-01-01

    In honey bees, Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) behaviour, which involves the detection and removal of brood parasitised by the mite Varroa destructor, can actively participate in the survival of colonies facing Varroa outbreaks. This study investigated the mechanisms of VSH behaviour, by comparing the antennal transcriptomes of bees that do and do not perform VSH behaviour. Results indicate that antennae likely play a key role in the expression of VSH behaviour. Comparisons with the antennal transcriptome of nurse and forager bees suggest that VSH profile is more similar to that of nurse bees than foragers. Enhanced detection of certain odorants in VSH bees may be predicted from transcriptional patterns, as well as a higher metabolism and antennal motor activity. Interestingly, Deformed wing virus/Varroa destructor virus infections were detected in the antennae, with higher level in non-VSH bees; a putative negative impact of viral infection on bees' ability to display VSH behaviour is proposed. These results bring new perspectives to the understanding of VSH behaviour and the evolution of collective defence by focusing attention on the importance of the peripheral nervous system. In addition, such data might be useful for promoting marker-assisted selection of honey bees that can survive Varroa infestations. PMID:26000641

  4. In vivo and in vitro infection dynamics of honey bee viruses.

    PubMed

    Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Dolezal, Adam G; Goblirsch, Michael J; Miller, W Allen; Toth, Amy L; Bonning, Bryony C

    2016-01-01

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is commonly infected by multiple viruses. We developed an experimental system for the study of such mixed viral infections in newly emerged honey bees and in the cell line AmE-711, derived from honey bee embryos. When inoculating a mixture of iflavirids [sacbrood bee virus (SBV), deformed wing virus (DWV)] and dicistrovirids [Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), black queen cell virus (BQCV)] in both live bee and cell culture assays, IAPV replicated to higher levels than other viruses despite the fact that SBV was the major component of the inoculum mixture. When a different virus mix composed mainly of the dicistrovirid Kashmir bee virus (KBV) was tested in cell culture, the outcome was a rapid increase in KBV but not IAPV. We also sequenced the complete genome of an isolate of DWV that covertly infects the AmE-711 cell line, and found that this virus does not prevent IAPV and KBV from accumulating to high levels and causing cytopathic effects. These results indicate that different mechanisms of virus-host interaction affect virus dynamics, including complex virus-virus interactions, superinfections, specific virus saturation limits in cells and virus specialization for different cell types. PMID:26923109

  5. In vivo and in vitro infection dynamics of honey bee viruses

    PubMed Central

    Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Dolezal, Adam G.; Goblirsch, Michael J.; Miller, W. Allen; Toth, Amy L.; Bonning, Bryony C.

    2016-01-01

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is commonly infected by multiple viruses. We developed an experimental system for the study of such mixed viral infections in newly emerged honey bees and in the cell line AmE-711, derived from honey bee embryos. When inoculating a mixture of iflavirids [sacbrood bee virus (SBV), deformed wing virus (DWV)] and dicistrovirids [Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), black queen cell virus (BQCV)] in both live bee and cell culture assays, IAPV replicated to higher levels than other viruses despite the fact that SBV was the major component of the inoculum mixture. When a different virus mix composed mainly of the dicistrovirid Kashmir bee virus (KBV) was tested in cell culture, the outcome was a rapid increase in KBV but not IAPV. We also sequenced the complete genome of an isolate of DWV that covertly infects the AmE-711 cell line, and found that this virus does not prevent IAPV and KBV from accumulating to high levels and causing cytopathic effects. These results indicate that different mechanisms of virus-host interaction affect virus dynamics, including complex virus-virus interactions, superinfections, specific virus saturation limits in cells and virus specialization for different cell types. PMID:26923109

  6. A honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) PeptideAtlas crossing castes and tissues

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Honey bees are a mainstay of agriculture, contributing billions of dollars through their pollination activities. Bees have been a model system for sociality and group behavior for decades but only recently have molecular techniques been brought to study this fascinating and valuable organism. With the release of the first draft of its genome in 2006, proteomics of bees became feasible and over the past five years we have amassed in excess of 5E+6 MS/MS spectra. The lack of a consolidated platform to organize this massive resource hampers our ability, and that of others, to mine the information to its maximum potential. Results Here we introduce the Honey Bee PeptideAtlas, a web-based resource for visualizing mass spectrometry data across experiments, providing protein descriptions and Gene Ontology annotations where possible. We anticipate that this will be helpful in planning proteomics experiments, especially in the selection of transitions for selected reaction monitoring. Through a proteogenomics effort, we have used MS/MS data to anchor the annotation of previously undescribed genes and to re-annotate previous gene models in order to improve the current genome annotation. Conclusions The Honey Bee PeptideAtlas will contribute to the efficiency of bee proteomics and accelerate our understanding of this species. This publicly accessible and interactive database is an important framework for the current and future analysis of mass spectrometry data. PMID:21639908

