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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. 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 ...

  17. 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...

  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. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  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

    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 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

  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

    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 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

  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. 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 ...

  6. 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...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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)…

  11. 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 ...

  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 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

  7. 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

  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 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

  14. 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

  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. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  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 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...

  8. 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 ...

  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

    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

  18. 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

  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 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

  16. 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

  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. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  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 Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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

  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. 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....

  15. 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 ...

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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, ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  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 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

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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 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

  20. 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

  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 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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