  7. Honey Bees Avoid Nectar Colonized by Three Bacterial Species, But Not by a Yeast Species, Isolated from the Bee Gut

    PubMed Central

    Good, Ashley P.; Gauthier, Marie-Pierre L.; Vannette, Rachel L.; Fukami, Tadashi

    2014-01-01

    The gut microflora of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is receiving increasing attention as a potential determinant of the bees’ health and their efficacy as pollinators. Studies have focused primarily on the microbial taxa that appear numerically dominant in the bee gut, with the assumption that the dominant status suggests their potential importance to the bees’ health. However, numerically minor taxa might also influence the bees’ efficacy as pollinators, particularly if they are not only present in the gut, but also capable of growing in floral nectar and altering its chemical properties. Nonetheless, it is not well understood whether honey bees have any feeding preference for or against nectar colonized by specific microbial species. To test whether bees exhibit a preference, we conducted a series of field experiments at an apiary using synthetic nectar inoculated with specific species of bacteria or yeast that had been isolated from the bee gut, but are considered minor components of the gut microflora. These species had also been found in floral nectar. Our results indicated that honey bees avoided nectar colonized by the bacteria Asaia astilbes, Erwinia tasmaniensis, and Lactobacillus kunkeei, whereas the yeast Metschnikowia reukaufii did not affect the feeding preference of the insects. Our results also indicated that avoidance of bacteria-colonized nectar was caused not by the presence of the bacteria per se, but by the chemical changes to nectar made by the bacteria. These findings suggest that gut microbes may not only affect the bees’ health as symbionts, but that some of the microbes may possibly affect the efficacy of A. mellifera as pollinators by altering nectar chemistry and influencing their foraging behavior. PMID:24466119

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations face declines commonly attributed to pesticide, pathogen, and parasite stress. One way beekeepers combat these stressors is by providing supplemental protein diets to honey bee colonies to ensure adequate colony nutrition. However Nosema spp., a microsporidian parasite of the honey bee, is thought to be associated closely with a colony's nutritional intake, thus possibly negating any benefit the bees otherwise would have received from a nutritional supplement. Through three objectives, we examined how adult bees' consumption of wildflower pollen or commercial pollen substitute diets affected Nosema levels in the bees' midguts. For our first objective, we investigated how method of inoculation with Nosema affects infection levels in inoculated bees. Bees were infected with spores of Nosema four days after emergence. On day 15, bees were collected from the cages and Nosema spores were quantified. We found that inoculation through the pollen diet resulted in the highest Nosema levels in inoculated bees. In our second and third objectives, we provided the test diets to caged, newly emerged bees for a period of 15 days. Bees consuming pollen and a sucrose solution had more Nosema in their midguts than did bees consuming the sucrose solution alone (control). The overall volume of diet consumed by the bees did not correlate with the level of Nosema in their midguts. The level of Nosema was higher in bees fed certain commercial pollen substitute diets than in bees fed wildflower pollen. Our study illustrates how providing nutritional supplements to adult honey bees can impact the intensity of Nosema in their midguts. PMID:26226229

  10. Floral reward, advertisement and attractiveness to honey bees in dioecious Salix caprea.

    PubMed

    Dötterl, Stefan; Glück, Ulrike; Jürgens, Andreas; Woodring, Joseph; Aas, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    In dioecious, zoophilous plants potential pollinators have to be attracted to both sexes and switch between individuals of both sexes for pollination to occur. It often has been suggested that males and females require different numbers of visits for maximum reproductive success because male fertility is more likely limited by access to mates, whereas female fertility is rather limited by resource availability. According to sexual selection theory, males therefore should invest more in pollinator attraction (advertisement, reward) than females. However, our knowledge on the sex specific investment in floral rewards and advertisement, and its effects on pollinator behaviour is limited. Here, we use an approach that includes chemical, spectrophotometric, and behavioural studies i) to elucidate differences in floral nectar reward and advertisement (visual, olfactory cues) in dioecious sallow, Salix caprea, ii) to determine the relative importance of visual and olfactory floral cues in attracting honey bee pollinators, and iii) to test for differential attractiveness of female and male inflorescence cues to honey bees. Nectar amount and sugar concentration are comparable, but sugar composition varies between the sexes. Olfactory sallow cues are more attractive to honey bees than visual cues; however, a combination of both cues elicits the strongest behavioural responses in bees. Male flowers are due to the yellow pollen more colourful and emit a higher amount of scent than females. Honey bees prefer the visual but not the olfactory display of males over those of females. In all, the data of our multifaceted study are consistent with the sexual selection theory and provide novel insights on how the model organism honey bee uses visual and olfactory floral cues for locating host plants. PMID:24676333

  11. Floral Reward, Advertisement and Attractiveness to Honey Bees in Dioecious Salix caprea

    PubMed Central

    Dötterl, Stefan; Glück, Ulrike; Jürgens, Andreas; Woodring, Joseph; Aas, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    In dioecious, zoophilous plants potential pollinators have to be attracted to both sexes and switch between individuals of both sexes for pollination to occur. It often has been suggested that males and females require different numbers of visits for maximum reproductive success because male fertility is more likely limited by access to mates, whereas female fertility is rather limited by resource availability. According to sexual selection theory, males therefore should invest more in pollinator attraction (advertisement, reward) than females. However, our knowledge on the sex specific investment in floral rewards and advertisement, and its effects on pollinator behaviour is limited. Here, we use an approach that includes chemical, spectrophotometric, and behavioural studies i) to elucidate differences in floral nectar reward and advertisement (visual, olfactory cues) in dioecious sallow, Salix caprea, ii) to determine the relative importance of visual and olfactory floral cues in attracting honey bee pollinators, and iii) to test for differential attractiveness of female and male inflorescence cues to honey bees. Nectar amount and sugar concentration are comparable, but sugar composition varies between the sexes. Olfactory sallow cues are more attractive to honey bees than visual cues; however, a combination of both cues elicits the strongest behavioural responses in bees. Male flowers are due to the yellow pollen more colourful and emit a higher amount of scent than females. Honey bees prefer the visual but not the olfactory display of males over those of females. In all, the data of our multifaceted study are consistent with the sexual selection theory and provide novel insights on how the model organism honey bee uses visual and olfactory floral cues for locating host plants. PMID:24676333

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Populations of pollinators are in decline worldwide. These declines are best documented in honey bees and are due to a combination of stressors. In particular, pesticides have been linked to decreased longevity and performance in honey bees; however, the molecular and physiological pathways mediating sensitivity and resistance to pesticides are not well characterized. We explored the impact of coumaphos and fluvalinate, the two most abundant and frequently detected pesticides in the hive, on genome-wide gene expression patterns of honey bee workers. We found significant changes in 1118 transcripts, including genes involved in detoxification, behavioral maturation, immunity, and nutrition. Since behavioral maturation is regulated by juvenile hormone III (JH), we examined effects of these miticides on hormone titers; while JH titers were unaffected, titers of methyl farnesoate (MF), the precursor to JH, were decreased. We further explored the association between nutrition- and pesticide-regulated gene expression patterns and demonstrated that bees fed a pollen-based diet exhibit reduced sensitivity to a third pesticide, chlorpyrifos. Finally, we demonstrated that expression levels of several of the putative pesticide detoxification genes identified in our study and previous studies are also upregulated in response to pollen feeding, suggesting that these pesticides and components in pollen modulate similar molecular response pathways. Our results demonstrate that pesticide exposure can substantially impact expression of genes involved in several core physiological pathways in honey bee workers. Additionally, there is substantial overlap in responses to pesticides and pollen-containing diets at the transcriptional level, and subsequent analyses demonstrated that pollen-based diets reduce workers' pesticide sensitivity. Thus, providing honey bees and other pollinators with high quality nutrition may improve resistance to pesticides. PMID:25450567

  13. Temporal analysis of the honey bee microbiome reveals four novel viruses and seasonal prevalence of known viruses, Nosema, and Crithidia.

    PubMed

    Runckel, Charles; Flenniken, Michelle L; Engel, Juan C; Ruby, J Graham; Ganem, Donald; Andino, Raul; DeRisi, Joseph L

    2011-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) play a critical role in global food production as pollinators of numerous crops. Recently, honey bee populations in the United States, Canada, and Europe have suffered an unexplained increase in annual losses due to a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Epidemiological analysis of CCD is confounded by a relative dearth of bee pathogen field studies. To identify what constitutes an abnormal pathophysiological condition in a honey bee colony, it is critical to have characterized the spectrum of exogenous infectious agents in healthy hives over time. We conducted a prospective study of a large scale migratory bee keeping operation using high-frequency sampling paired with comprehensive molecular detection methods, including a custom microarray, qPCR, and ultra deep sequencing. We established seasonal incidence and abundance of known viruses, Nosema sp., Crithidia mellificae, and bacteria. Ultra deep sequence analysis further identified four novel RNA viruses, two of which were the most abundant observed components of the honey bee microbiome (∼10(11) viruses per honey bee). Our results demonstrate episodic viral incidence and distinct pathogen patterns between summer and winter time-points. Peak infection of common honey bee viruses and Nosema occurred in the summer, whereas levels of the trypanosomatid Crithidia mellificae and Lake Sinai virus 2, a novel virus, peaked in January. PMID:21687739

  14. Temporal Analysis of the Honey Bee Microbiome Reveals Four Novel Viruses and Seasonal Prevalence of Known Viruses, Nosema, and Crithidia

    PubMed Central

    Engel, Juan C.; Ruby, J. Graham; Ganem, Donald; Andino, Raul; DeRisi, Joseph L.

    2011-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) play a critical role in global food production as pollinators of numerous crops. Recently, honey bee populations in the United States, Canada, and Europe have suffered an unexplained increase in annual losses due to a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Epidemiological analysis of CCD is confounded by a relative dearth of bee pathogen field studies. To identify what constitutes an abnormal pathophysiological condition in a honey bee colony, it is critical to have characterized the spectrum of exogenous infectious agents in healthy hives over time. We conducted a prospective study of a large scale migratory bee keeping operation using high-frequency sampling paired with comprehensive molecular detection methods, including a custom microarray, qPCR, and ultra deep sequencing. We established seasonal incidence and abundance of known viruses, Nosema sp., Crithidia mellificae, and bacteria. Ultra deep sequence analysis further identified four novel RNA viruses, two of which were the most abundant observed components of the honey bee microbiome (∼1011 viruses per honey bee). Our results demonstrate episodic viral incidence and distinct pathogen patterns between summer and winter time-points. Peak infection of common honey bee viruses and Nosema occurred in the summer, whereas levels of the trypanosomatid Crithidia mellificae and Lake Sinai virus 2, a novel virus, peaked in January. PMID:21687739

  15. Larval starvation improves metabolic response to adult starvation in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Campbell, Jacob B; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V; Harrison, Jon F

    2016-04-01

    Environmental changes during development have long-term effects on adult phenotypes in diverse organisms. Some of the effects play important roles in helping organisms adapt to different environments, such as insect polymorphism. Others, especially those resulting from an adverse developmental environment, have a negative effect on adult health and fitness. However, recent studies have shown that those phenotypes influenced by early environmental adversity have adaptive value under certain (anticipatory) conditions that are similar to the developmental environment, though evidence is mostly from morphological and behavioral observations and it is still rare at physiological and molecular levels. In the companion study, we applied a short-term starvation treatment to fifth instar honey bee larvae and measured changes in adult morphology, starvation resistance, hormonal and metabolic physiology and gene expression. Our results suggest that honey bees can adaptively respond to the predicted nutritional stress. In the present study, we further hypothesized that developmental starvation specifically improves the metabolic response of adult bees to starvation instead of globally affecting metabolism under well-fed conditions. Here, we produced adult honey bees that had experienced a short-term larval starvation, then we starved them for 12 h and monitored metabolic rate, blood sugar concentrations and metabolic reserves. We found that the bees that experienced larval starvation were able to shift to other fuels faster and better maintain stable blood sugar levels during starvation. However, developmental nutritional stress did not change metabolic rates or blood sugar levels in adult bees under normal conditions. Overall, our study provides further evidence that early larval starvation specifically improves the metabolic responses to adult starvation in honey bees. PMID:27030776

  16. Honey bee larval peritrophic matrix degradation during infection with Paenibacillus larvae, the aetiological agent of American foulbrood of honey bees, is a key step in pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Gonzalez, Eva; Genersch, Elke

    2013-11-01

    Paenibacillus larvae, the aetiological agent of American foulbrood (AFB) of honey bees, causes a fatal intestinal infection in larvae and invades the haemocoel by breaching the midgut. The peritrophic matrix lining the midgut epithelium in insects constitutes an effective barrier against abrasive food particles, xenobiotics, toxins and pathogens. Pathogens like P. larvae entering the host through the gut first need to overcome this barrier. To better understand AFB pathogenesis, we analysed the fate of the peritrophic matrix in honey bee larvae during P. larvae infection. Using histochemical techniques, we first established that chitin is a major component of the honey bee larval peritrophic matrix. Rearing larvae on a diet containing a fluorochrome blocking formation of the peritrophic matrix or a bacterial endochitinase revealed that a fully formed peritrophic matrix is essential for larval survival. Larvae infected by P. larvae showed total degradation of the peritrophic matrix enabling the bacteria to directly attack the epithelial cells. Carbon source utilization tests confirmed that P. larvae is able to metabolize colloidal chitin. We propose that P. larvae degrades the peritrophic matrix to allow direct access of the bacteria or of bacterial toxins to the epithelium to prepare the breakthrough of the epithelial layer. PMID:23809335

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee queens mate with multiple males - a reproductive strategy known as polyandry - that results in colonies comprised of high intracolonial genetic diversity among nestmates. Several studies have demonstrated the adaptive significance of polyandry for overall colony performance and colony gro...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Varroa destructor, a potential vector of Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus in honey bees, Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although the role of the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, as a vector in transmission of viruses between honey bees is well established, no study has shown that it can similarly transmit Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), a virus that was found to be associated with Colony Collapse Disorder (CC...

  20. Social immunity in honey bees (Apis mellifera): transcriptome analysis of varroa-hygienic behaviour

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees tend to have a reduced number of immune genes compared to solitary insects. They actually developed an alternative collective defence consisting in the cooperation of individuals to decrease disease development. We identified a set of genes involved in this social immunity by comparing br...

  1. Genetic characterization of Russian honey bee stock selected for improved resistance to Varroa destructor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maintenance of genetic diversity among breeding lines is important in selective breeding and stock management. The Russian Honey Bee Breeding Program has strived to maintain high levels of heterozygosity among its breeding lines since its inception in 1997. After numerous rounds of selection for res...

  2. Molecular approaches to the Analysis of Virus Replication and Pathogenesis in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For years, understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms that underlie honey bee viral diseases has been severely hindered because of the lack of a cell culture system for virus propagation. As a result, it is very imperative to develop new methods that would permit the in vitro pathogenesis study o...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. Stable genetic diversity despite parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jara, Laura; Muñoz, Irene; Cepero, Almudena; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Serrano, José; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2015-10-01

    In the last decades, the rapid spread of diseases, such as varroosis and nosemosis, associated with massive honey bee colonies mortality around the world has significantly decreased the number and size of honey bee populations and possibly their genetic diversity. Here, we compare the genetic diversity of Iberian honey bee colonies in two samplings performed in 2006 and 2010 in relation to the presence of the pathogenic agents Nosema apis, Nosema ceranae, and Varroa destructor in order to determine whether parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies reflects changes in genetic diversity. We found that the genetic diversity remained similar, while the incidence of N. ceranae increased and the incidence of N. apis and V. destructor decreased slightly. These results indicate that the genetic diversity was not affected by the presence of these pathogenic agents in the analyzed period. However, the two groups of colonies with and without Nosema/Varroa detected showed significant genetic differentiation (G test). A detailed analysis of the allelic segregation of microsatellite loci in Nosema/Varroa-negative colonies and parasitized ones revealed two outlier loci related to genes involved in immune response.

  6. Characterization of gut bacteria at different developmental stages of Asian honey bees, Apis cerana

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous surveys have shown that adult workers of the Asian honey bee Apis cerana harbor four major gut microbes (Bifidobacterium, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, and Lactobacillus). Using quantitative PCR we characterized gut bacterial communities across the life cycle of A. cerana from la...

  7. Genome sequences of the honey bee pathogens Paenibacillus larvae and Ascosphaera apis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Infectious diseases are a component of the environment in which the organism exists and such an environment must be critically controlled in the dense population structures of a social organism. Honey bee pathogens can be devastating to the colony. Two of the most important are the bacterium Paeniba...

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

    PubMed

    Evans, J D; Wheeler, D E

    1999-05-11

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

  9. A survey of managed honey bee colony losses in the USA, fall 2009 to winter 2010

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study records the fourth consecutive year of high winter losses in managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in the USA. Over the winter of 2009-2010, US beekeepers responding to this survey lost an average of 42.2% of their colonies, for a total loss of 34.4%. Commercial beekeepers (those op...

  10. Changes in Gene Expression Relating to Colony Collapse Disorder in honey bees, Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a mysterious disappearance of honey bees that has beset beekeepers in the United States since late in 2006. Pathogens and other environmental stresses, including pesticides, have been linked to CCD, but a causal relationship has not yet been demonstrated. The gut,...

  11. Viral dynamics of persistent and acute virus infections in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The dynamics of viruses are critical to our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Using honey bee Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) as a model, we conducted field and laboratory studies to investigate the roles of abiotic and biotic stress factors as well as host health conditions in dynamics of virus rep...

  12. Acute and chronic effects of transportation stress in the honey bee, Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Owing to the continued impact of colony collapse disorder (CCD) on the beekeeping industry, numerous stressors including nutrition, pests and pathogens and biocides are being investigated as potential contributors to what appears to be a multi-factorial disorder. Because honey bee hives are transpo...

  13. Microsatellite loci for the fungus, Ascosphaera apis, cause of honey bee chalkbrood disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The fungus Ascosphaera apis (Ascomycota:Ascosphaeriaceae) is a worldwide fungal pathogen of honey bees. To provide tools for understanding the dispersal history of this pathogen, strain differences in virulence, and host-pathogen interactions, we developed and tested microsatellite loci for this sp...

  14. Bigger is better: honey bee colonies as distributed information-gathering systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In collectively foraging groups, communication about food resources can play an important role in the organization of the group’s activity. For example, the honey bee waggle dance allows colonies to selectively allocate foragers among different floral resources according to their quality. Because ...

  15. Occurrence, diversity and pattern of damage of Oplostomus species (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), honey bee pests in Kenya

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several arthropod pests including the hive beetles Aethina tumida and Oplostomus haroldi and the ectoparasite Varroa destructor have recently been identified as associated with honey bee colonies in Kenya. Here, we report the first documentation of O. fuligineus in Kenya, a related scarab of O. haro...

  16. Finding and Selecting Russian Honey Bees to be Resistant to Varroa destructor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During the mid-1800’s, farmers from western Russia settled far-eastern Russia. Some brought Apis mellifera with them. The area is within the home range of Apis cerana and consequently within the home range of Varroa destructor. Preliminary studies suggested that the honey bee population in far-easte...

  17. Polymorphic DNA sequences of the fungal honey bee pathogen Asosphaera apis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The pathogenic fungus Ascosphaera apis is ubiquitous in honey bee populations. We used the draft genome assembly of this pathogen to search for polymorphic intergenic loci. Primers were designed for five different loci and tested against a panel of closely related species. Subsequently, sequence var...

  18. Expression of varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) in commercial VSH honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We tested six commercial sources of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) that were bred to include the trait of varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH). VSH confers resistance to the parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman. Queens from these sources were established in colonies which later were measure...

  19. Assessment of chronic sublethal effects of imidacloprid on honey bee colony health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Here we present results of a three-year study to determine the fate of imidacloprid residues in hive matrices and to assess chronic sublethal effects on whole honey bee colonies fed supplemental pollen diet containing imidacloprid at 5, 20 and 100 µg/kg over multiple brood cycles. Various endpoints ...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. Predicting honey bee sensitivity based on the conservation of the pesticide molecular initiating event

    EPA Science Inventory

    Concern surrounding the potential adverse impacts of pesticides to honey bee colonies has led to the need for rapid/cost efficient methods for aiding decision making relative to the protection of this important pollinator species. Neonicotinoids represent a class of pesticides th...

  2. Asynchronous development of Honey Bee host and Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) influences reproductive potential of mites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A high proportion of non-reproductive (NR) Varroa destructor, is commonly observed in honey bee colonies displaying the Varroa sensitive hygienic trait (VSH). These studies were conducted to determine the influence of brood removal and subsequent host re-invasion of Varroa mites on mite reproduction...

  3. Parasaccharibacter apium, gen. nov., sp. nov., improves honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) resistance to Nosema

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is host to a variety of microorganisms. The bacterial community that occupies the adult worker gut contains a core group of approximately seven taxa, while the hive environment contains its own distribution of bacteria that is in many ways distinct from the gut. Parasa...

  4. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Global pollinator declines have been attributed to habitat destruction, pesticide use and climate change. Managed honey bee, Apis mellifera, colonies are part of these worldwide declines and are exposed to a wide variety of contaminants as they forage in the environment. Factors blamed for their d...

  5. SONIC DIGITIZER AS AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD TO ASSESS HONEY BEE (HYMENOPTERA: APIDAE) COLONY DYNAMICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Areas of comb can be used to assess qualities of honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colony dynamics such as brood rearing, hoarding behavior, and food stores. isual estimates, grid overlays, photography, and combinations of these methods have been used to approximate measurements of c...

  6. External and internal detection of Nosema ceranae on honey bees using real-time PCR

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There are numerous methods for molecular-based detection of the microsporidian parasite of honey bees, Nosema ceranae. Here we test for both external and internal parasite loads using a quantitative assay to determine the optimum tissue for pathogen detection and the likely sources of variability am...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. Diagnostic genetic test for the honey bee tracheal mite, Acarapis woodi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The tracheal mite, Acarapis woodi, has become a worldwide pest of honey bees. Identification and description of A. woodi is hampered by the minute size of these mites, their cryptic lifestyle, and a general lack of strong morphological differences with relatives. Here we describe a diagnostic gene...

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

    The experience of foraging under natural conditions increases the volume of mushroom body neuropil in worker honey bees. A comparable increase in neuropil volume results from treatment of worker honey bees with pilocarpine, an agonist for muscarinic-type cholinergic receptors. A component of the neuropil growth induced by foraging experience is growth of dendrites in the collar region of the calyces. We show here, via analysis of Golgi-impregnated collar Kenyon cells with wedge arborizations, that significant increases in standard measures of dendritic complexity were also found in worker honey bees treated with pilocarpine. This result suggests that signaling via muscarinic-type receptors promotes the increase in Kenyon cell dendritic complexity associated with foraging. Treatment of worker honey bees with scopolamine, a muscarinic inhibitor, inhibited some aspects of dendritic growth. Spine density on the Kenyon cell dendrites varied with sampling location, with the distal portion of the dendritic field having greater total spine density than either the proximal or medial section. This observation may be functionally significant because of the stratified organization of projections from visual centers to the dendritic arborizations of the collar Kenyon cells. Pilocarpine treatment had no effect on the distribution of spines on dendrites of the collar Kenyon cells. PMID:21262388

  10. Direct effect of acaricides on pathogen loads and gene expression levels of honey bee Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effect of using miticides to control varroa mites has long been a concern to the beekeeping industry due to unintended negative impacts on honey bee health. Irregular ontogenesis, immune defense suppression, impairment of normal behavior are some of the described symptoms for the use of pestici...

  11. Comparative resistance of Russian and Italian honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) against small hive beetles (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To compare resistance to small hive beetles (SHB) between Russian and commercial Italian honey bees, the numbers of invading beetles, their population levels through time and SHB reproduction inside the colonies were monitored. We found that the genotype of queens introduced into nucleus colonies ha...

  12. Transformations of the gram-positive honey bee pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae, by electroporation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study we developed an electrotransformation method for use with the Gram-positive bacterium Paenibacillus larvae—a deadly pathogen of honey bees. The method is substantially different from the only other electroporation method for a Paenibacillus species found in the literature. Using the ty...

  13. Expression of insulin/insulin-like signalling and TOR pathway genes in honey bee caste determination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The development of queen and worker castes in honey bees is induced by differential nutrition, with future queens and workers receiving diets that are qualitatively and quantitatively different. We monitored the gene expression of 14 genes for components of the insulin/insulin-like signalling and TO...

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

    PubMed Central

    Richard, F-J; Aubert, A; Grozinger, CM

    2008-01-01

    Background Immune response pathways have been relatively well-conserved across animal species, with similar systems in both mammals and invertebrates. Interestingly, honey bees have substantially reduced numbers of genes associated with immune function compared with solitary insect species. However, social species such as honey bees provide an excellent environment for pathogen or parasite transmission with controlled environmental conditions in the hive, high population densities, and frequent interactions. This suggests that honey bees may have developed complementary mechanisms, such as behavioral modifications, to deal with disease. Results Here, we demonstrate that activation of the immune system in honey bees (using bacterial lipopolysaccharides as a non-replicative pathogen) alters the social responses of healthy nestmates toward the treated individuals. Furthermore, treated individuals expressed significant differences in overall cuticular hydrocarbon profiles compared with controls. Finally, coating healthy individuals with extracts containing cuticular hydrocarbons of immunostimulated individuals significantly increased the agonistic responses of nestmates. Conclusion Since cuticular hydrocarbons play a critical role in nestmate recognition and other social interactions in a wide variety of insect species, modulation of such chemical profiles by the activation of the immune system could play a crucial role in the social regulation of pathogen dissemination within the colony. PMID:19014614

  15. The Importance of Microbes in Nutrition and Health of Honey Bee Colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microbes play an essential role in the health of nearly every organism. Humans have innumerable microbes in their digestive system to help with the processing of food. Honey bee colonies also have an array of bacteria and fungi that are essential for the storing and processing of food (especially ...

  16. Pollination of Saguaro Cactus by Doves, Nectar-Feeding Bats, and Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Alcorn, S M; McGregor, S E; Olin, G

    1961-05-19

    In a large cage, free-flying western white-winged doves, nectar-feeding Leptonycteris bats, and honey bees were each effective as cross-pollinators of self-sterile saguaro flowers. Seed production and seed viability were not significantly different in fruit from flowers pollinated by these agents. Pollination is not a limiting factor in saguaro repopulation. PMID:17781127

  17. Stable genetic diversity despite parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Jara, Laura; Muñoz, Irene; Cepero, Almudena; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Serrano, José; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2015-10-01

    In the last decades, the rapid spread of diseases, such as varroosis and nosemosis, associated with massive honey bee colonies mortality around the world has significantly decreased the number and size of honey bee populations and possibly their genetic diversity. Here, we compare the genetic diversity of Iberian honey bee colonies in two samplings performed in 2006 and 2010 in relation to the presence of the pathogenic agents Nosema apis, Nosema ceranae, and Varroa destructor in order to determine whether parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies reflects changes in genetic diversity. We found that the genetic diversity remained similar, while the incidence of N. ceranae increased and the incidence of N. apis and V. destructor decreased slightly. These results indicate that the genetic diversity was not affected by the presence of these pathogenic agents in the analyzed period. However, the two groups of colonies with and without Nosema/Varroa detected showed significant genetic differentiation (G test). A detailed analysis of the allelic segregation of microsatellite loci in Nosema/Varroa-negative colonies and parasitized ones revealed two outlier loci related to genes involved in immune response. PMID:26306398

  18. Transcriptional response of honey bee larvae infected with the bacterial pathogen Paenibacillus larvae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    American foulbrood disease of honey bees is caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. Infection occurs per os in larvae and systemic infection requires a breaching of the host peritrophic matrix and midgut epithelium. Genetic variation exists for both bacterial virulence and host resistance, and...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Identifying the forces shaping intraspecific phenotypic and genotypic divergence are of key importance in evolutionary biology. Phenotypic divergence may result from local adaptation or, especially in species with strong gene flow, from pronounced phenotypic plasticity. Here, we examine morphological and genetic divergence among populations of the western honey bee Apis mellifera in the topographically heterogeneous East African region. The currently accepted “mountain refugia hypothesis” states that populations living in disjunct montane forests belong to a different lineage than those in savanna habitats surrounding these forests. We obtained microsatellite data, mitochondrial sequences, and morphometric data from worker honey bees collected from feral colonies in three montane forests and corresponding neighboring savanna regions in Kenya. Honey bee colonies from montane forests showed distinct worker morphology compared with colonies in savanna areas. Mitochondrial sequence data did not support the existence of the two currently accepted subspecies. Furthermore, analyses of the microsatellite data with a Bayesian clustering method did not support the existence of two source populations as it would be expected under the mountain refugia scenario. Our findings suggest that phenotypic plasticity rather than distinct ancestry is the leading cause behind the phenotypic divergence observed between montane forest and savanna honey bees. Our study thus corroborates the idea that high gene flow may select for increased plasticity. PMID:24223262

  20. Antennae hold a key to Varroa-sensitive hygiene behaviour in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Mondet, Fanny; Alaux, Cédric; Severac, Dany; Rohmer, Marine; Mercer, Alison R.; Le Conte, Yves

    2015-01-01

    In honey bees, Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) behaviour, which involves the detection and removal of brood parasitised by the mite Varroa destructor, can actively participate in the survival of colonies facing Varroa outbreaks. This study investigated the mechanisms of VSH behaviour, by comparing the antennal transcriptomes of bees that do and do not perform VSH behaviour. Results indicate that antennae likely play a key role in the expression of VSH behaviour. Comparisons with the antennal transcriptome of nurse and forager bees suggest that VSH profile is more similar to that of nurse bees than foragers. Enhanced detection of certain odorants in VSH bees may be predicted from transcriptional patterns, as well as a higher metabolism and antennal motor activity. Interestingly, Deformed wing virus/Varroa destructor virus infections were detected in the antennae, with higher level in non-VSH bees; a putative negative impact of viral infection on bees’ ability to display VSH behaviour is proposed. These results bring new perspectives to the understanding of VSH behaviour and the evolution of collective defence by focusing attention on the importance of the peripheral nervous system. In addition, such data might be useful for promoting marker-assisted selection of honey bees that can survive Varroa infestations. PMID:26000641